Dear readers: I'm writing this week's column in a drug-induced coma. Well, not quite a coma, but close. I was fighting a cold for two weeks, and the cold won: It morphed into an insanely painful sinus infection — you know it's bad when your doctor urges you to err on the side of too much Vicodin, not too little. So a warning to everyone whose letter appears in this week's column: My reliably sucky advice is probably going to be suckier than usual.
This probably falls into the category of a so-what's-the-problem problem: I'm a bearish 44-year-old who can't get a hot Latin 18-year-old guy to stop sucking my dick. Craigslist was involved initially. But now he comes by for weekly sessions of mutual head and leaves immediately afterward. His round trip on the subway lasts longer than his stays at my place. He's a sweet kid but deeply closeted; given what little I know of his Dominican family and group of friends, he's years away from coming out. I'm under no illusion that I'm what he's looking for, but I am an available sexual outlet. The trouble for me is he won't kiss and won't do anything social with me, and the novelty of getting naked with an 18-year-old has worn off. I could stop seeing him, I guess, but saying, "You give great head, but you bore me" is rude. I'm mindful of your rule about treating younger partners like campsites: Leave them in better shape than you found them. I'm doing that, by treating him respectfully and showing him that it's possible to be openly gay and have support from family and friends, but I don't know where to go next. —Not Wild About The Boy
Don't sell yourself short, NWATB: It's possible that this 18-year-old is into you. He could be one of those younger guys who prefer older men, and bearish older guys could be his type. But the eat-and-run routine makes it somewhat likelier that you're not, in fact, what he's looking for, but all he feels he can safely get. You're far enough away geographically, and far enough removed socially, that there's no risk of exposure. He's not going to run into you on the street when he's walking around with his friends, and the odds that you know someone in common are nonexistent.
Anyway, here's what you do: Tell him that he's hot, tell him that he's a good little cocksucker, but that's not enough for you to sustain your interest. You're not asking to meet his friends or family — you're not asking him to risk exposure — but if he wants to keep blowing you, well, there's going to be some getting to know you. He'll have to risk a conversation now and then, maybe even watching a movie together sometime at your apartment. Tell him you can't be friends-with-benefits with someone who isn't a friend.
A lot of desperate-to-stay-closeted cases convince themselves that they won't ever have to come out if they can get their sexual needs met in one place and their emotional needs met in another. By showing him that a healthy gay person successfully integrates his sexual and emotional needs — which you'll have done whether he keeps coming over or not — you'll be honoring the campsite rule.
I know you were raised Catholic but are now an atheist. I'm curious if you might still believe in God if you took the time to expose yourself to other faith traditions that are more accepting of gay people. Have you looked at Buddhism or Hinduism? There is a great deal of evidence for reincarnation, and what better way to say "it gets better" than by saying you get to do it again and again until you get it right? —Born Again And Again
The Catholic Church's stance on homosexuality gave me a big sad when I was an adolescent, it's true, but I didn't come to the conclusion that there is no God based solely on that big sad. My sexuality prompted me to question not just the faith in which I was raised, BAAA, but all faiths. And none, in my semi-informed opinion, stood up to scrutiny. I simply don't know how any reasonable person can look at all world religions, living and dead, and come to the conclusion that one particular tribe or prophet or science-fiction writer got it right and every other tribe, prophet, and science-fiction writer got it wrong.
But if I was gonna pick a faith based on gayness alone, I would go with Antinous. He was the big gay lover of the big gay second-century Roman emperor Hadrian, the dude who built the wall that kept Mary Queen of Scots from sneaking into Roman Britain and stealing the scones of stones or something. Hadrian, a bearish guy in his 40s, was hopelessly in love with Antinous, a Bithynian teenager. Hadrian's Bithynian, like the NWATB's Dominican, must have given amazing head because after Antinous died — he drowned while swimming in the Nile — Hadrian had him declared a god. Take it away, Wikipedia:
"The grief of the emperor knew no bounds, causing the most extravagant veneration to be paid to Antinous' memory. Cities were founded in his name, medals struck with his likeness, and cities throughout the east commissioned godlike images of the dead youth for their shrines and sanctuaries. ... As a result, Antinous is one of the best-preserved faces from the ancient world."
My husband Terry looks like Antinous — it's true — so, yeah, I'd hit and/or worship that.
As for reincarnation, well, have you seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? I wouldn't mind coming back as that magical pair of pants — only, instead of being passed between best friends Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen, I'd like to be passed between Broadway stars Cheyenne, Andrew, Nick and Kyle. And instead of being a pair of magical blue jeans, I'd like to be a magical dance belt. If there's a religion that could make that happen for me, BAAA, sign my ass up.
Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to [email protected] or @fakedansavage on Twitter