I’m frequently disgusted by my own arrogance, and little seems more egotistical than the self-masturbatory experience of a blog post. But I finally gave in in response to Summer Puente’s challenge that the boys “step up their game.” Here it goes.
In the last two weeks I’ve been coming to terms with the reality that I’m really, probably, most likely not gay. And that’s a tough fate for me to accept.
Then again, I never have been gay, or at least never commoditized myself as such—other people may have, and I don’t really mind. This has mostly been fine. It was only problematic once, when a guy I was hooking up with sort of vindictively told my girlfriend I was gay. I was shocked, only because I’d never used that referent, or attached it to him. In this context, it felt ugly to me. It was an accusation.
When I came to Duke, something peculiar happened; I started to garner aggressive interest from men. It happened first when I visited as a prospective student, then at a few parties during first semester, and during fraternity rush—by a T.A. for one of my classes, no less. At first, I spurned the would-be trysts, but they were never less than titillating. They inflated my ego in a maladapted way, as it wasn’t something I could actually talk about. Now, my original reason for abstaining straddled between misplaced homophobia and indifference toward the person proffering these potential interactions—a pretty standard model: drunk male in a fraternity with some kind of social cache and a reputation for misogynism and homophobia. If I was going to do this, it wasn’t going to be with a guy quaking in his Sperry Topsiders for fear of being caught, a guy who needed to blackout scapegoats in case he had to explain himself—I was hoping to find a “man.” I understand that this statement is predicated on exhaustively singular notions, but then so is my sexuality; I’m here, I’m “queer”, and I’m going to ask that you try to tolerate my postmodern flippancy for the rest of this post...
The summer before my sophomore year, I was suddenly enamored of an old friend. We discussed feelings of love and reciprocity over cheap vodka sodas. Days before my return to Duke, we kissed. It was good. It was just what I needed: a summer romance to initiate a whole new world of bisexual morphism and male lust that I could apply as I saw fit. I returned to Duke thrilled. I was officially not straight, and suddenly a categorically more fascinating individual. I managed to avoid the phenomenon (and ostensible rite of passage) of “the closet,” by basically exercising my sexuality (to the chagrin of my religious parents), but rarely even considering it in objective terms. So now I’m stoked—I have the capacity for romance, for finally saying “yes,” and for Gay—Fucking—Sex. Yes yes yes. And I’d heard that guys give better head.
So, I did something new recently. I had sex with a real gay. It was good. Sure, the sex act was purely carnal but (I thought) if I could apply my sexuality in dynamic ways, I could certainly cultivate or conjure romantic feelings more in line with the heterosexual archetypes I’d brought to bear in my formal relationships with women in the past. I went past third base. The rumors were true. I topped a few times, let myself be fingered, learned the correct order for oral and anal sex. And then I started going through the motions—willful social conditioning. I started hanging out with more gay men, visited Legends in Raleigh, Stir in Chapel Hill, Ty’s in New York, earning myself free drinks and attention. I would purposefully reference my interest in men among near-strangers just to provoke a reaction. It was fun and prurient. (I’m kind of a jerk sometimes.) I blasted “When My Boy Walks Down the Street” in my room at night, hoping that—oh boy!—one day I might just find ‘the one.’ And then...I got tired. The sex game lost its lusty allure.
Some of my the thrill of “late-nighting” in frat sections was gone, as I was offered more drugs, less sex. I became disgusted with myself, and not as a self-loathing for promiscuity—I can still count my male hookups on one hand—but because I began to objectify men in a way I never would have done with women. And so in response to this fear, I began to redirect my attention back to the “fairer sex.” I went to Shooters. I got kicked out (no, I wasn’t too drunk, that’s just how I dance). It was awful. As quickly as I’d entered, I wanted an escape. My R.A. recently solicited sex with me and—in ways completely unconnected to the person’s looks and personality—I freaked the fuck out. I’m on edge again, and realizing how precarious the mechanisms of sexuality really are, no matter how liberated my discourse might be. Sure, I can interpret or thematize the experiential phenomena in my life as I wish (ahem) but I remain nevertheless subjugated to my own sexual capriciousness, which is becoming frighteningly more material to me the more I think about it...and the more I write about it. Damnit BDU Blog. But no, really: thanks for deigning me this scintillating, pseudo-anonymous diary entry. I really need to visit Chris Purcell soon.