Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wheels and Whores

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed right now. It seems that no matter what I do, drama seems to follow me. Maybe I'm just the cause of the drama. Maybe it'd be better if I just didn't have friends.

I am an introvert by nature. But I am desperately trying to become an extrovert. When I was in junior high, I realized I didn't have many friends. From then on I worked very hard to become friends with lots of people. People would never say that I'm shy now but honestly on the inside, I am very shy and it's incredibly difficult for me to force myself to be outgoing.

Having lots of friends leads to drama. Having lots of gay friends leads to even MORE drama. And being gay myself would contribute to some more drama. Yesterday, I had a friend nicely tell me that I'm a whore. Wow, what a great way to add to the happiness I was feeling at Disneyland. From then, I've been wanting to cry, but I just can't bring myself to do it. My friends are here, and they don't need to know what I'm going through. They probably don't understand or really even care.

Am I a whore? I don't think so. I have a need for physical comfort. It is necessary to my happiness. So yes, I do cuddle with a lot of people. So what? People understand that I'm not looking for a boyfriend, yet when I cuddle with someone new, people jump on me like a fat kid on a Twinkie, accusing me of being unfaithful. How do I be unfaithful when I have no commitments to anyone?

And I am also feeling a lot like a third wheel right now. I'm on a trip with my friends right now, and I feel like they only brought me along so that the couples wouldn't be even so that our parents would feel better about letting us go together. There are two couples, and me. It's been like that since junior high. I tag along so that parents are happy. I'm the gay friend that keeps people "safe" from their deep and dark desires.

There are very few people who I hang out with just one on one. Which is weird since I prefer to be in small groups rather than large, even though I am quite often the center of attention in large groups. The only problem with being the third, fifth, or whatever odd number wheel is that you're kinda left out. And I feel like I have been.

At Disneyland, I was always standing in the back of the group. The other two couples were talking, and snuggling in public (barf) and I was standing in the back feeling like it was expected of me to be happy and cheerful. Um, no. So when the comment came that I was a whore, my mood plummeted. I feel like crap right now.

Do people actually like me for me or just for the "services" I provide? Do I actually make a difference in the happiness of others or do I suck the fun and happiness out of a room, as I feel like I'm doing right now? Would there ever be a time where I wouldn't feel like a lone wheel 'cause I'll have someone by my side? I doubt it to be honest.

Sorry for the whiny post. I just had to write this stuff down.


  1. If they already know you don't make commitments, then you aren't being unfaithful. If you aren't taking payment, you are not a whore. Sounds to me like you need better friends.

  2. I didn't even know you were in California! I would have come with...but I was on the other side of the planet. Alas.

    Welcome to the world of the outgoing introvert. Even in situations where you are not so obviously an odd-numbered wheel, your dirty little introvert brain will tell you you're being left out.

    And by the way, "Wheels and Whores" would be a great name for a band.

  3. I just like hanging out with you. You're funny and kind. I don't think you're a whore. I like you for just being you. Thank you for being a good friend! I can't wait to hang out with you when you come back :)

    I love you!

  4. I get the third wheel part quite well; I'm an introvert too, and goodness knows I'm not very good at extroverting. So even in groups, pairing off happens and I am not part of it. I feel that part of your pain quite acutely, Steve. You're not alone.

  5. Many don't realize that "introverted" isn't the same thing as "shy". "Shy" means unable or unwilling to be social because of fear or anxiety. Introversion is a preference for solitude or smaller, more intimate groups of friends. Extroversion is a preference for larger social settings.

    And you don't necessarily need to be one or the other. I'm generally an introvert--I'm totally fine being alone, and I generally prefer being with one or two friends. But I do enjoy parties and similar social settings (as long as I don't need to be the center of attention). Someone who's directly in the middle would be an "ambivert", but I'm probably closer to the "introvert" side of the scale. I suspect you might be as well.

    I think that might be the issue... When we're inclined to prefer solitude or smaller groups, but still naturally want interaction in a larger social setting as well, that results in some inner conflict. Maybe that's where the shyness comes from in the first place?

    Maybe the trick is to understand that there's nothing inherently better about being an extrovert? If I can be happy by myself, or in small groups, then why should I try to force myself to be comfortable interacting in a larger group setting? And if I can't be happy in small groups, is that only because I've convinced myself that "more friends" = "more happiness"? (When in reality my natural tendency is to find happiness in a more intimate setting)...

    Just some thoughts I had while I was reading... :)

    As for the "whore" comment...

    A "whore" is someone who trades sex acts for financial (or equivalent) compensation. I don't think anyone is paying you to cuddle. And I don't think that you (or many of the people you're cuddling with) consider cuddling a "sex act" anyway (though I'm sure that some people do--perhaps including the ones making the "whore" comments?). So you can't be a "whore". The most you could be accused of is infidelity, and since you never gave anyone any reason to expect exclusivity or faithfulness to begin with, even that accusation is unrealistic.

    I've faced similar accusations myself. As a gay married man who's been looking for ways to satisfy my "gay desires" without being unfaithful to my wife, I've had all sorts of people tell me that I'm being unfaithful to her. But since she's explicitly said that she's okay with my "lunch dates" with other guys, and my cuddling, etc., I can't see how I'm being "unfaithful". Nor can I see how it's anyone else's business--the issue is entirely between me, my wife, and the guys who I "date" and cuddle with. So I choose to ignore the accusations, and I suggest that you do the same.

    Finally, as much as it might hurt to admit it, your "odd-numbered wheel" status is of your own making. You've made a conscious decision to avoid commitment and attachment. You have your own reasons for making that choice, which you consider legitimate and valid. But every choice has consequences, and one of the consequences of choosing to remain unattached is that you're going to remain unattached, i.e. alone. If that's unacceptable, then you need to evaluate your decisions, decide what's more important, decide whether a change is in order, and move forward.

    I love you, Steve. You're a good friend, and I appreciate all you've done for me.