This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Are You Getting Any? interviews are conducted via Skype video call.
Quality of sex overall: 9/10
Frequency of sex: 7/10
Intimacy levels: 9/10
How you feel generally about the people you fuck: 8/10
How happy you are with the amount of time you have for sex: 6/10
VICE: Hi Fama! Are you currently in a relationship?
Yeah. It’s been a couple of months, but we’ve been seeing each other for half a year before. I’m 19, so it’s long for my age.
A year and a half is quite long.
It’s been a really weird experience. I mainly have female friends, I don’t know why but my best friends are all female. But most of my male friends don’t date.
What do they do instead?
They go out, like, one-night stand kind of stuff. Or they just link. That’s something that I’ve never done. Even though in my male friend group, I’d say I have the most sexual experience, I rarely just link. Once I got called a serial dater.
As in, you’re always seeing someone?
Yeah. Always seeing someone. I don’t specifically need to go into a relationship. I just like to have a date to be comfortable, even if it’s going to just be a sexual relationship. It just feels weird and takes the human aspect out if you’re interacting with each other in that way without a date.
OK. So what do you think of the British Medical Journal research? Is social media to blame for us all having less sex?
I feel like Tinder has made it so that we’re having more sex. But I know that a lot of my friends don’t have anywhere near as much as me and I think that is the norm now. It might be because they’re single as we’re also more wary of relationships. With social media, there’s a bigger pressure with being in a relationship, so most people prefer to not be in one.
Do you think that includes casually dating or sleeping with someone?
Yeah, I think they just find it a lot. There’s more attached to meeting someone now.
How did you meet your current partner?
We met on Tinder before I went to London. I’m from Manchester and she lives there, so there’s a little bit of distance. We went on three consecutive dates. We have some mutual friends but I actually “Super Liked” her.
Fama met his current partner on Tinder.
Wow, a Super Like.
I know, I know. We didn’t go on a date at first because I came to London, but we stayed in contact for five months. Nothing crazy, just being friendly as I had a relationship as soon as I got to university – the first day, I met someone and we got into a relationship. It was a really bad decision. But when I came back to Manchester, I was like, “I’m just going to ask her on a date”.
That’s nice. So you’ve been able to see each other since lockdown began? Are you isolating together?
I live with my mum but we’ve recently seen each other since we’ve been able to gather with other people outside. I feel like it’s only been better during lockdown because there’s less distractions and you have time to actually consider. This is probably the longest time I’ve ever really stopped and thought about committing to anything, which is really healthy and there are lessons learned from past mistakes. Before I decided to get into a relationship, I was on the verge of being like, “I want no hand in anything other than myself and my friends for a long time”. I wasn’t really interested because I got quite fatigued from seeing a lot of people, but she slid in before that. It’s been really constructive.
What are your views on casual dating now?
I love meeting new people. You meet a new person and get to know them and you go through the whole cycle of it. It’s exciting, but what I found is that adrenaline isn’t sustainable. It’s good if you’re very content with yourself and you know what you’re on, but I think for me, I was having difficulties with myself in general, so seeing many people confused me even more with my own personal issues and mental health.
Do you think there are any other factors that contribute to young people having less sex?
I think it’s also harder for girls now. That’s maybe the biggest driver for why people are having less sex. I think it’s a good thing in retrospect, but I think girls are more careful on who they pick than they used to be.
What do you mean?
Previously, a woman’s incentive during the 80s or something was still a very domesticated role and the whole expectation was to find a man. Now, there’s no necessity for that. Because of that, there’s less of a drive on the side of women to need to be in a relationship. I think it’s good because when it does happen for them, it’s more genuine. You know, 50-percent of marriages are dissolved, right? I also kind of attribute it to the way I am.
You’re less inclined to get into a relationship for the sake of it?
I see myself as more of a feminine male than a masculine male. I’m not too bothered with masculine males. I have very lad-y friends and I definitely see it in a different way to them. For them, the whole emotional exploration is not something they think about.
Did you grow up surrounded by a lot of “lad culture”?
Yeah, a bit. But I grew up with my mum, it’s always been me and my mum. I find guys who only have mums are much nicer when it comes to the dating experience in general. I really appreciate having my mum because it’s made me more sensitive. It’s good and bad in some ways. It’s good for other people, but it can be bad for yourself if you’re extremely sensitive with yourself. You need to have a tough skin about certain stuff, but I guess you learn that as you grow up. Because of that and how feminine I was, I was always confused as bi and everyone thought I was gay.
Do you mean you were unsure, or other people just assumed your sexuality?
I didn’t think it, but lot of my friends thought I was bi when they first met me. They just say, “You don’t express yourself like most straight guys, you just seem a bit feminine”. So I had this moment in London, I was in Hackney at this underground BDSM rave after Halloween. I was there with my uni friends, and this was after my breakup when I was having a bit of a fuckboy phase. I was like, “You know what? Maybe I am gay.” I used to always go to gay bars in Manchester and I used to get called the ultimate twink. I’m like, “What does that mean?” and then I googled it and I was like, “Yeah, fair. I get it.” Anyway, so I pulled this guy who’s a dancer and after, I was like, “Yeah, I’m not gay.” It wasn’t the same and it didn’t do it for me. I’m comfortable to talk about it and say, “Yeah I did this,” whereas I think 80 percent of straight men would be like, “Why would you kiss a guy?”
Why do you think most straight guys would think that?
They’re just not comfortable with themselves and it shows. They were the ones that gave me the doubt about myself. I can look at guys – like, ASAP Rocky is a beautiful man. A very beautiful man and that’s where it ends.
Yeah, well he is objectively good-looking. Do you think other straight men wouldn’t admit that?
I truly believe most heterosexual males are, to a degree, homophobic. In the same way we have systemic racism, males have systemic homophobia. I think most guys say they have no issue with it but really, they just tolerate it. In their own private circles, and I’ve witnessed this, even from guys who I believe are nice guys, they won’t be directly homophobic but will view it as disgusting. It’s mainly in lad culture.
Tell me more about your fuckboy phase.
Last year, I had a gap year. I had a very bad time and I broke up from a year-and-a-half-long relationship. I was in a deep mental trough, so I used to go out all the time. I saw so many people. I kind of reached a point where I had sex with this girl and I went to shower after, and I just had a breakdown. I was like, “What the fuck am i doing? I don’t even like this person. She’s attractive but that’s where it ends.” That’s when I realised that I needed to stop doing it. But it happened again, so I didn’t keep that lesson for long. At uni, it’s just more accessible and it was probably the best fuckboy season you could have, because the people were really interesting. I got with really cool people and I maintain contact with most people.
So, how did the phase stop for good?
There was a very vivid moment during sex where I kind of looked up and was like, “I know I’m not happy and this is making it worse.” I stopped. I feel like I owed it to the person. It’s such an intimate interaction and you need to be in the same boat about it and I would be doing a disservice to the person by not being honest with them. I didn’t want it to feel like it was them because it really wasn’t.
Thanks for sharing, Fama!
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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