My name is Philip.
I believe in the maxim: never date someone with your same name. It must be cursed from the outset. I’m not referring to cursed as in your future family-in-law confusing who’s who when asking for “Philip” to pass the green beans at Thanksgiving. No, it must be a law of nature that two humans of the same name shall never intertwine, lest catastrophe befall both.
In 2012 in Chicago, I dated a man named Philip. I took him to see the Glee Tour concert in Chicago. I had a friend who was in the cast so he got us free tickets and all. It was a big joke, obviously — no twenty-six year-old of sound mind would have been truly excited to see the touring show of Glee’s second season cast. That was a teenage dream. But Philip was euphoric. He sang along to their Kids-Bop-esque versions of “Don’t Stop Believin” and “Proud Mary.” I joked about how stupid everything was at one point — he didn’t crack a smile, just gave me a concerned look like I’d missed the memo.
After the show, I took him to meet the cast of Glee on the rooftop of their hotel in Chicago. My friend in the cast who was able to arrange this. The number one rule of meeting famous people is to not act around them like they are famous. They are normal humans looking to have a chill post-show hang-out. My only aim was to expect nothing and perhaps get to know them on a personal level.
Philip, the fan boy toy, began asking everyone for autographs the moment we entered their hotel room. He wanted them to autograph a shirt he had brought. Lea Michelle gave a huff and stormed out to the privacy of her room. The rest of the cast avoided us. It was humiliating. I didn’t know what to say. We left and I broke up with Philip as we left the hotel and swore to never date another man with my name.
Two weeks ago, I went to Seattle, and it was there that I met the Kink Boy. His name was Philip.
Philip was a sweet guy on first impression — he had angelic eyes and a funny, everyman sort of presence onstage in the Comedysportz show I attended. He was six foot five or so — a veritable giant and just my (rare) type, as I am six foot one and like taller men. Post-show we made chit-chat about improv and comedy, my two least favorite subjects. But then he pivoted. He told me he was a sexual deviant and a member of Seattle’s BDSM/Dominatrix community. He was a dominant kink top who relished tying people up and having total control over them. This was my favorite topic to talk about. He made direct eye contact with me as he explained his aggressive sexual practices and safe words. I was turned on and turned up, and I asked if he was gay. “Never for anyone else…yet,” he told me, winking and leaving the conversation.
The next night I invited him to hang out with me and my touring cast of two other ladies, Jen and Ali, at a gay bar. We were all stoned on Seattle’s best, which is to say — I was tingling all over and suggestible to anything. My friend Ali and I laced into Philip to tell us more details about his kink lifestyle. He took us into sexual forays and fantasies straight out of a hardcore 70’s porno, with a great storyline, and I could barely contain myself by the end of the conversation. I wanted him, bad. It was folly, I knew — he had said he’d never had sex with a man — but I am also foolhardy to a fault. When I was 12 years old, my ski instructor at Star Kids ski camp in Northstar Tahoe told me on the last lift ride up the mountain that I would not graduate into Level E unless I could prove my prowess on the final run. I skied like a banshee, tearing up the moguls on the black diamond to the amazement of my 12–year old ski peers. But I was skiing too fast and instead of coming to a neat parallel stop at the halfway point of the mountain, I soared over the edge and fell twenty feet to break my arm. North Star EMS had to drag my body down the mountain in a stretcher, screaming at every bump on the ski mobile.
But my ski instructor moved me up to Level E. It was worth it.
I declared to the team we were moving to a gay nightclub. I grabbed Philip by the hand and led him out the bar and down the street, our tall strides taking us ahead of the ladies. Ali was wasted enough to trip on the sidewalk a ways behind us. Jen and her never recovered from the fall and opted to take a cab home. So, it was now just me and Philip, the kink boy, at the club.
We danced a bit in our own spheres; I bought him drinks. Other men were eying us both.
“It this a game to you?” I asked him.
“It’s all a game,” he replied.
“Are you gay?”
“No, zero percent.”
“No, just…zero percent. I’m sorry”
I looked around at my other options. But in front of me was everything I was attracted to in one package and out of my reach.
“Just fake it,” I said.
“Just dance with me and pretend you’re gay for twenty minutes and then you can go home,” I said.
“Ok,” he said, smiling.
And we danced. We had chemistry. He led me. He lifted me. I spun. I was weightless. I pulled out every move I had in response. He took. I gave. A crowd circled around us as Ed Shireen’s (the singer from Game Of Thrones) song “Shape of You” played, sped up and warped with DJ horns. We were epic. We were kinky.
And after about twenty minutes, he slowed to a stop and thanked me, hands on my shoulders, and said he had to get up early in order make tennis practice.
“You felt nothing?” I asked, panting.
“I could tell you felt something. I felt the intimacy emanating from you. It just didn’t turn me on,” he said. “Sorry,” he said, for the third time that night.
“Ok,” I said. “Have a good night.”
I danced awhile longer by myself at the club, looking for other prospects. It felt sad to be solitary after dirty dancing with a stallion. Then I took a fifty dollar surge-priced Uber home to my flat in Seattle and tried to go to bed. But I was too horned up. The weed kept feeding me the feeling I’d tasted on the dance floor, despite my body trying to go to bed. Torture.
I was up till 4 AM before I finally conked out. When I woke up, I vowed to never go on a date with another Philip…