I caught up with David Ledain to talk about fatherhood and his book Gay Dad.
What was your inspiration for your book Gay Dad?
When I was going through the process of separating from my wife, I looked for books by men in similar situations. I was desperate to read about other men’s experiences, but I couldn’t find anything. There were plenty of books about gay parenting and adopting or fostering, and coming out stories by celebrities and sports stars, but nothing that spoke to me or that I could relate to. I seemed to be the only one going through this situation — the only gay man who had married a woman and had children. Of course, I knew this wasn’t the case at all, and so I decided to write that book myself.
How did you find the ten men that are featured in the book?
I belong to a Facebook group called GADSSupport. Administered by gay dads, it gives a supportive private forum for gay dads from all over the UK to talk about their experiences and problems. I asked them if any of them would be willing to share their stories anonymously for the book and I was inundated.
It’s very cathartic to tell your story knowing that you won’t be judged — this is me, this is what has happened in my life, and this is where I am now. Crucially, it’s very important that other gay men in marriages or heterosexual partnerships know that they’re not the only ones that this has ever happened to.
What were some of the consistent experiences of the ten men featured?
Shame, guilt, loneliness. But the fundamental message that applied to each and every one of them was that they all married for exactly the right reason — they fell in love. It just so happened that the person they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with was a woman. As with heterosexual marriages, nobody goes into it thinking that it’s only going to be for a few years while they sort out their sexuality.
Straight men and women also have affairs and sexual encounters while they’re married, and for all sorts of reasons. What seems to be the case with gay men who marry is that they think, wrongly, that they can control their sexuality or that it won’t impact on the marriage in any way — which was my naive thinking.
What were some of the consistent experiences of the children of the men featured?
The book is about the experiences of gay men in heterosexual marriages — their telling of those stories is biased to their viewpoint. It would be interesting to do a book about the children’s side of the story, but generally, kids come through it as they would any divorce or separation situation — it very much depends on how the parents handle it.
What does the book tell us about gay men and fatherhood?
The overriding message is one that we’ve known all along, that gay men are caring, loving individuals, and that they very often have an innate nurturing side to them that they need to fulfil.
What sort of feedback have you had so far on the book?
People have been fascinated, not least because of the diversity of the stories, the different backgrounds, the socio-economic status, race and religions of the men featured. Each story is unique and yet the binding thread of what we’ve been through is the same. There’s a universality to the stories that will resonate with a lot of people.
In the book, I included a lot of information about what it means to be homosexual, where the term ‘homosexual’ came from, homosexuality and religion, and porn addiction. I didn’t want it to be just a collection of stories, but to inform and educate people about gay culture as well. We need to own our history and we need to talk about it.
What do you hope that people feel when reading the book?
If I’ve managed to reach one gay dad who feels that he’s trapped, that he’s the only one this could possibly have ever happened to, and he takes from the book the positive message — that though it may take time, sometimes years, there’s a way through it and that in the end, all those involved start to live the lives they should be living — then I’ve done good.
It’s not a healthy situation to be in a marriage that’s not working, for whatever reason, and it’s not good for the children either.
Is it getting easier for gay men to be fathers?
We’ve just heard that Tom Daley and his husband have had their first child. That would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. I do think though that institutions such as the NHS still need to do more training in preparing professionals to the idea of a more diverse society and family set-ups.
Diversity Role Models do a lot of good work going into schools to talk about bullying and to let kids know about different ways of living, and I think that each one of us can talk about the issues that affect us personally. We should embrace those moments to tell our story whenever and wherever we can.
We want to hear your opinion
Kan Rojas is on the hunt
I caught up with Kan Rojas to talk Pride, parties, and Pup-play.
When did you start to discover and explore your love of fetish and kink?
When I was 23 years old. I was having a lot of sex, but I started to feel that the simple or vanilla sex didn’t really satisfying me — I needed something more, I needed something different. One day, a boy opened my eyes to a totally different world. Since then, I haven’t stopped discovering and learning, and every time I like it more!
What led you to start exploring Pup-play?
About one year ago, I was at Gay Pride in Maspalomas. I was with my friends in the parade, having fun, dancing, and enjoying the music. Just ahead of us passed a group of six boys — four of them had ‘puppy’ masks on. There was something about it, it seemed so different and exciting — literally, I was instantly hard.
One of the Pups approached me and said that he’d see me afterwards. We met up, went back to his apartment, and we fucked like animals.
I’m a sexually dominant person, but at the same time I’m very affectionate and playful. Pup-play mixes all of that together at the same time — the control and submission is with respect and affection. There’s something about it that drives me crazy.
Would you describe yourself as an exhibitionist?
Honestly yes — I love it. I love it when people watch me, and it excites me a lot to know that people feel pleasure when they’re watching me, that they’re fantasising about doing things with me.
Do you have any hints or tips on how to navigate a sex club?
When I’m in the club I just go with my friends to enjoy and see what happens. I think the best advice is to just enjoy the company — when others see that you’re having a good time, they’ll want to have a good time with you.
What are some of the upcoming parties that you’re looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to being with my friends again at Manchester Pride. Then in October it’s Fetish Week in Maspalomas — Hard On will be the best party of the entire week, and I’ll be there with all my friends.
Can we talk underwear?
In my day-to-day I wear slips or jockstraps. When I go to the gym I prefer to wear jockstraps or just go commando — I like the guys to see me showing off my cock while I’m working out. On other guys, I’m very excited by jockstraps. I always like a good ass with a good jockstrap — if you’re down the street and you feel like playing a bit, it’s easier with a jockstrap.
What are some of your goals and ambitions for the remainder of 2018?
I have many ambitions, but everything has its moment and everything has to be step-by-step. I want to travel, to film more movies, to be more recognised, and to do more photo-shoots. I’d like to finish 2018 and let people know who I am, what I do, and how I really feel.
What are your plans for the weekend?
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