A decade ago, I even wrote an erotic short story about an orgy in which Sedaris played a central role. (Edmund White, Tony Kushner, and Langston Hughes were there, too. It was like the answer to a college admission essay question no college would ever ask: “If you could nail four gay authors from any time and place…?”)
Sadly, it’s now clear that Sedaris wasn’t suited for such fan fiction, because he recently told the world that he’s a bitter, jealous, sex-phobic prude.
In an article published by The Guardian, Sedaris recounts a recent conversation with his partner of 23 years, Hugh. He asks how many people Hugh had sex with before they were together.
Sedaris tops out around 28 or 30. Which I find a little surprising because even in Mississippi, I’d fooled around with that many people by the time I graduated college (if not before). Maybe Sedaris isn’t a very sexual person, but I’d think that he might’ve been a little more adventurous before he hit his mid-30s, met Hugh, and took himself off the market.
After Sedaris tallies the notches in his bedpost, he watches Hugh count higher and higher. As though that’s surprising. As though having sex is a bad thing. As though it’s a moral failing.
I know what you’re thinking: “Sedaris is a comic writer. It’s clearly meant to be humorous.” I agree, except the way it’s written, we’re meant to be on Sedaris’ side, not Hugh’s.
That’s driven home when he gets to the really offensive part, the part about HIV and AIDS.