The following interview is part of Out's "Dating PrEP 2.0" series, in which four notable experts from various fields offer advice on how to prepare for dating as a modern queer man. Watch the full series on Out.com.
Sometimes, a drag queen just wants a lap dance without being recognized.
But when you're a legendary alum of RuPaul's Drag Race, that isn't always so easy. To Out, Kim Chi recounts how one night when fellow drag queen friends took her out to a strip club and bought her some time with a dancer — but this story didn't have a happy ending.
"Halfway through the lap dance, the dancer goes, 'Are you Kim Chi?' And I was like, 'No, no, no, no.' He's like, 'I'm a huge fan,' and I'm like, 'No, I just wanted a lap dance!'"
Chi tells this story to illustrate one of the realities of her life.
"When you're a quote-unquote 'a well-known drag queen,' I feel like [dating is] harder," she shares. But it's not always being known that's the issue in love.
"I've been on dates where the other person just wasn't taking any social cues," Chi says. "He kept showing me videos of Eurovision from like the '70s. And it was cool, you know, but after like an hour or so, it was just me repeating, 'Wow, that's crazy. Wow, that's cool.' And he just wasn't getting that I was not interested."
But Chi knows what she wants from a relationship in life. "Of the relationships I admire, they're mostly all in an open relationship," she says. "They all do their thing. They all respect each other and their boundaries. They still go around and sleep with other men. And they're honest about it. And obviously, they take PrEP and they take all protective measures."
And Chi, who has launched a makeup empire, is seeking out someone who is as much of a go-getter as she is. "I want that person to be ambitious and have like a goal in life," she says. "I don't just want be that couple that like, come home and sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day. I want to do things. I want to accomplish things, you know. There are so many more things I want to do in my life, and I want them to push me to do [them]. I want to push them to do it."
But self-love is also essential for Chi, who practices it through a simple daily routine. "The easiest form of self-love is skincare, taking care of your skin, moisturizing your body, and making sure that it looks good and just feels good afterwards," she says.
After all, as RuPaul might say, self-love leads to love with others. "Take care of yourself first," she concludes. "And see if the people that you meet up are genuine and if they really, truly care about you."