Unashamedly stolen from the magnificent Steve over at Lathophobic Aphasia, who in turn stole it from elsewhere. A short questionnaire addressing the hard-hitting issues affecting the place in society of the modern gay man:
How old were you when you knew you were gay?
God, I can’t remember. As far back as I remember having any kind of interest in unclothed human beings, it’s always been directed primarily towards the male of the species. I never played “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” games as a child (as far as I remember): I honestly can’t recall being all that interested in it.
One of my first memories of sexual arousal, however, one that still (coruscatingly) remains with me comes from my final year of primary school: I would have been about ten or so and just becoming aware of other people as sexual beings. Back then our teachers would get changed for PE in the same room as us (something which would cause not a little alarm and panic these days), and I recall looking up to see my teacher in the act of dropping his trousers. The image rather burned itself into my mind.
When did I realise that such feelings weren’t shared by other boys my age? That I might be one of them? Probably about age thirteen or so. I refused to admit it even to myself for at least a further three years, reassuring myself that it was “just a phase” while furtively staying up to watch Eurotrash on my tiny black and white telly in the hope of some gratuitous male nudity. Comical dubbing still causes a stirring in the loins even to this day.
Have you ever had sex with the opposite sex?
Oh god, yes. Not a few times: both in one night stands while utterly plastered and seventeen (the two being largely synonymous in my case), and with a couple of long-term girlfriends- in so far that one has “long-term” relationships when still in one’s teens. Given that I’m in a long-term relationship with another man and that my primary sexual attraction is towards other men, “gay” does not seem an inappropriate self-designation, but the fact of the matter remains that “bisexual” probably better describes my orientation in practical terms. Or it could just be that I’m not all that fussy.
Who was the first person you came out to?
Gods, I can’t remember. I think it might have been one of the members of the musical theatre group my mother participated in when I was sixteen or so, but I can’t be sure. I can’t even recall if my first coming-out-ee was male or female, gay or straight.
Are you out to your family?
Yes. I came out to my mother pretty early, and my father not long after that. Both of them were distressingly accepting and supportive (although my mother initially didn’t believe me, and replied airily “don’t be daft, you’d make a crap gay”), which really didn’t fit in with the angst-ridden scenario I’d constructed in my head.
All that said, however, I’m still not technically out to my grandmother. It’s pure cowardice. Given that I’ve not mentioned a girlfriend for some twelve years now, and I’ve spent the last ten living with another man (who is quite clearly A Gay), I think she might have guessed. She’s stopped asking me when I’m going to “settle down”, at least.
Do you want children?
Why, when beef is so cheap these days?
Do you have more gay friends or straight friends?
The vast majority are straight. Certainly, the only other homosexual I interact with on a daily basis is my husband.
Were you out in school?
No. All-boys grammar school. I’m sure the lads I was fucking at the time might have had an inkling, though.
Have you ever done Crystal Meth?
Surprisingly, no. It wasn’t all that popular in the late 90s, at least not down our way.
Have you ever been in a sling?
Have you ever done a 3-way?
I object to the vocabulary choice of this question. “A 3-way” is not an action. One has a 3-way, or is in a 3-way. But yes. Not since I’ve been married though. I’m the violently jealous type, and it would all end up in blood.
Have you ever dressed in drag?
Cher or Bette?
Neither. Dolly Parton all the way, baby!
Have you dated someone of a different ethnicity?
Yes. Well, for “dated” read “fucked”. If you line up my previous conquests, it all gets a little bit United Colors of Benetton. Or Crimewatch.
Been to Fire Island? Saugatuck? Key West? Ft. Lauderdale? Palm Springs?
Aside from “somewhere in the USA”, I’m honestly not sure where Saugatuck is. But no, I’ve never been outside of Europe.
Have you ever barebacked?
Well, yes. This was due to 10% drugs and/or alcohol (or just haste, on one occasion), and 90% youthful stupidity. At eighteen, one doesn’t really believe that things like HIV could actually happen to you. It took a nightmare HIV scare and an embarrassing little infection which necessitated a few trips down le centre de dépistage to take the entire affair seriously. On the other hand, after a few years together, the husband suggest we cut down on the number of condoms we were buying. I thought he meant we would simply dispense with them: we just stopped having sex as frequently. A disappointment.
How many Madonna CDs do you own?
None. I barely own any CDs at all these days: my entire music collection is pretty much on mp3. Aside from a few early 80s vinyls, which I treasure but have nothing to play them on.
Name of your first love?
Can’t remember. Marcus, I think. Actually, no, it turns out to be James, on re-examination of the school photo.
Do you still talk to him?
No, haven’t seen him since school.
Does size matter?
My husband reassures me that it doesn’t.
Biggest turn on?
Too many to mention. I’m an equal-opportunities pervert. I will confess a weakness for men wearing a shirt and a pair of tight black trousers, though. This has occasionally led to trouble at work. Apparently managers look unkindly on chefs knocking off the waiting staff on the premises.
Biggest turn off?
I find men who are too “put-together” a turn off: immaculate hair, sculpted body, hairless torso, elaborate yet chic tattoos, fashionably tight clothing? All does nothing for me. I prefer my men a bit rough around the edges, personally. Also piercings below the neck.
Ever been harassed due to your orientation?
Once or twice, when I was younger. I might have mentioned an occasion here before. It tends not to happen anymore, which is a godsend as I’m not entirely sure I’m wholly beyond the stage of wanting to settle such things with my fists.
Worst gay stereotype that applies to you?
What, aside from an unquenchable yen for the cock? I dunno. I can be unnecessarily spiteful at times, but I’m not sure if that’s being a bitch or just not having worked out all my anger issues. Or just having an utterly poisonous personality.
Would you marry if you could?
Good god no. One husband is more than enough, thank you.
Would you rather be rich and smart or young and beautiful?
In honesty, I’d be happy with just the rich, and let smart go hang. Although being young and beautiful might be a novel experience: I feel sure that when I was young I was doing it all wrong, and I’ve never been beautiful.
Ever had sex with more than one person in a day?
More than one person in an hour, actually. I see no reason to go into details here.
Do you have any tattoos?
Yes, a couple. One says “but the Devil sends cooks...”, a sentiment which just reeks of gay lib attitudes.
Do you have any piercings?
Not anymore. When I was eighteen and such things were fashionable, I had my eyebrow pierced and a couple of rings in my upper ear. I grew out of it. I was once tempted by a nipple piercing, but the piercing artist (why are people wielding piercing guns considered to be “artists”? It utterly baffles me.) informed me that I have unusually small nipples and that the endeavour would be entirely fruitless. Piercings of the genitals nauseate me, and navel piercings on men are risible.
Would you date a smoker?
I’m married to one. I am one.
Do you know anyone who has died from HIV?
Grinder or Scruff?
I know what the former is, but not the latter. In a committed, long-term relationship, such things are unnecessary. One can spend all afternoon trying to have sex but failing without recourse any technological aids.
Are your best years behind or in front of you?
I really don’t like to contemplate the question. I’m pushing thirty and am going through not a little panic that the former might be the case.
Yes. I refuse to divulge exactly how much, for fear of seeming like some kind of sad, flasher-mac wearing, basement-dwelling pervert.
Make out music?
No. I’ve mentioned before that my musical tastes aren’t really suitable for this kind of thing. Making out to Squeeze’s Up The Junction would rather kill the ambiance. God only knows what impression The Jam’s Going Underground would give.
Ever been in love with a straight guy?
Yes, at school. Although “love” is perhaps the wrong word to describe this particular species of adolescent crushing and obsessiveness.
Did you ever have sex with him?
Yes, the ultimate result being us awkwardly avoiding each other for the rest of term. Some things are far more satisfying in thought than in deed.
Have you ever been to a nude beach?
No, in spite of living remarkably close to one. I have little desire to get my cock out in public. Not only that, I am phenomenally hairy and feel rather uncomfortable even taking my shirt off in public, let alone my pants.
Have you ever been to a bath house?
Not personally. There’s one just opposite the stop from which I catch the bus to work, and it’s always interesting to watch the furtive comings and goings. Some men will brazenly walk directly from their car and straight up to the front door with an insouciant grin, others will scuttle past, turning in only at the very last minute. I have yet to recognise any locally significant figures of authority, though, which is disappointing.
What gay gene did you miss out?
I wasn’t aware that we’d determined it was wholly genetic? Oh, I see. Probably the ones responsible for cleanliness, at the very least.