Sex talk
Speaking of Manners

Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Displaying good manners is more than just a matter of ritual or class. It's also a way of saying, "I respect you as a human being," and having a hard-on is no reason to be rude. Sure, good sex is often, in part, a matter of "using" another guy in one way or another. But even lechery can be mannerly.

Internet culture has contributed to abrupt behavior. Hiding behind a screen name makes it easier to fling insults, to stand someone up, or just to ignore whomever. As one Web wanderer wonders, "Is it really so hard to e-mail 'no thanks' when someone unsuitable answers your online ad?"

But crass cruising has a long, ignoble, pre-Internet tradition: Gay bars have always been fertile ground for alcohol-fueled misbehavior. "A queer bar can be a lot of fun, if you're in the mood," says a young guy. "But there's also a lot of grabbiness, as though 'no' doesn't really mean 'no.' On the other hand, you can approach someone and he'll ignore you completely, or walk off in the middle of a sentence if he spots someone he thinks is hotter."

Some bad behavior no doubt stems from insecurity. We're afraid of rejection, so we armor ourselves and treat others less than well – before they can do the same to us. And internalized homophobia still has the power to fuck up the way we treat other queer men. If you're ashamed of your own desires, why not disrespect those who share them?

But, as one well-mannered man says, "Some of it just comes down to a basic lack of consideration. If I have a porn video playing when a fuckbuddy comes over, I'll ask if he wants me to keep it on. I don't just pull out a bottle of poppers without finding out if the other guy is into using them, too. And when I leave a trick's house, I thank him for inviting me over. Sometimes I'll even send a 'thank you' e-mail the next day. It's not that I'm some holier-than-thou saint type. It's just that keeping things polite makes the whole experience seem nicer, no matter how nasty the fucking itself may get."

Which brings us to the sex itself. Sure, it's important to get what you want in bed. But – unless you're wanking in a solo scene – there's at least one other person to consider, too. And sexual self-absorption – whether from inexperience, narcissism, or sheer "I gotta come" horniness – has its limits. Sensitivity can work wonders in keeping fucking fun for all concerned. No matter how much you enjoy, say, eating ass, some guys don't like getting rimmed. A considerate sex partner about to try something new will either ask outright or gently start in and watch for feedback.

And then there's the unmistakable signal of shooting one's wad. Our well-mannered man continues, "I really don't have to come to enjoy having sex. And I know that having an orgasm causes many men to rapidly lose interest in anything besides taking a shower. But if my partner has come and I haven't shot my own load yet, it's nice if he acts as though my getting off is at least a little important to him."

Even when you're getting your rocks off, the Golden Rule applies. Suck others' dicks the way you want yours to be sucked. Though you may be somewhat conflicted, disinterested, or just plain tired out, treat your tricks well. They are, after all, smart and sweet enough to want to have sex with you.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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