Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Sex with gay people, or not quite

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | March 20, 2008 8:03 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: American Idol, black dress slacks, gay bars, gay sex, kelly clarkson, nob hill theatre, paula abdul, plaid pants, polk street, prada shoes, queer sexuality, san francisco, sex, sexual network

Okay, so I've decided that it would be great if I had five or ten people that I had sex with regularly, people who I could call when I was horny and say: what are you up to? Actually, something bolder, like do you want to have sex? Or, do you want to make out? Depending on the mood. But instead of five or ten people to call, at the moment I have the big 000, which feels like so many fewer than one.

I actually have a moment when it's still kind of early and I'm ready to have sex -- that's pretty unusual, usually I want to finish various tasks, creative or mechanical or even conceptual, and then it's late by the time I'm ready. But it's only 8 p.m., so I decide to call a few people, just in case I do actually have a sexual network.

First I call Johnny -- he's the guy I had sex with maybe three years ago, we met at the Nob Hill Theatre and he liked my pants, the pink patchwork plaid pants -- what a tongue twister, who knew? Johnny complimented me on them right away, he didn't have to say all that, just: I like your pants! He was wearing a white t-shirt with black dress slacks, and carrying a flashy embroidered vest, folded over so you only saw the smooth black backside. Anyway, after our time in a booth we ended up walking uphill to his apartment for more and that was fun, we even got together another time and he showed me the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral. I was expecting some kind of shrubbery hiding the path of the minotaur, but actually it was a meditative maze in stone, kind of fun.

He was in finance, that's what he said and I didn't ask him more questions. I did notice he had a large two bedroom on Nob Hill all to himself, he was going to meet his parents in Malibu, and he told me he met one of his neighbors when they realized they were wearing the same Prada shoes. Our time in the labyrinth he was wearing a very trendy leather jacket that was probably Gucci, like his shoes -- did he really say that he wore the Prada shoes for laundry, no maybe that was what he said about the neighbor who he met.

Johnny smiled a lot at things I said, but he didn't have much to add and that was okay when we were making out, maybe a little empty before and after. Actually, after the second time I ended up feeling really really sad, then we didn't talk for a while but he came to one of my readings without me even telling him about it! I liked rubbing his head and giving him a hug, but that was two years ago and we've talked a few times since then -- sometimes he invites me to meet him at a bar even though I told him I hate bars or he calls me, late, when he's drunk, or I call him late, when I'm not drunk, and a month or two ago we ran into each other on Polk Street -- that time he was dressed kind of like a jock, sports casual, and he said hey buddy, which confused me but I liked hugging him anyway. His big eyes got all excited. Anyway, tonight I call Johnny and I say do you want to make out? But I'm talking to his voicemail. The last few times he hasn't called me back, so I'm not necessarily expecting anything.

Number two is the guy who I met on craigslist, the one who's on the way to a bar every time I call him. I've already called him four times, but why not try five -- I mean really, am I worried what he's going to think of me? Maybe, but I get over that and when he answers he actually sounds excited, starts telling me about going to Fort Lauderdale where he was drunk the whole time and it was so much fun, he tried things that he'd never done before -- pissing in someone's mouth, drinking piss, getting tied up, it was so much fun! I say what are you up to tonight? Watching American Idol.

I guess my voice changes a little bit like he said something funny, because I don't know how else to react when someone says they're watching American Idol, or anything on TV really. So then I try to think of something to say, so he doesn't think I'm being shady, but I don't know anything about American Idol except that I guess Paula Abdul is one of the judges and she's messy, and I know that Kelly Clarkson was a contestant on the first one and she struggled with issues about her weight or eating or something like that because Julia wrote about it in a writing workshop I took once. Oh, maybe Clay Aiken has something to do with it, although I don't know who Clay Aiken is -- maybe he's gay, or he got outed, or he's a British pop star -- something like that. So I just say oh, and try to sound more enthusiastic this time -- what are you doing afterwards?

He says he's going to the Cinch for a few beers, then he adds: a bar on Polk Street -- I guess in case I don't know where the Cinch is. I say I could bring a few beers over your house and we could have sex. He says that would be fun, but I'm getting over a cold. Oh, I say -- well then we shouldn't get together tonight, but why are you going out for drinks when you're getting over a cold -- you should stay home and rest. He says I know, maybe I'll just crash out, but I haven't had a drink since Friday.

It's Tuesday. He says we should get together Friday night and into Saturday morning -- I say definitely. But we don't make plans, and he probably won't call me, since he hasn't called me yet.

Number three is the guy who was flirting with me online but he wanted someone three times a week in Berkeley, except then he kept flirting until I said my wrists are hurting too much, why don't you call me? Of course he didn't call, but when I got back from Blow Buddies I realized he sent me a text-to-landline message, I only knew that was something that existed in the world because the guy in finance actually sent me one, a computerized voice saying: hey, hottie! This time it just sounds like Whomp whoohp whomp. I listen again: Whoomp whooh whommh. Finally I realize it says: are your wrists okay?

So I call him, it's been a few days and he answers, I say I'm just calling to let you know that my wrists are doing better, I mean they hurt the next day but now I'm feeling okay again. Who is this, he says. The guy you were flirting with online, you left me a text-to-landline message asking whether my wrists hurt, so I just thought I'd call and let you know. He's doing that thing that gay people do, where they act like you're completely preposterous and you're supposed to apologize or outdo them with snottiness and then you can go back and forth, but instead I just get friendlier and friendlier, asking if he ended up meeting someone, whether it was hot, what the guy looked like, until he's just getting more and more standoffish so I say okay, hope you have a lot of fun!

I could probably have a seriously successful show on Comedy Central -- Sex with Gay People, like Strangers with Candy, without the candy. Or Sex in the City, without the sex. Not that I know anything about those shows, I'm just playing with words. Some gay people would get it, and they would be scandalized -- they would turn it off quickly, but you know what happens when you turn something off quickly -- you turn it back on. Straight people wouldn't.get it, but they would love it: look at that flamer, talking about gay people!

But seriously, a large percentage of the people who I theoretically could have sex with are gay people. Unfortunately we don't have that much in common, aside from sex I mean desire. I mean longing. I know I'm speaking in generalizations, and generalizations are lies, but so often when I try to interact with gay people I'm struck by the dramatic gulf between our worlds. The ways we construct our dreams our politics our desires our imaginations our hopes and horrors our ways of looking in the mirror and looking out, yes looking out we're not looking at the same world. Usually this is okay, I mean it's part of how I've created my engagement it's part of how I survive. But in the world of touch and touching, I'll admit that I haven't figured out where else to go for bridges.

Mattilda blogs at nobodypasses.blogspot.com


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 20, 2008 11:21 AM

Your article makes me miss the good old days when we were degenerates who had more fun and fewer complications. How much pizza do you eat? Leave home once in a while. If you wish to meet someone, (you already know too much about "American Idol," without knowing it)socialize. If you don't like Gay Bars go to a Gay AA meeting or an appropriate church, synagogue, bowling league or quilting bee. What amazes me is that you claim to feel so disconnected "not to have a lot in common" with a great community of humanity that consists of people you should know and people you should avoid. Have something in common with people first and find the beauty of the individual. Don't feel you need to jump into bed within the first day or week. The trappings, trash, commercialism, fetishes, and the rest are just pointless. Do you want the next orgasm or someone to care for you? Find the value of the phrase "companion."

I so hear you Mattilda! This is exactly why I've all but given up on hook-ups. 20% of the time it works and is really hot, the rest of the time it is a major hassle and the sex is so boring I'm in danger of being born again. Maybe it's different in SF

Apropos of Robert, wow, that was patronizing.

Mattilda! Loved this post! Don't know why! It just speaks to me!

What if I finished every sentence with an exclamation point!

Mattilda, you are so on the money.

And if this was a "reality show," you know I'd watch it religiously. Right after Project Runway and Ugly Betty.

Do you want the next orgasm or someone to care for you?

Giving someone their next orgasm is caring for them. Or at least that's what I hope is possible, but you are right it does not always work this way.

Thanks for sharing, Mattilda!

Paris, 20% is a way higher percentage than here in San Francisco :) And I love this line: "the sex is so boring I'm in danger of being born again."

Alex, I will never grow tired of your exclamation marks!!!!!!!!

And Serena, I hadn't even thought of a reality show -- well, hello!

Nick, you always know how to turn things around...

And Robert, well well I've saved you for last, but I'm so glad for Paris's assessment -- patronizing patronizing patronizing. Just because you feel threatened doesn't mean you have to give advice...