Billy Porter Opens Up About How Trauma Affects His Sex Life
In an interview with The London Times published Sunday, actor Billy Porter revealed his lifelong struggles with intimacy, saying he hadn't had sex sober in 30 years.
"I have started to figure out how to do that, right now, at 52 years old," Porter said. "It is not easy. My husband is understanding, but he has had to learn with me."
Porter has been married to Adam Porter-Smith since 2017, but admitted that their partnership, including their sex life, has been "a journey and an evolution," as he's struggled with monogamy.
In his upcoming memoir, "Unprotected," Porter further detailed, "I can't have sex with someone I'm in love with, or who is in love with me. I can only f#*k strangers. This is not a good thing for a marriage."
Porter attributes this mindset to several past traumas, starting with childhood sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his late stepfather. Earlier this month, he told People the abuse happened at least twice a week for five years.
'It's hard to be a survivor of sexual abuse and to not understand how to connect sexually. Then compounded on top of that is the AIDS crisis, a whole generation of us are struggling with that.'
"As a child, I became a grown man," he said. "In my mind, I lived that experience as if it was an affair. Because it was loving, it was nurturing, it was confusing. 'Cause it was touch. It was what I needed; it was the illusion of care, of a big, strong man caring for me. Still, to this day, I'm not okay."
To the London Times, Porter went on to say his relationship with sex has been further complicated by being a young man during the AIDS crisis. It was only this May that he told the Hollywood Reporter, and the world, that he had been HIV-positive for 14 years.
"It's hard to be a survivor of sexual abuse and to not understand how to connect sexually," he told The London Times. "Then compounded on top of that is the AIDS crisis, a whole generation of us are struggling with that."
Porter is currently in what The Times called "intense therapy," and said he and his husband are committed to improving their relationship.