The shower area of the gym is steamy, warm, and a most welcome feeling with the chill of winter’s approach outside. I towel off in the shower stall so I don’t track a pool of water into my private changing area, before I notice the tanned, dusty-haired, blonde that had been making eyes at me across cardio equipment. He’s an attractive guy – beefy, with body hair in all right places, and an ass that looks like it could feed a small family – but I tend to lean more towards dark-haired men, and let’s not forget that I’m off the market. Our shower and changing rooms were right next to each other, and there are only three showers so the space between the two is small. Removing his towel so only his front was covered, he offers carnal grin. “Good morning” he says, still holding the towel with only a couple fingers just under his navel; revealing a wet torso and thighs. “Good morning. Did you have a good workout?” I know exactly what he’s up to, so I slip into my changing room and calmly close the half door. Making sure the door doesn’t slam, I leave him alone and exposed in the small area between shower and changing room. I begin to dry off as he answers my question, and the small talk continues the entirety of my getting dressed. Fully dressed I make my way out of the changing stall. “See you tomorrow” he flirts with another grin. “Later! Have a good day.” My inner Beyonce tends to surface after all of my workouts – various songs of hers play in my head (complete with choreography) when I notice changes in my body as I’ve already lost 100 lbs – making me feel strong, awake, and confident going into the work day. The influence of Scorpio season and the fact that I had just been cruised at the gym had my inner Queen Bey slaying the stage; dropping it like it was hot all the way to the car. It wasn’t even 7AM yet! I can’t wait to tell S what happened.
Forbidden fruit comes in the form of the heterosexual male. During my time in the closet – from eighth grade until about three weeks into my college career – I had plenty of secret crushes on straight friends that I knew I could not have. I strongly believe that it’s this time in the closet that causes the craving for a straight guy to brew and reach extremely potent levels. I remember when guys would ask me “what I was looking for” in a guy – in various gay dating chat rooms – and I would simply respond with the descriptor: “straight-acting.” What does that even mean?! That description is still frequently tossed around in regular conversation amongst gay friends. Stereotypically speaking, the term “straight-acting” represents a heterosexual guy who is macho, strong, and handy, is into sports, and doesn’t mind getting dirty; someone that can wrestle in a godly fashion. The picture next to my interpretation of the definition would be an image of thick, burly, muscular lumberjacks; complete with tight denim and a big axes. He would be a bearded, gloriously-sweaty – Gaston from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” – or a Gerard Butler type of guy.
Little did I know then, that I would end up with my “straight-acting” guy. It’s always an adventure with S, especially now that we live under one roof. My daily interests revolve around the performing arts – having played music from a young age – Pinterest boards, organizing our closet, and stressing about the growing bald spot at the back of my head. S will spend the entire college basketball off-season counting down to the first game of the next season. He grew up on a farm with real chores – raising horses and cleaning stalls – and can change the oil on his own car. You’d think that being from Alaska I would be a better outdoors person, but he takes the cake in that area too. We went hiking once with friends, and I spent the entire time running from ticks. Occasionally I’ll get in his car and he’ll have it tuned to a sports radio show. “What’s this?” was the question I would ask with the look of instant boredom smeared across my face. He would then proceed to laugh and let me plug in Spotify; set to the “Radiohead Radio” station most likely. I imagine S probably has the same look on his face when I turn on an episode of ABC’s “Scandal.” Since our beginning, I have joked with friends and family about S being my “straight curse.” Every day I gain life from the gifts my curse provides… for this I will be forever thankful.