Happy (Belated) Pride

pride flag
Standard

Happy belated Pride to everyone, both near and far.

I know this is late for most people, as like in London, Pride celebrations would have taken place last weekend or possibly this weekend depending on where in the world you’re living.

For myself, Pride can sometimes be a bitter-sweet time as it usually falls around or on my birthday, but luckily this time London Pride fell on the weekend before my ‘big’ day.

I had a lovely day celebrating Pride with some friends, watching the parade (from what I could see past the taller people standing in front of me lol) and then drinking the afternoon/evening away at the usual bear bar in Soho.

But this year Pride has a special meaning for me…

That’s right… my own little blog-space has once again been listed as one of the Top 10 UK LGBT Blogs!!!

This listing comes via a marketing and communications provider called Vuelio.  Along with their corporate work, they also maintain Top 10 Blog Lists that change weekly.

Vuelio is Europe’s leading provider of software for communications, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.  Vuelio offers an unrivalled portfolio of products and services to serve the modern public relations and public affairs professional throughout the UK and Europe.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Fagburn
  2. Pink Wedding Days
  3. The Guyliner (I actually follow this blog!!)
  4. Sarah + Laura
  5. Pink Therapy Blog
  6. Indefinite Adventure
  7. Ramblings of a Supposed Disease Free Mind (that’s’ ME!!)
  8. Yet Another T-Girl Blog
  9. Trade Blog
  10. THE LONDON UNICORN

 

As amazing as this is (and it’s pretty freakin’ amazing hahaha), this isn’t the first time this has happened…

Two years ago I was placed on this same list, when the blog listings were done via a company called Cision (see previous post HERE) and I was understandably gob-smacked this had happened.

love is loveHell, I am again this year.  LOL

To be honest, I hadn’t noticed the email notification or the Tweet (since I don’t go on Twitter that often).  It had only come to my attention when someone had retweeted the posting and it popped up on my mobile notifications.

Admittedly, this all happened a couple weeks ago, just before Pride.  I’d meant to post about it but between Pride itself and then my holiday in Rome, it kinda fell to the wayside.  Oops.

It’s always amazing to get recognition from other bloggers, but to also get it from an outside source that I’d never submitted my blog to is very humbling.  Especially when you take into consideration my sporadic postings over the past year.😉

But whomever compiled the list clearly enjoyed what they had read, and for that I am extremely thankful.

And I’m thankful to all of you who regularly come by to have a read, leave a comment, share a post, or even just give a like to whatever you’ve been reading.  It’s thanks to all of you that I’m still here and keep coming back regardless of whatever has been happening in my life.

So.. here’s to another year of my little humble blog (which will be turning 8 years old in the Autumn!!), and to all of you for sticking by me through it all.

Love,

Martin x

My Roman Holiday

20160629_111034-PANO
Standard

This past week to celebrate my birthday, I went on a little trip.. to Rome.

It was the first time I’d been there, or even to Italy, so it was something I was so excited to do.  I’d always wanted to tour the ancient ruins of this timeless city, and finally I was getting a chance.

It also helped that a friend of mine lives in the city with his boyfriend, so it gave us a chance to catch up since we hadn’t seen each other in 4 or 5 years since his last trip to London.

I have to say.. as much as I’ve loved my recent beach holidays to Gran Canaria, this trip to Rome definitely took my breathe away.  The surreality of standing in the Coliseum, looking out over the ruins on my actual birthday Wednesday kept getting to me.

There I was, just a guy from a small town in Canada, standing in one of the most ancient wonders of the world.  It was so breath-taking at times that I had to catch myself bursting from happiness.

I truly loved wandering around the city (even if my feet said otherwise afterwards hahaha), and just seeing what amazing sight was around each corner.  The buildings, the streets, the food, and ohmygod.. the men!!  LOL

Yeah, I definitely had a terrific trip, and it’s a city I’d love to return to some day, as there was only so much I could see in the 3 days I was there.  But at least I got to see most of the major things that were on my list.. even if some of them required me to wait in a 3 hour queue.. Yes, I’m looking at you, Vatican. 😉

Anyway, here are just a handful of snaps I took over the course of my trip.  Think I took well over 200 pictures, so I’ve just selected a few of my favourites.

Ciao!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Striping Away the Insecurities

plussizemalemodel
Standard

Like many people, I tend to be quite self-conscious when it comes to my body.  I was always the chubby or fat kid in school, and have continued to be of a larger size well into my adult years.

I’ve spent many years feeling bad about myself, putting myself down and generally beating myself up emotionally or psychologically whenever I felt I had let myself down regarding my weight.  I’ve repeatedly tried to restrict my diet, deny myself the food I’ve always enjoyed eating, and to get more active.

But of course, despite brief periods of weight loss here and there, I’ve continued to watch my weight rise year on year.  And my own feelings of self-worth fluctuated about as much as my weight did.

Now don’t get me wrong.. I don’t necessarily eat as if I’m running out of food, or am so inactive that I’m beyond lazy.  It’s like anything in life – I know what I need to do, but don’t tend to do it.

cute bums on beachOk, maybe that is my laziness talking there. LOL

I’ve tried several things over the years to help myself to accept my own body image issues, but it’s only been recently that I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin.  And just my own skin.

Over the past couple years, I’ve discovered a love of naturalist beaches, especially after my recent trips to Gran Canaria.  I found on the beaches there that nobody cared what you looked like, and all shapes and sizes were welcome.

On top of this, a close friend of mine convinced me to join a naturalist social website well over a year ago (Nakedmates.co.uk for those who’re interested lol), but I hadn’t done much with it other than poke around, looking at the guy’s profiles and pictures.  And reading about the events some put on, wondering what it would be like to go to one.

Well… all that changed back in April, just before my most recent trip to Gran Canaria.  My mate was hosting a small gathering at his flat in town, and I decided to finally take the plunge and attend.

That’s right.. I went to a naked house party.  And despite my initial nervousness, I absolutely loved it.  It literally was just like any other house party – some laughs, lots of chatting, a bit of flirting, and maybe a bit too much wine haha.

Only difference was that everyone was naked.

The whole ethos of the website is ‘No Clothes. No Attitude’, where members organise parties at their homes, in bars, saunas, and such.

beardy threesomeOne reason I’d been so so hesitant about these parties was it felt like it was so sexualised.  My mate had told me plenty of naughty stories of things that had gone on at these events, and that really isn’t my thing.

But what I found after attending that first party was that it isn’t really like that at all for most of the guys.  It’s just a different outlet to meet like-minded guys in a comfortable and non-judgemental clothing-free environment.

Now don’t get me wrong.. there is a sexual aspect to the parties, but only if you choose to engage in it.  Most hosts when having parties in their homes will set aside a room away from the social areas for those who want to have a bit of fun.  And despite what I might have previously thought, it didn’t turn into full-blown orgies.

At this particular party, I was one of the first to arrive so was already naked when the rest of them arrived.  I think that helped me a bit, where I was only initially stripping off in front of a couple of guys instead of 20 or so.😉

Of course, the bottle of wine I’d brought helped me relax.  The first half of the bottle went down very quickly. Hahaha

Anyway, the time flew by as I chatted to a gorgeous Danish guy in the kitchen, while some of the other guys drifted in and out of the play room.  Neither of us were interested in joining the frolics, so just enjoyed each other’s company.

Well things have sorted progressed since then, as I’ve been to 2 other parties since.  Including my mate’s naked birthday party last month… where I met a very sexy farmer from Suffolk.

And the parties continue next month.  I’ve agreed to a naked camping weekend up North with over 200 guys from around the country (the sexy farmer promised he’d make it worth my while if I went.. hehe).  And then a couple weeks later it’ll be my mate’s naked wedding!

I admit, it’s not a community I ever considered being a part of, but it’s amazing how friendly and inclusive most of the guys are.  And it’s great to meet guys from so many different walks of life all because of one shared interest.

The upside to all this is how much more comfortable I’ve been feeling in my own skin, and how I keep looking for new opportunities to spent as much time naked at home as I can.. though usually just in my bedroom or when nobody is home.

What I do know is this is a new adventure for me, and it’s one I’m quite enjoying.

Now to see what happens next.. and whether that sexy farmer will keep his promise when we go camping next month. 😉

naked camping

 

Signs You’re Actually a Gay Introvert

introvert-vs-shy
Standard

Life can be hard when you’re an introvert, especially in the gay community where those pesky sexy extroverts are getting all the guys you’d love to meet.  And sometimes it can make an introvert wonder whether they’ll ever get their turn at the big relationship-roundabout.

All too often introverts will try to push themselves to be more outgoing (especially at the prodding from their more extroverted friends) and make themselves seem more ‘interesting’ to try and rope in that hot guy.

Unfortunately that’s always doomed to failure, as you’re truly not being yourself.  You’re an introvert and always will be.  And here’s why you’re best to just be yourself.. even if some may consider you ‘anti-social’.

Introverts make great listeners.. but hate small talk

Ever notice how some people will fade back while amongst a group of people chatting about the usual mundane things in life.  That person, most likely, is an introvert since most find wading through that chitchat almost painful.  It’s not always that they don’t have anything to contribute to the conversion, but more that they’d just rather not be bothered.

But start talking about the bigger things in life, be it politics, religious freedoms, immigration, or any other such topics, and the introvert will be more than willing to yak your ear off.  Introverts are thinkers, and are able to fully form opinions about a variety of important topics.

Crowds – love ’em & hate ’em

introverts uniteA lot of introverts have issues being in big crowds of people, be it at some packed club or at some huge house party.  They love being included, but sometimes have to fight their anxieties to jump into the middle of things.

But don’t think the introvert isn’t capable of having fun, because they’ll do their best to enjoy themselves and dance the night away.  It just may be that they’ll keep themselves to the outskirts of the main festivities instead of being in the thick of things.

Oh, and their idea of a truly good time?  Chilling in a cool pub with a few good mates, where they can talk without having to shout at each other.

Truly personal connections are special

A lot of people just write introverts off as being anti-social, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The reality is they sometimes have difficulty allowing themselves to open up to others, especially those who they’ve just met.

And it’s more than just a trust issue.  Introverts instinctively can tell who they can show their vulnerable side to, and who they can just laugh with without revealing too much of themselves.  And when an introvert does open themselves up to someone, then that means they see that person as special and precious to them.

Huge flirt vs just being friendly

As much as introverts protest, everyone always thinks they’re a massive flirt because they’re not ones to hide behind a façade.  They’re the most authentic and genuine people you’ll ever meet, and they’ll always be the ones to tell you how it is without any double entendres.  But yet your boyfriend will always drag you away from an introvert in a fit of jealousy.

Quality over quantity

Most introverts have an innate ability to smell the bullshit being spewed around them, and because of that, they’re probably the best people to go to for some quality, no-nonsense advise about most anything.  A lot of them can tell when something has been done to a sub-par standard, and are quite adept at telling the fakers from those being genuine.

Man of mystery

In this day and age of over-sharing (online or in person), introverts are seen as being closed off from others and having an air of mystery about them.  A lot of this has to do with an introvert’s unavoidable requirement of being self-sufficient or independent from those around them, even if it makes people think they’re just being a ‘loner’.  It all adds to their inexplicable appeal.

Introvert-quoteUncomfortable talking about themselves

Introverts aren’t the best at selling themselves, usually allowing for their work to speak for itself when it comes to their work life.  As for their personal life, they’re more likely to give a generic ‘I’m alright’ when asked how they’re doing, instead of spilling whatever drama they’re going through at the time.

They’d rather watch Netflix

Introverts aren’t that great at coming up with those witty Facebook statuses we all love to ‘Like’, though do come up with a few zingers from time to time.  Instead they’d much rather chill out, watch a movie, catch that new documentary, or have one of their famous Netflix marathons.

They’re regularly friend-zoned

Because introverts are great at listening and being there for their friends and family, they regularly get placed in the proverbial friend box.  And this is usually despite all their moaning they just want to find a ‘nice guy’, despite the fact that you’re right there ready for the plucking with a massive crush.

Time causes panic

introverts are specialAs introverts get older, they start to realise that they’ve spent hardly anytime socialising or spending it with their friends or family.  And because they tend to over-think things, they’ll start wondering all sorts of things about their lives – Will I ever find a husband? Where did all my friends go? How’d did I lose touch all these people? Do I even care anymore?

All in all, introverts are loving and amazing people who just need those around them to realise how fantastic they are, and make a bit of effort to crack that closed-off exterior.

This article is inspired by –> 10 Signs You’re Actually a Gay Introvert (Even Though You Try Not to Be) – GayGuys.com

Holiday Dramas and Regrets

20151120_185523 (2)
Standard

As I wrote back in March (click here for previous post), I’d booked a return trip to Gran Canaria, only I wasn’t going alone this time.  A young Italian mate was coming along, and despite a few misgivings, I’d agreed to allow him to share the apartment I’d rented for the week.

As only casual mates, this holiday was either going to make or break our friendship..  Let’s just say there isn’t a friendship anymore.  I should have listened to my gut feelings about this one.

I’d pre-warned him before he booked his flight that I snore, and we would be sharing a 1-bedroom apartment (2 single beds, thankfully).  Oh and that he’d be seeing me naked, of course.  LOL

He’d said he was fine with all of it, so off we flew to Gran Canaria and somehow ended up in seats next to each other, even though we’d booked our flights months apart.  Small world.

fuck the dramaBut it turned out that he was going to be a bit of a handful over the course of the week, and it quickly felt like I was babysitting a little drama queen.  It didn’t help any that I’d come down with a sinus cold the night before we’d flown away.

Firstly, he complained while we waited to board the plane that he felt gross because he’d hadn’t had time to moisturise that morning (he’s barely 30!), then he moaned at how he was stuck in a middle seat and how uncomfortable the seat was.

Once we’d arrived and picked up the keys for the apartment, he immediately started going on about how we could have found an even nicer place for the money we were paying.  That wasn’t on the 4th floor with no lift.  And that was bigger, probably with separate bedrooms.

*Sigh*.. I think he’d already forgotten that he was tagging along on the holiday I’d booked, not something we’d arranged together.

That night I went to the Yumbo for drinks with my dear friend ‘M’ who was already there on holiday (was there the week before on a naturalist group holiday), and the young Italian tagged along.  He’d left his mobile back at the flat, and I had to ‘remind’ him how to get back to the flat when he left.

snoring guyOnce I got back went to bed, he kept poking me throughout the night, and then complained at length in the morning how loudly I was snoring.  Something he knew would happen, plus the sinus cold probably didn’t help.

I tried to shrug it off, but that night when we were heading to bed, he actually had the nerve to ask me “Could you try not to snore tonight so I can actually get some sleep?”.

Yeah.. the little princess actually said that.

I snapped.

I’m generally a fairly easy going person, but this guy had really gotten under my skin.  After angrily reminding him at length that he was forewarned of my snoring, and I eventually got up for a smoke to cool off before falling asleep on the little sofa.

The best though was the first day on the beach when I simply asked him to put some cream on my back so I wouldn’t burn.  To me, this was a simple enough request of a mate when on holiday together.

But oh no, not for him.  He immediately got really uncomfortable and started going on about how he doesn’t do that sort of thing.  That he doesn’t do ‘public displays’..

Ummm.. huh?!?!

It wasn’t like I was asking him to fuck me on the beach or something.  Haha  Perhaps it was because I was naked and he wasn’t.. it was a nude beach after all.

cute bums on beachBut here’s the kicker… several hours later, he started chatting to a cute German guy and actually offered to put cream on the guy’s back.  That’s right.. he was quite fine with a ‘public display’ when it came to someone he fancied.

What a hypocrite! hahaha

There were a few other little things, silly things, that were annoying when you put them all together. I’m not going to list them all since that’ll take way too long.  Each day there seemed to be a new little drama, and I really didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Generally after the 2nd day or so, I went off and did my own thing, especially after my mate ‘M’ headed back to London. It’s wasn’t that I specifically tried to avoid him, but I didn’t go out of my way to hang with him.  If we happened to be in the same place, then fine.

Most nights he’d go to bed around midnight, despite the bars not really getting busy until then.  He claimed he didn’t want to miss the beach the next day.. despite the beach not getting really busy until midday.  I was there to have fun, so was out late each night enjoying myself and went to the beach whenever I felt like it.

In the end, it wasn’t as great holiday as the last time, but I did my best to enjoy myself.  I relaxed, got a nice all over tan, and even had a bit of fun with a couple of guys near the end of the week.

I’d still go back again at some point.. but now I know to either go on holiday alone or only with a close friend I know I’d get along with.

A Long Overdue Update…

unmotivated
Standard

I’d love to say the main reason I’ve been so absent from my blog over the past month is because I’ve been too busy actually living life.  That I’m so busy that I just haven’t had a single moment to pop online to update my blog.

I’d really love to say all that.. but that be a load of shit.  LOL

Life has been slightly busy over the past month since I returned from Gran Canaria, but not so much so that I couldn’t jot something down quickly just to keep the site up to date.

sloth_lazy_tv_art_mloveizm_magazineThe honest truth?  I’ve been an absolutely lazy twat.  HAHAHA

Work never gets any busier than it already is, as there’s zero overtime or requirements to work on the weekends.  Most days I get home from work, lay on my bed playing on the iPad (which I could easily use to write blog posts..) and then plop myself in front of the television while I gobble up my dinner.

Real exciting life, huh?😉

Ok.. so my isn’t really THAT dull and predictable.  I have gone out a couple times here or there, and one recent weekend saw me going to two different birthday parties.  It’s not all boredom and being social hermit, but it does feel that way sometimes.

I can’t even say that I haven’t had much to write about or even to say about my life and the world around me, cause there’s loads going on in the world that I have some definite opinions about.

threesomeAnd it’s not even that I’ve been dating someone, or meeting loads of new guys causing me to be too busy having fun to get my ass online.  Or that I’ve just been busy having loads of sex (I wish!! LOL).

Cause let’s be honest… like most people, I’m online all the time really.  Both at home and at work.  Especially after my mobile provider quadrupled my monthly data allowance recently.

For some reason it’s been weeks since I’ve turned on my laptop, even to just listen to music or watch a movie online.  Funny how things change, when before I used to literally live on my laptop… Think at one point last year I actually ran out of things to watch on Netflix. haha

Maybe it was just time for a bit of a break (again!), and I needed to gather my thoughts a bit before launching any new posts or rants about the world around me… but that’s just giving another lame excuse.

Like I already admitted, I’m lazy.  lol

And like most lazy guys, the longer you allow yourself to get drawn into the habits of laziness, the easier it is to just go with it and not break the cycle.  Having a quiet lazy day or evening after a busy day at work is absolute bliss.. but can’t be letting it take over my life, right?

lazy-monday-8So.. what now?

I’m not going to make some grandiose promise about how I’m going to do better about updating my blog, making sure I don’t go more than a couple days without a post.  That would just be setting myself up for failure, and life should be all about realistic and attainable goals.

I do have loads to catch up on, and so much that I’m just itching to write about.. so we’ll see how things go.

And since I’m already on my laptop, maybe I’ll just have to get all those stories out while I can. :-)

Getting Over Fear of Making Big Life Changes

Overcoming-fear-of-change
Standard

As much as some try to say they enjoy it, change can be difficult and stressful regardless of what the change is or how big a change it is.

And sometimes despite the benefits to our lives, we can get bogged down in how tough change can be.  We’ll worry ourselves to death whether we’re making the right decisions or how we’ll even get through the changes ahead.

Getting past our fears and move forward with whatever changes that are on the horizon can be difficult.  And all too often we’ll doubt ourselves even when we know it’s a change for the best.

Hopefully the following tips will help you move forward and make that positive change in your life you truly need.

Nobody has all the answers

Before making any important decision, it’s always a good rule of thumb to collect as much information about the impending change as you can.  And doing a bit of research into it can sometimes help make that decision even easier, one way or the other.

But can you sometimes go too far with the research?  Of course you can.  All too often we get paralysed with fear because we think we couldn’t possibly have enough information to make a proper decision.  But the truth is we need to stop waiting for the crystal ball to appear with how everything will turn out, and just make that (informed) leap of faith.

Trust your instincts

I can do itAll too often we’ll make excuses for ourselves why not to make the important changes in our lives, but underneath it all we’re just not putting enough faith in our own ability to make the decision.  Who hasn’t hemmed and hawed over making some decision, only to put it off instead of going ahead with what we know we should be doing?

It’s all about the fear of the unknown and being afraid to see where the future will lead us.  It’s also about getting too comfortable in our current situation, so much so that we’d rather keep the status quo instead of leaping ahead.  No matter what is on the horizon, we need to trust our ability to handle anything the future will throw at us.

Stay positive

We always worry too much about the worst case scenarios when making a big decision, and sometimes that will cause us to put off doing what is necessary.  It’s always good planning to figure out what the worst that could happen, but at the same time, we need to look at what the positives could be.  And if it’s the right decision, then the positives will always outweigh the negatives.

Enjoy the process

don't be afraidAll too often we get way too wrapped up in the end results, that if we try to reach for that big life goal that we’ll never make it to the finish line.  But you know what’s even more profound and enjoyable?  The journey towards that goal itself. You chose that goal, so enjoy the process of getting to it.

Life is full of twists and turns, and what may be your end goal today, may not be tomorrow based on how your journey there unravels.  Life changes, and so should your goals.  And if you don’t reach your initial goal, that’s ok because you’re allowed to change to a new one as you go along.  It doesn’t mean you’re being flaky or indecisive, but instead means you’re weighing your options as you go along.

Life is an opportunity

Don’t let yourself sit on the fence about making a big life changing decision, or allow yourself to get stuck in a rut.  Or even when it comes to making a little decision really.  big or small, each choice you make in life opens an opportunity to something new.

And you just never know where that opportunity may lead you.  It may even make you change your initial goals, and allow life to take you to somewhere even better than you thought it would.  There are always choices in life, so go ahead and see where they lead you.

Make the effort

Whenever we get stuck in a rut, it’s usually because we haven’t made the effort to exorcise the change we need to move forward in life.  It could be we get settled into an easy job instead of going for one that could possibly propel our career to places we never thought it could.  If you don’t ask for what you want in life, then you’ll never get it.

It’s also too easy to make excuses why we haven’t gotten where we need to be in life, so why not put them aside and just go for it already.  If you don’t even try then you’ll never get what you want in life.  And don’t let your own laziness stop you from even trying in the first place.

Build up to the big stuff

Let’s be honest – you can’t really go for the huge tasks if you haven’t mastered the little ones first.  Sometimes you need to build up to where you want to be in life, and start from the ground up.  If it’s regarding a career change, then see what you can do to improve your skills so you meet the qualifications of the new job.  Or if it’s a more physical goal, like running a marathon, then start off with small runs and training first, and allow yourself to build up your stamina.

It’s not about completely changing your world around you at the drop of a hat, but instead doing it progressively over time.  In the end, only you can truly affect the positive changes you need to get to your end goal.

This post was inspired by: 7 Ways To Get Over Fear and Make Big Life Changes

the first step is the hardest