It is a truth universally acknowledged, though seldom discussed, that it is difficult to make small talk with someone whose face you have grown accustomed to masturbating to.
Less acknowledged, though equally worthy of discussion, is that this truth is doubly felt if the face belongs to someone you are meeting for the first time. Certain subtleties crucial to a successful introductory chat – such as forming words, listening, or the general ability to communicate – are all but impossible to convey when your speaking partner is a porn star. That is, when your speaking partner is the star of a series of tasteful art-pornos on regular rotation in the streaming queue of your spank bank. Even I, a person whose greatest talents lie in the art of conversation (assuming we don’t consider ‘spending money’ or ‘getting high’ traditional talents), found this sort of situation almost too difficult to bear. There I was, spectacularly vomiting word salads all over a face I had last seen dripping with someone’s load, and I was unable to express anything beyond a flustered titter or two. Contrary to what one might wish for in the heat of the moment, suddenly bumping into one of your screen crushes in the flesh is not much of a fun, sexy time.
It also didn’t help that he was French, had a fastidiously trimmed moustache, and was unbelievably attractive. Any one of these character traits are fine qualities to have, but a person who wields all three is dangerous. This lethal combo had reduced me to a wad of horny, gooey putty in his beautifully manicured Parisian hands.
Still, I persisted, and eventually persevered, in making something resembling a conversation. At least I must have, for my next memory is of saying goodbye. “Hope to see you around,” he said, a word of parting innocent enough were it not for his hand resting upon my hip, a hair’s breadth away from stroking my ass. I zeroed in on the centre of his moustache, hoping a laser-focused gaze at those auburn bristles would prevent me from melting to the floor.
Thinking back to it, I was, of course, hot and bothered, but not just erotically. Something about this exchange perturbed me at a level far beyond the surface layer of social anxiety of meeting a jerk-off fantasy and flubbing it. There was a sense of guilt mucking around down there; it seemed unfair that I had an intimate history with this person before I had even met him, and that I projected this history onto him and in doing so objectified him, preventing me from behaving like a real person. Maybe I was being hard on myself – I mean how often do you expect to bump into a person you’ve gotten used to seeing as a ghost offering semen-related services from the spirit world in a haunted attic? Surely just completing an interaction with that sort of baggage is an accomplishment in itself?
Meeting him on these terms shifted a balance in my favor; I held the upper hand in having a great deal of knowledge about my speaking partner while he, presumably, had none about me. But when we met next, this dynamic would be emphatically reversed, and it would carry profound consequences for me and for my sex life.
“This is the first time we’ve ever run through Alexanderplatz while not wearing pants!” panted Fábio, cigarette flailing wildly along the edge of their mouth. “Isn’t it amazing?!”
It was a bitter cold night in March, and we were indeed cantering at a hectic pace through an icy, isolated Alexanderplatz without pants. Or underpants, really; all that I was wearing between my socks and my Regency-era chocolate brown blazer was a blazing red custom jockstrap, designed and created by Fábio for one of their collections. The only thing shrouding my bare butt cheeks from the world was a comically large fur coat, though even this did not protect me from the cold air below. We were searching for eggs, the element most crucial to Fábio’s impending performance and, naturally, the one thing on our to-do list we forgot to bring to the party. Though we had only been huffing and puffing for a few minutes, the search was starting to seem utterly futile; there are, after all, only so many places one can buy eggs in at 3:00 in the morning.
Scanning row upon row of darkened storefronts, we judged the best course of action was to hop in a cab and drive until we came upon the first available source of eggs. Once found, it was I who ran inside to sniff them out. In spite of the mild rush we were in to get back, I perused the cramped, overflowing shelves of the späti, fur coat clenched tightly around me to prevent public indecency, with a savoured slowness, letting the waves of an ecstasy high lap up to my waking mind and numb the mild unease I had about entering such an explicitly sexual space. Though getting fucked in a club was one of the decisive experiences which informed my move to Berlin, it’s a dicier prospect once you actually live here. The strangers and dark shapes affording you pleasure in a darkroom frequently turn out to be future friends or colleagues, and the social ramifications of sleeping with a friend of a friend is a complex web to navigate.
Add this to any preexisting conditions of questioning your gender and/or sexuality and the societal nightlife custom of intense sex at parties has the potential to be downright traumatic. The night of this particular gathering, I was deep in such psychic trenches, balancing the conflicting urges of wanting to fuck and feeling too self-conscious to have anyone see or know about it. Wanting to be sexualised like everyone else I knew, yet proudly conducting myself as unapproachable. Likewise, I wanted to be at a party where the opportunity to have sex could arise at any moment, but I dreaded being surrounded by it.
“Oh, THANK you Mr. Eggman! Thank you!” cooed Fábio as I tumbled back into the cab (for as the gospel of John Waters, book of Pink Flamingos, teaches us, ‘when life gives you eggs, give thanks to the Eggman’). We clutched the eggs like precious gems and cackled maniacally, already self-mythologising ‘The Tale of the Midnight Pantless Egg Run’. It seemed like a positive omen for the evening ahead, and – combined with the devil-may-care attitude inherent in going bare ass at a party – I decided I was more frisky than fearful.
Fábio’s performance went well; it was certainly invigorating. It was the second iteration in a series titled ‘OMNIPRESENT’, which finds the artist presenting intimate but confrontational multimedia performances making jarring use of outside objects. The object this go-round was eggs, and in an evocation of the medieval religious practice of self-flagellation, they were smashed, splattered and flagellated across the artist’s back.
Responses were mostly positive, though one partygoer was incensed about a bit of gooey egg white which flew into the waiting clutches of her hair. It demonstrated the essential aspect of the piece: the audacity to bring eggs (let alone to break eggs) into the sphere of the club in the first place.
I peeled away afterward, immersed in my thoughts and strolling listlessly through the club’s damp passages. During my last visit to this party, I had seen the first boy I had fucked upon moving to the city getting spit roasted by two hulking shadows. I was blasted on ketamine and coming upon that scene stirred things deep inside me, a strange channeling of emotions I couldn’t completely describe. It was an indelicate reminder of my own inability to find such abandon starring an ill-remembered figure from my recent past. The sense of being exposed overwhelmed me – my lust crushed under the knowledge that every foray would be witnessed en masse and instantly inscribed in the public record.
This feeling puzzled me, n…