This Man Slept With Nearly 10,000 People. Here's What Having All That Sex Taught Him.

Mark S. King explains why — and how — he racked up so many sexual partners and how it’s changed his life in unexpected ways.

To say that Mark S. King has been busy during the 59 years he’s been on this planet would be an understatement.

Not only has he spent much of his life working as an award-winning HIV/AIDS activist and journalist (his most recent accolade is a 2020 GLAAD award for his website, My Fabulous Disease), but he’s also slept with close to 10,000 men.

I have no shame about that,” he told me during an interview for “D Is for Desire,” HuffPost’s love and sex podcast. “I’ve kind of come to terms with all that I am and all that I’ve done. There’s a great Phyllis Diller quote when she comes out and says, ‘There’s no excuse for looking like this. There are reasons.’ There’s no excuse for having had sex with that many people, but there are reasons.”

For this episode of “D Is for Desire,” Mark and I explored those reasons, as well as his journey from sexual neophyte coming of age in the South during the 1960s to connoisseur of all that New Orleans’ bathhouses had to offer in the ’70s to, finally, his current life as a happy husband in a monogamous relationship. We also chatted about how contracting HIV in the ’80s and watching his community be ravaged by the disease affected his sex life ― but maybe not in the way you might expect:

New episodes of “D Is for Desire,” which include a journey into the world of sex witches, an interview with a doctor who specializes in assholes, and a look at the joys of period sex, will premiere each Friday. Subscribe below so you don’t miss a single desire-filled minute.

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“D Is for Desire” is produced and edited by Nick Offenberg, Sara Patterson, Becca DeGregorio and Noah Michelson, who also hosts the podcast. If you have a question or a comment about the show or a suggestion for an episode, email us at or leave us a voicemail at 732-660-8030.