This past weekend I once again journeyed out to our country’s supposed Mecca of debauchery, Las Vegas, for a three-day trip with my friends, and once again realized that Vegas is only as interesting as the amount of drugs you have. The combination of a life-long boredom with reality with a seemingly life-long obsession with ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas‘ have rendered me unable to see the magical fun of this town without the help of hallucinogenic drugs. Therefore the highlight of the trip for me, obviously, was when I indulged in my beloved mushrooms.
I have never felt more self-assured or genuinely in love with the person I am than when I am tripping on the fungus. As I got older and focused in on my creative pursuits, this feeling mutated into one that would seem to define what a rock star is. Loose, unhinged and cocky, walking with a swagger that causes your body to literally sway, I have often felt I discovered the beating heart of the X factor that defines true superstars while on mushrooms. This time, after a day and a half of lounging in the hotel room (which, while mocked in the party environment of Vegas, is actually a very relaxing vacation), I emerged with my long hair in pigtails, a wonderful Miley Cyrus shirt that is often complimented, red jeans, Vegas-appropriate-card-covered Joker Chucks, my vintage 60′s robe covered in mushrooms, and a belly full of slowly digesting mushroom chocolates. I was feeling the vibe and was finally ready to explore this city of bright lights and not-exclusively-nocturnal indulgence.
This particular batch seems to be short on visuals and much heavier on body highs and, even more so, that touchstone of any mushroom trip – overactive thought patterns that lead to revelations. This one took a very common topic and turned it into a mind-reeling doozy of a realization. I’m not sure exactly what brought it on, but I came to realize, in a way that shook me at my core, just how much I’ve based my personal identity on not fucking.
Now, this blog, my facebook page, and my conversations are all littered with enough of this topic to feel suffocating, but I am first and foremost a comedian, an entertainer, and someone who worships Andy Kaufman enough to want to call every other human a group of pussies who take their lives seriously and don’t have the guts to turn every waking second into a show for others. So even with the constant discussion, I suppose I, and possibly others, still looked at all of this as a running joke mixed with a bad habit. No matter how mercilessly I exposed, manipulated, hyperbolized, and ranted about my complete lack of sex, I still would come back to some internal place where I would shrug, grin boyishly and say, ‘What do you expect? I’m a clown!’
Looking and feeling like I did that night in Vegas, I was stared at, pointed at, and called out to a lot. That led to me having opportunities to talk to girls and it was that that led me to my realization. I’ve learned I’m an extremely symbiotic creature and that my opening/approach skills are shit. Ask me to go talk to a girl and I’ll fumble and procrastinate with a penetrating sense of nervousness. The confusing flip side of this is how all of that, including the decades of sexless introversion that helped birth it, disappears instantly when I’m given an opening. If a girl walks over to me with a compliment about my hair, the shy nerd is flushed down the toilet so quickly that it genuinely leads to confusion.
It was feeling that, the ability to easily grab her by the hand, look in her eye, and start speaking in a slick, authoritative tone that I knew would work, that really caused me to pause. It’s one thing to have a realization that you can get girls, but it’s quite another to realize that you’d probably actually really excel at it. I’ve gotten the ‘you’re funny’ comment enough over the course of 30 years to both be convinced of it and have it be a reaffirmation of the purpose of my existence every time it’s spoken. I’m a funny guy. Humor comes naturally to me, rocketing out of my mouth without trying like an exuberant child blasting out the bottom of a water slide. When truly relaxed and in the groove, there’s no stopping me. We all know how much females love humor, but I’ve also got two other pillars of female attraction, height and long hair, along with a handsome face I’ve trained to project boyish passion and/or cuteness, a mind full of endless, interesting topics for discussion, a childlike sense of happiness and play, a penchant for fucking with people, a hopelessly romantic streak, a good guy/gentlemen/respectful/caring streak from being raised right by two loving parents, and even a hefty helping of the cocky asshole that girls so love when it’s done right poking around somewhere in there. It’s not just that I could get girls, it’s that, with the right mindset, I could be a fucking champion at it. What has always bothered me most about my laziness towards using game is that I could make up my own variants! I wouldn’t have to go with the old classics, I could learn from them and make up my own tricks and techniques that would mesh perfectly with my oddball personality!
So when all that resonated in me, it left me thinking about two congruently resonant topics. The first is how much everything that goes along with being a ladies man is the raging antithesis of me. I guess I never really thought about how much I’ve truly owned not fucking. I went to a Daniel Day Lewis level of immersion with this role.
I have this specific memory from the high school cafeteria of starting to talk about what kind of girl I liked and, before I could go on, my friend Jason saying to the rest of the table, “Quiet, he’s gonna say what kind of girl he likes”, a stupid little memory that I took, in retrospect, to mean, ‘Hey, Jason’s gonna talk about girls. You know this is gonna be funny!’ Because girls aren’t something I get involved with, date, or fuck, they’re God’s gift to my endlessly comedic existence – a topic that can be exhaustively mined and raped for rants, bits, and jokes, all of which always shine with extra sheen in the way that only one of the most universally relatable topics ever can.
You see, when someone who doesn’t know me asks if I have a girlfriend, or any similar question, it’s like someone asking me if I have kids. I have to contain an exuberant burst of raucous laughter meant to display the absurdity of the question before stopping myself and realizing, wait, I’m 31 and almost every single fucking person I went to high school with already has kids and a family life and it’s completely reasonable that I could too if I didn’t see myself, with shockingly stubborn vision, as an overgrown, blithering, joyous idiot of a man child who shouldn’t be responsible for kids under any circumstances. It’s the same thing when I get asked about a girlfriend. I have to resist an urge to shoot them a look like they just asked if I like fisting infants. Why shouldn’t they ask? Am I not a normal human like the rest of you?
NO! I’m not! I’m Jason Ellsworth! I have no sexual identity! My identity is based on not having a sexual identity! Because of (fill in reason here) I shoved that part of me to the side and never looked back! In middle school some kids chose ‘jock’ or ‘skater’ or ‘musician’ or ‘nerd’, but I chose ‘complete celibacy’ and locked it in a steel cage never to escape! I made that shit my prison bitch! It defines EVERYTHING about me! It’s in my songs, my rants, my essays, my conversations, my stand-up bits, my jokes, my blood, my veins, my life! See, no matter who you are, as a human, you need to latch onto something, some group, some identity, some mask, to feel OK and a part of things, and I never realized how much, through years of strangle-holding it, I came to feel a sense of self…OVER NOT FUCKING ANYONE?! My God, what kind of an bizarre hell is that for a being with a penis?! None of you males could completely dismiss this side of yourself as much as I have!
Now, here’s the real kicker. There is no concept more ripe, potent, strange, or, unfortunately, to me, special, than trying to start a career, the success level of which depends entirely on not sticking your dick in anyone! I mean, i’ve wrote about this before, but when it really sinks in, imagine that the purity, the realness, the X factor that will make you shine all the way to the mainstream of the character you created depends on celibacy! As I’ve said, I believe it keeps me truly a child, and gives my art and performance an indescribable heft, an electric, authentic vibration that makes every appearance on a stage really pop. My dedication to it is something I believe no one else can do and what gives me faith I’ll make it to the big time.
So, truly believing in that brings me to my second point: that it’s not just starting to hook up or getting a girlfriend, it’s a complete lifestyle upheaval. Making the decision to try with girls requires as much of a jarring effect to my day to day life as someone going through a divorce does. Because that’s what it would be: a divorce from the ‘Jason’ I’ve spent my whole life sculpting.
To start down the path of girls births so much change. First off is the undeniable effect that getting pussy has on EVERYONE. It’s not just you feeling better about yourself (which is a side effect of sex that CAN’T NOT HAPPEN), it’s the girls looking at you differently with a swagger in your step, the way their eyes glow as they see you as validated by a woman choosing to be with you, the Pavlovian envy and respect that immediately drips from the males, the way that being a guy who gets girls sends smoke into the atmosphere that twists, dances, and mingles with everything until it swirls around you enough to create a illusory new image that makes you shine with the gleam of every fucking cog of our ‘social-proof-is-EVERYTHING’ society turning in perfect order! Therefore, when I imagine myself going up to a girl and being the man, it’s as confoundedly dissonant as a KKK member imagining going up to a black person with utter respect for them. Sure, it’d be way better for everyone involved if they did, but how much is it throwing everything they are and have come to identify themselves as a human with to actually do that?
So two, it’s not just getting a girl, it’s admitting I’m just a normal human like everyone else, it’s deflating some of the air out of my much-worked-for Master Clown image, it’s admitting that maybe I am wondering when I’m going to have someone of my own to care for me, that I miss the mind-blowingly soft nature of girls skin, the scientific and intoxicating effect of their perfume, the feeling of a girl wrapping her arms around you, getting lost in kissing someone you love or lust for, admitting you have a type that’s central to who are you, missing the joy that comes from getting with said type, the oh-so-human feeling of that lust coursing through your veins, electrifying you, the sense of being validated that comes from interaction, and every other fucking aspect of the side of life that, for most people, makes life worth living, and, in an evolutionary sense, defines us as a goddamn species.
More specifically, to me, it means ripping the seemingly-impossible-to-remove-blinders off and asking yourself, how fucking real is this Master Clown image I’ve come up with? How much am I truly attempting to cut off an essential part of being human in order give more power to a weird persona? How far am I willing to alter the normal path of a human being, including dating, hooking up, marrying, etc, in order to alter the path of me as an entertainer? Have even I realized how much ‘art over life’ means to me when I look at the reality of the sacrifice I’ve made???
Most disturbingly, this whole article has shown me just how much heft not fucking really has. As a buddy of mine put it, if you’re celibate, you’re either ‘a liar or a faggot’. My overworked brain sees the power of denying interaction with the opposite sex. So, as I wind this down, I’ll finish with the title of this piece, and ask, with a thumpingly genuine need to know, is my entire existence, personal identity, and potentially lucrative and dream-fulfilling career all based on not fucking girls?!