Seducing Matt Mitcham

by Tim Jones-Yelvington

Today, to prepare for my seduction of Matt Mitcham, I got a haircut. Haircuts are a lot like sex. All the questions make me anxious.

How long on top? Harder or softer? Straight across the back or curved? Faster or slower? Buzzed or clipped? Jack or suck?

If only it were as simple as:
How do you want it to look? Hot.
How do you want it to feel? Amazing.

So here's my strategy. I flip the questions back to the other person, make them answer. But I can't ask too directly, or I'll make them equally anxious. Instead, I make statements. I give them the opportunity to disagree, to create friction. A little friction and then it's smooth sailing.

Posted JANUARY 2, 2009, 19:48
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction prep, self-care

section break


This blog is a research project. My research methodology: I have sex with gay celebrities and write about it. I've been stimulated by tete-a-tetes with David Hyde Pierce. I've appreciated Ian McKellan's oral generosity. In my crowning achievement, I orchestrated a three-way with The Amazing Race's Reichen Lehmukl and Queer as Folk's Robert Gant, the most difficult part of which was getting them in the same room. The rest took care of itself. …who knew their fetishes were so compatible?

Much ink has been spilled on the cult of celebrity. Some say celebrities are role models. We look to them for lessons on how to (or how not to) live. This hero worship, so the story goes, is compounded for Queers, who grow up without examples for how to be ourselves.

But this doesn't explain why some of us, especially those of us who have long outgrown the need for role models and have recognized gay identity as a cultural construct, a regulatory fiction, are still obsessed with famous gay people. Fascinated with asking “are they or aren't they,” with wondering what they do and with whom, and with wondering whether they'd do it with us.
What does it mean to be showered with interviews, book deals, speaking engagements on college campuses, to be considered some sort of expert, an authority, to be vested with authority, not only because you call yourself gay, but because people also know you from Adam? What does it mean to be famous and gay?

Tags: identity theory, mission statement, research question, social construction of celebrity

section break

I've only just begun to research Matt Mitcham, but I can already tell he's going to be one of my favorite seductions.

Last night, I watched Matt Mitcham stand on his hands, 30 feet up, his wrists flush with the edge, his torso long, lean and tight. He held his legs above his head and flexed his core, that sweet spot just above the groin.
They say gay men worship physical perfection. If this is true, then Olympians should be our Gods. For what is the narrative of the Olympics if not the triumph of the body over imperfection? His Chinese competitor was favored to win, but in an eleventh hour upset, Matt Mitcham launched, twisted and somersaulted into the highest single-dive score in Olympic history, a score which included four perfect tens. If gay celebrities are heroes, then Matt Mitcham must be a superhero. Matt Mitcham can fly.

Posted AUGUST 26, 2008, 22:50
Tags: Matt Mitcham, Olympics

section break

“He looks like a leprechaun.”

My friend Sophia, this afternoon, at New Wave Coffee, after I showed her a picture of Matt Mitcham. Sophia, who is second-generation Haitian-American, adjusted the patterned bandana she uses to restrain her voluminous natural. She'd layered a brightly-colored t-shirt and tank-top over a skirt she deconstructed and reconstructed with safety pins.

“More like an elf,” I said. She drew her eyebrows together.

“Tolkien, not Keebler.”

“What happened to the Neil Patrick Harris thesis?” she said. “The creation of the respectable gay subject and his cooptation by the liberal mainstream? I thought you were going to deconstruct the celebrities, not worship them.”

I slid my hand across Matt Mitcham's photograph, concealing and revealing his torso. I couldn't explain his appeal.

“He's iconic,” I said.

“Your methodology is schizophrenic. Any review committee would reject you outright.”

“For your information, I'm being heavily courted by several top-notch programs. They say my analysis is inspired.”

“Try insipid.”

“Just for that,” I said, “I'm putting you in my blog. I'll cast you as your worst nightmare, the sarcastic black best friend who has no life of her own, but exists solely to advance the white protagonist's dramatic action. And just to ensure you're as subaltern as possible, I'll make you a dyke.”

And sure enough, at this very moment, Sophia is landing Grade A pussy, which she will spend the night devouring with aplomb.

“Toldja so,” I say aloud (I really did. Just now, out loud).

“Joke's on you, pal,” I can hear her say. “If I'm getting pussy, then I've got my own life.”

Like she thinks she's fucking Eleggua or something.

Posted AUGUST 28, 2008, 21:14
Tags: Matt Mitcham, Sophia

section break

When I began my research, I hoped to become a mystically intuitive sex partner, the kind who perceives their partners' desires without ever having to ask, like all the greatest hookers.

I've a game I play, to practice. Name a celebrity, any celebrity, and imagine what they're into.

Kevin Spacey? Whips and paddles. Colin Farrell? Cunnilingus. A voracious eater.

I imagine Matt Mitcham as a power bottom. I will lie on my back, and he will straddle me, pull me into him as effortlessly as he enters the water, with minimal splash. Then he will make love to me from the inside out, active and open.

Posted AUGUST 30, 2008, 2:20
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction prep, seduction tips, skills development

section break

Matt Mitcham is scheduled to compete in the FINA Grand Prix early next year. I just pricelined a ticket. Operation Matt Mitcham a go-go.

Posted AUGUST 30, 2008, 2:31
Tags: Matt Mitcham, research timeline, travel plans

section break

Right after Matt Mitcham won his gold medal, they wrapped his body in an Australian flag, the nationalist symbolism of which is practically too self-evident for comment.

The great sociologist Erving Goffman called identity a performance, shaped as much by the audience's interpretation as by the actors' choices. Like all celebrities, Matt Mitcham is more an idea than a person, mass-mediated, his body a receptacle for innumerable fantasies. When I think about this, how it might feel to have so many staring, determining my very selfhood, I get an erection.

Most of what we call sexual attraction, I've learned, is psychological manipulation. The range of available sex acts is in reality quite limited. Our brain manufactures experiences in their seemingly infinite variety. It isn't the hand on our dick that gets us off, but everything we project onto that hand, everything we imagine it to be. The key to a successful seduction: correctly identify your target's fantasies, then exploit them to your advantage.

Who or what is Matt Mitcham when he's not onstage? How can I uncover his essential self? But that's the thing, there's no such thing. Even when we're alone together, there will be my idea of Matt Mitcham and his idea of himself, my idea of his idea, his idea of mine, and the ideas of everyone else outside, thickening the atmosphere and heightening the tension. …And the trick is to harness the right idea, the one that will make him take off his clothes.

Posted SEPTEMBER 2, 2008, 10:07
Tags: Matt Mitcham, identity theory, seduction tips, social construction of celebrity

section break

Matt Mitcham says he'd rather be known as a great athlete than a great gay athlete, yet he shows up for interviews wearing hot pink knee-high socks.

I've made a notation, in my psych profile. Matt Mitcham: post-gay, but not flame-retardant.

I've been practicing my Matt Mitcham hand waggle in front of the mirror. It's like jazz hands, only downturned and wobblier, accompanied by a toothy, mouthy grin. I watch myself, I give them teeth.

Posted SEPTEMBER 14, 2008, 1:26
Tags: Matt Mitcham, research data, seduction prep

section break

As a man, I've discovered it is possible to be at once too fat and too skinny, my arms and shoulders resembling toothpicks while my middle balloons. And so before each seduction, like Matt Mitcham before his competitions, I train.

Bodies are inherently lazy, but they are also suggestible. The key is to press beyond one's perceived limits, to push the body to the point of breaking. As I train, I blare music, generally something from the 1980's with exuberant electric guitar and extensive vamping. This makes it easier to picture myself in a training montage from a film of the same era, condensing months of workouts into a minute or less. Such visualizations have proven to expedite my musculature's development, and although I may never resemble an underwear model, I am nonetheless able to maintain a respectable degree of definition.

Posted SEPTEMBER 14, 2008, 1:44
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction tips, self-care, skills development

section break

What kind of courage must Matt Mitcham have, to hurl himself into open air from 30 feet? My ex-boyfriend was a springboard diver in high school, but didn't like to talk about it. We'd watch broadcasts of diving competitions where the divers would say the fear never goes away, they're still afraid every time they approach the edge.

“They should be afraid,” my ex-boyfriend would say. “Fear keeps you safe.”

Briefly, in childhood, I too wanted to be an athlete. A swimmer. I took lessons at our local pool. I evolved quickly from a jellyfish to a porpoise, then spent the rest of the season as a dolphin. I couldn't master diving. I'd flatten into a painful belly flop, afraid to enter the water headfirst.

Later, as a teenager and devout anti-capitalist, I denounced competition as the root of all social ills.

I have since recognized the competitive impulse as a powerful motivator. My ex-boyfriend learned he could get me to stop avoiding a task — like sorting my papers or doing the dishes — by suggesting I was incapable of completing it, awakening my desire to prove him wrong.

My research came about similarly. Sophia and I were watching CNN during Hurricane Katrina, when the usually unflappable Anderson Cooper cracked.

“He's incredibly hot,” I said, watching his face redden as he surveyed the storm's damage. “I bet I could land him if I tried hard enough.”

“You can't just go around sleeping with famous people,” Sophia said.

I knew as soon as she said it I must do exactly that.

I may not know how I want my hair cut, or how I want Matt Mitcham to get me off, but I sure as hell know what I don't want to be, and generally that's whatever you tell me I am.

“You'll never leave me,” my ex-boyfriend once said.

Well I certainly showed him.

Posted OCTOBER 20, 2008, 12:33
Tags: athleticism, evil ex, Matt Mitcham, Olympics, Sophia

section break

Just days to go before the FINA Grand Prix, and Matt Mitcham has separated from his partner Lachlan. I'm revising my plan of attack.

Posted JANUARY 16, 2009, 15:14
Tags: Matt Mitcham, research timeline, travel plans

section break

Diving competitions are scored based upon three elements — the approach, the flight and the entry. Similarly, a successful seduction can be broken into constituent parts. The opening — capturing your target's attention. The flirtation — ingratiating your target with strategic body language and choice phrases. And the score — clinching the deal.

This morning: I stood outside the athletic center, crushed by a throng of reporters. I somehow squeezed my way to the front just as Matt Mitcham approached.

The opening: my research had shown me Matt Mitcham appreciates men who are assertive. I extended my hand without hesitation.

“Matt,” I said. “It's a pleasure.”

His coach Chava Sobrino blocked my way, said Matt Mitcham is not granting interviews. But behind him, I caught Matt Mitcham looking in my direction. I flashed him a suggestive grin.

“Wait,” Matt Mitcham said. “Maybe we can make an exception.”

I'm getting ready to meet him in an hour.

Posted JANUARY 20, 2009, 21:28
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction execution, seduction prep

section break

Matt Mitcham's hotel room: I sat across from Matt Mitcham, sharing a drink. In person, he was fetching and jocular. He giggled at irregular intervals. His nose and cheeks were dotted with tiny freckles.

I asked him about Lachlan.

“When I was in primary school,” he said, “We had an entire unit dedicated to famous people who did remarkable things. They called it ‘the Dreamers.' It was supposed to be about people who dreamed big. We read about Marian Anderson and Walt Disney. About Peter Lalor and the Eureka Stockade. Anyway, the point was to have a dream and to set your mind to it, all the usual tripe. And I was a gullible kid, you know, easy to have a lend of. I actually said to myself, I need to pick a dream. And so diving became my dream, and I became diving. There was no separation between me and the rootin' dream. And when people asked what's the meaning of life, I couldn't understand why it wasn't obvious.”

Matt Mitcham rolled his eyes. His mouth fell open, and the tip of his tongue-ring glinted.

“So what happened?”

“What happened is I grew up. I had enough. I got horny. I stopped believing in the dream. All I could think about was getting laid or falling in love, you know?”

I nodded.

“Somehow diving and being a homo never seemed to fit together. Like I couldn't keep diving and still be a person, you know? And my body was wrecked. So I quit. I didn't leave the house much. I was in counseling. They put me on Zoloft. I'd just sit around all day, watching television. Or I'd go out to the bars. That's when I started going out a lot, started drinking. That's how I met Lachlan.

“The first night we went home together, I couldn't even get it up, on account of the Zoloft. But he told me he didn't care. He just held me.”

He rubbed at one eye, maybe trying not to cry.

“What went wrong?”

“I started diving again. And this time it was my choice, I could enjoy it, no more crap about dreams. When I met Lachlan, I needed him. Then I fell back in love with diving, and I didn't need him anymore. I still wanted him, but I didn't need him. Some relationships change. Ours couldn't. I guess Lachlan needs to be needed.”

“The thing is,” he said. “The thing no one gets is, it hurts.”

For a moment, I thought he was talking about his breakup. Then I realized he meant diving.

Matt Mitcham showed me his hands. He placed them in the center of the table, palms down. Large bumps protruded from the surface of each, mirroring the bones in his wrists.

“They're called ganglion cysts,” he said. “They say when you overuse the joint- the walls around it break down or something.”

He fingered the bumps.

“They're filled with fluid. But they feel like bone.”

I placed my hands atop Matt Mitcham's. They were warm. I met his gaze, and noticed for the first time that his eyes weren't blue like I'd thought, but brown. I reached for Matt Mitcham and I kissed him.

Posted JANUARY 24, 16:55
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction execution

section break

Maybe in bed Matt Mitcham was exactly like I said he would be, a power bottom. Or maybe he spun me around and took me from behind, quick and forceful. Maybe he wanted oral only, or maybe he's the type of person that gets off on something else entirely, like watching another man spread grapes across the kitchen floor and squash them between his toes. I bet you'd like to know more. I bet you'd like to hear about the size and shape of his anatomy, what he can accomplish with his tongue ring, and what he sounds like when he comes.

Maybe this time, I don't feel like sharing.

Posted JANUARY 24, 23:54
Tags: Matt Mitcham, seduction execution

section break

That day at the coffee shop, what I couldn't tell Sophia is he resembles that boy. You remember the boy I'm talking about, in high school, the one we spent all our spare time stalking? Maybe you sat by the telephone waiting for him to call, or maybe it was Winter and the flowers were all dead, so you grabbed a piece of paper and you ripped it into pieces and said, “he loves me, he loves me not,” even though with paper you can pretty much control the outcome because you decide when to tear off the final petal.

You both knew he was probably a homo, but you never had the guts to come right out and ask him and he never had the guts to say and so nothing every happened. Even his girlfriend suspected but dated him anyway, so closely did he resemble her perfect boyfriend, some image she'd held since girlhood, probably since the first time she turned on a television.

Even that one time when you slept over, when you slept on his floor, and he told you he hugged a pillow every night because he needed something to hold onto, and then he suggested you share the bed and pretend to be his pillow, even then nothing happened, because you said no thank you, the floor was fine, Because what if, you thought, even now, your ears had deceived you, you were misinterpreting his invitation? Imagine the humiliation. Imagine.

Posted JANUARY 25, 1:01

section break

I just received an email:

Hey Mate-
Drop me a line whenever you're Down-Under. We'll grab a pint.
Luv Matt

I remember something he told me the night we were together:

“When you go out to the bars,” he said, “When all you want to do is lose yourself, and all you're afraid of is it'll happen when you aren't paying attention. And so you get wasted, I mean really wasted, so wasted that you don't know where you are, and then you wake up the next day, and you're still you. You're still here. Only you appreciate it all that much more, because you think, I survived that. That's something I survived. Maybe I could even survive it again, if I decided I wanted to.

“Well it's kind of like that with diving. Only a lot more fun.”

Maybe diving isn't about courage. Maybe it's about coping with fear.

Posted February 4, 2009, 12:40
Tags: Matt Mitcham