Q is a 23 year old grad student from California. He has a fluid sexuality, and experiences long periods of little or no sexual desire.
When was the first time you jerked off?
I didn’t masturbate until I was 14. You know that HBO show Real Sex? It was that documentary style series where they followed around, like, really old fat people at erotic day camps all massaging each other and trading spouses or whatever. So one day I was watching an episode where these hippies were praying to a crystal, and then they all started masturbating in front of each other, and I remember that was the first moment in my entire life that I thought, Wow, I can do that too! Minus the crystal.
And then you did it?
Yeah I just sat there and did it. But then I didn’t do it again for another 6 months. It wasn’t like it opened up a world of possibilities for me. I was just like... OK. Mainly I was interested in whether I could produce semen or not, because I wasn’t sure.
When did you lose your V-card?
The first person I did everything with was my high school girlfriend, Helen. She was Mormon randomly. We had sex when I was 15.
Was it good?
No it was scary and weird. We were having a sleepover at this kid Gabe’s house, who was gay by the way, and Helen and I went into another room and weirdly had sex for like 3 seconds. I don’t think I even came, I just put it in and was like “Oh my god.”
Who was your first boy crush?
My best friend Simon, starting around 13. I was so obsessed with him--probably to this day he was the greatest obsession of my life. Everyone knew, Helen too. The vibe I have now about my sexuality was still in place when I was a teenager, like I quite flippantly could have a girlfriend and have it be a real thing, but also be into a boy, and everyone accepted that about me and no one ever questioned it, and I never questioned it about myself. I wasn’t sitting alone at home being like “I think I’m gay.” I didn’t care, I was just into whoever.
So did you ever hook up?
No. He was in love with this Indian girl Asha, who had literally just moved there from India and didn’t speak English, and every night when we talked on the phone he would tell me some dumb story about this Indian girl, and then I’d be like, “OK tell me that story again, but with more detail”, and then I’d sit there listening and masturbate.
Lol. Didn’t it upset you that he was talking about a girl that he liked though?
What he was saying didn’t matter.
When was the first time you got with a guy?
My first year of college. He was just this kid in my dorm, it wasn’t very interesting. He was like the go-to alternative homosexual, who was like, into Morrissey or whatever. I went to a giant gayass college. Literally the school slogan was ‘Gay by May or your money back’. Every person you met would be like, “So my major is musical theatre with a minor in puppet making and experimental dance,” and you’d be like “Oh, cool”, and then they’d be like, “But I really miss my girlfriend back home sooo much, I don’t know how I’m going to survive without her!”, and then 6 months later you’d run into them and they’d be hosting a gay gang bang in their living room.
So were you hella gay in college?
I wasn’t very sexual in college. I was insecure because I thought, especially with boys, that I was inadequate and not desirable and not “the look” or something. Like, I essentially have the body of a stretched-out eleven year old with a drug habit. I felt like this weird thing that no normal person could find attractive. And I just wasn’t that into sex in general.
As in you didn’t enjoy the act of it?
I think sex is good and interesting, but it doesn’t motivate me, it’s not the only thing I care about. For some people it seems as if it's the constant goal. You know they say a man thinks about sex every 7 seconds? I know that’s something you could never prove and is obviously not true, but the nature of the statement never rang true with me. I can sometimes not think about sex for a month.
What about after college?
I moved to the city, and for the first time in my life I felt like I wasn’t completely unattractive because I was getting hit on so much. My look was definitely “the look” of the moment with the downtown fashion fags. So I spent the next year getting with people a lot--mainly guys--and I was drinking more then, so I was more up for it. And then I had a weird breakdown and was like, “Why am I only hanging out with gay people and going to gay clubs?”
Why is that bad?
Well... people constantly try to define you or place you in a category: gay or straight. And obviously you can say “I’m neither” or “I’m bisexual”, but even that gets an eye roll, or it’s just another label. And gay people are worse. I felt like suddenly I was being defined by my sexuality, and I wanted to revert back to the philosophy I had for myself in high school, which was post-gay in a way, where I didn’t give much thought to it and was just myself.
So what happened after the breakdown?
I didn’t have sex for a while, and when I did it would be weird--like threesomes with boys and girls, or once I got with a female to male transsexual. The traditional binary of gender and sexual orientation had become boring to me, and nothing really felt right or satisfying, so I was searching for new combinations.
I also became increasingly interested in having sex with people who looked really similar to me. I think the interesting thing about homosexuality, or at least androgyny, is that you can project what you desire. And I don’t think that’s necessarily widely lusted after, and I think a lot of gay people would really disagree and say they desire something totally different from themselves, but I really enjoyed the fact that I could style myself to be what I wanted, and I’ve really gotten off on the times that I’ve gotten with people who resemble me. And because my look is sort of boy/girl vibes, both men and women can meet the standard, it’s quite open.
Have you ever been in a relationship?
I’ve been in a couple relationships but they were pretty unconventional. One with a dude soon after college that lasted a year and was essentially non sexual. It was an emotional relationship--a negative one. When it ended I entered a long phase of celibacy. Then another with a girl a couple years ago. We were both depressed and confused about our lives and the only thing that made us feel less shit about the world was to be together. We kind of looked alike. It wasn't necessarily exclusive, and it was more emotional than sexual, but there was some sex involved.
Why always no sex?
I think I have a hard time being with someone emotionally and physically at the same time, and I prefer those things to be separate. Maybe on some level I think sex cheapens what I have with a person emotionally, or that it spoils something, even if it's good.
How often do you have sex now?
Until 2 months ago I hadn’t had sex in over a year. I’ve come to a point where I don’t want to have sex with random people I don’t know anymore, I only want to have sex with people I like, but because I don’t need sex that much I can easily go through these long periods of not having sex at all. But then I start to get this fear of sex where it morphs into something different, where it’s actually been so long that I’m just afraid to do it and thinking about it makes me throw up.
That sounds like bad news.
When I was younger the doctor suggested I could be autistic, which I don’t necessarily think I am, but one of the reasons was that when people touched me it felt like burning. And to this day I have phantom feelings of that after sex acts, which is difficult because obviously after sex people want to be tender and loving and I’m like, “Don’t touch me”.
How many people have you had sex with?
About 40. Maybe like 10 girls, 30 guys.
What do you think about when you masturbate?
I don’t masturbate that often. When I do I generally think about being filmed. It’s a pretty self obsessed fantasy because I’m not thinking about anyone else but myself.
Are your parents accepting of your sexual aloofness?
I don’t really talk to them about it. My mom is semi aware because she walked in on me having sex with her friend’s son on Christmas Eve when I was like 18. It wasn’t a total surprise though. When I was younger I would always rent movies with prevalent gay themes, and I tried to put on an amateur production of The Vagina Monologues when I was 13. Like, red flags in the house. But her walking in on me and that loser kid was confirmation in her mind. Afterward she asked me if I was gay, and I was like, “I just kind of do what I want”. I was very blase. And she started crying and was like, “I just want to know what you are!” and I was like, “Ugh you’re so embarrassing! I am who I am,” to paraphrase Ke$ha.
Do you think you’ll ever be in a “normal” relationship?
I’ve considered that the perfect relationship for me would be a three-way relationship, so the other 2 could take care of each other when I couldn’t be bothered, and there would be enough variety so I wouldn’t get bored.
I guess it’s just about finding what’s right for you. That situation would cause jealousy for a lot of people.
I just don’t think relationships have to be as conventional as they are. I realize there is a standard and a normality in monogamous one-person one-person relationships, but I think it’s settling for terms that have already been laid out for us, that we as people might not agree with, or might individually have the right to say ‘this isn’t the life for me’. And I’m not necessarily interested in the other standard of relationships in the homosexual world, by which gay couples are emotionally monogamous but are open with sex, because I don’t need that sort of vacant sex badly enough. I guess I’m interested in finding new concepts of realty.