The Curse of Casual Sex

June 1, 2009

I have worked as a mental health counselor for gay men for 24 years both in private practice and in public clinical settings. For the past twelve years I have offered pastoral counseling as part of my role as spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based in traditional Hindu Tantra. What follows is a distillation of decades of experience both personal and professional, during which time I have corresponded with gay men all over the world from whom I have heard essentially the same lament expressed in numerous variations: Why can’t I find a man serious about forming an intimate relationship? I write this with the full understanding that casual sex has been and continues to be a norm in gay society, so I expect some readers will disagree with my characterization of casual sex as a curse. I admit I have participated in this aspect of our gay culture from my very first sexual experience 34 years ago, though always with reservations, if not always with restraint.  I believe my considerable experience over the past decades qualifies me to share my observations and judgments about what I have found to be the net negative aspects of casual sex despite the inherent pleasures of sex, about which there is nearly universal agreement. I ask only that the reader consider my points carefully before forming any conclusions.

First off, I think that sex, which is an inherently intimate act, can never be entirely casual. By this I mean that sex involves a comingling of physical, emotional, and possibly even spiritual elements that carries consequences for everyone involved far beyond the encounter itself. At the physical level, unless one avoids any contact with bodily fluids, there is always the possibility of transmission of disease, whether relatively mild, as in the case of a cold or mild flu, relatively serious, as in the case of HIV, syphilis, or gonorrhea, or chronic and incurable, as in the case of herpes, hepatitis, and HIV. It is all too easy in moments of intense, mutual attraction, especially if one is impaired by alcohol or other drugs, to simply ignore potential risks and go for the immediate pleasure and hope for the best.  Having experienced health consequences in all three of the above categories, I can testify to the lasting effects of sexual encounters I considered casual at the time. My curse is taking handfuls of pills daily to stay alive and relatively healthy with some unpleasant side effects, though I’m happy to have the pills, as not having them was far worse. I don’t expect this information will change anyone’s behavior, since more than two decades of HIV/STD education have mostly failed to prevent many gay men from taking risks in order to experience fleeting pleasures. But I do use this information to challenge the notion that sex can ever be considered casual, any more than playing Russian roulette with a loaded pistol can be considered a casual sport.

Although sexual sharing clearly need not flow from love—indeed, it can just as easily be motivated by hatred or the desire to feel powerful or attractive—it is only through an act of deadening oneself to one’s feelings to some degree that one can fail to experience any emotional consequence of a sexual encounter. The payoff of deadening one’s feelings, of course, is immediate gratification of a powerful, instinctive urge with no further thought needed. The cost of deadening one’s feelings is a diminished capacity to feel anything and a consequent difficulty initiating and maintaining intimate relationships that require one to be in touch with one’s own and one’s partner’s feelings. This fact should give pause to those who indicate in their dating profiles that they are seeking a long-term relationship but are willing to hook up or play around in the meantime. When you habitually deaden your feelings to treat the intimate sex act as something casual, you create an emotional habit that in time becomes a personality style that may be impossible to turn on or off at will. Those who claim they are not interested in long-term relationships often have been so damaged emotionally already by loveless, “casual” encounters and disappointments in love, that they simply stop trying and convince themselves that they don’t really need anyone special. Being unwilling or unable to love certainly is a curse in my book, and Freud considered this a key symptom of mental illness. (“Zu lieben und zu arbeiten,” “To love and to work,” was Freud’s definition of mental health.) In a culture that glorifies casual sex, as popular gay culture does, it should not surprise us to find some form(s) of mental illness normative.

None of what I’ve written should be used to beat ourselves up or to fire blanket criticisms at gay people; we get beat up enough by family and society as it is. I offer these observations as an invitation to sober reflection on the possibility that better, healthier, more-fulfilling ways of relating to one another are available to us than those that have become normal in our subculture. It is no accident that loveless, casual sex developed as a norm in a subculture deprived of the healthy routes of psychosexual development taken for granted by our het peers. Imagine if there were no stigma attached to homosexuality, and we were free and even encouraged by family, friends, society, and religion to experiment with dating in adolescence according to our natural tendencies. Imagine bringing our first crush home to eager, approving parents, or friends of our parents offering to arrange a date with their same-sex child. Imagine dating with het and gay friends with no shred of a sense that either het or gay feelings are superior or inferior. Imagine religious leaders citing the story of David and Jonathan in the Bible as admirable models of romantic love. Imagine not having to fight tooth and nail to win rights other citizens enjoy without a second thought. Would some of us still seek casual sexual encounters under these circumstances? Almost certainly some would, as some of our het peers do. But I argue they would not be accepted as normal, much less glorified.

My brothers (and sisters, if some of you are also reading this), I urge you to take the next step in liberating yourselves from the oppression of homophobia and abandon patterns of dysfunctional sexual behavior that developed in gay society under the pressures of pervasive, emotionally toxic homophobia. At the very least let us stop treating one another as objects to be used once and discarded like disposable syringes. For every time we treat someone this way, we perpetuate the cycle of emotional hurt and numbing of feeling that cripples our ability to love and poisons our community. There is no doubt that dating and taking the time to know someone before jumping in the sack, i.e., letting the physical intimacy develop naturally from emotional intimacy, requires some personal discipline and the willingness to delay gratification. But I believe the payoff in loving, more-fulfilling relationships and mutual caring is more than worth the effort. My experience tells me the sex will be better, too.

Tags: Relationships, Sex, Communication, Intimacy
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Post written by William Schindler (View Author Profile)
About this author: William Schindler, a.k.a., Brother William, founder and Spiritual Director of Ashram West, obtained a B.A. in Sanskrit from UC Berkeley (1975), where he also studied Hindi and Bengali, and a Master's degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University (1986). He has been studying and practicing traditional Hindu Tantra since 1969...
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Comments

I read your piece with great interest because it's a subject that has perplexed me since coming out 15 years ago from a monogamous het marriage (upon my wife's rapid decline and death from cancer). I understand the urges--we all have them--I ignored them amazingly well during my marriage. Then I did my adolescent thing, while raising two teenagers at home and living in conservative suburbia with the country club and the Rotary club.... I find now that I'm always looking over my partner's shoulder (so to speak) wondering if there's something better or if I'm missing out. Intellectually, I know this is bogus but it's probably a consequence of coming out (into the candy shop) after years of not allowing myself to let go and cheat. Though I haven't cheated on my partner after over a year together I would like to....I'd like an open relationship inspite of seeing what a dismal track record they have....but he has strong values and would be deeply wounded should I even bring up the subject. Thank you for the thought provoking questions you raise....and for urging us to great self-awareness.

Ok, first off, fuck Freud in his overrated, patriarchical asshole. Can we be sure love is not just an illusion, a trick played on us by tradition, centuries of mythologizing, and a residue of 80 years of movies and 60 of television's happily-ever-after fairy telling? Are we really bound to rise above the 'damage' that has been done to us by family and society, only to join them in the ranks of monogamous, puritanical faithfulness? Is marriage really the goal? Is someone who has lost the ability to believe in the possibility of love really mentally ill? Are all happily single people insane?

This is not an argument for casual sex, I'm just seriously confused about the direction you are going with this. I don't think love is for everyone. I don't think sex is for everyone. There are many gay men in the world who will have neither. Some will only have sex. The lucky ones who get both will continue to preach about how everyone should be like them or they will ruin the community, disgrace the 'law-abiding' homos with their queer, polygamous perversions. They will brag about their soulmate and spout off every cliche thing about love a straight person has ever recorded. They will exchange vows, rings, pay for a party and a honeymoon and be subject to every problem straight people deal with, which will give their lives a brand-new sense of familiarity since they have been forced to process these things: divorce, cheating, infidelity, chastity etc. in a straight paradigm all their lives.

I suppose there needs to be a spectrum set from monogamous fidelity to reckless emotionless casual sex. Oranize these terms on a scale of desirability, to yourself and the queer community.
Monogamous fidelity, monogamous infidelity, polygamous fidelity, polygamous infidelity, open honest monogamy, open dishonest monogamy, partner-swapping, 'seeking a third', seriously dating, casually dating, single and looking, single and not looking, hookups, public sex, phone sex, webcamming, looking at profiles.

Brilliant <3

Thanks Champ, you are getting much closer to hitting that proverbial nail on the head. Who the hell invented the "measuring stick" here? Pay close attention - I don't want the relationship of my parents, it is not in my expectation. I am not a woman and do not plan to have a relationship with a man who expresses the needs of a woman. Two men in a relationship WILL be very different. You only need to look to Biology of all animals. Men spill their seed - here there, everywhere - women feel the need to pick from the right gene pool and make a nest at home - and then stop having sex. Stop trying to push men into that mold.

True love will come with acceptance for being EXACTLY who we are. We want fun sex. We're Men, it's what we do. I will be loyal to one man - I will be there in the hospital if he's sick, I'll beat the crap outta anyone who tried to harm him, I'll watch movies, make dinner, lead the conversation, hold his hand, point out a songbird, help pay the bills, clean the house - we are love and love each other. Sex - getting your cock to shoot a load of cum - has little to do with it. Yeah, it's fun for the first 5 years when you're real sexually turned on only by each other but prepare yourself for the inevetible. As painful as it appears, we're all gonna wanna have fun and fill stiffeled when we can't have fun. Do all those things that a loyal partner does but also, cheer your buddy on for getting a blowjob from a cute cub. It can be as simple as that.

If you believe the endgoal is a happy life with a true partner you can share all of life's joys with and someone you can depend on I say let go of the jealousy around sex and stop using it as a weapon. When you think back on the TV shows and celebrities who advocate leaving a man for an adulterous sexcapade it makes me wonder where that lunacy got started. I certainly hope as gay men we can accept our unique sexuality and make it a wonderful thing and not a burden.

OK... I like Freud, and I think his work was brilliant, and to call him "patriarchal" is tantamount to saying he has a beard. He was the effect of his times as much as we are, but his work was metaphorical and deeply thoughtful and opened up a new paradigm of inquiry that has changed our world like it or not. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Same goes for this concept of "emotionless sex." Sex driven by a need to obviate pain or validate worthlessness is hardly emotionless. Our journey in the dark is as worthwhile as what can be spoken of in the light of day. It's all good my brothers. In this universe of dichotomies, we simply can't truly know something without knowing its opposite. Freedom to get it wrong and make mistakes is paramount to our ability to comprehend life and continue to invent a happy one for ourselves. No culture or subculture can truly define what a happy life should be.

Could you help me Friends!.
I am from Madagascar and too poorly know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Free dating services stay away from them.The website will provide a dating service with male seeking a male; or female seeking a female; options, the attorney general; office said in a statement."

With love :), Ellery.

"Why can’t I find a man serious about forming an intimate relationship"? Because everyone is only trolling for ass and in those pursuits, any true "husband material" that crosses their path they brush off as "not being their type", "being too far away", or what have you! As much of an ass I sound saying that, that's the cold, hard truth I've learned in my years of seeking a relationship.

In the 7 years I've been out, I've had a 2 year relationship. Yes, that's a good, long relationship; yes, that is an accomplishment for someone my age (21). But that's not what I'm looking for. I'm look for one that will stretch on and tap the Reaper's shoulder. Of course, and here's the REAL kicker, when I try expressing that to others in the gay community, I'm equated to a woman... Yeah, nothing like being called a pussy by your fellow gay man, is there?

I'm really sorry for sounding angry and jaded here, but that's the (very little) wisdom I've accumulated in my short lifespan.

Ya raise a good point, Fenrir. Why is it that when a gay man expresses an interest in long-term relationship, he's equated to a woman? Frankly, I believe you're being handed shit because of your age. 'He's 21,' they say, 'He should be sowing his wild oats, not thinking about a long-term relationship.' And they treat you according to their own prejudices about relationship and being gay, on and on and on. After all, we're not straight, we're gay -- we don't have long-term, monogamous relationships; that's what straight people do. We're promiscuous, question monogamy, and congratulate ourselves for being forward-thinking and modern.

Fenrir, it would make me very happy if, the next time someone belittles you for expressing your interest in something long-term, you'd kick him in the nuts and tell him to fook off.

Deke

It just means your smart enough; ahead of the curve, you know what you want, and hopefully it will keep you healthy, less partners, less chance of infections. Don't you listen to the, 'mob- mentality' either, stay on your own smart path! I'm 48yrs and I've lost all my friends to aids, they were very promiscuous; they would ask me, "what are you savin' it for?" Life has been answering that question ever since.

Next time you hear that comment about your supposedly being a 'woman' for wanting a long term relationship, pause a bit, maybe take a breath and let go of any anger toward the person saying that, then look him in the eye and say,

"No. I'm a real man, I'm comfortable being how I am, and I know what I want."

If you don't feel prepared to debate further, just say,

"It seems we don't agree. I can only speak for myself, and I know what I want."

thats due to others trying to justify they're need to get u in bed

Interesting essay. I've long thought that there is no such thing as safe sex; there is always an emotional component involved, and that makes sex 'unsafe', for want of a better word. Sex is a drive toward intimacy, not procreation. I do not agree that the lack of intimacy among gay men is a symptom of homophobia, internalized or otherwise. I believe it is a direct result of Stonewall, of the gay liberation movement in general. In those early days, much was made of "freedom to fuck". Hell, we've always been free to fuck; unless there truly were police in bedrooms back in the day, sodomy laws were strictly symbolic.

Activist (and generic doofus) Eric Rofes writes in 'Reviving the Tribe', "Gay liberation was ignited by a drive to free the erotic power between men. Activist pioneers were advocating not solely affection and 'domestic partnerships,' but the right to be fucked." Sadly, gay liberation has not truly evolved to encompass relationship. (One of my favorite quotes from 'Reviving the Tribe' relates another highlight of those early gay lib years, that they heralded " the discovery of vast, uncharted erotic zones (e.g., the nipple as sex organ)". Thank god those queens came along to discover nipples on men; clearly four million years of human sexual expression had forced tits into hiding.)

So what's really going on here? The celebration of lack of responsibility passed off as an act of community. Going to the baths and taking 27 cocks up yer ass is not a celebration of your sexuality; it is a celebration of your Teflon butthole.

Sure, it's easy, not to mention fun, to lay the blame on a homophobic society. But wouldn't be a helluva lot cooler, not to mention productive, if, while acknowledging the world is hell, we refrain from singling out ourselves for some kind of special hellish treatment, and take responsibility for our own actions? When liberation comes, when liberation truly comes, it means that not only will straight folks change the way they think about queer folks, but queer folks will change the way they think about themselves.

Keep writing, William. You've got a brain and you aren't afraid of it. That makes me happy.

Well, from "basterdpeople's" opening line, it is clear that we are dealing with a world-class intellect. Overrated and (gasp! hide the children!) "patriarchal" Freud may be, but he could write a clear sentence. BP seems "seriously confused" not only about the essay, but about what flows out of his own head. "Open dishonest monogamy?" What was all that about? Yikes!

I see my buddy Deke has a few well-chosen words to add to this subject, one dear to his big dark heart. (Hey, Deke! Goatlor here!).

I think that the compulsive sexual behavior of gay men is not explained by homophobia (that makes us poor little victims again and again). The "liberation" theme which dominated the birth of the modern gay community was shared with other groups created in the 60's, the contemporary "woman" and "person of color". For all these groups, the story was that they had been constrained by The (White Straight) Man, so liberation meant simply being un-constrained. Some good things came of that, but a lot of self-destructiveness, too.

I think that the all-male character of the sexual pool also explains a lot. Look at (especially young) straight males; not a group noted for sexual abstemiousness. Their problem has been getting (formerly, it appears) reluctant women to cooperate. If all parties are testosterone-laden, multiple partners is the likely result. A lot of this is a male thang.

Be that as it may, males need to grow up and become men. Being a man is not merely a biological process; it is a psychological, spiritual and social achievement. Homo men need to treat themselves and other men (straight included) with some respect, even or especially, when horny. That would be a completely new thread of discussion for the gay male community (and unspeakable in the Balkanized "LGBT" etc. community): <strong>what kind of sexual code is compatible with and serves masculine honor?<strong>

Homophobia hurts. There is no controversy here. We cannot control how others think of us, but we can be survivors rather than victims by choosing to overcome the hurt and avoid hurting others by ceasing dysfunctional behaviors, sexual and interpersonal, that continue to hurt ourselves and others.

I hear what you are saying. I did find the perspective to be negative. A curse is simply a matter of perspective, and yes I am HIV positive and have never considered it a curse. I have, instead, chosen to take responsibility for my choices and actions, and looked for the lessons. Life lessons are never curses unless I don't learn from them.

I find sex, all sex, with myself or others, to be sacred. I have learned the orgasm connects me with my god self, it is my god self that connects me with the universe. In addition, I have learned that when I am willing to love in the moment, and let go of the attachment to outcome, I have had some truly amazing experiences with men. Sex is am opportunity for me to love. Love without attachment. The more I love, the more love I have to offer, and the more I learn about myself.

We are often taught (by society) that sex is for manipulation (has an agenda - defines the relationship, no sex before marriage, no sex until the 3rd date, to get a new refrigerator, to make a baby, etc...). This takes us away from staying in the moment and being present for the sexual experience. When this happens, we loose site of what the experience was all about - "what was out motivation?" - and we start applying other expectations on the experience. (Oh, I should have... Or, he is not Mr. Right... Or, will he feel the same ways about me...)

We are responsible for how we feel. If we are not creating more meaningful relationships, then the question needs to be "what am I doing to create relationships that are not what I am looking for?" Then, understand - One: I have created a reality were I am having relationships less meaningful that I say that I am looking for. Are you actions in line with what I say I want? Two: Have my actions match what I say I want, OR, have what I say I want match my actions. Either way - this is not a curse. If it were a curse then we curse ourselves, thereby being fully capable to change a perceived curse into an opportunity to learn deeper understandings about ourselves.

We are not victims of our actions, we are creators of our reality! Why create a reality that is cursed???

This idea speaks to me a lot.

It actually took someone else to point the fact out to me; even though I'm very capable of truly casual sex, I prefer sex with lovers or friends. I am fundamentally a very emotional being, and being able to set free various emotions is a necessary component for making love to me. Sharing the physical experience is really only enjoyable when I'm naked with someone whom I'm capable of forming an emotional bond with. Especially if I'm going to bottom.

Although I'm perfectly capable of whipping out my dick and using any dude to get it off, i realized that wasn't doing anything <em>other than getting it off</em>. and i also realized that usually i kept my eyes closed and imagined being somewhere completely different in order to finish it.

I was a teenager when AIDS hit the world - I came out watching many of my daddies, older brothers, and even brothers my own age die slow, painful and ugly deaths. I came out afraid of my brothers' bodies. I came out fearing the terrible consequences of trusting the wrong man, in either a drunken moment or a lovestruck one. I've listened to lots of stories from my daddies and older brothers since I was a boy; of their world without fear. Most of them did just talk about fucking and fucking and fucking. But the ones who were inspirational to me, they talked of lovers, brothers, boyfriends. I saw a gleam in their eyes in the moments before tears would follow. They spoke to me of family in a sense that I had never imagined, not from experience with my own biological one at least.

What does this all mean to me today, 20 years later? Well, for one, it means I just lost my first <em>little</em> brother to AIDS last month. That one kind of kicked me really damn hard. The other thing it means is that I have an interesting love life. I settled down with the most wonderful man I've ever known nearly a decade ago. He's my husband, and I am bound to him for life. I also have a couple of lovers that I share a deep bond with. My husband has known almost all my lovers (we moved, I developed a different set of friends and lovers a couple years ago). They know my bond with him - and that it is not lacking in some department, I'm not cheating on him or looking for a replacement, or anything like that. Some of them are just close friends. A few I honestly love deeply. My husband is aware of that as well. It's not always easy for him to deal with, I'm not pretending like it is. He grew up hoping for the "perfect" nuclear family of one plus one. Let's just say that it's not the only preconception that either one of us has had to bend a bit. love is worth it...

But, this small collection of current and former lovers and my husband <em>are my family</em>. Unfortunately it took me almost losing my life to cancer over a decade ago to realize this. They are the men who took care of me. They are the men who helped me rebuild my life. They fed me, they sheltered me, they held me, they slept with me when I was afraid to be alone, and they made love to me when I was in need of tenderness. They are the men who helped me grow from a scared, lost, angry boy into a good, well rounded, successful man. They have done as much, no more, for me and my dreams, than my biological family has, ever. (Not to say that my bios didn't do their part to raise me and educate me, they certainly did that. They simply never encouraged me to be anything that I wanted... including not straight!)

What I wish that I could give to others from my life is just a little sense of this in the everyday. I honestly beleive that if we as gay and bi men treated each other more like lovers instead of fucks, even our one night stands, we'd automatically start to rebuild the sense of community we once had. Sex is really intimate, it's about time we admit that. Especially as the naturally sexual beings we are. We've been dying as a community for two decades now, slowly from sadness and exhaustion. Yes, we have built thriving businesses, parades, and even a little political clout. But we don't have a community anymore. I miss what I witnessed of that. I miss what my brothers testified to me. I know they idealized the past in many ways, I'm not naive. But I think that If we cared about each other more in bed, we'd start to care more about each other on the street. Then the more we'd care about ourselves, in turn. If we care about our own well being and our lovers' well being, then we'll naturally stop the disease ravaging our community. We'd know our HIV status without guessing or lying, and we'd take better care of those we choose to be with.

make love, don't fuck. but how to we spread the idea?

I had my first sexual experience with a male at 18 and hated it. It ended with him calling me a whore. I come from an [filtered word] background (female perpetrator) and it confirmed my feelings of unloveableness. Subsequent experiences were much more positive, and terrified me — the men really cared about me, were genuinely loving as well as sexual with me, and I didn't know how to handle it. I spent most of my 20's and 30's having one night stands with strangers who just wanted to get off (as I claimed I did), but privately I was just enduring the sex for the brief hug at the end. I realized that my ideal fantasy was deep repeated affection with a man who cared nothing for me nor I for him. Totally safe (or so I fantasized). Trouble is, I couldn't "fall in love" with any man who did care for me. I kept falling in love with rejecting narcissists who proved ultimately incapable of affection, guys just like my father. Eventually I decided love would never happen to me, and tried to content myself with intense S/M sex experiences, experiences the intensity of which matched the rage I felt toward my father and the gay men who reminded me of him. Then I got scared I might die, so I got really, really fat, and became invisible to gay men. Whew. Safe at last, from my sexuality and other people's and from intimacy.

Screwy? You betcha, as Sarah Palin might say.

Your concern for the wounds gay men carry is admirable. But I wonder how many fat guys would feel welcomed and safe in your tantra workshops?

Rand --

You would be welcomed in my tantra workshop. Hell, you're better fit to teach it than anyone else I know. I've missed you.

Deke

If you are looking for a relationship and only finding people who want to hook up, perhaps you are looking int he wrong place. Interesting how many people complain about this. Perhaps we should have a site just for that? There is definitely something going on, but I suspect it's that people aren't always honest with themselves. It's easy to make other people wrong but if you aren't finding what you say you want, perhaps the place to make changes is within yourself. Not all gay men are constantly hooking up for anonymous sex. If that's the only guys you are meeting, you should ask what that says about your search.

Ugh...I always love the line: "If you are looking for a relationship and only finding people who want to hook up, perhaps you are looking in the wrong place", and all its variations.
No offense to the author...but when people toss off that hoary old chestnut, my visceral response is "So where the f*ck should I be looking?!?"
Granted, I remember the Age Before the Internet, when it was slightly more honest to go out and cruise in person, unlike many times now when it's like watching people order from the gay take-out menu: "I want a penis from Column A, looks from Column B, ass from Column C", etc.
No, there isn't anywhere online where you can go to a "M4MCuddleMovieAtHome" chat room, just as there isn't a guarantee of success if you went out to the bars or gay volleyball game to meet who you want.
Finding "the one" tends to be a crapshoot many times, and many men aim for finding "the right now" because it satiates the need, because they don't know where to look, are tired of looking, or because they don't care to look.
It would be more useful, ultimately, if we could be honest with each other...more honest than the "mainstream" orientation has been with us, in what we really need to keep us happy. Until we band together as men, rather than generally treat each other as disposable penises/rectums, t'aint gonna happen.

William,
Thanks for your post. Nicely done. My own observation since coming out in 1977: left to our own devices, gay men will screw first, think later. And therein lie our rampant STDs and inability to find loving partners. There are many in our community who go ballistic when they hear anyone being what they term sex-negative, which always makes me laugh, because their usually loud response is typical of an addict of any sort who thinks someone might have a damn good case for why his/her behavior is not healthy and, as such, addictive.

Keep talking. Maybe someday they'll actually grow up and listen.

Hi. Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
I am from Kosovo and , too, and now am writing in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Russian singles should find dates through on line dating services.Christian singles dating service for free."

:-) Thanks in advance. Rainey.

You have said something that needs saying. As a formerly married man who entered the "gay world" several years ago, I have found this syndrome to be quite common. So many of us have divorced sex from emotion, and seem unable to reunite them. And so many of us are trying so hard to pretend this isn't so. Indeed, to say you want your sex with some connection is often to be dismissed as a hopelessly repressed prude. But the evidence is out there all around.

maybe formerly married men new to the gay world have no idea yet how to fuck a guy without thinking of his ex-wifes pussy, and all the amazing emotional connection it used to bring.

Yet. I said 'yet.'

maybe the lame connection you offer now is whats being dismissed. not because its prudish, but because its BORING.

And maybe you have no idea what you're talking about.

Why does it have to be one or the other? Sure, I've been hurt by a past relationship (Who hasn't?), but what's grown out of that hurt is someone I like quite a lot. I am an independent man who doesn't need someone else to complete him. There's no reason I can't work on completing myself. Maintaining certain boundaries, especially with sexual partners, is not inherently unhealthy -- I'd just rather keep the really deep intimacy between myself and my very close friends, and the physical intimacy at a different level of friendship. Maybe that will change with time, and maybe not. But it seems like a hell of a waste to focus a great deal of time and energy on the one thing that can't be controlled or predicted: another person's feelings. Some people have found their lifelong partners, the person with whom they can build a life. I applaud them for all the work it takes to make that happen and am very glad that they have found the kind of relationship that makes them happy. But that does not mean that all of us have the same aspirations with regard to being partnered. And it certainly doesn't mean that those of us who do not want to be partnered are "ill" or "damaged," at least not any more than anyone else!

And no, I don't just hop into bed with any willing, warm body. I do prefer to like the men I fuck or am fucked by. But it simply isn't the case that every person I encounter, sexually or otherwise, is going to become a deep, abiding friend for life. It is with the deep and abiding friendships that I prefer to cultivate real intimacy.

Whether we admit it or not, I'm convinced a lot of our self-defeating behaviors stem from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress which may or may not belong under blanket headings like "internalized homophobia" etc.

Quakers have always taught that mutual sexual exploitation creates two victims - essentially there's no "perpetrator" - and I think this is true. Promiscuity can be as much about heartbreaking loneliness and dashed dreams as it can be about self-loathing or a lack of the ability to love. It seems to be a road few young guys start out to travel, but often end up on anyhow. One thing is for sure: if a casual fuck moves on, it's because he's convinced at a deep level that he has nothing more to offer. And that's of course a self-esteem issue, and it's gonna be hard to convince him to stick around. He may come off like he's emotionally together and "sex positive", but there's nothing healthy or sex positive about somebody who can't make it twice.

Love comes after shared values and shared history have been tested and proven, and it doesn't happen in an environment of distrust, anonymity or self-loathing. A man who loves himself - as opposed to a narcissistic fool - steps up to the plate with no fears and loves with no fear. "Loving" really is an "action" word, and it doesn't happen for people who are essentially waiting for it, often in a passive/aggressive state. Loving also has no agenda - and especially no sexual agenda.

Sex really has no intrinsic value in itself, and we need to abandon the porn hype which shapes so many of our lives and identities. Sex DOES however have a purpose worth celebrating: it's a form of communication between men which brings joy and comfort and release to those who truly are sex-positive. And we communicate to get close - not to create barriers and alienation.

I say you're only a victim until you do something about it. Be honest with yourself: if promiscuity hasn't worked for you in the past and isn't working for you in the present, then it's not likely to work for you in the future. Move on from it in a profound and real and productive way by making that decision to become a loving man who wants and deserves love and great sex and intimate communications and damn the torpedos!

yep, i'm confused and stupid. and jaded. and lacking self-esteem. and mentally ill, apparently. but i'm still waaaaaay better than Freud, so there.

i threw up in my mouth a little at USmailSF's question, 'what kind of sexual code is compatible with and serves masculine honor?' and now i'm trying to decipher the very confusing stream my poor weak mind, incapable of love, is spurting over this quandry.

lets begin: creating a sexual code implies that following the code will be an honorable, yet thankless process, doing as one is instructed, subservient to the rules, much like feeding coins into the meter, or coloring inside the lines in a coloring book. You do as you are told, as expected, good job, big whoop. In this system, the thrill is hidden in disobeying the code, as well as the guilt, the shame, the danger, and the repercussions. Wait, this sounds familiar..... could it be anything like the current position of queer people within the heterosexual and homosexual codes? I include homosexual in that last sentence because many gay and lesbian people are creating a code, much like the one Goatlor desires, in which heterosexual ideals are parsed onto the homosexual counterparts and oops! bringing all the baggage that comes with that world. Unnecessary. What about bi people? What about genderqueer and trans people? What about old maids and bachelors? What about disabled and mentally ill people? What about femme guys and butch women (both are very injured by the self-importance of USmailSF's "masculine honor" (or 'femme honor' to continue the inclusive inversions) If you can't find someone to love you, and fuck you, and marry you, you might as well be dead, it seems, because you're interfering with our families. Mark my words, the more that married gay and lesbian couples gain acceptance and status in our society, the more a whole chunk of people will be cast into a tinier, more invisible, more maligned and dangerous margin.

The curse of casual sex is really the curse of attractiveness, because attractive people are the ones blessed (and burdened) with the choice between monogamy and just fucking around. Us ugly queers take what we can get it seems. Just kidding, i'm actually hot. Those ugly queers keep ruining my partnerships. Just(Just(Just(just(j(j((j/k)k)k)kidding)Kidding)Kidding)Kidding.

Sorry to seem bitter towards anyone, i just like to bust on perps. Love ya anyway!!! Unless you're straight.

what ... are sex positive and sex negative the new buzz words?

These are old terms. Been used in discussions like this for at least thirty years.

"The curse of attractiveness"? A bit close to the "She asked for it by dressing provocatively" defense in rape cases. BP, will you tell us more about your selfishness?

Deke

The only "code" worth adhering to is a code of self-respect, and respect for others. And I share basterd's concern re gay men & lesbians' motives in seeking "respectable family values". As sexual mavericks we maybe need to be looking at showing some leadership in functional relationships, rather than chasing what often doesn't even work out for heterosexuals.

It's a sociological truth that when folks move up the ladder they quickly piss on those who they deem to be the underclass. I support our rights to equality, but I condemn any self-loathing queer who would abuse those rights - or their self-imagined respectability - to further marginalize (and malign) brothers and sisters who don't have "acceptable" lifestyle and sex-style aspirations.

That's not even assimilationism - it's gutless pandering born out of self-loathing, and no harm will come out of reminding ass-licking queers that their turkey-baster brats and wedding rings aren't anything to be proud of if they're maintained at somebody else's expense.

To Basterdpeople and Rick,

I must say I am breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. I had no idea people on DaddyHunt talked about these issues, or would take the position against assimilation, against the marginalization of those of us who do not choose monogamy. Thank you, I am very happy to read this

the mythical LTR should not be the aim of our gay lives.

as far as im concerned, faggots are given a chance to evolve beyond the breeding nature of heterosexual couples. We are allowed to experiment with the boundaries of family and friendships in ways that are unimaginable to straights.

i do agree completely with your idea of NSA fucking as ludicrous and espoused only by ludicrous people. To think i can put my dick in someone, or let someone put their dick in me, and not have a shared life-experience is to pretend there is no empathy among brothers.

every curse is a blessing, unless you just can't let go of the joy of feeling victimized. We should use the opportunity of our sexual freedom to hookup with great care and openness to the potentials of new people in our lives. We might hookup less, but it'll probably be better.

And once you've fucked the right person(s) the right way -you just might want to have them in your life forever.

My article neither mentions monogamy nor advocates assimilation into breeder values. It simply states that we can choose to treat ourselves and one another better by opening ourselves to opportunities for deeper levels of emotional and spiritual connection and intimacy inherent in sexual sharing. One need only read Plato's Symposium or the homoerotic poems of Walt Whitman to discover models of male intimacy that can inspire us to strive for a more enlightened experience of self in the Other. I plan to blog more on how we can move beyond limited and limiting notions of casualness to more fulfilling ways of understanding ourselves as queer folk in the world.

You "plan to blog more on how we can move beyond limited and limiting notions of casualness"? Inspiration from Walt Whitman and Plato's Symposium? WOO-HOO!!!!

I look forward to more essays of yours, William.

Deke

great. I'll look forward to reading.

allow me to remind you that deep levels of intimacy may not just be measured in days and years

but rather in conversations, exchanges, and god knows what other types of communication we have yet to figure out.

Beautifully stated. Thanks for the reality check.

William -
I have a question. How many long term relationships have you experienced from the inside? I have been in only one and it has endured through 21 years. It has not been monogomous, or perfect in any other way because the two men in it are mere mortals. We love each other. We support each other. We hurt each other. We go on together. It is only the depth of our commitment that binds us. In short, is just like every other long-lasting marriage. All else is academic in the face of a life that is beyond our comprehension and control because its source is divine. I pray you find acceptance for the Universe in all its manifestations. I pray that for myself, as well, for I am also human.

What does it matter how many long-term relationships that William has been in? We are scrutinizing his argument, not his life. Either his argument holds up to reason or reason causes it to fall apart. Anything else is simply not germane.

Deke

With respect, I agree that we have the opportunity to experiment and we probably even have a lot to offer to mainstream culture regarding sexual, familial, and friendly relationships, if mainstream culture ever cares to listen. But you also seem to be heaping scorn on straight people and those in the LGBT community who do want more traditional relationships. That seems to me to be more of the same, just from the other direction.

This isn't an either-or, and really should not be turned into one.

some people deserve scorn.

i love 'straight people and those in the LGBT community who do want more traditional relationships.'

they amuse me to no end.

i heap my scorn on those who think that's the only respectable way to live.

Some people do deserve scorn. It just wasn't clear to me that your scorn was reserved for those who think we should all be after the same thing.

Thanks for clearing that up.

"every curse is a blessing, unless you just can't let go of the joy of feeling victimized." WTF?

I was blessed with cancer. I was blessed with HIV. I was blessed with queer folks who vent their rancor at me because I served proudly in the USMC. I was blessed with two inguinal hernias. I was blessed with macular degeneration.

Ya know, this line of thought reminds me too much of those Christians who, when they speak of the difficulties of reparative therapy for homosexuals, simply reply, "They didn't fellowship hard enough. They didn't pray hard enough. They didn't have enough faith."

"Evolve beyond the breeding nature of heterosexual couples"? The very sentence reeks of bigotry. Heterosexuals are merely breeders, while we gay folks are given wondrous potential to "evolve" to something far greater. Fella, do you not taste the venom in your mouth when you speak such claptrap?

It is facile, not to mention fashionable, to give the appearance of Eastern thought in our culture. But most often, curses are curses, and the blaming the victim ain't cool. I'm sure Oprah has much to tell you, but keep it to yourself. You don't know enough about the Tao or Buddhism or Confucianism or Eastern thought to have an opinion.

what you are blessed with

is the joy of feeling misunderstood among your peers

of being an outsider even among outsiders

not all heteros are breeders

but real breeders can only be hetero.

to go from antiquated thinking to less antiquated thinking falls under the label 'evolve'

or have you not changed for the better in your entire time on this earth?

Buenguy --

This requires no response because it is poppycock.

LOL, every curse is indeed a blessing, lol, that's why there's racism too, lol, being black is a blessing/curse whereas white is concerned in American society. I figured out long ago they're just jealous, no victim here being being gay/black, it'all a blessing, the older I get the more clear the gifts become.

why is this all about the fucking? can't gay men have relationships that don't involve fucking, or the prospect of fucking, or the hope of fucking? Look around at your friends, your friends' friends...tell me, do you all not see these folks are friends almost solely because of this compulsive addiction gay men have developed around fucking? The least attractive of gay men have the fewest friends...do you see that lonely, homely gay guy standing by himself in the corner of the bar? He's been gay bashed....by gay men....psychologically. And THAT is the real homophobia. This culture of "looks" and "sex" we have created (I am just as much to blame....) is superficial to the extreme in the gay community, and THIS is what hurts us the most.
The original author is correct....sex is about intimacy and sharing. If after 5 years of a monogamous relationship, you feel or sense yourself starting to stray...STOP YOURSELF, you have the willpower to change this addictive behavior; not only do you have the will, but, if you are in a committed relationship with financial and emotional ties, you have a duty to your partner to NOT stray. And THIS is what everyone has been saying when they say that gay men need to grow up, and take responsibility. Taking responsibility for your actions---that's what I call a man.

William,

This may ramble, but please bear with me.

What has hurt me the most is pornography. If a guy doesn't look like a pornstar (never mind that I don't), I'm not interested. Consequently, I've set my standards so high that no one can possibly reach them, and I've been alone for 10 years. I'm slowly breaking the addiction porn holds for me; anymore, it's just boring. Most of my sexual experiences the last 10 years have been casual sex (Craigslist, bookstores, sex parties), and like the porn I used to watch. They've become boring.

I went to a sex party about a month ago and watched several men--who, by gay porn standards were old and not particularly attractive--fuck like rabbits. They were really enjoying themselves. And I remember thinking to myself "how dare they" enjoy themselves like that because they weren't magazine models. How twisted is that? There was another older man there with a huge cock. I reached out to him. I sucked him, and we kissed. He was attractive enough and told me I was "hot", but I hesitated to get more than just his name because I wasn't entirely sure I would want to be seen with him in public. I'm embarrassed for myself for thinking that way.

I'm also held back from more intimacy because I don't have a great track record. As I said above, I haven't had a partner in 10 years. My first partner beat me and was mentally abusive. My second partner turned into a drunk and we grew apart. The third was a bum and didn't work, but he did find time to maintain a huge marijuana garden in his basement. I'm afraid to open up because I don't want a repeat of these three scenarios.

Now, at 51, I'm scared that I'll be alone forever. I hate being alone all the time. I live in a fairly big city, but it's a very small town for gay men. I keep a low profile because of my job. (Well, that's the excuse I tell myself for not going out.)

Thanks for letting me vent.

Thank you for your comments here--My path has been similar somewhat---Best wishes to you---Lonely at 68----