Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sailing Ships

Call my ISO up to tell him that Fable : Wolves was out on sale and just had to pop in something extra to shock him.

Paul : Do you think we could have worked out?
My ISO : We would have worked each other out in time.

Retrospective thought just isn't one of his finer points. Although I'm sure cynical souls like my ISO - and myself as well - would scoff at such a fanciful notion, I've always likened relationships to little wooden sailing crafts traversing the waters.

For some, it's easy enough to get on board a relationship. Just one look, that quick stirring spark of desire/lust and the ship's up and running like a well-oiled machine.

In the beginning, budding relationships are more like strange uncharted waters, filled with hidden obstacles in the deep ready to entrap the unsuspecting sailor. In that way, heterosexuals have it easy - with centuries of hard-won experience from intrepid sailors who have gone before them bringing home beautifully rendered maps detailing the dangerous reefs where unprepared relationships have floundered helplessly, the ever-present lure of bewitching sirens ever ready to wreck havoc and also thankfully the occasional lighthouse to cling on to. Warning signages placed on the map cry out Breakup Island and Infidelity Bay - and yet, even then a large number of straight relationships find it almost impossible to stay the course.

Easy enough to find more than a handful marooned on the Shoal of Separation.

Making a move
All it takes is just one look..

How much more difficult would it be for a gay relationship to steer the way? Very few have made their way through such alien waters, without maps and signs to show the way only depending on sheer luck and fortune to pull them through. As kids, we're all brought up to envision a heterosexual partnership where the roles are already perfectly spelt out - no matter how sexually typecast they may be. From previous clearly defined examples like their parents, they already know vaguely their assigned duties and lines.

So what happens when there are two guys in a relationship? Who takes the wheel to steer the course? Who slogs in the galley? Who holds the ship together when the winds of change batter the sails? Is it any wonder that the shipwrecks of gay relationships largely outnumber the successful expeditions that make it safe to home port? Happily-ever-after seems to be an island paradise shrouded in mystery for most gay sailors.

Interesting thought especially with a creative friend of mne, Strapping Shane, envisioning a gay new drama series as an assignment for his classes. How many lasting gay relationships do you know in real life?

Even I can hardly claim to be unscathed by shipwrecks. My ISO claimed that both of us desperately craved the wheel - though I actually imagined that I was quite content to let him steer since I preferred slogging in the galleys anyway. Unfortunately the lure of the siren call - in the form of half naked virile mermen who regularly take the clubs as their regular haunt - was too much for him especially since he hadn't quite gotten used to his sealegs yet.


executorlouis said...

That's quite an interesting analogy to compare gay relationships to steering ships and uncharted waters. And i totally expected you would include sailors as a double entendre! ;)

Still, good post. Underlying that playful jibe on gay relationships is a very serious question indeed.

strapping.shane said...

I may envision lovely gay dramas with psychotic twists and interest plots, but honestly - I am thumbs at relationships and love stories.

Anonymous said...

A normal, healthy, happy-ever-after relationship does not make for a good show. That's why they're called 'dramas'.

I recommend that Strapping Shane roll out the whips and claws, the who's slept with whos, and the manic threats, for a highly cliched yet grossly riveting romp.

Striding Dan said...

The knowledge that most gay relationships are doomed for failure is hardly ever comforting. Almost panic inducing. But then, I've getting used to the idea of fighting against poor odds. Sort off.

Michelle said...

Maybe even with all the one step forward two steps backward political atmosphere it is still easier in the US. Let's see, one friend is with the same guy for 22 years now. They were legally married in Oregon but then the state decided this was not quite legal. Still, as far as anyone cares they are married. Who else.. Another friend lost his partner of 25 years who passed away at the age of 70. Next, my friend who is in his early 40's just had a commitment ceremony with his partner of 3 years and they just bought a house and adopted a dog, that's as permanent as you get in Pennsylvania. My mother just visited a coworker who retired a few years back. He and his partner of 30+ years just bought a beautiful home in a retirement community down there. With divorce rates of 50+% in the US, I would say that steering a straight sheep is no safer than a gay one, but the sailors could probably benefit from a bit more grooming.

Michelle said...

good lord ... sheep = ship uggh

Anonymous said...

people are also doomed to die, and yet they keep trying to live no? makes perfect sense to stride against the odds at any rate, and gives us something to do while waiting.

xavier said...

very nicely written post...

in real life... i think i only knew one that lasts over ten years.

the other success story just failed big time on new years day itself.. 6 years gone like that.

how fragile is this? i still believe it's as strong as WE want it to be.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll end up steering the ship alone...

chase said...

Hallo dear Paul! Happy New Year to you and to your loved ones!

partyguy said...

I believe balance is the key. Both can take turns to steer. Nevertheless, power play (top or bottom?) is overpopularised in the gay society. Everyone should be versatiles!

Interesting analogy. Where can I get the sailor outfit? =p

The longest I've known personally are 3 relationships, all which lasted 12 years. Looks like they like to follow the Chinese calender cycle or something.

Btw, I love Michelle already. Those stories give us hope! =)

savante said...

Of course, louis! Sailors are hot and totally worthy of being used as double entendres! Just too lazy to find pics of them.

Hmm...shane, I'm actually better at writing love stories with psychotic twists.

You should write, you brilliant man. Your write fabulously and I think you could come up with some interesting tales, drownedglass.

Hey, getting shipwrecked once doesn't mean leaving the sea forever, dan.

Took me a while with the gay sheep too, michelle :) Thought you were talking about Dolly's cousin.

True enough, confusticated. We should never stop trying to live the best we can.

I know, xavier! What kinda weird breakup was that?

You're a kid. Take some time to play with the sailors on different ships, alex.

Hi, chase. Same to ya!

Partyguy in a sailor outfit. Yeah, would be cool to see that!