We thought we were just experimenting before we became 'real men'. We had sex but we didn’t kiss. I was telling him to save his first kiss for his first girlfriend.


An interview with Aslan.


Artwork by Anna Vymlatilova

Aslan | Age: 38 | Location: London, UK | Born: Istanbul, Turkey | Occupation: Teacher | No. of sexual partners: -

Why did you take part?

I’m on a journey of exploring my sexuality at the moment. I’m trying to find new ways of experiencing my sexuality. Somehow it feels like this is a part of that inquiry. 


What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?

Sexuality, it was out of my world until I was a teenager. I was totally untouched by this energy till then. I remember buying this teenage music magazines that had this ‘sex column’ of the magazine where people send question and that was the first time that I started thinking about sex. My first thought was that I was so late with everything. In the ‘sex column’ people were saying they had their first kiss at 14, first sex at 15. I was 14 when reading this. A few years passed and it just didn’t happen for me. I didn’t have my first kiss or sex. I felt very ashamed about that. I felt something was wrong with me, that it should have happened. 

I was a loner in my teenage years. Kind of like an outcast. I didn’t have any friends. Just living in own world, painting a lot. Then one day suddenly I made friends with someone who became my best friend; he’s still my best friend. He was also my first sexual partner. There wasn’t any title to our relationship. We were friends. We didn’t have the idea that we were partners. We just thought we were 2 guys experimenting with things. But looking back I see that there was this intense love and passion between us. Yeah it’s, uhm. Hard to summarise. 

I felt attracted to both sexes since the teenage years. I remember these boys in high school in the changing room. Some of them would show their penises....I think everyone was curious. There was this boy who had matured earlier than others. He had like the biggest penis. I was really turned on by this guy and at the same time I was feeling really insecure about my undeveloped penis at the time. There was a lot of shame. Feeling that something was terribly wrong with me. I was not being able to come out to anyone. I feel like it was obvious from the outside - I had this feminine side quite noticeable but it was impossible to say it out loud to anyone. To have this friend/partner was very supportive for me. The strange thing is we weren’t kissing. We had sex but we didn’t kiss. It was because of me. I was telling him to save his first kiss for his first girlfriend. We just had this idea that this was probably a phase for both of us before we became ‘real men’. 

Then I fell in love with a girl. Actually one of the biggest loves of my life. She still is even though I see her rarely, she is with me all the time. This was a very open relationship with her. She would also sleep with girls. I kept sleeping with my friend in the meantime. We were open but it came with a lot of jealousy. It was hard to handle. After that I had both male and female partners. Until I got married. To my husband. We’ve been totally monogamous but we have started considering opening up but don’t know how to keep it from destroying our relationship. We got in touch with a tantra teacher and had a first Skype session. All very new for us. I feel like this is a massive step in my sexual story. 

At 28 I came to London. Every man needs to go to the army by law in Turkey. But there is a way you can escape it. That is by proving to the government that you’re gay. So to get this report called the pink report you have to prove that you’re passive gay, not active. Receiving and getting fucked, not fucking. I’m actually versatile but I had to put on this act. I put on some foundation, put some feminine clothes for the interview. This interview was really funny because the woman who interviewed me in the psychiatric hospital she was a very hot looking nurse with giant boobs. I was actually slightly turned on by her. I somehow thought that maybe they put her as a test to make sure I’m not faking it. My mother came to the hospital to help me get this report. I was semi-out by then, between friends. She cried and gave a dramatic picture of my childhood which helped me to convince them. In the end I was diagnosed with psychosexual development disorder. And that was my ticket to come to the UK. I didn’t have to go to the army anymore, I was free. 

Out of all the categories I think I’d call myself bisexual. My husband finds it hard to compete with...not just men, women as well. It’s not how he always feels but he has this jealous side sometimes. Being able to be passive or active in sex adds a different quality to my sex. When I touch a man I can also touch him as a woman. It’s hard to express this. Basically we all have male and female parts of ourselves. I feel like I know how to hold the inner woman of a man. Ok that’s a lie, I am still learning that. It’s a very rich experience of sex to be able to enjoy both sexes and different roles. Very colourful. Makes you realise there is something beyond gender in sex. People find it hard to trust me because it sounds like a slutty thing. As if I am so greedy, not satisfied with one gender. 

What were the aha moments in your sexual journey?

When I was 22 I had this woman partner, she was 34. She was a little bit like my teacher in some way. My aha moment with her was an almost tantric experience. We had sex and she guided me into an energy transfer between our bodies. I really felt my orgasm expanding to more of my body, into her body. A nourishing energy exchange. This was quite an aha moment. 

What does sex mean to you?

Even after all these years of living in the UK I still have a lot of shame about my sexuality. I feel like I internalised homophobia. I have this side that is judging me about being gay. It’s a long journey for me to fully come to terms with it. I also have this eczema problem. It shows up frequently in the sexual parts of my body. In this tantric session that we had with our ‘teacher’ said it could be related to shame. Me still not feeling safe being married to a man. I come from a place where it’s physically dangerous to be gay. Even though my family knows they once told me it was fine as long as I kept it secret from society. My dad told me that he doesn’t want to lose his prestige in his professional life. I’m still sometimes not able to share certain things on social media that make me look really gay. We were once walking in south east London with my partner holding hands and we were attacked by this gang of guys. It wasn’t physical but a lot of verbal abuse. That made me realise that I’m not safe in London as much as I thought I would be. But it’s still better than Turkey.


What’s difficult about sex?

The most difficult thing now is a very intense desire to share my body with more than one person. I have a lot of fear about destroying the relationship. So that’s the most difficult thing at the moment. The need for me is to be more spontaneous. There is this feeling of being trapped in this relationship at times. I have a need to feel more free. It’s a curiosity to explore how love could be shared. Internally I feel it is happening anyway. I fall in love with people on a daily basis. 

Also just enjoying the journey of sex rather than reducing it to the moment of orgasm. Yeah. 


What do you most enjoy about sex?

It makes me feel like an animal and a god at the same time. It creates this connection between my most primal and your highest divine self. Yeah. I lose myself in it. Makes me forget all my troubles and worries. I feel like whatever happens, there is this love to fall back into. 


How often do you have sex?

Once a week I guess. 


Do you orgasm?

I want to not come sometimes and enjoy myself still. It’s quite challenging as a man to not be goal driven about coming. 

Do you masturbate?

Yeah. I guess it’s like once a month now. I don’t like this but being a man I have this porn addiction still. It’s pretty much under control but it’s still there. In my teen years it was just a bombardment of porn.


What specific things (e.g. techniques) have you found, alone and with partners, that have led to more pleasure in your sex life? 

I think being slow, being slowly touched. I just like when my partner touches my cock in an adoring way. When you’re slow every touch could be like an extended orgasm. It becomes more about the process than this orgasmic finale. Yeah. Makes it a bit more compassionate, less like porn. More loving and real. 

How do you see sexuality portrayed in the society and how does it make you feel?

I feel like this porn culture is still very powerful and it’s distracting from the real experience of sex. It makes it very visual. It narrows it down to a very visual experience. It creates a lot of pressure about having to perform well, having big dicks, big breasts. 

I like this more gender fluid movement that is happening. I meet a lot of younger people who don’t feel pressure to define themselves in a certain sexual category. Who just flow through different roles. I resonate with that myself. 

I also don’t like the app dating culture. It feels like a consumer thing. I don’t see sex as something to be consumed. The swiping culture it just makes you not appreciate different beauties in people. That’s my judgement. I never tried it to be honest.


What advice would you give to others?

I guess maybe I would give advice to men about educating themselves to sustain the erection longer before coming. See if they can enjoy what happens before orgasm more. Try to extend that time. 


Is there anything you want to explore?

I have never been in an orgy. I would be curious to explore that.