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I'm fifty, overweight and care for my disabled mum.
Basically I suffer from extreme loneliness in the evenings. I'd simply love to have a close, open friendship, some kissing and cuddling, but anything extra would be optional.
I don't exactly have the strongest sex drive in the world and find the pub/club scene too loud. On carers’ benefit I simply cannot afford it, nor can I really leave mum. She has mini-strokes, falls and brittle bones.
Sexually I find myself attracted to men in the 18-30 age group. I find it so difficult to get beyond the e-mail stage in any relationship. For whatever reason I can come across as emotionally intense.
I feel that I've become some kind of dirty old man. Any advice would be very welcome.
Well, as the Irishman said, I wouldn’t start from here. Much as I love my old mum (82), we both know that if I looked after her the result would be two bitter old ladies. Sons should leave their mothers.
But you didn’t, and I perfectly understand you won’t now, before you start thinking I’m going to tell you to put her in a home.
But there are things you say that make me think you ain’t quite making the best of the situation.
No. 1. “I’m overweight”. Stated like “I’m 50”. It reminds me of the comic Michael Redmond who ambles on stage and intones: “If I could have my time all over again, I wouldn’t grow this moustache.” You can shave fat off, Bobby. Join a gym (‘But I can’t, they’d all stare at me’). Buy a second-hand bike. Walk briskly. Buy a cheap set of weights. Stick your feet under the sofa now and do 20, OK 10, OK two situps. Go on the ruddy Atkins diet!! Oh, and by the way, if you lose a bit of weight that sex drive might perk up…
No. 2. “I’d love to have a close, open relationship.” Umm…while I’m very much of the opinion that we as gay men have an almost unique ability to love each other to death and still shag around like bonobos, you have to sound as if you know what you want to attract a man. Do you really want a boy who comes round for tea and sympathy in his breaks from being the town bike? I think not.
No 3. “I can’t really leave mum.” What, not for a second? An hour? An evening in a (quiet) pub? Have you asked your social services about respite help so you can have the odd night off? I know carers get a raw deal but there is help around if you bang desks loudly enough.
No 4. “I find myself attracted to men in the 18-30 age group”. Yes, hon, but are they attracted to you? Overweight, low-sex-drive, housebound you? See 1,2, and 3 above for the things you are going to have to do before snaring even the fluffiest 23 year old.
I think, Bobby, you are someone who has sacrificed his life for someone and can’t understand where his reward is. Where’s the little cutie to snuggle up to you and admire you for your nobility and selflessness?
Well, I’m sorry, life ain’t like that. What do you have to offer a partner, other than emotional intensity?
The solution? Get a life¸ however quiet, however non-scene. Develop interests other than fruitless internet cruising. Log on to www.gawhydontyou.com and find a bunch of like-minded gay men who are more than penpals. And when you meet one, think ‘is this a friend?’ instead of ‘is this someone I can get miserably sexually obsessed over?’
That way you stand a chance of developing confidence and wisdom, which are the old man’s six-pack.
And leave your old mum with someone else for a few hours. She needs a break too.