“Men’s” Sexuality

I am sitting in a coffee house in San Francisco.  I’m reading Foucault and sipping matte but switching to Guinness.  Usually, in socal, when people see what I am reading they back away intimidated.  Here I get “wow – that is heavy stuff” and a conversation about sociology, drugs, yoga, and politics.  The people behind me are talking of socialism.  This city is a splendid place to be smart, kinky, queer and avoid sunshine.  I’m game to spend a lot more time here.
But my adventures in the city are not what I sat down to write about.  I sat to write about men’s sexuality.  Since I was a little girl, being socialized in the states, I have noticed the adverts on the front of women’s magazines regarding men’s sex lives.  Please him this way and that way – 1000 ways to please him, blab la bla.  I have read the same tired advice on men’s sexuality rewritten in the same tired trite and coy way every time I have sat down to take a peek and see if things have changed.  The mags seem to give the same advice they gave twenty years ago.  I’m sick to tears of it.  Men’s sexuality is something that I happen to know a lot about.  I have interviewed hundreds of men about their sexual preferences, fantasies, kinks, desires, wives, and the reality of getting some.  Most men have sexual desires that far exceed what main stream women’s mags are prepared to publish.
Based on my years of ethnographic research I have a little something to say about this.  Besides the obvious idea that we need to move beyond a limited range of acceptable desires I would venture to argue for the removal of taboo and silence around real world sexuality.  One of the reasons men seek the services of sex workers is because they are intimidated and terrified of their own desires; the idea that someone they care about might discover said desires and run screaming for the hills, thus no longer giving the love these men desperately need.
I have this friend I am worried about.  He is in his 40s and he is not capable of articulating his sexual interests to the women who he dates.  He is a cross dresser.  He loves women and women’s clothing, but he is so wrapped up in the construct of what constitutes acceptable sexuality that he can not honor his desires with women who he might bring home to mom.  He is a closet case who can only enjoy his true desire with sex workers.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love sex workers.  I am one. Sex workers are providing a very needed service in a world where sexuality is cringing with taboo.  The services of sex workers is a way for people to get the sex that they need without having to confront the larger social issue of taboo and sexual repression.  We need a holiday for sex workers: a day of respect to honor the people who serve the sexual needs of the insecure and closet cases.  Dealing with this shit is hard work.  Repression builds up like cholesterol in the arteries.  Sex workers help to lower the tension that repression fosters.
There are many kinds of sexuality.  There are people who never have a chance to experience much more than traditional sexual experiences with a tad of the fringe that has been socially sanctioned.  Missionary with a few minutes of doggy style anyone?
Sexual repression manifests itself in many ways.  Often my clients have had upbringings that did not prepare them to be sexual creatures.  I have seen hundreds of adult men who have never had fulfilling sexual relationships.  People who cannot have a sex conversation with their partners.  Often when a new client comes into my life he cannot even tell me the intricate details of his fantasy, stuttering with ummms and hesitations between short stories of things he has seen on the internet.
This world is a sad place for developing sexuality.  We are not teaching comprehensive sex education, let alone communication skills regarding fantasy fulfillment.  The limited range of acceptable sexual expression infuriates me.
Why do we limit ourselves and say silly things like “I would never do that”? If the activity is consensual, not life threatening, and sexy to your partner why would you say no?  Fear, repression, expectations of society? Maybe.  But there is a lot that goes into the development of being sexual.
We are not born with a fixed and stagnant sexuality.  We are told what we should want: heterosexual, monogamous, missionary style sex.  But how many people are truly satisfied with this model of sexual expression?  Few, if any.  As we develop as human beings we move through spaces and stages, meeting people and seeing things that turn us on and off, confuse us and our ethical sense of sexual desire.
But to fight our desires and box our sexual experience, as though it is a fixed point in a time line, is the most ridiculous thing we can do.  When people say they are gay, straight, bi, or some other limiting sexual preference, what they are telling me is that they have not thought trough the possibilities, the experience that they are missing by saying no to a whole range of sexual opportunities and possible experience.  How fucking dull.
When women’s magazines give advice about how to please a man they are reinforcing a set of limited, acceptable, sexual behaviors.  Heteronormative desires that reinforce a constricted range of love, human desire, and potential.  When we pick a checkbox of sexuality we give credence to the limitations that we have been offered as a society and as individuals.  Sexual preference should depend on which way the wind blows, not some pre determined idea of right and wrong.
I want my sex to be hot.  That is my preference.  I rarely care if it is with someone who has a sex of genitalia that they identify as being their gender / bio sex, if they are gay straight, or whatever.  Just so long as they can make it hot.  It is the chemistry and the passion that make a good time, not your identity.  We need to get the idea of social values, hierarchies, privilege, morals and ethics out of sex.  In this day and age sex is for one thing and one thing only: PLEASURE!

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