Photo: Steve Brennan Wearing: La Perla pajamas, Steve Madden jeweled tights

There comes a time in every young top’s life when he realizes that, maybe, he’s been a bottom all along.

OK, maybe that’s not true. But it was for Giovanni.

“I’ve always thought you were a bottom,” Jack said over drinks at Marie’s Crisis, talking loudly at the bar over the masses singing a song from Wicked. (“I think I’ll try defying gravity!”)

“Really?” he asked, sipping his 10-months-sober ginger ale. (“Kiss me goodbye, I’m defying gravity!”)

“Absolutely,” I chimed in, sucking down my zero-days-sober rum and coke. (“I’m through accepting limits ‘cause someone says they’re so!”)

“What if I can’t do it?” Giovanni asked. “What if I’m no good at it?” (“And you won’t bring me down!”)

“You practice!” I exclaimed, asking for the check.

We wandered into the nearest sex store, heading to the dildo section in the back. “What do you think?” Jack asked.

Giovanni stared at the wall of dongs, all of the sizes, all of the colors, mouth agape. “I… have no idea.”

The girl behind the counter came over, the green highlights in her hair matching her thin-rimmed glasses. “Anything I can help you with?”

“We’re trying to pick out my friend’s first dildo,” I said; he turned a bright shade of red, which didn’t fade while we were there. Jack studied a comically large double-ended dildo.
“OK: Do you want a dildo or a vibrator?”
Giovanni’s wide eyes got wider. “Let’s start simple,” I interjected.

“OK, dildo: What kind of lube do you use, water-based or silicone?”

“Does it matter? Which one is better?”

“It’s just a preference, but silicone lube is bad for some dildos.”

“I use silicone,” I said, wondering if my dildo at home was supposed to be used with water-based. I didn’t have a nerdy-chic girl giving me all the details; I just had a big, tough bouncer-dude looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t stealing anything. (Like I could plausibly sneak out with an eight-inch dildo.)

“I like silicone,” he nodded, relieved when she showed him a smaller section of the wall to choose from.

He picked one up carefully, as if selecting something important like an engagement ring (or cock ring?), and I could see him thinking, “This one’s too big.” He picked up another, a petite cotton-candy pink one, and he thought, “This one’s too small.” Finally, he picked one up: It was black, it was sleek, it was perfect. “This one’s just right.”

My little Italian Goldilocks.

“Are we going anywhere else?” Jack asked after he checked out.

“No,” Giovanni said, clutching his black plastic bag. “I think I want to get home.”