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Saturday 10 October 2009

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The Gay Blade

25th September 2009

Sweet Ass Bro !

Posted by: Michael Stevens

I think I was 16 the first time I was rimmed.  It was an utterly mind-blowing experience.  Nothing I had ever heard or thought about had prepared me for the fact that my arsehole could be so exquisitely, delightfully, sexily sensitive.  The tongue working away down there, in that most forbidden of areas, the waves of pleasure sweeping over me, and then even more shocking to my youthful mind, his tongue actually going up inside me! A man’s tongue up my arsehole ! Feeling so good ! Taboos broken left, right and centre. Shock, but no horror - shock and delight. A pleasure which continues to this day I might add.

Of course, at 16 I had such a sweet arse too. Pert, firm, ripe, all those good things.  It stayed that way pretty well through to my late 20s I guess. These days, well,  it has given in to gravity a bit. But I still admire a good arse on another guy. Sometimes those cheeks just call out.  And if you want to freak a straight boy out, tell him he’s got a cute arse.

A big part of it is, of course, the fact that our anus is such forbidden territory when we are growing up, and even for most adults. It is, understandably, associated with dirt, with our shit. We are taught to be ashamed of our arses and our arseholes. The idea that they are a source of pleasure undermines such training. And the arse itself was often the site of punishment - I’m showing my age but at school we got caned on our arses, another way to mark it as a place of taboos and bad things.

When you think about it, all the organs that give us sexual pleasure are excretory. You piss through your penis, women menstruate through their vagina, we eat food, breathe and vomit through our mouths, and yes, we shit through our arses.  Yet the idea of talking about it openly is anathema to so many, especially in the straight world. I think gay men as a whole are much more at ease when talking about our arses. even those who don’t go in for fucking still are living in a world where it’s normal and so they’re exposed to the ideas around it. And it seems more guys in NZ are learning to douche properly, which is a very good thing indeed. Accidents are not enjoyable, but occasionally come with the territory it has to be admitted.

We men are all being reminded now to be aware of our prostates, and it’s a good thing that we are. Anal health is important, and gay men should be the ones who are most in touch with any changes in our prostates. No-one wants prostate cancer, and we should all be able to be aware of any changes going on there before we need to see a Dr. And taking care of your arse’s health also involves thinking of good lube, of being aware of how relaxed or not you are. There is a huge range of anal toys out there, but don’t forget, the colon is about as strong as wet tissue, and lined with blood vessels, so take care up there.

Let’s face it - the arsehole is a source of great, deep and intense pleasure. Especially for men, because we have a prostate. That is the joy of getting fucked for guys, well, part of it. The way another’s cock stimulates the prostate,  it intensifies so many of the rest of our sexual feelings, just sends the body, or mine anyhow, into some sort of sensory overdrive. Yes, I love being fucked. I love my arsehole and all it can do for me. I’m a homo: arse-fucking is one of the things that defines what we do in bed. The great erotic tragedy of HIV is the way we now have to protect ourselves in this most intimate and delightful of acts.  I still mourn that loss of spontaneity that we had before safe-sex, as much as I support the message and need for rubbers now.

It is amazing though, how the idea of anal sex  scares so many straight people. And why, as I mentioned above, telling a straight guy he’s a got a hot arse will freak him out so much. Part of that reaction comes from the idea of associating the arsehole with shit and dirt. But an equally important part of their reaction comes from the idea of a man becoming “unmanned” - by getting penetrated, and enjoying it, we are certainly not fulfilling the dominant cultural model of men as conquerors, inserting our cocks into women. We are, in the straight mind anyhow, somehow becoming women by doing this and enjoying it. But I don’t see it that way. I don’t think it makes me any less of a man because I enjoy it up my jacksie. I’m just a lot more in touch with the pleasure I can get from my physical home, more than most straight people, that’s for sure. I know my body better, and know how to give and get pleasure from it, and how to do the same for other men as well.

I know that some straights are into arseplay as well, but for them it’s more of a fetish it seems, something extra. To me, and I guess I uneasily stand along President Clinton here, sex isn’t really sex unless it involves one of getting into the other. The rest, however much fun it is, is just the buildup. I’ve never been one of those guys who just lives for blowjobs - for me they are a starter, something before the main course.

So let’s enjoy our anuses, our arseholes. Let’s take some pride in being uphill gardeners. But let’s do it with care for each other. Love your ass and it’ll love you back.

And the way to this man’s heart is not through his stomach, I’m telling you.

→ 16 CommentsTags: General

16th September 2009

That’s so Jewish?

Posted by: Michael Stevens

That’s so Jewish!? Yeah, well I wouldn’t say that or even think it, because it’s offensive.

In New Zealand, why hasn’t “That’s so Maori” as a term taken off?  Or “That’s so Samoan”? In the States, why haven’t for example,  “That’s so Black” or “That’s so Latino” to equal  “That’s so lame” become popular? Does anyone in the UK go “That’s so Paki!” ? Maybe because people would find those terms just a little offensive and you’d get your head kicked in if you tried it?

So why do more and more people think it’s fine to say “That’s so gay!”? I’ve heard the argument that “gay” used this way has nothing to do with me as a gay man - but that’s deceitful self-serving bullshit. It does, and it’s oppressive and insulting. What people do, when they use the word in this way, is take a word that is associated with a minority group in society, a group that has regularly and continues to be targetted, beaten up, murdered and have their basic rights denied, and then use it “jokingly” as a term for lame or poor quality. Well, fuck you.

It does seem most popular among younger people. Ah, young people these days. But not among all young people, some I know consciously avoid it. Some think it’s fun to be offensive a bit, and push the boundaries. Do they go and make Auschwitz jokes to their Jewish friends I wonder? Or would that be going too far? Probably.

But it’s ok to make fun of gays, and then claim you’re not, because, well, we don’t count.  The simple fact that they don’t make use of terms such as ”Jewish” or “Black” in the same way shows just where we rank as a group. If we object, if we complain,  we’re being kill-joys, we’re not seeing the joke, no sense of humour, not moving with the times. Yeah, right. Those were the approaches used years ago to justify racial jokes and other forms of subtle, snide oppression. They were seen for what they were then - why is it so hard to see them for what they are now?

This use of the term gay as an insult shows minds that have no political awareness. They have never fought for anything in their lives, except for Daddy to pay their bills usually. With no understanding of the political fights that have gone before, of the sacrifices made and hard work that it took to get us to this point, they feel free to trample over us, and then claim they didn’t. Hypocrisy, ignorance, laziness and a sense of entitlement reek from those who use these words so blithely.

I’ve been told I have “no right” to censure their free speech. I disagree. I have every right, and will express it. They tend to think, when they do think, that they are entitled to say and do anything they like, so long as no one says or does anything that hurts them. Their own pompous outrage when criticised or mocked is often comical to see. Perhaps it comes from years of schooling where they’ve always been told how special they are, and how clever, even when most of them are, in fact, decidely average.

What about the argument that we “stole” gay in the first place? Actually, it had a history in slang for quite a while meaning queers and those on the edge of society for quite a while before Gay Liberation took it over in the 60s. And there was a clear political reason behind our use of it, just as there was a clear political reason behind the use of “Black” rather than “Negro” or “Coloured” in the same era.

We were, in fact, reclaiming words that had been used to attack us, words used to put us down and keep us in our place.

I do not, and will not accept that using “Gay” to mean stupid or lame is acceptable. I am a gay man. We didn’t spend years fighting for the few rights we now have to have it all subverted and be put back in our place by this casual form of linguistic insult.

Words matter. Words are powerful. Words can hurt, and words do have a political and social message attached to them.

→ 10 CommentsTags: General

28th August 2009

Bimbos and Bodies

Posted by: Michael Stevens

A friend gave me some back issues of gay mags the other day. DNA, Attitude, Gay News etc.

magazine.jpgAll were choc-full of images of beautiful men. Men who obviously spend hours every day in the gym and live on wheatgrass juice, tuna and rice  - I know, I know, they’re models, but even so, they’re held up to us as the image of what a gay man is supposed to be. These images are powerful, and their common-place use to depict gay men tells us something about our world, and I’m not sure I like it. And really, let’s face it, these guys are our equivalent of busty blonde bimbos for straight guys. Hasn’t Gay Liberation been a great thing? Baby, we’ve come such a long way…

So many muscles and such sharp definition that the split in their abs starts to look like a vagina, a friend noted. Ridiculously slim waists. And, with one exception, no body hair. So even though they’re supposedly what gay men aspire to be like, if we’re not already there, they actually look more like perpetual teenagers, stuck in early pubescence forever. They don’t look all that masculine to me. I’m not immune to the charms of youth and beauty, but this sort of airbrushed perfection (and let’s face it: these shots will have been enhanced) leaves me cold.

And what is wrong with body hair? On the one hand we have people prattling on about “nature” and “being Green” and then they rip their hair off with wax and look totally unnatural. Did you know you can buy “green” hair removal products? Why? Yes, I am hirsute. So I do have a personal axe to grind on this one. I like my body hair. And I like hairy men, I think they can be very sexy. And yes, so can men with very little body hair and all the gradations in between. I just don’t get this desire to pretend that men don’t have chest hair, hair around our cocks and balls, hair on our stomachs ( I just love following a treasure trail down ) facial hair, even… hair on our shoulders and backs! I just can’t measure a guy’s hotness by his hairiness, or lack of it, which is the image the magazines keep pushing.

As I look at the ads for the next dance-party, or the photos used on most gay websites, it gets harder and harder to find a piece of body hair, or a body that doesn’t make Michaelangelo’s David look flabby. Look back at some older porn or erotica and well over half the guys that were thought sexy in the 50s, 60s and 70s just wouldn’t make it today. Instead we’ve somehow ended up with this hyper-muscular baby-bottom smooth twenty-something as our icon, and I’m not quite sure how it happened.

I’m old enough (here we go again…”The good old days”) to remember when the gay media contained a level of self-critical reflection and political awareness that didn’t simply centre on our right to imitate straights by getting married and having kids. I know, I know, consumption is everywhere and we’ve been swallowed up by it. These gay mags tell us about how to spend money to fit into certain social groups. And they all assume we have a disposable income, live in the city, are under 30 (or idealise youth) and are happy uncritically taking part in a political system that is, actually when you peel back the veils, not exactly on our side. We’ve had to fight hard and long for the rights we’ve gained, they weren’t simply a gift by a benign system, and now we’ve been swallowed up by it. Yeah, I’m on a kind of a doom and gloom kick.

These images might be pretty, they might be hot, they might handsome, but what they also do is exclude a lot of us. Look around a gay bar or club, and the number who fit that images is way smaller than those who do. But the number of people trying to fit it and not making it is often quite high. And it just looks a little sad and a little wrong when some guy in his mid 50s is trying to look like a 29 year-old and not pulling it off (err, the look I mean, you dirty-minded filth).

What those of us who don’t fit into these dominant advertising-driven models of gay bimbos get told is we’re not quite up there, not as good, not worth as much. “Here is an image of what a gay man is supposed to be if he wants to be successful and loved” these ads say. “Ooops, you don’t fit, so you’re not going to succeed”, is the hidden message here.

So remind me now, who else has to put up with relentless Body-Fascisim, pressure to look ”right”  and bimbos in ads showing them up all the time? Oh yeah, straight women. That’s what we fought for, isn’t it, to be just like them.

→ 10 CommentsTags: General

18th August 2009

Michael Stevens: Sexual Consultant?

Posted by: Michael Stevens

I was at Urge again the other night and noticed a poster from The Basement. for those who don’t know, The Basement is a sex-club. Anyway, the poster read something like “Thursday Night is Fetish Night at The Basement”.

I looked at it and knew I wouldn’t go. I just don’t think I have any fetishes these days.

I used to. The feel and smell of leather used to be a fetish. Hairy chests used to be a fetish. B&D and role-playing used to be a fetish. Actually, without boasting, there are few things that men can do to each other sexually I haven’t tried, and only a few of those I haven’t really enjoyed at some stage in my life. Not that they were all fetishes I guess. But now, I just don’t seem to have any. I know guys who just about cream their pants when they see a guy in the right sports kit. For some it will only be Adidas, never Nike or any other brand. Others are just into sports-kit in general. Other guys get all hot and bothered over tatts, or facial hair, or cigars. And some fetishes we just won’t mention in public…

When I was 24 and living in NY, The Mineshaft, the grand-daddy of all gay sex clubs was still open. The things I saw there, the things I did, the things I was! Happy memories. Couldn’t be bothered now.

No particular item of clothing or set of actions, no childhood memory or adult-inspired one gives me that sudden tingle and automatic sexual rush that fetishes do. I feel a little deprived. After all, I used to have them.

Is it just middle age? Well, I know guys older than me who are happily playing and exploring their fetishes still. Some quite a bit older than me - lucky bastards. Am I just blase? Jaded? Maybe I am. I listen to other people describing their fantasies and fetishes and mentally tick them off in my head, and then get the “Can I be bothered?” reaction. Not a good sign when an exotic night of sex seems like too much work.

And there are so many wannabes, who don’t have the experience but they have the fantasy. A friend of mine once hooked up with a guy on line, and this was back before broad band when pics online were a rarity, who seemed experienced and into the wild and kinky side of extreme leather and role-play my mate likes. My friend was all dressed up ready, and opened the door to see this plump, blonde-bouffant, pink cashmere cardigan wearing 50-something all a quiver on his doorstep, saying “I’ve never actually done this before”. My friend slammed the door in his face. never lie about your experience to a serious fetish-player.

A few years ago, chatting online, as one does, and this guy got in touch, saying he was training to be a hooker and needed some guys to practice on. Seriously. he was interested in me because I was both HIV+ ( something he needed to feel happy working with) and (b) experienced in fetishes. So I volunteered, after all, he was very hot. Beautiful sexy body etc. I thought to myself “Could this be a new line of employment : Michael Stevens, Consultant to Hustlers”. It wold make a great business  card, but I haven’t put it on my CV. By blogging it have I just put it on my CV?

The session wasn’t that great, again, in spite of my years of experience, it just didn’t click for me, nor for him I think. He was a really nice guy though - I ran into him on the dancefloor at Urge a few years later and he reminded me of the whole episode. He hadn’t gone on with the career change, figured out it wasn’t for him after all.

It’s not that I don’t think about sex - I do. And I have it as well. And enjoy it - a lot. I look at hot guys on the bus, as I walk aorund town, in bars and clubs, everywhere, of course. Bring on summer and scantily clad sweaty men - wait - is that a fetish? But I can’t see myself heading down to The Basement for Fetish Night any time soon. For those who do, I hope you enjoy it!

But what a shame I can’t turn this into a career path. All those years of experience, so much to offer, so much to teach, maybe I should get the cards printed after all.

→ No CommentsTags: General

6th August 2009

Mating Rituals

Posted by: Michael Stevens

Why is it that so many wonderful men that I know are single? And, for that matter, why am I ? Not that I am necessarily all that wonderful.

Is it the pool of men around? I mean, I have so many friends in Auckland, but I can’t see myself falling for them, not when we’ve been mates for so long. And then you look on-line and see, well, all sorts of guys, some, let’s admit it, seem just a bit sad and desperate, or wildly unrealistic. Guys who post entire shopping lists of desired characteristics on their profiles are not going to be my choice. I mean, how could you ever live up to it?

A few weeks ago an 18 year old messaged me on NZD and asked if I wanted to do cam-sex with him. I mean, really - 18!? Do his parents know what he’s getting up to in his bedroom at night when they think he’s studying? Shit - imagine if they walked in just as we were reaching the point of the whole thing. But most parents of teenage gay men have no idea what their sons are up to, let’s face it.

I pointed out the age difference (nearly 30 years) and said no thanks, he didn’t even look like he shaved yet, and he replied “Hey, I’m horny and it’s just cam-sex mate.”

Somehow I didn’t find that flattering. Though I guess he must have found me attractive if he wanted me to jerk off on cam with him. An idea that I must say I really don’t find erotic. I know some guys get off on cyber-sex, or cam-sex, but for me - nope, it doesn’t float my boat.

So if not online, well, what about out on the town? The thing is, Auckland is just too small: it often seems that we all know each other, or at least, have heard about each other.

Every now and then I think “Maybe if I got in better shape, worked out, lost the gut etc… or changed my hair… got my eyes lasered… ” but would that make that much difference? I might get more roots, but I don’t think it’d get me true love, or even a semblance of it.

If all the gay men from NZ who’ve moved away came back to Auckland, just imagine what that would do to our social world. We’d be the gayest little city in the world if all those kiwi fags who moved away to live in a big city came back, if they all left SF, LA, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, NY, Sydney and Melbourne, and came back here, just think! Or just dream - I guess they did leave for a reason. It is small here, and the pool is limited.

But even though there is this pool of smart, sexy, desirable, employed gay men out there, why are so many of us single? I guess part of is habit. As I get older it seems more and more difficult to imagine combining my life with someone else’s - difficult but not impossible (to any future husbands who read that and got put off please note the “not impossible” bit). I mean, I have all the furniture I need, I have somewhere to live, I have my routines - do I want to risk unbalancing all that for another guy? Well, yes, to some extent, I do. Because sharing life, love and all the day-to-day hassles it brings with someone else is fun and rewarding. I know, I’ve done it before, and I expect I’ll do it again before I die.

Till then I ‘ll keep looking around at all my eligible smart, sexy single friends, and wonder why they’re like that, and why I’m like this, but hey, life is basically good, right? I can wait. I’m happy.

→ 2 CommentsTags: General

24th July 2009

Elegy

Posted by: Michael Stevens

Mike, Glenn, Alan, Peter, Alan, Andrew, Chris, David: I used to have a list somewhere of all the names of the men I know who’d died. Then it got too long. And now I can’t remember everyone I knew who died of AIDS. I hope their families still do, but it is over 20 years now since many of them sickened and died. Even to their brothers and sisters they will be turning into misty memories, the sadness and grief now all but worn away over time, as they look at old photos and remember the good times. I suppose this is what it is like after a war. Twenty years on who wanted to hear talk of the trenches of WW1 and their horrors, or who in the 1960s really cared about the agony and brilliance of the Battle of Britain pilots? Who cares today about the veterans of the first Gulf War? But in all of these, families were destroyed. Young loved men in the prime of their lives disappeared into some distant land or city, and returned, if at all, either plague-wracked and waiting to die or already dead, to the fear and grief of their families.

I remember that the first support group I went to at Body Positive had two facilitators: One died three weeks after the group started. “This is what will happen to us all” was the silent thought around the group. But I know at least three of us are still alive, if not more.

At least in a war, the dead are honoured. But for us, our dead were not so welcomed, not initially. The fear of contagion surrounding even a corpse was strong. To have to admit to friends that a son who’d got sick and died jad had AIDS was shameful. Shame, guilt, ostracism, doubt and fear: HIV is marked with all of these in ways that other diseases are not. And if you nursed people through those days, watched them sicken and waste away, become demented, forget who you were even though you’d been spending hours every day with them, this was heartbreaking. It seemed a whole generation of beautiful young men were cursed, and we all wondered when our turn would come, because why should we escape?

Today, it is all so different, in a medical sense anyhow. For most of us, if you take your pills and do what your Dr says, you will be ok. Medically ok that is. But those deep currents of shame and anguish linger and are strong. Grown men still weep in fear and at their folly in getting infected. Even though they know in a rational sense that they will most likely not follow the same trajectory as we did back in the early days, still that sense of fear, of shame and of guilt is there, still strong, perhaps even stronger. After all, that little voice inside your head says “They knew the risks!” And it’s true, they did know what they were doing, and even so, in spite of all the safe-sex campaigns they’d been in, in spite of all the condoms they’d thrown off floats in parades, in spite of having manned AIDS hotlines, even they got it eventually, and they cannot help but ask themselves “Why? How?”

They will not die in the same way as all those men did 20 years ago. Blind, demented and lying in their own shit. They will be able to lead fairly normal lives. Travel. Have relationships. Have sex. Maybe even have kids. All this is possible now for those of us with HIV. But still, the shock is there, the trauma, the agony.

And for those of us old enough to remember the really bad days, for me anyhow, there is that sense of “Why did we have to go through all that horror?” along with a feeling that, in some ways, that is when in fact we were most alive, most useful, most worthy as human beings. We were in there, at times up to our elbows, dealing with sickness and death and grief on an almost daily basis. It was horrible, debilitating and sorrowful, and yet it felt for many of us as though we were doing the most valuable and important things that could be done.

And who remembers that now? Did it all happen? Did it matter? This generation today – they have no idea. And why should they, in fact, I want to protect them from it, but still I resent their blithe ways and their lack of understanding, their lack of history.

But then, go through small-town NZ and look. You will see them there, small memorials from WW1 or WW2; in my school chapel we even had a memorial for the Boer War dead. Think of the heartbreak every one of those deaths caused, the devastation and distress on receiving that letter or telegram, knowing that son was never coming home. And now, who remembers the person behind those names? Who recalls their laugh, what made them special. All gone, generations ago. And so will all this be gone too. Who will remember them, with their good points and flaws? Who will recall how they were loved?

→ 1 CommentTags: General

15th July 2009

God Save the Queens!

Posted by: Michael Stevens

It’s easier to hide an elephant in your armpit than a queen in a crowd” : apparently a popular saying in Constantinople in the 10th Century or so.

emmett.jpgOK, so I’m fudgeing the date a bit, but the friend who told me this was a Byzantine historian from Athens, and a big old sodomite to boot, so I believe him. I’ve always loved the saying. It’s not always the most popular observation, but the queen does seem to be a pretty unviersal human type, and one we can recognise whether you’re in the streets of Moscow, Cairo, Beijing or Dunedin. I swear that in Jerusalem a few years ago I saw two screaming mincing queens dressed up as Orthodox Jewish women, wigs, head-scarves and all.They seemed to be having a great time, though causing some level of puzzlement to those around them.

 Queens are powerful, and that’s how I use the word queen, not in a disparaging way, but they are strong. Think of Quentin Crisp. Think of Philippe, Duc d’Orleans in 17th Century France, and according to Saint-Simon “the silliest woman at Court” yet a soldier who won huge admiraiton for his courage on the battlefield, even if apparently he was prone to run shrieking when there was a thunderstorm.Edmund White in his biographical novel “The Farewell Symphony” notes the change that went on in the gay world in the 60s as the Gym Body moved in and the old queen style moved out - “Gay boys who just ten years earlier had hissed together over cocktails, skinny in black pegged pants and cologne soaked pale blue angora sweaters, and had disputed Callas vs. Tebaldi now lumbered like innocent kindergartners in snowsuits of rosy inflated flesh…” But really, when you think of it, we don’t call them “Muscle Marys” for nothing now, do we? And as we’ve just passed the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in NY, it’s worth remembering it was led to a large extent by the queens who lived in the area and used the bar.So we are we now so quick to disown our royal pedigree? Why are queens so out now, and why do people claim (and puh - leez! it so often is just a claim) to be “straight -acting” or “discreet”. What’s wrong with being In-Your-face? Why is there so often the unease in the gay world around the obviously and effeminately gay male? They did, to a large extent, pave the way for us, yet now we seem ashamed of them as we try and sink into decent, dull, suburban, gym-toned obscurity.

You don’t have to be a rabid screecher, you don’t have to do drag, or wear makeup to be a queen. You can have a great body from the gym, a moustache, a deep voice and a hairy chest and be one too. Some of the campest queens I’ve known were some of the most aggressive tops I’ve come across too. The stereotypes just don’t apply. I suppose it’s the attitude. The confidence, the “Don’t-Fuck-With-Me” to your enemies and the warm, loyal friendship (if sometimes expressed behind a veil of rapier like sarcasm) to those you love.

Queens are subversive and threatening. They pose a challenge and don’t fit neatly into the current nice boringly beige model of gayness we live with. Queens, just by their existence, ask us “Do you really believe this shit they are peddling? Is this what we fought for? Is this what being a fag is really about? ” Their bullshit detectors are flawless, and their hearts are deep.

And if they have airs and graces at times, well darling, don’t forget, life in a palace changes one.

→ 2 CommentsTags: General

1st July 2009

Why Isn’t Life More Like Porn ?

Posted by: Michael Stevens

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.

blog_basic_plumbing.jpg
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.

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24th June 2009

I Like What I See

Posted by: Michael Stevens

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” porn. 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.

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9th June 2009

Let’s talk about sex, baby,

Posted by: Michael Stevens

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. You can be HIV+, and raunchy and fun. And you can do this with some who is HIV neg.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 loveable.We are still horny. We are, for the greater part, extremely responsible and safe in our behaviour to our partners.

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.

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