What Is Sex
romantic, sweet, quiet, tongue, heat, rough, fast, sucking, dominating, raw, tender, hard, raunchy, passionate, wanking, deep, kinky, swelling, grabbing, warm, fingers, straddling each other, dripping, exquisite, moan, love making, spit, rubbing, pulling, sacred, lip biting, role play, kissing, scratching, loud, strong, naked, heart pounding, I love you, wet, grunting, smooth, exhausting, climax, freedom, musty, shaking, holding you close, knee buckling, throbbing, hands, grinding, submissive, hot, thrusting, screaming, dirty, euphoria, angry, holy shit, pinching, synchronized rhythm, firm thighs, panting, tasty, howling, engorged, soft, panting, sweaty, quivering, touch, way too slow, rope burn, sensual, groan, bliss, muscle aching, beautiful.
These adjectives, phrases, and emotions are what sum up my sexual experiences and what sex means or has meant to me at one point and time. With some of my ex partners, I experienced almost all of these adjectives at some point in our relationship and with others only one. I’m not ashamed of any of these because in those moments it was what I felt. As a result you can’t tell how many men I’ve slept with and more importantly you’ll eventually see why it doesn’t matter.
It occurred to me last night while talking to a twitter pal that this is the one topic I haven’t written about directly. I’ve mentioned it in other articles but usually as some bridge into a much more broader topic. There’s so much to it and we complicate it and misread all the signs so I won’t try to cover all of it. I just want to as succinctly as possible address what sex is and what sex means all the while being honest without using my educational background as a way to support my case. Just talking from my own personal experiences and things we all know about but maybe don’t admit.
All men, regardless of sexual orientation, think about sex every single day of our lives. Often, constantly, repeatedly, and sometimes annoyingly. Whenever we hear or see the word sex, our minds are bombarded with dozens of images that illustrate what sex means for us individually. We always get this tiny glimmer in our eye for a brief moment that we try to cover up as quickly as possible, probably as we are imagining what sex would be like with the most random person in our periphery. We can become coy and reserved. Or sometimes bold and free. Almost always accompanied by sweaty hands and the bulging of our groin. Shy and secretive as we dare not look someone else in the eye for fear that they have discovered our dark, tantalizing fantasies. Or at least I don’t (but sometimes I do).
Some will criticize for how many men you’ve slept with and some will call you a prude, uptight, stuckup jackass for not doing it enough and that’s because everyone has their own idea of what sex means to them. Maybe it was the condtioning of all those lame 15 minute discussions we got every year in middle school from our awkward phys ed teacher or nervous reluctant parent that quietly is begging you not to ask any questions. No doubt on some subconcious level it comes from the religious right that believes there’s only one way to do it (oh and how wrong they are on that one). We apply so many titles to this three letter word. It starts in middle school gyms, cafeterias, notes between friends, and locker rooms. Funny how sex talk in these places doesn’t end after high school.
It has always bothered me when soothsayers within the community, although well meaning, feel that sexuality still has to fit this image of right and wrong. That we have to cover our shame and not be expressive of our sexual nature in public. And I while I respect their desire to help our community, I say to hell with that. Why repress that when coming out is such a process within it self. Most of us live the first two decades or more resisting and surpressing our desire for sex with men so why should we have to still fit into some mold of when and where we express that. Im not saying just go do it in front of the 7-11 for all to see. But why do we have to fit an ideal of sexuality from a society that still does not fully accept us?
Some of us may not want to admit this but our understanding of what sex means to us correlates to how we interact with each other on some level. We categorize the men we see and within the first few minutes (more like seconds) we know how far we’d let things go. So we all do it or have done it at some point. We talk in codes trying to decipher whether he’s a bottom or top or verse before we get to know the guy’s last name (sometimes not even that). But sometimes we reevaluate those thoughts as we get to know them.
Sometimes sex is just sex. A physical expression of two people who are attracted to each other. A quick textual exchange of words and nude pics on Grindr and Scruff or twitter will do in a pinch, all leading to more. A blind date when you decide in the first 10 seconds that you don’t anything more than to get physical. A one night stand you take home from the gay club. The random guy from the grocery store. Quick and easy. Or marathon of good but it is still just sex.
And sometimes it’s the statement to love, a coming together of two beings and momentarily merging into one. Togetherness personified. Sometimes sex eloquently sums up all the emotions that you have ever felt and puts it into one, powerful, mind-blowing sequence of movements that drives you into complete ecstasy. It’s this build up and climax as all reason is lost and all rationale is vacant. Sometimes, with the right person, sex is simply beautiful because it is so much more than sex.
As men we need to know the difference between love and sex and that the two are not always interchangeable. Growing up when we see fairytales to action thrillers to even those weird zombie movies, we see a romanticizing of sex and antiquate it to love. And as an adolescent I thought having sex is how love was and sex was an extension of that when that is not always the case. As adults, things are rarely as we believe them to be when we first discovered a concept or ideal about life. In fact the idea of sex equaling love more often is the exception to the rule and learned that very quickly after my first encounter with another man.
It’s probably one of the hardest emotions that we learn, if/when we actually choose to learn it. I’m a romantic and have been all my life and love to woo and be wooed (is that a word?). You see we often confuse that waltz known as flirting as the path down to love when it’s often nothing more than a guy wanting to get horizontal (or vertical…diagonally if you’re really talented) with you. And that’s okay if that’s all you want out of the exchange. It’s also okay if you want more than that. I hope the younger generation of men know that just because sex may be easier to find and get sex that it isn’t the staple of what sex means or could mean to them someday. I hope that my generation learns that too.
What we as gay men must do first and foremost is love ourselves, that ideal will always be paramount to me. We must learn what sex means for us, whether it is just physical affection or the bridge to love. Be mindful that in different stages in our lives, sex will mean something more or less and we have to remember that this rule applies to the men we seek out. And it is okay to feel that way to feel either way, none at all, or both. Learn what it means for you and those you want to have sex with. And be honest.