Stevens: Why don’t you tell me about the recent sex event you have in mind?
Jason: It was Tuesday last week. I was at Slammers. It’s a sex club in Silverlake. It was my first time there, and in the course of three hours, I met three people.
Stevens: I want you to try and think of at what point – maybe it was that day, the day before, what have you – that you first started thinking about going to this Slammers club.
Jason: Well, the guy that I am seeing, the arrangement was that we would be boyfriends but in an open relationship, where he gets to see people and I get to see people. But I’ve been trying to find something monogamous because I’ve had many multiples and I’m just tired of that.
We were having a discussion and he was telling me about several people that he wanted to fool around with. And the only reason I had a problem is that he was canceling something we had already planned. And I’m thinking, “You know, if we are indeed in this open relationship I can understand that you want to do stuff, but canceling dates we’ve already planned just so you can go have sex with someone else, I can’t buy that.” And he said that was our agreement, we can see other people, and this is the only day he’s available. I said, “So not having sex with him would kill you, is what you’re saying?” He says, “No, but I like him.”
So that night while he was out and about doing his thing, I started thinking to myself how really angry I was. I was sitting there alone in the apartment thinking, “Well, if he can do it, I can do it too.” One of my friends works at Slammers, so I called him to see if I could get in.
Stevens: So between May first and last Tuesday you didn’t have sex?
Jason: No, because I care for him a lot, but at the same time I was mad. The next day I started thinking, “Whoa, I can’t do it.” My emotions kicked in so I canceled and I canceled and I canceled. And the next thing I know three weeks passed by.
Stevens: Tell me what was happening the day you decided to go? What were you feeling? What were you thinking? How was your day going?
Jason: I’ve had really bad days for a long time. I’ve been unemployed for a long time. I’ve been on G.R. [General Relief, ed.] for a long time, and I just can’t seem to get a break anywhere. So when I decided to go, I was like, “Well, good. That gives me something to do.”
Stevens: What were you thinking?
Jason: I’m kind of… I have a self-confidence problem because I’m overweight. I’m two hundred and fifty pounds, five-ten. You know, people are not overly attracted to me to begin with, so I didn’t know if going to some gay bar and trying to pick up on somebody would work because the rejections would probably make me more depressed than I was before going out. I’m thinking that Slammers was my best opportunity because it’s a sex club and people are a lot less concerned of what you look like. They don’t even look at your face anyway.
Stevens: So it was more of a sure thing.
Jason: Yes. It was a matter of knowing I would score [Chuckles] there without having to hear people going, “Eew. No thanks.”
Stevens: You had never been to a sex club before this?
Jason: I didn’t say that. I’d just never been to Slammers. [Laughs] I’ve been to bathhouses, but I wasn’t as sure what to expect and what the clientele would be like. I knew it was similar but I knew the differences would probably make a difference. Having rooms at a bathhouse that you can rent and lock the door and have some privacy would bring different people than at
Slammers where you’re standing in the open where everybody can watch you. It’s a big difference.
Stevens: All right. What were you thinking about on Tuesday?
Jason: Tuesday morning was when I started my planning. It’s so funny. [Sighs] Even though my boyfriend is the one who wants to keep it open and I don’t, I still felt guilty about going to a sex club, so I spent all Tuesday morning trying to figure out what lie I could concoct so I could disappear for the night without him knowing I was at a sex club, even though he could care less. I still didn’t want him to know I was doing it, so I spent most of Tuesday figuring out how I was going to get that time off without him knowing where I was.
Stevens: Can you tell me a little bit more about feeling guilty?
Jason: I’ve been single for six years prior to meeting him, and the two relationships I had prior to that ended very badly. One was with a drug user who stole from me; the other one was cheating on me with a whole bunch of people. When I’m single I’m very promiscuous, but when I’m in a relationship I’m not. And it’s hard for me to have a relationship where it’s okay.
Stevens: So you have a hard time with open relationships.
Jason: Because I don’t want one. I waited six years to meet the right person and although our feelings for each other are very intense, I think if I can survive this agreement, we’ll last a long time. But I’m having a hard time with that.
Stevens: Okay. What did you come up with? And how did that go?
Jason: I called one of our mutual friends and I said, “There’s something I want to do and I’m sure you’ll help me.” I told him what I was going to do. He called my boyfriend’s home phone number knowing I live with him and he said, “I can’t find Jayson’s number and we’re supposed to go out to a concert tonight and I just wanna make sure he’s still going. I’ll come by to get him around sevenish. If he’s there, give him the message and have him call me,” knowing that he’d get the message. That was the arrangement.
Stevens: So you set up this story so that you wouldn’t have to feel guilty?
Jason: [Chuckles] The way I was thinking about it was, if I do what he’s doing, then I can’t complain about what he’s doing, and I would really like to keep complaining, because I want him to stop eventually. If he ever gets to the point where he realizes he wants a monogamous thing, I’d like him to stop. But you can’t preach against something if you’ve done it yourself so I just wanted it not to be an issue.
Stevens: So how was your mood that day? Were you feeling anything in particular or was it just a normal day?
Jason: I was nervous. Knowing that I had to set up this elaborate scheme just to get out of the house at night, I was nervous. So when he came home from school and we were talking, I’m sure I acted nervous and stuff. And I had to leave because I knew Paul was calling and I didn’t want to be there, so I talked to him into going out for coffee so then he wouldn’t be home when my friend left the message on the answering machine. It was this ongoing plan where I had to keep thinking of stuff to make it work, because every time a wrench would get thrown in my plan, I’d have to fix it. I didn’t have a whole lot of time for any other emotions other than being nervous that he might find out what I’m doing.
Stevens: Were you thinking at all about the sex that you were going to have, what you might do there, how it would go, any of that?
Jason: Well, that started probably around three in the afternoon. He had a class that night, so when he was gone, then I had time to think. I figured, now the plan is working and I’ll be gone when he gets back. He knows where I’m going. He’s heard the message from Paul. Everything is set. Then I started thinking about what I would like to do. I called my friend who’s been there to have him describe what the place is like and tell me what I can expect and what kind of clients come in. The more he described it, the more it sounded cool.
Stevens: So then, then what happened?
Jason: I had to leave at seven to take the train down there.
Stevens: Before you left, did you think about safe sex or taking any precautions?
Jason: Because I’m positive, I of course was thinking about having safe sex, but at the same time I was not going to say no to limit the experience, if that was an issue.
Stevens: How typical is that for you, generally? Does that mean you were planning to use a condom but…?
Jason: If they said no, I wouldn’t disagree.
Stevens: Is that typically how it goes for you?
Jason: Pretty much. I tell people upfront I’m positive so they know. And if they choose to ignore the facts because I’m a bottom… Most people tell me, “Well, I’m only a top so my risk is minimal compared to you, and since you’re already positive then I don’t mind if you don’t mind.” And I go, “Okay, cool.”
Stevens: Did you bring condoms with you?
Jason: In other cases I would, but the club’s got free ones they hand out.
Stevens: So when you got to the club, how were you feeling?
March 12, 2008