The Paris Review

We Are All Scared by What We Aren’t Saying

IML Winners’ Kiss, 1980. From the International Mr. Leather collection, Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

As fall begins to exert its emptying onto Chicago, I become aware both that the cold is near and that I’ve barely had sex since moving to the city. These are linked because if I do not figure out how to have sex in this new city soon I will sleep alone all winter, everyone hiding inside and covered in blankets and sweaters. I find sex differently, depending on where I am. In Seattle, the best way to find someone to have sex with was to go to a basement where maybe a band had been playing or to this one punk bar with dicks on the walls. In New York, walking on the street between any two places seemed to work well, while in Berlin I just kept taking drugs when they were offered to me and then when someone suggested a different party, I went to that new party, and I had sex there. Chicago is different, though. I

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review9 min read
What’s The Use Of Beauty?
Édouard Manet. Woman Reading, 1880 or 1881. The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection. The halo effect is a type of cognitive bias in which your initial superficial assessment of a person influences your perce
The Paris Review7 min read
I Am the Mother of This Eggshell
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. When my grandfather was dying, he pointed into the gray hospital air and said, “Buildings.” “Drawn in light pencil,” he said. “All around me.” “Are they yours?” I as
The Paris Review11 min read
Virginia Woolf’s Pivotal Sophomore Novel
Illustration by Kristen Radtke. Beware, sweet Night and Day reader, of being seduced by the name of Virginia Woolf on the spine of this novel into believing you are about to read a work of high Modernism, a sister to the author’s towering To the Ligh