TL 134 | Homosexual Monogamy

134: Six Conversations 3.3 – Monogamy In Homosexual Relationships With Jeff Jacobson

TL 134 | Homosexual Monogamy

In the areas of love and romance, there are bound to be a few differences between heterosexual and homosexual men. Do we see things differently? More monogamous? Wanting more sex? Do we have the same issues and concerns? In Show 3 of Six Vulnerable Conversations, where we speak the raw truth about our lives and experiences. Our guest Jeff Jacobson was born in Seattle in 1968, and grew up enchanted by the lush landscape, the long summer days, and the short winter nights of the Pacific Northwest. In the third grade he spoke Pig Latin and other made-up languages with his friends, creating an early love of sound, linguistic study, and fascination with foreign cultures. Three months after moving to California in 1994, Jeff realized two things: that he was much more interested in community-based coaching than in being an interpreter, and that it was finally time to come out of the closet. He became a certified coach, as well as a faculty member for the Coaches Training Institute.

Welcome back to Six Vulnerable Conversations between a gay man and a straight man. I’m very excited to have you here to talk about these things that matter, the ideas, the concepts, and how to live in a world with equal opportunity and possibility of intimate relating beyond our biases and beyond our fears and that’s the goal of the show. I’m excited to present this series because it’s pushing my buttons like none otheraround the concept of heterosexual-homosexual relations and how me and another man, Jeff, have interact in the world through our different scope and different lenses. I’m grateful to present this show. This one’s about relationships extending on the previous shows. The last one was about sexuality. This is more about relationships and so I enjoyed this with my good friend, Jeff. For more shows of this nature and others, please visit RobertKandell.com.

Listen to the podcast here:

Six Conversations 3.3 – Monogamy In Homosexual Relationships With Jeff Jacobson

It is Season Three of Six Vulnerable Conversations. This is show number three with the man, Jeff Jacobson. Six Vulnerable Conversations between a straight man and a gay man talking about the issues and things that matter. Welcome to the show, Jeff.

Thank you very much. I’m a gay man. You’re the straight man. It hasn’t changed from the last call.

Was that part of your goal, to pull me to the other side? You’re trying to get with my mind to pull me to the other team. I played the first show to Morgan, my love and my big part of my brain.In the first show, we talked about my bi curious nature and some of the experiences I’ve had with men.She’s listening to this and she’s like, “Are you sure you want to release this? Maybe you want to cut this.”She’s not saying this because it wasn’t great content. She’s just worried about my brand. She says, “What if someone would listen to this and not want to buy your stuff because of this?” Like her ex-husband, Mike, whois homophobic. If he listens to this, he might shut me off entirely. I thought about it for a bit and I was like, “The whole goal is to be transparent.” If you’re listening to this show and you’re getting turned off by my honesty, then bye, see you.

If you’re turned off by this, we’re not going to want to do business together anyway.

That was her thought. She’s a consumer, she’s smart, she’s checking out the angles for me. I thought that was really interesting thing to start off with.

When I talk about this stuff with queer folks or any kind of ism that can hide, that’s not obvious,there’s a vigilance that we developed. I’ll talk to myself like, “I can lose business businesses. I’m too faggot-y here.”As a young kid,“I could lose friends if I did this.” What have I been willing by being closeted to sell out on so that I could get something else?It’s a painful thing to look at.You’re looking at some other issues too but you’re talking about your attraction to men through your experiences and it puts you up against that.

I’m writing a book called Unhidden, so am I going to be one of those people that doesn’t practice what he preaches? No. It’s what it’s all about. To riff off from the first show,this dividedness between people around their genders and sexual identities is so toxic. It creates so much pain and angst and I probably don’t even know a tenth of a percent of what you’ve experienced in your life.

You got your own version of it, but maybe not on this side of it. You could have gotten me and somebody else to have these Vulnerable Conversations under the Tuff Love brand and that wouldn’t be as compelling as if the guy who’s running it did it himself.

No one will be good at being a straight man with bi-curious tendencies than me. No one could be better at being me than me. Pulling straight men over to the gay team, is that fact, fiction, or somewhere in between?

I roll my eyes a lot when some male would run to the gay male population,and somebody say, “So and so actor, we heard they’re gay.” We have no idea if there’s anything true there, but we all get excited and hope.If not, maybe we can get them to cross over.

I know about a gay actor. I felt the assumption of the excitement. Tell me more about the pulling over to the other side.

On the fun side or let’s say the sexy side, the guys out there that aren’t in touch with their attraction or they’re so afraid of it that they never consider and maybe I could be the one to get them to cross over and step over that fence. I don’t know if I’ve had that turn on very much, but it’s certainly a conversation that goes on. I’m careful to make sure that nobody would ever think I was doing that, because of what may seem like a fact that people that we’re out there trying to recruit folks. Maybe I’m not telling the truth about wanting to get some gay guy or straight guy. You told me that years ago.We were in the car and I was like, “Let’s explore it.” I don’t think I was coming from a scholarly perspective.

From a personal desire perspective, I get it. That makes sense.

Is that a fear, like gay guys wouldn’t make me gay or something?

When I was growing up, before my sense of self and the lack of knowledge in my own disconnection from my own feelings. My most experience I had with men of the gay persuasion was the restaurant in Philadelphia. There was a lot of opportunity for me to engage with, flirt with, and be flirted by and tortured by the men of my restaurant. There was one guy, James,who I thought of, was so flamboyant and so funny and so overt of trying to pull me onto the team. Now I don’t know if he was just fooling around or was serious, but I remember feeling a fear when he would put too much attention on me. I wanted some attention but not too much attention.

Like laser beams beaming out of his eyes. You like him to pass over you but not lock on. If I, meaning you, let his attention lock on me and if I took a step farther than I wanted to take, what would my dad say? Somebody is going to get beaten up. Someone’s going to get in trouble.Maybe the instigator, the one who tries to get the other one to crossover is the one that gets in the most trouble. I haven’t thought of this before.Maybe if I come out of the closet, then I want to start fucking with that line. Before I came out of the closet, it’s like, “I’m going to flirt with danger here.” Straight guys who try to take me out or ignore me or whatever. I want to be a part of some gay guy’s ideas of trying to get straight guysto open up.

What would be the desire behind that? What’s the motivation?

That thing that I totally avoided before that boundary, can I cross that or I’m going to get in trouble?Now that I’m out, maybe I can say,“Screw that boundary. I’m going to step over it.”

I see actresses that I think are attractive and have fantasies about sleeping with them and when I find out they’re gay, then they feel unavailable.Even though there wasn’t much chance of me making out with that girl from Juno, Ellen Page,it feels like it’s unavailable and I’m losing, even though I was never going to get a chance to Ellen Page before I found out she was into women.

Even though that doesn’t logically add up in our head, she comes out as gay and you’re like, “I’ve lost my chance with her.”

We’re talking about love and relationships. The concept is talking about the differences, if there are any, between gay and straight relationships. We talked a little bit about this in the last week show about sex, but let’s start over on some level with this episode. My training in love relationship has matched every single Hollywood movie produced in the 1980s, specifically with John Cusack. It pretty much hit every element of boy likes girl, boy yearns for girl, boy play stereo in the park to get girl on some level, girl dates boy,girl breaks up with boy. Then maybe there’s a nice spin at the end where they get back together, but there was so much yearning and there only was serial monogamy. That was the end-all-be-all, was to end up in a relationship. I didn’t ever understand the playing the field or the advantages of being single. My entire training was to find a girlfriend to validate me, but also so I could feel complete inside a relationship. Let’s start at that level. Any differences in your experiences of gay dating?

I’ll answer it personally rather than what I think of is like a global gay man statement. Dating was either nonexistent or it was this thing that you got through. There was no desire on my part, the desire to havea girlfriend. I didn’t even date until my early twenties and I wouldn’t even say I dated. We just fell in love with each other. I saw not a single representation of somebody like me trying to go through dating my age on television. I never saw any representation at all. It’s like I look like a weirdo. Where was John Cusack when I needed him?

There was no gay John Cusack?

I don’t think there was anybody to copy in Hollywood for me. I missed any reference if there was, so it looked like I was supposed to copy what the straight guys did, the John Cusack’s’ did.For you, maybe there was some freedom because once I did come out I didn’t have any template to follow but you did. They do it this way, buy her flowers.Is that what you’re supposed to do?

I don’t have expectations of what it meant to be in a relationship and I certainly didn’t have the confidence of creating my own. I had the color by numbers, step-by-step of how to be good at dating. You had nothing, and I never even thought about that. That’s so unusual because my entire life, I’ve had such a well laid out path of how to seduce the ladies.

I had that, too. The difference was I didn’t have any desire to do it. I only had this asa job description. My guess is you had desire to do it, and to do it, if you wanted to get that thing, then follow this paint by number instructions. I didn’t even think there was desire because I didn’t feel it, so it’s like, “You just go through these motions and then you get married and have babies or something.”

You had this triple whammy. One was you didn’t have any role model. Two, you didn’t have theinherent biological desire that’s in there. Three, you had the voices in your head saying you’re doing this wrong anyway. How’d you ever get out of bed? How did you ever do it?

I don’t know. When you laid it out that way, it sounds intense. I made sure I got good grades and I made sure I was good in sports and I was nice. I felt so subpar that at least that might bring me up to on par with others. When I think about young kids being able to see queer folk on TV or in books, at least it gives them an inkling that that’s normal. There was a book that one of my boyfriends in my early 30s brought home. It was called Jocks.It was about a gay soccer coach who’s a journalist and he’s a national high school soccer coach who interviewed gay athletes. This is before any pro athletes had come out.Prior to that, there aregay guys partying or dressing up in drag. It’s fun and part of our culture, but that doesn’t reflect me. He brings this book home and reading about these gay athletes’ experience, I bawled my eyes out throughout the whole book. That’s the first time that I saw so many of my own thoughts, concerns, vigilances, and attractions splayed out in print, when I was 32.

How intense that it took 32 years to find reality in your thinking when, as a straight kid, all our fears are well documented and played out in the media we watch constantly?

It’s different.

We’re about the same age. Have you seen a difference in media today in terms of gay characters that feel more realistic in the ‘90s and the 21st century?

We’re getting there. Sometimes I cringe when some of the characters end up still being some of the stereotypes that have been laughed at. Let’s take a real feminine character like Kurt from Glee. Chris is the actor’s name. What I love about that is he’s going to be a more flamboyant, a little bit more feminine or less into sports. All those boys out there that are like that could say Kurt can be normal and you got to see some of the nuance of him rather than the stereotype of him. It grabs people’s attention when you’ve got the funny gay guy, the butch-ydyke women, or the suicidal queer character. That still play a lot of roles. Like for African-Americans, it’s like the helping person, the cop, the drug addict, or the basketball player, but we’re getting there.

Back to relationships. You didn’t have the guides. I had the guides and I’m maybe unusual, but I never had the ‘go and get as much action as possible’ until I started OneTaste. In my formative years, I was a serial monogamous and believing that that was the only way. Inside your gay dating experience, was monogamy unusual? Was it the norm? What was its role in relationships?

It was definitely the norm, monogamy, and that is because I came out in a straight community. The few of us that weren’t followed that. Everybody that I’ve talked to since then and every guy that I dated who came out either younger than me or in bigger cities, monogamy was not the norm. Even guys that would go to bars and hook up with a kiss or make out or have sex with guys maybe every weekend, every other weekend, that wasn’t even considered player, that was like, “Isn’t this fun?” I did not do that until my mid-30s.

Because you dated a woman first, your first relationship was with a woman, that set the tone for your monogamous nature. Other men outside that norm didn’t have to follow the same rules.

TL 134 | Homosexual Monogamy

Homosexual Monogamy: They wanted to get that one girl. They love the idea of being monogamous. It was romantic.

I would say some did, but a lot didn’t.Both to the benefit and a detriment to our queer community, there was a lot more freedom to sleep around as much as you wanted. What about for you? I knew about the guys that I grew up with, straight guys who are definitely more like you, they wanted to get that one girl. They love the idea of being monogamous. It was romantic. Do you feel like you missed out? Do you wish you played around earlier? Was it the right timing?

Everything is perfect on some level. I was a shy kid. I had a weight problem that affected me. Even though I lost the weight before going to college, I still had that fat kid mentality. I slept with three, four women in my college and graduate school. I had a long-term girlfriend in my undergraduate and then had four or five experiences before I met Carol, who I would marry at 26. We started dating at 24. Then I have these strong memories as she would tell me stories of her adventures of threesomes with two guys and having sex with all these people, nothing outrageous, but she was a lot more open and had a lot more experiences than I did. I was dying on the inside. I was dying from my lack of experience and so jealous and so angry. I was now married thinking my chance to have anything else had evaporated.

You could have done it, but you missed the boat.

A lot of my push into the OneTaste world and the world of alternative relationships, I had a chip on my shoulder. I was like, “You’ve had your experiences, missy. I want to have my one.” This is something I hear a lot from guys, “I want to sow my wild oats. I want to have these experiences.”That’s a big chasm between men and women who think they missed out. I was one of those guys that thought there was something wrong with me.

Yet you had this wife who had had these experiences. Weren’t you influenced by her, like now you have to rein it in or was that your own sense of commitment to monogamy?

I didn’t know there was even an option. When we got together, she was looking for stability and I was looking for someone to save in my white knight persona. She was looking for stability because those experiences that I so coveted, she felt as unhealthy. I coveted things that she was done with and so there was a discrepancy between the two of us because I wanted something that she’d already experienced.

I was definitely monogamous with one woman, then with my first boyfriend and my second boyfriend. Prior to that in high school, I’m like, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I the only one not having sex?All my friends are.”In college,it seemed like I everybody that I knew had had sex. When I did it for the first time with a woman I dated, it was lovely. I heard these stories like the stereotypical backseat of a car, both drunk, that kind of thing that you have to get through as a teenager. I didn’t, so I had this lovely, loving experience. Something similar in a way happened when I stepped away from monogamy and I took some classes at Body Electricand I began to play around and get to know people and try things out sexually. It’s like,“This is fantastic.”

Not to over simplify it, but it wasn’t a party scene where I was doing a bunch of drugs and then feeling like crap about myself. It was fun and as much as I used to be mad that I didn’t have those drug and sleep around experiences in my twenties, I started to appreciate that I waited. Sometimes I feel rare in that area because a lot of folks I know definitely played the field muchearlier. Then it was fun and a little bit of like, “There’s a whole world I’ve missed out on. I’m going to make up for lost time.”

Let’s talk about cheating and emotional infidelity in the gay world versus the straight world. When it came down to it, cheating was bad, cheaters were bad, and emotional infidelity was wrong and could get you in trouble. Until I got to my formative years, it was something that you feared your partner would do and if your partner did do it, you had a more right to be mad, angry, passive aggressive, andplay the victim completely. I’ve had women cheat on me and felt the pain of it. We talked about the jealousy, but the intense pain of the broken agreements. Any difference on your side of the street?

You were describing like cheating is bad, cheaters are bad.In my mind, in the heterosexual world, most of the time, it’s the guy who cheats and the woman that’s the victim.Every so often, when the woman does it, it’s an anomaly and she’s nasty, where the guy couldn’t control himself. Is that accurate stereotype ways to you?

That’s what I grew up with. The men were the perpetrators and the harlots are the ones who cheated.In college when women had more sexual freedom, some of my friends were cheated on or people get drunk and do the thing that they do that they did in college. It felt pretty even. I had more information, it felt rather even.In my research, when I’m learning a lot about infidelity and for the book, men do tend to cheat more than women. It’s growing, women’s infidelity and cheating is rising as the decades go on.

A friend of mine who’s a therapist talked about this whole movement, and this has been going on before but it’s not brand new. Moving away from the therapeutic approach that when someone cheats, they screwed up, they’re the bad guy or the bad girl. Reparations are needed and the other one is a little bit like a saint. I’m more of a model like “This is a symptom of something bigger.” Not to let somebody breaking an agreement off the hook, if we just do reparations and apologies, that may not fix the thing that was there to begin with that was the problem. She notices a lot more relief because it feels like it’s more complex and nobody ends up getting vilified when done right.

That’s one of my basic core beliefs, is that cheating is not a one person. It’s a co-created situation and it’s a communication. It’s a communication from one person to the other, “Wake up. There’s things going on this relationship.” It’s a communication, just like everything else.

My second boyfriend, just towards the end of our relationship, cheated on me. We were monogamous,and he was gung-ho sexually and I loved it then pulled away. For a chunk of time, we would talk about it and I wanted to have some intimate conversations to figure out what was going on. It was hard for him to talk about it with me, but he finally admitted the same thing had happened in his last relationship and it caused it to break up. He loved me and didn’t want us to break up, so he clammed up, pulled away, and I’m like, “This hurts.” Then he cheated on me and I was like, “No, I’ve been bending over backwards to find ways to talk about this and that hurts too much.”

That being said, Terry and I have talked about this before, we know they exist, but we don’t know any of our friends that are a monogamous. Most of it is ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Some are a little bit more open like Terry and I are.In some level, the myth could be there isn’t any cheating because everybody’s open. I don’t think that’s true because there’s a lot of unclean agreements sneaking around loopholes or emotional non-monogamy. On paper, it could look like the community doesn’t need to worry about cheating because everybody’s open and aren’t we superior?

That’s fascinating in itself, that you don’t know any couples that are monogamous. I was thinking couples outside the alternative world that I know that aren’t monogamous.

I’m talking about gay couples. We may be missing somebody, but we went through or liston our head.I know that monogamy is a right choice for a certain part of the population. Monogamy, I know they exist in the gay community, but we couldn’t come up with examples. Tell me what you think is fascinating with that.

The discrepancy between the two, like I look at other couples and think,“I wished they were non-monogamous,” but they’re not, so you got to play the game. You got to play the straight, no flirting too much game. There’s a lot more rigid rules in terms of the whole ecosystem of straight couples.Flirting can be a transgression alone. You’re hanging out at a party, mostly gay men. You’re with Terry Is there permission inside of that to be flirtatious?

Yes, absolutely. If one of us knew it and brought it up, like if I saw Terry doing that, I might say,“I bet you thought that guy is cute.” He might get embarrassed and I have to watch teasing him too much or him teasing me too much, but as long as the jealousy monster isn’t in full gear, it’s fun and it’s hot to watch him flirt with somebody else.

Morgan and I have an agreement, too. I can flirt. I have to be careful who I flirt with, but there are times where I’m flirting too much that her buffers overfill and then things get disastrous.

You said you have to watch who you have to flirt with. Are they the okay ones and the not okay ones?

If I’m at a party with a woman and a couple, I have to be careful to respect their relationship, so it’s not so much me and Morgan, though I do get out of hand sometimes, but I have to be conscious of how the woman and how the guy interact. There’s a lot of rigid rules inside the straight community of how to not offend. It’s not even how to do it well. It’s how to not offend a more rigid, tight, fear of non-monogamy, pressurized situations.

Rules are not spelled out clearly but are there, nonetheless,

You have no idea inside a party full of straight people who you can necessarily flirt it with and who you can’t. It’s exhausting.

Based on what you were saying about the‘80s movies or like romantic Hollywood, cheating is bad and flirting is bad, not with your partner, because the ultimate thing in life that’s supposed to take care of everything is that one true love. I didn’t have any of that, so flirting doesn’t seem so scary other than I was shy about it and I didn’t think anybody would ever be attracted to me. I don’t have this sense of impending doom when I’m doing it or somebody flirting with me.

Are you saying you didn’t have the concept of the one?

No.

Inside the gay community, is there the concept of the one?

I think there is because we were all raised on that. We leaned on it. Sometimes, especially with gay marriage, part of me was like, “Yes, I’m for marriage equality. Absolutely.” Here’s a concern I have, that we’re all just going to try to copy the straight world because they’re the people that shut us out and I don’t want us to lose our character and our freedom. I still think there is a romantic notion amongst men who are attracted to men that there is the one true love. There’s more freedom.For mepersonally, I saw it but because it all felt flat and fake and like a job anyway, I don’t feel as encumbered by that. I don’t feel so freakish that I stray from that norm because I already was freakish and strayed from the norm.

Marriage is the formulaic step as part of the relationship. When you’re in relationship with someone and you don’t get married, there’s something wrong. I was talking to a friend of mine who talked about his dad has been in a relationship for twelve years with a woman but won’t get married, has separate houses, and separate check accounts. He got so burnt in his first marriage. There’s this yellow brick road of you lead up into marriage.

That is definitely what you work toward.

Is that the same in terms of gay relationships?

Being born post marriage equality, maybe, but no, because we didn’t even get marriage. Marrying a woman, which lived a lie and hurt her and yourself, we’re not true to yourself and anybody else, or you come out and that means you step off the yellow brick road.There’s no pot of gold at the end of it. You don’t get any of it. Oddly enough, when marriage equality was coming about and also gay adoption, I had this reaction against it that I didn’t understand. I’m like, “What’s going on?” It’s because I saw the cost of coming out. I either get to get married and have kids and be normal or to follow my heart and my dick, but I don’t get to have both. I made some peace with that, and then the possibility was dangled in front of me and I was filled with rage because it’s like, “You’re saying I could get that now, but I went through all the inks before. Do I want that?” It was confusing, and it was really interesting to hear the LGBTQ folks talk about marriage equality and the in-fighting or the inner debating was fascinating.

I wouldn’t even think that a gay person would have any negative emotions around the possibility of getting married.

We’re feeding into the hand of the oppressor, especially marriage is a religious act. We’ve been cast out from our places of worship and now we’re trying to get back in again. Are we pandering to the straight world? Are we trying to say that the way we are isn’t okay, so we need to be like that? I was ambivalent, but I remember I saw a documentary. These two women were trying to get married in the State of California. They took these two glass jars and in one jar, they filled it with marbles. Each marble represented a right that you had in a domestic partnership. That was the one on the left and then on the right, the same thing, but the marble represented the rights if you were married. The gap was massive. Suze Orman, she said, “I don’t care what you think about it in terms of religion, but if you take a taxpayer, they do not have access to thousands of dollars of deductions as well as insurance as well as hospital visitation. I don’t think that’s fair.” For me, I had to get to the rights and the finances side because being legitimized in the eyes of God or in the eyes of society was too confusing.

TL 134 | Homosexual Monogamy

Homosexual Monogamy: I had to get to the rights and the finances side because being legitimized in the eyes of God or in the eyes of society was too confusing.

I have such weird feelings around marriage and I’m on my second marriage now, my last marriage.My first marriage I felt was I did it because it was the path to get to the yellow brick road.It was like you propose a certain time, you get married a certain time. It was laid out. It was a step-by-step paint by the numbers kind of thing. With Morgan, she wasn’t pushing for it and taxes and legal rights was one of the main motivating pieces.

That would benefit you if you got married.

She called it the ultimate coupon. We’re given the ultimate coupon from the IRS and so, that’s all she needed. For me, I liked the concept of being married. I like thinking of her as my wife. I like thinking of me as her husband. I don’t even know what it is exactly, but it’s in my system when I think about being married to her. It makes me happy in the concepts and I gave her the choice. I said, “If you don’t want to get married, we can be engaged for a long time. It’s your choice to take my name or not take my name,whateveris beneficial for you, whatever is good for your soul,” and the coupon attracted to her, but also the deeper connection that it had provided has been wonderful to be in this new experience.

That’s lovely to hear rather than the stereotype where you have to, you’re excited and you can feel the benefit of it. I have a colleague, a straight woman who’s so lovely, and we got into a little debate one time because she was pro marriage equality. I was pro marriage equality, but I said I have misgivings about marriage as an institution. She was like, “I love marriage. I love being married.” I was like, “Tell me.” She said, “It’s this big old honking commitment that’s hard to keep, so there’s a challenge to it. There’s this agreement that when the going gets tough, we’re not going to take off, we’re going to go to the mat and fight it out or work it out.”She used the metaphor of rock climbing and you’ve got this belay line. It’s still dangerous, but you’ve got this thing supporting you. I was enchanted by it after she said it and I was like, “I think I want to get married.”

That’s an element of today’s dating and a complaint from a lot of people, both men and women, is that it is so easy to drop and swipe left, swipe right to your next experience.

You’re not considering sticking around.

It’s much faster to bail. What do you love about your relationship with Terry? What do you feel is one of the brightest parts of it?

I loved the regular, the down to earth playfulness and romance that we have on a day-to-day basis. I love it, especially when we were long distance for six or seven of our eleven years. To get that wealth of time together, we’re going to bed together, we’re brushing our teeth together, silly little jokes that we do at the end of the day, little flirtations throughout the day. I love that and I love that I know him so well. I know the things that crack him up, he knows the things that crack me up.The fighting sucks when that happens or the miscommunication, but we’re also good at having integrity around making up again and being fair once there’s been some tumult. He’s such a good guy. What about you? What’s the brightest part of your marriage?

It’s that we’re constantly exploring and testing things and trying new things and talking about it and coming up with new concepts. We’ve been together for three and a half years and it’s still always something to talk about. I love that. I love that there’s always a new element of one of ourselves to explore, something to reveal, and the deep connection we have and commitment to allowing each other to come out and be seen. In that, it’s just fun. She’s the best person I’ve ever met. She’s the nicest person I’ve ever met, much nicer than I am, but she’s a genuinely nice and caring person. I’ve never felt so cared for and loved by another human being.

I can hear in your voice the excitement that you have about her and about who you are with her or who the two of you are together.

The point or the feeling is regardless of what your sexual identity is, it’s that same thing at the core of it. We have all these differences of nuances and monogamy and different experiences and different role models, but when it comes down to it for these two guys, it’s being around someone that is nice to us and loves us.

All those differences aside, it’s like, “You feel about her and talk about her the way I talk about Terry.” Did you ever see Zach and Mary Made a porno? There’s a scene where Seth Rogan is at this bar at their high school reunion and he finds out that this one guy is gay, that he’s talking to. His boyfriend comes over and the two of them start fighting. It’s so funny. Seth Rogan does such a great straight guy. He’s like, “They’re fighting like real people.”It was quite cute and hilarious.

Remind people of how they can find you.

You can go into my website, JeffJacobsonWorld.com. Mostly about the books that I write, a little bit about my coaching and kooky mindset.

I can be found at RobertKandell.com, new website coming, very excited, all the things about my podcast in my upcoming book, and my writing.Thank you so much for being on the show, Jeff. Another great conversation between a gay man and a straight man.

Thanks,Rob.

I feel very well-worked by this serious, which I love. I love the possibility of it. For more shows, please visit TuffLove.Live or RobertKandell.com and I look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks so much for joining us and have a great day.

 

Resources mentioned:

About Jeff Jacobson

TL 130 | Being Gay

Jeff Jacobson was born in Seattle in 1968, and grew up enchanted by the lush landscape, the long summer days, and the short winter nights of the Pacific Northwest. Once, when he was a wee kindergartner, his grandmother let slip that she was a “modern witch, who flew on a vacuum cleaner over his house at night to protect him.” Jeff had seen her vacuum cleaner. The cord wasn’t long enough to reach his house.

But in bed that night, left alone with creaky sounds and branches scraping over window frames, he decided that having a witch for a grandmother wasn’t such a bad thing. Even if it weren’t true. Two years later, his second-grade teacher Mrs. Eliason read spooky ghost stories and hung cardboard decorations of bats, witches, vampires, and spiders from the ceiling of his classroom for the two months leading up to Halloween. With Seattle’s gloomy, wet afternoons as the setting, the spirit of Halloween took root in his heart, just a few inches over from where his grandmother’s witchy identity resided.

From then on, he did his best to navigate the mundane world of school, chores, and everyday life, while his imagination often ran wild, and he read as many books on witches and All Hallows’ Eve as could get his hands on. In the third grade he spoke Pig Latin and other made-up languages with his friends, creating an early love of sound, linguistic study, and fascination with foreign cultures.

Sports played a big role in his life. He swam on swim teams, ran track, played soccer and tennis, and was a springboard diver for six years. This, combined with the fact that he didn’t play dress-up as a kid, or stage musicals, gave him the false impression that he was just like every other boy around him (foreshadowing alert!).

In college he took Asian Studies classes and dove into learning Mandarin Chinese with gusto, spent his senior year studying in 10 different countries in Asia. He went on to live in Taiwan for two years after graduating from college to pursue advanced Mandarin studies.

In 1994, Jeff moved to California to begin a master’s program in Chinese translation and interpretation, and also joined a men’s group. Three months later he realized two things: that he was much more interested in community-based coaching than he was in being an interpreter, and that it was finally time to come out of the closet. Soon afterward he learned about the wider field of coaching as a profession, and became a certified coach, as well as a faculty member for the Coaches Training

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