Dorian really tried.
For as long as he could remember, he wanted to make his parents, but mainly his father, proud. Proud of what his his son, his heir, had done with his talent.
And for a very long time, it worked.
Dorian would study, and outshine many of his peers. His Harrowing, a rite feared by many of the southern mages, had been swift and almost laughably easy.
He was quick with his spells, and with and tongue. He had his mother's grace, and his father's dignity; handsome and intelligent, that was what they called him.
And then came his first failure.
His friends and colleagues at the Circle bought him a courtesan for the night – a beautiful, intelligent creature, with soft body and ample curves. And no matter how much he wanted, he just couldn’t make himself want her; at least not in the way he was supposed to.
Panic hit him with a force of a well-aimed Stone Fist. Dorian Pavus, unable to perform as a man.
The courtesan was very patient and understanding with him that night; the long years of experiences with young and nervous men showing in the way she patiently calmed him down, and led him through the ways two people could take pleasure in each other, making Dorian see the stars several times throughout the night in the process.
All in all, it had been nice, warm and pleasant affair, and at the same time, wrong in a way he didn't quite understand; the sense of wrongness stopping him from going all out, and instead, he focused on the woman, lying on the luxurious pillows before him, making sure she was sated as well.
The sense of wrongness remained in him for quite some time, even if he got better at pleasuring the women who sometimes seemed to jump into his bed (the courtesan being one of his regulars, or maybe he should say that he remained one of hers). It only got explained, when one of his peers, a decadent being by all accounts, started to pursue him, and when the man kissed him, Dorian felt himself responding, eagerly returning the kisses; a tight knot of shame, mixing with pleasure, heavy in his stomach.
In the end, it was laughable how easy it was to explain his weird feelings about carnal relations with women. While pleasant company, and an aesthetically pleasing shape, their bodies were never what he wanted to explore with his hands, what he wanted to look at, what he wanted to conquer and what he wanted to be conquered with.
It was a secret between them, a guilty pleasure to keep.