“You’re too vanilla”: Confessions of a sexually tame gay man

I like sex in a bed, with no lights, and my eyes closed. After another guy dumped me, I wondered: Could I open up?

By Mark Jason Williams
Published February 16, 2015 12:30AM (EST)
     (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-496000p1.html'>3523studio</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(3523studio via Shutterstock/Salon)

My boyfriend, John, and I were having dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant when he brought up Valentine’s Day plans. “We should go see ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,'” he suggested. John was ravenous for the books. Like millions of others, he found them arousing, though the only thing they aroused in me was confusion.

“How can you be so turned on when the writing is so bad?” I wondered. I didn’t love the movie idea, but it seemed better than an overpriced dinner or some other forced romantic gesture, so I agreed. “We’ll see a hot naked guy, hear some Beyoncé and have a few laughs—how bad can it be?” I joked. John wasn’t amused. He looked at me with disgust, like I’d just murdered his dog.

“Forget it. I’ll go with someone el...

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Mark Jason Williams

Mark Jason Williams is a playwright and essayist living in Harlem. His work has been produced in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington D.C., and has appeared on OUT and The Daily Dot. He is currently working on a novel.

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