I was around 16 or 17 when I had my first sexual experience. Surprisingly, it was not horrible. Quite the contrary. A friend set us up. She was trying to find out if I was in fact gay. She could have just asked me but that it not what happened. Instead, she introduced me to a friend of hers and we all got along great. He was living in a neighboring town, so after that first introduction, I went to visit him alone a few weeks later. We did not waste much time. I remember we were watching “Evita” on TV. We were in bed long before “Don’t cry for me Argentina”. 

He was not much older but definitely experienced. And he was good. Really good. He guided me and let me do whatever I thought I wanted so I could figure out for myself. There was no top or bottom, just two people enjoying each other every way they could think of. During those 36 hours we spent together, we must have done it eight times at least. Talking turns, experiencing each other. There was no awkwardness. The whole thing was very intimate and just frankly beautiful. Every kiss felt right. Every touch was perfect the way it was.  I moved across the country shortly after so it never turned into anything more and even though that is more than my lifetime ago, I still look for that very same thing in my partners. I wonder if everyone is influenced like that by their first time. That would explain why our attitudes towards sex are so vastly different. Maybe there are so many people out there, gay straight and everything in between, who don’t really experience intimacy because they missed out on it the first time. Maybe they even felt ashamed and that is why they still attach shame to sex. Maybe the shame others for enjoying something out of jealousy. 

My first real partner felt a lot of that. I never bothered to ask why. Sometimes, after we had sex, he would be so ashamed he couldn’t sleep. Back then, I thought it was me. Now I think he just couldn’t deal with his own desires that were against what he had been taught was acceptable by his rather conservative upbringing. I think it was what ultimately killed our love. I was certainly not going to feel ashamed. Even though I always have been and always be very insecure about a lot of things, sex is not part of that. I relish it like a good meal. And like a good meal, variety is where it’s at. People who have “types” probably also only eat one specific thing and refuse everything else. Wrong body type, dick not big enough, wrong hair color even. Why limit pleasure when there is so much pleasure out there to be experienced? 

Just how much variety really is out there did not hit me until after my last break up. We had been living together for years and try as we might, we never managed to have an exciting sex-life. So, coming out of that, I had a real urge. Not so much for sex per se as for new experiences. I made a conscious decision to expand my horizon and maybe peek into corners that I hadn’t bothered to check before. Through that, I learned to pick as person as a partner, not a body or a certain preferred position or anything like that, and take it from there. 

If you’d ask me today, I think I would describe myself as pansexual – although why a definition is needed, I don’t know. I may live the life of a gay man but I find that box very limiting. Fortunately, I also live in Berlin where boxes are not quite as rigid as they are in other places. I don’t want to live in a box, never being able what goes on in the box next to me. There is probably something beautiful going on in there. Something intimate, passionate and without shame. So fuck my box! Let’s tear that box and all other boxes to shreds so we can all live on a plain with no walls or lids.