(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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