We’ve all heard it. Those sappy Lifetime-inspired Hallmark-worthy Oprah-ready phrases to describe how sex revolutionized a person’s life. “Making love,” “our sex was an expression of our affection,” “it means more when you’re with that special someone.” Please excuse me while I vomit (and not in the erotic fashion). Sex has long been assigned those heartfelt euphemisms to describe the carnal act of orgasmic climax; pastoral non-explanations as to why even the most repressed still engage in the delicious act of fucking. Yes, even the Amish have sex, and yes, at least one party reaches climax (but the lack of sexual pleasure for women in traditional societies is a discussion for another time). Sex, in its essence, is nothing more than the pursuit of purely biological ends: procreation for some, a flood of prolactin for the rest (and I would venture to say, most). In short, sex is the pursuit of the orgasm, and as far as I can tell from my experience, does not create love, retain love, or even have much to do with “love” at all. In fact, kinship seems to be able to exist quite well without any sort of physical stimulation; even those with little to no functioning nerve endings in the genital region seem to form them just fine.
With this said, I am left in a quandary. After all, sex with strangers never really was my particular pursuit. Sure, I’ve had exciting experiences with boys who I barely knew, but they never seemed nearly as fulfilling as the ones with men I was well acquainted with. What ever does this mean? The fact that the best sex I’ve ever had comes when I’m in committed relationships or with those whom I share a close emotional bond with seems, at its surface, to refute my initial ideology. However, under further analysis, a soy latte, and a couple of cigarettes, it all started to fall into place.
Firstly, I had to come to terms with my contradictions. Human beings are full of them, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s what makes us interesting. The fact that there are mild imperfections in my theories and practice does not bother me all that much, after all, it creates wonderful first date conversation. I never really did like binaries: femme/butch, man/woman, gay/lesbian, BDSM/vanilla. I believe in the grey area, and try to engage it often. And as such, the fact that my theory and reality don’t reconcile perfectly doesn’t really both me. If it bothers others, I can only engage in debate.
Secondly, I realized a key factor in the deconstruction of my desires and pleasure. Sex for me is only genuinely enjoyable when I can explore and engage in my partner (I mean, with my partner). Communication is key; not in a pastoral sense but rather in terms of the fact that I need to be sure the play is enjoyable for all involved. I seek partners who are honest in their actions and words (“that hurts, go slower,” “HARDER, H-A-R-D-E-R!” etc.). With those whom I have a personal bond with, I can be sure before play begins that they can be relaxed and fluid (read: I can actually engage in the act of penetration without the inevitable fear that their inability to relax will create a long and frustrating experience), that we can explore and engage in new activity, and that all play is mutual. Sure, there are plenty of bossy bottoms littering the streets of Boystown who would have no aversion to keeping me well informed about their needs, but in the end I need to be proactive in ensuring that my play is mutual and honest.
I am fully aware, and understand, why my friends and peers do engage in anonymous play. As a sex-positivist, I encourage sexual exploration and pleasure. However, as part of my identity, I need to be true and honest with myself. This is how I choose to engage in activity, and that must be respected. After all, what use is it for me to go fuck a random man if I will wind up sexually frustrated and dissatisfied at the end of the night (“I just couldn’t get it in, he was too tense. I have to go jack-off in the washroom before my shift.”)? Yes, for the most part, it is a selfish ideology. Idyllic notions of emotional bonds aside, it is not the bond but rather the byproduct that I seek. Strong relationships require refined communication. It is the communication that I seek, not the emotional bond. In this way, I am able to reconcile conflicting ideology and practice to rethink how I have sex. This is me, and others choose varied paths. So, for now, I will play only with friends and boyfriends, with sexual exploration to only bring new and varied experiences and re-evaluations of my choices. There is little (although notable) permanency in sexuality, and all of this entry is libel to change, however, certain aspects remain essential. I am excited by an engaged partner who can handle “what I got.” If it means that I limit myself to those I know, than so be it. It’s just an excuse to make friends with more hot young gay men, and who can complain about that?