In the natural progression of conversation, Raymond wondered why I never spoke about a girlfriend. It had never occured to me that it would make me out of place not to seem constantly on the hunt - or boasting about my 'accomplishments.'
I admitted to him that the whole subject of sexuality just confused me so much I'd never acted on any of it. He said he'd known what sex was and was not since he was in his early teens. He laughed, that way that he would, not in a demeaning way, but of demonstrating a joy of learning something important about you.
He said as much sex as he'd already had in his life, that I must be spending all my spare time beating off furiously in private, cuz all that sexual energy has to go somewhere, right? I laughed, agreeing with him.
A few months later, we were on a camping trip in the islands. Having chosen to go tent camping in winter, we soon discovered that we had the entire corner of the campsite to ourselves. We made supper, laughed over some beers, passed a joint back and forth at the campfire - and finally turned in for the night.
I woke up in the dark of night realizing he'd rolled over and spooned in behind me. I layed there wide awake for an hour with his arm draped around my middle. What did this mean? Was this right or wrong, or neither. After much worrying and mental gymnastics, it finally occurred to me how good it felt and I relaxed back in against him and fell back asleep.
I woke up again around sunrise - realizing he was now spooned, albeit in his own sleeping bag, against me with a hard on. I went to pull away and he said quietly and reassuringly, "don't worry - we won't do anything with that you don't want to, but don't run away, from this, from us., " he said pulling me into his chest.
Leaning in, rubbing his Marlboro man moustache on my ear, and kissing me gently.
"This is just between you and me and nobody else, you're safe to be who you truly are with me. and i'm very glad you're here."
He pulled me in even tighter and we disappeared off into what would become many, many nights together in the perfect sleep.