I’m unafraid to say I’m a very sexual person. I keep telling myself and others, it’s how most gay men function. I think many of us are afraid to admit it because we’re still scarred from decades of being pushed back into the closet. We’re afraid of rejection or of ridicule. From the AIDS epidemic to gay marriage, there was always this idea that sex was an off-limits topic to discuss at any time. If it was talked about, you would have to be proper and courteous to those around you.
I’d been groomed in my past to always associate sex with being slutty or trashy. The comments were habitual, “If you do this, then you don’t love yourself,” or “You don’t have any tact when it comes to your behavior with other men.” I thought it was all wrong. I thought being a naturally sexual man was a curse. I loved my previous partner; I never cheated on him, but I knew the way he portrayed love was entirely different than my idea of it.
Once that relationship was over, I began exploring who I was sexually. It was a constant tightrope walk. If I got into it too deep for my likening, I’d freak out. I’d retreat to a safe place with my lube, away from the unknown. For more than a year, I stayed to myself, occasionally having webcam chats with random headless internet muscle. I needed more though. I wanted more even though I knew being sexually free scared me. I think the thought of not being in control terrified me.
It was after I had befriended a few sex-positive guys in various cities, that I realized a bigger part of me wanted what I had always run from. It was this idea that I could have a friend, a best friend, or an acquaintance that was more than just a “friend.” At one moment we could be out on the town socializing with friends, and the next, passionately kissing and sticking things in all various types of places.
I was always told, he’s not a friend if you’ve fucked him or sucked a dick, he’s a trick. Where did this idea come from that we couldn’t allow ourselves to be friendly in other ways than one? What was wrong with sexually expressing our satisfaction with those closest to us? I have plenty of close friends, even best friends that I’ve been sexual with. Does it define what our friendship is? No. It enhances the dynamic of our connection and how we interact with each other.
I was told, flirting is an invitation to more, and it’s cheating. Being told to suppress my natural behavior is the quickest way to get me heated. (Not in a good way.) I’m an affectionate guy, and I’m a flirt. It’s natural for me to grab (with permission), and notice the ins and outs of a man’s body. It makes me feel more of man, more connected to my sexual energy and my masculinity. It doesn’t mean I’ll cheat, it doesn’t mean I want an intimate, emotional relationship; it says I’ve chosen you as a way to embrace something that us as gay men, have always been told to repress by those on the outside: our sexuality.
I’m happily married to an amazingly handsome man from top to bottom (Literally!) We have a very fluid relationship, and I enjoy the dynamic we have. I think we both understand that sex is sex, and the love we have for each other is something much different, on a much different level. While we have friends that are strictly friends, others are in this sexually fluid Venn diagram. We pick and choose how we organize it, but one thing is for sure: it’s imperative we accept or try to embrace others love dynamics as we recognize our own. There’s no room in our community for intolerance and shaming. We need love in all forms.