Illustration by Merlin Mannelly
For this edition of Ask Slutever I’ve enlisted my BFF Bunny Kinney to answer some of your pressing/desperate questions. Bunny has shared his words of wisdom for Ask Slutever a couple times before, and TBH he’s impressively good at giving out relationship advice, especially when you consider that he’s a possibly asexual, gender ambiguous, socially awkward depressive. Bunny has also written some guests posts in the past, mainly concerning life in the London squat we once shared. And I’ve written like 500 posts about him, all of which can be found in the archives of this #relevant sex blog. Smile!
I’m a 20 year old gay guy, and to most people I’m the not-so-token borderline asexual gay, which I guess is partially true, because sex is something that rarely crosses my mind. Little do they know I love meeting up with middle aged men and giving them blowjobs. Really impersonal encounters in their cars and in parks, cruising online and stuff. Every time it’s the same: I meet up with a guy, he tells me how great I am at sucking dick, then I walk away feeling guilty and vow to myself to seek out more meaningful sex the normal way, but give me a month or so and I’m back to lurking cruising sites. What worries me is that I pretty much have no sexual attraction whatsoever for guys my own age and have never had any emotional attraction to anyone. I have never been in a relationship and am someone who likes being alone, but not forever. I worry that my behaviour is going to make me old, cold, and lonely like some of the guys I meet up with. Help! Anonymous
Bunny: I’ve recently been talking to a lot of asexual people I’ve met through various online forums while doing research for a short documentary I’m working on. I actually tagged along on their march at London Gay Pride the other week – you might have seen us, walking awkwardly along and shouting things like “We’re here! We don’t want to have sex with you! Get used to it!” whilst wedged in between a group of middle-aged Christian transsexuals and a lesbian roller derby league.
Asexuals are people who feel no sexual attraction to anyone, but the asexual community encompasses a much vaster range of people who identify in different ways. And as I’ve learned from hanging out with some of them, in addition to “not sex”, their interests also typically include writing fan fiction, watching anime, using the internet, getting cartilage piercings, and talking about being asexual. So basically everyone I did theatre tech with in high school.
Some asexuals are in non-sexual romantic relationships; others eschew from relationships all together. Others hover in a realm called “greysexual” – people who might occasionally experience sexual attraction, or have a very low sex drive, or only experience sexual attraction for people with whom they have first experienced an emotional attraction. There are even a few non-romantic sexuals kicking around the forums – those who enjoy sex but do not want relationships. Kind of like the cokehead one on Two and a Half Men.
My point is, as I’ve found it, asexuality offers a sort of weird window by which to better understand the infinite complexities of stuff like love and sex, sexuality and intimacy. It also reinforces the fact that no matter what you’re into – or not into – it doesn’t make you any less valid as a person or necessarily limit your prospects in terms of finding ways in which you can achieve intimacy outside of the conventions of sexual and/or romantic relationships.
What you’re into now might change as you get older, but it’s also important to accept that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be in a relationship or feeling turned on by older dudes. And although your psychotherapist might try to break it down for you, as I see it, if who you’re into is ready, willing, and not going to kill you or land you in jail – what’s the problem? And perhaps, if your fears of a future all alone continue, you might try to spend some time with a few of these guys somewhere more conducive to conversation than the bushes near the Arby’s parking lot at 3am and stumble upon that seemingly impossible combination of a person who attracts you physically as well as emotionally.
I’m an 18-year-old virgin starting college really soon. I’m really body conscious–I’m gangly and nerdy and just very shy. To make matters worse I went to an all boys high school and think I might be gay or at least bi-curious as all I watch to jerk-off is gay porn. I have been going through this vicious self-defeatist lifestyle, like I purposely did really badly in my final year, only just scraping through with my SATs. It might be depression but everyone has those days, right? Is there any life advice you can offer me? Life’s really just lonely and boring and I kinda hate the world as a result. Henry
The good news is: high school is over. Gone are the days of changing into your gym clothes in the locker room toilet stalls five minutes before all the other boys arrive. Never again shall you fear out over which table of mutants you’ll be forced to sit with in the lunch room. And no one who isn’t a complete twat will ever ask you about your SAT scores again. The last person who asked me about mine was this fat kid called Jeff Bus in my college freshman orientation group who bragged about his perfect score on the math section and then dropped out a few months later to became a full-time weed farmer. News flash, Jeff, we went to art school. We didn’t even have math classes. But we definitely had classes where you could learn to blow glass, so he probably crafted a few artful bongs and felt as if he finished learning everything he needed to in life and just got on with things.
Anyways, hurray! You are now officially free to be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do without feeling the wrath of a testosterone-charged bromocracy upon you as you attempt to inconspicuously cross the hallway between classes. When I reflect on my formative teen years, I feel as if I was not far off from where you are now. Life was the pits. Cowering underneath my Snoopy-embroidered kimono was nothing more than a clueless, 90-pound child of indeterminate gender. As far as I was concerned, if the world that waited outside my conservative Christian high school in Texas did not prove to be any less evangelical, jock-saturated or prison-like, I definitely would put some rocks into my pockets and walked into the Rio Grande.
So, this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you that “it gets better” because that’s what Ellen told me to do. But the truth is, it doesn’t always. Life is quite often a complete piece of shit, but not without its redeeming moments that keep me interested enough to stick around and see what happens. Existence is plagued with things over which most of us have little control – stuff like who are family is or which high school we go to or our body type or all of the hormones rushing through our heads that keep leading us back to the “solo male J/O” section of xTube – and although I have always been a bit on the depressive side myself, until recently I had never before considered that happiness itself might be a matter of choice. And I think that if you really want to choose to be happy, you first have to figure out what makes you happy, and then do it. Just be the gangly loser you are, and as long as you’re keeping yourself busy enough with the stuff you like to do and the people you like to do it with in a place that isn’t completely dismal so that you’re not bored and alone and miserable all of the time (just some of it), then you’re probably going to be alright. It’s what I tell myself every day.
I’m a fairly heavy heroin user. I’ve been doing it off and on since I was twenty-one (I’m turning thirty in a few months), and have been seriously addicted for the last five years. I do not use needles (I snort it), but my use is a good deal heavier than most junkies I’ve known. Most of my sexual life has been spent in relationships. From my high school sweetheart on I found myself losing my libido as the relationship progressed, to the point where I would not want sex even though I still found the person in question very sexy. My last girlfriend did not know I was using drugs and a huge part of our breakup revolved around my refusal to fuck her, even not being able to get it up sometimes. I found her very sexy and wanted to be with her but my libido just dropped off a cliff after the sixth month. I now have gotten down to masturbating about once a week just to release fluids and neither my mind nor body crave sex in the least. I enjoy sex and miss it and wonder if there is any problem with me other than the drug use, and if there is a possibility that I might be able to raise my libido without quitting my vice. Alexander
Like science and religion, or ketamine and jello shots, opiates and sex are simply incompatible. Drugs like heroin prolong orgasm – which might seem like a good thing, especially for Sting or males who ejaculate prematurely – but it basically makes it impossible to orgasm, and in the process manages to rid you of energy, pleasure, and the will to carry on. If you can even get an erection at all, after two hours of joyless, robotic humping, you will probably give up, unsatisfied and very sore. What’s a junkie to do? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Well, at least not if you’re in the toilet puking up because you’ve taken too much smack.
I’m fairly libertarian in my view of other people’s drug use, so I’m not going to tell you to stop taking heroin if that’s what you want to do. And I have known other drug addicts who maintain a relative sense of normalcy and functionality in their lives without turning into complete shells of their former selves – although that’s rare and often temporary. But I’ve never seen anyone stick with their addiction without making some sort of sacrifice elsewhere in their lives.
Just as the asexuals showed me, you can have love without sex. But if sex is something you and your partner want and need, then that kind of compromise is going to prove difficult, especially if you are substituting your shared sex life with your private addiction. I don’t think your relationships fuck up just because you can’t fuck your girlfriends – it’s because you can’t commit yourself to your girl if you’re already committed to something else. As Lou Reed once sang (and as I once dramatically reinterpreted for an 8th grade speech class assignment that led to my suspension): “Heroin, it’s my wife and it’s my life.” And you can’t love your girlfriend just like she really needs – completely, with all of you – if you’re going to stay wedded to your wife.