Sex talk
"Normal" Sex

Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

The online ad sounded almost plaintive: "I'm what you'd call vanilla, and I want to find a playmate who's not into kink or leather or anything like that. Doesn't anybody have plain old normal sex anymore?"

The tone of the plea is understandable. To look at some sex-ad sites, it might seem as though everyone is into pain, piss, or even more baroque "perversions." Those of us who prefer plain, unadorned sucking and/or fucking might feel left out, even a bit old-fashioned.

Says one fellow who's fondest of fellatio, "I had a boyfriend who was into what he called 'sexual adventures.' It started out with exhibitionistic role-play, but soon moved on to bondage and whips. As much as I longed to please him, though, all I really wanted to do was suck his cock. And so we drifted apart, which was kind of a pity, since I liked him a lot."

Of course, one man's "normal" may be another guy's "weird," and when it comes to male/male sex, there are plenty of hets out there who would claim all of it – cock, stock, and barrel – is beyond the pale. But even here on the gay side of things, many men may wonder whether their desires are OK.

Says one queer observer, "If you define 'normal' as 'what most people do,' then one man boning another up the butt is pretty clearly abnormal. The problems start when folks equate 'abnormal' with 'wrong.'"

Queer men have been persecuted because the sex we have is "abnormal," and many of us, at least when starting out, struggle to give ourselves permission just to touch another guy's cock. Even the most vanilla of gay male sex – stuff like mutual masturbation – has been derided for so long, that we often end up taking an "anything goes" attitude, and many of us are reluctant to seem even a bit judgmental.

To some extent, that changed when HIV came along, and some practices proved to be clearly dangerous. But lots of kinky stuff – spanking, say, or bondage – qualified as safe sex...and perhaps became more popular. And the rise of gay liberation and the invention of the Internet have brought many previously taboo topics into the mainstream of sexual discussion. Men who fetishize feet, want to cross-dress for sex, or get hard at the thought of sitting on balloons, now know there are others out there who share their particular kink.

"Sometimes it seems like everybody's playing a game of sexual can-you-top-this," one middle-aged top laments. "I know it's silly, but when I see what other people like to do in bed, sometimes I feel left out because all I really want to do is fuck ass."

Even strait-laced fellows have had off-the-wall fantasies, and fear and shame have held many men back from erotic exploration. Indeed, for some edgy dudes, the very oddness of mega-kinky sex makes it even hotter. But if your deepest desire goes no further than frottage or a bit of groping boners, there's nothing wrong with that. Really, there's not.

Though some guys' motto is "I'll try anything once," just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Certainly, there are some far-out turn-ons – necrophilia, say, or bestiality – best left to masturbatory imaginings. And other wild fun, such as play-piercing, demands some expertise to be done safely. Continues our observer, "While some people 'find themselves' through kinky sex, for others it can be a means of avoiding intimacy, or even a route to self-destruction. And for some folks, once a kink becomes a routine, it's a matter of either upping the ante or getting diminishing returns."

Good sex, besides being fun, can also be a path to self-discovery, a means of communication, and/or a way of showing love. If it entails your dressing up as a furry animal or consensually kicking a guy in the nuts, no one but you yourself can, finally, judge what's right. Likewise, though, you need not feel the least bit guilty if all you really want to do is jack off to photos of naked men.

Gay sex is not a contest to see who can get the kinkiest, and "normal" need not mean "boring" - unless you let it. Sure, you may be missing a party, but perhaps it's a party you don't really want to attend. Concludes our fond-of-fellatio fellow, "Let other guys take pride in how well they perform bondage or whip one another. I'll just be happy that I give great head."

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

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