Questions of desire and pleasure are everywhere around us, and they are most exciting when we explore them with openness and imagination. In our new interview series, we put a few playful questions to creatives who we believe are interrogating these questions in the boldest ways—whether through writing, film, art, or other mediums.
Carvell Wallace is a queer writer, parent, and podcaster based in Oakland, CA. He writes about love, relationships, culture, race, and trauma. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, MTV, ESPN, and other places.
My love language is:
Cooking for people, hosting people, people falling in love with each other on my couch while I do dishes and make tea for everyone.
Pure pleasure for me is:
A perfectly ripe orange.
I feel good when I’m wearing:
I spend a shameful amount of money on well-made sweatpants. When they are fresh out of the dryer and clean, they feel incredibly good on my body.
I feel most connected to myself when:
I crawl into bed at the end of a long day of dealing with *gestures broadly* this bullshit.
My most niche kink is:
Mutual masturbation and the smell of jasmine and/or sandalwood on clean sheets.
One thing I’ve learned about desire is:
I’ve learned that desire is a core part of my humanity, and I’ve learned to stop letting people's fear, trauma, violence, hate, etc. rob me of my ability to experience and own my desire.
I’ve always wanted to:
Work on one single creative project for six months or more, no side projects.
My best date was:
We met in a bakery, went to a boring work event, walked a quarter of the island and kissed in the park under a full moon.
My most memorable one-night stand was:
I’ve had some fun at parties.
On my nightstand you’ll always find:
A lamp that I love, lube, rose spray and a stack of books I’m “reading.” And also, some that I’m actually reading.
I always gather inspiration from:
The people I love and the people that love me well are an inspiration. I want to be like them.
My ideal/fantasy relationship is:
I truly have no idea. Maybe I’m too old for fantasies, there are so many wonderful things out there that my limited fantasies could never even think up. All the best stuff is in reality for me.
I’m currently listening to / watching / reading:
I’m scrolling IG compulsively. I’m reading Ling Ma short stories. I’m listening to Shaggy’s 1996 album Boombastic. I’m watching basketball and football and old episodes of Living Single and Newhart. I’m fascinated with how things used to be. I’m falling asleep to a nature documentary about a mama bear and her two cubs and the creation of the universe.
My style / life icons are:
I have a style crush on George McCalman. But at my big age, I’m pretty much my own icon.
You can usually find me:
At my desk, trying to find the words, asking the ancestors for guidance.
Recently I’ve discovered:
Brainwave frequency recordings, which may be bullshit but I’m up for whatever. Also, I recently had my first ever no-doubt, real-deal supernatural encounter, so whatever you discover after that is what I’ve recently discovered. Maybe that the veil between This Life and Other Life is thinner than I thought?
I wish more people knew:
How to turn themselves over to love. Me too, for that matter.
I love sharing:
Cum videos with the sound on, for people who enjoy that sort of thing.
The thing I couldn’t do without:
I currently can’t get enough of:
The work of art that changed everything for me is:
Obviously, hundreds of them, but I’m thinking a lot these days about how reading Toni Morrison’s Paradise in my early twenties probably had a bigger foundational effect on me than I realized at the time.
The best advice I’ve ever received is:
Just focus on doing the next right thing.
The last thing I loved was:
A re-heated bowl of sauteed bean curd and eggplant from East Ocean. Idk why but that shit was amazing.
I’m most looking forward to:
Making a home with a person I love.
I’m most turned on by:
Genuine safety and trust. Sorry to be boring but that’s what gets me off.