I was trying to think of the last time I spent the whole night with a guy, going to bed, fucking, and waking up together - it's been a while. So long in fact that I can't remember. It's not that I haven't been having sex - I have. But actually sleeping with someone - that is something that happens rarely. It seems to me that in the past it used to happen much more. You'd go out, pick up, go back to his or your place, and stay the night - it was common in my youth. Maybe in the morning there'd be an embarassing rush for clothes and insincere mumbles about seeing each other again, or maybe you'd have coffee, meet the flatmates, and go. But staying the night was normal. Perhaps it's just me, but now it's not really part of my life.
I realised that sleeping with a man is now a much greater act of intimacy for me than fucking with one, which is a little strange, but when I think about it, maybe it's not that weird.
I know that my life isn't a replica of how all gay men behave, but I'm not that unusual either, and a lot of us do have a lot of sex, and often with a lot of different guys. It's fun - shit, when it's good it's a hell of a lot of fun. Sex is revealing too, it shows a lot about who you are, fantasies, reactions to things, good sex needs you to be comfortable and happy in your skin. We open ourselves to another, we make ourselves vulnerable. But it isn't always emotionally intimate, even though physically you can't get much more intimate than getting your dick up some guy or having his up you.
There is something lovely about lying there, holding and touching and another guy as I drift off. I don't like sleeping all cuddled up though, I need some space, but I love that feeling of drowsily brushing up against a man's body in the middle of the night, the slight touch, then rolling over and drifitng off again. And there is a special intimacy to lying there with a lover, holding hands, touching, talking about the deep stuff, together, naked in bed, as sleep rolls in and you both drift off.
So I guess it's not surprising to me that I do this so rarely now. Who do I trust enough to open myself up to so much? Who do I love enough to bring into my life this way? At the moment, no-one.
And it brings me back to that point, that central defining issue for me about being a gay man. That is, it's not the sex that makes me gay, it's that I want to share my love with another man. The sex is just the easy part, the fun part, but it's not the same as love. And for me, being gay isn't about who I fuck, it's about who I love. And who I sleep with.
Speaker: We shouldn’t have to look back on those moments and think: I was lucky - “It’s not a gender issue.” If you’ve read any online comments since Grace Millane’s horrific murder, you’ve no doubt seen that one. “And don’t meet Tinder...
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