From a young age, sex becomes known as the three letter word only for adults. It is whispered in the shadows and behind closed doors, and for that very reason it captures our imagination. It becomes this living, breathing thing we want to chase, never knowing it’s been with us all along—our birthright. For Gordie, a late-thirtysomething from Los Angeles and New Orleans, his journey would not only involve him chasing it, but dancing with it for all to see. And that’s just the beginning.
The first time I lost my virginity was an odd happening. I was 16/17. I had my grandmother’s car and had gone to a military base to a club. I danced all night with this woman who was going to Iraq the next day who was 26/27. She thought I was an older guy so we went back to her barracks. She set the mood and turned on sexy music.
She was a little masculine and in control—like a tomboy—so she took charge in the bedroom. When it was over, I felt inadequate and like I didn’t give her what she wanted. I felt like I’d been dishonest with both of us by going through with it. I tried to enjoy it and to like it. But there wasn’t a lot of talking or intimacy; she was tipsy, and in the end, it felt more like I was just there to help her get off before she left town—nothing more. I’d never experienced that before.
But with a guy, it was much more emotional. I felt those things that I thought I would feel with a woman. It was confusing, but physically gratifying, which scared me. I wanted to know why it felt so amazing to me. It was the opposite end of the spectrum of enjoyment, but I just really didn’t know what to do with myself. I was a wreck afterwards. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I felt like I’d done the worst wrong to my family and God.
With a guy, it was much more emotional. I felt those things that I thought I would feel with a woman. It was confusing, but physically gratifying, which scared me.
Emotionally, I became completely withdrawn because I didn’t know how to communicate what was going on. For some time, I had nothing to do with sex. Not even masturbation. Of course, I eventually came out of that and re-explored. But for a couple of years, I was really closed off; I didn’t want anyone to see what had happened and that I had actually had sex with a man.
When I moved to Atlanta, I was about to turn 20. All of my life I had struggled with insecurities and I didn’t know that I was very attractive. The girls in high school said I was cute, but I wanted to be seen as sexy and sexually desirable. When I got to Atlanta, I got more attention than I thought I would and I quickly realized it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I always came out with the short end of the stick. I didn’t know how other men operated, what they wanted, or how to get what I wanted out of our experiences.
It was complicated trying to figure out how to use beauty because I always ended up being hurt financially, emotionally, and mentally. At the time, the only thing I knew about homosexuality was that the men were feminine; I didn’t know there were men who were masculine.
The gay scene was really harsh and rigid. You could only be one way—masculine or feminine. I thought you could be yourself… I was picked on all over again, but this time for being too masculine.
And having grown up in church and having suppressed everything for so long, I would try to fit into these other places, but I could no longer silence that part of myself. I knew I liked dudes, but I still didn’t know how I really felt about it or if I accepted it. Part of this was because the people I met had a completely different language and they got pissed off when I would be nice to women.
The gay scene was really harsh and rigid. You could only be one way—masculine or feminine. I thought you could be yourself, and that that was the point in being gay, but that wasn’t the truth. I was picked on all over again but this time for being too masculine. I fought back.
I didn’t discriminate who I hung around because part of the attraction was that they were so free and strong enough to go into the world being who they were. But when they started to pick on me, I told them that I accepted them to be themselves as they swished down the street, but that I didn’t understand why they were trying to make me be a certain way. Eventually, those who were okay with that accepted me—and those who didn’t left.
We all just wanted someone, but because of the way the scene was set up, sex was easier to find than intimacy. Eventually, I had to leave everything I thought I knew when I became numb, again.
Having to play a role was very important as a stripper and escort because in order to be successful you really had to know people. After a while, I could look at a guy and understand what kind of guys he liked, such as more masculine or aggressive. I learned my customers and what they liked.
But eventually, I left the gay scene because I realized everyone around me was unhappy, needy, and very lonely. I realized that everyone in the club—from patron to stripper—was there for the same reason: they wanted intimacy and someone to love them.
For example, one of my escorting experiences was with an older teacher. He would pay me to watch “Will & Grace” with him because he didn’t have anyone to talk to about it—and that worked for both of us. I was happy because I didn’t have to have sex and he was happy because he felt like he had a friend there. We all just wanted someone, but because of the way the scene was set up, sex was easier to find than intimacy. Eventually, I had to leave everything I thought I knew when I became numb, again.
When I think about my relationship to sex, it has been interesting my entire life. I was intrigued by it since I was 10 years old until 18. Then I was repulsed by it, and then completely infatuated with it all over again. Now, I’ve come to a place where I’m trying to understand myself and why I think of it in certain ways. Honestly, it’s still a work in progress. It’s one of those things that will continue to be an evolution.
At 10 years old, all the men I knew had porn collections—my grandfather, father and uncles—and they weren’t hidden. You didn’t see or watch them because it was theirs. The way people responded to sex and even how they talked about it was so interesting. I was always so curious why people would do anything for it. I didn’t get it. I wasn’t there yet, and at times I’m still not.
By 18, I’d had my first couple of experiences with males and females. I didn’t connect emotionally with either. I didn’t know what to do. All I could think about were the physical acts: one wasn’t warranted and the other didn’t end in the best way. None of them were ideal and I was so turned off by it.
I started asking myself, “Why do people come here? Why do people even strip?”
By that time, I’d accepted my attractiveness, I had become a stripper, which required owning my sexuality and machismo. So, I started to explore that as well. I was curious like a 10 year-old. I wondered, “What can this person do? How quickly can I get it?” Every idea and thought I’d ever had of sex I used to do my own “dissertation,” nearly 10 years’ worth.
Later, in the last three years, I felt like I knew everything and every kind of person. I was bored with it and had become bitter with it. I started asking myself, “Why do people come here? Why do people even strip?” I would get my drink and then put on my costume. I wasn’t enjoying it—I was just playing a role.
Having to play a role was very important as a stripper and escort because in order to be successful you really had to know people…I realized that everyone in the club—from patron to stripper—was there for the same reason: they wanted intimacy and someone to love them.