Dangerous Liaison

Happiness Is Living in Secret With a Man Who Doesn’t Consider Himself Gay

This lack of interest in a community of people with similar pleasure goals may have something to do with the fact that Romulus grew up in Communist Romania, where the concept of communities, rather than the unified social body, did not exist. And perverse as I may seem, I find life with him outside of any gay group culture strangely refreshing, as if I and my desire have been placed back inside the whole world.


Leading a life of clandestine homosexuality with a lover who doesn't consider himself "gay" has its difficulties. It ain't easy being foreign and queer in Bucharest. There are wild dogs in the street that could have rabies. Merchants quadruple their prices as soon as they lay eyes on me. I keep wondering if the neighbors can hear us moaning. But in the end, these risks are less painful than the steady erosion of my sex life in the safety of New York.

Life with Romulus is strangely refreshing, as if I and my desire have been placed back inside the whole world.
photo: courtesy of Bruce Benderson
Life with Romulus is strangely refreshing, as if I and my desire have been placed back inside the whole world.

As the gay community of New York became more politically established, its support for me began to feel more like the dictation of a script by which I must act out my desire. I've chosen, instead, to write my own script, which is a mixture of old values and experimental approaches. It's a risky, shadowy thriller that won't ever make a pilot for prime-time television. It's also a wild flight toward pleasure. I may never go home to the norm.


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