‘Straight men don’t often give each other compliments, so when this happens, I guess it’s sweet. But often the conversation remains shallow. And there’s a lot of objectification going on, it’s very aggressive. It’s like saying to a woman: “Hey, nice tits.”

I would never walk up to a person and say I like his or her looks. It is superficial, and my time and attention are too precious. When I approach someone, it’s because I detect a common denominator. Like the book they are reading. Cuteness alone is not enough for me.

I like what I see in the mirror. I’m an acrobat, so my body is muscular and well-trained. But I don’t do certain things because they are masculine or because they make me look that way. I just do what I feel like doing. Some of us fit into the masculine ideal, some into the feminine. On the street, I’m this butch, hairy man. But at festivals, I often wear colourful hot pants and eye make-up.

Gender is a construct. I mean, it is real, because it has real effects on the bodies and minds of human beings. But there is nothing natural about it. For straight people, there are so many restrictive rules about how to behave and how not to. Especially for men, these rules are toxic. It disconnects and blocks them from their emotions and from themselves. When a guy is like that, I’m out. Most of my friends are women.

‘On the street, I’m this butch, hairy man with a big beard. But at festivals, I often wear colourful hot pants and eye make-up’

Most of the sex I have is with women, so you could label me as straight. But there are men I find very attractive and with whom I have sweet or romantic interactions. In the West we have different standards for men and women. When a woman has sex with both genders, or when she is at college and sleeps with women, she is often regarded as someone who is experimenting. When a guy has feelings for another guy, no matter how much sex he has with women, he is labelled as a closeted homosexual or at the very least, as bisexual.

Labels don’t make sense to me. Why define your sexuality based on the people you have sex with or who you are attracted to? Why not base it on your fantasies, your fetishes, or the positions you like?

Sometimes I have threesomes with a guy and a girl. I don’t really have the urge to touch the guy, but his presence does turn me on. The idea that she is mediating his sexuality to me, is exciting. This is not ‘gay’ as we in the West conceptualise it, but it’s definitely male-to-male sexuality. It’s like brojobs or ‘gay for stay’ in prison. Or like this friend of mine, who identifies as straight but does have sex with men when he is in Berghain, because that’s just part of the experience of being in that place. Often these acts are seen as exceptions, or worse, as mistakes. But I think every feeling and every act is valid, for the simple reason that it exists.’

Image: Gideon Querido van Frank