Spit it Out!

Learning to Express Yourself is a Key to Success.

Many people can’t ask for what they want because they don’t know how to express it. I was one of them. Now look at the word ‘express-ing’, it means fast, speedy and direct. As a kid I had a stammer from god knows when till a teenager and dreaded queues in shops and ticket offices. By the time I was asked what I wanted nothing came out but splutter, shame, public humiliation and deep embarrassment, everything except fast, speedy and direct.

davidparker_keepcalm_sept13On top of this I had a nervous squint. I contracted meningitis on the spine when I was 6 months old and over the next 12 years was a frequent visitor to brain damage tests with a final conclusion that I will ‘grow out of it’. Well I did when I discovered alcohol & drugs. This masterful brew gave me confidence, a clear speedy voice, though often sharp and bitchy. In future therapy sessions, I was told it was an act of survival, an old pattern, thinking I could not be heard. Oh and I was ‘a red’, a ginger, an outsider and gay, way before fetish sites put red as a hot topic of sexual attraction. All in all, a teenage nightmare. No wonder I embraced getting ‘out of it’.

We had no knowledge about addictions, codependency or ‘finding yourself’ in self help books in the 70’s, it was all about sexual liberation, learning to express yourself through your body, so I soon got the hang of that. Less talking, less stammering, less nervousness, more action.

This inadvertently led to many years of sexual addiction until a virus took hold of my priorities, being forced to learn how to express myself ‘to serve myself first’, not heed to the demands of others. This aspect of codependency is rife in the gay community and often leads to unsafe sex as people-pleasing leading the way to a man’s zipper, but the desire to be connected, to belong, to seek approval as an act of expression, can leave you short-changed when it comes to emotional satisfaction. Clearing up the mess of others as fixer, or being entangled in a relationship with someone who cannot express themselves via depression, past abuses, alcohol dependency does not bode well in the healthy relationship stakes.

fear-is-in-your-head1Assisting or understanding a partner with these issues, while detaching, in order not to get sucked in, is extremely difficult, but essential in order to manage your own sanity. Learning to say NO more often and ridding yourself of the belief that ‘when you get YOUR needs met, others lose’ is the key to emotional recovery. This may appear selfish in print, and to some unloving, but in reality the biggest aspect of relationship breakdown is ‘ not getting needs met’, because often those needs have failed to be expressed because of ‘harming’ the other person. Not wanting to rock the boat by telling the truth faster creates suppressed anger, game playing, dishonesty and fear. The opposite to love.

When I started a recovery process from active addiction over 30 years ago, I shockingly discovered I was shy. Quite the opposite from the persona I had created. Then I had to learn to communicate verbally & sexually without chemical support, and the stammer came back along with the nervous squint and it felt like I was back at square one, which I was. Back to being the emotional wreck of a teenager with the luggage of 17 years of using.

With self help groups and counselling I managed to explore the reasons, and the lessons of coping with and managing demons like ‘Not being good enough”, “feeling damaged” “not a real man” etc and turn these negative lies into positive statements of truth. In 1984 I began spending every night, for the next 3 years, going to sleep with Louise Hay affirmative tapes on a loop in order to find the real me buried beneath the shames. Then with yogic rebirthing breath work started to express my subconscious emotional fields, until I healed my body and released chronic active hep B from my body in 1996 without medication. That’s a whole story in itself.

davidparker_expressyourself_sept13Eventually the stammer and squint left me, confidence was acquired and I learn’t to ‘tell the truth faster’. For the past 10 years I have travelled the globe every 2 months leading seminars on personal development, holding a room of 30 -50 people for 3 days without a manual or script, just focussing on ‘the NOW’, and allowing things to occur organically. So perseverance paid off. The only way I could express myself in my using days was by being workaholic, by constantly thinking I needed to be in control, while my life was totally out of control. Today I am still clean, sober and Hep B free, long may it continue, a day at a time.

safe_image.phpThis was my monthly piece in HIM-MAGAZINE : http://www.him-magazine.com/2013/09/01/spit-it-out/

‘Fun & Flirty!’

Attitude, the UK gay magazine sold in the nation’s newsagents and supermarkets, recently celebrated their summer issue last year with a poll of the sexiest men by it’s readers, which caused a bit of feather fluffing in the mainstream media. The cause of it was Britain’s 19 year old Olympic poster boy Tom Daley beating ding-dong-daddy David Beckham and the blue-blooded ginger haired Prince Harry to the crown. Anyone that has had the fortune of being one of Daley’s 2.6 million fans on Facebook will know that just 30 seconds after putting up a dripping wet Tom in skimpy speedos, the Facebook “Likes” rack up faster than a junkie finding a vein.


Twitter and FB during the 2012 London Olympics, were alive whenever he came out of the water after a dive, debatably mincing, but certainly posing and pouting under the shower knowing EXACTLY what he was doing. The epitome of ‘fun & flirty’.

For some reason his Facebook fan base consists only of pubescent teenage girls and wet mouthed gay men who leave lascivious messages on his wall. Tom totally ignores them and puts up another Instagram of him holding a kitten. This was some sort of ‘code’ to indicate his ‘sensitivity’ but I have to say these constant kitten pics are destroying my sexual fantasies of a man with a perfect taut tanned body, dark hairy legs and a happy trail. The kitten won him over, the bitch, and it knows it. Anyways he’s OUT now and wonderfully so. Unlike much older celebrity gayers who wait till their career dives down, Daley threw caution to the wind in early golden career.


But the real surge of fantasy is the sexual menagerie of Daley with Beckham & Prince Harry together. Who will top? Now that would be FUN to watch! So is it a twink, an inked daddy or an aristocrat that sends you sexting?

Way before social media, smartphone technology and dating sites like grindr, flirting was an acquired art face to face, full of bravado or embarrassment, whereas online dirty flirty sexting allows you to go the extra inch without fearing rejection, but for some the problem arises when they actually turn up and the projection of rejection rises to full hilt.

Since the advent of online dating, people have got out of the habit of flirting face to face, understanding body chemistry and seeing the whole package, so to speak. Now we are used to seeing David Beckham’s package in his pants and Toms tiny speedos but if some doppelgängers walked down the street, would you feel good enough to bat above your average and flirt, or would you feel not good enough?

Low esteem, chem use, not fitting in and maybe living without employment, are the core seeds of the gay malady that ‘dare not speak it’s name: social phobia. Looking at all those circuit party boys, buffed or bearlike, the perception is that everyone is having a fabulous time except you. This is not so.


Many are cruising around with sub-conscious thoughts like “I am unworthy, ugly, stupid, not good enough, big enough, smart enough, whatever.” Chemical and alcohol use can help to hide these subconscious wanderings, but when the balloons get popped you’re pooped, back into a shell. But flirting with chems as a companion is fun and allows you to take emotional risks, bypassing those nasty negative mantras in your head, but in the end, you have to face the music (or the date) emotionally naked, and that’s the real fear.

Because the world is now performance and target led, it’s easy to forget that shyness, whether connected to social phobia or not, is seen as charming, sexy and a big selling point, to those cruising you. Not everyone needs or wants a confident date, but what they do seek is an authentic one, and this is where flirting online can create impossible illusions, a bit like Daley, Beckham and Harry in a circle jerk. It’s just not going to happen. So don’t big up the flirting too much, unless you can deliver. Just be yourself and you will find that authenticity is the hottest drug to neck.

Recovery, in the broadest sense, means doing everything that is unfamiliar to you, in order to achieve emotional balance, so if you are hogging the flirting limelight online, log out and go walkabout on the streets, in clubs, bars or social groups. This will get you into the habit of interacting with authenticity again and your natural instincts that being online can hide. The kind of things that can excite at first glance in real life, like hair trapped under a wristwatch, a raspy voice, dry humour, smooth arms or an unexpected tattoo gaping from a sleeve. Everything online profiles don’t pick up. Older gay men will remember anonymous street cruising, turn back glances, flirting with the fruit stall boy, or a smile on a bus from afar. These things can make a heart beat and although they may not create instant results, at least you have turned up and delivered. Not many can say that online.


This post of mine was first published in the August issue of HIM Magazine 2013 – for the Man who invests in Himself http://www.him-magazine.com/2013/08/01/sexting-sexy-men/

Same Sex Monogamy

bedsadcplSince the subject of gay marriage is top of the list right now, it feels right to tackle the subject of monogamy, commitment and expectations. Most gay men I know support gay marriage from the position of equality rather than their own desire to be legally bound, but the dream of ‘settling down’ still resonates through every gay meeting place and dating site.

Our heterosexual friends have proved that monogamy is not for everyone, many have informed us that marriage is not what it’s made out to be in this form of committed capture, and the idea that love conquers everything, is now obsolete. Take two examples I have come across; the sex addict who thinks a relationship will stop his ‘acting out”, in the same way that a wife is often seen as ‘taming’ her newly acquired husband from his seed sowing activities, and the codependant  who ‘needs’ a relationship in order to feel complete and wanted, whilst avoiding the fear of abandonment.

In my Relationship Coach Training the phrase that stood out like a fey gay at school is that ‘ Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing’. This means that everything you buried like abandonment, low esteem, guilt, control and fear of rejection, simmers likes a slow cooker beneath the ritual of coupling, so a committed relationship gives you the chance to see what defects of character hold court. Many who have taken the route of commitment take an ‘open relationship route’ once an emotional baseline is held which, in my practice experience, is not always the answer to sexual needs and emotional functioning.

A relationship that lasts, needs honesty from the beginning, when initial boundaries are created, so future changes can progress with equal honesty, so going straight into an ‘open relationship’ from the beginning is ill-advised as one partner often agrees in order to capture the boyfriend, people pleasing their way into emotional suppression. The idea sounds great, but without honest boundaries at any point, a car crash looms. A frequently reviewed and discussed ‘open relationship’ is one that is more likely to reap rewards and is one that has had a period of monogamy to act as foundation.

tumblr_l7d9rdwiwg1qc17moo1_400Michael Shelton author of ‘BOY CRAZY’ – Why Monogamy Is So Hard for Gay Men and What You Can Do About It, writes ‘ Though there are many variations in the ground rules for sexual activity in relationships, they are still variations of just a few core themes. A couple may opt for mutual celibacy, to remain monogamous for the duration of the relationship, choose some form of open relationship, or have occasional or even frequent covert sexual activity outside the parameters of their established relationship. None of these decisions is written in stone, and they can and often do damage, particularly in an environment that places so much importance on sexual satisfaction ‘.

The sex addict thinks that aquirring a monogamous relationship will kill the natural urge to shop around, it doesn’t, nor does it reduce the desire for approval addiction. The solution to this conundrum is loving yourself more, warts and all, so you lovingly approve of yourself without the need for others to give you a 5* review. This is how I healed my own sex addictions, compulsions, codependencies and negating habits. It may work for you too.

Self awareness, recovery and liking more of yourself is also the path to those addicted to relationships, the serial relationship seekers who don’t take breath in between one ending and finding another so quickly. We know who they are, their Facebook status’s that bounce ‘in a relationship’ every few months, give us the opportunity to raise eyebrows in their speed and dedication to not being alone. Many self-help books on gay relationships often discourage open relationships, whilst encouraging commitment to monogamy, yet in my experience of viewing client relationships over 2 decades, the best commitment you can make in a relationship is to be honest ‘at all times’.

Honesty and clear communication is the best wedding present to give yourselves. Some spiritually based readers like myself, don’t believe in the concept of ownership, romantic fantasy or capture. Interdependent relationships, with a ring on it or not, recognise that change is inevitable over time, that everything is temporary, including feelings, and that guilt shame and fear holds no purpose except to hold you to ransom, kidnapped by the fear of abandonment.

boy-crazy-why-monogamy-is-so-hard-for-gay-men-and-what-you-can-do-about-itI found BOY CRAZY to be a trusted tome on relationship education, without judgement of choices, one way or another and suggest you give it a try. Think of all the study books you have read to acquire a career, yet how few you have read to acquire peace of mind and relationship satisfaction. In London it’s available from GAY’S THE WORD bookshop http://www.qype.co.uk/place/1686329-Gays-the-Word-Bookshop-London or the usual online book sites worldwide.