“I’m attracted to a person’s energy, not what’s in his pants”
Who else is going to teach you about dating guys when all you know is what your biology teacher taught you in just 15 minutes with a cucumber and a condom? Andy (17) from Amsterdam tells us about love, sex and exploring and identifying his boundaries
“When I was about 12 I realised I was a boy. My mother thought it was just a phase at first, but she said she was fine with it even if it wasn’t. I was really nervous about telling people. All of a sudden everyone and their mother knew about it. It was like I came out twice, because I also like guys, even though I don’t want to rule anything out. Labels are too limiting, I’ll see how it goes.
I’m not dating much yet. I still feel too awkward about it. I’d like to, but I’m a bit of a recluse. I’m not really into social media. Too much fuss. I hope I don’t sound too cynical, but I really don’t need to know which restaurant everyone has been to today. Id rather spend the time reading a good book.
The idea of a dating app doesn’t appeal to me either. I always say: swipe left, swipe right, fuck off. I’d rather meet people in a bar over a ‘cola’. But it is pretty difficult to meet someone if you don’t like social media.
My mom has had more success in that area, she has a new boyfriend since a couple of months. I introduced them. I met him at a TransAmsterdam meeting, he is trans as well. They hit it off straight away. I really like it. I can ask him lots of questions and if someone thinks I’m a girl and he’s around, he’ll speak right up: ‘ahem, excuse me, but this is my stepson.’
I have had crushes on boys before. In the eighth grade there was a boy I roughhoused with; we were always picking on each other. Once he threatened to kiss me if I kept on bothering him and before I knew it, he’d kissed me on the cheek. I screamed ‘eeuw’, but inside, my heart was racing. I just ran away.
I haven’t had sex yet, but it’s interesting to read about the different types of sex and sexuality. I get most of my information from the internet or books - books about love could fill whole libraries. If I don’t know a term, I’ll Google it. I also have lots of older friends who are pretty open about their sex lives. I ask them a lot of stuff, but I see that they are also on a continuous search. I guess that will always be the case, as long as you have a curious mind. I think it’s wonderful, it would be scary to get stuck in a rut.
Sex Ed at school
We haven’t really had much information at school yet on sex and sexual diversity, so my Social Studies teacher will finally be dedicating some class time to it soon. She asked me if I would talk to the class, because I know quite a bit. In my opinion, it should focus more on psychological aspects. Right now, it’s mainly about practical issues. The same goes for drugs education.
I can’t really imagine yet what it would be like to be in a relationship. Like, I don’t know if I believe in monogamy or the idea of “the one”. I do like the idea of a relationship with one person, but I don’t know if I would break up with them as soon as they wanted to have an open relationship. I think that I’d end up living separately. Then I’d have my own space and they wouldn’t be annoyed by all my quirks. Before you know it, you’re one of those grumpy married couples.”
Man to Man regularly interviews men about how they protect themselves against HIV and STIs and their sexual experiences. We think it is important that people are well informed and can think carefully about how they want to protect themselves. We hope that the different personal experience stories contribute to this. They do not necessarily represent the Man to Man position. This story was previously published on Winq.nl.
Text: Martijn Kamphorst
Photography: Ernst Coppejans
Grooming: Emma Blok
Do you also want to tell us what choices you make to protect yourself against HIV and / or STIs? Mail your story to Man tot Man!