Friday, 11 May 2012

Savage Sex

(The title of this post is a little misleading - it should read "Savage Love".  I wanted, however, to keep a theme going)

When I was growing up, sex was not a subject of informed discussion.  At least not in my home.  I never had "that talk".  And I missed the single two hour session of sex education that was provided in my school for fifteen-year-olds.  Through the changes in my own body, and what I managed to glean from the few books available, particularly Lady Chatterley's Lover, I came to get some sort of knowledge of the mechanics of heterosexual intercourse. Sometimes another boy would manage to obtain a copy of the Naturist magazine, Health and Beauty, and from this I was able to gain some knowledge of the adult female anatomy, although this was limited to breasts and buttocks.  I became, however, fascinated and remain so to this day.  It was all a mystery.  Women were somehow exotic.  They were almost another species with strange motivations and actions.  And, as I later discovered, they bled.  Mystery upon mystery!

If I knew little about women, I knew even less about homosexuality.  Which was strange and confusing to me since my stepfather, with whom I did not get on, was always calling me a queer.  I knew that I was not primarily attracted to men and a few sexual encounters confirmed that, but there remained the fear that he was right.

I entered adulthood, therefore, confused and uncertain.  There seemed to be nowhere to turn for objective and factual information on sexuality.  Those books that I had read spoke of perversions such as cunnilingus which I discovered that I enjoyed immensely.  I also knew that the idea of sex with men was, at times, attractive.  And, even worse, I had occasional fantasies of domination and bondage.  Did this mean that I was perverted?  I did not want to be.  It sounded so negative and disempowering. I felt that I was at the mercy of some unclean desires. It took me a long time to accept that this was not so.  It took me that long to realise that I was simply somewhere in the spectrum of normal.

It would perhaps not have taken me so long if I had had access to advice such as that given by Dan Savage. I came across his advice column and podcast very recently as a result of his contribution to the book "Sex at Dawn".  I spent a couple of weeks catching up on his archives and found a voice of clarity and sanity.  I do not agree with all he says but respect the honesty and directness in which he expresses his opinions.

That is all I really want to say here.  Just visit him and see for yourself.

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