It wasn’t you, Tom!

Growing up I could not stop looking at men that were taller and older than me and hairier than the average. Perhaps it was some sort of Tom Sellek syndrome. He was the utterly handsome and friendly MAGNUP P.I. on TV

I used to fantasize about caressing a guy with those characteristics; it was not about sexual intercourse, it was just the innocent yet erotic feeling of accessing the body of my idealized man. It was just a fantasy, a fantasy that I kept for my self, until when I was about 26 years old I met that guy. He was the man I have always dreamt about, tall, hairy, 40 something. And he liked me as much, or even more, than I liked him. Sadly, my lack of self acceptance and my cultural and family background, the social boundaries imposed on me, drove me away from him, that an his passionate, almost psychotic way of love.

As a child and an adolescent in my native country, Colombia, I was shaped into a conservative, traditional man. I felt I was gay, but my social and family environment,  along with my religious upbringing ( a choice that was mine by the way) did not allow me to face who I really was, not to explore my identity, or to enjoy it. I always felt unique, weird, wrong. Had I known many closeted gays felt as I did, my life would have been different.

In my school and neighborhood, I was not masculine enough. I was kind of a push over. Fantasizing about guys like Tom Sellek was my way to release pressure, thinking of how different from the rascals around me a man could be.  

To help me cope, and in order to avoid conflict and challenge among my peers, but most importantly to avoid bringing shame upon my family, I did what many gay youngsters do; I placed my real self in the dark closet of sin and shame and developed a set of shields to keep me safe, to help me maintain a sense of self worth. My first shield, which went all around me and prevented me from being bullied or facing disgrace, was an interest in academics. I was always working, always reading. That shield certainly served its purpose in that it kept me away from trouble. Unfortunately it also kept me away from my real self.

When academics wasn’t enough I developed another shied, religiosity. How easy was it to create that one. I just needed to read a bit more in order to create a platform of righteousness. I placed my gay self in a bunker making it very difficult for uncomfortable feelings to affect my daily life,  but these structures were so complex they were very hard to tear down when I began recognizing I needed to.

Mean while MAGNUM P.I. Was a re-run on TV, and I always watched it. That was my little escape to the territory of sin, lust, and passion. I loved his amazing hairy chest and his irreverent personality.

Further shields developed in the form of work, vulnerable women, more work, more women, family responsibilities that I embraced willingly. The more I committed myself to religion the less and less there was of me, a good thing, I figured.

Migrating to the U.S.A. gave me the chance to start again, which I did partially. The tentacles that my shields had developed are strong even now, but the still gay guy enmeshed in them, eager to live and love, he has surrendered. Many years have passed, many lovers have kept me company, a couple of relationships with amazing men have allowed me to feel loved and desired, and of course I’ve made countless mistakes as far as dating is concerned. I am almost as closeted as when Tom Sellek drove me nuts, but I am dating an amazing man, a man who makes me shiver when we kiss, who makes me cry when we embrace, and whose passion makes me feel plentiful when we are having sex. Unlike Tom Selleck, my man is younger and shorter than I am, has no body or facial hair, but he’s is smart, enthusiastic about life, passionate. What’s more he takes me for who I am

I never imagined being so attracted to someone so unlike MAGNUM P.I. I guess I’ve learned through the years that love and fulfillment do not come in any specific shape or size. I’d say one needs to be alert to identify love, passion, lust, the absences in your life. Having them clear allows our senses to look for the person that offers you the best of all those things and accepts what you offer in return with the desire and commitment to creating one relationship out of  both sets of backgrounds.

Have I quit looking for my Tom Sellek? No. But I have welcomed and embraced the man that offers me so many things and accepts my own self. Tom, you still are the hottest man there is, but my man is the hottest man FOR ME.  Clever, interesting and accepting, he makes me happy. And I can assure you he is happy around me as well.

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