I came out to myself in my late teen years, came out to others in earnest after college, then started fully embracing the urban Pinoy gay man’s lifestyle when I was already in my mid-20s onwards.
(Let me just make a quick qualification: There really is no one definitive “gay man’s lifestyle” at any time in history. But there are many similarities to the gay men’s journey that one can come up with a loose set of milestones: coming out, meeting other gay men, experiencing homosexual acts, falling in and out of love, learning to navigate their particular gay culture, etc. To the best of my knowledge, my lifestyle as a gay man in Metro Manila was fairly average, with just a bit too much on bathhouse sex than the average Manila gay guy, but too little experience on romantic pursuits.)
By the time I was in my 30s I was very much into going to gay clubs on weekends (Zoo and Penguin Café in Malate first, then Giraffe in Makati ‘til the early morning), visiting the bathhouse when I’m horny and still have pocket money, and cruising the movie houses when it was petsa de peligro time of the month. It was also around this decade that I hit the gym. At first I just wanted to get a hunk body that I can show off at clubs and bathhouses. But then I also discovered the joys of illicit encounters in the shower areas and saunas of the gym.
When I reached my 40s, there were several major changes in my lifestyle. First was physical, the advancing age. With it came reading glasses, a slower metabolism, and, when it came to sex, a longer recuperating period in between orgasms. But I was also earning more, so I was eating more—in quality and quantity.
|Bizarre trivia: The term "slaps ___ with a large trout" |
was popularised in chat rooms.
It was also around this time that technology and connectivity improved, and more opportunities for hooking up became available, from chat programs like ICQ and MIRC, to sites like guys4men (that eventually became GayRomeo and then Planetromeo) and Downelink, to mobile apps like Grindr and Hornet. From physically going to particular areas in the metro to find “people like us,” gay guys can now conveniently meet online and mate offline.
At 46 years old, I met D and we entered into a relationship. It was our first for the both of us. From exclusive we eventually opened our relationship. This allowed us to pursue (safe) sex with other men; despite this, I noticed that I didn’t feel the need to hook up as much as I did before. Looking back, it’s a combination of several factors:  my libido wasn’t the same as before;  I preferred convenience over lust (if the guy was a borta bottom who had his own place, insisted on safe sex, doesn’t sound clingy, but lived all the way in Sta. Rosa, I’d easily decline; whereas before, just the borta bottom fact alone might have made me drive all the way to the south);  the fact that I was in a relationship made me very comfortable in not pursuing other guys, even if I was allowed to go at it.
And that’s the strange thing about freedom, at least in my case. Precisely because I have the freedom to hook up with other guys, it’s easier for me to take hook ups for granted, and I can shrug off offers because, well, there’ll be others. If I had been barred from hooking up, I’d greet every offer as a delicious, dangerous treat that’s doubly exciting to pursue precisely because it’s not allowed.
Give me freedom, and I’ll choose to be boring.
Well okay, honestly, not that boring. As I grew older, I had less time to go to the gym, but more time to treat ourselves to eating out. I began to mimic my father’s figure. But I also found out that there is this market for daddies. And these daddy-loving gay guys are often young, in their early 20s. When I do the occasional hook up, it’s with guys in their 20s or early 30s. Hey, that’s marketing, that’s just the law of supply-and-demand.
You just may find out more about it here.