Friday, 26 April 2013

The Ethical Slut


Writing essays as I do, I love to read others’ essays too.  I just finished reading a book of comedic  essays by Tucker Max.  His book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, is a wild ride through his days and nights of heavy drinking, hard partying and getting laid.  As the New York Times states on the cover of the book, it’s “highly entertaining and thoroughly reprehensible.”  I felt like the gay version of Tucker, except on a few key points.  His essays are comical, going for the joke, and staying away from too much introspection.  But where I felt I really diverged from him was around the issue of respect.

Tucker assumes that the women that agree to sleep with a cad like him are obviously those with no self-respect.  He meets one woman who gives him everything in bed – she surpasses Tucker’s own levels of perversity by allowing him to humiliate and beat her in bed, hit her until she bleeds, and more.  This woman was game for anything – she blows Tucker while he takes a shit.  But at one point she says she feels bothered that he is seeing other women and wants to know if they can get serious about their relationship, make it monogamous and date just each other.  And what does Tucker do?  He laughs in her face, horrified that the freak he was talking to would think for a moment that he would date a chick like her. 

And this is where Tucker and I differ.  I felt that he should have gotten on his knees and prayed thanks to the sex gods that he had found a woman who was so giving and wild and uninhibited in bed.  Instead, when she got vulnerable, he laughed at her and never saw her again.  Tucker explains in the book his theory that while some women are wonderful and deserve to be treated with respect, others are, in his words, filthy whores.  It’s the old Madonna/Whore syndrome, and he perpetuates the idea that if a woman enjoys sex, and especially enjoys it with him, she is a whore.

Every time I have sex with a guy, I am in awe of his ability to allow me to see him at his most vulnerable and most raw.  I worship men who share their sexuality with me, as if they were offering a very special gift.  And it matters not how often they do it nor with how many partners.  Therefore the word slut doesn’t exist for me (except in the context of role playing and humiliation scenes, where being the “slut” is part of the fun).  And I think that Tucker shoots himself in the foot: He obviously loves wild sex, but the moment he gets it, it lowers the woman’s standing in his eyes.

However, here comes the part where I rake myself over the coals for moments where I have disrespected men.  It was maybe not as blatant as Tucker (laughing in a person`s face), but in other ways all the same.

For example, what do you do when you meet a trick on-line, invite him over, take a look and realize you`re really not attracted to him?  I remember one night (or I should say morning, as it was about 6 am) years ago.  Another winning night of drinking until dawn and cruising Manhunt.net.  In my raging horniness and drunkenness, I invited a guy over, and when he walked in the door, I just didn’t feel it.  I don’t know if he didn’t appear to look like he did in his pictures, but I just didn’t want to do it.  And he was mad, mad enough about leaving home and coming across town that I feared he wouldn’t leave.  He did leave,but in a huff, and I thought, should I have just gone for it, since he did come all that way?  Or am I allowed to say no up the last minute?  What are the ethics of a hook-up?  And that wasn’t the only time.  When a guy arrives for a hook-up and doesn’t look, to me anyway, like his pictures on-line, I’ve sometimes declined.  And I’ve used the lamest excuses: “ I’m too nervous”,” it’s not you, it’s me”.  And yet, I’ve also been on the receiving end of it.  What can you do but brush up your bruised ego and keep trucking?

The ethics of being a slut are explored in wonderful detail in the book The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy.  I realized that I had a thing or two to learn about being an ethical slut.  For example, they advise that you to be careful of sleeping with someone that you know ahead of time that you won’t want to sleep with again.  I’ve had hook-ups where I thought, “Well, it’ll be just a one-time thing.”  For the other person, it may feel very different and hurt feelings will ensue.

What of the married man on the down low?  At first blush, we might quickly say that it’s wrong wrong wrong.  But Dan Savage, in his sex advice column Savage Love, has this to say about it:

"Cheating is permissible when it amounts to the least worst option, i.e., it is allowed for someone who has made a monogamous commitment and isn't getting any at home (sick or disabled spouse, or withholding-without-cause spouse) and divorce isn't an option (sick or disabled spouse, or withholding-without-cause-spouse-who-can't-be-divorced-for-some-karma-imperiling-reason-or-other) and the sex on the side makes it possible for the cheater to stay married and stay sane. (An exception can be made for a married person with a kink that his or her spouse can't/won't accommodate, so long as the kink can be taken care of safely and discreetly.)"

I’ll be brave and say it out loud for all of us:  Which of us haven’t fantasized about bagging a married (and presumably straight) guy?  There’s even a cute, tongue-in-cheek gay porn site called “But I’m a Married Man!”  But outside of fantasy, what are the ethics to you of this reality?  I hand it over to you, Dear Reader…

 

 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sex Club & Leather Bar Fail


I had never been to a strip bar that had backrooms for the patrons to play – with each other.  But this strip club that I went to doubled as a sex club.  I got there before midnight, before the cover charge doubled.  Greeting two shirtless bartenders on the main floor, I grabbed a beer and wandered as the club began to fill.  On the main floor, I found there were backrooms meant just for the strippers and their clients.  On the second floor was another bar, impromptu go-go dancing stages, and a backroom for the patrons to get it on together.

Upstairs, a stripper was working a small, raised area, barely a stage at all.  He was a college type, but unremarkable looking, and he worked the stage unremarkably.  He eventually dropped his pants, revealing a flaccid, unamused cock.  After his song was over, another dancer took his place.  This man was in his mid-twenties, hot, and very hairy – a major plus for me.  You so rarely see a hairy stripper.  His bubble butt was very furry and I wondered if he realized that he was very appealing to an underserved market (hirsute lovers).

The club began to fill up, both upstairs and down.  But not a single soul ventured into the backrooms.  I know this because I did venture forth and found them empty.  I watched as men furtively watched the strippers, as if they weren’t supposed to enjoy it or appreciate it too openly.  There was a reticence in the air, a holding back.  A conservatism that felt dangerously contagious.

I stayed for about an hour, but the place began to thin of people before last call was even anywhere near.  And so I swallowed the remainder of my beer and went next door to a leather bar.

Being a Saturday night, the place was busy, on both floors.  I bought a beer and bypassing the backroom, I headed upstairs where I discovered that an S&M show was in progress.  Shackled to and facing the far wall was Mr. Leather.  He was being flogged by a stout woman in glasses.  She and he were trading jokes as she flogged him, light banter that had nothing to do with the flogging per se.  After she was through with Mr. Leather, she looked out at those paying attention in the crowd and invited someone to have a go at being flogged.  A young guy waved his hand to have a shot at it.  He removed his shirt and giggled while his friends encouraged him.  The mistress joked around with him while flogging him and they had a grand old time.  When it was over, the young man jumped up and down, clapping his hands and saying that S&M was really neat.

The display of sadomasochism was missing two vital elements – a sadist and a masochist.  What I saw was a pastiche of S&M, not the real thing.  It was akin to buying a jacket in a bargain-basement store, knowing that it descended from high fashion but watered down many times over.  I wanted to see and sense danger, not the recreation of danger.  I saw the Disneyland version of what should have been transgressive.

I went downstairs, hunting for men who wanted the real deal.  I headed into the back room.  But before I had made three or four steps in, the smell of shit hit me like a brick.  Someone back there had had an accident while presumably being fucked.  Bracing myself against the smell, I noticed that the pervasive scent of excrement was not stopping the full crowd back there.  The place was jammed.  Overpowered by the smell, though, I had to leave.  I left the bar entirely, feeling that tonight I’d been abandoned by the sex gods.  Not every night is going to be a winner.  The trick is to accept this and know when it’s time to go.  But you know that you’ll return, and that when you do, the sex gods might be on your side and give you the transcendent gay bar experience that you seek.  You will return to the hunt, you will return to the night, and it will be resplendent.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Fetishes: PITS


If you’re a pig like me, you know that smelling soapy just-out-of-the-shower fresh can be very overrated.  I think it’s fair to say that most of us were raised to “wash the stink off” after getting sweaty.  Much money is made by selling us colognes that supposedly make us smell like men.  Newsflash:  Men do smell like men.  In my twenties, before these notions were even kernels of thought in my head, I wore deodorant and cologne, covering up my pheromones.  It’s amazing how our tastes change.  I remember a conversation with my sister when I was only in my teens, she in her twenties.  We humorously asked each other what we thought the grossest body part was.  I immediately blurted “armpits!”  She paused, tilted her head thoughtfully and said “I think they’re kind of hot.”

Well men, now, in my late thirties, I think they’re fucking out-of-this world hot.

I love Winter, I love cold weather, I’m the kind of guy who would like to visit a northern country rather than a tropical paradise.  But the one saving grace about Summer is this:  men wearing tank tops.  You get to see so much free pit.  Sweaty pit, where the hair curls due to the wetness.  (OK folks, this is an all out paean to pits.  It’s going to be graphic and if this isn’t your fetish, you might want to flip over to a different essay).

In Summer, I sweat too, and I have to say, I love my own sweaty pits.  Even in a t-shirt, seeing the sweat stains is enough to make me animalistic.  How do your pits smell Jason?  Thank you for asking!  But the answer is complicated.

In some eastern religions, many gods exist.  I think some of those gods are sex gods, and I do not say that sacrilegiously.  Not in the slightest.  Rather I mean it as a Thank You.  Some days, the pit gods are on my side, and my pits have the perfect level of hot, male pheromones giving off a male scent that can make a 6 foot, 180lb man like myself buckle at the knees.

I was chatting with an xtube buddy who says he never wears deodorant, as he loves his own smell too.  I do wear deodorant to work, but never to the Eagle, natch.  But I’m on a short holiday from work as I write this, so I’m experimenting with not wearing deodorant, and more to the point, not washing the pits when in the shower at all.  And you know what?  Yesterday, my pits smelled of suntan lotion.  What the hell did I eat that my pits would smell of suntan lotion in December?  There was a time I remember in my twenties when for about a month, my pits smelled of salted sunflower seeds.  It’s as if my pits have multiple personalities.  Today, thankfully, my pits don’t smell of suntan lotion, but I’m quite disappointed as they smell, well, clean.  And I worked out this morning and everything!  The pit gods have some explaining to do.

While I love a ripe-smelling pit, I feel differently about the smell of other parts of the body.  I like a clean ass whether that ass is my own or another man’s.  I like a clean smelling cock, but lord almighty, I have a lot of friends who like the musky, odorous ones. 

At the gym, some of the true bodybuilders shave everything, including their pits.  I understand that this is to reveal the muscles.  For me, it lessens my attraction to them, as if they’ve cut off a part of their manhood.

So Jason, what do you like to do sexually with pits?  Oh, what great questions you’re asking!  Here’s a laundry list:  bury your face or cock in them; eat them out, have yours eaten out and then kiss; spit in them; piss in them; cum in them, and leave it there to dry until morning.  There is an added bonus when a man has his arm up waiting for your eager mouth:  His shoulder muscles and biceps are perfectly flexed and displayed.  It’s heaven on a platter.  I might even go so far to say that the sight of a man with his arm up and his pits on display is a greater turn on for me than the sight of his cock.  Well, it’s a close draw in any case.

However, not all pit scents are created equal.  Some men have a naturally wonderful aroma, and yet we’ve all smelled men that were too funky for us (but maybe not for another?).  I have one friend who says that one day of sweat on man is good but no more.  I have other friends who seek out men who haven’t bathed in a week.  At a bar I frequent, there is a hot hot hot bartender who is hairy and always shirtless.  You know he’s working the moment you walk in the small bar because his scent is that pervasive.  And I can’t really tell you if I like his pungent aroma or not.  Is it “clean” sweat (whatever that means), or is it too much?

Someone once asked me if writing so in depth about my sexuality took away some of the mystery for me.  Au contraire.  I could write and read about sexuality until my dying day and I will never quite get past the mystery and wonder of it all.  If I had this all figured out, if the mystery was gone, I wouldn’t put pen to paper about it.

At the time of this writing, there are not a lot of public comments on my blog, but I do get the most wonderful emails from readers who privately share their own stories and opinions with me.  Every time I get an email from one of you, it’s like Christmas morning.  And what you and my friends here in town show me is that there is a vast array of preferences, opinions, feelings and perceptions.  My truths are just one version of the truth – how exciting!  And my fetishes may not be yours.  But the one common thread is that we are a brotherhood of men who respect the gift of sexuality – even when it leaves us feeling bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

So tell me – what’s your fetish?

 

 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Exemplars


Before the risin' sun, we fly/So many roads to choose/We'll start out walkin' and learn to run/And yes, we've only just begun  (“We’ve Only Just Begun”, written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, 1970)

It’s amazing that with the internet, we can communicate globally in a way like no other in history.  Gay liberation got its kick start at the Stonewall Riots in 1969, and once the internet hit in the 90’s, it began going global in a big way.

I write about gay life through the filter of sexuality.  However, this sexual navel-gazing must seem an immense privilege to those in parts of the world where homophobia runs rampant.  Every day, after work, the first thing I do is open my blog and look at the statistics – how many people logged on today and where they were from.  Naturally, my greatest readership comes from countries where English is the main language.  After the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom and Australia, other countries are listed, but their numbers are much lower.  Nevertheless, I am intrigued to find that Poland is in the list on a consistent basis.

 Although there is conflicting information out there, the general consensus seems to be that outside of very limited spaces, it can be quite dangerous to be out and proud in Poland.  Here in North America, I have the gross privilege of saying any damn thing I want to about gay sex.  But it was not long ago that here too, to write this way would have been verboten.

Since 1969, we have seen a freedom for homosexuals hardly known at any other time in all of history.  The ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about it.  Our aboriginal brothers and sisters honored the two-spirited members of their tribes before the Europeans came and fucked it up.

However, the time traveled since 1969 until now is so short that history has barely blinked its eyes.  And we homosexuals are the new Christopher Columbus, charting new territories, “watching the signs along the way” as The Carpenters so famously sang.

We have no script.  We are all writers as we invent our lives.  Thus the reason for so many contradictions in my essays:  I love sex, I fear it;  I want to be real and vulnerable with men, then I go and try to be Mr. SuperDick; I long for intimacy and then push it away.  That’s why I can be flying down the highway of sexual bliss one day, and the next, on a dime, the car flips over and I’m sexually stuck.

But perhaps before we aggrandize ourselves as the Christopher Columbus’s of this age, we ought to think of the universality of the struggle to understand sex and relationships.  The straights are still writing their scripts too.  As Alanis Morissette sang “No one’s really got it figured out just yet.”

What we need are exemplars to learn from, and then attempt to become exemplars ourselves.  The definition of exemplar is: one that serves as a model or example.  Going further into the lexicon, we see that exemplary has two possible connotations: a)deserving imitation, b)serving as a warning.  It wasn’t for nothing that I subtitled the blog “Cautionary Tales from the Quest”.

So to my reader(s) in Poland, I will be watching my stats and thinking of you.  I am mostly Ukrainian in ancestry but there’s a little Polish in there too.  May you all both find, and become, exemplars.