Archive | Queer Matters

The Coldness of Strangers

I’ve never been the type to pick up strangers and bed them. When I was younger, my approach was to take numbers—flirt copiously, then drift away. The occasional follow-up dinner, the potential plus one. But bedding someone—taking them inside myself in some way—always seemed so invasive that I reserved it for people I’d inspected closely, actually loved a lot. Perhaps it was the former anorexic in me. I used to joke that bulimics went through sexual partners like water, but we “restricters” hardly ever let anything inside. God knows I never swallowed when I gave blow jobs—too many calories.

Only once did I fuck a complete stranger. I picked him up at the coffee shop where I have met so many of my lovers over the years. Usually when I met someone there, we would commence a long, slow courtship that would take months, if not years, to consummate. Sometimes these people would become friends afterward, more often they never became anything but friends. Friendship really is the highest form of human relationship, anyway—the most elective, the most gracious.

Part of why I slept with this man was I’d just ended it with someone who didn’t deserve any mourning. He’d been my boss—was still my boss, in fact, and wielded a great deal of power over me. So my goal was to get over him as soon as possible—to get the taste out of my mouth, so to speak. 2011 was doggedly pre-#metoo. Continue Reading →

Love Is a Growing Up

All hail James Baldwin, who would have been 96 today and is living proof that a Leo continues to shine long after his tenure on Earth. With his twin values of love and truth, the words of this essayist, playwright, and novelist continue to travel through time to hold America’s broken heart in 2020.

Open any page of any of his books and he’ll be sure to find you where healing is most required. Start here: “Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”

The Ultimate Fool’s Errand

Only once has someone broken up with me in a way that I immediately and completely accepted. Really, this was quite an achievement, because historically I date people off and on forever unless they reveal themselves to be complete sociopaths or get married. (Although my aversion to marriage is well-documented, I am not in the business of making third parties miserable.)

But though this beau was neither married nor a complete sociopath, his breakup line was so effective that we never spoke again once he uttered it. In a low, caressing voice he said: “It seems this is not what we had hoped.”

In point of fact, he was absolutely right. We’d been dating for four months, which is exactly how long it takes for sexual chemistry to wear off when there’s no other glue in place. I won’t bog you down with the details (he did too much coke and considered me too much of a prude) but as I write this I can assure you that, 20 years later, the only real memory I have of that relationship are those nine magic words. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy