Lee Robert Ness is Businessman, Teacher, Writer and Buddhist.

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”

My name is Lee and I hate change.

April 26th, 2017 by

As a 44-year-old gay man, I am saddened by the demise of our gay brotherhood.
As a young gay guy growing up in Edinburgh in the 90’s, I couldn’t have been more blessed. There wasn’t the perceived acceptance there is now but as a collective, we looked out for our own and the GBLT community was a unit. I remember older gay guys escorting us from one bar to another to make sure we were safe and could enjoy ourselves. I remember having as many lesbian friends as I did gay men as there was much less of a divide them within our community.

That’s sadly all lost now, we have diversified to the extent that we have lost focus.
I have never been a fan of all male or female bars feeling that the inevitable result of such exclusion would drive a wedge into an increasingly divided minority. The expanse of the LGT initialism to what it is currently (the latest politically correct version I do not know nor have the inclination to Google) is just another example of how we are an increasing group of minorities who like to include other minorities under the same umbrella because we love minorities and fighting for their rights. If you look within that umbrella has never been so divided.

While some of you may think under that umbrella, our voices are stronger than ever the internal disarray and our inability as minorities to unite leaves us in Clintonville. You need no further warning signs than Brexit, Trump, France, Italy which are all the result of a backlash where a majority of people have supported a populist view where financial hardship made them fight for their own. I do not believe these people are racist or homophobic. I think, they, having endured difficult times are putting themselves and their families first.

Having lived in Spain, the constant bashing of Trump continues as the media portray him as a racist giving his intention to build a wall. The socialist left looking do have open borders akin to the Clinton aspirations. They never mention the fact they have continued to fund a razor wire fence along the 12.7-kilometre border between Melilla and Morocco nor have they offered citizenship to the Sahara refugees left in limbo. You simply can’t have it both ways. You kid yourself if you think that your views and opinions are equally welcomed under the ever-changing banner. Any Trump supporter is as welcome as a fart in a space suit. An example being a heated discussion I had with a local heterosexual socialist politician which resulted in him labeling me homophobic. Ironic as I love boys. The topic, I don´t agree with gay couples adopting, holding the view that it is so seldom a couple agrees 100% and adoption is usually the aspiration of one more that the other. A better plan would be for one to adopt, thus ensuring continuity in any event as the rate of divorce continued to rocket. A will would take care of any issues on the death of that parent. Before you rant, I am not saying this should not be the case for heterosexual couples, it should. My opinion is that from a gay man who would like to adopt and having given careful consideration to all eventualities. I am not trying to be equal; I am not trying to do anything but think through what would be best for my child and me in my situation.

In conclusion, my point is that I am entitled to my views and how I choose to implement them into my life. They do not in any way impede the progression of your aspirations in life. I am however chastised for being homophobic, a Nazi for agreeing with some of Trumps Views or closeted. I am none of the above. As a teacher and to be effective I have to integrate with my multi-cultural community adapting to the individual needs of families and the kids I teach. I don’t need to agree with them on every point as its unlikely we are going to share dinner on a regular basis. What I find dangerous is that we continue to build a ´them and us´ society which makes it more difficult for us to agree on the common grounds concerning humanity.

My heart was broken last year when on visiting the Madrid Pride March I witnessed the horror of young families covering their children’s eyes as grown naked men simulated sex dragging each other along by dog leads. I am no prude, but as they wave their pride flags and celibate their sexual liberty I asked myself how many of them knew what the individual colors of the rainbow flag they sport so proudly actually mean? I can’t recall a single time a breakthrough for my liberty was achieved by someone in a bikini and a fancy dress shop wig.

I work hard to integrate into my community, and my sexuality is known but never a point of exclusion. I am embarrassed to be put under an umbrella which condones this behaviour. When you offer such to opportunistic media, they will oblige setting our cause back years.

We need to reorganise ourselves and have a view on mainstream issues and build on shared ground. If we are perceived as always complaining and screaming injustice we are the mosquito waiting to be swatted. We should agree where our detractors are right and support and rejoice in shared objectives. It’s better to be a participating entity that a pain in the arse that is imploding as our increasing diversity ironically leads us to self-destruction. To finish, I ask you this. Are we not asking too much when we expect society to celebrate our extremes masked as diversity while at the same time demanding we be treated as one of them? Should diversity in all its forms qualify fo inclusion? At what point if any does democracy no longer matter? If something was unsupported overwhelmingly in a democratic society at what point would we accept it?

Lee Robert Ness

Over 40 and relevant.

March 5th, 2017 by

Being in your prime is subjective. Oscar Wilde penned it best saying “Youth is wasted on the young”. The striking truth of this goes unnoticed until you reach a certain maturity with which comes the ability to reflect.

At 44 I am more confident, happier with my looks and more independent that I have ever been. I have lost my father, faced some serious problems with alcohol and had a partner of three years deceive me about his HIV status. Although challenging these experiences don´t define me. I´m better able to reflect, and this leaves me better placed than before going forward. As a 40 something single gay man, we fall into one of the following three categories.

The bitter club. Some characteristics being, berating Grinder users whose profiles have an upper age limit for example 25 – 39. Retaliating by sending messages to said users for dismissing us for the sake of a calendar year.  Suddenly becoming OK with paying rent boys having previously thought the idea repulsive. When indulging in this new vice, the transaction is disguised as a sheep in Wolves clothing where the consumer makes out they are helping out or befriending a younger guy who is struggling to make his way in life. It´s spun to friends as a befriending or mentoring act of philanthropy but inevitably ends up with an exchange of sexual favours, incidentally which never involves kissing or anything remotely sensual. Instead, a sexual act where the younger party does everything to avoid removing his clothes. Why? The protégé is not sexually attracted to the Guru and wants to expedite the act as quickly as humanly possible. The Guru realizes that kissing would open them up to the possibility of falling in love with an inappropriately aged candidate.  Though a member of the bitter club desperately seeks true love, they are frightened of the judgment of peers so bail.

(Yes they do care what people think) In summary, the general bitter club category unusually portrays himself as not wanting a relationship. They can come across as only looking for emotionless sexual encounters and often play up their promiscuous side. They are afraid or unaware how to open themselves up to love.  The often wear overly tight t-shirts and have a large collection of the Pet Shop Boys records and Prisoner Cell Block H on VHS. The also sometimes hang in groups and call each other Blanche, Sade or Madge. In Gay clubs around the world, they could often be seen gathering in flocks on dancefloors drawn by the opening two bars of ‘I’m coming up’ by Diana Ross. These are the gay Illuminati, and you will see younger homosexuals, beards and lesbians bewildered, having not yet achieved the level of rejection to qualify for what looks like a well rehearsed. Note, with the increasing number of Lesbian DJs this phenomenon is becoming in danger of disappearing completely.  Thankfully this still is prevalent in the bear and cub community so the general public can still experience this for the price of a can of Red Stripe. Please be respectful enough to look bewildered in you are a gay man under 40 or female and only present to witness the display.

The Optimist. These are the easier to spot. They often go under the radar, unnoticed in the wider general community. Unlike the bitter club, the optimist usually sports age appropriate clothing and nests comfortable in a family type home. They prefer less gregarious colours and often have pillows which solely have the purpose of decoration. They even save a special space in their wardrobes to store these pillows before going to bed. They prefer to stay in inviting friends to dinner, and although they still go to gay clubs, they usually reserve this wild side to Saturdays having spent the whole week building up to it. They often have many heterosexual friends and have become uncles to their offspring. They function well in society making great friends. Usually accomplished they become increasingly independent through age ironically making it more difficult to find a relationship. They are however open to the possibility and fantasize about having it all. They hoard a large collection of films including, Love Story, Beaches, and Terms of Endearment and have the original on VHS and a duplicate on DVD or Blue-ray. They inevitably and unashamedly listen to Bet Midler and rearrange their furniture a lot. In contrast to the Bitter club, their house is already prepared for life as a couple. They have the dog, two sofas, six chairs around the dining table and a full fridge. They also burn incense and buy a lot of spiritual books. They are open to the cosmic world delivering their perfect partner and have been preparing for the eventuality since birth. The will usually have had several medium term relationships behind them, and these will have failed not because of cheating but for excuses such as “We were in different places” or “We grew apart”. They do sometimes have casual sex, but often fall in love and are saddened by the morning after or the abrupt departure without breakfast. They feel guilty for giving out on the first night. They are also guilty of stalker texting post sex only to be ignored which in turn reinforces their belief that they should wait for the cosmos to deliver. Meantime, the read cover to cover ´The monk who sold his Ferrari´ highlighting the subliminal messages they interpret and implement there to improve their chances. The optimist also is attracted to Kitchen Gadgets and inevitably owns a high-end Juicer, having tried and failed to follow the ´Fat Sick and Nearly Death´ challenge. They also always have one if not more halogen ovens having been bought to cook low-fat chips. These appliances are always white and stored out of site and never displayed as a sign of wealth on counter tops as would be the norm for heterosexual women of similar years. They don’t like to face their failings, and these appliances remind them of their failed attempts at change. The optimist usually is a comfort eater and tends to procrastinate about the need to shed the extra pounds he carries.

The Hybrid.  In short, it means they live in the present, have casual sex but at the same time open themselves up for something more fulfilling. This can be as a result of loneliness and usually is a result of living the previous two categories unsuccessfully and coming to the realization that it is time to try something else. The danger here is that you are of course open yourselves up to things that will never fulfill your romantic fantasy. The two are opposite poles of a magnet. Buying the complete back catalog of Bet Midler doesn’t make you the Optimist nor does sporting a belly top a bottle of poppers and lying about your age on grinder make you the carefree bitter queen.

In conclusion, what it can do is open your eyes to the fact that we are all evolving and that if you don´t want me because I’m 40 and not 39 you’re a dick. If I don’t want you because of you like Bet Midler, I’m a dick and if you are waiting your whole life for some idyllic misconceived idea of couple bliss that makes you half a dick. It’s all good and well to have expectations, but like moving into a new house, it’s never your own until you live in it a while. I make a point of dating people who I might not have in the past because I was a little up my ass. So far it’s been a disaster but while in my Hybrid Phase I remain optimistic. If worst comes to worst, I´ll buy a tight t-shirt, pay a rent boy and ask him to dress up and lip sync to Bet Midler. This would fulfill all my needs in the interim with the exception of kissing, but I have learned that I need to be that flexible as not to miss my given cosmic rights.

The views expressed above are completely mine. It is not my intention to offend, but with the rise of leftist rhetoric, these are views I am happy to defend.

Lee Robert Ness

Sober in the Lions Den.

February 26th, 2017 by

For me, a consequence of sharing my thoughts is that at the edit (often which is endless) they are still evolving.

My perceptions as a sober person are new to me; though the experience may have been had many times many of them feel alien and leave me with feeling naive, awkward which clearly is something that alcohol masked.

A few weeks ago I found myself in the beautiful town of Sitges in the North of Spain. As a 44-year-old gay man, you would think I would be in my element. It turns out that despite being the gayest place in the world for me, it was in many ways a lonely experience.

Of course, a controlled few drinks can help make a good night a great one, and this is something alcoholism robs from me. I will never again be able to enjoy the upside of those few drinks which many alcoholics will criticise me for saying out loud. Alcoholics, for the most part, rejoice in their sobriety and bastardise anything alcohol related having shouldered all blame for their failings at its feet). I realise that I was more to blame than the substance and am honest enough to say that I benefited socially from moderate alcohol before it controlled and consumed me.

On reflection and having experienced a debilitating shyness during my first sober visit to the gay bars I needed to think through what had happened to me and more worryingly was this to be the norm going forward?

Thinking back, and without exception, I can’t remember a time (out with the short erratic relationships) where I had sex sober. The one night stands were inevitably fuelled with alcohol and shyness, and any uneasy feelings sufficiently suppressed with self-medication in the form of Vodka. I also can’t recall ever going to a disco or nightclub sober as it was the norm to start the afternoon off with a few drinks at home before parading myself among my peers.

This all kind off confuses me. I can’t decide if I like going out at all now. There are only so many cokes you can drink, and this recently has for sure become another addiction. I drink ridiculous amounts of coffee and coke having substituted my drug of choice.

Things usually start off fine. I have no anxiety going in. I am not of a shy disposition. I am sociable and outgoing. As I write this, I also hate myself for being the world’s biggest hypocrite. The problem is directly connected with alcohol once again albeit this time, not as a result of my consumption. It’s when those around me get the slightly the worse for wear and start losing their inhibitions. Being the only sober one is fine for ten seconds. Quickly anything you did have in common disappears. An inappropriate comment, a stumble or slurred words seem magnified beyond belief leaving me feeling guilty and embarrassed as I am reminded of the times I have subject others to the self-medicated bundle of fun I can be. All around you see yourself in all the inappropriate behavior of others, and it feels like you are watching a video of yourself, out of control with your mum watching beside you. Also, you’re told that the rest of the family and friends you have humiliated at one time or another are waiting outside to surprise you with an intervention which is to be shown live on a new Saturday night TV show.

This has come from the left. I tend not to do well-receiving advice. Especially things like ´get a hobby´ or ´go to the gym´ I lack the inclination to do either, so answers need to be sought within. Lastly, I am it seems a hopeless romantic. Some of you may disagree, but it is far more daunting (for now at least) being sober than being a social drinker to fulfill those romantic aspirations (Which are unrealistic and probably unattainable). People are wary of a non-drinker, and I tend to be upfront. You only get one chance to make a first impression. For sure this has stunted many a romantic opportunity and who can blame them for running for the hills. I am however very proud of my sobriety and the successful personal and work life I now enjoy. I would be more than misleading people if I led them to believe that the person I am now is anything other than the newest version of myself. On the upside, I think that as a result of feeling truly connected and over a decent amount of time, I am now confident that this is only the infancy of my potential.

Lee Robert Ness

A ‘Dear John’ letter to self.

February 19th, 2017 by

My Dearest Ego,

I know if you’re reading this we are broken, beyond repair. Your second chances run out many years ago but like a gullible teenager, I was all in at my own expense with my only out card being the miracle card for which I held my breath and prayed. Turns out it was never on the deck. You held this in your own hands and denied it me whilst being witness to my turmoil and despair. I am unable now or in my foresight to contemplate forgiveness. I was cannon fodder for your impending self-destruction.

I love you deeply and know you love me unconditionally. Unfortunately, for fear of my own demise,  I can no longer reciprocate the unconditional part. There is greatness in you. You act selflessly in so many ways. You bring joy and wonderful insight to helping others but as the old saying goes ´those who can do, those who can´t teach´. You will never be accused of leading by example.

To watch you destroy yourself with tobacco, barely eating someday and gorging the next and substituting alcohol with coffee and caffeine baffled me. It makes me wonder if your sobriety is indeed progressed. How could I ever believe you care for me with such little regard and disdain for your own wellbeing?

Today we died. I can’t watch the man I love self-destructing and procrastinate endlessly about changes that never see the light of day. You told me that hitting rock bottom was necessary for your sobriety, my fear my dear ego, my wonderful spirited ego is that surviving rock bottom once is a blessing,  voluntarily heading there for a second time seems like reckless abandonment at best, having a death wish more likely. I never signed up for your cruel mind games. Part of me has already died for you. I want you to know that I resent what you have taken from me.

From this day forward I am never going to think of you again. I will, however, cherish the words you shared with me every single day, having with hindsight learned their true meaning. “Higher self, you are there and I am here. Clearly one of us is in the wrong place.”

I was a dumb captivated fool. You made everything look easy. You left me clues from the beginning. Your words were not to imply a sense of missing me. It was all merely a tug of war disguised easily with your brilliance. Now, I see that you are there and I am here and through death, we are exactly for the first time in as many in the right place.

RIP my dear Ego.

Lee Robert Ness

Diets and Metrosexuals.

February 12th, 2017 by

It’s tough being a man these days, never mind being one in his early forties. It’s incredible how many people freely offer you advice once noticing you are slightly portly and probably not in the best shape of your life.

Coming to live in Spain was a shell-shock for me to say the least. The younger men are what I believe you call metro-sexual. It was difficult for me to tell the ‘heterosexual metrosexual’ from the more standard ‘homosexual. To me, they were all fair game. Ironically the former are deeply offended that you thought they looked like a fag. Ironic really, but sport for me.

The old saying “if you look like a duck, smell like a duck.……. is no longer infallible. Though from personal experience and preservation I can say that this once again becomes the case if you ply your prey with sufficiently strong cider (sweet being best) and continually say that you wished there were girls around as you are horny. They are soon convinced to succumb to second best. TIP make sure there are no girls around.

I do care about my appearance but it has never been something I have fretted over, to be honest. It is certainly more difficult to find sex when you are over forty and more so if you have man breasts and get out of breath walking to the local shop to buy pickled onion monster munch. I seriously should at least contemplate doing something to get in better shape if I am to experience physical intimacy again with a willing participant. I think I need to maybe watch my diet a bit more, try to take a little more exercise and maybe switch to filtered cigarettes. I can’t see me becoming fanatical. The only good thing about going to a gym is that you can sweat in a public place and people don’t feel the need to point at you.

Given that the current extent of my sporting activities ends with endless runs to the toilet due to onset diabetes I was looking at some ideas which are a little more socially interactive. Running is just a no-go as I have a car and just can’t see the point of getting somewhere on foot when you can drive in comfort and smoke. Swimming I like, but I find it a little tedious and it flares up my ADHD manic episodes given that I have to count the exact number of lengths swam and regularly lose count having to start all over again. The only real thing I enjoy is walking. Once I get going, I love walking. Unfortunately, my dog is too old, too lazy, and too small to walk any great distance. He is also very anti-social and it is a bind trying to drag him off other less temperamental dogs simply enjoying their natural affinity to smell other dogs arses.

I’m 10 kilos (update 20), a good waxing and eyebrow reshaping away from being borderline repulsive on the gay scene but these are the dizzy standards I am prepared to aspire to.

I am thinking. More soon.

Lee Robert Ness