I met Conner while I was out with my bff Roman at a gay bar in LA called The Faultline. We were feeling very free, which meant we had done a little too much GHB and were practically falling over, but I was wearing a really intense leather harness, so I was maintaining chicness despite being somewhat of a disaster that night. At one point in the evening, Conner and I locked eyes and he mouthed my favorite question to be asked: “Are you okay?”
I danced my way over to him, gently shoved the guy he was talking to out of the way with my eyes (a trick Naomi Campbell taught me), and struck up a conversation. I quickly learned Conner was not only a writer and college lecturer, but he’s also a gay porn star, which is probably why he looked so familiar to me, and probably why Roman was dying to fuck him. Needless to say I was obsessed, so I decided to give Conner the Babe treatment…
Who’s your favorite writer?
Anyone who makes me think or who brutalizes my mind. Patricia Highsmith, James Joyce, Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Sontag, Donald Barthelme.
Favorite sexual position?
It’s an every-position tie for favorite.
Spit or swallow?
“Spit” is the answer you give if you want to retire from sex and do like yarn crafts instead or something. Instead of “Spit” what about “Share?” If there’s not a share option, the answer is swallow.
What’s the chicest thing you’ve seen this week?
My Australian trainers at Training Mate, which is a circuit training gym. Officially, it’s called Training Mate because they’re Australian and say “G’day mate!” when you walk in. But the real reason is because they’re so hot that you want to mate with them. Also, it’s a good work out. But holy fuck. Maybe sweaty, sexy Australian men don’t sound chic to everyone. I’m not sure those people and I will ever understand each other.
What’s the chicest thing you’ve ever seen?
When I was in my early twenties, I saw Susan Sontag speak at a college. She read from her novel, In America, and then answered questions from the audience. With each answer, she was totally articulate, but totally forceful, until it eventually felt like she was terrorizing the audience.
“My dear, my dear,” she said to one audience member, “no one with a soul with ask such a question.”
She was beautiful and graceful and not to be fucked with. You had no idea what she was going to say next. I shrank into my seat, but I was electrified. That’s chic at its most extreme: Someone or something so confidently present that you can’t look away, even if you’re terrified.
What’s a chic you haven’t seen yet, but you’re dying to see?
My Greek island villa. It’s waiting for me and my friends when I’m in my forties.
Biggest beauty secret?
Being half Syrian and half Irish. It’s the perfect combination of oil and blush. When that’s not enough, Weleda. They’re natural face/body/beauty products made with biodynamically or wild-harvested ingredients. Who doesn’t want face cream ethically-made with real Irises? Nobody.
Name three things you’re obsessed with right now
1. Sex scholarship. I don’t mean, like, blowing the dean of students so you get a free ride at college. I mean reading about, thinking about, and talking about sex seriously. This is a lifelong obsession, of course, but it’s intensified now because I’m finishing up my book, Remaking Sex, which is out early 2015 from Disinformation books. It’s basically an everything-we-know-about-sex-
2. Nashville. After I gave a lecture at a nearby college, I took a trip to Nashville on a whim. I didn’t expect it to be so fun. I had one of the best meals I’ve ever had – at a restaurant called Husk. I made out with some handsome fellas with twangy accents. There was live music everywhere: in bars, at the airport, everywhere. There was a band playing in my hotel lobby and the sound system was better than most clubs in LA. I came home wanting to listen to country music which was a mild form of identity crisis. I’ve been quelling that with Kacey Musgraves.
3. The rough sex scene in 300: Rise of an Empire. It was so intense that it inspired my new phrase, “I want that guy to 300 me.”
What’s your mantra?
See yourself and say yes.
Best book you’ve read this year (besides mine)?
Tampa by Alissa Nutting was a horrifying, excellent, page-turning moral disaster. As you can imagine, I rarely feel scandalized. Nutting’s novel, narrated by woman who gets a job teaching junior high so she can sleep with the students, made me feel implicated in the narrator’s crimes. Read it and laugh. And then feel bad that you laughed. And then sink into a period of self-loathing. And then when you’re done, pick it up and read it again.
Close second: The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa. It’s about an owl, drug deals, culture shock, and longing. You know that exhilarating feeling of telling a great story about a horrible trip you took? You get that feeling when you read this book.
You can follow Connor on Twitter here.