It’s just a silly phase I’m going through

I’m watching a French documentary on the lives of Les Grandes Horizontales…cocottes…courtesans…prostitutes.

I couldn’t tell you why, but I think if we do recycle souls, then I’ve been a nun, a homosexual converso and a French prostitute. All outsiders. All unconventional. All people who had to find a love outside the realm of normalcy.

Last night I was in Crown Heights with Maddie. The night before we’d noticed just how unseemly the whole scene had become. Covid has turned the neighborhood into LA and wide brimmed hats and Boho dressing are showing up. If I wanted to be in such a place I’d be hanging out in Santa Monica. It’s vile, really. But mostly because it is a copy of a copy of something that once had to have been authentic.

As we got to talking, I confessed to Maddie that I’m just not interested in sex of late. I can’t wrap my head around it. Me! I love the novelty of sex with strangers. Of charming them and holding back so they only get to discover one thing at a time. Of allowing them to discover and uncover me. Of the weight of a man’s body pressing me into the mattress. Of eyes meeting in the dark as chests heave.

But right now? Nuh uh. None of it. I’d sooner wear a ball gown to Taco Bell than put any effort into meeting a stranger.

Why though? Lots of thoughts on that one. Covid, I guess. But it hasn’t changed me. It’s changed others. The intrigue has vanished and men are much less charming. And it isn’t as if foreigners are arriving on American shores eager to sweep me off my feet at the mo.

Politics for sure. The last thing I need to hear is some beta male wax about all the books he’s been reading and which famous columnist said what. But I’ve never prefaced sex with a good political discussion, so that’s not too new.

Some of it is feeling too much affection from strangers in the form of fans (known and unknown) who are following me. It’s hard to feel desirable when the desire comes too easily. I’m allergic to fawning. Getting paid to be me…literally selling my experience and ability…has left me with little interest in winning any single mortal over. I’m not going to try.

And then there was the sort of head fuck that was V.

It’s been a whole strange and novel pattern, really. You meet a cute guy at a bar, you befriend him on social media. You picture him as this cute play thing. But you become friends. Two years pass. And now you’re close friends. And you begin to worry that the friendship might disappear if he knows of your juvenile leanings that are never meant to actually take place anywhere outside of your head.

So you talk it out like adults…who admire each other and are kind to one another. But you make out anyway. And it really is fun. But he isn’t the boy you crushed on…a two-dimensional head with the good hair and the good jawline and the talent. He’s flesh and blood. And a mind and a sense of humor. And now you could sift through a hundred pictures of him and pick out the ones in which he is genuinely happy and those in which he is putting on a smile or a look for the camera. You’ve seen him react spontaneously. He isn’t cool. He’s just V. And that changes things.

When it comes to the sex part though, you’ve already said too much, even before you knew there were stakes. Because you’ve sent him the sex post, which isn’t intimidating as such, but maybe gives the wrong impression. And how do you have sex with a friend? How do you disengage from the intellectual center long enough to allow the emotional and physical centers get a chance?

If you’re me, it isn’t easy. If you’re him, well…it might be impossible. If you’re us…it might be more than impossible.

So you agree that maybe sex isn’t part of the package for two friends who love each other, but who are not in love with each other. And you can have this discussion because there is mutual respect and kindness that supersedes ego. And isn’t that refreshing? Isn’t it great to have everything on the table? Except that it’s not all out on the table because you’re nothing if not curious and there is residual stuff going on in your head. But respect and trust are the names of the game and you’re not going to burn through a friendship to satisfy that curiosity. At least not this one.

So why, when you do try to get the job done on your own, does it not work the way it once did? Never has that been a problem for you. Not even once.

And there you have it. Me in a nutshell. I’m convinced that the only way I’ll ever get this motor restarted is if one of the old guard were to pop back into my life. Someone I already know and trust and have loved.

Whoever this person is that I’m becoming, she’s a lot less reactive and a lot more patient. She sounds awful, doesn’t she?

What do people think about when they’re not thinking about sex? Whatever it is, I don’t want to find out. I want the next great love affair to ruin me and leave me gasping for breath, writhing. Or maybe…

…just maybe…

…feeling placid for once.

Stranger things have happened.

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