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During a recent taping of Here TV's sexual gabfest Threesome, DJ/promoter/drag performer Michael Formika Jones blurted a revelation that sounded like the theme of a vintage Maury episode: An old boyfriend of his was now his ex-girlfriend. And they're still friends.
Three hot flashes later, I was on the phone with Formika—who regularly presides at bars like Eastern Bloc and the Phoenix—and got the whole story of timely transitions out of him, all while pretending my eyes weren't popping like fried eggs.
Years ago, Formika met Pat (she wants a pseudonym here) when Pat was staring at Formika dancing on a bar in his underwear. "Don't just be a voyeur," urged Formika. "Come up and join in." Pat obediently stripped down and did so—and they were together for six years after that.
"Pat was a wonderful boyfriend," Formika told me, but eventually some distance developed. One night, Pat became enthralled by a transsexual friend of Formika, which made the nightclub presence (a/k/a drag personality Misstress Formika) wonder what the subtext was. After months of discussion, it turned out Pat felt trapped in the wrong body and was desperate to transition to physical womanhood. "This was the most shocking news ever," said Formika, "because my closets are full of bras, high heels, and nylons, and in six years I never walked in and said, 'What are you doing in my pumps?' "
Explains Pat: "Through Michael [Formika], I met transsexuals who were 'normal.' Once I met some transsexual role models who weren't just hypersexualized porn stars/hookers or men in dresses, the idea became real to me. (Nothing wrong with those people, it's just not who I am). However, I think Michael and I still have very different views on what it means to be transsexual and how one should be transsexual."
What followed were some teary outbursts from Formika, but sexually, this development was a huge turn-on—at first, anyway. "Pat decided to have implants," said Formika, "but she still had her male genitalia. She still looked like a cute little boy and she had boobs, and who doesn't like boobs? A cute boy with boobs? Dream come true! But once the hair grew out and the makeup and the feminization came, I realized, 'OK, it's official. I'm a fag, I'm not a lesbian.' " A knowing laugh. Apparently he's not bisexual either.
(Says Pat: "We had already split up at this point. Michael is definitely not attracted to the complete female anatomy. He does like pretty boys, but the key word there is boys.")
Interestingly, the two lived together as roommates for a long time and got along, though when Pat tested her new vagina with an old friend of Formika, "[it] was awkward," the latter admits. Pat describes it as "some late-night drunk texting that turned into a booty call." A whole other Maury episode.
But here's a new twist: Formika recently broadened his own horizons by dating a female-to-male guy named John whom he met on OkCupid. It turns out the bar star is not attracted to a transgendered woman with a vagina, but he's intrigued by a transgendered man with one. "It's not the pussy," he explained, "it's the boy/girl thing." During the initial flirting process Formika found out about the fertile crescent looming in his future. "I asked John if he likes to take it up the ass," Formika relates, plainly. "And he wrote back, 'I prefer pussy sex.' I thought, 'Oh my God, he still has a pussy.' Of course that questions your masculinity: Can I do it, or am I gonna look lame?"
Well, the update is a genital triumph. Last week, Formika and John had their first date at the ultra-casual Nowhere Bar on East 14th Street. They chatted about their lives, "and then we started kissing on a secluded couch," Formika told me. "And before I knew it, we were making out hard-core and I had my hands down his pants. It was exciting and new, and I hadn't been to that place since high school. I was definitely playing with his clitoris.
"I was really nervous because when you're a gay man, the thought of having sex with a woman scares you. But it was a whole turnaround to be with a transgendered guy like that and be so turned on that it wasn't really about the vagina, it was about the attraction toward him and wanting to be sexual with him.
"When you think of women, you think you have to approach them cautiously," he added, "but with him, it was aggressive and decadent and wild, and at no point did I feel like I was taking advantage. It was a mutual connection of wanting to have this public display.
"He said he came five times right there. He said, 'This was hot. I can't wait till we fuck.' His closing words were, 'God, I'm so sticky now.' I said, 'I'm glad I got that pussy all worked up,' which is what I've said to some gay guys too." Another knowing laugh. Of course, John is a gay guy. "Exactly," said Formika.
Will his new beau eventually have a penis? "He is perfect and happy the way he is," said Formika, who's delighted with it too. "The message," says Formika, "is to have an open mind. Nothing has ever been black and white for me. I've constantly lived in a gray area." And that's way sexier than Murray Hill.
Meanwhile, I asked Pat—who's "happily single"—for one last comment. She said, "I hope Michael is seeing this person for the right reasons. Otherwise, I wish them luck."