Coming Out Of My Sexual Shell

I’ll teach you how to fuck,” she promised both in song and on paper.

It was October 1992, and Madonna was staking her sexual claim across the globe. Who was I to resist? At the time, my fandom was at its earliest height, and ever since then she has barely been able to do a wrong. Back then, I needed her for something more important than entertainment or amusement: I needed her to survive. In addition, I needed her to break through my shyness and social inhibition, and to help me bust out of the constraints of a conservative Catholic upbringing. All of those issues would end up killing me if I continued in my misguided beliefs, and deep down I knew that.

I was ripe for a sexual awakening, even if I didn’t know whether that would be at the hands of a man or woman, and as Madonna’s ‘Erotica’ album was casting its spell and putting me in a trance, I felt the stirrings of desire and carnal longing. As candles burned and fall winds blew, I conjured my own brew of prayers and wishes, and the hope that the secrets of sex would soon reveal themselves.

It was still such a mystery to me: slightly dangerous, slightly comical, slightly repellent, but supremely enticing. My body reacted to the sight of shirtless men while my mind thrilled to the notion of vulnerability – and as strange as it sounds the male always seemed more vulnerable than the female in my warped sense of of the world. We wore our sex on the outside, unprotected and swinging in the air, easily prone to attack or seduction.

A song like ‘Erotica’ burned red-hot and brazenly; a cut like ‘Rain‘ tripped the lights blue and fantastic. The entire ‘Erotica’ album was a rainbow of aural textures and sextures, each a little story in itself – tales of seduction and carnality as much as love and self-exploration. Coupled with the ‘Sex’ book, it was a project of sexual expression that played with the topic – sometimes coyly, sometimes overtly – and in such an extreme self-display of naked un-inhibition that it culminated in one of the most unpopular periods of Madonna’s career.

There was a wicked little lesson in that too: if you had ‘Sex’ you would get punished. She fought it against it, and ultimately so would I… but not quite yet. Though I would dip my dick in men and women soon enough, back then I kept it all to myself. I flipped the pages of ‘Sex’ and listened to the moans of ‘Erotica’ and dreamt of the day when I would share it with another.

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