2 min

Playing solitaire

Giving it up for Lent

Credit: Xtra West files

In February I decided I’d had enough of the perpetual sex hunt. When I walked into a room I no longer wanted my primary goal to be finding a man to rub my bumps. I knew that I couldn’t turn off my libido (and I didn’t want to), but I could act on it differently, so I promised myself I’d be abstinent for six months to learn how to meet men without trying to penetrate them.

I wanted to see what I had to offer other than sex. I wanted to increase the intimacy in my life. As a safety net, I also allowed myself the option of renegotiating my terms depending on my evolution. And yes, I was allowed to masturbate, a lot.

I learned a great number of things. At 33, it’s still possible to have nocturnal emissions. People appreciate you more when you’re not drooling on their ass. And no matter how good it feels at the time, never penetrate yourself with a bar of soap.

Within the first week I noticed that I was always looking for who wanted to sleep with me and not in whom I was interested, which meant I was feeling rejected by nearly everyone instead of by a select, compatible few.

Week three I noted that other than a kiss hello or an occasional briefcase against my thigh on the SkyTrain, I don’t touch anyone. I began a healthy program of curling up with any friend who’d let me. At six weeks, I decided to make out with men without bedding them since that was practicing intimacy. I went on dates. I didn’t fuck. It was great fun.

With all the busyness of cruising put aside, I suddenly had time to hear myself. In my heart a big terrified fear was whispering that I was a failed man. As Cookie, I’m a knock-out. No doubts there. But I wasn’t feeling desirable as Michael-I’m sure in part because I wasn’t putting out sexual energy nor getting it in return. I didn’t feel confident in my masculinity.

The insecurity has a lot to do with my weight and being one of the faggiest fags in the world. In private, I love being 140 pounds and limp-wristed, but in public, my body is an absurd guffaw.

Four months in, I asked myself again why I was so hungry for the muscles of other men. What was it about their bodies that set me apart from them? The answer was currency. I wasn’t giving my stick arms and legs any value. Sex made my body worth something, for the duration of the hump anyhow.

The irony that I gave sex up to realize I felt undesirable even after shagging a cast of thousands is not lost on me. That said, it’s not the job of thousands to convince me. It’s mine, alone.

*The rumours are true: Miss Cookie’s column comes to an end in August.