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Courtney Act Pillow Talk

Courtney Act on heartbreak, coming out, and keeping the spark alive

In the latest episode of Dazed’s Pillow Talk video series, the drag queen answers readers’ DMs about sex and relationships

Drag superstar, musician, and reality TV host – is there anything Courtney Act can’t do?

The RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven star has been busy in lockdown, launching her YouTube series, Drag News, releasing her EP, Drop of Fluid, and now starring on ITV2’s new show, Celebrity Karaoke Club. So, it only makes sense to make her even busier.

In the latest episode of Dazed’s Pillow Talk video series – which last month saw New York singer Marti Ragan offer advice on OnlyFans, dating, and artful nudes – Courtney Act takes on the role of agony aunt, tackling your DMs about sex and relationships.

“The wonder of sexuality, gender, and life is that you get to pick again, until you find something that fits wonderfully,” she says, responding to a reader who’s questioning their sexual and gender identities. “You don’t need to try and fit the label, you just fit yourself.”

Ahead of her European and UK tour in April next year, Courtney Act joined us over Zoom to answer questions about heartbreak, coming out, and how to keep the spark alive. Watch the video below, and read on for some bonus questions.

How do I fix a broken heart?

Courtney Act: I don’t think you can. What you have to do is experience the broken heart. So often, the reason that we feel broken-hearted – probably for longer than we need to be – is because we’re trying to push away all of those negative feelings that come with it because they’re uncomfortable. But the quickest way through a broken heart is to embrace it, lean into it, and understand that you’re going to be sad and it’s going to take time. You just have to feel those emotions and know that those negative emotions aren’t bad, they’re just a part of the human experience – the lows and the highs are all part of how we understand our emotions.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for six years – what advice would you give to keep the spark alive?

Courtney Act: Well, my longest relationship was two years. It’s got to feel natural – you know when people do flowers and chocolate sauce, and it all feels a bit performative? I don’t think that’s the answer. It’s more about thinking what your desires are, and talking to them about what their desires are. Perhaps, I don’t know, sex in a public place, but don’t get arrested!

How do I keep my make-up on during sex and not look like a clown after?

Courtney Act: Bianca Del Rio, you’re always going to look like a clown! Please stop sliding into my DMs – this is a serious service... But in all honesty, you can’t keep your lipstick on. You can’t really keep your make-up on from here (*points at nose*) down – and so my tip is to wear minimal make-up. Look, I’m not saying that there’s a right or a wrong way to have sex, but if you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t have any make-up on by the end of it. 

I’m asexual but I want to be in a relationship, is that possible?

Courtney Act: That could mean that you’re romantically attracted to people, but not sexually attracted to people. That is completely valid and possible. You probably either need to find someone else who’s asexual who’s interested in being in a non-sexual, romantic relationship with someone, or you could find someone who’s interested in being romantically involved with you and getting their sexual fulfillment through other partners. Whatever works for you.

How do you know the difference between lusting over someone and societal ideas of love?

Courtney Act: Well, if I may ask a better question: we don’t care about what societal ideas of love are, I want to know what your idea of love is?

How do I come out as pan to my traditional parents with binary views of gender?

Courtney Act: You just have to do it with compassion. Know that you’ve been thinking about this probably longer than they have thought about it, at all. You would just like people to get it, but sometimes you have to give them a little bit of time to get it, and a little bit of a resource – a little bit of information. But just be prepared that when you come out to them that they may not initially understand, and that’s OK. 

What would be your advice for someone who is questioning their sexuality or gender identity?

Courtney Act: Lean into it Ask as many questions, try as many things as you feel comfortable. My sexuality, my gender have evolved over the course of my life. The wonder of sexuality, gender, and life is that you get to pick again, until you find something that fits wonderfully. So often, a lot of the different labels help you to get close to where you’re going, but they never actually get you to exactly where you’re going. So you might find a label and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, yes, that’s me!’ And then after a while, you might be like, ‘Hmm, is it me?’ And sometimes the end of the journey is to throw away that label and understand that you are a unique expression of gender, sexuality, and humanity, and however you are is perfect just the way you are. You don’t need to try and fit the label, you just fit yourself.