Shadow

Grow not in each other’s shadow

As you may know, I’m working on a new Huffington Post article that addresses the question of why Dirk and I call each other “husband” even though we’re not legally married. I’m a little nervous about it because what I have to say might be a little controversial, even among the LGBT community. I’ve had some very interesting discussions with different people about the subject, so at the very least I’m hoping to get more people talking… even if we don’t all agree. (UPDATE: The article has been published; you can read it here.)

Anyway, as I was researching the article I came across this amazing quote by Khalil Gibran (yes, I’m turning into my father and quoting from The Prophet… LOL), and I wanted to post it because it so perfectly sums up the relationship that Dirk and I share. It’s a beautiful passage… and let me tell you, living a relationship like this an absolutely incredible, life-altering experience. I am truly blessed.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 
Shadow

25 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    Great quote Jesse! I love that you share your personal (and more human side) on this blog, rather than just the public persona that people see in your films (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Keep it up…in both respects 😉

    Reply
    • Jesse
      Jesse says:

      Thanks Mike! The only reason I’ve been focused more on the personal than the public side of things lately, by the way, is that there’s a sort of a lull in the production schedule around the holidays… so there’s not really much for me to talk about on the porn side. That’ll pick up in January when I start filming again! 😉

      Reply
      • Mike
        Mike says:

        Looking forward to it. It’s an absolute pleasure to read your blog, and definitely keeps me entertained Down Under (in Australia that is….)

        Reply
  2. greggory
    greggory says:

    You truly are blessed Jesse…those were warm and wonderful words that I wish more people paid attention to. The fact that the two of you are not married is of no consequence….your love has no marital status….

    Reply
  3. Jane wilkinson
    Jane wilkinson says:

    Hi Jesse, I’ve only followed you & Dirk for a short while after the whole fb fiasco thing with the kissing photos ( good on you for complaining to fb & getting it sorted, even though the photo should never have been removed) I find myself completely drawn to you two. You talk a lot of sense & I loved your Huffington Post piece. You are both articulate men who continue to show others how you can live and love together whilst still retaining your individuality. A trait that most relationships can’t say they have managed to attain. I appreciate your honesty & transparency & I think it’s just beautiful that you can call each other husbands, as that’s essentially what you are. My love & respect to both of you. ( Btw you both look super hot in specs 😉 ) Jane xxxx

    Reply
    • Jesse
      Jesse says:

      Thank you very, very much! We’re both really happy to have found each other… and basically I’ve found it centering to write about our experiences. It’s really mostly for me (hell, what started as porn blog isn’t even about porn all that much anymore!), but I figured I’d share it anyway. I’m really flattered that people actually seem to like it. To think that people actually see us as role models is pretty mind-blowing, and something I’m really not prepared for. I’m just a guy trying to do the best I can in the world, I love my man, and I love to write about it, y’know? 🙂

      Reply
  4. Rebecca Locke "Becca"
    Rebecca Locke "Becca" says:

    This IS a beautiful quote, and I will definitely check out the book. I don’t pretend to understand what it means, and I’m sure there are different interpretations depending on who reads it, and what each person brings to it from their own life experience. Would love to exchange ideas. I enjoy these sorts of discussions.

    Reply
  5. Merle Merlot
    Merle Merlot says:

    Great article Jesse and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing you and Dirk You love and respect each other and are showing people how 2 adults can love each other even if you are both men. Keep writing and kissing

    Reply
  6. Tara Plumley
    Tara Plumley says:

    Jesse I don’t think you should ever feel difficult about describing each other as husband : thats what you are and its beautiful and special 🙂

    Reply
  7. Mark
    Mark says:

    Thanks for this quote Jesse. It is rather beautiful and certainly makes you think about the way we share ourselves in this life. Thank you also for the great photos you share of the two of you – very special. Cheers

    Reply
  8. Jon
    Jon says:

    Hey Jesse: You and Dirk are such good role models for gay couples. Your posts fairly ring with the love and devotion you have for him and he has for you. When I see gay male couples, one of the main concerns I have is that as soon as things start needed actual work and sacrifice for the relationship, they think “Oh, this is not working. He must not be the man for me because it’s becoming hard work and love should always be sunshine and lollipops.” We are a deeply romantic bunch, we gay men. Not having many role models leaves us doubting ourselves.

    My point being: would you ever consider writing a blog about how you and Dirk resolve conflict in the relationship? Maybe a blog about how to deal with disagreement and disappointment and stuff in a fair and healthy (and realistic) way?

    Reply
    • Jesse
      Jesse says:

      Thank you very, very much! That really made my night after what was a pretty trying day.

      I love that idea for a blog post. When I write about our relationship, I usually focus on the good stuff. It’s the Facebook effect writ large, because it spills over into Twitter and here on the blog. But of course Dirk and I have our share of conflicts. We’re both smart and stubborn, which can be either an amazing magical or a particularly volatile arrangement. When our opinions work in synergy (which is most of the time, I’m happy to say), it’s a thing of beauty… but when they’re in conflict… well, let’s just say we’ve had our share of “disagreements” (okay, arguments)… and a few real doozies at that. We’ve always resolved them, though, usually the same day. I think there are two key values at the core of our ability to find resolution when they do happen: communication and trust.

      Look at me, getting ahead of myself and writing a whole blog post in the form of a response to a comment on a completely different blog post! Let me mull this over a little longer, maybe get Dirk’s permission to talk about a couple of those “disagreements” specifically, and get back to ya. Deal? 😉

      Reply
  9. Becca Locke
    Becca Locke says:

    This might be grossly unfair, but I have heard it said that men are more hunters and women more ‘nesters’–we are traditionally supposed to be the nurturers. Obviously, in a gay men’s relationship, this doesn’t apply. My personal opinion is that you are either committed to the relationship or not. There are a thousand things ASIDE from gender or sexual orientation that can influence whether you work through the conflict or decide that THIS (whatever it is) is the deal-breaker in your relationship. What comes through, Jesse, again and again, is that the both of you VALUE this relationship so much that everything else is secondary. You are a united front. You both wake up every day and prioritize what you have with each other. Whether that choice is conscious or not, it gets made. When two stubborn, intelligent, passionate people are both that committed, it’s incredibly powerful.

    Unfortunately, in this culture we value “low maintenance” to such a degree that working at a relationship for many people just seems like too much work, not enough like play. As a society we seem to be more frivolous and less committed to things than people were 50 years ago. You hear “that don’ t build ’em like they used to.” Maybe that applies to relationships as well as cars.

    Reply
    • Jesse
      Jesse says:

      Agreed. Dirk and I, both being New Englanders, have that age-old Yankee work ethic. To sum it up, we believe that you “take out of it what you put into it.” Relationships take work, and as Jon mentioned earlier, a lot of couples crumble at the first sign of trouble. Dirk and I have had our share of trouble, to be sure, especially near the beginning of our relationship, and also right after the big move. We see those moments of adversity as opportunities for growth, though, and have always come out of them with a better understanding of each other as a result.

      Reply
      • Becca Locke
        Becca Locke says:

        Ah, Yankees. I am at least 3rd generation on my dad’s side. As with all virtues, it can turn into a problem when you take it to extremes, but wanting to put your time and attention into QUALITY as opposed to triviality is a good trait. I would also LOVE to see you put your formidable brain to work on how this discussion dovetails with the issue of open relationships (I fully realize I’m stepping on a landmine here), which I only recently worked up the courage to talk about with some of my gay and lesbian friends, who are predominantly in the leather community. There’s a lot of judgment out there, and knee-jerk responses from nearly all sides, but I could see it as a real banquet in terms of debate and discussion.

        Reply
          • Becca Locke
            Becca Locke says:

            Like most people, I have preconceived ideas about PORN. I’m the family oddball; my father is a Yankee and my mother is a fairly staunch Roman Catholic of Italian and Portuguese ancestry; you can imagine how LITTLE talk of sex there was in our house growing up!
            First of all, I suppose, is the intersection of sex and work. For most people, it’s not front-and-center. There may be the office romance, or the clichéd affair with the secretary for the suit-and-tie crowd, but mostly you’re there to WORK, not PLAY. You’re in a different universe, really, because you get to do both.
            You make a really poignant point about your co-stars. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t considered that. In very few words, you make them REAL. Living, breathing individuals who refuse to be limited to society’s definition of “porn star.” You also make an eloquent statement as to what an open relationship has BROUGHT TO the bond you share with Dirk. You do an incredible thing by actually allowing this to enhance both your personal growth as a human being and your relationship. That requires buckets of maturity, self-awareness, and an intuitive sensitivity to oneself and one’s partner that most people don’t possess. I can think of ten different scenarios where your situation would end in drama, disaster or homicide if one were to substitute two other men for you and Dirk.

            Reply
  10. James
    James says:

    Khalil Gibran tells it like it is, and this is one of my favorites. For me turning into my parts of each of my parents is an opportunity for growth, wonder and laughter.I often said I’ve become my Mother, and as continue to take a closer look at my behaviors I can now say the same about my father. Thanks for sharing this.
    James.

    Reply
  11. Jack McNulty
    Jack McNulty says:

    I believe our community has the vocation of returning play to sexual love. Like the Jesters in the royal courts of previous ages we speak truth to power not by imitating the heteronormative stance of the culture but by offering a critique of it. Over 50 percent of marriages fail.. There is something wrong that I believe we can address in a creative fashion. Why not show what fun, pleasure and joy can do within a sexual relationship? Everyone assumes they know. I’m not so sure.

    Reply
    • Becca Locke
      Becca Locke says:

      Jack, as a straight woman in the 0-for-1 category, I think you make a valid point. The fact is that straight culture has always been more likely to look kindly on gay relationships when they mirror our own–given the marital track record, I’m not sure this is the best course. I would not wish, even on my worst enemy, the dynamics of the straight relationships that I’ve either been in or observed first hand. Rather than trying to preach, I think we should take a humility pill and look to see what we can LEARN. I think it would be a real eye-opener.

      Reply
  12. Kenny
    Kenny says:

    I have following you and your relationship with Dirk and it is inspiring to witness such a deep love between two people. I’m sure everything isn’t always perfect but you both are so committed to each other and it’s such an honor to be given that window your lives. I appreciate it because it gives me hope for myself that I will find someone who is as special to me as Dirk is to you. Continue to do you because it’s working. 1Love! Kenny

    Reply

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