Alex, a new correspondent from the wonderful world of the Web, has given me permission to use her post about one-night stands as a starting point for some ruminations of my own.
You see the men and you want them, then and there. Tall, bronzed, thin T-shirt, sculpted body. Your purpose for the rest of the night is to get them into your bed, or you into theirs. You don’t care about their minds, their erudite expostulation of Aristotle’s ethics; you just want their body. “The more time we spend talking, the less time we have for foolin’ around”.
I have a theory about males in general. There is one reason for their continued existence: sex. We're not really necessary, except that we provide a convenient way to provide some mixing in the gene pool. Being human, it's a lot more complicated than that, but there you have a basic rationale for the existence of men. If you look at a couple of small details in the physical function of the male, it seems that whatever designer had a hand in creating the human male was not thinking much about sexual fidelity -- at least, not originally. Consider that men, at their sexual peak (and for quite a distance on either side of it) are, as we say in Chicago, ready to "vote early and often." It's no mistake that our nearest anthropoid relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, keep harems.
Gay men, of course, since the complications of parenthood are, at least in the basics of the whole thing, somewhat remote, are in a position to explore that side of their natures. Hence, we are condemned as being promiscuous.
Yes, and. . . ?
Promiscuity by itself is neither here nor there, although it seems to frighten heterosexuals immensely, especially those who practice it the most. We always hear, of course, the "public health" message, which is another of those cart-before-the-horse kinds of things. If we weren't trapped in this patriarchal, women-as-property, all-encompassing disapproval that passes for "morality" in some quarters, we might derive some benefit from such things as honest and realistic sex education, intelligent discussion of disease transmission and ways to prevent it, and just maybe a little bit less in the way of screwed-up heads.
Because we are human, we can't escape realizing that there is an emotional component to sex that may or may not apply to other species, since we don't really understand emotion, in the first place, and we have no idea what other species "feel," in the second. So I'll just stick with human men.
Gay men are probably the most romantic creatures alive. I don't know one who doesn't get off on the idea of candlelit dinners for two, moonlight walks along the shore, holding hands in the movies, all of it, whether he'll admit it or not. To anyone who is using the brains his designated deity gave him, that should be a clue to the fact that, yes, gay men do have feelings for each other that are pretty much the same as straight men and women have for each other. It's just that our traditional way of learning about each other was slightly different. Men being subject to the training they receive in most Western cultures, intimacy is not the easiest thing for them. I think that's one reason that we continue to cruise and pick each other up for sex. Somehow, you can get past those initial barriers that too often leave men tongue-tied and inept -- or sounding like a car salesman. You've already been intimate, and if it seems warranted, you can get on to the good stuff. Courtship was likely to be compressed into an evening or less, and it was kind of hit-or-miss, but when it worked. . . .
And then there was the one who wasn’t the one-night-stand.
The one you sat around the wine cask with all night, but then he slipped out without you managing to invite him home. And you had to arrange to “accidentally” bump into to him on campus. And he looked more and more gorgeous each time you saw him, and you couldn’t stop smiling every time you saw him. And he had to go away for the summer to work on his family’s farm. And you wrote him letters and when he finally returned he was bronzed from the sun and you couldn’t wait to get him into bed but it still took a number of days and when you finally got him there… it was great, and you couldn’t remember the sex so much as the feeling after, the way the sex seemed to open up a channel between the two of you that everyone must see – a rainbow linking you. And how fantastic you felt and how beautiful life was and how all you wanted was to walk by his side and be with him and drag him into your bed every night and it just kept getting better and he felt the same.
The one you fell in love with.
I couldn't have put it better myself.Happy New Year, everyone.