This may well be my longest post. I'm going to try to paint a picture of me, in hopes for some understanding and help. I'm told I'm a good looking guy by some. I'm told I have a bad attitude by some. I know I drive some people absolutely mad with my whining, complaining, pity party throwing self. I also know that it has something to do with those two little words: self esteem. Childhood- I dont remember much of my childhood, but a few things do pop into my memory from time to time. I remember (not from first person memories, but memories of third person recountings) that I was attacked by a gang of kids when I was quite young; perhaps 4 or 5. This occured while visiting my grandparents in Houston. The gang held a smoke grenade to my nose and covered my mouth. I dont know how long they did this, but I do know that I came close to dying from smoke inhalations. I dont recall being taken to a hospital or doctor. I remember: - (once again through pictures and 3rd person recollection) wearing some sort of leg braces as a kid. I dont know what medical condition I had that required me to wear such braces. - being told by my mother that she beat me with a wooden spoon once and it made her sick (but I remember being beaten with a fly swatter or belt when I misbehaved). I remember always being overweight. I remember my parents enrolling me in a fat camp for kids. I remember being terrible at sports. - always being the last picked (and reluctantly at that) for teams in P.E. sports. I remember having no friends in school. I remember being the butt of various jokes as a younger kid. - my brother developing diabetes when I was 11 (he was 12) and from that point forward, i was even more of a nobody around the house. (First born is always more special for some reason). Brother always got extra special treatment from family, extra attention and such. In high school, I remember being in the school band and being the worst trumpet player there. I remember being called a nerd because I was smarter than most. I remember being called fat, again. I never any real friends (even by high school standards) but just having other nerds that would hang out with me during the recess and lunches. Even my senior year in high school, I was not popular. I didn't go to my high school prom....I doubt I could have gotten a date. At, this point in time, I'd been having secret desires for other guys. But I also desired relationships with girls. I remember being told my mother that I was the result of a leaky condom. This was not said in a mean way, or to hurt me. It was just a statement of historical fact. I remember getting better on the trumpet, and becoming first chair in the band. I still thought very little of myself and my abilities, despite this move up in the section from last place. I remember riding somewhere with my aunt in an old VW diesel pickup truck. She was low on fuel and decided to fuel the truck (it was borrowed from her father). I KNEW for a fact that I had seen a "Diesel only" sticker somewhere on the truck at some point in time....but the sticker was no longer there. Despite my insistance to my aunt that it was a diesel truck, I was ignored and the truck had to undergo costly repairs. Young adulthood- My first two years of community college, I was still a nerd and had no real friends. I did however start making aquaintances in the college wind band. After majoring in Electrical Engineering for two years, I decided to change my major to music. It was, afterall, music that was providing me with a small scholarship. So, I went to the community college for another two years and majored in music. It was during this time that I met my first (and only) girlfriend. That lasted about 6 months, until I moved away to finish my studies in another state. I was 22 when I lost my virginity to that girl. In my new state, new college, new existance, I was about 250 miles from my home and family, and felt very insecure and alone. I made no real friends my first years there either. I moved from being a big fish in a small pond (musically speaking) to a small fish in a big pond. My trumpeting skills continued to improve, but I still felt I was no good. I made a friend (sort of) in a tuba player named Todd, about my second year at university, and we stayed in contact off and on until he went away for a doctorate in Manchester. He's gone on to bigger things, starting a successful web community for tuba players. As for me, I quit playing trumpet as soon as I finished university. I meet and hear of people my age now, and even younger, that have gone on to become heads of organizations and generally doing big, important things. I still feel like i've accomplished nothing and am nothing. Adult life, thus far - After graduation, I start trying to figure out who I really am. I decide to finally start experimenting with guys. I spent about 6 months "coming out to myself" in a statewide m4m chatroom on AOL. I made some "friends" on there. I had my first experience with a guy when I was 27. I thought he was hot. But, it was just a one time hookup. From that point, I figured I needed more experience. I pretty much accepted that I liked guys. Through AOL, I learned of gay.com. I started chatting on gay.com as well as AOL in the attempts of gaining more experience and finding a boyfriend. I was overweight then (as I am now) and found that my taste in guys rarely met with my ability to actually find those guys interested in me. Throught the next few years, I managed to meet a dozen guys or so for one time encounters. I had oral sex with some, and sometimes anal sex with some. I was a top. I found the online world of gay.com and AOL to be quite shallow and harsh. I still find that today, although I no longer belong to AOL. The total number of experiences I've had at this point is, perhaps, a dozen oral encounters and 6-8 anal encounters. One young guy (18) expressed interest in me (he was only the second really big dicked guy, at 8", that i'd met). We met and had sex. It was at this point that I noticed, that despite how hot I thought he was, I was having a problem with my erection. I just had a hard time getting and staying hard for him. He actually stayed in touch with me online after the first encounter. He said he was bi. We met 2 or 3 times again over the next 18 months. At which point, he ended up talking with my roommate at the time and discussing the fact with him, that he no longer desired to see me anymore sexually. He didnt have the nerve to tell me in person...but instead waited until he got back home 2 hours away to tell me online. He was the closest thing to a relationship i've ever had with a guy. It was after that point that I started finding that I had to pay for sex. Nobody I found attractive would give me the time of day. I can't say how many hundreds of times I heard: "sorry, not my type," "sorry I dont do fat guys," "sorry, I'm not into hairy guys," "sorry, you're too tall, too short, too ______" and the dreaded "cant we just be friends." The only constant I've found throught my whole experience is I feel unattractive and worthless. I find people dont like to talk to me. People dont stay in contact with me. People dont flirt with me in bars and at parties, on the rare occaisions I go to them. I dont have people walking up giving me their phone numbers. I've been rejected so often, that I also will not flirt with people in person, or give out my phone number. Here's where it gets confusing to me. I know there are people that find me attractive. But, for the majority of them, not being my type, I discount that they even find me attractive and still feel that nobody wants me. I also know I have run into some mutual attractions with guys that are many states, or even countries away. But again, because no possibility of a relationship of any sort exists (except the usual online nonsense), I immediately put those experiences out of my head as well and feel unattractive and unwanted. A few less than flattering things I know about myself - I know I suffer from depression or dysthymia. I suffer from social anxiety and panic attacks. I know that years of rejection and being outcast have left me reluctant to attempt social interaction. I know I am a perfectionist. I know I am a negative thinker, always quick to find why something wont work. I know I can be difficult to talk to because of these issues. I know I'm overweight and hairy: traits that a great many gay men find unattractive. I know i've got money issues. I know I'm a terrible procrastinator and very disorganized. A few, perhaps, flattering things I know about myself - I know I'm taller than average. I know I'm very intelligent: more intelligent than most (except in online communities, as this is where smart people tend to hang out). I know I have an incredible wit and sense of humor, although some people dont care for my humor. I know I am very kind and loving. I know I can be (or used to be able to be) a great friend.