You know, it’s easy to get depressed around Christmas time. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself as others are so obviously having a good time. Take away the booze, the drugs, the porn etc. etc. and what are you left with? It’s not just about what I can’t do it’s more about what I won’t do. Invitations are left unanswered. Parties unattended. Why go out when I can throw my very own pity party?
This Christmas is miserable for other reasons. My malaise is the countries malaise. Diffident people, unresolved policies, a new President who arrived with such hope and is not delivering. The undeserving bankers partying on the taxpayers dime. ‘The have’s and the have mores.’ Do you remember Bush saying that? I read about whole families in homeless shelters and growing incidence of hunger in the world’s richest country.
My friends are becoming more frustrated and less patient. I only hope that their frustration leads to dissidence and activism. Listen, this is not my fight. This is not my country. Why should I care? Well, I do.
This week I wrote about sexual fluidity and my usual detractors came at me with the usual arguments. One writer challenging my assertion that there is more sexual fluidity than we like to admit posted a link to an interesting piece in the New York Times.
I think that it is worth reading. Rather than proving his point that most men are one thing or another or gravitate toward one or other end of the sexual spectrum it proves only one thing: we tend to ask men the wrong questions about sexuality if we want to hear the truth.
Bisexuality is not the point. Sexual opportunism amongst men is the point. Most men, initially, are simply not honest when asked about their desires, fantasies or experiences. Of the hundreds of men I have spoken to about their sex conduct-when they finally feel safe enough to tell the truth, the truth is always far more complicated and often more harrowing for them to admit.
Our personal and evolving sexuality is far too complicated for most humans to own up to. Sexual honesty is further complicated by the hysteria whipped up by organized religion.
Sexuality is simplified by those at either end of the sex spectrum who are sure (for the time being) of their own desires and cannot be aroused by anything else. These people are in the minority. For the sexually opportunistic when sex options become available those options are gravely considered. Hence the problems many men face with the internet and the availability of previously unseen or considered (often illegal) pornographic images. Men trawling for pornographic images on the internet start by looking at ‘vanilla’ type images but very quickly find themselves looking at and aroused by images of sex acts and sex scenarios that they may never even considered previously. Why do they look at them? Because they can. Once the door is open to this world of taboo it is very hard for most men to close it again.
How many men who are languishing in prison today, their lives destroyed, for looking at illegal images would have ever sought out those images if they hadn’t had the internet? Once, not so long ago, before the internet those criminals might have thought about those things-maybe. They might have had terrible desires or feelings but feelings are not facts.
Feelings are not facts.
Is it only a matter of time before the leap from an imagined world to reality?
The internet takes us very quickly to places that we wish we had never been. From the safety of my own apartment I can explore the darkest reaches of my own mind.
Most of us never have the guts or the inclination or the opportunity to make real what was previously a fantasy. The moment we step from fantasy into reality we create another life.
Tiger Woods will tell a reporter that his wife and family come first. This scene is played out endlessly on TV to confirm that Tiger Woods is a liar. No, Tiger Woods did not lie. Tiger Woods really does believe that his wife and kids come first but he Tiger, like so many men, has multiple lives and like many, many men he compartmentalizes those lives. He has his real life of wife and children and his fantasy life of hookers and escorts. Because of his power, position and social mobility he gets to act out what is usually, for most men, a fantasy.
I serially cheated. I had two lives. My real life with my lover and the discardable life of quick hook ups.
‘It meant nothing’ means something.
I was acting on my most basest desires because I could. Because I had no morality? I balked at writing that but actually I mean it. I had no code of conduct. I had no guiding principles around my sex conduct. I found myself at the mercy of my desires. Is this peculiar to me? No. One does not need to have had a traumatic past to become the victim of ones desire-just ask Tiger.
Sexuality is not as dull as gay or straight or bisexual. It is infinitely more interesting. My detractors want you to believe that sexuality is simple. That they have the answer for all of you-that you are one thing or the other.
The truth is that until we can all honestly, shamelessly tell our sex stories we will never really know.