My Baby Reindeer Moment

I have not seen beyond episode 4, I nearly didn’t watch that episode to the end, it was very difficult for me. So many memories of my own experience.

Spoiler Alert

From this point in, some or a lot of what I am going to say might spoil the series for you up to this point but I am only saying it for some context.

What did happen to me?

A little history of me

I have always suspected strongly I was gay. My main issue was, I had actually no idea what that meant. What I knew for sure was that I felt uncomfortable around other men. I thought there was something, some point about being a man I totally didn’t get. They all seemed so confident, they didn’t seem to care what others guys thought, they acted like I was weird if I complimented them. Doing so felt natural for me, I thought it was just that, ‘natural’ to compiment someone. In my teens years I come to understand, just a little more, what fancying men was all about. It is fair to say I was heavily conflicted. If I knew anything I knew for an absolute fact that I could not be gay. There were some very obviously gay men on TV and I most certainly wasn’t like them. Let me give you an example of those men:

What we have here is John Inman, Larry Grayson & Quentin Crisp. I was a million miles away from any of those guys. On TV the first two never openly came out as gay to the best of my knowledge but ‘everyone knew’ they were, you know, queer. The last one, Quentin Crisp only became famous following a story in which the actor John Hurt played him.

There was nothing about any of those men which I related to, nothing at all. If that was what being gay was, perhaps, well, just maybe I wasn’t gay at all, I just somehow found other guys attactive and it would be those other guys which would form all of my sexual fantasies.

But, there was another issue at play, I wanted to be a dad and had zero interest in girls, never even had any friends who were girls let alone a ‘girl friend’. You see, I say that, by my early 20’s I had maybe 1 and a half girlfriends. I was that naive that I didn’t notice that one of them just pretended to be my girlfriend to make the guy she wanted to be her boyfriend jealous. This other girl, I am sorry, I don’t recall her name (it’ll come back to me), she was a girl from the office and she seemed really into me in every way which was important ‘to her’ and, I felt nothing. Neither attraction or desire.

In 1983 I did though get a boyfriend. A true boyfriend in every sense except in the most important, nothing we ever did was legal. When we started it was illegal for us both to be together and by the end of it, two years later, it was just illegal for him but, by defintiion, as I was having a sexual relationship with someone under 21, I was a criminal.

After that ended through a really bad assumption that I was seeing someone else on his part (I wasn’t) I was single again. He was the only guy I’d ever had any form of sex with, we had never gone all the way and had anal sex, all very vanila.

Soon after, I met the girl I would end up marrying. I knew on my wedding night it was a terrible decision. Not because of her but because, I then realised just how long forever could be.

The sex wasn’t unbearable, it was a function, nothing more and I always suspected she got way more from it than I ever did. Within 9 years the marriage had changed. She’d known I was gay from the first weel but chose to believe I meant ‘bisexual’ and I didn’t want to argue. But in 1995 I told her I couldn’t do the sex part any more, I didn’t enjoy it, it stopped me being the person I really was, that it made me unhappy every time that I was acting a part, living someone else’s ideal.

We moved to Northampton, it doesn’t matter why, we just did. In 1998 I told her that I needed to fully come out as a gay man, have gay friends and explore that side of me. I was 35 and I realised I’d long since stopped being a gay boy, I had gotten much too old for that.

I met a man who became a good friend. He really got me out of myself. I enjoyed him touching me and showering me with compliments. He even liked going out with me with all the kids as well. A true friend.

However, and this is where the connection is between me and episode 4 of Bay Reindeer, something happened. He said he wanted to give me the most amazing birthday ever in 1999, my 36th. We would go clubbing in London (I’d never been), he said, I might even meet someone. I got very drunk. I don’t recall the drive home. I say home, I’d agreed to stay at his place as the kids were already sorted for the night. He told me the guest bed wasn’t clean and suggested I sleep in his bed, I was beyond caring from what little I recall.

I was asleep when I felt him fucking me. I’d never had anal sex in my life, never, it wasn’t something I’d ever thought much about and here was this man fucking me. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening as, no one would do that, not without asking but, it was happening. Before I knew it, he withdrew and wiped his cum from my arse! I went back to sleep.

He asked the next day if I had enjoyed myself the day before, he didn’t mention the sex. I wanted him to because I couldn’t. The words just wouldn’t come out. For days I panicked. I worried I might have HIV. I even not very descretely asked him several days later if getting HIV ever worried him as he didn’t use protection. He told me that as his age he didn’t much care. He didn’t like sex with a condom so he was prepared to take the risk, I did some sort of stupid giggle, I felt sick.

I went to the ‘GUM clinic’ after a week or so. I felt so dirty, I never thought I would ever need to go into one of those places and there I was. I made up some crap story, I don’t ever remember what it was to get a HIV test. Of course, at the time I could have said I was a gay virgin and they’d have eventually suggested a HIV test. I think it took two longest ever weeks to get the all clear result. I had a choice. I knew I’d never be able to prove that what happened did happen so, I either carried on with us being friends because, after all, he was the key to my entire social life else, I say some crap excuse and move on. I decided that moving on only hurt me more so I acted like nothing happened.

I genuinely loved that man. Not in any romantic sense but he was the man who helped me work out what sort of gay man I was and to ignore what others thought I should be.

When I past away I was heartbroken, genuinely, one of the more painful times of my life.

Ever since his passing I have suppressed what really happened but, I cannot do it. Again, for me to understand who I am, to know why sex for me now is so shit, I had to go there back to the early hours of June 5 1999..

Yes, I had sexual relationships since then and they were OK but, they were always things I personally and emotionally had to work at. I was too often taken back to that uncomfortable memory and my mind would race killing the moment,

Did I enjoy the experience with him? I genuinely do not know. It was incredibly painful, I know that. Later in the day I remember a very painful explosion of shit and blood, I felt so dirty, so cheap. Actually, incredibly lonely. But, you know what? That doesn’t matter, that is falling into the victim trap.

If I had enjoyed it, would it still have been wrong?

Yes, undoubtadly I was raped. At no point did we ever have any conversation about anal sex beforehand and at no point did he ever ask my permission to fuck me. Had he asked me, I would have said no, I wasn’t ready to do that with him or anyone else. He took away my right, my absolutely right to choose when I did that. I would have chosen a time when I was with a man I truly loved as an act of love.

Do you know, and I am not saying who, there was only really one man I loved enough to enjoy the experience, where we could laugh about failures say yes or no and it never mattered. Both of us in that relationship were, as I am, 100% versatile, that we both equally enjoyed each aspect, each so called ‘role’ in gay sex. With every other guy. and with some it was just ‘too soon’ but, with other guys it was uncomfortable, it became a function with someone I didn’t really know. That part I know was what changed in me on June 5 1999. I lost my trust in someone else.

I do not think I will ever get over it. This year will mark 25 years since it happened. For sure it is healthy for me to be opening up about this. Some might find it strange or unfortable to read this. Others might ask why now? Why say this about a man who cannot defend himself? My answer is simple, I still loved him enough not to mess his life up whilst he was alive. But, likewise, I love me enough not to allow my life to be messed up because of a decision he made without asking me first.

He always described himself as a narcissist* which, made no sense to me at the time, I always thought he was just being modest. Looking back though I now realise that those of us who benefitted from him in any way did so at his pleasure.

*Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others

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