‘Being good enough’ is a common motif in my life as a Gay Black man; I think it’s innate for us all. While I hail from Southern California, my family is southern–religious, some more or less devout. While the Bible has taught us a White man and his family can be forgiven, forge and ark and sail the seven seas for forty days and forty nights, those Sodomites and citizens of Gomorrah (never largely depicted as Anglo-Saxon) aren’t even offered the olive branch of repentance. As Black and, more devastatingly, Gay my need to feel good enough is insensatiable. As a child and through adolescents, I always felt subpar to my older brother. He was normal, athletic, handsome, and popular; I was the runt in appearance, athletic ability, and all this forced me into reclusive practices.
I’m handsome and thick now, have my own set of people I call friends, and have a talent for creative writing that has garnered me my fair share of praise and accolades. Of course, I still have insecurities; they are almost symmetrical to my child. As a Gay Black man I must be muscular or athletically built, handsome, clothes on point, hair cut every five days and above all else be masculine.
I’ve learned that even when we’ve found someone to be with, we still wonder “am I good enough,” and this question doesn’t necessarily emerge because of infidelity; as a friend of mine says, it starts with mama and daddy. But, what does one do when you’ve moved on from parental disillusions and you are now in a relationship that also makes you feel insignificant?
I’m fully verse, but I must admit I do position myself to play the sexual role of bottom by the men I’ve dated. To sound stereotypical, I prefer a masculine man (but I also like it when they let me call them bitch and girl); I like that tug-o-war of sexual prowess in and out the bedroom and I haven’t found that connection and fun with those that identify sexually as bottoms or fully verse. Ideally the love of my life will be a Vers/Top, but nothing is ideal in reality.
I use to self inflict pain on myself. I wasn’t a cutter, but I did inflict mental and emotional pain on myself. I would date men who I knew were clearly tops and be upset when the willingness to be penetrated wasn’t reciprocated. I now know that was me being immature. Someone’s willingness to be penetrated by me, especially when they had declared their sexual role as a top had nothing to do with my worth. Of course, at that time I perceived their willingness to compromise sexually as a marker for my self esteem.
While, I have grown out of my own self-deprecation the scenario has reincarnated itself: Marcus sucks everyone’s dick except for mine.
Marcus is a gentleman I’ve known for a year and we’ve been spending more time together as of late. Because we are both consenting adults, we engage in ménage à trois and ménage mores at times.
Marcus has given me plenty of speeches about how he only sucks dick in our group sessions, because he doesn’t want things to be awkward and he believes everyone just needs to be engaged. It’s bullshit. He enjoys sucking dick. He should just admit it. However, it’s the fact that knowing I’m fully verse and I’m the only one left with a dry dick when there is another top in the room that leaves my feelings hurt. In these moments, I see myself as a kid again in the barbershop writing my mother letters about how I don’t feel good enough and how I feel like she loves my more talented, masculine, archetype eldest brother more. I’ve tried to pacify this for myself, but when someone, as Marcus has said, loves you, it is devastating that they are willing to please someone else in ways they don’t see you worthy of (even if it is subconsciously). I’m handsome, my body is better than 90% of the guys dicks Marcus is sucking, everyone is naked so clothes aren’t the issue, so the only thing that is left is that ever evasive Golden Snitch: masculinity. I’m not masculine enough to get my dick sucked. And all of sudden I feel too small like Alice in Alice in Wonderland after she drinks the mysterious bottle; I, too, like Alice can’t seem to reach the key to unlock that door of being ‘good enough’.