Mixtapes for Hookers

The Yoko Test

[In honor of Yoko Ono’s 80th birthday, here’s an excerpt from a previously unpublished story about the dumbest boyfriend I ever had, right after college.]

My gums bleed a lot. Mostly it’s because I don’t take very good care of my teeth, but mentally I blame it on bad genes. It makes me self-conscious, particularly on those rare occasions when I’m brushing my teeth with someone else in the room. It’s a terrible sight, foamy and bloody and red and blue and white, like a mangled American flag that’s also foamy and bloody and made out of toothpaste.

If there is one thing that terrifies me, as a single gay man who likes to put various parts of other single gay men in his mouth, it is the transmission of disease through my bloody gums. Additionally, they are unattractive.

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Listening Habits: On Being An Uninformed Music Blogger, Basically
December 2, 2012, 8:01 am
Filed under: music, personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of moving into my boyfriend’s place, and the effect it’s had on my musical listening habits has been as intense as its effect on most other aspects of my life. (It’s different! Good, but different.)

For one thing, noisy music has all but disappeared from my life, barring the nights I left him at home to go see metal bands. (It happened a fair amount.) Instead we listen to a lot of records together: his Shirley Bassey and Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick albums, and my cobbled-together Emmylou Harris, Petula Clark and Blondie albums. (I got Autoamerican this year for the first time, and it’s a lot better than anybody gives it credit for.)

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Report From A Recent HIV Test
December 1, 2012, 9:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


(So, I’m back. Life update coming soon, but for now, let’s just say that I’m back.)

Last week I went for an HIV test, my first in far longer than I care to admit. The results were negative, as I was almost certain they would be. But the experience was pretty unsettling, anyway.

The free clinic where I go is a bleak place, as medical clinics almost always are, I walked into an exam room, sat down, and got asked the same series of questions they always ask. Do you have medical insurance? (No!) Have you recently had unprotected sex? (No!) Have you been tested for HIV before? (Yes!) Do you sleep with men, women, or both? (They didn’t ask the ‘have you ever had sex in exchange for money’ question this time, which I found interesting.)

Then he asked a question that I got a little bit stuck on: What brings you here today?

I just thought I’d get tested, I said. Isn’t that… you know, like… like you do.

It was true. There were no broken condoms, no accidental bareback hookups and I haven’t recently decided to start shooting needles into my arms. I just thought getting regularly tested is what you’re supposed to do.

Nobody comes in here just to get checked out, he said, before going into the whole spiel about how how HIV tests look for antibodies and not for the virus itself, meaning that there’s a three-month period where you you might have HIV but your body wouldn’t have started producing antibodies yet. That part I all knew, but I was really stuck on what he had said. Nobody comes in here just to get checked out.

What about getting tested every six months? I wanted to say. Don’t people do that anymore?

Rather than asking questions—this guy seemed mildly disgusted by my very existence, which I found annoying—I retired to the wood-paneled waiting room, where I tried to memorize the list of countries where Hepatitis B is common. (Malta, for some reason, is the only one I can still remember.)

I left the clinic twenty minutes later, happy about the results but rather despondent that apparently nobody’s going into the free clinic for HIV tests unless they had some kind of slip-up one night a long time ago.

Life Update
May 16, 2012, 4:17 pm
Filed under: personal | Tags: , , , ,

I’m 31 now. Actually my birthday was on Saturday, but things have been slightly out of hand lately so I’m only posting about it now. It was a really good birthday, brunch at my favorite brunch place followed by an afternoon in the park and an evening at a Korean restaurant in suburbia, surrounded by friends and the bright lights of a karaoke room. (I sang “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” and “Objection (Tango)” and “1 Thing” and “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” and duetted on “Self Control” and “Black Velvet” and probably sang other songs, too, although right now I’m blanking on what they were.)

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Someone Told Me Monday, Someone Told Me Saturday…
April 2, 2012, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Actually, though, the party’s a week from Thursday (the 12th).

We’ll be celebrating the new issue at Kings Cross on the Bowery, just about a block away from site of the seedy nineteenth century male brothel Columbia Hall, which features in the issue. We’ll have cheap drink specials, MR MORRIS (from Rhode Island!) doing the DJ business, and homework.

The party’s on the early side (7-11pm) because the idea of hosting anything until 4am is still so foreign and daunting to me. Which is funny, because it’s not exactly like we’re early-to-bed people. It’s free and open to all and people that live in at least six states will be there.

Priests, Murderers, And Other Important Moments In Gay Cinema
March 19, 2012, 10:40 am
Filed under: gay, movies | Tags: , , , ,

This New York Times article from the other day about important gay movies–and specifically the gay movies deemed important by celebrated gay New Yorkers–got me wondering which gay movie has been the most important to me, and I’m slightly at a loss. As a teenager I watched basically every movie released on VHS, and some of them were pretty gay. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was a lot of fun, and Priest was pretty sad, and the Isaac Mizrahi documentary Unzipped was my favorite movie of 1996, according to a hand-written list that I found a few months ago. I’ve mentioned here before my love for Robert Altman’s Prêt-a-Porter, and Bound is just generally a really awesome movie, complete with Jennifer Tilly’s voice and lesbian sex scenes choreographed by Susie Bright.

But how important are these films, in the grand scheme of what it means to be gay and what it means for me personally to be a gay movie-lover?

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My First Orgy
March 13, 2012, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

The story of my first-ever attempt at group sex is up now at Salon. I’ve already gotten one (very sympathetic) e-mail from someone else who went to one of the same parties.