I always had a fairly Low Sex Drive.
When I was forty I met a handsome man a a washbasin
by the crowded urinals of the Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg) in Paris.
He was so friendly I invited him for coffee
at my nearby (borrowed) pied-à-terre.
He suggested that I was queer in more than one way.
Up to that point I hadn't thought of myself as gay.
He told me about bars, newspapers and networks
and the city's upcoming, nearby Gay Quarter.
He was the first man I kissed, and I took to kissing
hairy mouths like a duck to water.
It's only now that I realise
that I soon became a queer kind of male prostitute
who made the right signals to a certain kind of
(necessarily bearded) male of my own age
(or twenty years on either side) to enhance
my socio-aesthetic life so long confined by rural Ireland
(though it could just as easily have been rural France).
Sex was not the main object of my exercise
(and just as well, because, like any prostitute,
I've had so much 'bad sex' that I've become asexual,
and in any case I was a averse to penetration)
but occasionally it was wonderful.
(That was the spermatic icing on the cake.)
I fancied men who looked as though they would
widen my cultural horizons - which they often did
in small but important ways. I doubt that I widened theirs
for they seemed both limited and empty, like lost thimbles.
But looks often deceive, and for decades I,
a mercifully-fatherless fool, mistakenly
judged men largely on their appearance: eyes or smile.
I have always confused truth and beauty,
especially as both seem to be in the mind of the beholder.
Most of them were 'deadbeats' socially or psychologically
who often were attracted to me because they mistook
my complaisant naivety for sexiness.
Cannabis helped to counteract the not-infrequent
rapid loss of desire. I guess real prostitutes
need similar 'support' to function,
especially as they have to deal with constant penetration
- which I generally refused.
The tawdriness, banality of 'sex' can be overcome
only by blinding lust - or by tuning out.
One of my few remaining friends
was the first man I 'had sex with'
after my Conversation. It was terrible,
lasted ten minutes,
and we became firm friends. He lives in London
which I will never again visit, nor any city.
But as I grew older I discovered that I was
(or had become, thanks to the mind-expanding BBC
- greatly more mind-expanding than psilocybin or LSD)
rather more 'cultivated' - indeed 'profound' -
than the lonely or sex-wanting guys I met in cities,
and I had wider interests. Now I find men limited and limiting,
and my own age-group less and and less appealing.
More and more I enjoy my socio-sexual isolation
and my rare desire for Sexual Relief is very nicely, pleasantly
and inexpensively sated by creative masturbation.