Drifting Further From Reality with Director Drew Tobia

See You Next Tuesday is a movie about a mentally unstable, very pregnant young woman named Mona. As Mona drifts further from reality, and thus closer to her mental breakdown, we watch as the people close to her – namely her alcoholic mother and manic lesbian sister – get caught in her downward spiral. As the film’s website puts it, “See You Next Tuesday is a dark comedy the whole family can enjoy cutting themselves to.”

This Brooklyn-based indie is the debut feature film from director Drew Tobia. Provocative and quick-witted, the movie feels at home in the world of fringe, queer cinema – a descendant of peculiar creative minds like Todd Solondz or John Waters. I recently hung out with Drew in New York to talk about divisive characters, girls who kick ass, and gay representation in film.

(Oh and p.s., I have a tiny role in the film–like literally two lines–and you can spot me in the trailer below the interview!)

Why did you want to make a film about a pregnant girl?

Drew Tobia: Well, I was interested in taking a concept that would be considered “mainstream,” but making it subversive and weird, while also retaining some semblance of heart. I wanted to create weird characters that I pushed to moral and emotional limits, and then dare the audience to like them.

Watching it, one does grow really fond of Mona, despite the fact that she’s a train wreck and not necessarily making efforts to improve herself.

Drew Tobia: That’s partly why I cast Eleanore Pienta to play the role, because she just immensely charming, so she can get away with saying almost anything and people still like her. There are still going to be people who have a violent reaction to her character, but clearly this movie isn’t for those people. But I still love all the characters in the film, even though they do terrible things.

Do you think it’s accurate to put the film in the category of queer cinema?

Drew Tobia: I definitely feel there’s a queer sensibility to the film– not necessarily in the forefront, but more in the execution of the humor, which can be dry and sarcastic, like an obnoxious gay man – a.k.a. me! Honestly, I was a bit surprised when none of the gay festivals we submitted the movie to wanted to show it. The thing is, there are two lesbian characters in the movie, but they’re not exactly the protagonists, and they’re not always portrayed in a positive light – they’re not in a very stable relationship. But because they’re lesbians, some people took their volatile relationship as a comment on lesbian relationships in general. But it has nothing to do with being gay or not – most relationships are unstable!

I liked the fact that the movie normalizes their gay relationship. It’s not glorifying anything about gay culture –the lesbians in the film are just as flawed or weird or boring as everyone else. I find it annoying that so often, especially in mainstream media, gay characters–their personalities and interests–are defined solely by their homosexuality.

Drew Tobia: I know, I hate that! Like, whose life experience is like that? I’m gay and I obviously love gay people, but I think it’s dangerous to define oneself as one single thing. It’s funny – following multiple screenings of See You Next Tuesday I was asked by audience members, “So, why were they lesbians?” And it’s like, “I don’t know, why wouldn’t they be lesbians? They’re just people. Also, I’ve been constantly asked “Why would you want to make a movie about women?” Of course, female filmmakers almost never get asked “Why did you want to make a movie about a man?” For some reason, making a movie about women is abnormal. When I began writing the script, I wasn’t setting out to make a movie about women or the female experience, because clearly I don’t know about that. But I’ve always loved movies about girls who kick ass. I loved the Fifth Element, I love BuffyEnlightened was amazing. I actually think I’m discovering my inner vagina, because I only listen to female singer-songwriters from the ’70s at the moment. It’s bizarre.

Watching SYNT I was reminded of the films of John Waters, partly because of the atypical characters, and also Todd Solondz, for its moments of bleakness…is it bad to us the word ‘bleak’?

Drew Tobia: Well, John Waters was a big influence of mine. When I was a kid I watched his movies on loop, especially Pink Flamingos. And I think you can use the word bleak, sure. Todd Solondz is amazing at capturing characters who are going through an extreme trauma, but portraying it in a way that’s both funny and heartfelt, and that was a big part of what I was trying to do with this film.

See You Next Tuesday is now available on Amazon and iTunes.

People Who Just Had Sex: Deep Gay Love

The new episode of People Who Just Had Sex is out, yay! If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the idea is simple–we go to people’s houses and talk to them before they fuck, wait around while they fuck, and then interview them again after they fuck. 

In this episode I meet Tobias and Brian, a Brooklyn couple who have had particularly unique and experimental sexual histories—from gay porn auditions, to Tobias losing his virginity on a plane, to three-way relationships, to a stint of anti-gay therapy prompted by the Mormon church. The couple met during pride in San Francisco five years ago, and after years of friendship they began dating seven months ago.

And if you’re still thirsty for more after you’ve seen the video, below, Tobias and Brian discuss all the juicy details of their sexual past and present that you didn’t see in the video.

Slutever: So, you guys both had pretty unique experiences when losing your virginities.
Tobias: Well, yeah, the first time I had sex was with a woman… on an airplane. I was 15, flying back to San Francisco from my boarding school in New York, and I was sitting next to this woman who seemed around 30. We were talking, and she got really drunk, and she eventually started slipping me drinks and rubbing my leg like “Oh, you’re so handsome.” She asked me what I did, and I said “going to school,” so I guess she assumed that school meant college. And then she just said “meet me in the bathroom.”

And you managed to full-on fuck in that tiny stall?
Well, she went to the bathroom first, and then I joined—she started to rub my chest, and I touched her breasts. And ya know, when you’re a teenager you get rock hard right away as soon as anything remotely sexual happens. She gave me a blow-job, and then she sat me down on the toilet and got on top of me, and in like 5 seconds it was over.

That’s a hard story to beat. Brian?
Brian: Well, I didn’t really do anything sexual with anyone before college. Then at college I worked at the gym on campus, and one day these two guys came up to me and said, “We’re going to a club tonight, do you want to come with us?” I was so nervous—I don’t think they knew that I was so new to this “gay thing,” but I was drinking my way through it. So they drove me downtown to this club and we were waiting in line to get in, and the one guy literally just put his arm around me and instantly I was rock hard. It was so embarrassing. I was wearing khaki pants and trying to cover myself, but he noticed, and I think it excited him. We ended up not even making it into the club, we just went back to his friend’s studio apartment with a couple other guys. So his friend took out a literal chair pad and put it on his kitchen floor and was like, “You guys can sleep there.”  We started making out, and soon his friends start watching. One thing led to another, and I ended up losing my virginity while two other guys were watching, jacking-off.

Did that turn you on?
At the time it was amazing. It’s so funny though, because when I look back, I never had that whole “romantic, losing my virginity” thing. But in a way I think it was a good thing to just get rid of it, ya know?

Yeah, I guess virginity is sort of like a disease. So you mentioned that you both auditioned for porn, but eventually decided against it. Have either of you ever considered other forms of sex work?
Tobias: I’ve done sex work before. I worked as a stripper, and as a naked cleaning guy, so when I auditioned for porn I’d had experience in the sex industry, but it’s completely different when you go on camera.

Naked cleaning guy—how cinematic. What were your clients like?
It varied. I had “stereotypical” guys that were huge and disgusting. I also had this one guy who had a totally filthy house. I walked in and was like, “Oh my god, am I really going to have to clean this?” And he was just like, “Whatever, just jack-off.” But then this other guy had a house that was eerily spotless, and he just wanted me to walk around naked wiping the clean counters while he jerked-off.

That sounds like a good job.
It’s a great job.

So do you guys ever use sex toys?
Brian: We have. I own a dildo, and we have wrist constraints that we use a lot. Tobias has a cock ring.

We gave you a double-hole sex toy from TENGA to try. I know at first you said that it was a little bit tight for Tobias but now there’s an ultra-sized version of the toy which is bigger. What I think is cool about it is that it’s a masturbation toy, but you can use it together, so it’s creates a different way of interacting with each other. I like to use a couples vibrator for that reason.
Tobias: 
Yeah, that’s why I really enjoyed the toy too. When we first started dating, we did a lot of just mutual masturbation, which I think can be really intimate.

Brian: Yeah, when we started dating we waited almost two months before we had full-on sex. We fooled around, but it was important for us to take our time, because the goal was for this to be a serious thing. But masturbation with eye contact can be just as intense as sex. It’s hot watching someone give themselves pleasure—watching their movements, and learning what they like it. I personally really liked the egg masturbator too. It looks like your dick wouldn’t fit in it, but it’s actually really stretchy. It’s this really weird, squishy, stretchy material.

Tobias: I was using the egg on him, but I had to stop because he was about to cum, and we’d only just started fooling around.

Have either of you ever experimented with non-monogamy in the past?
Brian: I was in a three-person relationship for a year in college. The other two had been together for a couple of years before I joined, so I guess I was their “secondary parter,” as it’s called. And then sometimes we would bring even more people in, so I’ve had a fair amount of group sex.

Is that complicated?
It was fun, but yeah, it can get complicated. I ended up breaking up with them, but they stayed together.

But you guys are monogamous now, right?
Yeah, we’ve both had a lot of partners and casual sex, and what I’ve come to realize is that, when you’re in a relationship and building a life together, or even just building a sexual relationship together, the more you get to know that person, the better the sex is. And yes, I can find someone on my phone or go to a gay club and just have random sex, and it would probably be good, but our sex is better because of the level of intimacy we’ve established. I know that I have flaws, physically or whatnot, but I also know that Tobias is very accepting of me, so I can just be myself and not have to worry about ‘does my butt look good from this angle’ or whatever.

Tobias: Yeah, I think in terms of casual sex, you’re always trying to look good—to present a certain experience. But we’ve gotten to know each other on a very intimate level, and we’ve talked so much about our physical and emotional flaws. It did actually take me a while to get out of my head, but eventually I felt comfortable enough to Brian to let go, and that’s when sex becomes truly amazing.

Ask Slutever: How Does One Lesbian?

Pic from the new erotic publication Fetishisms Manifesto Vol 1 

I’m 21, living in Wellington New Zealand, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m actually a lesbian. So… how does one go about lesbianing? I’ve told my friends about my lesbianonic intentions, and honestly everyone gives like zero fucks and is like “grrrl, go get that pussy,” but how do I actually embark on that? I want to bone someone who looks like they could be in Haim, or like Jemima Kirke and/or Krysten Ritter. Personally I’m average build with big boobs, I suppose I’m “medium girly,” and I mostly dress like a hipster librarian, but when I go out I take the Joan Holloway vintage dress route. I don’t know any lesbians to give me a lesbian makeover, à la Slutever on Vice, and subsequently don’t know where to start. Help! Vaj Confusion

First of all, congratulations! Right now is such a glamorous time to be a lesbo. Your style sounds amazing and I certainly don’t think you need a makeover. I know on the “Grey Area” episode of my VICE show I got a lez makeover, because I wanted to look more gay to increase my chances of getting with a femme lesbian. I think often, when we think of lesbian couples, we think of them having a “masculine”/feminine dynamic, the same way that straight couples do–aka you have the more girly partner, and then you have the more tomboyish or androgynous or butch partner. But this, of course, is not always true. The lesbian writer Amy Coopes had something great to say about this, in an article she published debunking “urban legends about dykes.” I’ll share what she said with you:

MYTH: ONE OF YOU IS ‘THE MAN’

Unable to process anything outside of the ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ gender binary, many straight folks (and some queers too, mind) find it hard to comprehend a relationship that doesn’t have a masculine-feminine dynamic. I’m not talking about Judith Butler’s gender-as-performance or butch-femme roleplay – I mean the flat-out misapprehension that a legitimate relationship has to have someone in a male role. If I had a dollar for every person who, usually in drunken conspiratorial tones, asked me who was ‘the man’ in my relationship I’d be wealthy enough to pay La Butler to accompany me to parties and bitchslap some sense into people. Gender is not innate, it’s fluid, and it shifts from relationship to relationship and even within the same relationship over time. When people (usually dudes) ask who the man is, they are either wondering who takes charge or, more often, they’re wondering what you do under the covers. Memo guys: it’s none of your business.    

However… I will say that in my own personal experience with girl-on-girl hook ups, and from having hung out in lesbian scenes in NYC and London, I’ve found that style and appearance does play a role, in a different and perhaps more significant way than it does in heterosexual hook-ups. Now, I’m going to try to explain that in a way that avoids making any offensive blanket statements, but I understand that I’m about to step onto treacherous ground, mined with stereotypes…

First, I’ll give you a personal example: In my current relationship, I do feel like “the girl”–aka I wear dresses and makeup and order salads at restaurants and cry about my feelings. And my girlfriend, who’s an androgynous/tomboy type, definitely likes to be “the boy” in a lot of ways, for example she wears mens clothing and boxers, she pulls out chairs for me and stuff (for realz!) and when we have sex she’s dominant, she penetrates me far more often than I do her, and when we occasionally decide to use a strap-on she’s the one who wears it. This, of course, is just my own personal relationship experience, and is in no way “the right way” or “the only way” do things in a lez couple, but I’m trying to illustrate that our dynamic, or one similar to ours, is fairly common in lesbian couples. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy all the girly things about my girlfriend (obviously, or I’d just be dating a dude). I love her boobs and going down on her, and the fact that we can go bra shopping together, and that we can share yeast infection medication and lots of other sexy romantic stuff like that. But I also do enjoy that within our relationship I still get to play a very feminine role.

I’ll give you another example: I have a female friend here in New York who’s into girls, and she looks very feminine, and she’s constantly complaining that she finds it hard to get the types of girls she likes. She says that in New York the butch/femme dynamic prevails, making her an anomaly. She’s always saying, “Do I seriously have to put on a fucking denim vest and wash off my lipstick in order to get a bombshell to fuck me?!” And for a while she actually tried it–the whole denim vest and no lipstick thing–but eventually she was like, “Eww, I fucking hate denim vests, fuck this, I’m moving to LA.”

Apparently, so I’ve heard through the lesbian grapevine, Los Angeles is a magical place where all the lesbians are lipstick lesbians and love it, and girly-girls bone girly-girls all day long. Considering that I don’t even know what the lesbian scene is like in Wellington, I may have just gone off on an irrelevant tangent, sorry! However, I do find the dynamic of lesbian relationships to be interesting, and it’s something I’ve wanted to write about on this blog for a while. And you did ask me a question about style. And so now I have something else to say about style, because I do think your style will affect your new gay dating life in yet another way, different to the one I already mentioned. OK, so:

You are a lesbian who effectively dresses like a “straight girl.” When you are out in the world, the average passerby or person you meet in a bar will most likely process you as a straight women, because you dress femininely, and because that’s just how our hetero-normative world functions. However, that means that other lesbians–feminine or otherwise–may not know you’re a lesbian, and therefore may be less likely to hit on you. Historically, this is why people of various subcultures have chosen to dress in a way that clearly labels them as such–it’s a way of advertising to other people within that subculture, “Hey, look at me, I’m like you!” There’s a reason leather daddies where leather and why a lot of lesbians have short hair, and why girls who wanna get boned go out wearing vagina-length skirts–the way we dress is a way of advertising who we are and what we want to the rest of the world, and every time we get dressed we are selling ourselves. (I talked about this once before in an article for Vogue if you want to check that out.)

Basically, you’re a lot like me. We’re both the type of girl who wants to fuck other girls, but who isn’t manifesting that desire physically, through our style, in the most obvious way. And what that means is that we have to be a little bit more aggressive about that desire in other ways. For example, you should definitely start hanging out at lesbian and gay bars and events. That is certainly the easiest first step. And when you’re there, you should be assertive–be the one to start conversations, dance with people, give sexy eyes, whatever. Because remember, even if you’re at a gay night, if you’re in a dress and makeup, people might just think you’re a fag hag. But don’t fret, you can flirt your way out of that one! And why not join OKCupid or another dating site as a lesbian? No harm or shame in that. And also, don’t be afraid of hitting on straight girls, because they can be turned very easily :)

Oh, and if you’re asking me how to hit on or actually have sex with girls, well… that’s a whole other story. But the advantage here is that you are a girl. Treat other girls how you would want to be treated–be sweet, charming and complimentary. Girl-on-girl sex is weird (but also very exciting) because it can be done in like a million different ways, but discovering that, and finding out what works for you and your parter, is a huge part of the fun, so I’ll let you handle that bit on your own.

Blue is the Warmest Color Improved my Sex Life

The title of the post pretty much sums it up, really. Not that my sex life was ever bad, but I’ve been dating my girlfriend for the good part of a year now, and you know how it goes–things slow down, people get “tired,” vibrators get lost under the bed. That’s normal, right? I told myself it was. However, “Blue…” has ignited a new spark. And I don’t think it’s solely to do with the drool-inducing sight of Lea Seydoux’s hot naked body.

Obviously, now that I’m a lesbo I’ve been wet with anticipation of “Blue is the Warmest Color” for months, ever since I first heard about the heated, lesbian coming-of-age story and its marathon sex scenes when the film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes back in May. I’d read all about the controversy surrounding the film–claims that it was tainted by the male gaze, that the sex scenes were unnecessarily long and pornographic, and about the actresses’ slanderous accounts of the director’s grueling working methods. However, I’d also read many praising reviews, and the film got an overwhelming positive response from my peers: all my lesbian friends told me they loved it, and how they felt Blue was finally a film that represented gay girls in an honest, non-stereotypical, non-cheesy way. One friend said, “It was great to see a film about a lesbian relationship where in the end, it was the straight girl who was the crazy one.” And in response to the controversially long sex scenes, my lesbian roommate put it pretty well: “Straight couples have sex for like five minutes, but lesbians have sex for like five hours, so if you look at the ratio, it makes sense that a lesbian sex scene in movie-time would be twenty minutes long.”

I finally saw the film a couple weeks ago. I have to admit, when I went to see it, I was not in the most lez-positive mood. For some reason–perhaps a slump in my own relationship?–I had occasionally been falling victim to very stereotypically cynical thoughts about the lifestyle: “Why do so many lesbians dress so badly?” and “What’s with all the frumpy blazers and asymmetrical haircuts and awful shoes?” and “Girls have too many feelings.” Basically, I walked into the cinema thinking, “I love my girlfriend, but being a lesbian can be kind of traj sometimes.” I walked out three hours later thinking, “Being a lesbian is the coolest, hottest thing a person could ever be. I want to be gay forever.”

This freaked me out–not because I’m scared of becoming full on gay or whatever, but because my sudden shift in mood made it so obvious to me how severely and transparently I am influenced by the things I see. We all know this to be true; we’ve been told it a million times: we see skinny models in magazines, therefore we want to be thin; we see Rihanna drinking Vita Coco, so we want to drink it too; monkey see monkey do, etc. However, as a smart, tuned-in person, sometimes it’s easy to be in denial about just how much the media, and the images that make up the world around us, affect the way we think and feel. As someone who works in the media, who’s aware of how trends and the zeitgeist are created and entered into the wider consciousness, I felt that I was in some way uniquely above the brainwashing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

It made me think: why had I, at certain cynical moments, felt that being a lesbian was “uncool.” Well, I hate to say it, but there’s a serious lack of lesbians and bi girls in the media today–both real and fictional–to represent an alternative. Of course, there are amazing women like Beth Ditto and JD Samson holding down the fort, but we need more women like them, especially in the mainstream. Yes, Ellen and Portia and Jane Lynch are great, but are they still all we have?! What about women who us younger generations of girls can relate to? All we get is the one-dimensional, reality-TV-made stereotypes on The Real L Word? Nightmare.

Orange is the New Black is a great new show that portrays lesbians, but we can’t ignore the fact that those lesbians are in jail. One media moment of semi-recent history that I recall as being really amazing and sexy was when Amber Heard walked down the red carpet with her girlfriend Tasya van Ree. I want more of that! And also, I know people love to hate on Lindsay Lohan, but can we please give her some credit for the fact that, as one of the most famous women in the world, she very publicly dated a girl, and never felt the need to make some grand issue about it–it was just, “Yeah, I’m being gay now, so what?” (Oh, and are Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora actually dating? I really hope so!)

Put simply, after I saw Blue, I felt like I had new idols. (Is that cheesy?) I really connected with the characters on screen, and I left the cinema wanting to have sex like they had, and wanting to be in love like they were (in the first half of the film, anyway); being with a girl seemed exciting and erotic, and I suddenly felt part of something special, rather than something “traj.” Of course, deep down these are things I always knew, and always felt. But unfortunately, it’s far too easy to get down on ourselves, especially when we don’t have people and art and words and music and in our lives that support and inspire us. We cannot be what we cannot see, and until we see more smart, interesting, cool, sensual, romantic, powerful gay and bi women in positions of influence, it will be a difficult to aspire toward such an image.

Confessions

Photos by Emily Hope

About a month ago, after having kept my current relationship a secret from her for quite a long while, my very Catholic mother found out that I’m dating a girl. Given that over the past few months I’ve written multiple blog posts about my current lesbianness (one with the very non-discrete title “I’m Gay I Guess”), I knew it was only a matter of time before my mom heard the news. Still, I’d been having a lot of anxiety over when that time would be, exactly, and how our subsequent “Oh my god you’re a what?” conversation would pan out. Differently than I expected, however, my mom didn’t hear the news through my blog. (Note: my mom claims to not read my blog, both out of respect for my privacy and for “the sake of our relationship,” but I’ve always assumed that she sneaks the occasional peek. Now, though, it seems that she honestly doesn’t, which is pretty cool of her.) What actually happened is that my mom found out all by herself, based on her own motherly intuition. How do moms just seems to know everything?

According to mom, her first hunch that I had gone over to the dyke side came about five months ago, during a conversations where I was speaking “uncharacteristically giddily” about “my new best friend.” (Gross.) Her hunch was further confirmed by the fact that, for the past six months or so, I hadn’t confided in her about any new boy crushes, which according to her was “a tell-tale sign that something was up, given that you usually fall in love with a new boy every other week.” Can’t deny that, really.

Now, I should probably mention that I do feel sort of hypocritical for not being up-front with my mom from the very beginning, me being a sex blogger whose prime ambition is to create an open dialogue about sex and all. But my excuse is: I was scared as fuck! Like, my parents are really religious. Not the scary, ‘burn the fags’ type of religious, but they are conservative in a lot of ways. And as we all know, even if someone is “OK” with people being gay, there is a big difference between “people” and “my kid.”

My eventual conversation with my mom about the ‘girlfriend issue’ ensued much how I expected it would. Rather than being angry, my mom was more “disappointed,” and even more than that, confused. It went something like this:

“So I don’t understand, are you coming out? Are you GAY?! Has your entire life been a lie?”

“No, I’m not coming out, I’m just dating a girl right now. I’m not gay, and nine out of ten people that I find myself attracted to are men, but right now I really like one person a lot, and that person happens to be a girl. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this.”

“But if you like boys too, why couldn’t you just choose to date a boy? Wouldn’t that make life easier for everyone?

“It wasn’t really a choice. It just happened.”

“Well Karley, you really make some very questionable life decisions.”

“How so?”

La cause peut être simple, parce que l’humanité a trouvé, mais d’autres recherches pour voir si les questions de gestion de poids liés à la feuille de bilan si les probiotiques. River Flux en raison d’un mosto de retour amendé ou at least one from the minerals council that are into australia gideo ou Kamagra – la substance qui fournit une action de la drogue magique. Grâce à un nettoyage en profondeur des composants ou malheureusement, il s’agissait de contrefaçons non contrôlées https://molecule-enlignepascher.com/ et honnêteté lors de sa réunion, blutandrang, die angenehme Wärme im Genitalien, lorsque des degrés élevés de c.

“Are my grandchildren going to be adopted?!”

“Eww Mom! As if I’m going to have kids! Gross!”

“I just don’t get it–after this, will you go back to dating boys?”

“I imagine so. I can’t be sure, but probably.”

“OK. Well when will that be, exactly?”

Strangely, I feel like the conversation might have actually been easier if I could have just said: “Mom, I’m gay! I was born this way! Deal with it!” This would still have been hard for her, obviously, but it may have been easier for her to wrap her head around the idea of me being simply A GAY PERSON, than me being a sexually fluid, grey-area, ‘I’ll fuck anything that moves’ free-floating nightmare. However, to my mom’s defense, during our entire conversation she never lost her temper, and she was clearly trying to understand where I was coming from, despite the very obvious look of devastation on her face. She even said, “Ultimately, I just want you to be happy” more than once. (Although the word “disappointed” was thrown around a lot too.) The conversation finally ended when she said, “OK, I guess I understand… you’re like Anne Heche, right?” Lol.

Sidenote: On the topic of bisexual celebs, à la Anne Heche, I feel like Lindsay Lohan should get more credit for how open and ‘no big deal’ she was about her lesbian relationship with Samantha Ronson. Remember that weird blip in the Lohan timeline? Lindsay straight-up didn’t give a fuck–one day she was straight, the next she was gay, and she was never the slightest bit apologetic about it, and she never felt the need to publicly explain why or how she could be in love with a girl, when she mainly dates men. That is pretty fucking cool, especially in the super closeted world of Hollywood. What other celeb has done that? Why isn’t Lindsay a “GREY AREA” icon or something?

But anyway, back to ME! Now, I didn’t write this post with the moralistic ambition of convincing everyone they should follow in my “brave” footsteps and talk to their parents about their gayness or greyness or whatever. I understand that it’s really hard, and that sometimes it ends badly. But I will say that I personally felt better after talking to my mom about my current situation, mainly because keeping secrets is really stressful! And actually, I was pleasantly surprised by how cool she was about the whole thing. Also, what’s important to remember in situations like this is that deep down, our moms (and dads, too) just want us to be happy. So even if you choose a life path that’s different to what your parents wanted for you, if you explain to them that the path you chose is making you feel fulfilled and happy, most of the time, in the long run, they will be happy too (even if after the initial confession they spend 40 minutes crying in the basement, blasting Cat Stevens). OK, I’m done being cheesy now.

50 Shades of Gay

I love TED talks just as much as the next guy. Recently I’ve started putting them on in the background while I’m doing random every-day stuff–like cooking or putting on makeup or reluctantly doing crunches–so that I can learn without actually realizing that I’m learning. It’s a great trick. Above I’ve posted a TED talk I think everyone should see. It was given by the artist iO Tillett Wright earlier this year, and is amazingly titled “50 Shades of Gay.”

IO is someone who grew up between genders and sexualities. She talks about this in her TED presentation, and also goes on to discuss how most people consider themselves to exist somewhere in between the two extremes of sexuality–somewhere in the GREY AREA–which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination. It’s no news that the United States discriminates against the LGBTQ community, from marriage equality to workplace discrimination and beyond. But if everyone is grey, then where does one draw the discriminating line?

If you remember, last fall I released an episode of the VICE Slutever Show called GREY AREA. It’s about essentially the same idea–“What if I’m not totally gay or straight? Does that mean I’m a freak? No, it just means I’m grey, which is cool because grey looks good on me actually,” etc. I re-posted the vid at the bottom of this blog post in case you didn’t see it the first time around. Or if you just want to re-watch it. Endless lolz!

P.S. In 2010, iO began a project called Self Evident Truths, where she photographs anyone who feels like they fall within the LGBTQ spectrum, from bisexual to transgender. The photos are intended to humanize the very varied faces and shades of gay in America today. You should check it out. Or really just watch the TED vid, because it’s all explained there.

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Am I Normal? – Gay with Cerebral Palsy

Photo by Coco Young

Edward is a 25-year-old writer and editor living in New York City. He recently wrote an extremely funny and touching book about his life as a gay guy with cerebral palsy. The book will be out next year. I talked to Edward about dating, anal stretching, and what is means to “water your self-esteem plant.”

This may sound strange, but we’ve met in person many times, and I never knew you had cerebral palsy until you told me. I just thought you had quirky mannerisms.
Most people can’t tell. It’s like: He’s just gay! Gay or disabled. Not clear.

Lol. So is your CP mild?
It’s mild, but it’s still there. I have a limp. I was born with mild cerebral palsy, and CP really affects you the first 12 years of your life because you’re growing, so you have a lot of surgeries, and blah blah blah. I had leg braces and shit like that. Then, when I was seven I had an Achilles tendon lengthening surgery. So that was pretty intense. I had a body cast for two-and-a-half weeks, and I was in a wheelchair for three months. But it all levels out–you kind of plateau in a weird way–when you hit puberty. I was in physical therapy ever since I can remember. When I was younger, I had this fantasy about going to physical therapy and finding a CP BFF, and we’d commiserate about how sometimes we drool and how hard it is to put the key in the door.

What was your first dating experience like?
Well I came out of the closet when I was 17, my junior year of high school. I had met this guy who I was obsessed with, Sam. I remember seeing him across the quad wearing this Smiths t-shirt and thinking, “I need to be with him.” He was Mexican, tan and really beautiful. I knew he was gay – muscle shirts, The Smiths–hello! So I became friends with him, but I knew if I wanted to be with him that I had to be out of the closet. So I came out to everyone I knew in two weeks. It was great, I threw a party.

Did your parents care?
No, they didn’t give a shit. Give me a break. I don’t relate to the whole ‘tortured coming-out, Glee, It Gets Better’ thing. Being gay has always been pretty good for me. But anyway Sam and I started dating and it was my first teen love experience. I lost my virginity. It was really great.

Did Sam know you had CP?
Yeah, everyone in my town knew. I don’t think Sam knew exactly, but he obviously knew something was wrong with me. I remember talking to him about it one night when he slept over, and he just said, “I don’t care, it’s fine.” It was so validating to hear, because I genuinely thought I was going to be alone forever. Like I remember when I had my self-affirming “I’m gay” moment. I was 12 and watching Cruel Intentions, and I was like “Whoops, I like Ryan Phillippe better than I like Sarah Michelle Gellar.” I remember thinking, “This is it for me, no one is going love a gay guy with CP.”

Gay and CP–double whammy.
Oh yeah. It was like, “I’m fucked. See ya, that’s a wrap for me!” So getting validation from someone like Sam who was able-bodied and attractive was very, very crucial. I needed that. And we had a lot of sex.

What was the first time like?
Well the first time hurt a lot. What happened was – this is so insane – we tried to do a position with my legs in the air. Now, because of the CP my muscles are very tight. I am not flexible to say the least, honey. My legs can sort of go up–I mean, it’s not Cirque Du Soleil–but they go up to the point where you can get in. But it ended up not really working, and we had to stop a few times. In the end we just did it face-down with him on top of me. But I didn’t really like it, because I couldn’t see him.

Yeah, legs-up anal is too much for a beginner. I think you have to stretch it out first.
Yeah, exactly. For the first two weeks I thought something was wrong with me because sex hurt so badly. But of course, once my asshole got stretched out it was like ‘Oh hey girl hey,’ forever.

So you became more sexually confident after Sam?
Well when we were dating I was still violently insecure. Sam was really beautiful and I was this schlubby, awkward-looking 17-year-old with CP. I always had the suspicion that people were looking at us thinking, “What is Sam doing with him? He can do so much better.” Then there was this horrendous girl at my high school. She hated herself, so she was a mean girl. And at one point she said to a group of my friends, “What the fuck is Sam doing with Edward? He has cerebral palsy. That is sick.”

What a cunt.
Yeah, hearing that was horrifying. It was someone vocalizing my worst fears.

So what happened sex-wise after Sam?
Well we dated for eight months, until high school ended. Then after that me and my best girlfriend both dated the same guy for the entire summer. She would hook up with him, then I would go over and hook up with him. It was some 18-year-old Dreamers shit. But he was definitely gay and couldn’t get hard for my friend. She felt really embarrassed about it, so he told her that he had testicular cancer and that’s why he couldn’t get hard from a vagina.

Casual. So what happened in college?
Well post-high school I was feeling pretty sexually confident, and I was moving to San Francisco for college. I thought it was going to be my mothership, since San Francisco is obviously the gayest place on earth. But I ended up being celibate for two years!

Why?
Basically what happens with me is, having sex is like watering my self-esteem plant. But if I go a period of time without sex, then I go back into my, ‘I’m ugly, no one wants me because I have CP’ mindset, and part of me just shuts off completely. I become afraid of men. And that’s what happened in SF.

I relate to the “self-esteem watering” thing. I sort of hate it, because I don’t want my confidence to be directly related to someone wanting to have sex with me. I want to feel good because I create cool things, ya know? But I also can’t help that sexual attention makes me feel good.
Yeah, of course. Shit, how do we get more confidence?

No clue. So anyway, no one in New York seems to know that you have CP. How come?
I’ll give you the full story: When I was 20-years-old I got hit by a car in San Francisco, and I developed this thing called compartment syndrome. The car hit me and crushed my elbow, which cut off circulation to the muscles and they started to die. I was in the hospital and I had four surgeries in three weeks. Then, when I moved to New York after college, people assumed that I was just an accident victim, and I just didn’t bother to correct them.

Why not?
I was never comfortable having cerebral palsy. It’s just something that no one can ever understand–they are confused by it, it’s taboo. You could get hit by a car today, but you could never have CP. So people are a lot more comfortable with the idea of me being “the guy who got hit by a car” than someone who has been living with CP his entire life. And you can’t turn down sex with someone who got hit by a car–that’s just fucked up.

My ex-boyfriend was disabled; he wore leg braces and walked with crutches. He did a similar thing to you–if someone asked him what was wrong, he would say he had a broken leg.
Yeah, like it’s none of their fucking business. It’s a can of worms that just doesn’t need to be opened every goddamned day. So moving to New York was like an instant confidence boost again, because it was like I didn’t have CP.

It was an opportunity to be reborn.
Exactly. And I started dating again in a real way. I moved to NYC when I was 21, and for the next four years there was never a lull. I felt so empowered, so cute and sexy. No one asked me what was wrong. It was the life I was always meant to have. And I got really busy with work and was earning writing success, and was hooking up with guys I never would have thought I’d have a chance with.

But wait, pretty soon everyone is going to know you have CP, because you wrote a book about it.
Yeah, writing the book was my way of coming to terms with it. It’s hard because I’m having to come out to my friends in New York, but I’m so ready. I actually think a lot of my current issues with my disability stem from me not being open about it.

So what’s your dating life like now?
To be honest Karley, I’ve been out of commish for a little while. I haven’t had sex in nine months.

That’s pretty long.
It’s a pregnancy.

So why no sex?
I don’t know. I was really busy with my book, especially since I was working full-time as an editor while writing it. But then, it’s typical of me to create excuses not to date someone. But now I’m making a conscious effort to make that part of my life again. I want to have a lot more sex.

Would you ever do stereotypical gay guy Grindr hookups?
No. I’m not wired that way. I’m too shy. I’m also scared of using OkCupid and then showing up with a limp. It’s a serious issue for me.

Would you ever join a fetish site in order to meet guys who are specifically attracted to people with disabilities?
No, I don’t want to feel fetishized. I need to know that someone would still like me regardless of disability. It feels like I’ll never have enough validation. Especially living in New York. It’s always like, “Why are they with me when there is a Ryan Gosling-esque guy around the corner?” There is this disconnect because I think I am an awesome person, I think I’m funny, I think I’m smart, but when it comes down to matters of sex and attraction, I don’t think I can measure up.

That’s weird, especially within our alternative, creative scene where people sort of praise weirdness. I feel like most interesting, creative people appreciate alternative forms of beauty. I’m never attracted to the classically beautiful type.
I wish I could find the guy version of you, Karley. Everyone is beautiful, it’s a dime-a-dozen. Give me something unique. I’m more attracted to that, too. I like guys with character.

I’m Gay I Guess (Life is Hard)

Follow me on Instagram, I’m @karleyslutever

I’m randomly gay now. I feel very oppressed; life is a daily struggle. My girlfriend and I get evil glares in the street, Christians throw rotten fruit at us, we’re not allowed in certain restaurants, and although we can get married in our (very hip and progressive) home of New York City, as a whole our country is not really supportive of our (potential) desire for a legal union, and therefore I hate America now. So I’m leaving.

I’ve decided to escape to Europe for a couple of months. I haven’t spent any considerable amount of time there since I moved to New York from London almost three years ago now (eek–time flies!), but as of this weekend I will be living temporarily in Paris. My gf will be coming for part of the trip too. Very “romantic” (barf). The gay stuff isn’t actually the reason why I decided to leave. I, of course, am aware that idiotic homophobic people exist in France too (WHY can’t you just accept us for who we are?! We were born this way, GOD!), and that there has been a string of recent hate crimes in Paris connected with French parliament’s current debate over the gay marriage bill. However, hopefully as of next week gay marriage will be legal in France! Yay! A win for Team Us!

No but seriously, it’s actually lolz how much more concerned I have become with gay politics since dating a girl. Like last week, while watching a series of Youtube videos regarding Prop 8, I came across that famous video of Dan Savage talking about anti-gay bigotry at a high school journalism convention (the one where all the Christian high schoolers walk out when he starts criticizing the bible). I was watching the video in my kitchen, and it was making me weirdly emotional, and then in walked my roommate (who by the way is also gay–we roam in packs). And so she was like, “Are you OK? Why are you crying?” And I was like, “Oh, I’m just generally crying for gay rights. I care about this stuff now, because I’m gay.” And she just laughed at me and said, “You’re not gay, you’re just slutty. There’s a difference.” And I was all, “Uhh… excuse me, is this a hate crime?!”

One interesting thing I’ve discovered since crossing over to the dark side is that gay sex is a lot more inventive than straight sex. Since “normal” P-in-V fucking isn’t an option, you have to be creative, and think up other ways to get off. Like I realize the question, “How do lesbians have sex?” seems sort of stupid and naive, but I honestly wasn’t entirely sure of the answer when I got into this. I know that people throw around the term “scissoring” a lot, but let me just tell you, that straight-up doesn’t work. And of course there’s oral, but you’re not always in the mood for that, and it’s also so one-sided. Taking turns giving and receiving pleasure is cool occasionally, but usually it’s the most fun if you’re both getting-off together, ya know? And the same problem exists with strap-ons. I did give in and buy a strap-on a couple months ago, because I was like, “This is what lesbians do, right?” but we barely even use it. It can definitely be fun, but I tend to get self-conscious when she’s fucking me with it, because I feel like she’s bored and it just doesn’t feel like anything for her. Stressful.

So, what’s the solution? Well, the majority of the time we just do hand related stuff, but again, it’s hard to do that effectively simultaneously, because you really have to concentrate and put in some effort if you want to make someone cum with your hand, and like… it’s just hard to find a position where you can both touch each other’s clits and not be awkwardly lying on each other in an uncomfortable position or whatever. See–ughhhh, being gay is hard! However, we’ve recently adopted a new way of fucking that is my favorite yet. Basically, this new method just involves us being in our underwear and grinding up against each other. I Googled it, and the technical term for this is frottage. (Good word, right? Very glamorous/French.) So essentially, what happens is that we simply lie on top of one another and rub our crotches on each other’s legs. It’s surprisingly effective, and it’s very safe STD-wise, because you literally don’t even have to be naked. And I’m pretty sure you can’t get pregnant from it either.

I was recently talking to my gay guy friend about this whole “inventive gay sex” thing (him and his boyfriend are both gay librarians–cute), and he saying how it’s difficult for gay guys because obviously it’s not always the “right time” to have anal sex. And I was like, “Oh, have you guys tried wiggling around on top of each other in your underwear?” and he was like, “Um… no…. but sometimes we masturbate together while holding hands.” I was like, “Aww, total cute alert!”

Anyway, I will soon be live-blogging my frottage encounters from Paris. I got some tips on hot Parisian sex parties and sex shops to check out too. Also, if you’re in Paris and want to invite me to cool stuff, email me here: karleyslutever@gmail.com <3

Vice Slutever Show: Gray Area


God, sexuality can be so #confusing, right?! Like, how are we supposed to tell if we’re gay or not? In this episode, my recent sex dreams about my gurl crush, Mistress Amanda Whip, cause me to ponder, “In sex, does everything have to be black and white–“straight” or “gay”–or can we be somewhere in between, like, in the gray area? Clearly, the only way to solve this dilemma is with a LESBIAN MAKEOVER!!!

This is my favorite Slutever episode to date, so I hope you like it too! I’m also extremely excited about the #all-star cast, including international playboy Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange); Lauren Dillard of the trending lesbian band, CREEP; and of course, the most powerful lesbian of all time and member of Le Tigre, JD Samson. (I had a poster of JD on my wall during that one year I went to college, so this is a pretty big deal for me.)

Later queers!

Special thanks to “the team” – Adri Murguia, Martina De Alba, Greg Eggebeen and Mariano Carranza