On Sex Addiction, The Joys of Being a Slut, and Being True to Who You are

Discerning Daddy

My friend Christian is 22 years old. He moved to LA to be a music producer. He is dating 3 different men, Robert who is 55, an Accountant, who lives in Silverlake, Max, 61, an artist who lives in a loft in Downtown LA, and Pete, a 57 year old Pilot full of muscles and wild adventures, who lives in Santa Monica.

Christian has other lovers. Some regulars, some guys he just fucks. He is honest with everyone about his sexual exploits. His three boyfriends all know about each other.

“I never considered it a problem,” Christian says to me. We are eating tacos at a truck he likes to take me to in Koreatown. “I like to fuck. They like to get fucked. It always seemed like a good deal to me. And my dudes…I don’t know. I just never felt like I wanted that one guy for the rest of my life. Robert, Max and Pete, they are fucking awesome guys and I love them. Each of them. Totally. I don’t know why that’s so hard for some guys to understand. Why they always have to turn something beautiful into something ugly.”

Recently Christian got called a sex addict. Because he has three boyfriends. Because he has lovers on the side. Because he likes to fuck.

“I’m 22, man. Maybe in ten years I’ll want something different. Maybe in ten years I’ll be like, damn, I want one dude, I want to get married and have a kid and buy a house. I mean, honestly, I doubt it, but maybe. I’m open to it. But this is who I am right now. I’m honest about who I am.” He laughs. “The only time it ever got out of control, if you wanta call it that, is this one weekend when I saw all my dudes, and fucked them all, and fucked like four other guys. But man, I was stupid horny that weekend, and stressed out, and maybe I was using my nut to chill out. I try not to do that, not because I think it’s bad, but because I don’t want to spend all my time chasing a nut. I’ve got a lot of shit I want to do with my life. I don’t want to lose my focus. But fuck it, I had fun that weekend.” He laughs again, he has an easy laugh, excited. “I think I nutted like ten times that Saturday!”

Christian tells me he didn’t like being called a sex addict. It made him feel like something was wrong when before he hadn’t felt like something was wrong.

I have written a lot about my sexual adventures (I estimate the amount of guys I’ve fucked at 3600 and counting!). I’ve written a lot about being poly and my beliefs on sexual freedom. I don’t think anyone should have to live their lives according to someone else’s beliefs or personal choices.

This idea that there is one way to love and fuck, one way to exist in the world, is total bullshit.

When I was a kid my mother threw a party with the theme “come dressed as your favorite astrological sign to fuck”. My mother came representing all 12. I remember listening as she described each sign, and why they were the best fuck of her life. Everyone laughed, but one of her friends said,

“Beverly never was one to commit to a man. One day she will pay the price for that.”

My mother just smiled. Later, when I asked her what her friend meant, my mother said,

“She meant to shame me for being who I am. She meant to control me. She meant to embarrass me. But she can’t do any of those things unless I let her. When people try to do that to you it means they are jealous, or they aren’t happy with who they are, they are feeling trapped, and instead of making changes to their own lives, they lash out at those around them who are happy. Who are being true to themselves.”

“I try to be responsible.” Christian says. “ I’m on PrEP, I get tested regularly. I talk to my partners, even the no stringed ones. You know, I like a little conversation, I like to look ‘em in the eyes when I’m fucking them. I try to be a good guy. But then this dude tells me I’m a sex addict. That there’s something wrong and it got me thinking, what if he’s right? What if something is wrong with me?”

We are in his apartment in Hollywood. He is playing a new song he mixed that day. Above his desk is a print of a photo he took: a homeless woman searching through a garbage can, at her feet is a baby pitbul. The woman looks up right as Christian is taking the picture: her face haunted, beautiful. Sad and yet defiant.

“Her name is Mary,” he tells me. “Everyone calls her Crazy Mary, but that bitch isn’t crazy. She has mad stories. Some nights, when I can’t sleep, I like to sit out there smoking joints with her and listening to her talk. She was once married, had some kids, was like a total Valley House-Wife. She fucked up, man. Smoked meth, got all wrapped up in that dark life, and now she’s here, on the streets, eating shit out of garbage cans.” He goes quiet, looking up at that photo, his music playing, “It’s that easy. Like one minute life is golden and the next it’s all dark and out of focus. I keep that picture there so I don’t forget. How fast it can all go away. Like one bad choice and you’re lost. Forever.”

Christian’s mother is from Mexico. Jalisco. He doesn’t know who his father is.

“My mother was always this free spirit, you know? I’m a lot like her. She’s had lots of lovers. There was this one guy, he was a movie producer, he loaned her the money to buy the house I grew up in. My mom cleaned houses every day so she could pay that man back. She didn’t want to owe any man anything. She always said, “If I’m with a man it’s because I’m choosing to be there. Not because I have to be. It’s a choice.”

“Do you think you’re a sex addict?” I asked him.

“Do you think I’m a sex addict?” He laughed. “Cus that’s the problem right? Dude, it fucked me up hearing that shit. Like had me questioning everything. One minute I’m fine with who I am, the next I’m like, damn, what the fuck is wrong with me? All cus some dude couldn’t handle me being me. Like, I gave him all this weight. Like what he thought mattered more than what I thought. It isn’t what he said. It’s what I allowed my head to do with what he said. The fucked up part: he wasn’t saying it to help me or because he was concerned for me. He said it to hurt me. And I let him.”

I have fucked a lot of guys in my life. I am a big believer in polyamory and open relationships, as well as monogamy and whatever other style of relationship you find to fit who you are. I am a big believer in being true to who you are, and fuck anyone who tries to tell you that there is something wrong with who you are. If you are honest, if you come at your partners with integrity and respect, if you show them kindness and love, then I do not believe it is anyone’s business who and how you fuck.

My husband and I, when planning out our honeymoon, decided we wanted the sexiest honeymoon adventure ever. We decided to go to Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. We wanted to fuck our way through those three weeks. I wrote a story for Vice about how Alex and I spent our honeymoon at Lab, the infamous sex club in the basement of Berlin’s Berghain. We had an incredible threeway with a man we met, who later became an important friend to me. We went to sex clubs and met hot guys, but we also spent time together, exploring, going on all the adventures and being as open to whatever life brought us.

I remember a friend telling me, “Wow, that sounds so sad. You spent you’re honeymoon in a sex club? Didn’t you guys want to be alone? Didn’t you guys want to celebrate your marriage just the two of you?”

I was shocked by this, which is maybe naïve. But I was. In my head we had celebrated our marriage just the two of us, we spent it in a way that celebrated who we were, the way we wanted. We had fun. We met some amazing guys. We got laid a lot and had some pretty fucking intense adventures. I am still friends with most of the guys we met during that trip.

“Do you think you’re a sex addict?” Christian asks me. We are eating Tacos again.

If you’re in LA you should seriously check out the taco truck on Ardmore and 8th. Those tacos are fucking amazing!

“No.” I say it confidently, but I’m not sure. I’m never sure. It’s hard not to let what other people think affect me. I am sober 7 years and a few months off of drugs and alcohol. I am an addict. But like Christian, I try to be responsible, I try to be aware. And I try to be balanced, even on those crazy days when you end up fucking four different guys. I try to make sure my life is always moving in a direction I want it to. “I just like to fuck.”

Christian laughs. “Hell yeah. Me too. I like to fuck a fuckin’ lot!”

Please check out my novel, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon.

TAKING PrEP DOESN’T’ MAKE YOU A SLUT…TAKING PrEP MAKES YOU A HERO

Discerning Daddy

I recently received an email regarding my blog entry, The Beauty of Being a Slut. The guy wrote, “People like you should be ashamed. This is why no one takes gay people seriously. Instead we are nothing but whores who show our asses on Instagram and give everyone AIDS and herpes. It’s people like you that make gay men think taking PrEP and having unsafe sex is ok. You should be ashamed, you worthless piece of shit.”

I try to take all the comments I get seriously.

So let me fucking get to addressing this one.

First, what is PrEP: PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is the use of drugs that can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. Meaning, that people who take PrEP are effectively protecting themselves from HIV while also preventing the spread of HIV.

So this should be a no-brainer, right? PrEP protects people who are negative from getting HIV and is one of the ways we can stop the spread of the virus. So PrEP is good, right?

Well, like all things dealing with sexuality, and queer sexuality in general, it’s more complicated than that.

I think the root of that complication is simple: we are ashamed. We are ashamed of our bodies, we are ashamed of our sexuality, we are ashamed of our queer identities. We have, on some level, bought into the lie that has been taught to us our whole lives: that there is something inherently tainted about us, as queer people, something not right: that we are somehow flawed.

If you question the validity of this statement, let me give you some facts: according to the recent Human Right’s Campaign’s “Growing up LGBT in America Survey” four out of ten LGBTQ youth say that they are living in communities that are not accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles, and 92% of those LGBTQ youth surveyed responded that they have heard negative messages about LGBTQ people, at home, at school and in their communities.

The Trevor Project, which is committed to ending suicide among LGBTQ youth, reported that LGBTQ youth are five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.

Our whole lives we have heard this message, that who we are at our core is somehow wrong, not worthy. It is debated by our politicians, by our religious leaders, by our parents and our schools: we are continuously told that who we love, and how we fuck, that who we are as humans, is not deserving.

But before we can take on how “They” talk about us, we have to begin to tackle how we talk about Ourselves, about each other, and about our community.

There has been a smear campaign against PrEP since day one. Some leaders in our own community have insinuated that PrEP is a party drug leading to hedonism and sexual debauchery. That PrEP is to blame for rises in syphilis and gonorrhea, that it promotes promiscuity and will be the downfall of respectable gay culture.

The Politics of Shame.

But let’s get real: human beings fuck around. And they suck at wearing condoms. This has been true since the beginning of time. And if there is a pill out there that can help protect us from at least one of the more life threatening STI’s than I think that’s something we should be celebrating and educating everyone on.

Most of us, queer, straight, where ever you lie on the sexual spectrum, are going to find ourselves at times acting a little promiscuous, or not making the best choices in regard to our safety. Instead of judging each other, or ourselves, why not arm ourselves with all the tools available to maintain our health?

I don’t care who you fuck, or how many people you fuck, I just care that you are healthy. So again, PrEP would seem like a no-brainer, right?

I think it’s time we start getting honest. If you are taking PrEP, whether it’s because you are in a relationship with someone who is positive, or because you just want the extra added protection, or because you want to go out and take all the loads or fuck all the asses: you’re a fucking hero. You are part of the solution.

I’m done with the rhetoric of shame. With being quiet, or the polite and good faggot, with being the sexless TV counterpart, or the campy and over the top best friend. I am done with playing into their stereotypes and being told how to behave and what is acceptable.

And I am done being told by members of my own community that the only way to legitimacy is by appropriating hetero-normative values.

Fuck that. I like being gay. I like the freedom, the outrageousness, the sex and the wonder and the amazement. I am constantly in awe of how strong we are: at how we have found a way to survive and thrive, at how we have fought and struggled for basic human rights and still maintained our dignity and our beauty in a world that is determined to tell us we are sick.

The fact that we even have to prove our worthiness is offensive to me. The fact that we have to demand that we be treated as equal, or that we be allowed to live our lives how we want is ridiculous.

So I say fuck it. Go out and be you. Be the loudest, queerest you there is. Wear it on your sleeve. Proclaim it to the world. And fuck anyone who tells you you aren’t deserving.

And for all your guys taking PrEP, thank you. You are heroes in our community. And if anyone tells you different, or implies that your morals are somehow not intact, take it as a compliment.

Who wants their fucking morality anyway?

And for the guy who called me a worthless piece of shit: I’m not here to make you happy. And I’m not here to show straight people how polite and legitimate queer people are. I’m here to say, as loud as I can, that we get to be whoever the fuck we want to be, and how we live our lives is nobody’s fucking business. I am a 50-year-old man, and I am way beyond apologizing for who I am. The only responsibility I have is to be good to those I love, and to treat my family and friends and sex partners with respect and kindness, and to try to live in the world in a healthy and whole way, and to be as loving as I can be to anyone who comes into my life: and to remember, that they get to live their lives how they want as well.

Imagine this world if we stopped condemning each other and judging each other and hating each other and just tried to let each other be.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I just think, life is really hard, but how much easier it would be if we all supported each other and took care of each other: if we kept each other safe?

And hey, you can now go check out my new book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon! Your support would be amazing!

Welcome to My Blog: The Discerning Daddy

Discerning Daddy

It’s hard, considering the world we are living in right now, to even consider what to write in a blog. Let alone a blog irreverently titled “Discerning Daddy.”

Lately, I’m scared a lot. Of the direction this country is headed in. Of the anger and hatred that seems to pervade every aspect of our lives and our Nation.

And then I think, what is the one thing about me that is political? Not because of a belief I have or because of a choice I made. But because of who I love and who I am attracted to: because of the way I was born. Being Queer, LGBTQ, being a Woman, being a Person of Color, being Trans, these things radicalize us whether or not we feel radical, they turn our bodies and our lives into something political.

Into weapons used against us.

So fuck that, right? This is where I have power. Where I get to be loud and queer and talk about all the gay fucking, and queer-trans-gender-bending-fuckery-love I want.

This is where I get to say fuck you to anyone who says who I love, how I love, and who I fuck is somehow wrong, or not worthy.

This is where I get to say fuck you to Donald Trump, and to all the men and women in Congress who refuse to stand up for us, to fight back, to demand that we all be treated equal.

I am a 50-year old, HIV Positive, sober gay man. I have fucked, and been fucked, by a lot of amazing guys. I have fallen in love, dated, lived with, and married some amazing men.

And that’s what I want to write about. About being in my 50’s, about being Poz, about being gay and about loving sex, about politics and queerness and all the ways these things manifests in our lives.

And about love.

What I’ve learned, and what I believe, is in the end, it all comes down to love. As corny and cheesy as that sounds (Ima be really honest, I might get really cheesy and corny on you sometimes), it’s the truth. Everything comes down to love.

I should also warn you: you will see my body a lot and maybe my ass, and shirtless pics, because I’m proud of who I am, and of what I’ve achieved, and I think more people in their 50’s, and 70’s and 20’s should feel proud of who they are, regardless of their age or their body type, regardless of all the shit we have been taught to believe.

So I’m gonna talk about being Positive, and about love, and a lot about sex, and I’m gonna talk a lot about me and what I believe, and I’m gonna get all cheesy and corny as fuck.

And maybe I’m going to talk about Magic. Because Jon Nelson believed in magic, and he’s teaching me to believe in it too.

I’d also love to hear from you. You can contact me through this site (see contact), or find me on instagram at leavelljeff or facebook, or email me at jeffleavell@gmail.com. Leave comments. Tell me what you like or don’t like.

And keep coming back. I’m gonna be doing this blog thing weekly (or maybe more…I have A LOT to say). It’s still a big work in progress, but I promise, there will be progress.

Because this is the way I get to choose to be political. To fight back, in my own way, with the tools I have.

So lets go be Queer and fuck and love and dance and make out, and show our asses, and tell anyone who tells us we can’t, that we aren’t deserving or good enough, to fuck off.

Because we get to be whatever we want. And no one gets to tell us we can’t.

Fuck ‘em if they try.