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68. James Gets Cold Sores of the Bum

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Last time we talked, I said I didn’t want to talk about it. Well now I want to talk about it. Put your fork down cuz this about to get nasty. Mom, this will be too much for you. Dad… you still have a flip-phone so nevermind.

Last August, I had unprotected sex with this dude who showed me all the paperwork from his doctor’s visit saying that he was absolutely STD-free. Five days later, I shit my pants at work and slept with an ice pack shoved up my asshole having sex dreams about being sodomized by popsicles. (I didn’t read The Secret but I heard from someone who read the cover synopsis that if you will things into the universe, the Universe will respond. So I stood on my bed with my eyes closed and arms outstretched like Princess Elsa and screamed, “UNIVERSE I WANT FROSTY THE SNOWMAN TO LICKY-LICKY MY MAN PUSSY!”) #bussy

The next day nothing was better. Every time I had to shit, it felt like shards of glass were passing through me. I had been going through this for a couple days, but I thought it was just hemorrhoids so I was just using some god damn witch hazel which was not doing ANYTHING. So Kelley came with me to the doctor.

The doctor made me lie in the fetal position with my pants pulled down while she made small-talk with me about golf. Honsetly, I would’ve rather talked about Serena Williams’ splits,but the doctor was in charge. It struck me that I had been in this same position earlier that week, and it had been MUCH more enjoyable.

Finally, after whispering into my post-apocalyptic asshole about the world’s quietest sport, she said, “Oh, you’re not gonna like what I have to tell you.” At that moment, I thought to myself, ‘You could literally tell me I have three days left on this earth, and I would still kiss you on the mouth just MAKE IT HURT LESS.’

“You have anal herpes.”

…Divine.

The next week was pretty awful. They gave me medication to treat my outbreak but nothing for pain management. I kindly declined my friends’ offers to score me pot or something stronger from the WASPy people they knew. It took three more days until I started feeling even marginally better. Every time I had to go to the bathroom I told my roommates to crank the volume on the TV cuz I was going to SCREAM on the toilet. It still felt like shards of glass coming out of me, and I would bang my head violently on the wall until I was done. At this point of the story, I would like to thank the rapper Desiigner for the songs “Panda” and “Tiimmy Turner”, because I listened to both of these songs every time I took a dump learned ALL the words to both songs. I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, Desiigner, but you made my first outbreak of anal herpes much more tolerable.

Before the meds started kicking in, I went back to the doctor to get some painkillers. They gave me an appointment with a male doctor. ‘I hope he’s not hot.’ He walks into the room. He’s gorgeous. “What seems to be the problem?” I tell him about my broken asshole and how I wasn’t given any painkillers and I was definitely face-to-face with my pain threshold. “Alright, just pull down your pants and lie on your side.” ….’I really don’t want to do that. He’s so hot, and I’m so…herpes. Well maybe he’s not gay.’ As I pull down my underwear, I catch sight of Hot Doctors pink socks. Defeated, I lie down in the fetal position and pretend to disappear as the Hot Gay Hot Doctor spread my ass-cheeks apart.

Now, if you’re ever diagnosed with the Sexiest Virus ever (formerly known as ASS HERPES), DO NOT GOOGLE IT. I was v depressed at first. The doctor told me I would have this virus for life. So I figured I should find some sort of support group to learn to grapple with this. Well the internet is NOT a friendly place for people who are monumentally terrified. All the threads were people posting things like, “Why did this happen to me? I’ve never had unprotected sex. I feel like my life is over. I don’t feel comfortable having sex again. Maybe we should just only date each other. Is there a website solely meant for herpes-infested people to date each other?” My friends thought that this last comment would be a BRILLIANT new dating app entitled”Herpes Ever After”. They even researched to  make sure the domain hadn’t been purchased yet. They were very excited. I have since murdered all of said “friends.”

Here are the things that you are thinking about me since reading this far:
“Well you got herpes because you had unprotected sex.”
“Herpes is gross, and I don’t want it so I’ll never date you.”
“I’m so glad I don’t have genital herpes. That’s disgusting.”

I thought all of these things, too. I was pretty devastated, because I felt for the first time in my life I was involuntarily disgusting.

After the test results came back from my orgasmic swabbing, CityMD made me come in for my official diagnosis. I met with a very awkward male doctor who didn’t know how to sugarcoat any facts. For this, I am eternally grateful. Because by this point, I just needed some numbers and facts and shit so I could realistically prepare for my future with my new bff ANAL HERPES. Here’s what he taught me:

  1. “Cold sores of the bum” is WAY less threatening than the term “anal herpes”.
  2. There are two types of herpes: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is commonly known as “cold sores” where HSV-2 is commonly known as genital herpes. I had HSV-1 on my asshole. Yes, the “cold sore version” in my anus.
  3. 4 out of 5 people have HSV-1, but many people don’t know because they don’t present symptoms.
  4. Some people who never show symptoms of HSV-1 never see any reason to get tested for it. And many doctors don’t even suggest testing patients for HSV-1 because they don’t want to scare them. Yes, your run-of-the-mill STD/STI test does not include a herpes test.
  5. You can learn if you have HSV through a blood test. If you test positive for HSV-2, then you know you have genital herpes. But if your blood tests positive for the HSV-1 antibodies, you still don’t know if you have cold sores or genital herpes. You would only learn this from swabbing the infected area while your body is shedding the virus.
  6. Both types of herpes are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, NOT through bodily fluids. And you’re not going to just get herpes from touching any part of my body. You would have to have intimate contact with the infected area.
  7. If you have HSV-1 in the form of cold sores, you can transmit it to someone else’s genitals through oral sex even if you aren’t presenting symptoms.
  8. Both HSV viruses are transmittable right before an outbreak, during an outbreak, during the healing process after the outbreak, and randomly when the virus is present on the skin without symptoms (which is called asymptomatic shedding).
  9. A person with HSV-1 experiences asymptomatic shedding about 5% of the time. So if you have HSV-1, whether you’re aware of it or not, there are 18 days of the year when you could be transmitting the virus to others even though you aren’t showing symptoms.
  10. There is no way of knowing whether I contracted HSV-1 through the unprotected pound session I had or if I had received it through oral sex on my butthole earlier in my life from someone who has had cold sores at any point.
  11. In my first two years with HSV-1, I can expect anywhere between two and ten outbreaks.
  12. I have only experienced one in my first year.
  13. I take one pill every morning with breakfast. Her name is valacyclovir, and I am very grateful for her. I will take this pill every day for the rest of my life. I am grateful that I had Obamacare at the time of my diagnosis, and I will need to have health insurance for the rest of my life.
  14. Medical friends have said that I don’t need to take valacyclovir every day, and I don’t need to be insured forever. But HSV-1 presents itself when the body is enduring stress. I never want to experience that kind of pain ever, ever again in my life. Thinking about that kind of pain puts stress on my body, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. Yes, I experienced a more extreme outbreak, and yes, they decrease with frequency and intensity over time. But at this time, I plan on being insured/medicated until I’m dead.
  15. Unfortunately, you can still contract HSV even while using a condom. The virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact. If the condom doesn’t entire the infected area, there is still a possibility of transmittal. Thankfully, daily doses of valacyclovir dramatically decrease chances of transmitting the disease to my other sexual partners.
  16. There is a huge stigma surrounding “genital herpes” while no one gives two fucks whether or not you’ve had a cold sore before. They’re the same fugging thing.

I feel like these are all things I should have been taught in health class in high school. But either we didn’t learn any of that or else I was too busy slamming my boner in the desk and then fucking it. It’s impossible to tell.

I’m dealing with my diagnosis much better now. I’ve since started using a gay app called Grindr in which men meet up to pork each other in private and then the next day one of them ignores the other in public and then the ignored one goes home and skullfucks the voodoo doll he made of the man who ignored him. I asked my doctor if disclosing my status to my sexual partners was necessary, and he honestly told me it was up to me. He said herpes really isn’t that big of a deal and it’s highly probable that my sexual partner already has the virus and doesn’t even know about it. I’ve decided to disclose, because it’s the responsible adult thing to do. But I only disclose if we’re going to have anal sex, because that’s the only possible way they could contract the virus from me. I don’t let guys eat me out or finger me. So if we’re just meeting to 69, then it’s none of their business. I’m very responsible about it. Still, after sharing the information, some dudes decide to ignore me. The more kind dumbasses just tell me they’re no longer interested, and that’s their prerogative and I clearly have no hard feelings toward those losers.  And then I’ve had more frustrating encounters, like this one:

*Me and Dipshit are making out. He pulls away to ask me in his sexiest whisper…*
Dipshit: Do you have any incurable diseases?
Me: (Whispering back) Yes. But it’s none of your god damn business.
Dipshit: What do you have?
Me: Nothing that concerns you.
Dipshit: What is it?
Me: You’re not gonna get it today.
Dipshit: Today?! WHAT IS IT?!
Me: I HAVE ANAL HERPES BUT YOU CAN ONLY GET IT FROM EATING MY HOLE OR BAREBACKING ME WHICH WE’RE NOT DOING SO IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

That got him REALLY horny for my juicy-juicy so I sploojed everywhere and I left. AND THEN he started texting me and apologizing for being so intrusive but he’s SCARED THAT I GAVE HIM HERPES. Literally minutes after I left. He thought he contracted my herpes by letting me half-heartedly fuck his fist. Boy, bye. I told him to stop texting me and to educate himself. He told me he thought I was cool and wished me success. Well. All I have to say to that is I AM COOL AND I WILL SUCCEED. SO THANKS FOR not SUCKING MY SEED.

Is that too much? Perhaps that’s overboard. Well if Overboard is good enough for Goldie Hawn IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

Funny enough, the only two people from Grindr who have consented to safer sex with me after disclosing my status has been doctors. Yes, that’s correct bitches, the only two people who have let me sit on their condom-clad weiners have been EDUCATED-ASS DOCTORS. Just think about that.

Oh, also, to all the guys on Grindr who have bareback sex just because they’re on PrEP, you are very, very dumb. HIV isn’t the only lifelong disease you can get from unprotected sex. You could get herpes in your bootyhole and then cry on the toilet as your feces slide past your open sores. Poppers won’t help you through that.

Anyway, I’m much better now. I don’t cry myself to sleep due to my diagnosis anymore; now I just cry myself to sleep because of my unbearable loneliness. And I don’t have to sleep with an icepack under my hole which is nice because now when I wake up and my bed is soaked, I just have to lick it to figure out if it’s human urine or nocturnal emission. And my friends have helped me concoct the best pick-up line ever which I have yet to use:

“Hey daddy, you want some anal herpes?”

God how PERFECT would it have been if this were my 69th blog. Oh well, life is hard and so am I.

#DONTGIVEUP

JAMES

“Tiimmy Tiimmy  Tiimmy Turner
He be wishin’ for a burner
To kill everybody walkin’
He knows that his soul’s in the furnace.”
~”Tiimmy Turner” by Desiigner

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This is me giving no fucks about my herpes-infested anus.

Here are some articles to reference. And please don’t be afraid to talk to me if you have questions. But I, Ms. Kitty Marvin Hansen, reserve the right to be frustrated over stupid questions. Lucky for you, I’m the nicest person I know so I will probably answer inane questions with an immense amount of patience.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/15/135442942/even-without-symptoms-genital-herpes-can-spread

http://www.thestdproject.com/hsv1-resources-info-herpes-simplex-1/

http://www.herpes.org/protecting-uninfected-partners/

http://myprepexperience.blogspot.com/p/what-is-prep.html

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67. James Hurts Like a M#th@f*ck3r!

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Welp, I did it; I finally experienced something that I feel uncomfortable broadcasting on the internet. Yep. You heard right. I’ve written about how to clean out your asshole before getting railed, I’ve written about being sexually molested, and I’ve written about the guy who tried fingering me after I ate Indian food. But this, I can’t write about. But I will give you context without explicitly telling you what’s wrong with me, because frankly it’s none of your god damn business:

I am currently in the most pain of my life. Here are things that I have experienced that are less painful than what I’m currently going through:
1) Peeing out these weird crystals when I was younger.
2) Falling on a dick.
3) Strep throat so bad I wanted to drool into a bucket.
4) Broken collarbone from flying off my bicycle.

My pain has been so intense that I’ve called out of work three days in a row. I’ve never called out of work before. Ever. Even when I had strep throat earlier this year, I tried to work. I didn’t know what was wrong with me yet, but I would go to work and then get so dizzy I would lose my balance and then they would send me home. This happened a couple times before I went to the doctor. But on the second day of this current pain I was still going to work. I started my shift on Friday sitting down on the stairs sweating, because I was in so much pain. My coworkers kept checking on me: “Daddy, are you alright?” They brought me cold water and one of them made me this mixture of water, salt and lime. But by the end of my shift I was incapacitated. My abs contracted so hard that I doubled over, and I didn’t end up making it to the bathroom. My coworker drove me home, and I was thankfully able to make coherent silly conversation. When I got home, I told my roommates that I was okay and that I was gonna go to the doctor in the morning instead of work. They went to bed, but then I think Kaylee heard me crying in the bathroom. I told her I was nervous I wouldn’t make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night so she came into my room and helped me lay down a towel underneath me. I was still in an insane amount of pain so she gave me a melatonin and sat and talked with me until I fell asleep. She left my room at 4 am and then slept for two hours before she had to start her day.

The next day I texted Kelley and asked if she would come to the doctor with me. We took an Uber, because I couldn’t walk without being relatively hunched over. In my opinion my hunched-over hobble make me look like the monster from Stranger Things. But Kelley insisted on singing, “So I creep, yeaaaah,”  (that song “Creep” by TLC) every time I walked around which I also thought was accurate and hilarious. She came back into the exam room, and she was there when they told me my diagnosis. Honestly, it ended up being worse than what I had originally thought. And when I became speechless from shock, Kelley filled the void with the questions I needed to be asking the doctor. The doctor tried to make small-talk about my vegan diet, but I was already gone.

I waddled out of my Uber when it reached my front door, and I stumbled up to my apartment. Slowly, my friends started to trickle in to keep me company. I told them what the doctor said. Basically I’m not gonna die, but my life changed forever on Saturday. The medication they gave me started to make my stomach turn. Stacy ran out to grab me Pepto Bismal and ginger ale. Caity yelled at me for not asking for help every time I got up to do something for myself. But I got up anyway to do something in the kitchen and then I got stuck there; my pain got so bad I couldn’t move. I laid face-first on the counter, and then Kaylee, Stacy and Caity all just came out and hung out in the kitchen until I could move again. And then when my stomach cramped up so bad I had to lie on the floor in the fetal position, they all came and laid on the floor with me. But the whole time, they weren’t being gross and cuddly. The conversation moved seamlessly from the living room couches to the kitchen and then to the living room floor. No one commented on it; everyone acted normal about it.

But the pain isn’t what I want to write about; those are just plot points. And I don’t read books because of the plot; I read because of the relationships. And Jesus Christ I am so grateful for my relationships. Jian Li came up here from Chinatown and brought me juice, because I didn’t have the appetite for anything else. My friends have been checking in with me via text, offering to help me in ways that I wouldn’t be able to accept. Stacy offered to do my laundry. Caity went grocery shopping for me. And when I couldn’t do anything but throw pillows and scream my body to pieces, Caity sat there and let me be furious. My friends sat and talked to me when I couldn’t stop asking, “Why is this happening to me? How am I supposed to be this beacon of light when I keep getting shitted on? I want so badly to be this optimistic James who looks on the bright side and cares about people, but it’s so hard when people keep stealing pieces of me. Because I’ll never  be the same. And I feel like there are two James’. There’s Light James who loves drag queens, loves being outside on beautiful days and has a fashion sense that can only be described as Harajuku Throw-Up. And there’s Dark James who listens to angry rap music, ignores his fellow riders during Uber Pool and who has this insanely dark sense of humor. And every time something like this happens to me, I feel like I lose a little bit more control of my body; like it belongs to me less and less. And I veer closer to the Darker James. And what if he’s not as lovable as Light James? What if people don’t want to be around Dark James?”

And here’s what they said:

“This is not your fault. You are not being punished. This is science and it happens to people sometimes. We love both James’. And no matter what happens to you, Light James will always be there, because it’s a part of you. And no one can take that away from you; that’s part of your framework. And no one wants to talk to the other riders during Uber Pool; that’s natural.”

And then Stacy reminded me of a story that showed me Dark James is lovable, too:

At my grandmother’s wake the atmosphere was so dark. A bunch of us grandkids were doing our best to cope so we started whipping out inappropriate jokes. My cousin Lani asked, “Where’s the champagne?” And I said, “I don’t think there is any.” And she said, “Well, when I die there will be champagne at my wake.” And I said, “God, I can’t WAIT for you to die.”

(Totally kidding please don’t die but I do like champagne because I am a glamorous lady with exquisite taste.)

After Kelley accompanied me to the doctor even though she had plans with her super hot boyfriend, I texted her to tell her how grateful I was that I didn’t have to be alone when I was in such excruciating pain. She responded with something like, “You don’t have to thank me. It’s what friends do.”

But I know that’s not true; not all friends are even half as amazing as this. I am fully aware that I am so blessed with the friendships I’ve been given. Before all this pain started, I would end every night by listing all the things I’m grateful for. And now, I’m usually hurting so much that I can’t think about a whole list of things. But even as I lie there crying and whimpering, I still take the time to say thanks for my friends: “Thank you so much for sending me these amazing people to take care of me. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such amazing people, and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing to keep these people in my life but please give me the foresight to keep doing whatever the fuck that is. And I know that even in these most unlucky circumstances, I am one of the luckiest people in the entire world.”

This is the James I want to be. And you can’t take that away from me.

“This is not your fault.”

“You are not being punished.”

“Champagne IS delicious.”

#DONTGIVEUP

JAMES THE  INDOMITABLE

“OLIVE: Can’t you see that I’m a mess?
ROSEMARY: No, you’re not, Olive. You’re wonderful. And you’ll handle this the same way I did. With an incontrovertible sense of humor.”
~Easy A (Bert V. Royal)

66. Dr. James’ Diagnosis: The Trouble With Love Is

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Dating is hard blah blah blah. I talk about it a LOT. But then again, so does EVERYBODY. Everyone talks about how hard dating is. Everyone. Everyone talks about how fed up they are. And everyone is like, “Why can’t I find someone?” Ok. So then if everyone here and everyone there and everyone everywhere is frustrated, you’d think that we’d all be ready to cut the bullshit and get serious about dating. Right? WRONG, BISH. Because it takes work and we don’t fecking WANNA.

In NYC, the dating pool is HUGE with a population of almost 8.5 million people. That is a FUCKLOAD of daddies #daddiesgalore. Knowing that there are so many single, eligible hotties, we feel like the world is our oyster. We go on a date with someone who seemingly fits the profile of what we’re looking for except for that ONE thing. “Oh man, he would be PERFECT if he didn’t drink.” And then we meet someone who doesn’t drink so we drop Guy #1 for Guy #2 who happens to be PERFECT if only he didn’t live in Brooklyn! But then we meet someone who lives in our actual neighborhood so we can just skip home after a night of blowjobbing so we drop Guy #2 for Guy #3 who seems to be PERFECT except he happens to paint his fingernails. But then we meet a masc bro who crushes beer on his forehead so we move on to them and so on and so on and SO ON. We’re told “NEVER SETTLE” so we don’t! We live in a city where we can have Thai food WHENEVER the fuck we want it. “It’s 2 AM and I fegging NEED panang curry with imitation duck. I’MA GIT IT.” You can literally have whatever you want whenever you want it. They even fucking deliver alcohol. You can pay someone else to do your laundry and fold it and then DELIVER it to your front door. You can order your groceries online. OR you can go to the grocery store, buy all your groceries and then LEAVE THEM THERE and they’ll deliver them to your house later after you recover from a day of adulting. You can go out to a restaurant here and tell the server exactly how to cook your food and what sauce to put on the side and you can sub your kale salad for a quinoa parfait while the chef in the kitchen slams his head in the fridge door repeatedly out of utter frustration for your lack of class. We’re conditioned to believe we can have exactly what we want. We believe perfection exists. So we search for it in the people we date. Everyone does it. Tinder is no longer to blame, Assholes. It’s us. It’s our fault. Let’s own up to it. We write people off for a variety of reasons. “Oh, he’s too femme. BYE.” “Oh he’s a bad speller. What a fucking idiot. BYE.”Oh, he’s too eager. He wants this too bad. Desperate? BYE.”

And you know what, I am fucking eager. And that’s what makes me undateable by NYC standards.

There’s all these fucking weird rules to dating, and I don’t get it. Basically, it sums up to being “COOL” ALL the time, which I fail MISERABLY at. I go down in a blazing ball of glitter when I attempt to Keep It Cool.

Here are the rules to being cool:

HOW TO BE COOL:
1) First of all, your Tinder should only be flattering pictures of yourself looking SO Cool.
2) On Instagram, you need to delete any picture that doesn’t get a sufficient amount of likes. (Sufficient amount of likes= Enough likes that it stops listing the individual people who liked the picture and instead lists the number of likes.)
3) Never make the first move. If they’re interested in you THEY will talk to YOU. Because being Cool gives you the right to also be entitled.
4) NEVER send more than one text in a row to a boy you like. NEVER. It must be a volley of texts back and forth, and sometimes it’s fair to respond with just a stupid emoji. And remember if the conversation dies, LET IT. If they want you, they’ll keep talking to you, even if you respond with monosyllabic, noncommital texts like “K,” or “Cool,” or “Yeah.” Be entitled. It’s like, you could actually die in real life and they should keep being like, “You okay?” for like DAYS, even as your body rots. They should stick around. Because your’e Cool. And Cool people deserve that kind of deranged commitment without any reciprocation. #Coolpeoplerights
5) Keep conversation light. Cool people don’t experience difficult emotions, and they DEFINITELY don’t talk about them. You may discuss breezy topics like: the weather, celebrities, TV shows that aren’t too femme, your favorite places to throw up, etc.
6) You may creep through their Instagram/Facebook but don’t you DARE like any of their pictures/posts. Being Cool means remaining disinterested and aloof.
7) Do not dole out specific compliments. You may say things like, “You’re attractive.” But you’re NOT allowed to say something like, “God, your smile is dreamy.” That is not something Cool people do. Don’t show them your whole hand. Stay in control. Keep a sense of mystery. They should always be wondering, ‘God, does this person actually like me or are they just killing time by sending me inconsequential emojis and making meteorological observations?’ Mystery is the MOST Cool.
7) Most importantly, at the exact moment that the hottie starts to show clear, obvious interest in you, you MUST drop him. Because being eager makes him UNCOOL. And Cool people can only date other Cool people.

I fail at being Cool. I send five texts in a row. I tell men exactly why I think they’re hot. I resurrect dying conversations by asking questions like, “If you could slap anyone in the world right now, who would it be?” Or “What Britney lyric most describes your life right now?” I post pictures of me looking absoLUTEly foul. (See below.) I tell them that I crept through their Instagram. I am honest about what I’m looking for in a relationship when people ask. I check in with them throughout the week to see how they’re doing. I show interest. I make an effort. I put myself out there. I BREAK the quintessential rule of being cool: I’m eager.

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My sexiest Instagram post, by far.

Yes, I’m eager. I know that I have my shit together. I feel very comfortable with where I am artistically/personally/financially, and I’m ready to bring in a significant other. I want a relationship. But is that a bad thing? Is it wrong to be honest and openly state that I’m looking for something serious? Am I supposed to pretend I don’t want it? Am I supposed to stop looking for it and then it’ll come? IS THAT AN ACTUAL THING IT’S NOT STOP SAYING IT. No one ever got something they really wanted by not pursuing it. That’s stupid logic. No one tells you, “Oh, you want a job? Just stop looking for a job! Then you’ll get one. Someone will recognize that you’re unemployed by your sharty clothing and they’ll offer you a job. But when they offer you a job, PRETEND YOU DON’T NEED IT THAT BAD. Because wanting something is WRONG.” No. No bitch. No. It’s not like that. It’s like this:

I’m ready, and I’m realistic. I recognize that perfection doesn’t exist. I recognize that no one will have ALL of the qualities that I want. When someone asks what my Perfect Guy looks like I just laugh. Because to me, that doesn’t matter. Yes, ideally I would date someone my height. But if the guy is shorter than me, I’m still gonna give him a chance because PERSONALITY, Y’ALL. I don’t care if you’re tall; I care that you call me back. I don’t care if you’re skinny; I care that you are real with me if you lose interest. I don’t care if you’re younger than me; I care that you are emotionally available. Because I hope that someone would do the same for me. I know that I will never the most anything; there will always be someone out there who has a better body than me, someone who is smarter than me, someone with better skin, someone who is funnier than me, someone who is cooler than me. That’s fine with me. But no one is my combination of things.

And I think I deserve a chance, God damnit.

#DONTGIVEUP

JAMES

“And my hopes, they are high, I must keep them small. Though I try to resist I still want it all.”
~”Fools” by Troye Sivan

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My attempt at a 420 look at the ripe old age of WHAT AM I WEARING, MOTHER?!

 

 

65. James Stays the Same if You Do the Same

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How many times can I write a blog about dating?

I tried it all again; I put myself out there. First I told all my friends that I was looking and to set me up if they knew any eligible, drug-free bachelors. Then I consulted my mother…

Mom: I just feel like you need to date a doctor. Or a lawyer…
Me: Got it, Ma. Loud and clear. Totally agree. Though, quick side note, it’s not like I’m turning down offers left and right from lawyer-doctors. I promise if they come along, I’ll give them a chance.

Then I downloaded a dating app to find a man for my mother…ahem, excuse, to find a man my mother would approve of. I chose to go with OkCupid, because my Facebook survey showed that it had the LEAST amount of fuckboys. So I created a brilliantly eccentric profile that was described by my friends as an “accurate depiction of who James is” and “intimidating”. I decided to go with the screen name “Asskitty”. It felt equal parts fun and daring. I created a profile with excessive use of CAPS  lock and Fetty Wap references, all brought to you by COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE. But I had some pretty good luck! I went on dates with some really awesome people, and I was pretty honest whenever I wasn’t interested except for one specific person, and I apologized. Not perfect, but I tried. All in all, it ended up working out NOT A BIT for me. To oversimplify my dating woes, I met someone and the interest to pursue a romantic relationship wasn’t mutual. Yes, it was all more complex than that, and it ended in a mature, amicable manner. But I couldn’t help but ask him, “Honestly, is it something about me? Was it something I did? You can tell me.” He kindly assured me that it had nothing to do with me, and I know he meant it. But that didn’t stop that insidious thought from continually detonating in my mind: “What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong? WhatdidIdowrongWhatdidIdowrongWhatdididowrongwhatdididowrongwhtdddwrng?”

The following week, a friend of mine experienced the same thing: they were interested in something serious with someone who was NOT looking for the same thing.We were texting about it, and they texted me: “This always happens to me. What am I doing wrong?”

Nothing. You’re doing nothing wrong. It’s not you.

Then I had ANOTHER friend go through the same thing. And they said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Why is this happening to me??

I said…

“Nothing! There’s nothing wrong with you! How can you put this all on yourself? Dating takes more than one person’s effort. If the success of a relationship depended on just one person’s solo effort, you would be fucking married by now! But you can’t take full responsibility for the dissolution of the relationship. They have to meet you halfway, and you can’t convince someone to want to try; they have to come into the relationship with the desire to make something work. And it’s not your fault that they weren’t inspired to give a shit. You can’t say to yourself, “Oh, if I had been more interesting, they would’ve wanted to date me. Or if I had been prettier or funnier or more self-assured or more laid-back or this or this or this. It’s not your fault. This isn’t on you. Sometimes it’s just not a good match, and that’s real-life, sucky-ass adulthood. Sometimes you don’t mesh; you’re looking for different things. That’s okay. It’s not personal even though nothing could FEEL more personal. It’s just life. So stop beating yourself up. You did your best. You showed who you were and you were honest about your feelings. As far as I’m concerned, you succeeded on your half. And if they weren’t prepared for something serious, it’s not your job to wait around for them to be ready for you. Their fear of commitment isn’t your fault; they were that way before you came along. You can’t MAKE someone emotionally available. That’s not on you. And it’s not your job to fix the parts of them that need healing. You’re not Bob the Builder; this isn’t a Coldplay song; fix yo damn self! We all need to recognize our baggage, address how it’s holding us back, and then move forward. We’re not going to get anywhere sitting around feeling bad for ourselves, and there isn’t a Prince Charming who is going to come along and fix you UNLESS your therapist just happens to be called Prince Charming which is equal parts fucked up and amazingly cool. Not everyone needs to be ready for the heavy, serious, committed relationship. But those same people also don’t need to be Hurricane Hot Mess, sucking in other people in and hoping to feel something. You won’t absorb wholeness from someone else. Don’t take my others down with you. Because if you’re the Titanic, I will NOT go down with this ship #Dido ! I will be Miss Rose and I will cling to that floating door with my dear life and I won’t save NOBODY, not even no god damn purple Leonardo DiCaprio. BYE GIRL. GETCHO FLOATIES AND DOGGY PADDLE, BISH!

(Wow, James/Asskitty really uses CAPS lock a lot, he sure is intimidating but oddly…dare I say, sexy?)

…Then I realized I should probably take my own advice.

Someone once told me that in the initial stages of dating, you should just see if you could even be friends with this person. Because essentially a boyfriend would be my best friend that penetrates me. Currently, my best friends penetrate my soul with their kindness but unfortunately they don’t penetrate my anally with their wangs. So in the meantime, I’m looking for a male best friend to love me and STICK IT IN.

Therefore, if I start treating a prospective boyfriend like a new friend, I start looking at everything differently. Usually when I’m dating someone new and learning things about them that don’t mesh well with my personal values I ask myself, “Hm, is this something I can deal with? Should I just sacrifice little pieces of me to make us fit together better?” But my friends would never DREAM of making me do that. NEVER. My friends wouldn’t ask me to change. Kelley hates my fashion sense and she REALLY hates when I say the word “pussy”, but she still loves me. (PUSSY!) Caity rolls her eyes every time I yell, “IT’S BUTT O’CLOCK,” but she wouldn’t have me any other way. Friends see you as the cuckoo daddy-mess that you are and LOVE you that way. My mother gave me the best advice when I was in middle school. She said, “Wipe front to back James; you’re getting shit all over your balls!” I’m just kidding. She never told me that; I STILL get shit all over my balls. But she DID say, “James, your friends are who they are. Don’t try to change them. You need to decide if their personality traits are something you can deal with or if they’re deal-breakers.” Dating should be the same way. When I meet someone new I need to say to myself, “Wow, this quality of theirs irks me. Is it a deal-breaker or is it something I can accept?” For example, I can deal with someone who doesn’t love flossing or someone who asks too many questions during movies or someone who loves Halloween or someone who wasn’t valedictorian. But I CAN’T date someone who likes punting babies or someone who’s racist or someone who’s an alcoholic or someone who hates men in heels because of deep-seeded latent homophobia which also leads to crippling sexism or someone who uses #gayboy on Instagram for the gratification of likes from an absolute stranger. You shouldn’t change to accommodate someone else, and you shouldn’t ask that of them either. You HAVE to take someone at face value. No person is a fixer-upper. You can’t go into a relationship thinking, “Well I would really like them IF they changed this thing about themselves. But we’ll work on that. They’ll change.” No. That’s not how it works. You take who you get when you get them. It is extremely damaging to tell someone you love them ONLY under specific conditions. That’s selfish, and love isn’t just about your needs. Conditionally love ain’t real love, booboo.

And when it isn’t a good fit you have to walk away. You acknowledge your irreconcilable differences, you shake hands and you cartwheel away. For me, every time a relationship ends it feels like someone just took a sledgehammer to a ten-foot tall Jenga tower. It takes me a while to regroup. I know there’s nothing wrong with me, but the sting of rejection never loses its punch. So I need to lick my wounds for a bit before I jump back into the Dick Party. So I go home and tell my friends I want to be left alone for the night. And then they all come over anyway, because they’re a bunch of soggy assholes who don’t listen. I cry while they listen intently, blow raspberries on my belly, poke me in the penis and repeatedly flash their waxed vagina at me. And I hate them for making me laugh when I’m so determined to be devastated, but I lay in bed that night thanking Whoever-The-Fuck-Is-Listening for sending me this whorey handful of people who genuinely care about me. And I know that they, my Chosen Family, have set the standard of what to expect from a boyfriend. They tell me not to change. They encourage me to be my true self, even when my true self wakes up at 7 AM hyper AS FUCK, starts speaking flirtatiously to the closet door and then humps said closet door because the chemistry was just ELECTRIFYING. They pay attention when I tell them my shame stories, and they tell me, “I’m sorry that happened to you, but one bad action doesn’t define you. This does not make you a bad person.” They lie on my bed before I go on a date and tell me how gorgeous I am, and then I flounce down the street with the MOST inflated self-esteem, the MOST offensive coffee breath and a STRONG panty line. But most importantly, when our relationship isn’t working, we talk about it. I can say, “Hey, you’re hurting my feelings,” and we work through it. I can ask for the things I need and receive them, because they know I would do the same for them. My Chosen Family is the ULTIMATE boyfriend. I have found these incredibly functional relationships with HIGHLY dysfunctional people that I plan on spending my whole life with. And I know in my heart that these will be the most meaningful and fulfilling relationships I will ever have. These relationships shouldn’t be discounted or ignored while I’m sifting through clearance piles of fuckboys in search of a boyfriend who will one day call me HIS TRAP QUEEN. #ZOOGANG. Because these people will always be there, no matter how many times I fuck up. And if my best friends have displayed such beautifully imperfect examples of what a relationship can be, WHY would I settle for anything less from a boy just because he’s hot and he got MAD fingerbangin’ skills? Why, James? Why?

“Nobody touch me ya not righteous.”
~”Work” by Rihanna (feat. Drake)

#CHOSENFAMILY

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#DONTGIVEUP

JAMES

64. James’ Defense For Not Knowing What the Fuck You’re Doing

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“A Bitch and His Hoe” or “How To Hook A Man In 3 Seconds” or “How To Make A Man Blow His Load With One Look”

Lemme give you a brief history of James-Up-To-This-Point:

When I was little, I would watch Ace Ventura when I wasn’t feeling well. I thought Jim Carrey was the funniest bitch there ever was.

Then in middle school, I did this weird play, but it was super fun because all of my friends were in it. I had a blast. I got to see my friends every day, and we got to be freaks on stage.

Then I saw Moulin Rouge, and I thought, ‘This is the worst piece of shit I have ever seen. WHY won’t they stop singing?! STOP SINGING AND DIE, SATINE!’

Then I realized that I actually really liked singing. My best friend Dalila and I used to listen to my cassette tape of “My Heart Will Go On” on REPEAT. I would go over to boombox, press play, lay down on the ground next to Dalila and we would SCREAM along with Celine Dion. And when the song was over, I would get up, rewind the tape, and do it ALL over again. I’m sure my babysitter was somewhere in the house begging God to please explode my boombox.

Then in intermediate school I was throw into the school musical where I got the leftover parts. Well the JOKES ON YOU, because the leftover part was Buzz Lightyear, and I got to sing, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” with a complete fucking stranger. This was my real first foray into acting as I pretended to be able to care about anyone but myself and Kit-Kat’s.

Then in my middle school choir we sang “My Heart Will Go On”, and I auditioned for the solos because CELINE FUCKING DION GOD DAMNIT. I don’t remember if I got it, but I’m positive that I sounded like a fucking superstar in my audition. A gay-ass, prepubescent, definitely gay, someone-please-love-me superstar. God, I was a fierce fucking alto. #neverchange

Then my friend (read: friends, plentiful and bountiful, for I was super popular at all points in my life) and I would sing the high soprano part at the end of the song “Phantom of the Opera”, and I used to be able to screlt those high notes (note: “screlt” is a portmanteau of “scream” and “belt”, which is a word for “to sing as high as Jesus”). I would screlt those notes ALLLLLL the time. Again, I think this was another point in my life where my mother begged God to please send a chupacabra to ravage my voice box.

When I was 14, I started dating people over the internet, because I was gay in my head but not out loud and I needed to talk to SOMEONE about it so I did the logical thing: I turned to complete strangers. I used to go to gay chat rooms and talk to other people like me. Sometimes we would become boyfriends, and that was pretty cool. But one day spikyblueeyes88 stopped logging on to AIM, and that was the first time that I had ever been ghosted. I’m sure I handled it appropriately: opening my journal, picking up a pen, calmly pushing my bangs out of my face, and then SCREAMING into my journal until the pain went away/ I fell asleep out of utter exhaustion from having so many feelings come out of the hole in my face. My heart said, “Rest, you weary son-of-a-bitch. It won’t get better, but someday you’ll have a blog to put ALLLLL your emotions in!” (Yeah, I end sentences with prepositions, because I’m a boss-ass bitch (with).

Anyway, back to internet dating. So I was 14 years-old, and my prospective internet boyfriend was 17 or 18. I had to woo him to be my One True Love. We were chatting, and it came up that he was a singer.’I’m a singer, too!’ I thought to myself. ‘I scream along to EVERYTHING I hear on the radio. I love singing; I’m a singer, god damnit!’ Well, Prospective Internet Boyfriend wanted to hear me sing. So he called my home phone and I picked it up on the first ring. He had a hot, sexy adult voice. I had a closeted, insecure 14 year-old boy voice. He sang first:  “Amazing Grace”. It was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. He was a professionally-trained angel, and he was going to take me to the Promised Land. “It’s your turn,” he said. Well, I had to pick a song I knew all the words to. At the time, I was SUPER into Evanescence. I knew every god damn word to every song, and it was my favorite music to cry to. So I decided to sing “Going Under“. If you don’t know it, go listen to it. It’s tragic. It starts with her growling these super depressing lyrics. I gave my Future Boyfriend my best Amy Lee:

“Now I will tell you what I’ve done for you
Fifty-thousand tears I’ve cried
Screaming, deceiving and bleeding for you-”
*CLICK*
“….Hello? ….Hello? Are you there? ….”

Yes, he hung up on me. And I didn’t even get to sing the chorus which is the best part and the part that really shows off my vocal ability! I sat there blinking, clutching the phone to my ear for a few minutes, and then I calmly replaced the phone on the charging dock.

‘He hung up on me because of my singing voice…’

So I recorded myself singing, and then I played it back to myself. I was DISGUSTED with myself. ‘JESUS CHRIST, JAMES, YOU SOUND AWFUL! I WOULD’VE HUNG UP ON YOU, TOO! YOU SOUND TERRIBLE! NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU SINGING LIKE THAT, YOU GAY IDIOT BITCH.’

Then I realized that I even hated my speaking voice. I was hitting the “s” consonant too hard, and THAT’S how everyone at school knew to call me a “faggot” and throw batteries at me! Eureka! Mystery solved! Also, I kept finding myself walking around with limp wrists. ‘HIDE YOUR SECRETS, YOU GAY T-REX!’ So I trained myself to walk with my arms glued to my sides as if they were stapled there. ‘Ha, now they’ll NEVER know!’ Then I spent HOURS recording myself talking and trying to adjust my voice to sound less gay. I dedicated so much time towards trying to figure out where to place the consonants in my mouth to sound less gay. Recording my voice, playing it back to myself, banging my head on the desk hoping my tongue would fall out so I would never have to say “s” again, and then doing it all over again. Funny enough, I feel like my “gay speech” calmed down after I came out of the closet. Alright, Jesus… I see you.

Also, after this experience, I saw Evanescence in concert FIVE times. I would go to their concerts and jump up and down with the biggest smile on my face screaming, “I WANNA DIE, TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

Also, this story about the “Amazing Grace” guy hanging up on me singing “Going Under” is Kelley’s favorite story, and if we are EVER on the phone and I start singing she will ALWAYS hang up. She’s REALLY funny….

Also when I was 14, I auditioned for a production of Seussical the Musical. I was cast as a panther, and I was surrounded by so many talented people and that was the moment I decided I wanted to pursue musical theater.

So I went HARD. During Seussical, I met Miss Sara, and she started an all-men’s beginner tap class. I started tapping with her when I was 15, and I’ve been tapping ever since. I started auditioning like a motherfucker. I would go to the library and check out every CD for every musical they had and I would INHALE THEM. I knew every lyric to every song. I would do all the school shows, and I would audition for musicals in the community as well. I started taking voice lessons with Wendy when I was 15, and she changed my LIFE. (More on her later.) By my senior year, my schedule was jam-packed. I joined the Madison Youth Choirs, I played bassoon in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, I took voice lessons, I took tap class, I took an acting class through UW-Madison, I worked at a bakery, I worked at the movie theater, and I performed in shows. There was a point where this was my schedule: School 8:15-3:25, School musical rehearsal 4:00-6:30, Madison community theater musical rehearsal 7:00-10:00. I was eating, breathing, sleeping musical theater. I felt like I was finally doing something I really cared about with people who really understood me.

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Word of advice: don’t every try to out-do Katie in a selfie. Just be blessed to be in her presence and do your fucking best.

When I was auditioning for colleges, I went all in once again. I auditioned at NYU, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and UW-Stevens Point. While I was auditioning, I was so scared and I felt suddenly inadequate. I was having a breakdown in one of my voice lessons, and Wendy listened to doubt myself and cry. When I was done, she had the best fucking response ever. She started singing Evanescence to me: “Fear is only in our mind, taking over all the time. Fear is only in ours minds, but it’s taking over all the time.”

*MIC DROP* BY WENDY. Did I MENTION that she’s the coolest ever?!

So I went to UW- Stevens Point, and I STILL went hard AF. I took the maximum credits allowed. I took some of my pre-requisites over the summer at a community college so I would have more room during the year to take theater and dance classes. I took every class I could get my hands on. I weaseled my way into modern dance, jazz dance and tap dance classes usually reserved only for dance majors. I auditioned for everything, even the dance shows that I felt underqualified for. And in the summer, I would do summerstock theater. I worked my ass off.

I graduated college in May 2011. I lived at home for the summer and performed in a musical while waiting tables. Then I hosted a benefit concert to help me raise money to move to NYC, and I moved here in September 2011.

When I first got here, I went to every damn audition. There was one time where I went to five auditions in the same day. I hustled like a motherfucker. It took me a while, but I finally started getting cast. I’ve been here for  four years now.

Now here’s the one event I can’t quite pinpoint. There was a moment where I didn’t want to eat/sleep/breathe musical theatre anymore. I started putting on Eminem instead of Sweeney Todd. I wanted to talk about music and comedy instead of my favorite Elphaba riff or which role I could play in Wicked. I wanted a life outside of musical theatre. To be frank, I didn’t want what I had always wanted. I didn’t want to do the things that I should do anymore. I didn’t wanna take ballet class or acting class or classes with casting directors, and I didn’t want to go to auditions for shows that I wasn’t right for just so I could get seen by a prominent casting director. I didn’t want to hang out with actors anymore. I didn’t want to sit in a holding room anymore. I didn’t want to do any of the “shoulds” anymore.

Last week, I was on a bus to Boston and since no one was around me, I started listening to the Hamilton soundtrack again in private. I listened to “Wait For It” three times in a row, and I started crying to myself. I thought to myself, ‘What happened to the Old James? Where did he go? Why don’t I love musical theater as much as I used to? Why is it no longer my life source? It used to be my EVERYTHING. I was on this path with my nose to the pavement for the past 12 years; what am I supposed to do with myself? What am I supposed to do when I wake up one day and realize that I don’t love this thing like I used to. I don’t want to spend my time and money on things I don’t love. I don’t wanna network for something that doesn’t fulfill me. I don’t want to know the lyric to every Broadway show. I don’t care to know every actor in every musical. I don’t care to know the career paths of musical theater stars. But why?! Where did Old James go? GIVE HIM BACK TO ME. I NEED HIM.’

Loss of clarity is horrifying. It’s scary. I don’t want to think, ‘Well I’ve spent 12 years becoming someone I don’t wanna be anymore; what now?’ I don’t want that. I want my certainty back. I want my fire back.

But I can’t have certainty, because it doesn’t exist. Certainty exists in the same imaginary world as control. But I don’t want to wander aimlessly. I don’t want to be lost. But then I looked around at my friends. One of my friends knows exactly how I feel: went to school for something completely different than what she’s currently pursuing. Another one of my friends worked at a job she fucking hated, and now she’s doing something she loves. One of my friends studied psychology, and now she works in finance. So. Okay, James. You’re not alone. Actually, you’re in the perfect company to be lost. But if “lost” terrifies you too much to be included in your vocabulary, then choose something else: curious, wandering, interested, well-rounded.

I’m letting go of the “shoulds”. I started taking tap class regularly, because it makes me happy. I only audition for projects I want to be a part of. I let myself listen to whatever music I want, and now I have a music soulmate at work and we could talk about FKA Twigs and Rihanna and Jai Paul for hours, and it’s some of the most fulfilling conversations I’ve ever had, because I don’t feel so alone. I’ve accepted that I’m good at hospitality, but that doesn’t mean I need to be a Career Server. I’ve looked into classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. I bought a guitar so I can start learning to play Evanescence/Celine Dion mash-ups. I went to a Zedd concert, because I felt like it. I spent a week in San Diego by myself. I stopped auditioning for an entire summer, and let myself have a life outside of theater. And the most exciting thing? I’ve started writing a comedic web-series with a friend. We meet about once a week and we sit and we write and laugh so loud that people stare. And when we don’t want to write our web-series, we write comedic sketches. I feel like I’m finally doing something I love. Oh. And I write my blog. Because I love writing.

I’m letting myself be who I am, and I’m not trying to make myself fit into whatever the Successful Musical Theatre Professional mold is. I’m letting myself exist, and it’s terrifying and liberating and I’m so proud of myself.

My baby sister recently told me she was jealous of me, because I knew exactly what I wanted and I’m finding success in doing exactly what I wanted to do. Leah, I would like to apologize to you for fooling you so fabulously. I wrote this blog to set the record straight. Some people dabble in different things, looking for something they care about and freaking out that they don’t have some fiery passion that “everyone else” has. And some people are me, and you’ve been working your tits off for 12 years for your passion only to realize that maybe you don’t want it anymore. Both are horrifying. But both are okay. Just do things you fucking like to do. Work at a job that either fulfills you or pays you enough that you can do things you enjoy doing. And don’t judge yourself for the things that you like. There is value in doing things for pure enjoyment. I promise you. Don’t judge yourself for listening to Fetty Wap twice a day, everyday, for two weeks. It’s okay. It’s okay to take a hip-hop class once a week even if it doesn’t further your career. You are more fun to be around when you’re having fun.

Now excuse me, Trap Queen is calling.

“Baby girl you’re so damn fine though. I’m tryna know if I can hit it from behind though.”
~”679″ by Fetty Wap

you’re okay.

JAMES

P.S. After posting this blog on Facebook my mother commented: “Clearly I didn’t know all this. But I’m relieved to know that when I suspected you were surfing porn sites in your teens, you were only attempting to find a boy friend.”

NOTHING’S CHANGED MA. STILL SURFIN’ THE WEB LOOKING FOR THAT WIFEY DICK.

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Her only goal every day is “Be 7 years-old” and she’s doing just fine. #selfieinception

A Sense of Humor While Telling An Incredibly Sad Story

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Lemme start with some trigger warnings.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:
1) Self-Harm
2) Sexual Abuse

If either of those things are gonna put you in a bad, bad place. Please stop reading. Otherwise, you can’t say I haven’t warned you.

I was having a conversation with some friends about my blog, because some of them haven’t read it. They asked me what it was about. That’s a question that I always struggle with; sometime’s it’s funny and I write about cleaning out your butthole, but sometimes it’s sad and I write about boys who don’t want to date me. But I tried to describe it nonetheless: “Well it’s a comedic blog-” and that’s where my friend Bumpy Cakes cut me off. “No, it’s not. You just have a sense of humor while telling incredibly sad stories.”

Alright. So here’s an incredibly sad story told with a sense of humor:

I used to want to be a model. I thought I would be good at it, because everyone told me that I was pretty. ‘Surely modeling can’t require more than being gay and skinny!’ I thought to myself. When I lived in Wisconsin, I once got paid stupid money to eat ice cream and smile without drooling. I NAILED IT. Then I did an ad for a major soft drink company. All I had to do was drink from my bottle without covering the label and look like I was REALLY enjoying myself. I nailed that, too. Except that they had to repeatedly replace my bottle, because I kept chugging it. “Oh, sorry! It’s not my fault that this drink is DELICIOUS and LOW IN CALORIES and ESSENTIAL TO MY LIFESTYLE. Also WHERE’S MY MONEYYYYYY?!”

Then I moved to NYC. Ten-out-of-eleven cows in Wisconsin thought I was really pretty, so HOW could people in NYC disagree? I somehow got into a party with some hot-ass working male models. I went up and started conversation with them and told them I wanted to get into modeling. They approved of my height, my age, and my workout regiment. Then I showed them my abs and they winced. “Oh,” they said regretfully, as if they were looking at a puppy that was too old to get adopted because it’ll probably just die soon and no one wants to love something that’s not gonna live forever. Well, after that experience, I just KNEW that I was gonna be the next Tyra. NOT the next top model; I WOULD BE TYRA. Because I have such amazing abs that I made professional male models CRY. Lez GO!!!!!

So about two years ago, I decided to really pursue this modeling thing. I wanted to go to go-see’s or whatever the fuck models do to get paid to pretend to eat things that aren’t including in their diet. But I needed to build up a portfolio of pictures. My friend Reeves helped me take some amazing modeling shots. He’s the sweetest, hottest man to ever exist. He told me to look at the camera like it was something I wanted. Now I know most men would look at the camera and think, ‘Mmmmmm, sex. I want sex. I’m gonna stare down that camera like I wanna stick my dick in it! *THWACK*’ No, not me. I looked at the camera and thought, ‘CHICKEN TENDERS NUM NUM NUM!!!!! WATERMELON! HONEY MUSTARD SAUCEEEEE!!!!’ That’s when I really started to nail my shots. I was serving STRAIGHT UP SMOLDER. And then Reeves photoshopped out my drool and the insane glimmer in my eye and I was ready!

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This is one of the amazing pictures taken by Reeves. I’m looking at the camera like I wanna cut a bitch because I thought about someone revoking my Chicken Tender Rights. Oh SHIT, that got me worked up!

But I wanted to keep building up my portfolio to show modeling agencies that I was an seasoned professional with a whopping two months of experience. So I used a modeling site to find more photographers. I found a guy who said he would take some good modeling shots for me as long as I did him a favor. He said he was working on an artsy piece on the intersection of masculinity and femininity. He would take discrete and tasteful pictures of me naked while wearing heels and panty hose. Oh and my dick would be painted in glitter.

‘Cool,’ I thought. ‘I’m down. I’m all about challenging the traditional definition of masculinity. Let’s fucking do this.’

So I go to this photographer’s apartment with all the clothes I’ve ever bought, because I couldn’t fucking decide; I look fucking amazing in EVERYTHING. Guess we’ll just have to photograph EVERY OUTFIT. Oh well! #beautifulAF

After I walk in and get settled, I ask him about possible outfit choices. He kinda pointed at something nonchalantly and I put it on immediately, instantly inspired by his great amount of enthusiasm for my modeling shots. Then he asked what music I wanted on. I told him I was really into Miley Cyrus, but he didn’t want to listen to that. Instead he put on something slow and moody like an indie banjo cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, ya know, some real panty-dropping bangers. I kind of expected music that I could do cocaine to, because that’s what it’s like in all the movies. But whatever, I could still serve some fierce fucking Watermelon Face to his depressing-ass hipster music. BECAUSE I’M A GOD DAMN MODEL.

We took a few shots, and then he made me put on a fugly baseball jacket. So put it on and served some straight-up bro face. And then he made me unzip the top of my pants. ‘Hm…That’s weird, but he’s the photographer, and I trust him!’ I was giving angles and shadows and hunger, but I could tell he wasn’t really interested. He was just doing this, because I needed it.

After I dropped into the splits for the third time, he decided it was time for that part of the photoshoot to be over. Now it was time for his artsy project. So I started to put myself into my artsy-fartsy mindset. I started thinking about that scary painting of that dude screaming and about that lady who sits in the chair in the museum and makes you cry while she stares at your face. ‘Ah, yes…Zen. I’m ready.’

He asks me to take off my pants and my underwear. And then my shirt. So I was naked, but I did nude modeling college and I didn’t fart ONCE. So I was used to this. I’m a professional. Then he got the glitter and a bottle of something else.

“I have to use lube first to make the glitter stick,” he said.

‘Ah, of COURSE,’ I thought to myself. Every time I tried to make my dick glitter and sparkle, all of my bedazzling work always went to waste because I wasn’t using LUBE! ‘SO THAT’S HOW YOU MAKE THE GLITTER STICK!!!!’ I already felt my artistic mind expanding into the horizon. ‘Namaste, god damnit. Where’s my latte with low-fat cashew milk?’

So this stranger rubbed lube on my dick while I sat there thinking about glitter. He told me my dick was pretty, and I made some comment like, “I WARSHED IT TODAY.” He went on with the lube longer than necessary, but I guess he wanted to get every nook and cranny. Then he applied the glitter. That also went on much longer than necessary.

Then he gave me panty hose to put on and my bright pink heels to match the glitter. And then he posed me in a way that I was sitting against the wall with my knees up while he photographed me. He had assured me that my face wouldn’t be in any of the pictures; that was the only reason I had even agreed to this in the first place. Then he made another comment like: “Mmmmm, I can see your butthole.” And I said something flippant like: “Well I’m glad it’s exactly where I left it! Right behind my SAGGY BALLS!”

God, I’m so good at this professional model banter.

And that’s when I started thinking: ‘…God? Are you there? It’s James. Just wondering…. What have I done to be here? Why am I here with my dick doused in glitter while an old creep stares at my unkempt grundle and comments on the state of my asshole? I went to church camp once! The youth leader me and the other boys that it was a sin to fuck animals. And I haven’t fuck an animal! Not even once! So why am I here??’

I was pulled out of my daydream conversation with God when I noticed the photographer was rubbing his crotch. (I assumed his dick had gotten tangled up, a problem that I frequently have and I have on more than one ocassion asked my male friends, “Do you ever feel like your dick is an accordion?” But they just stare at with with deep concern, so I stopped asking.) He said he was getting “excited”, and he asked if I wanted to see his penis. I was still sitting on the ground with my back against the wall and my feet on the ground but my heels were so tall that my knees were practically in my mouth. I couldn’t really breathe, I didn’t really know what to say. “Sure…”. He unzipped his pants to reveal he wasn’t wearing any god damn underwear. What the fuck, bro? And then he inched closer and asked if I wanted to taste it. “…Okay,” I said. So he put his dick in my mouth and moved it around while I sat there for a little bit. Eventually I moved my face away. He told me I could shower, and he gave me a towel. After I got all the glitter off, I came out, and he was lying on his bed naked. “Come here, and lay down,” he said. So I did. He put his hand on my penis, and he took my hand and put it on his weird floppy dick. This went on for about 30 seconds until something inside me exploded. I felt sick. I sat straight up and said, “I gotta go. I gotta go. I gotta go.” I was shaking. He asked if everything was okay. I just kept packing up all my clothes and I reassured him everything was fine. ONCE AGAIN: reassured him everything was fine.

I ran out his door and onto the subway. I felt myself unraveling so I reached for my sunglasses and I slipped them on my face as the tears started boiling over. I stood on the train and sobbed quietly to myself as my tears burned down my cheek.

“You’re okay you’re okay you’re okay you’re okay you’re okay.”

The next thing I knew I was sitting in a Chipotle. I have no idea how I got there. I looked down and saw a burrito bowl sitting in front of me. So I ate it while I cried. How many times have I fucking cried my eyes out at a Chipotle?! And you really can’t properly taste a burrito when you’re sobbing into it. It mostly tasted like boogers which, sadly, is a taste I’ve outgrown. #puberty

I went home, and I told my close friends what had happened. Thankfully, I was also in therapy at the time. This is what they told me:

“This is not your fault. He was in a position of power, and he took advantage of you. He molested you.”

“But I didn’t stop him. It’s my fault, because I didn’t stop him,” I said.

“No, James. It’s NOT your fault. He took advantage of you. HE did this to you.”

But it’s hard for me to remember that sometimes. Sometimes I just blame myself, and I don’t want to tell people this story, because I don’t want them to judge me and call me names. When it first happened, I knew that I could only tell people that were worthy of hearing my story. I could only tell people that I trusted enough to have the appropriate response. Because the scariest question to be asked, especially by someone I love, is this:

“Why didn’t you do something?”

“Why didn’t you leave? Oh, I would’ve hit him if I were you. I would’ve bitten it right off. Oh man, if that happened to me, I really would’ve done something.”

Oh, you would? Well that’s awesome for you. Ya know, in my head, I’m a superhero, too. In my head, I have the perfect response to every insult. In my head, I beat the SHIT outta anyone who tries to rob me of my beloved iPhone. In my head, I kill anyone who ever tries to molest me. At least that’s what I thought. But then it happened, and I wasn’t a superhero. I was James. That’s it. Not a superhero who doles out justice and defeats villains. I was just a normal guy who ran away and cried.

What makes me so mad is that I’ve worked my whole life to improve a terrible self-esteem. Terrible self-esteem. When I was little, I used to tell my mother I wanted to die every night. I would cry and cry and repeat that phrase to her: “I wish I was dead.” I saw how much it hurt her for me to say that. So I stopped saying it. But I used to lie in my bed thinking of ways to kill myself that wouldn’t make a mess for my family to clean up. I just didn’t want it to be messy and a burden for my family. I just wanted to be gone. To not exist.

I was 10.

And I worked so hard to combat that part of my brain that tells me that. I’ve had two rounds of therapy. I used to cover my face and talk to myself in public to tell myself I was okay. I used workbooks and journals to reprogram that part of me that told myself I was ugly and worthless. I’ve worked hard. REALLY fucking hard. And it’s a constant battle. Some days are harder than others. And some days I can forget that I was ever so sad. I’ve let go of people from my life who weren’t fighting on my side. I’ve said goodbye to people who put me down; I’ve let go of people who told me I was unattractive and untalented, who told me I couldn’t sing, who told me I wouldn’t achieve my dreams. I’ve dismissed people who posed as loving boyfriends who were undercover gremlins whose sole mission was to demolish my self-worth. I’ve fought tooth and nail. I’ve slayed demons on my way to the top of my personal mountain Fuckerest. And then. After 14 years of fighting, one photoshoot unraveled all that. And THEN. To be asked, “How could you let that happen to you? Why didn’t you do anything?”

Well I’m fucking doing something now. I’m writing this.

It still hurts a lot. A lot a lot. I thought I was over it, but then I was at the gym and someone was staring at me, and I got uncharacteristically angry. I left the gym, and I cried outside. All this last year, people have been commenting on my darkness. Then I started to realize that it’s been affecting me ever since.

When people check me out in a bar, I wanna pluck their eyes out. When someone grabs my ass, I wanna rip their arm out of the socket. And when someone in a position of power takes advantage of my subordinance, it makes me want to fucking give up. Oh no; this is not an isolated incident. No. It’s not the only time I’ve been sexually harassed.

So I’m prickly and cold? So be it.

If you wanna be scared of me, cool. Boom roasted! Or whatever the kids say now. If I’m unapproachable, cool. How bout dem apples. Snapchat THIS. (What’s Periscope? Is that an app for peeking up boys’ shorts? I don’t know; I’m 26.) Do what you want. Telling my story isn’t brave. It doesn’t FEEL brave. I’m recounting events that happened to me. I just hope this does something for someone else who feels like no one understands them. And if you decide to quit modeling, cool. I won’t ask questions. Because sometimes your dreams don’t come true because someone shits on them and no matter how many times you wash them, they still kinda smell like shit. So maybe you don’t love the things that used to be your gospel. And I don’t want someone to take that away from me. But you don’t always have that option. Sometimes people rob you and you just watch them run away with your iPhone or your dog or your baby or something else that you really love and you’re sure gonna miss. But robbers are selfish and unkind and they don’t care about what you want. Otherwise they wouldn’t ROB YOU.

I know I’m not alone in this struggle, but sometimes I wish I was. I would rather be alone in this suffering. I would rather that no one else has to go through that. I used to turn up the shower as hot as I could handle it and stand there. Once I grabbed the loofa and scrubbed my skin as hard as I could handle. But I can’t make it go away. All I can do is own my story, and realize that this story doesn’t define me. It’s part of my narrative, but I am more than that.

About a week later, I went to his Facebook page just to make sure he hadn’t posted any of the pictures. But I couldn’t get to his profile, because he had deleted me as a friend…. He deleted me. Cool cool cool.

I’m not a superhero with a superhero response. But if I was, this is what I would say now, after the fact:

I do not belong to you. You are not entitled to any piece of me. Just because I am baring skin it does not give you the right to say inappropriate things to me. You do not get to touch me. EVEN IF you employ, I owe you nothing. Nothing.

Part of me thinks that maybe I should search my heart for empathy for you, you who stuck a screwdriver in the garbage disposal of my life and turned it on. But I can’t. I don’t have the energy. In another universe perhaps I could muster up the energy to analyze what events transpired in your life to royally fuck up mine. But in this universe, I don’t fuckin wanna. I used all my energy to get from there to here. Let someone else feel bad for you. Because I don’t.

Lastly, I wanna say something to anyone who still asks, “Why did you let that happen to you??” If this hasn’t happened to you, it’s not because you’re smarter than me. Or more wary than I. It’s because you’re lucky. That’s it. We’re the same. Except I was unlucky.

It took me a long time to write this. I know haven’t written a lot lately; I only blogged 6 times last year. But at the end of the day, I don’t wanna confront this. And I’m not sure people want to read this. I feel like people go to my blog when they wanna giggle about the new way that I’ve shit my pants in my twenties. (It’s been three times so far.) But at this point, I don’t know that reading this blog is so much about desire as it is necessity. I need to write this. And you need to read it. Not because of the quality of the writing or my ego, but because of its content. The simple facts.

It’s not a comedic blog.

“You just have a sense of humor while telling incredibly sad stories.”

God if I didn’t have my sense of humor, I don’t know how the fuck else I deal with the assloads of fuckery that bitch-fuckers dump into my life of glamour and ecstasy.

DON’T GIVE UP

JUST GET THROUGH

JAMES

“You’re funny, James. You should write more.”
~My super nice friends who deserve to eat gallons of cookies without ever gaining weight.

 

62. James and His Search For Love: Falling Victim to the Fuckboys

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A little more than a month ago, I started an internet campaign to find me a boyfriend. I posted these pictures with this description: “Hey friends. I’m turning this into a Facebook campaign. I’m looking for a man. If you know someone who won’t pick their nose at the dinner table or ask to see my butthole on the first date, send them my way. Share this post, and Jesus will be a biscuit and sop you up. This is not a joke. ‪#‎comethru‬

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photo (7) - Copy

I had many friends that helped out by sharing my internet campaign on their own Facebook pages. I was in awe of how many of my friends came through to help a bitch find a man. I think a lot of people were really excited to see how everything turned out. At the time, my friend turned to me and said,  “James, you should really blog about your search for love.”

I don’t know that I’ve ever written about anything else.

So here goes; a blog about my search for love:

After my post started getting circulated around Facebook, I started to get lots of responses. There were some guys that I honestly wasn’t attracted to, but that’s okay. And then I had some guys that I thought were really cute that expressed interest. I started to get excited and hopeful about my search for love so I redownloaded Hinge, a dating app on my phone.

I’m just gonna let you know that this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

I was messaging back and forth with some people who had reached out to me either directly or through a mutual friend. But any sparks that were ignited in these new interactions were swiftly extinguished and it wasn’t for wont of huge romantic, earth-shattering conversations. Some people are insanely busy; we live in NYC, I get it. But for some of these guys it was as if maintaining any sort of conversation was a monumental effort:

Me: How was your day?
Them: Good.
Me: Did you kill anyone?
Them: Just one person.
Me: Who?
(Two days later..)
Them: A coworker.
Me: What was the crime?
(Three days later)
Them: Huh????
Me: Why did you kill your coworker last week?
Them: I don’t remember.
Me:…Cool.

Jesus Christ, didn’t anyone ever tell you how to conduct a conversation like a human being? Does it cause you physical pain to have a personality? It’s like it takes too much effort to type more than ten fucking characters. I’m not asking you to be interesting; you can be the most boring motherfucker in the world. Clearly, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point anyway; I’m putting forth effort to participate in a conversation with this Australopithecus son-of-a-fucker. Be boring all you want. But at LEAST ask me about myself, because I will spice this shit up like sriracha in guacamole, motherfucker! I’m like a piñata full of glitter; crack me open and you will NOT be disappointed. But Heaven forbid you express any interest, because we may both be queer but we will NOT be so feminine as to care about anyone but ourselves. HELL NAH! You’re so boring that I’m becoming a boring person just by electronic association. You know what, I would probably have more fun peeling lead paint off the wall and eating it because it would KILL me, and death would be a kinder fate than this torturous conversation with someone who is “interested” in me. You just keep being too cool for school; let me know how that goes for you.

Which brings me to my next point. Yes, a lot of my friends shared my post after they saw other people sharing it. But I actually personally asked a lot of people to share my Facebook post. I made it extremely easy; literally all you had to do was click the “Share” button and then “Share Now”. It would take two clicks. Yes, probably too much effort for the fuckboys who can’t be bothered to have an intelligible conversation, but I knew my friends could handle it. And after asking them, almost all of them shared it without hesitations or dick-pic bribes. Truth be told, I know a lot of them would’ve seen my post and just ignored it without sharing. But I knew that in directly asking them they had to take a clear stance: yes or no. And if they said “no”, then they had to have an explanation. One of my friends responded, “Why are you doing this?” My response was, “Because I’m a fucking go-getter”. This friend didn’t end up sharing my post, but they weren’t the only one. Listen, you absolutely aren’t required to share my post on your personal social media page. That’s your prerogative, and that’s totally fine with me. I’m not gonna hold that against you as long as you know why you wouldn’t share it. There’s this stigma about publicly announcing that you’re looking for love. Yes, some people will judge you and say things like, “Wow, James is really desperate. I can’t believe he’s doing this. I would never do that. That’s embarrassing.” But fuck those people; they’re not your friends. And I don’t always love this part of myself either. But there’s a line in the book I’m reading that says: “If you truly love someone, you will cherish what they despise most about themselves” (The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness). In a nutshell: your friends won’t judge you and everyone else is a fuckboy.

In a nutshell, the campaign was mostly a bust.

Then it all started to go downhill after that.

I went on some Hinge dates, and not all of them were successful on my end. But whenever I had a bad date that I wasn’t interested in seeing again, I always made sure to send them a text to let them know that I wasn’t interested. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me, but I knew that it was the right thing to do. And every time, I received a response saying, “Okay. Thank you for your honesty.” Of course they could’ve responded rashly and called me terrible names, but that didn’t happen! It didn’t happen, okay? The world will not end if you are honest with people. Yes, you might let them down, but isn’t it better to know? I know how it feels to be on the other end of that situation, and being ghosted just sucks. For those of you who don’t know, “ghosting” is when you’re talking to someone regularly, and they suddenly stop responding. They disappeared; the Rapture took them away but left their social media accounts running at full speed; they ghosted you. I got ghosted by people I went on actual dates with! I know you exist; I fuckin’ met you, bitch; you can’t claim the Rapture as an excuse cuz I JUST SAW YOU.

I’m juggling all sorts of man-fuckery in my life, and then I’m walking down the street and some kids yelled out their car window, “YOU GAY ASS MOTHAFUCKA!!!” We can make all sorts of jokes about it. “I mean, were the wrong?” “Well what did you expect wearing that outfit?” “They were just talking about your hot ass!” It’s easy. Making jokes is what I do. I understand why these assholes say stupid shit to me, but it still hurts.

62.4

This is the outfit I was wearing.

I understand that those kids don’t have to take accountability for their actions, because they could just drive away after they yelled hurtful things at me. I understand that the fuckboys don’t have to take accountability when they ghost me because of their foolproof out-of-sight-out-of-mind reasoning; “If I don’t see the damage I’ve done, then I haven’t done any.” I understand that it has absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with their own fucked up issues. But it still fucking hurts god damnit.

So I went to the gym to take out my aggression against everyone and then I took a picture with this caption:

Bitch I don't know how to photoshop; I'm just a gay ass mothafucka.

“Bitch I don’t know how to photoshop; I’m just a gay ass mothafucka.”

Then one of my friends commented, “You seem angry.”

….

I AM ANGRY. And here’s why:

After I posted this picture, I got some really amazing comments from my friends. Here are some examples of their amazing comments:
“You are fucking fierce! I cannot even!!!”
“You are classic movie star gorgeous.”
“You need to be on a CW show.”
“#canIgetamopforallmycum”

But then I had some fuckboys come crawling out of their filthy cum-dens due to the utter thirst. So for all the fuckboys, this is my ode to you…

“Oh, Stupid Fuckboys who come scuttling when I post a picture of my abs. No bitch. No girl. No sir. You don’t get to just disappear whenever you like and reappear when I yell ‘SOOOOEEY!’ It may be dinner time for some, but bitch, tonight you’re going to bed hungry. If you didn’t want me when all you could see was my inner beauty and my killer personality then you DEFINITELY don’t deserve to drool over my outer beauty. Go join the other fuckboys. Because while I’m here being a fucking 26 year-old man, you’re just a 14 year-old boy who yells at his Super Nintendo and slams his controller on the ground because of prepubescent rage. Grow up. Call me when our relationship wouldn’t be statutory. Girl bye. Go slam your dick in a door; it’ll be kinder than anything I would do to your golf-pencil dick. But still that would cause you less pain than all the emotional and mental torture I’ve experienced with the fucking fadeaway and the ghosting. Girl bye. Fuckin scrubs. And yes, I realize I dodged a bullet in the long run, but it’s impossible to avoid all the shrapnel flying through the air as I sprint blindfolded through this fucking minefield that is Looking For Love In The 21st Century. I don’t know how to play by your rules, Fuckboys. I don’t know how to be “sort of interested” or “neither here nor there”. I’m either in or I’m out, and bitch, you are OUT. So yes, sure, you did me a favor. Give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back for circumventing giving me the full brunt of your adolescent fuckery, but don’t for a second think that you caused me no pain by ‘letting me off easy’. You’re a coward, and they don’t have no reward for that. Oh, and Fuckboy, if you have time to post a Facebook status about some sort of assery that narry a fuck could give two shits about, then you have time to send me one of your painfully inane and succinct text messages saying, “not interested sorry #toocoolforpunctuation”. But you seem really busy sucking on a binky that’s twice the size of your own personal penis. It’s not hard to respond to a text message. I promise it’ll be easier than ignoring that annoying homeless man asking you to spare some of the plentiful change you have clanging around in your backpack. So girl bye. But no, you don’t deserve to be likened to a girl cuz women are far cooler than you, because they did you the insurmountable favor of pushing your sorry ass out of their vagina. So bye, Fuckboy. Good-the-fuck-bye.”

*mic drop*

JAMES

“Tell me what you know about love”
~”Tmwykal” by SoMo