Brave New World
by Corey Saucier

Sexual escapades, bright pink hoochie shorts, and the moments in between

Man and red stairs

I’m the kind of girl that likes to celebrate milestones: First kisses, first times holding hands, 2nd Annual Elderly Queer Film Festivals, first times crying in front of each other, first times farting in front of each other, Third Annual Trans Pride Parades, and International Donut Days are all justifiable reasons to take a moment and celebrate! Besides, who balks at an opportunity to wear cute outfits and get flowers from a handsome gentleman caller?! It was going to be our fourth month together, and soon to be our fourth time having sex (which I was really excited about), and to mark the momentous occasion, we were going away for a four-day weekend!

I’m the kind of girl who never knows what to pack. Should I be “sexy and sassy” with bright pink hoochie shorts and a lime green crop top, or “elegant and refined” in a church hat and my grandma’s pearls? There are just so many options…. But after our last sexual situation that resulted in a panicked PEP treatment for the boyfriend, there are definitely a few things that ARE going in the suitcase: Condoms.

My boyfriend is not a Truvada whore (at least not yet anyway), but I am definitely a Reyataz slut. That is the terminology being thrown around these days right? People who get regularly tested by their doctors—who negotiate with insurance companies and HIV prevention agencies to take a regimen of highly effective medications; who after much thought and soul searching decide to mitigate their damages and make mature choices that could protect themselves and their monogamous partners—we are calling these people whores and sluts now right?! As if taking a pill and letting strangers use you dirty have anything to do with one another…. I am NOT that kind of girl! I take my pills every single day so that I don’t die of AIDS—end of story. And I kind of wish my HIV-negative boyfriend could do the same thing. But like “Abstinence Only” programs for high school kids in Mississippi (that obviously don’t work), the powers that be are still pushing “Condoms Only” for grown-up gay men. So for our romantic weekend getaway to the beautiful private Lake Arrowhead community, instead of packing four little blue Truvada pills we are packing: cute underwear, a few sexy toys, some lube, a big bag of gummy bears, some Viagra, and lots and lots of condoms. Let the vacation begin!

The drive down was amazing. He drove and I navigated. We talked the whole way down, because the best thing about us is the way we talk. We talked about how lovely it was to reach a Four-Month-A-Versary, about how much we love each other, about how from that altitude the silver mists of clouds covering the city below made the golden skyline look like heaven—which made us talk of God and divinity, and destiny, and whether it was possible for two souls to find each other so late in life…. And then we talked about all the dirty unspeakable things we were going to do to each other once we reached the cabin. Because when I am in a relationship I am so that kind of girl!

And when we got there we grilled steaks for dinner. We sun-bathed and did boat tours on the sparkling water in the day; and at night he and I were whores and sluts. We did wonderful, loving, raunchy, wet things to each other all night for hours! Things that made me blush at breakfast the next morning and things that would make him giggle non-stop at random times throughout the day.

We smiled and kissed and took lots of silly pictures that weekend; but we technically did not have sex…. We just could not get the condoms to do what they say they are supposed to do; and at our age we were tired of pretending that we could. So in a heap of sweat, after our fifteenth attempt, we finally said it out loud.

“I don’t want to love someone that I have to use condoms with,” he said.

“Me neither,” I said, “it doesn’t feel good.”

“I’m just going to have to get over the fear,” he said, more to himself than me.

“Yes, you are.”

And I heard a bell knell somewhere deep inside of us, because I knew we had drawn a line in the sand. This was a milestone: Our first time facing the truth.

Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Non-sense can be found at