by: Patrick Gill
Note: I recently learned that my Grandmother has read/may be reading this site (She apparently appreciates the passion in my work but wishes I chose my words better, apparently being a tough editor is genetic). I just want to ask, if she is reading, to please not read this article. Please. Thank you.)
I am not really good at sex. Really at all. I range from adequate to a slight disappointment, with flashes of good. Even more sparingly am I great.
I do think I would be fun to have sex with. If I were having sex with myself I would laugh, not at me, but with me. It would be enjoyable enough. Sex just isn’t in my wheelhouse. I am secure enough in my personhood to know this.
Though I have said things similar to this, and this exactly, to scores of people, I find myself being asked or participating in conversations/outings that involve me talking about sex. And it’s not only (primarily) heterosexual people asking “You know, how does it work?” Queer folks alike apparently want to talk to me about how to get horizontal, or vertical, or some other obtuse geometry that I have not been limber enough to even demonstrate for half a decade.
Part of me feels like people asking me about sex is like asking one of the people from 17, 18, 20 Kids and Counting what kind of condoms to use; Mama Duggar doesn’t know what “ribbed for her pleasure” means. I have had a handful of sexual partners in the past, all rather vanilla and few venturing off of a bed.
Yet I eventually reflect on some things I have done with and for friends: I have, on several occasions, been specifically asked then gone sex toy shopping with different friends; I have been told that the only reason that two of my friends felt they could go into Leathersport was that I was with them, that I gave them some kind of Bear cred; I am the one who answers the open question “Isn’t that a sex move?” with a quiet but clear yes or no, occasionally telling what orifice and limb are involved; I am the one who buys their friend a drink at their first strip club or slips them singles to tip the dancers if they are short on cash.
This makes me feel like the Mother Theresa of Smut, and in truth, I don’t mind it. I like to listen, I like to help. If I don’t know something I like to learn or point someone towards more helpful resources. Maybe I am in turn learning how to be better in bed (or chair, or rug) through these conversations. Maybe in relaying my stories and anecdotes I have collected from others, I am aiding my fellow community members to safer, happier, sex life. This is what I hope for.
I can say, without it being a less tangible hope, that I take comfort and joy in the fact that I am apparently the person people can feel comfortable enough with to talk about these things. Their things. The stuff they do in private (or public if they are in to that). People tell me about their bodies, what makes them happy, and that makes me happy, that opens up my perceptions of self and society.
I return to hope though, after many of these conversations, that I am no one of the hushed and few people that hears what gets people going. It’s not because I want to hear less about people’s sexy time, but because I want more people to feel free talking about sex with those they feel close to. I want that intimacy to be a conversation among friends, not just a giggle and a whisper between two of us.
Patrick Gill is the Co-Creator of In Our Words, as well as the Co-Founder and Host of the queer reading series All The Writers I Know. He is a poet, essayist, short story writer and occasional performer. Patrick writes the column “B*tch, I’m Miley Cyrus” for HEAVEMedia, is an alumnus of DePaul, has developed LGBTQ-centered anti-bullying curricula for CPS schools and is currently working on LGBTQ friendly children’s books. Patrick is doing so in order to be cute and endearing once again. He is a semi-professional word-hustler and a burrito hunter. His mother thinks everything he is doing is a fun thing to do.