Recently I spent some days in a country where the sexual or romantic expression of same sex love is forbidden by law, religion and society. Three mighty powerful forces putting as much pressure as they can to make sure the ‘normality’ of hetero family relations endures forever. While displays of affection between people of same gender is quite normal – perhaps more so than it is in the west – expression of that affection is strictly ringfenced by taboos. This means that those who are attracted to same gender hide their desires – but, despite having the forces of state, god and an extremely judgemental society lined up against them, these natural forces of love and sex are simply stronger than the rules men make against them. I found the undercurrent of frustrated sexual energy, which is hardly surprising since men and women lead such segregated lives, and there are times that gets released through same sex activity. But this is done super discreetly and is probably accompanied by massive amounts of fear, guilt and shame – the three big bogeymen that we gays in the west have done so much to defeat over recent decades (though we not there yet). One local man talked to me at a cafe (in broken english whispers so that the other men would not hear our conversation) telling me the way I dressed was too ‘obvious’ and I should know that men behave one way during the day but can be altogether different by night….
Last night back in London I spent a little time chatting to men cruising online and ended up going to a guy’s house in deep south of the city. I found a good looking, fit guy living in a nice clean house, merrily, unconsciously, driving the chariot of his life off the rails and down the cliff side. He was still at the ‘this is fun’ roller coaster stage of the journey. So habituated in his solo sleazy fantasies the first thing he did when I arrive was administer more drugs to himself. His attention span while connecting with me was only lasting a minute or two, then he would be back to his laptop, flitting between porn sites looking for an exciting clip (but not actually watching them, just looking for the next) and checking the bareback cruise site to see if anyone else was interested to come play with him. He was utterly absorbed in the energy of the cyberworld – he had an innocent boyish grin on his face and did not even notice when I got up, got dressed and made for the door. Then he saw me and rushed over, literally begging me to stay and give him another chance. So I did, and for almost 3 minutes we had some sense of passion passing between us. He got me to stay by promising to focus on me not the computer, but as soon as I turned him over onto all fours and he was facing it he was on it again, excited to tell me another guy might be coming over. I left, telling him why. ‘I’m only playing’ he whined – yes he was, like a little boy, excited and clueless. I wanted to play with a man was the only reply I could give.
I do not believe sex between men was made taboo by our ancestors because of it’s unholiness. It was made taboo because it is utterly addictive and can create an unquenchable thirst in us, one so strong that normal activities like work, eating, keeping up family and friendship ties, can easily fall away. The Taoists say that male on male sexual activity is a yang-yang combination that creates more desire, more need for sex, one that can never be satisfied. Yang-yin alignment grounds the sexual energy and completes the experience. I have never fully bought this as a comment on gay sex as men also contain yin energies, some much more so than others, but I think they may have a point.
On my holiday I found the secretive air around homosex heightened my curiosity about the possibility of it. Coming home to a place where there are so many men openly chasing connection the whole time it is also hard to let the curiosity go! But out there there are far too many men caught in a high, seeking drug buddies, cyber playmates and giving far too little attention to the actual sex. If we are really into the sex, able to surrender fully into the moment with it and to focus on exploring and pleasing the man we are with, we do not need drugs and computers to keep the momentum up.
Perhaps even worse than the drug and disconnect though is the lack of awareness of just how lucky we in the west truly are. Gay sex is for many societies the ultimate taboo, but it may require a good sense of self-awareness, control and discipline to prevent it taking over some men’s lives once the taboo has fallen away. And maybe that is why the world has lived under this antigay terror for so long, the energies unleashed by gay sex are very powerful, it can go from being the ultimate taboo to being the ultimate obsession, we really need to be grown up to be gay.