9:03, and the sex had dried up like the Gobi. Not two minutes earlier, my climax hit an understated rage of “get ‘er done boy,” then all systems shut down. The rest was acting, eyes halfway tilted at the ceiling in tired, artificial ecstasy, halfway at the clock–9:04, 9:05, 9:06 … 

A few years ago, the only writings that litanized my hot-winded blog were theological sermons on sex. I remember scrolling through 1 Corinthians in my mind as the tirades went on, buttressed occasionally by T.S. Eliot’s poetry and the confessions of the queeny Augustine. Drama was ripe and rich in my writings then. Sex was a seedy play in two acts–climax and guilt.

There’s much I could say now about what I’ve learned in my sexual forays–practically and theologically. But however much I relish the fantasy, the lusty deceits and bad-boy seductions, it ends up slapping me in the face with the same two dry acts. Shakespeare would be bored to tears; the Pope would be proud.

I don’t suppose there’s much to say about it being a gay problem. I think the consternation would be as great if I were straight, playing the field and finding my sexual self. There is a part of me, a genuine, earthy part of me that shuts down when the physical is satisfied. Awful? Twice over. However much you may think it stems from absent intimacy and lack of attraction, the truth is this: it comes from nowhere else but my many-layered, confused psyche. 

Oh, there’s some soul-searing in there, too, and spiritual upset that never saw faith-filled Pepto-Bismol cure the ills that plagued me. I think, frankly, there is still a part of me content with the unhealthy distance, the rough separation of church and state of sexuality. Primacy belongs to the church, to faith, to the Catholic-commanded embrace of spirituality and casting out of the physical.

But I am both too old and too young to believe that nonsense. Nonetheless it clings to me like a haunting memory, like the ones who love me who want nothing more than to be physically intimate. But I look at the clock–9:07–and think on sleep. Away from that place I go. Away.

There is healing to be done, and apologies to make. This post could very well push away the hearts that seek me out. And if I am sexually handicapped, I should like nothing more than to have the courage to acknowledge it and move forward, healing old wounds. And to stop being ashamed.

How unlike so many in the gay community I am! How at war with lust and loving sex, how deeply enamored of making love, pure and simple, how poetic in my obfuscations and disgustingly cerebral in my evasion.

At the end of the night, showering in the wake of un-intimate intercourse, I can imagine I’m more than a frustration to many. I hope it occurs to them, even in their frustration, that I am as frustrated as they are.   

What was it the Marquis de Sade said? “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.” I can only imagine what he meant in the moment, but it speaks volumes to me–to me, and about me.