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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Isn't Life More Like Porn ?

Well, it's probably a good thing it isn't, or nothing would get done, but the thought came to me as I was sitting here waiting for the plumbers to arrive.

If life were like porn, the plumbers would be hot, maybe one in his 40s, dark and hairy, strong but a little gut going on there, one in his 20s, friendly, eager and smooth, both wearing overalls undone down to the crotch cause of the heat, and that are somehow constantly threatening to fall off and reveal that big hard tool that all plumbers always walk around with. After fiddling with their tools and a couple of subtle comments and some serious eye contact, well, it'd all be on. But would your loo ever get fixed? After you'd all had so much fun together, would it even be possible to say "The tap over the laundry sink is dripping too" - bit of a come-down really.

Just think of all the trades that'd be so much more interesting if they were just like in the pornos: electricians, pizza delivery boys, mechanics, and we all know about the Police and what they like to do when they stop a car with a single man in it. That is if everything I've ever watched on TVs in gay bars and clubs is true, and why would TV lie to me?

Of course, if it were true, the Army, Navy and Air Force, Police and all manual trades would be known for being filled with homos, in the same way that people now joke about interior designers or hairdressers. It could be fun - "Oh, David", in a knowing but butch tone "He's a Police Officer now" with a pregnant pause after allowing everyone to know exactly what this meant.

But so much sex would get tiring all the time. And irritating as well. I mean, what if you just wanted a new power-point put in? There are times when no matter how hunky the sparky that arrives on the doorstep in his shorts and tool belt that you'd just think "Oh come on - I've got to meet my mum in half an hour!" The thrill of the erotic Policeman could dull over time too. What if you really were only doing 45 kmh in a 50 k zone, and actually you had to get home to feed the dogs? He's already got the cuffs out and his truncheon is ready and you're just like... "What? Sex with a big hunky sexy cop again! Not now!"

Of course, some of these guys in real life are hot, but then, so are some hairdressers, interior designers and dental-hygenists - we just don't give them the same sexy labels. Or has someone made porn about dental-hygenists that I haven't heard of yet? Because if so I'd love to see it. Though the idea is slightly disturbing. "No, I just want my gums looked at!"

But, then again, if we could turn it off and on at will, the supply of living porn, well, that could work. But that, like all porn, is just a fantasy - aint' never going to happen. And life isn't like porn, for which I'm glad.

And the plumbers arrived, were perfectly nice and efficient, and I wouldn't have wanted to do either of them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Like What I See

Straight guys often make me stop and think. And not just because I'm looking admiringly at them.

Now I have to say I've come to find visual porn does less and less for me now as I get older. I am not sure why this is. I far prefer reading something erotic or pornographic and making up the pictures in my head than watching it on dvd or in a magazine.

A while ago I was at a largely straight function, and in conversation I mentioned I was gay. It just came up. No really negative reactions, but one of the guys said he wasn't interested in that sort of thing, but hey, two girls going at! Whoar! The other men agreed. Why is this "Two Girls" thing (I won't grace it with the name of lesbian) thing so popular in their fantasies? Because it sure is. All that"girl-on-girl"porn, which is designed for men, and they think is just perfect, if only they were there in the middle, has fed the image in their minds for them. It's not often you hear a straight man, no matter how homophobic, say he hates "girl-on-girl" por. And the idea is very much that they are "girls" not women. Not adults. Fantasy figures. And of course, the gay world is rife with fantasy figures as well in our porn. Yet I don't think we get nearly as upset about it all as straights can.

I mean, I didn't say how much I'd like to see two of them going at it, ( wish I had now) but there were a couple of hotties there who would have been fun to see naked and enjoying each other. But I have to say seeing two straight guys go for it isn't one of my usual fantasies.

Now of course I do enjoy looking at what's around. Eye candy - if you're gay, bi or straight - who doesn't like it? And in summer, some of those men on skateboards - meals on wheels a friend calls them - well, they have distinct erotic appeal. Not to mention some of the various sports starts and other icons that are constantly paraded before us. Not to mention hot guys in the supermarket, on the bus, and all those DILFs out there. But I don't think they know I'm looking at them that way.

But so many straight men tend to get so pissed off if you even mention that you think they look hot. Yet they're more than happy to speculate about the sexiness and what they'd like to do with women and girls, so long as they don't actually overhear them saying it. It's their guilty little secret I guess. They look at their wife's best friend's daughter and think "She's 19 and legal and I'd do her". Think of the whole MILF phenomenon: it came from straight guys considering boundaries they'd like to cross, beause after all, identifying someone as a "Mum I'd like to fuck" (MILF) is just a bit transgressive,just a little Oedipal. I find it interesting because they're not identifying the woman as a hot woman, but as a "Mum". But of course, we have our DILFs too, as I noted above.

But if we even voice the same thoughts about any of them, or any man in the area, we're called sick, lecherous, or even worse. The old double-standard.For so many straight men, our sexual admiration is a threat.

Looking, and enjoying what we see, is a pretty normal part of being human. When does it turn to lechery though? I guess when it's obtrusive, and clearly unwelcome by whoever we're admiring.

With straight guys I guess there's always that little bit of fear, that if we find them sexy, maybe they could find men sexy too, and then their whole world would come crashing down around them. Not to mention the idea that it's ok for them to look on with lust, but not for anyone else.

Just because we enjoy the view doesn't mean we want to buy the property guys. You do it, you look, you leer, you think lecherous thoughts of those pretty girls and what you'd like to do to them - so don't be surprised that we do the same thing to you and your mates as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let's talk about sex, baby...

Let's talk about you and me. Or, more generally, all of us fags out there in the wide world.

Gay men have a reputation, deserved or not, for being sexually adventurous, and for having way more sex than straights. Just how far this reputation matches reality is hard to say. There is certainly more than a grain of truth to it, although not a few gay men do lead dull suburban lives just like so many straights.

But overall, I'd argue, we have historically been more sophisticated and wide-ranging in our sexual behaviour than not. After all, it was, and is still, easy for two guys to get together for nothing more than a shared orgasm. No worries about pregnancy and marriage, just a bit of fun between consenting adults. Or even a group of consenting adults. Or two bored consenting adults filling in 15 minutes of lunch break.

And the bigger the city, the more developed, the more sophisticated the range of venues, types and activities that are available. Let's face it - Amsterdam is to Auckland as Auckland is to Twizel. Gay men know their bodies intimately, all the bits that nice suburban straights think of as "yucky" we take in our stride, as it were.

And even if the urge to get out and spread your stuff around does lessen as we age, there is always a new generation coming through, who were as we once were: Young, dumb and full of cum.

I do hope, however, that they aren't full of the shame that so many of us used to have. Because shame is the big killer around sex. It robs it of joy. It shows a viewpoint that is "sex-negative" as they say now. The body, sex, bodily pleasures, all become suspect in this view, and something to be disciplined instead of enjoyed.

Shame does get very hard for those of us living with HIV (I tried to write a column that doesn't bring HIV in, honestly...) . Shame, fear, self-loathing, a sense of being dirty and somehow wrong. Not to mention completely sexually unattractive. And from my observations, the more deeply religious the childhood background, the more shame and sense of sin that comes to the surface.

But we HIV+ poofs can have, and deserve to have just as rich and satisfying a sex life as anyone else. Living with HIV does not mean that we must now automatically commit to a life of celibacy. This has long been one of the core claims that AIDS activists have made. We are still human. We are still hot. We are still shaggable. We are still lovable.We are still horny.

And we have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Yet so many of us act as though we do. So many HIV+ guys are terrified of admitting their status, of the stigma that goes with the diagnosis. And I understand, that stigma is real. But I suggest the only was we are going to get over it, or get our peers over it really, is to be more visible. The number of HIV+ gay men is going up every year. Your chances of coming across one of us (pun intended) are higher than ever. Yet so many of us are paralysed with fear over rejection, over labels, over that sense that we have somehow done wrong by becoming HIV+. We haven't done anything wrong. In fact, we have nothing to be ashamed of. It's a bummer, it's shitty, it's not what you'd want, but it's nothing to be ashamed of either.

The more visible those of us are with HIV, I think the better things will be. Think of the Mental Health Foundation's "Like Minds" campaign, or the brilliant and public campaign that Positive Women ran last year. Visibility, when you're ready, helps: shame and hiding cripple us.

And so back to sex. And the recent discussions around the responsibilities of poz guys to disclose their status every time. The idea that it is the responsibility of poz men to always disclose is superficially tempting, but I think ultimately self-defeating. So many guys with the virus simply don't know they have it. If you get men making their sexual choices along the lines of "He told me so he must be neg" they will have plenty of opportunity to increase thier risks of infection. Far better to leave the brutal but simple message we have: "Use a condom and lube every time".

Because, we will continue to have sex, poz and neg men alike. Some will disclose, most will not. Many simply won't know. But if we all wrap it up, we can all have fun safely. And that beats the alternative.