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Get Naked: Sex advice for New Yorkers (September 20, 2012)

Jamie Bufalino learns being intersex is no laughing matter.

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Q I am a straight dude, or was until two weeks ago. I went drinking with my best friend from high school, who is openly gay. We went back to his place, I got a massage that turned into a wrestling match and, um, ended up having the best sex of my life. I’ve been happily married for three years, but this literally made my body vibrate, and he orally satisfied me in ways no woman ever has—I came down his throat (my fantasy). I am now having homo panic—am I gay? We haven’t spoken since, and we usually talk daily—there’s definitely some weirdness between us now. The biggest problem is I cheated on my wife and feel terrible. He’s good friends with her, and I think she’s catching on that something is up, because he hasn’t been around. What to do? See a therapist? Am I a latent homo? I’ve never had the desire to have sex with guys. What to do?!?

A Let’s start here: You went back to your openly gay friend’s apartment for a drunken massage that, ahem, turned into a wrestling match? I have no idea whether you’re actually gay, but one thing is clear: You wanted to have sex with that friend of yours. I say that because it doesn’t sound like a situation where you were suddenly overtaken by an erotic impulse. There was an escalating progression to it, none of which seems to have fazed you at all. So where does that leave you? With one of two scenarios. One: You had this long-standing, unstated attraction to one of your male friends, which culminated in a one-off, never-gonna-happen-again sexcapade. In order to return to a state of marital semi-normalcy, you have to explain and make amends to your wife, and talk with your friend to reset boundaries and return to a state of platonic semi-normalcy. Or two: You have to do some soul-searching and ask yourself, was this episode of the best come-guzzled sex of your life actually an epiphany? Has it cast in stark relief the fact that your previous heterosexual experiences haven’t been as rewarding as you’d like them to be? Answering yes to the latter question doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gay. It might mean that, of course (or at least that there’s one guy who seriously rocks your world), but it might mean that you’re simply not expressing the full range of your libidinous desires. Since having your come swallowed was such a big fantasy of yours, I wonder why it hasn’t ever happened in your hetero relationships, particularly with your wife. Instead of distracting yourself with the “Am I gay?” question, I suggest you ask yourself, What’s missing from my sex life, and what can I do to feel more fulfilled?

Q I am fed up with my friend double and triple man-dipping, and I don’t know what to do. She has been with her boyfriend for ten years and has been secretly seeing, dating, sucking and boinking other men. A few months ago she started crashing at this new guy’s place three to four days a week. To top it off, she is on his health insurance by faking a domestic partnership. To her, it’s free rent and health insurance, and I am afraid she is taking advantage of him. The saddest thing is that she continues to see her boyfriend of ten years, while this other guy has no clue. I have told her numerous times to end the relationship with her boyfriend. She is unhappy with him, but says she will replace him when she finds a better guy. I find her disgusting and don’t know whether to continue our friendship or keep a distance. She has so many lives it makes me wonder what she hides from me. What is your advice?

A Obviously, this is a toxic—bordering on psychopathic—individual, who would do or say anything to look out for herself. This is not a person you should continue to be friends with. I would be careful about the way you disengage from her, however. Don’t call her on her lies or expose the vast web of her deceit, just phase her out slowly (like allowing long lag times between returning her calls and texts). Doing it any other way could risk having her turn her horrendousness on you.

Q I read with horror your recent response to the guy who had a possible encounter with a “hermaphrodite.” Frankly, the person who asked the question had a far better attitude, and possible grasp of anatomy, than you. A friend of mine from high school recently came out as intersex, which is the correct terminology. He started a blog, the Intersex Roadshow (intersexroadshow.blogspot.com). Considering your clear ignorance as to intersex anatomical variations, and that you find the whole matter hilarious, I think you must read it. Most people who are intersex, and their families and loved ones, do not find the condition hilarious, or even mildly amusing. I hope you learn something. Even better, please publish your research and correct your former column, and use your position to educate your readers to a very sensitive topic.

A First of all, I tend to be an equal-opportunity jokester, so I don’t see why I have to take a purely solemn approach to a question about a possible intersex encounter. Furthermore, what little humor there was in that response was directed at the non-intersex dude. Still, I took your advice, checked out the blog and came away with a lot of info I’d never heard before. Such as: “About 1 in 1,000 babies are classified at birth by doctors as intersex because their genitalia appear atypical. This is more babies than are born with Down syndrome. Many more babies are diagnosed as having a ‘disorder of sex development’ based on variant genitalia, yet not given an ‘official’ intersex diagnosis. Other individuals are not diagnosed at birth, as their genitals appear fairly standard, but later are found to have an intersex condition.” You never pointed out what you thought I got so wrong anatomically, but after reading the blog I realize that you’re right. Neither I, nor the confused guy who wrote in, can know exactly what the physiological situation was—since, by definition, intersex people are dealing with genitalia that are unique.

Send letters to Jamie Bufalino c/o Time Out New York, 475 Tenth Avenue, 12th floor, New York, NY 10018, or send e-mail to sex@timeoutny.com.