All my life I've been good, but now, whoa oh oh oh oh I'm thinkig "What the hell!"
February 1, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Help me get my gay groove back, or find it in the first place!

Last summer, my ex and I broke up after over five years together. When we got together, I was almost 23 and hadn't been on a date or kissed a guy. It was frustrating, but I didn't want to force anything. It's not like my first time had to be amazingly perfect or special, but I at least wanted it to be organic. And it was, and it was good for a long time, and then not so good, and then done. That still hurts like hell, but I welcome most of the changes that have happened.

Unlike almost all of my friends, I never had a slutty phase. To be honest I felt bad for them. But now I'm single, not ready for love but on the cusp of being ready for sex. And I just don't know how to flip the switch in my head that says "Go for it!"

For about a month in November and December, I had rebound fling going on, which felt great. For a few weeks I felt more confident and sexy than I probably ever have. But I was also still wrapped up in my breakup and freaked out. After a few hours (!) of making out and slowly removing clothing, when it came time to take it to the next level, I suddenly broke down crying instead. To his credit, he didn't run out into the night, but within a few days it was over.

Since the dust from that settled, my friends have been gently needling me to "be a slut!" I know they don't mean go suck off anything that moves, just that I'm still young and reasonably sexy, and there's nothing wrong with having a little fun. I know I shouldn't be pressured into doing anything I don't want to do, but the thing is, I do want to.

I moved to the gay village in Toronto to be near friends, so with bars, bathhouses and hookup apps, I know I could get laid anytime I want. But I just won't let myself go for it. I feel like it's big scary gay world and I don't know how to navigate it.

I guess I haven't separated love from sex, and I'm definitely not ready for love. I think I've got a sense that sex for sex's sake is a little sad. But I am horny and I don't want to sit around waiting for the next hookup or relationship to happen "organically." But I just don't know how to make it happen, or more importantly let myself make it happen. Please help me stop worrying and love gay sex!
posted by Ceci n'est pas un sockpuppet to Human Relations (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

It is my opinion that sex is life's most poignant pleasure, and as long as one goes about it in a responsible manner (not taking foolish risks) then there is nothing sad about sex for sex's sake, any more than there would be something sad about eating food because you are hungry. Have fun.
posted by grizzled at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

I think I've got a sense that sex for sex's sake is a little sad.

I was raised by very conservative, sex-negative people in a fairly hostile environment, so I feel like I can relate -- it took me a looong time to truly accept the idea that pleasure for its own sake can be a beautiful, even sacred, thing.

I spent many years going to bars and really hoping I'd meet someone, but when it came right down to it, I could not let down my guard or relax around people, and I felt that if I relented and allowed myself to have sex with them, I was losing a little part of myself -- like they were taking something away from me.

At first the idea that someone might want nothing in return for sex -- no relationship, no friendship, no ANYTHING -- struck me as surreal and sort of perverse. And surely, a lot of the NSA sex types aren't acting the way they do because of an especially enlightened perspective. But over time I realized, this can be a beautiful way to live. That shame I used to feel? Someone put it there, on purpose, to keep me focused on one type of relationship for my whole life. I began to explore a little bit further and further, and read a few books such as "The Ethical Slut" etc., and before long I realized that I could have purely enjoyable sex just for the sake of doing so. And that this can actually be an interesting way to get to know someone, if you decide you want to dig deeper.

In other words, casual sex is not necessarily all about hiding from intimacy. It's a way of learning about intimacy, so that you can get better at exercising who you become intimate with and how, better at expressing yourself, and better at following others cues and learning how to give someone pleasure.

Anyhow I don't know if that helps at all but you are welcome to message me if you ever want to chat about it.
posted by hermitosis at 11:04 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]

It doesn't have to be all one way or the other. You don't have to choose to get married or be blindfolded in a sling (though both are fine options, if you want them). "Friends with benefits" is a silly phrase to me, but it's a pretty decent way to have some sexual fun while still keeping things casual.

Find people you like, doing activities you like (gay bowling? gay rodeo?) and then see if there are guys you might want to take home after those activities. I find that there's more pressure when it's a one-night stand or a date than if it's just people hanging out, having a good time, and getting together for sex because they like each other.
posted by xingcat at 11:15 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

My experience with casual sex was that for years, I thought it was fine for other people but definitely not for me ... and then I broke up with my boyfriend of 8 years, accidentally had a one night stand, had an awesome time and didn't die or freak out and the switch just flipped. Suddenly, I was all about the casual sex! And it was exactly what I needed at that time -- sex and fun, but no big relationship.

So that's not that helpful from the "how to do this on purpose" perspective, except that I'd encourage you to just try it and see if having done it once frees you up to enjoy it more.

Also, I echo hermitosis in saying that casual sex is (or can be) a way of learning about intimacy. I learned more about myself, what pleases me, what I like and want, and relationships in general during my casual sex years than I ever would have expected to.
posted by rosa at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2011

You just have to do it. Asking someone to have sex is like asking someone out on a date - they might say no. Just keep trying, and keep the stakes low (i.e. don't do anything unsafe.) There's a good chance you'll start *really* enjoying being a little slutty if you keep at it. And it sounds like you've earned a slutty phase.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 12:11 PM on February 1, 2011

Get the hell out of the village. In TO you don't have to LIVE at Church and Wellesley to "be near friends." We lived west of the Annex and Church was 10 minutes away by TTC.

Living in the most depressing neighbourhood in Toronto, with the worst restaurants and a nonstop parade of guys with facial wasting on permanent disability is like hot death is, in my opinion, the best way to make sex unpalatable. Get out of the ghetto; it'll perk your libido right up.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:04 PM on February 1, 2011

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