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Connection, Death, Sex and Opportunity

episodes show notes Mar 27, 2020

Welcome to the GerleMen community. Our mission is to celebrate the gift of 'otherness' and help shine a light on the gold we each carry. And now, more than ever, we need connection.

Today, we are launching the GerleMen podcast a bit early due as part of our reaction to the global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe. We are all, yes, all 7.8 billion of us around the world, are in some state of "social distancing" or self-quarantine in an effort to help 'flatten the curve'.

As a culture, we are facing a sexual moratorium that, for gay men, is simultaneously familiar and completely new.

I discuss the impact on gay men’s connecting culture, hooking up, missing the gym, AIDS vs. Coronavirus, and the opportunities this social isolation presents.  

The GerleMen team was planning to launch this podcast in June of 2020 on Father’s Day, but right now, it’s impossible to have a conversation about brotherhood, conscious sex, and heart-centered connection without also discussing the isolation caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We are putting this out now because it’s relevant and because we need connection more than ever

Topics discussed in this episode: 

  • Connection [2:38]  
  • Sex [5:33]
  • AIDS vs. Coronavirus [6:24]
  • Importance of gym culture [3:12]
  • Huge opportunity for personal growth [10:46] 


Episode Transcript:

Mike Gerle  0:29  

Hey, brothers, this is Mike. And this is the GerleMen podcast. And this is a Corona update. incense. This podcast was in the works. We were planning on launching it. June of 2020. on Father's Day, I just built a studio with my business partner, and we had set it up.

My business partner Garrett McClure and my editor. Her and showrunner Leslie Schroeder is making magic on her end. And we wanted to have 12 episodes in the can six of them perfectly ready. And we were going to launch with that so that we gave you quality content on a regular basis. The thing is now we need connection more than ever. And that's why we are launching now rather than waiting till June. And because of that, you may hear some problems. Like my interview with JD was the first one I had done on zoom and I am not happy with the audio in my end, and that's just the world we're gonna have to live in for a while. It's a beautiful interview. It's got a lot to hang on to and the sound quality is just going to have to suffer. So that's what's happening.

We're launching early. And so why were we launching early well community is important. And it's important now more than ever, and we can create community in a new virtual way. And that's what we're doing now with this differently than we used to listen to podcasts before I was very often listening to podcasts myself in very crowded spaces.

And now more likely than not, we'll be listening on our own in what I call our Corona clusters. I have four people in mind, my boyfriend, my business partner, and another business partner of his that uses the same space here at axiom arts and studios. So what do I mean by community is more important than ever? I think now, what I mean by that is we have connections with people that we never knew we had connections with, and I want to honor that.

For instance, I'm old as you all know, I'll be 55 on 420 April. 20th and back in the day, I used to go to the Athletic Club up here on Santa Monica and West. No, it's now sprouts. And that gym was open for years, it was a very, very gay gym, it did not have a women's dressing room, it was likely to be playing house music. And whenever you could work out with your shirt off, it was a glorious place to be gay, and it suddenly closed one day. And that left a huge gap. And I noticed that these guys I'd never ever talked to before. I called him my Hey friends, because we'd go Hey, what's up and we knew each other from the gym and whatnot. And then when I would see these, Hey friends on the streets in West Hollywood or pavilions in the grocery store, we would stop and talk because we realized we had some sort of connection, some connection that went beyond connections that are caused by words or formal connections, we just were used to seeing each other. We knew who shared the equipment who didn't. I had judgments, likes and dislikes with plenty of guys I'd never seen before. So there's that kind of community on top of the community that we're aware of, of our best friends of our bio family of our chosen family. And with those things disappearing, it's more important than ever to use this safe way to connect you know, connecting to technology to do that.

So that's why the GerleMen podcast is launching early because I miss the gym, my other friends miss the gym. And another way that game in Connect, other than the gym besides parties and all that is we usually have this thing in our pocket, our phone with a hookup app on it with grinder or scruff or whatever else you might use. And those were ways That we have connections. And we're going to talk about that in the podcast about how important these casual hookup connections can be, and why we need to have respect for each other and care about each other during the hookups. But right now,


Mike Gerle  5:17  

No hookups are up in the air for me and the people I've been talking to, they're just not happening because we don't know if we'll die or not if we get the coronavirus. And so hooking up is now off the list. As far as I know, there is no safe sex. And so that is why we're launching early we want to talk to you about your sexual paradigm completely shifting. You know, I'm in an open relationship and it's just not open anymore. My other friends in open relationships, they're not open anymore, and then my heart breaks for my friends who are single and have yet to identify a person or people they can have sex with. So how long is this going to last? How long is the sexual moratorium going to last? You know, the game in my age and my boyfriend he is 38 still remember a time when having sex could kill you. And so it seems like we should maybe be used to this because of the AIDS virus because of the plague. For all clarity. I've been HIV positive since 1987. I thought I would die before 1990 and it's almost it's 2020 and I'm here for the corona virus. I know what it's like to face death with sex. But there's a huge difference between the corona virus and AIDS when it comes to socialization and the way this impacts came in, because, as I said earlier, there's no safe sex right now. So how, how do we navigate This this core way of connecting in and what's what's out there beyond that, and another thing that's different about this is as horrible as the demonization and the hatred. And the vilification was for those of us affected by aids and I say affected not infected, my negative boyfriend was a affected co workers at West Hollywood at City Hall who were neither gay or men were affected when their co workers got sick and died. All of us were affected by aids, but those of us who were at risk were in a particular group. And we were set aside and we were ostracized at some point and because we were ostracized our community came around us and protected us and loved us. And there was the group that was that was in danger of being infected and there was the group that was infected. And then there was all the people caring for those who were infected. And the difference is now we are all in this together. We are all an equal risk of being infected. The most frail of us those with compromised immune systems and those that are older, they are most at risk that we are all at risk of getting the corona virus and that just wasn't true. All you had to do it to not get AIDS was not have sex. That's not true with the corona virus. So that's different because a lot of us especially as older gays actually enjoyed the part of maybe being sexual outlaws. We were rebels. We were on the outside looking in, and it felt cool to be part of the dangerous motor. cycle gang of sexual outlaws. The thing is that we're all in this together this time, so we're not the other. So the corona virus. It's made us all similar. It's made us all the same. It's made us all equally at risk. We are all hanging out in our living rooms now in West Hollywood in Kansas City, Missouri, where my family lives in Tucson, Arizona, where my family lives in Berlin.


Mike Gerle  10:15  

So we're all in this together in our living rooms, and our bedrooms, in our cohabitated space, in our walks around the block, maybe our walks through the park, and I think there's a huge opportunity in this. I've always thought that as a yoga teacher, I always thought we will be better if we go inside and feel our hearts. If we tap in To bar, what I understand now is intuition. In yoga, it's called otteman. You may call it your soul, or God or the eternal energy. But there is something inside each and every one of us to be discovered that has all the answers. It's an ancient wisdom that exists in every cell in our bodies. And the way to get there, the way to hear it is to drop all the distractions that are keeping us from hearing it, this beautiful wisdom, this beautiful sense of connection. This one Love does not need to be given to us. It does not need to be earned. It does not need to be taught. It's just there, in my experience, is that it happens in the quiet moments. It happens when I'm meditating. That happens when I'm walking or hiking alone. It happens when I'm enjoying doing the dishes. I know that's weird thing to enjoy, but I enjoy it. And this period is coronavirus, forcing us all indoors, to be quiet, to be alone. It is an opportunity. And I can't help but feel some optimism that we're going to come out of this better than before. Instead of this intense polarized us in them. We are all now us. And we all have something to empathize with, when we look into the eyes of that person on the street, who's six feet away from us, and there's a knowing now, just two weeks in there is a knowing. So that that makes me hopeful.

So thank you for joining us early. I apologize if things aren't perfect. And when the sound and stuff is not perfect. I encourage you to focus on the content and join us Where you can, if you want to comment on any of this on Facebook, you can go to at girly men calm that's GERLEMEN again, girly men. It's my last name with men behind it. GERLEMEN . So girly men on Facebook and GerleMen podcast wherever you get your podcast. So thank you for being here. Know that I'm with you know that we're together. And in addition to this podcast, sharing our ideas we'll share on Facebook and I'll be taking your questions and answering them between our bi-weekly interviews with the girly men, the men of substance who I think who have walked through these roads where people were these men have learned how to invest in themselves. They know how to invest in their personal relationships and they know the gift That game in half for the world. Those are the men I'm talking to in between. So you can listen one week and follow along or ask a question on the other weeks.

And until then, brother, know that I know you and I love you for that. All of you. Thank you


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