My name is Alexander Cheves, and my nickname is Beastly. I write about sex. I wrote a book.
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Hi. This is very random, I know. But I just happened across an article you wrote for the Advocate back in 2016, I think. About how to date a Daddy and negotiate and sustain an ideal Daddy-Son/Boy relationship… I just had to say, thank you. I am a Boy who has been searching or hoping for that ideal Daddy for almost as long as I admit I can remember, and recently it has been extremely prevalent in my mind. And I want to be a good Boy or Son as well and know how to give myself value. Anyway…it was a brief article….but it spoke to me right now. And I wanted to make sure you knew this connection with a…searching Boy here.
Thank you, and good luck with the hunt.
Wanted to thank you for the article about things you learned from sex with trans men. Have a new play bud who’s trans, and I was completely ignorant about the sex lives of trans men beforehand. Your article helped me approach things from a more informed POV, and we ended up having a blast. Thanks again!
I still cringe over that piece. I have received many messages from cis men who said it helped them explore sex with trans men, but I would probably not publish it today. Its headline (along with the piece itself) seems to present trans men as a curio, a novelty, an adventure from which a “normal person” might come back with important lessons. I think the pointers in the article are helpful, but my editor’s mind asks: Why did a trans man not write this himself? Why was it not “X Sex Tips a Trans Guy Wants You to Know”? Trans people are often robbed of telling their own stories and controlling their own narratives, and this article is literally a case of a cis person (me) explaining a group of people I’m not part of and performing icky woke-ism in the process. Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time, nor did my editors.
I just found some of your articles online. I’m newly out and learning a lot about the gay world and culture, so the articles are great summaries for me! Thanks for writing. I look forward to reading more!
Welcome to the fold. It’s fun here.
I just read your article in the advocate from 2016, « 16 Signs Your Gay Relationship Is Over », And I want to thank you for it. I’m currently in an 11-year relationship, but our sex views do not match. We have been trying to make it work, but I always fail. So now I’m taking steps to end our marriage. All I wanted to say is thank you, I feel I’m not alone.
You are not alone. All relationships end. They are not faulty for being brief: that’s just how they are. People change — those who say otherwise have never taken a history class or fallen in love.
Just read some of your articles in Them, and they were so reassuring and validating with so many aspects of gay sex that I have been feeling + wondering about — thank you!
You are welcome. Some of the articles I am most proud of were published in Them.
I am 56 years old and brand new to discovering and exploring my kinks (especially sub flogging). Your articles have been INVALUABLE in helping me understand and enter the community. THANK YOU!
Thank you. Enjoy the pain.
Hi Alexander! I just read your article about Tips on Healthy Bottoming in “The Advocate”. I just wanted to thank you for writing it. As a guy who’s never been comfortable bottoming and is always presumed to be a bottom (for one reason or another), it was very helpful and enlightening. It gave me more confidence to try things I wanted to but was scared to. All of the bottoms I’ve asked for tips make it sound so easy with bullet-point tips and a shrug and a giggle. Your article was honest and helpful, so I just wanted to say thank you.
You’re right. They do make it look easy. I hate that shrug and giggle. Bottoming is hard. I have been at it for over half my life, and it still baffles me. I love bottoming, but it’s work. I love what my butt does, but I have no idea if I will still be bottoming confidently in five years: some new stomach bug might come and force me to reconsider this whole enterprise. But here’s some encouragement: my sex life has gotten better with age and experience. Today, I am the best bottom I’ve ever been. That article, one of my most popular, is some years old, so I wrote a follow-up to it recently in Out Magazine. Check it out.
Hi Alex, I just finished reading your magnificent book, and I’m quite aware that you receive an incredible amount of messages every day and that you probably won’t have the time to even read this. In case I’m wrong I just want to tell you just how much I appreciate both your blog and your book. The authenticity and thoughtfulness and kindness you put into your writing are unmatched. I have never read texts about sexuality that are as real and beautiful and loving as yours. One thing about your book that kind of stuck out to me was a fleeting statement about not understanding sarcasm sometimes and then another part where you wrote about somebody suggesting that the kind of fleeting eye contact you seem to have is associated with Asperger’s. I don’t want to offend you but as a person with Asperger’s who’s also quite active in the kink scene, it warmed my heart to feel seen in those little statements. There are soooo many neurodivergent people doing kink. Personally, I can say that the clear rules in BDSM speak to my autistic brain – there are fewer implicit rules and more explicit ones so it’s easier to navigate than vanilla dating I guess. Maybe this message doesn’t make any sense to you at all. The fact that you walked out on the therapist who made the Asperger’s suggestion might mean that you want nothing at all to do with that topic, which is totally valid. But just in case that’s interesting to you I wanted to let you know that some weird, autistic person absolutely loved your book and wishes you the nicest day 🙂
— Nina (they/them)
Thank you. I do get a lot of messages, but I try to answer all of them. I apologise for my delay in answering yours.
I hope the book didn’t read as an unwillingness to acknowledge my neurodivergence. That essay was about a time in my life when I was not ready for answers. I have those answers now. I know why my brain works as it does, and why I struggle in certain social situations. Every person I love most is neurodivergent. A couple years ago, while sitting on a porch in Atlanta with my editor, who is also neurodivergent, I wondered aloud if I was too. He gently looked at me in that knowing way he does and said, “Oh, honey. Sweetheart. Yeah.”
But that essay: Yes, I stopped fucking that therapist because my thinking at the time was this: I’m already half-deaf, which makes things harder. I don’t need another barrier between me and the rest of the world. That thought still flashes like a tremor through me every time I turn my head to hear someone, every time I misread a social cue or wear an earplug in public because I can’t handle the noise, and every time I just have to go home — for reasons I can’t always explain in simple words to my friends. I’m afraid of being cut off. So many parts of my life feel like hurdles I must overcome in order to just be. I am not the only neurodivergent or disabled person who feels this way. I’m sure you understand this feeling too.
My funny brain explains me: my quirks, my behaviours, my comfort thresholds. I don’t say “Asperger’s” as I only meet some of the clinical criteria for that diagnosis, and the diagnosis itself has fallen out of favour among progressive therapists, who now tell me to just think of brain functioning as a bell curve of typicality with some people cruising along on the edges, just outside the lanes most minds run in. “Neurotypicality” is that bell curve while “neurodivergence” is on a spectrum outside it.
You’re right about kink. I think kink attracts folks with neurodivergence for that reason. It lays out clear scripts and gives us a language for our wants.
You have made me think about my next book and what I want to say in it. My mind is my favourite part of me. It is the only part of me I really trust (my body, bless its heart, will give out long before my mind does). I have learned to love my mind as it is. Thank you again, and thanks for reading.
Alex- I wanted to let you know that your book, My Love is a Beast, hit me hard. It was one of those moments in life where the perfect book lands in your lap exactly when you need it to. I couldn’t read, and I had no attention span. And also, I was wrestling with what it meant to be introduced to fisting (and really enjoying it), to want to be fucked hard, to be wrecked… and then I heard you on Savage Love and ordered your book. Your writing is poetry and it grabbed my scattered, post-pandemic attention span when other books couldn’t. But beyond that, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the words, the perspective, and the courage to just own my desires. I was able to tell my two lovers “sometimes I just want to be a hole” and “sometimes I want it to hurt.” I finally feel like I’m looking at myself fully and sharing my true self with my sex partners. If you ever make it back to the midwest for this or any other book, Madison, WI has a wonderful independent book store, A Room of One’s Own, (https://www.roomofonesown.com/) that I’m sure would love to host you. Again, thank you so much
Enjoy your hole. I am glad my book fed its hunger. Thank you for the bookstore recommendation. I checked it out and bought a book. Everyone reading this should too. Support local, independent, and feminist bookstores whenever you can.
Hi Alex. Hello from beautiful Cape Town! I just finished reading your book, and I am in awe. I read your content wherever I can find it, and the quality of your work is beyond amazing. I knew the book would be good, but it surpassed my expectations a very long way. All I can say is that you are an incredible writer, and please don’t let this be your last book. You are in a class of your own. I wish I had someone like you to look up to when I was an awkward teenager battling to get comfortable with my feelings and urges. So much of your book I can relate to, especially your conservative upbringing and eventual move to atheism. The second to last chapter, Prayer, is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. You articulate my thoughts in a way I could only dream of. Please keep on doing what you are doing, you are a god amongst men.
That message was kind. Hello to Cape Town, one of the prettiest places I have ever been. I am happy to say it was not my last book. Unsafe Words: Queering Consent in The #MeToo Era will be available soon from Rutgers University Press, and pre-orders are open now for The Experiment Will Not Be Bound from Unbound Edition Press. The first is a book of essays by some cool queer people about sex, kink, and consent. The latter is a very experimental literary anthology (the “book” is a stack of pages in a linen box, turning the reader into an editor who creates the work as they move through it). My work is in both, and my second book will publish in 2024.
Thank you for reading My Love Is a Beast. We are all awkward teenagers. Then we grow claws and teeth. Life puts us through the grinder of growing up. If we’re lucky to make it to the other side of religious fervour, we become adults with more than one way to view the world. And that makes us more able to be in it.