FriDATE: Tainted

photos by tri vo

Him: Ugh. I’m so full. That was good food, actually.

Me: Actually?

Him: Yeah, I was expecting it to be bad. Most people are bad cooks.

Me: Oh. Thanks?

Him: Don’t worry. It’s a compliment.

Me: I wasn’t worried. But thank you.

Him: Still. I thought there would be pie.

Me: I didn’t make any today.

Him: I wonder if your pie is any good?

Me: It’s a mystery.

Him: Should I help you do the dishes?

Me: Nah. It’s always awkward doing the dishes in another person’s house. I know where everything goes.

Him: But I feel bad!

Me: Well don’t. I invited you over for dinner.

Him: We should drink this wine I brought. I don’t like the beer.

Me: The beer’s almost gone anyway – but I better lay off the wine.

Him: Why? It’s Saturday night.

Me: I’m feeling oddly full. Like indigestion somehow. Plus I’m teaching all day tomorrow so I better just behave.

Him: Boring! I’m gonna drink this wine.

Me: Have at it.

Him: You’re acting weird. Can I look at your books and judge you on your bookshelf?

Me: Sure, but most of the stuff I really like has been lent out to people that haven’t returned it. So…

Him: That’s what I’d say too, if I were being judged.

Me: …

Him: Ohmygod. You have the Popol Vuh! Can I have this book?

Me: What?

Him: Can I have this book? Did you read it already?


Me: Uh, sure… You can have the book.

Him: No. I don’t really want it.

Me: It sounded like you did. I just had to think about whether I’m ever going to read it, and I don’t think I am. So go ahead and take it.

Him: Nah. It’s in English, and my professor translated it in Spanish. I think I’ll read it in Spanish. I don’t want to be tainted by the English version.

Me: Yes. By all means – don’t taint yourself.

Him: Ew. Why do you have Joy Luck Club?

Me: Somebody gave it to me. I thought it was a good read.

Him: It’s super racist.

Me: Really? How so? It didn’t strike me as terribly racist.

Him: Oh I don’t know. I haven’t read it. My professor says it’s racist and I believe him. I’m getting more wine.

Me: I’ve had a few Chinese American friends read it and say it was relatively close to their own experiences as first generation Americans. I don’t think Amy Tan is a member of the Klan or anything.

Him: Hm. Wow. I’m really plowing through this wine. You should have some with me.

Me: I don’t know if that’s a great idea. I’m feeling a little off. I ate this ham earlier today. It was really cheap and I think it was leftover from Easter. I’m feeling strange.

Him: Something’s wrong with the lighting in here. You need something less bright than this lamp, but brighter than this other one.

Me: I have this – flip that switch over there.

Him: Ohmygod! What is this??

Me: It’s an antique x-ray light from the 1950’s. There’s an actual x-ray in there, too.

Him: Ew. Gross. I don’t like it. I do not like it.

Me: Okay then. Turn it off.

Him: I’m pouring myself some more wine.

Me: Go for it.

Him: I’m not leaving until I finish this wine.

Me: Well you don’t have far to go.

Him: Let’s lay on your bed for a minute.

Me: Hey. You’re really cute, but I’m starting…  Feel my forehead. Do I have a fever?

Him: Um. NO. You don’t.

Me: You didn’t feel my forehead.

Him: Come on. Just lay down with me.

Me: I’m really feeling out of sorts. Like, I think I may have eaten tainted food.

Him: Ugh. Look. I’m going to be straightforward. I want to have sex. Do you want to have sex?

Me: I think you’re attractive – but I’m really not feeling well. I think I gave myself food poisoning, somehow.

Him: You’re acting irrational and weird. Make out with me.

Me: You need to work on your game.

Him: What?

Me: You don’t call people weird and irrational and then ask them to make out. Listen to me, okay? I think I have a fever.

Him: So, sex, or no sex?

Me: No sex. Probable diarrhea.

Him: Me and my friends are going dancing tonight. You should come.

Me: I. Am. Ill.

Him: Okay, cool. Am I ever going to see you again, mister?

Me: Maybe. Maybe we can hang out again…

Him: Look. Just tell me right now yes or no.

Me: This is a first date. Cool it on the ultimatums.

Him: I’m not leaving until I finish my wine.

Me: I gathered.

Him: I really like your apartment, actually.  I expected not to like it.

Me: Thank you. You’re too kind.  Jerk.

What If There’s Nothing Wrong?

photos by eryc perez de tagle

Me: So? What’s the spice?

Him: Paprika.

Me:  You’re right.

Him: Smoked paprika from Spain.

Me: Yes. Wow!

Him: Yes. Of course. You were expecting me not to get it?

Me: I guess? I… No. I dunno.

Him: I lived in Spain for two years. I can tell paprika.

Me: I like that.

Him: I feel like I should be doing something.

Me: Don’t worry about it. Sit. Relax. There’s beer. Want another beer?

Him: No. I cant. I can’t take your beer. I shouldn’t – I’m exhausted.

Me: Oh no. Really?

Him: Not totally exhausted. Just. I want to nap. Can I take a nap?

Me: What?

Him: That’s weird right? If I take a nap while you cook?

Me: Maybe…

Him: Oh, no. Forget I brought it up.

Me: What?

Him: Now it’s gone wrong. I’m sorry. Forget I said anything.

Me: You can totally take a nap if you want to…

Him: NO. You probably want me to leave, right? You can just tell me. I like it when people are straightforward.

Me: What? No. Hey. Have another beer. Do you… Can I hug you?

Him: Okay.

(we hug)

Me: I’m glad you’re here. Are you hungry?

Him: Yes! I’m getting there. I could be hungry. I’m hungry. Yes.

Me: Great. Pick at this while you wait for dinner.

Him: This is good. I like ham.

Me: You can totally take a short nap if you want.

Him: No. I’m sorry I brought it up. I’m ADD, I think. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Me: It’s okay. We’ll eat soon. You don’t have to stay all night.

Him: Why. You don’t want me to stay?

Me: No. I mean yes. I mean… You said you were exhausted.

Him: Hey. I need to use the bathroom again. Can I?

Me: You don’t have to ask. Go ahead.

Him: Sorry, I just broke the seal.

Me: What? Oh. The urination seal!

Him: Yeah. You never heard that?

Me: No, I did. It just took me a second. I didn’t know ‘the seal’ meant urination. For a second.

Him: I never heard of the ‘Urination Seal.’

Me: I was just clarifying.

Him: Well that’s not a thing.

Me: I… You’re right. But I get it.

(pause. he goes to the bathroom)

Me: Even so.

Him: What?

Me: Even so. What are you doing? When you break the seal?

Him: Pissing.

Me: So it kind of is the Urination Seal. Right? If we’re to be clear?

Him: That’s not a thing. Breaking the Urination Seal isn’t a thing.

Me: Okay.

(pause. he comes back from the restroom.)

Him: You should water that plant.

Me: Should I?

Him: Yeah, it looks sick.

Me: I watered it yesterday.

Him: Really? It looks sick.

Me: It’s doing fine.


Me: Wanna try the pulled pork?

Him: Yeah.

Me: Do you like it?

Him: Yeah. It’s good.

Me: Thanks.

Him: You’re acting weird.

Me: I am?

Him: I dunno. I’m here. I don’t know you. You could be a serial killer. You’re cooking food.

Me: I’m going to serve us dinner.

Him: I know but… You’re making me feel bad.

Me: What?

Him: I’m not doing anything. I feel like I should be helping. Or taking a nap.

Me: That’s the second time you mentioned… Do you wanna go to sleep for a sec?

Him: No. I just say what’s on my mind. I think I’m ADD.  I’m trying to fix what’s wrong with me.

Me: What’s wrong with you?

Him: That’s what we’re trying to fix. Me and my psychologist. Once I fix myself they’ll be no stopping me. I don’t like the lighting in here, by the way…

Me: Really?

Him: Yeah. I don’t like it. Too controlled.

Me: So much of life is about carefully controlled lighting.

Him: That’s ridiculous.

Me: Is it?

Him: NO.  I don’t know why I’m saying that. It’s not. You’re not weird or ridiculous. I don’t know why I’m imploding right now. Something’s off. I think I’m really ADD. I’m going to find out what’s wrong with me.

Me: What if it’s nothing?

Him: What?

Me: What if there’s nothing wrong with you?

Him: What do you mean?

Me: What if you’re just great how you are?

Him: Huh?

Me: What if there’s nothing wrong with you? Sorry. Maybe you’re ADD, that’s true. But what if you’re okay, even though you’re ADD? What if your attention span is exactly as long as your evolution in the world has taught it to be? What if your own experience isn’t flawed? What if you’re unique and deserve respect? What if the rest of the world is totally fucked and you’re okay? What then?

Him: I’m tired. Can I nap? Can I sleep while you cook dinner?

Me: Jesus. Please do.

Naked People Tomorrow

photos by tommy kha

Hey guys.

Just a reminder – my friend Julia Wiedeman is performing her show, Naked People tomorrow night at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater.

That’s Thursday the 12th, at 9:30pm.  It’s only five bucks.

The show is super funny, and very body positive.

Julia is fearless and without shame. So inspiring.

You should really check it out. It’s your only chance to see it in April.

It’s hilarious, and there’s so much nipplage and side boobage.

How can you go wrong?

Go see Julia’s show.



photos by eryc perez de tagle

Hey Michael: I think I spelled your name right. I just wanted to take the time and tell you I enjoyed reading your blog and I also wanted some advice.

My current boyfriend lives 2 hrs away from me and is highly attractive. He’s not out of the closet either so he won’t hold my hand in public unless we’re at the gay bar or something. He also does not want to introduce me to his friends who KNOW he’s gay. Which i find odd. He says it’s too soon. But he’s met my family. And he also texts facing his phone away from me. That really bugs me. He doesn’t text often but when he does it’s in a very suspicious manner. I’ve found myself creeping on his facebook, which is empty really, every now and then. And don’t tell me to talk to him about it because when i do, he gets very angry. Apparently, i’m asking too much too soon. we’re six months in now. So do you think i’m being paranoid or am i on to something here?

Thanks for reading.



Hey Lewie,

Thanks for writing in. First let me say – your new boyfriend is not the only ‘highly attractive’ one in the family. You’re looking pretty good over there yourself.

I’d say that you’re right to be suspicious. Him hiding his txting from you is a clear indication he’s speaking to someone he doesn’t want you to know about. Add that to the other pieces of the puzzle (he lives two hours away, he won’t introduce you to his friends, even though they know he’s gay) and it certainly creates a shady looking picture. It sounds like he could be dating or sleeping with more than just you.

But, ultimately, that doesn’t matter. Seriously. It doesn’t.

Here’s what matters: He’s been with you for six months and won’t even introduce you to his friends. He’s in the closet. He gets angry when you try to initiate communication. Dump him.

This isn’t the relationship you want, and he’s never going to suddenly turn into the type of guy you want him to be. It doesn’t work like that. You deserve a proud young man that can introduce you to his parents, or at least his friends. Someone who will show you affection in public. Someone who won’t blow up at you if you want to talk about something bothering you.

The issue isn’t whether you have a right to be suspicious. The issue is whether you’re going to insist on the type of partner you deserve. And believe me, Lewie – with a face like that (and other lovely, erm…  assets) you can afford to be picky.

Everyone should afford to be picky. Better to be alone than settle for something disappointing.

You’re a beautiful young man, Lewie. Thanks for writing in.

 Dear Michael, I am a 21 bisexual studying in a former Soviet country at the moment.
I have been reading your blog after discovering it on Vice recently.
It fucking rocks. It has helped me so much in regards to respecting
myself and loving myself more, and not being ashamed or confused about
my sexuality. I like how you said that you consider bisexuals fully
gay and straight, and that is in a way very comforting.

I also got inspired to make a crust-less quiche in our shitty
dormitory in our toaster oven. I used sour cream instead of all milk
and a little beer for the egg base. I also filled it with lost of
onions bacon and some cheese. Hope you enjoy the picture as much as I
enjoyed eating the product photographed.

Keep on keepin’ on Comrade Martinov!


Hey T –

Wow.  I hope you mean that you added sour cream to an already milk base, and you added (instead of substituting)  beer to an egg base. It looks like you did. For dorm food, it looks exceptionally yummy.

Thanks for all the praise. I’m glad you’re learning to live without some of the god-awful shame the world still persists in trying to invoke upon us. There’s always room for more self-respect and love, so I’m glad I could inspire it. Flattered even. Thanks for reaching out.

Hang in there. I feel like bi-sexual men are frequently met with a suspicious or patronizing attitude from the LGBT community. Glad you’re still willing to love yourself.

That photograph is both sexy and hilarious at the same time. Today, you win the internet.

Thanks for taking the time to write and send in your photos.



photos by tommy kha

I don’t often use my site to re-post things from the internet, but I saw a video today on my Facebook feed and it struck a chord with me.

I’ve been alone for a while, now. A few years have gone by without me dating anyone seriously. A very long term relationship failed, due to mutual neglect and growing apart – and also, my crazy, crazy flaws.

It’s been my mission statement that I don’t want another boyfriend until I’m fully right with myself again, but maybe that’s just jabber. Maybe that’s just something high-minded that I tell myself. What’s closer to the truth is this: I can’t feel anything right now – not in the way that people dating me want to, anyway.

And I need to be alone.

Thanks to the makers of this video for reminding me that wanting to be alone is totally fine.

Naked People

photos by tommy kha

That’s my friend Julia Wiedeman.  She came over to make some pie with me.

We made mango pies, because I was reading that mangoes are in season.

That’s me eating some of the mango.

We added strawberries. They were selling for a dollar a pint at my local market, and it was too good a deal to pass up.

Julia is a writer and a performer here in New York City.

She wrote a show called NAKED PEOPLE.  It’s currently playing at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater.

It’s a one woman sketch show. On top of being extremely funny, it’s very body positive.

Also, there’s the requisite amount of nudity you might expect from a show called NAKED PEOPLE.

I’ve seen Julia’s show, and it’s great. Super hilarious.

We had a shit-ton of fun in my kitchen, too.

We laughed and joked around, and talked about performing – about how you have to constantly shut out that voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough.

About how you hear your insecurities nagging at you, but you still get up, get your writing done, and get on stage anyway.

That’s some side boob.

I think Julia’s pretty inspiring. Her show is funny, sure, but it’s also socially forward, challenging, and just plain ballsy.

Her next performance is Thursday, April 12th, at 9:30pm at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater.

Click here to make a reservation.