What do you do for a living?
I'm a writer and I edit an online arts daily. I also work as a publishing consultant to a feminist publishing house.
You mentioned that you're seeing someone. How did you meet him?
Through Facebook, actually. I'd seen a show of his — he's a photographer — and then I found him on Facebook, because I just thought he did amazing work, and we chatted. At some point he was in the city — I was in Bombay at that time — so we met and, I don't know, we just hit it off.
That sounds like a very modern, technologically advanced way to meet, but you mentioned a slight age gap.
Yes. About thirty years.
How does your family react to that?
My family doesn't know.
Understandably. So, I have to ask, with the thirty-year age gap, how's the sex?
Pretty much non-existent. There are huge periods of absence — he's traveling or I'm traveling and we're away from each other — and then there are periods when we're together and it's not a platonic relationship for sure. There's a lot of chemistry, there's a lot of attraction, but somewhere... I wouldn't say sex has taken a back seat. It's always there, it's lurking around, but it's more erotic, because you're constantly charged and there's this constant sense of desire and expectation. You don't know when it might be fulfilled.
I imagine it takes a certain confidence and security on both your parts to be okay with that dynamic.
I suppose. This is not a monogamous relationship, and one has the choice to be with whoever, but, maybe because I have had a really interesting sex life, I feel like there's no longer the compulsion to do that, to be that way, to play games in terms of seduction with strangers. Maybe it's a part of growing up? I don't know. It feels more settled not to have to worry about it.
You don't miss it? The seduction of strangers?
Not really. I know it's always there if I ever want it, so maybe that's why I don't miss it. I just have too much going on, and I feel like men are sometimes just a waste of energy. Making conversation, doing the whole spiel, the seduction, the dance — there was a time when it was exciting. It was a good muse.
Any particularly good stories?
My favorite is a story I call "The Bicycle Thief." I was on campus and coming back from a party late at night, and this guy lived on the other end of campus, so I lent him my bicycle so he could go back, and then I didn't hear from him in two days. So I wrote to him and said, "Dude, where's my cycle?" And he said, "You think you can just give me your cycle and I'll come back and return it to you like a good boy? You have to come here and get it." So I went there, and I could tell from the very beginning that this whole ritual of seduction was happening. At some point I looked at him and said, "I know where the key is. It's right there, so I could just take it if I want to." And he said, "There it is. If you want to take it, you can just do that." So I took it, but then I gave it back to him and said, "No, it can't be that easy." We ended up spending the night, and the next morning, when I woke up, I felt this cold metal on my stomach — the key. I said, "Thank you." And he said something like he got a really raw deal, so I asked why and he said, "Well, I just lost a bicycle."