I have never done particularly well making long-term romantic connections with women.
In fact, most of my recent public appearances have been solo or in the company of male friends. These days, that’s prima facie evidence of gayitude. Maybe I should just come out and admit it. By the standards most people use, I am gay. Except for the actual body contact.
The move has been thoroughly liberating. I’ve been able to confess my agnosticism on the gay marriage issue–not out of any particular political passion—but because marriage of any kind has never been my thing. I couldn’t be that ambivalent when I was straight.
No longer do women seem bothered if my gaze settles a bit too long on a coveted body part. As a gay man, I’m free to explain it away innocently.
“Were you staring at my boobs?” asked a trophy wife playfully.
I blamed God. “Look where he puts nipples: the first place anyone looks.”
Once I established my gay bona fides (including an assumed default expertise in matters of fashion), I could even tease women about their low-riding jeans without fear. “Honey, I think I can see your labia.”
Is it possible that my freedom of speech is freer than yours?
What’s odd about my life since I came out is how willingly women now confess their loneliness and offer their most intimate confidences. Over drinks. In chic dressing rooms. In richly appointed sedans. And I’ve got to admit, it’s a bit of a turn-on.
When a power player’s emotionally battered wife needs a temporary escape from her disintegrating marriage, I am there with a comforting word and, sometimes, my willing flesh. If I knew I was gonna get lucky this often, I’d have come out years ago.
After she caught her husband sharing a public john with a fellow executive, she barged through my front door and announced with a venomous whisper, “I’m gonna turn you straight.” She executed a near perfect wrestling takedown, ass over elbows, on my living room sofa.
She wasn’t so much giving pleasure as she was bathing in her own pain. Toned skin engorged by sadness. It made her perfect. It used to be, if it was lack of commitment you wanted, I was your man. But, where she was concerned, I was prepared to give. I needed to give. I broached the subject of her moving in. I said it to her vagina but I meant all of her.
She swiveled toward my face. Tears spilling over her lower lashes spiked her kiss with salt.
I repeated the offer. “What do you say? You gonna lemme take care of you?”
She seemed to appreciate the kindness, but brought a note of mercenary reality to the moment. “Honey, can you take care of my mortgage? Or my Mercedes lease?”
If we were being adults about it, I countered, “That’s a no on the Mercedes, but I’ve got the rent covered, unless you insist on chipping in.”
She didn’t insist. Nor did she stay around. There was a hollowness in her voice as she opened the door to leave. “I liked you better when you were gay.”
“You mean two minutes ago?”
“Yeah. Before you tried to fix my life.”