Ask Andrew W.K.: Should I Experiment With the Same Sex?

AndrewWK560.jpg
Photo Jonathon Thorpe
[Editor's note: Every Wednesday New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions, and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]

Dear Mister Double You Kay,

For most of my life I've identified as a straight male, but for some reason, I've been wanting to experiment with the same sex. I still find women attractive, but I've always had that "what if" question in the back of my mind about men. Do you offer any advice on this?

- Anonymous

See also: Our Ask Andrew W.K. archive

Dear Anonymous,

It seems like there's a spectrum of personal sexual preference that goes from extremely heterosexual on one end, all the way to extremely homosexual on the other end. But I imagine most people don't fall all the way to one side or another, even if they choose to live that way. For lots of people, it's a big spiral of feelings and ideas--not just a simple "this" or "that."

The good thing is, only you can tell what interests you, and you don't have to put a label on those feelings. You don't have to identify as a "straight male" or "gay" or "bisexual." You can just be yourself and move through this world in a way that celebrates it. That's partying.

Also, you don't have to jump right into any new experience head-on (pun intended), you can follow this new interest in a low-pressure and fun way. Start with exploring your fantasies alone before launching into a full-blown encounter with another person. Having a "what if" question in the back of your mind doesn't mean much if a vivid fantasy doesn't actually end up turning you on, so play out situations using your imagination.

If those ideas do turn you on, then follow that fantasy to the next step and try watching pornography that relates to your fantasies. And if that also turns you on, then start looking for an actual encounter. People who allow themselves to enjoy different ideas about sex are courageous. In addition to your own sexuality, I'd recommend applying this same adventurous self-awareness to other parts of your life.

What other "what ifs" are in the back of your mind, beyond sex? Use this as a jumping-off point to start following all your dreams with the same intensity, bravery, and honesty that you're applying to your sexuality. And then you'll really be partying hard.

Your friend,
Andrew W.K.

What advice do you have for someone facing homelessness and struggling to have a job, water, food, and other bare essentials to survive?

- Tim

Dear Tim,

First of all, don't give up. Second, work your ass off. Third, stay strong and do everything you can to hold your feeling of life together. There are moments when many of us get close to the edge in different ways, and there can be almost a magnetic pull to go off the edge--kind of like riding your bike near a cliff and for some reason your whole body seems to pull towards where you don't want to go.

This is the time to surround yourself with your own power. Even if there aren't others around you to comfort you and cheer you on, there's still you. And you can always care for yourself. That's the most important person right now: You. Always be able to count on yourself and find strength in your own presence.

While you're with yourself, you might as well take an extremely honest look at your life and what caused you to wind up here. Be brutal with yourself. Even if it's painful, try to take as much responsibility for your situation as you can. Even if others deserve blame, don't blame them--and don't blame bad luck or anything outside of your immediate self.

Why? Because you want to give yourself and only yourself the power to make or break your own life. The same power that got your here, also can get you out. And as you go through this experience, try to learn from the entire adventure. What's so great about "regular life" anyway? A lot of people are miserable and they've got all the bare essentials covered and lots more. Comfort, security, and happiness come from inside you.

You have found yourself here and you must embrace it. Fight for what you want and what you love, not against what you hate and don't want. You will make it through this. And please write back with a mailing address so I can send you some cash. Stay positive.

Your friend,
Andrew W.K.

See also: Ask Andrew W.K.: What Do You Do if You Suspect Your Man is Cheating?.



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26 comments
willwolf89
willwolf89

Joining the army may not be a bad idea, some times in moments of major stress and brotherhood you discover who you really are and you can find out what your dreams are from that point...

advicefromparadise
advicefromparadise

You can always try 'advice from paradise' column in the LA Record (larecord.com) for a west coast woman's perspective

de1061
de1061

I guess since AWK’s music career was a flop, this is what he is now reduced to.......writing a lame column for the Voice.

Bill Chenevert
Bill Chenevert

This portrait feels like a Magic Eye poster. I think if I keep staring he's going to move or his proportions will morph like Peter Pettigrew.

Delduwath
Delduwath

@meanhood (1) That's a pretty great piece, and (2) I love how he can tie /anything/ into the concept of partying.

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

I'm all for people pursuing their own interests.  Don't get me wrong.


But, when a male is considering an encounter with another male, the distinctly high risk of HIV is a consideration and should have been mentioned.  

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@thestooshie If my comment bothers you so much you feel a need to insult me, please articulate your issue.  

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@thestooshie You've summarized my original comment accurately.  I was happy with that comment when I wrote it, and I stand by it now.  


The statement was factual and it's still not clear why that bothers you so much.


I'm curious on one point.  Does gay-specific safe sex advice bother you in all contexts, or only when it comes from me? 

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@thestooshie Actually, the CDC's estimate of new HIV infections has shown no improvement in over 20 years.  In other words HIV prevention efforts have accomplished nearly nothing.


So, maybe people aren't being as safe as they need to be. 

thestooshie
thestooshie

@jonathan.nyc And even then, and this is the point i'm trying to make... your advice wasn't "wear a condom to protect yourself", it was "any dude that thinks he might be bi-curious should think about how much more likely he is to get HIV before doing anything!"

thestooshie
thestooshie

@jonathan.nyc Even people that aren't up to speed with the exact HIV statistics tend to practice safe sex as a rule.

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@thestooshie 


The first sentence of my reply agreed with Andrew.   


I don't assume anything about the original asker.  On the other hand, I do assume the thousands of readers of this column just may include a few people who aren't up to speed on HIV statistics. 


Your implication that I am a homophobe (Your rules for sentence construction were written specifically to somehow prove your own point.) is your third insult against me. 

thestooshie
thestooshie

@jonathan.nyc With the stupidity levels you're assuming of our asker, you'd have to tell our guy looking to explore his sexuality with women that he should wear a condom because having sex with women is more likely to result in pregnancy. I assume that the asker knows that he shouldn't fuck around with guys without using the proper protection.


A non-homophobic response to the asker's enquiry (again, assuming that they are really stupid) would simply say: "But remember to practice safe sex in all circumstances."


A homophobic response would say: "Dude, you probably should think about the fact that it's more likely you'll get HIV if you have sex with guys."


Do you still have an issue with Andrew's recommendation that the guy should explore his sexuality as he feels comfortable if he practices safe sex? Because if you do, I think you need to examine exactly why.

jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@TRANNY_FAGGOT I've always spoken my mind honestly.  


I'll probably piss off someone again in the not-too-distant future.  


If this was 1991, there would probably be a hundred angry replies from AIDS activists, but those days are over.


I wonder if my big words sent you to the dictionary. 


jonathan.nyc
jonathan.nyc topcommenter

@thestooshie Your argument that encounters with different genders present an equivalent risk of HIV is undermined by every relevant statistic published by the CDC throughout the history of the epidemic.  You've articulated a false equivalence.  


To answer your question, since the HIV risk to straight males is minuscule, I've never felt a need to warn someone along those lines.  


You find this fact so disturbing, that you have felt a need to insult me again.    

thestooshie
thestooshie

@jonathan.nyc I'm not insulting you. But exploring your sexuality unsafely with women is pretty much as likely to result in your contracting HIV as exploring your sexuality unsafely with other men. Andrew's advice is assuming here that the asker is not stupid enough to fuck around without wearing a condom.


I really can't imagine anyone making that comment (or suggesting that it was an appropriate point to make in this article unless they just have no idea of what appropriate conversation is or are latently a tad homophobic.


If the asker was an (adult) guy who had previously been celibate but looking to explore his sexuality with women, would you expect Andrew's advice to unironically remind him to use a condom?

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