Sex talk
Speaking of Watching

Simon Sheppard,

Take a look. Take a good, hard look.

Many a man loves to watch. Says one of them, "I placed an ad online, looking for a couple who wanted to be watched while they fucked. There were replies from some flakes, but also a few couples who really got off being seen. And I really got off just looking. And jacking myself, of course."

Not every visual variation need be so pre-planned – or hard-core voyeuristic. Many a hot fuck has paused midstroke when one guy says, "Let me just lie here and watch you beat off." And sometimes the visual is a prelude to a more involved scene. One dominant top says, "When I meet a new sub, I like to have him strip for me, very deliberately and gradually, and let me see what he's got. Maybe to bend over and spread 'em. And then to show me how he plays with himself. Hell, let him earn the privilege of getting tied up by me."

As the topman's story suggests, the act of watching often entails power. The Peeping Tom steals his pleasure by gazing without permission, while guys like our topman command their partners to put on a consensual show. But the power isn't necessarily one-sided. You're so hot, the underlying message goes, that I get off just looking at you. And if the watching is mutual, things can just spiral, getting hotter and hotter.

Curiosity can play a big part in peering. Who hasn't furtively sneaked a glance across the locker room to see what a naked dude is displaying? "Every dick is different," says one connoisseur, "and I love to look at each one."

Sometimes a stray stare can lead to unexpected rewards. "I was in a public restroom, pissing next to this pierced gothboy," recalls a middle-aged man, "and when he caught on that I was looking at his dick, he started jacking. Finally he shot his load, zipped up, smiled, and left. Priceless."

Then there's the safety angle. Newcomers to male/male sex can take a gander at what they're not quite ready to do, and the same goes for more specialized fun. Many leather parties, for instance, welcome newcomers who just want to stand and – respectfully – watch while masters and slaves go through their paces. "In a way," says one kinky bottom, "it's even hotter when my top shows me off, so a bunch of people can see what a slut I am." And whether the show is vanilla or extreme, consensual sightseeing is safe sex – nobody ever contracted an STD just through ogling another guy's crotch.

For a guy who's just watching, there's no performance anxiety, no worry whether one is "doing it right." Fortunately for all concerned, there are show-offs who crave being observed while acting obscene. On occasion, though, the sightlines can get complex. Confesses one gay man, "I enjoy going to straight adult theaters and observing men getting off by looking at pussy. And I've discovered that a lot of 'em enjoy being watched."

Sure, there can be problems with eye-centric lust. If sightseeing is a substitute for actual human contact – especially if fear of balling limits you to eyeballing – it probably indicates there are issues to be dealt with. But men are notoriously prone to visual stimulation, and, at the least, in-the-flesh watching is more multi-dimensional than a porn DVD.

"Sexy," after all, is in the eye of the beholder. And the gay gaze can make for an orgasmic optical orgy.

So keep your eyes peeled and your pecker up.

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

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