That Piece About Gay Men, Sex And The Sex Police

That Piece About Gay Men, Sex And The Sex Police

Written by Noel Michelson and originally published on huffingtonpost.com with the title ‘I’m A Gay Man Who Loves Sex (And Here’s Why That’s Suddenly A Problem)’

*

Oh the hours – the afternoons! The days! The weekends! – I have spent looking for and having sex. And oh, the incomparable joy it’s brought me!

But you’re not really that shocked, are you? Of course you’re not. After all, gay men have always had a bit of a reputation when it comes to sex. And why not? Unbridled by the restraints of “traditional” relationships and (until very recently) solely straight institutions like marriage and the nuclear family, we’ve long enjoyed the pursuit of sexual relations whenever, wherever, however and with whomever we could get our sweaty gay mitts on.

Even in the face of AIDS, which has ravaged our community and caused so many gay men – myself included – to tragically equate sex with death, we didn’t stop looking for opportunities to get off, we just found ways to do it more safely.

No, pleasure has never been a dirty word for us, though many of our straight counterparts (who are, let’s admit, equally interested in the same wondrous carnal arts but, thanks to our society’s sturdy puritan mores, remain unable or forbidden to indulge in them or at the very least admit they secretly do indulge in them) may wish it otherwise.

And in some ways, I’m actually fine with that. As much as I want straights to join us in ushering in a brave new age of sexual liberation, I understand that change takes time and that thanks to a whole bunch of heady terms (think: religion, sexism, patriarchy) it’s not as easy for them to partake in sex the way that gay men historically have.

But you know what I can’t understand, and furthermore, won’t stand for? Other gays playing sex police – and it is starting to happen more and more.

Example A: A New York Times article entitled “Chelsea’s Risqué Businesses” from earlier this year, which highlights a number of gay parents living in what is perhaps one of the most famously gay neighborhoods in the world and who are now lamenting the fact that their children have to grow up just feet away from sex shops.

Some in the article worry about the storefronts’ mannequins with their “bulging crotches,” condoms strewn across the neighborhood’s sidewalks and the daunting task of having to explain ads for a lubricant called “Boy Butter” to their kids. But here’s a radical idea: How about instead of demonizing sex and the people who are looking for it and having it, we demonize our society that labels the sight of a bulging crotch (plastic or otherwise) as indecent and embarrassing and threatening. And, if you’ll permit me just one more humble suggestion, how about we tell our kids exactly what Boy Butter is and why it exists and stop acting like it’s something to be ashamed of? (I’ll save my full rant about sex education for another time.)

Now that we can get married and queer people having children is becoming more and more accepted, it seems we’ve forgotten that sexual liberation has always been, in my mind at least, a cornerstone of queer liberation. And it seems some queers think we’ve just been having all of this sex and pushing back against all of these sexual boundaries for all of these years as just another way to pass the time until we could become just like straight people. Like, “Hmm. We can’t get married yet. What should we do in the meantime? Needlepoint? Nah. Competitive baking? No. Oh, I’ve got it! Let’s get off!”

As if the New York Times article isn’t bad enough, earlier this week, in an op-ed for Elite Daily, Thomas Caramanno felt compelled to rail against “certain gay men who objectify other men and change sex partners as frequently as their 2(x)ist underwear” and who are giving a bad name to the gay men who “are currently in, or are actively pursuing, romantic relationships, [and] revere notions of monogamy and family.”

Caramanno is disturbed by “the male gaze” and the way that he has been groped in gay clubs and “eyed by guys the way a hungry CrossFitter stares down a packet of bacon” (which, if you ask me, sounds pretty hot) but most shocking to him is that he’s “been told by some men that this behavior is normal, acceptable and even desirable” (oh boy, he’s just going to love this piece, isn’t he?).

Ultimately, he wants us to “strive to attach a different kind of value to sex, one that does not use it as the sole basis of our collective identify and mode of communication,” which, when you peel away the hyperbole (because, as much as I love sex, it’s obviously not the sole basis of my identity or mode of communication), is essentially exactly what so many of our straight counterparts want from us. And he’s not alone. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard other queers saying things like “isn’t it time we grow up and stop wearing jock straps on Pride floats?” or “how are we supposed to demand equal rights if we can’t stop being so promiscuous?” And all of that kind of thinking is… well… aside from reeking of sexphobia and internalized homophobia… just plain gross.

I believe sex is a gift that allows us to connect with others (and ourselves) for a night, for a lifetime or just for 25 minutes during our lunch break. I believe sex and pleasure are nothing short of magical and transformative. I believe queer people have been appointed by some higher power to help change the way that our society thinks about sex. And I refuse to believe that just because queer people are increasingly being folded into the mainstream, we should give up fighting for all of the things we’ve been fighting for all these years. The goal has never been to get the same rights as non-queer people so we could be just like non-queer people, even though some, like Caramanno, might argue otherwise. We’re supposed to be leading by example and showing that sex is not scary, sex is not dirty, sex doesn’t need to be with just one partner and in a healthy, happy society, sex should be an important and inspiring way of connecting with one another. If I had it my way, we’d have sex shops in every neighborhood right next to the local McDonald’s and we’d talk about sex in every school and we wouldn’t give films with sexual content NC-17 ratings while slapping PG-13 ratings on mind-numbingly violent films.

But for those of you who are already headed to the comments section below to tell me you love sex, you just think it’s something that should be kept private, that’s fine. I don’t need to see you on XTube being bent over your IKEA coffee table (though I’ll watch if you want to send me a link). But there’s a difference between privacy and a refusal to accept, understand and discuss sex as the natural, beautiful (and, yes, ridiculously hot and thrilling and sometimes raunchy) event it should be.

Can you be queer and want a monogamous relationship and two kids and a chocolate labradoodle curled up at the end of your bed where you have sex once a week in the missionary position after the 10:30 rerun of “Seinfeld” has aired? Of course you can. And I’m still fighting for your right to be able to do that. Sexual liberation comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes and flavors and we should all be able to do whatever we want (as long as everyone involved is consenting and no one is being hurt – unless they are asking to be). But the second you start telling me that I’m a bad guy – and what’s more, a bad gay guy – if I don’t “revere notions of the family and monogamy,” we’ve got a big problem.

So, let’s make a deal: I won’t ask you to have more sex with more people or have sex the same way that I have sex or wear a jockstrap in public or visit a sex shop or try Boy Butter. But you have to stop telling me and everyone else that it’s unsavory to want sex simply for sex’s sake or how it is or isn’t OK to find it or how often it’s OK to want it and with whom and where. When you do that, you’re buying into the same broken nightmare we’ve been fighting against for years.

Instead, let’s welcome the stunning progress that we’ve recently made with open arms and unzipped pants. We can get married, we can have children, we can be upstanding members of society, and we can still happily and proudly get our brains fucked out as hard and as often as we want by as many people as we want without being blamed for ruining everything for everyone.

OK? OK!

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  1. ken
    August 18, 06:12 Reply

    Sex sex sex! If I have to guess, I would say this is the work of a POWER BOTTOM!

    While the freedom to fuck anything that moves can be so intoxicating, unfortunately there are always consequences for sex. Its designed to make relatnships stronger or completely annihilate the relationship.
    I think, with the way gay men jump from bed to bed, many are going to end up alone, sick or with a nasty notoriety!

    • Pink Panther
      August 18, 06:17 Reply

      ken, you’re combining two separate issues here. The writer is not supporting cheating. He actually does say those who want to be in relationships should be — and those who simply want to have fun should not be stigmatized for it. 🙂

      • ken
        August 18, 06:36 Reply

        Er…but I wasn’t refering to cheating either. more like whoring uncontrollably…….

        • ambivalentone
          August 18, 08:33 Reply

          not just whoring. The dude wouldn’t mind them serving sex at restaurants morning, noon and night…oh. enkayced said that already. Nobody is demonizing sex but there is something called restraint. The dude most def doesn’t know it. If he does, he most definitely doesn’t av it.

    • Pink Panther
      August 18, 06:49 Reply

      Heheheheee!!!! Chestnut, shebi if Tiercel begins to talk about that spoon you like stirring soup-pot with, you’ll start complaining.

      • #Chestnut
        August 18, 07:31 Reply

        @PP: spoon? Soup-pot? Moi? *innocent stare* d only spoon I have is d spoon I’m using to spread my BUTTER *ahem* on my bread…

    • Max
      August 18, 11:40 Reply

      I yaff come and I yaff seen oh. This is absolute total rubbish.
      There’s something called restraint.
      If I start doing all the things I have the urge for, it’ll be a disaster.

  2. #Chestnut
    August 18, 06:49 Reply

    It’s obvious that this writer has a genuine enjoyment for sex sha; sex shop in EVERY neighbourhood? I didn’t even think it was that serious,lol.

  3. pete
    August 18, 07:05 Reply

    Why was I nodding my head in agreement with the writer?

    • Max
      August 18, 11:41 Reply

      Do we really need to remind you why?

  4. Dennis Macaulay
    August 18, 07:48 Reply

    **off to Max’s house with coffee and pancakes, we are having breakie on the patio**

  5. enKayced
    August 18, 07:55 Reply

    #Chestnut and Pete, you both need to come to me for some ‘D’liverance.
    You have both been naughty.
    I get that the writer wouldn’t like others to judge single guys for having unbridled, uninhibited fun, Yes!
    It’s also nice to remember that sex connects 2(or more) people in a certain way that only sex can.
    Trivializing sex as a perfect lunch/Tea/Coffee break pastime will only lead to a lot more broken hearts, relationships and increase distrust astronomically.
    I wouldn’t judge my friends for having too much sex, whether ‘straight’ or ‘bent’ but I wouldn’t practice it either.
    You mustn’t spread your Butter on every Bread.
    Tanchu *drops mic*

    • Pink Panther
      August 18, 08:28 Reply

      But if those involved understand that they are having sex for sex’s sake, and not for any attachments, there won’t be much broken hearts, relationships and increased distrust now, would there?

      • Max
        August 18, 11:43 Reply

        And how many of those ppl do we have exactly?
        I mean people who can separate casual sex from their emotions?

      • Tiercel de Claron
        August 18, 13:15 Reply

        Can one truly have sex for sex’ sake?.Is there really any such thing?.
        Like it or not,sex connects and when we willfully break that connection or disregard it,we lose bits of ourselves.Bits of those things that make us human,higher than other animals

      • Tiercel de Claron
        August 18, 13:17 Reply

        Btw,unbridled sex comes with its own consequences,physical or otherwise.Let’s also not lose sight of that.

        • Keredim
          August 18, 13:52 Reply

          Yup TdC, it’s possible to have sex for having sex sake. It’s called “hook up” or “NSA” – No strings Attached sex. That’s why we have fuck buddies. And yes something leaves you when you have sex, it’s called “spunk” or “cum”. It’s a joyful release. Achievable also when you wank, but not as fulfilling as when done with someone (or others) at the same time.
          The phenomenon is as present as breathing.

          • Tiercel de Claron
            August 18, 14:09 Reply

            Stop clowning,Kere.One is being serious here.
            Think deeply about the questions I asked,let’s see if you’ll come up with same set of answers again.
            Btw,about your hookups,NSAs and whatnots,I’ve carried water and I’ve carried wine,I certainly know which is heavier.

            • Keredim
              August 18, 15:19 Reply

              I have thought about it, TdC and I concede that there are emotions involved. But it depends on how you handle them? Do you let them cripple you, so that you are always pining for the “hook up” or are they just momentary fleeting emotions?

              The key is in your rebuttal to my comment….”think deeply….” If you don’t allow yourself fall deeply, you can have NSA.
              And for the record I don’t drink. I only carry water…. It’s all in the “form” – the way you carry water.

              • Tiercel de Claron
                August 18, 17:10 Reply

                And when one forces oneself not to think those bits of emotions,you lose yourself bit by bit until you wake up one day and realize there’s nothing left.One is left hollow,a husk.The momentary gratification is really not worth it.The flames of passion may burn hot and bright,but in the end all that’s left of it is cold ash.
                Sex is good,when done rightly,with the right person(s) and at right times too.Indiscriminate sex/whoring around…………let me leave that particular sermon to Max to expound on.

                The water and wine thing,that’s an Igbo proverb btw.Use your teeth to count your tongue.

                • Keredim
                  August 18, 18:09 Reply

                  Sigh, clearly our attitudes to sex are not aligned and that is fine. You are chaste and I am not.” Whoring around” and by extension “feeling hollow” after the deed, is all relative.

                  We don’t all have the same sexual appetite, we don’t have to and that’s alright. but it doesn’t mean those that have a higher sex drive are destined for eternal misery and loneliness.

                  Thanks for pointing out the Igbo water carrying proverb. I was trying to put a twist on it, but clearly it didn’t land well.
                  Regarding the second proverb, I may not be vast in Igbo proverbs, but I think the tongue and teeth thing is the other way round. But what do I know….

                  • Tiercel de Claron
                    August 18, 18:21 Reply

                    Hey,no one is talking about who is chaste and who is not here.Leastways,not me.
                    The water and wine bit says I’ve tasted of both fruits,I know which is to my palate’s liking.
                    All I’m trying to say is moderation and restraint are important,too much of anything being bad.

                    Oh,the second proverb……..that’s my own twist to it.
                    Hehehe

          • keredim
            August 18, 20:06 Reply

            TdC let others taste what you have tasted and make the decision for themselves.

            If you had stressed moderation in the first place instead of “slut-shaming” (yes you did) then I may not have picked up on it.

      • Ace
        August 18, 14:44 Reply

        In as much as we try to separate sex from our feelings, it is always difficult. We may not be totally emotionally attached but we can’t deny there is a itsy bitsy emotionality that comes into play.

    • #Chestnut
      August 18, 11:52 Reply

      Enkayced,wetin I do u nau? I’m actually truly innocent…(This time)

  6. Keredim
    August 18, 08:19 Reply

    Well written article. Anyone who says sex is overrated clearly isn’t getting any or isn’t doing it right.
    And I hope, the KDian who asked me to keep my clothes on on FB, reads the article. Read and learn!

    • Mandy
      August 18, 08:48 Reply

      *gasp* Someone asked u to put on some clothes? To cover up all that sinful chocolate gorgeousness? Who is that bagger?!

    • #Chestnut
      August 18, 11:51 Reply

      Keredim, as soon as I got the “thrust” of the article,I just knew it was going to give u LIFE! Lol

    • Max
      August 18, 11:44 Reply

      Of course Dennis, of course.
      it caters to your needs.

      Of course… We know

  7. Mandy
    August 18, 08:47 Reply

    I think you guys are missing the thrust of this write-up. Which for me is here where the writer said:
    ‘But there’s a difference between privacy and a refusal to accept, understand and discuss sex as the natural, beautiful (and yes, ridiculously hot and thrilling and sometimes raunchy) event it should be.’

    Sex is not dirty, that’s what the writer is trying to say. Stop policing those who just want to have sex. Different things work for different people.

  8. JustJames
    August 18, 08:48 Reply

    Well this is a pleasant surprise pinky.. You know what I mean.

  9. Uziel
    August 18, 09:00 Reply

    I really didn’t want to get into this one, but I just couldn’t help it. The author is doing it again: pushing the boundary of freedom and morality. Yes, sex is a great and all, but there is a price to be paid for the kinda freedom he is advocating for. I don’t know how many of us have kids in our lives and are intimate with them, but the fact is that exposure to sex like this, DOES affect them; mostly in a negative way. Whatever you think, these people aren’t adults. They don’t have our bank of knowledge to sift through sensations and form a healthy perception. Heck, look at how these things affect us and wonder what they do to a five yeasts old mind.

    Sex education is great and helpful. But exposure to sex isn’t. Honestly explaining what a confirm and lube is to a child is horrible (yes, I have done some of that, unfortunately) and it opens a big can of cankerworm that unnecessarily makes the hold curious about something he can’t handle.

    Let me put it this way, imagine yourself as a kid. What would these images, this much knowledge, what would it have done to you? Do you think you would have turned out differently? How differently? What would you think about sex as you grow up if you knew all these stuff then?

    Granted. Change is permanent. The next generation is going to know more about sex than we did. But what is the price? And are we/they ready to pay it?

    • Dennis Macaulay
      August 18, 09:22 Reply

      Sweetie I worked in a school a while back! You will be shocked to find out how much sex kids are having, from as early as 11.

      These children are fucking more than you can imagine. They had porn on their phones! It was an eye opener for me.

      So I am a big advocate of educating them because they will most likely do it anyways. Teach them to make safe choices that’s all

      • Uziel
        August 18, 09:38 Reply

        I am a big fan of sex education. It’s sex exposure that I have a problem with.

        And maybe, it is our fault that our kids are turning out like this? I mean, where did these kids learn about sex in the first place? Not by spiritual ministration, I suppose. There is profiration of porn everywhere. Movies, music, Internet, and at home. Sex is so everywhere that kids cant run from it. This is a whole different matter. But my point is, i don’t care how much sex someone is having, as long as it isn’t exposed to kids. Shrug.

      • Façade
        August 18, 11:05 Reply

        When u have kids, give them a promo pack of condoms n boy butter n tell tell me how perfect they turn out later in life

      • Façade
        August 18, 11:05 Reply

        When u have kids, give them a promo pack of condoms n boy butter n tell tell me how perfect they turn out later in life

  10. Rev; Hot
    August 18, 09:58 Reply

    I sincerely don’t like this post……

  11. Max
    August 18, 11:38 Reply

    This is a load of crap, clearly written by a thirsty hoe. Tufiakwa.

    • Keredim
      August 18, 11:58 Reply

      Max, do I sense dash of (wait for it) “internalised homophobia” in your comment?

      PS : I still hate that phrase

      • Max
        August 18, 12:25 Reply

        *tongue out*..
        You’re gonna be hearing that phrase more often. So get ready.

  12. Vhar.
    August 18, 11:53 Reply

    If you talk about fucking in Public, people say you’re dirty. But if you sit at a bar with buddies on a Friday night, gulping beers and talking about the price of a bag of garri, it’s cool abi? Iranu.

    The behaviour of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his/her other modes of reaction to life.
    I believe that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were made known to us all, would not leave surprise and horror etched on our faces.

    My mother told me that life isn’t always about pleasing myself and that sometimes I have to do things for the sole benefit of another human being. And I couldn’t agree more. In the end, I had to remind her that that’s what blow jobs are for.

    And seeing as God made humans sexual creatures, it simply saddens me when I come across people that police others that require no one’s permission to engage themselves continuously in this beautiful natural gift called sex..

    I’ve come across gentlemen who are gentlemen in bed. They make sure you’re having a good time. I’ll make sure you’re having a good time, and that you’re okay with everything. I just won’t be well-mannered about. Sex is only dirty when it’s done right!!!

    If sex were shoes, I’ll wear you out.
    It’s my shoe, I am the shoe.
    And if it doesn’t please you, you can like to walk around barefooted!

  13. Diablo
    August 18, 18:29 Reply

    Is this justification for being promiscuous? And if it is, i am not buying it. The writer has failed to make a distinction bwtn sex as and act and promiscuity.

    If i have sex with one partner that i am exclusive with, a 100 times a day, no one should have a problem with that. But if i have sex with multiple partners , most of which i barely know, then thats when its questionable and really is behavior that shouldnt be justified in any way.

    Sex is too intimate an act to be shared with just anyone. That’s how i see it now. If we are mindful about where we spread our undies then should’nt we be mindful abt who we share our bodies with, which are of much greater value.

    It’s all about being principled and growing up. As much as I might meet a guy and want him to fuck me to smithereens, I’m more interested in his person than his dick side. Which is the ultimate deciding factor, atleast for me.

    Most often, promiscuous people have a low sense of self worth. If you see your self more than a body with orifices for people to unload into, then you wouldn’t be too quick to jump on the next available pole. This is not me sex policing. It’s stating fact

    • Diablo
      August 18, 18:34 Reply

      An* size* sorry, in a cramped up BRT, exhausted from work and wondering when this bus jumping life would end

    • Max
      August 18, 19:59 Reply

      Well, I’m impressed with your comment.
      🙂

  14. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    August 18, 19:12 Reply

    It’s like this guy one woke up that day and wanted to annoy max…

    … Nice piece. I like very much … Too onpoint.

    He was merely saying “live and let live” in a different context.

  15. Max
    August 18, 20:01 Reply

    From the comments today, I can clearly say I’m impressed with most KDians.
    #TDC
    #Diablo

    • Diablo
      August 18, 20:15 Reply

      Why, thank you Maxine. I can see we are getting along just fine these days.

      • Tiercel de Claron
        August 18, 21:47 Reply

        Hahahahaha
        Max turned out a demmed likeable young man,soon as he cast aside all that “bitter cola” he’d been “chewing”
        Ehen Maxie,saying you’d become likeable doesn’t mean I won’t be on your case sooner than you say jack,should you start overdoing that your authoritative I-know-it-all-though-I-know-very-little thingy you used to do

        • Max
          August 19, 07:12 Reply

          Hahahaha hahahaha. Well, I’m mostly happy these days, thank you.

  16. Jeova Sanctus Unus
    August 18, 22:36 Reply

    So much coming from the same people asking for equality;
    For the same people asking not to be discriminated against based on who they love;
    For the same people asking not to be judged based on individual/collective moral compasses;
    The same people demanding to be accepted.

    This war against sex, who are we fighting it for, the same people having the unrestricted sex??

    Sex education isn’t sex practicals. Kids have different ages. Questions a 10 year old will have are different from questions a 15 year old will have. Kids don’t get damaged when they have sex. We all did. Sex education teaches kids to practice safer sex when they get to the ages of having sex. Other animals mount each other whenever their reach that level of development. Simple nature.

    I have lots of sex, you don’t. It didn’t stop me from finding love and being faithful. I’m single now and having lots of sex….and you still aren’t.
    Did your low libido save a life??
    Did my high libido waste a life??
    The only way to find out is for us to live in peace to avoid choking hazard each other out.

    Thanks.

    • Max
      August 19, 07:24 Reply

      You just interpreted the piece the way you want. The writer failed to make it clear about what msg he was trying to pass across.
      I believe in sex education.
      I for one hate it when kids refer to body parts with pet names.
      At first I got what he was trying to say, but at some point he derailed. Started endorsing hoeism.
      @JSU, you’re welcome to fuck your brains out.

  17. Queen Mother
    August 19, 07:34 Reply

    This post sef. Why am I not buying or selling it? The writer crampled a lot of issues here that can give one a migraine. Whatever floats your boat, stick to it.

    BTW Sex can only be appreciated, wholehartedly for what it is, in progressive societies, not this one we live in. Please I have a deadline to meet. Sex.

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