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Friday, January 30, 2009

Should I Become A Total Slut?

I’m a recovering (recovered) Catholic. That said my guilt index when it comes to sex remains pretty high. I’m not a prude by any means. I try not to judge people or most of what they do. There are, however, some definite no-no’s in my book. They are pretty common sense ones. Bestiality sickens me, as do people who prey on children. Anything that has to do with scat or blood is taboo. There are also things that make me extremely uncomfortable, such as fisting, piercing, inserting things into the urethra, and torture of the nipples or balls. I realize that discomfort is the goal of those activities… but I don’t want anything to do with any of it. Extreme pain is not sexy. Electro-play also makes me cringe a bit.

There are also things that just bug me: like older men (over 35, and especially those over 40) who only want to be with boys under the age of 20. Something about that dynamic creeps me out – probably something to do with the imbalance of power (financial, educational, life experience) implicit in such a relationship. I hate it when people take advantage of other people. It strikes me as just this side of pedophilia. I also have to ‘just say no’ to anything involving pantyhose, women’s panties and bras – especially when worn by a man. It just does nothing for me (but I respect your right to lead your own parade). Also the world of pnp? Uh-uh. Meth makes for bad sex. And there’s enough bad sex in the world without anyone chemically inducing it. Some would consider poppers and 420 as part of the pnp world, but I don’t. I’m okay with poppers and 420 – as long as the sex doesn’t suffer.

But then part of me also says, “to each, their own” - not when it comes to the illegal stuff or the painful and dangerous stuff. But for those of you who adore the look of your pleasure trail leading to something pink and frilly, or those of you who get physically ill over the idea of having sex with someone your own age… hey, whatever floats your boat. Live and let live.

That pretty much sums up my list of “uh-uh’s”.

I do have personal preferences, but nothing I haven’t made exceptions for.

I‘ve had sex with people of every race. I love all the physical differences and the variety of cultural mindsets related to sex – especially man on man sex. When it comes to race, I base my decision to pursue or be pursued solely on whether or not the personality involved is one that trips my trigger. Yes, I’m an equal opportunity enjoyer!

I’ve also been with people of every size – and I’m not talking penis size, although I think I’ve dealt with the full spectrum there, too. As a general rule, obese people do not turn me on. But there have been exceptions. Never underestimate the power of a great smile, a little charm, a good sense of humor, or a double martini. Circumstances and desperation play their part, too, no doubt. The same can be said for the borderline anorexic. No, as a general rule, but there have been some rather sweet exceptions.

And age? Well, as a general rule of thumb I don’t pursue anyone under the age of thirty (I’m too old for you, and you are too inexperienced/unformed/uptight for me) or above the age of sixty (I have had some really bad surprises when opening the mystery date door). But then again there have been some incredible exceptions. And some not so incredible – but I’m flexible and willing to work with what the universe gives me. Good sex is good no matter the package.

I think at this point in my sexual life (having gotten a really late start) I have reached a point where in order to continue expanding my whore-izons (horizons) I must decide once and for all: Should I become a total slut?

I was originally going to title this ‘Should I Become a Slut’… but based on the sheer number of sexual partners I have in had thus far, I’m thinking that the ‘should’ in that query, at this point, is pretty mute. I am a slut. No doubt about it. I don’t wear it as a badge of courage (on occasion I still try to get away with being demure), but when cornered, I don’t deny it, either.

No, the question before me is, should I become a total slut. What, you may ask, is the distinction?

For me – and I realize this is a personal delineation/definition (for some, I have crossed that line, too) – it has to do with a little device called a sling. For those of you who live at church, a sling is a platform, usually made of leather suspended from the ceiling or a metal frame by chains. It serves as the altar of sacrifice (giving it up oh-so willingly) for your average power bottom.

I now consider myself a bottom (not always the case), but I am still not a power bottom. To achieve that distinction I would need to give myself over to a world I am not sure I belong. The whole dungeon scene intrigues me. I have stood on the side lines a few times – but it made me feel like a spectator at a coliseum in ancient Rome. I’m also intrigued by leather, group play (I have never been to a sex party), multiple/multiple partners, bath house and backroom scenes; basically the underbelly of the male gay world.

I need to point out that I don’t mean underbelly in a bad way. There is a hierarchy in the world of m4m sex. The hierarchy of the male gay world (according to me)? That’s another blog entry, maybe next week’s installment. Maybe.

Back to the question of total slutdom: To become a total slut, I would have to immerse myself in a world that frequently involves things that I can’t see myself ever gaining any pleasure from. In fact, the few times I have danced along the edge of the underbelly, I found myself having to say ‘no’ to a lot of things: (“No, you may not stick your fist in my ass. No, you may not strike my ass with that leather riding crop. No, you may not choke me. No, you may not bind my balls and smack them with your hand. No, you may not hit me in the face.”). Okay, so the provided examples may indicate that I may have, in fact, stuck my toe in the water a bit. But you get the general idea of what I fear happening.

I like the idea of the sling. The total surrender it signifies. Being vulnerable is sexually arrousing to me. But the type of activities you open yourself up to in the kind of environment where you would find a sling brings the concept of vulnerability to a whole ‘nother level.

Now you might think it is the psychological impact and subsequent consequences that I am afraid of, but that is not the case. The mind games I can handle. My mind has been fucked (see reference to Catholic Church and the world of the theatre). I have developed a resilience to and the ability to recover from such fuckery. It’s the physical stuff that concerns me. Safety, being of primary concern. I don’t want to end up physically hurt or marred. I also don’t want the clap, crabs or worse.

The other thing that keeps me from delving in? All the props and costumes. I come from theatre (which is what the Catholic mass is really about, people), (I also ‘did’ the theatre/stage/performance thing for – well, a long, long time) – and I hate all that stuff (now). Don’t get me wrong. I love leather. The smell alone is enough to send me to my happy place. I also think at least twenty percent of those who wear it, wear it well. Yes, when it’s hot, it is hot.

But when it’s not? Well, that would be when it feels staged, inappropriate, or just looks tacky (I’m talking to the 80% of you who should NOT wear leather – and yes, I’m probably included in that number). I hate it when accoutrements get in the way of a good time. What I know of theatre, and I mean know the hard way, is that for a show to run smoothly you must coordinate your props well. A bad scene change can cost you your show. Pulling this off (no pun intended) is a learned skill and an innate talent. So, most people are simply not up to the task. Either the emotional/physical involvement of the actual sex takes precedent and things get fucked up, or they are simply inept and too uncoordinated to be successful.

Another thing that makes opening this particular door difficult for me, is the fact that once said door is open, many people don’t have the good sense to know the difference between what is ‘fun’ and what is ‘lame’. I’ll give you an example. I had a guy who wanted to role play. Now, I’m all for role play. I love ‘buddies staying overnight’, ‘coach gives a massage’, ‘coach and OTK’, ‘wrestling buds’, and ‘you’re in the army now-lick my boots scumbag’ scenarios. I’ll even play the whole ‘son/daddy/big brother/little cousin’ thing, as long as it doesn’t become too ridiculous. But this guy? He wants to play ‘good doggie’, and I have to be the dog. It put me off a bit. I had to think about it. I consider the following: I’m there, we’re both already naked and hard, the guy is reasonably attractive and the environment feels safe to me. So I pant for him. I ‘wag my tail’ for him. Then he makes the mistake of bringing out the props. He puts a leather collar and a leash on me. I wore it for about two minutes. Then I took it off myself. End of game. And believe me – I am all for trying new things and pleasing my sex partner. But that leash? Well, that was a span of leather too far. I couldn’t go there, because while certain degrees of humiliation can be very sexually stimulating… feeling totally ridiculous ain’t gonna keep my dick hard.

So there are my concerns. My issues. My sensibilities and take on the choice at hand. I have just enough experience and knowledge to make me leery of the whole thing. Maybe this is one of those instances where I should listen to that little feeling in my gut.

I can remain a generic slut forever. I may have to move to another section of the country or another country in order to find new sexual partners, but I can continue my edgy, dirtier-than-vanilla, somewhat skanky ways for the rest of my time on this earth. Or I could dive in, experience something new and then decide it is not for me.

Doing an about face is not always about admitting defeat. Sometimes it’s just good common sense or done in good taste. For me, there would be no sense of shame. No scarlet ‘A’. You see, sometimes that red badge of courage is just a big old scarlet ‘A’ – but in either case – it’s something earned. I could with that without deluding myself. I’m not one of those who fool enough to think I could be a virgin again.

But then that is what role play is for.

To be honest, I’m riding the fence on this one. At this point, I’m not overly concerned about splinters… but let’s face it – indecision sucks, and also - it’s not the kind of wood I like to have between my legs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nobody Slow Dances Anymore

I want to slow dance with somebody. Well, not just anybody… I want it to be intimate and a bit sexual. That kind of linger where it hurts too good to back away. The kind of press, where you don’t know quite whom is holding up whom – but you are both somehow defying gravity. You're floating on a grace not experienced anywhere else but on the dance floor during the soft caress of a really dynamite ballad.

So, why doesn’t anybody slow dance anymore?

I have heard tales of a time when gay men came together to do just that, at a celebration called a ‘Tea Dance’. These were held, typically, on Sunday afternoons as a sort of antidote to the debauchery of the previous night. There was usually some free food available and a Bloody Mary bar complete with big pickle spears, stalks of celery and anything else you could stick into a tall, cold glass of instant sunshine. Drinking a Bloody Mary on a Sunday afternoon always makes me feel like I’m doing something healthy for my body - all the while I get my slight buzz on and, yes, I know in the back of my head that there ain’t nothing healthy about it. But sometimes clinging to an illusion allows us to enjoy the moment.

At these ‘Tea Parties’, you would: still be attached to your previous night’s trick (meaning all went well in the boudoir), come with your partner, be joining a group of friends, or simply go to see who else showed up. The crowd probably included a lot of older types – the ones for whom last night’s disco failed to compel them to the dance floor or the ones who had to get up early for church or to make the doughnuts. In any case, they couldn’t stay up late enough to catch the sidewalk sale. They’re here to dance today, though. Slow dance.

All it takes is the right song. A lyric, a melody… something that envelopes you and makes you yearn for the embrace of another. Your arms ache, too. They want to hold somebody.

I’ve never been one of those who like to hang on my dance partner. Part of this is due to my height. Being tall doesn’t make hanging a comfortable option. And part of this is due to the fact that I am uncomfortable being held aloft by anybody else (I like to hold up my end of the bargain). So, while my head or chin may rest on a guy’s shoulder, there is never much weight placed upon it.

If I had the chance to slow dance today, I’d just sway. Gently. When I was younger I was always concerned about being boring. I would constantly change up the direction I rotated and try different patterns - all to the consternation of my dancing partner. It may have been awkward at times, but I didn’t want it to get stale.

Today, that would not be a concern. I would just enjoy the intimacy. Ahh, the intimacy - which I suspect is the real reason no one slow dances anymore. So many fear it. Me? I would just drink in all that beautiful warmth.

I doubt I’ll ever get to attend a ‘Tea Dance’. I don’t see them making a comeback any time soon. And lacking an outlet, opportunity and location to do so, I also doubt I will get to slow dance in public any time soon.

Which brings me to the thing I would most like to do in the solitude of my living room. Unfortunately, the partner’s with whom I have shared living room’s in the past have always pushed me away when I suggested it or grabbed them un-expectantly in order to mold them into such an embrace. It could be me. Maybe the thought of lingering that close to me without the potential of an orgasm was distasteful to them. Or it could be about them… for the same reason.

In the late eighties, I remember slow dancing at the end of a Saturday night during last call with my best friend. Neither of us had found anybody to hook up with that night. Me: not for lack of trying. Him: because he was always a bit of an ice princess and maybe too picky for his own good. It was last call and the DJ played a chilled out cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” with a sweet female vocal. It was a nice moment. We just sort of fell into it. We'd been dancing together for the previous song, and was caught unaware. It wasn’t sexual, but it was romantic. We were dancing in appreciation of each other. It was sweet and brief and everything I longed for in that moment.

We remained best friends for over 20 years. Now we’re not friends. And, in fact, I don’t really have a best friend like that in my life. But there was that moment. And that is how I like to remember us.

I mourn our friendship.

I mourn for the loss of slow dancing, too.

It always brings to mind that wonderful Johnny Rivers song… “Slow dancing, swaying to the music, just me and my girl…”

Well… maybe some day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some changes gonna be made ‘round here…

I want to try something new. Maybe bringing a bit more of myself to this blogging thing. I’ve offered a lot of opinions about things other people have created, but haven’t really shared much about myself – save my first post about the bike accident. I also haven’t always had time to invest in writing much for this blog. I’m going to try to change both those things.

I will share more. Sometimes the stories I tell will be about me, sometimes about people I know or have known. I won’t be naming names… but I will relay events, albeit filtered through my biased recollection.

I haven’t made good choices in my life. Sometimes, yes – the good in me wins out and I end up doing the right thing. But all too frequently, it is for the wrong reason; my motivations are almost always suspect. I plan on owning up to that when it occurs, just as I plan on giving myself credit when credit is due (which isn’t as often as one would wish).

What’s inspired this change?

Well, for one thing, I stumbled back upon the blog that first inspired me to start my own blog. I was disappointed to learn that he had stopped posting things back in April of 2007 (mostly stories of his life as a gay man in Chicago mixed with the occasional creative writing exercise or gay-related news story). But then – life happens. We get distracted. We change. We evolve and suddenly what once were habits are… well, no longer viable habits. It’s like the journaling thing, which I did faithfully and fervently every day from 1982-1989 – and then I had my first ‘serious relationship’ and journaling took a back seat to walking the dogs, making dinner, cleaning the house and putting up with ‘my little cloud’s world of doom and gloom’. But more about that... later.

I’ve never picked up the habit of journaling again. I tried. But it never felt relevant or important enough to do. Maybe this will serve as a substitute.

Anyway… re-reading that blog – the one that inspired me to start this blog? It triggered something. What I really loved about his writing was the intimacy it invoked. He was (and I assume still is) a talented writer and I loved how his words washed across the screen. He shared dirty not-so-secrets and shone a light on the darker corners of a gay life and his own soul – nothing out of the ordinary – but very real.

I’ve never been very real. Not to myself. Not with others. I hedge my bets and mince my words. I spare feelings and tell myself lies so that I can get from one awkward moment to the next new beginning. I don't live my life, so much as navigate it. For me, it is all one big strategic miscalculation.

The stories I plan to tell are ones from the distant past and the recent past and those that are still becoming. Along the way, my personal philosophies will become more apparent and then you can decide whether or not this is a blog you want to bother reading – which is really not the reason I blog. I look at this as an outlet. And since I try my best not to be hung-up about outcomes - other people or their reading habits have never really mattered to me.

The writing has. The voice. Does that make this a selfish endeavor? Yep.

Am I okay with that? Probably.

I'll still be offering opinions about things on occasion. That won't change. But I do hope to share more often. Let's shoot for once a week...

So, what I hope to share is a more honest voice. That’s all. And I plan on sharing stories, or at least parts of stories. Little snapshots of my life, past and present.

Well, it all begins... somewhere.