Masculine Sex


Bill Weintraub

Masculine Sex


recently a guy named Bruce angrily declared on this board that i was wrong to say that men who have sex with men aren't necessarily homosexual

as is often the case when people get pissed at me, though, i hadn't said anything radical or earth-shaking

as long ago as the 1950s, James Baldwin (in Another Country) wrote about men who weren't "homosexual" having sex with other men

and sociologists have long spoken of "situational homosexuality," which is allegedly men having sex with men because women aren't available -- in prison for example

the notion that they might be having sex with each other just cause it feels good is something of course that sociologists didn't used to countenance, but they may be coming round

in any case, the reality is that homosexuality is a very recent and confining construct, invented by 19th century doctors seeking to isolate and medicalize -- that is turn into an illness -- a natural, normal, common, and completely healthy human behavior

as such, it wasn't valid in 1897, and there's no reason to stick with it in 2002

and personally i've found that "homosexual/gay" box increasingly confining -- and i refuse to stay in it

so it seems to me that when we reject what men tell us about various forms of male bonding, and say, as Bruce did, "bullshit, it's homosexuality," we buy into a very limiting view of what actually happens or might happen between two men

as we can see in many posts on this site, most recently Warrior Carlos' account of his relationship with Eddie (furiously, wildly, intensely), and Warrior Pete's account of his fights with Hugo (About Dickfighting)

now it's true that i called the site Heroic Homosex -- and that's because i needed a shorthand for the idea of a culture of sex between men that's masculine and noble and heroic

but maybe another term would be better

for example, a recent correspondent suggested to me "masculine sex" -- he said, regarding Hyacinthine Love, "I always thought there was something called masculine sex. This helps define it." And i agree -- cock2cock and dick2dick -- with or without overt aggression -- define masculine sex.

this issue of masculinity is an important one, because it's one of the reasons that "guys into anal" bristle at our message

the gay male establishment has put a lot of time and energy into the notion that getting fucked does not diminish one's self worth -- and by implication, one's masculinity

i don't agree, and i've said so repeatedly

for example, i think the popular notion of a dominant bottom is nonsense -- an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, like safe promiscuity

you can't be dominant with a dick up your ass -- it's not possible -- you can imagine that you're in control just like you can imagine that it feels good, but it doesn't and you're not -- the guy fucking you is not only controlling you, but getting fucked makes you about as vulnerable as a man can be -- that's why in popular parlance getting fucked over is synonymous with being very badly used

so what it comes down to is this:

cock to cock is masculine for both partners -- anal penetration is not

and cock to cock therefore is masculine sex -- sex between two men, neither of whom has to stop being a man for the sex to continue

just not true of anal penetration

and i'm going to continue saying that

the gay male community has had more than 25 years of living in moral relativity land -- in which everything goes, and there are no consequences to the way you behave

that's a fantasy, as The Black Lotus has so brilliantly pointed out

if you let yourself get penetrated like a woman, in some way you're going to think of yourself as a woman, or, as i maintain, a poor substitute for a woman, and your self-esteem will suffer

not to mention your health

on June 3 Newsweek ran an article about yet another SF safer-sex counselor getting fucked up on drugs and having a lot of unsafe sex

which of course begs the question, among others -- why do safer-sex counselors or anyone else have to get fucked up on drugs to have anal penetration in the first place -- if the "sex" is so great, why do you need drugs?

the first of these articles ran last August in the NY Times -- almost a year ago -- and how little things have changed since then -- no one's talking about frottage or any safe alternatives -- there's just more fatalistic hand-wringing about sex and drugs and unsafe behavior with NO ANALYSIS of why gay men do self-destructive things

well, i have an analysis -- it's a cultural analysis, it's about culture and cultural messages and enforcing a dominant culture of anal penetration, and NO ONE has been able to refute it

censor it, yes

refute it, no

so i'm going to continue to put it forward, and with your help, publicize it

and tell guys --

you can have masculine sex

which is safe and psychologically healthy

or you can have effeminizing sex

which is dangerous and psychologically debilitating

what you can't have is effeminizing sex which escapes the dangers and psychological hazards of anal penetration

it's time for gay men to leave their topsy-turvy world -- in which unsafe is safe and bottoms are tops, and men rubbing cocks are kids and men stuffing their dicks into shit-holes and getting fucked up the ass are paragons of adult development --

and return to the real world, where they can acknowledge a simple truth: sex that enhances your masculinity feels better and is better for you than sex that makes you into somebody's bitch


First PS

interestingly, the notion of masculine or feminine sex is close to that of the ancient Romans

they believed that men who spent too much time with women, including sexually, became effeminized -- their word was "mollis," which means soft

whereas men who preferred the company of other men would remain "hard"

so they didn't trust "womanizers" -- and Octavian was able to make use of that prejudice in his political struggle with Mark Antony -- he could claim that Antony had become "soft" through too much association with Cleopatra, while brushing off or even benefitting from Antony's counter-propaganda that Octavian had been Julius Caesar's lover

of course today we'd call these attitudes misogynist, and in a sense they were

but there's no question that many men simply enjoy being with other men -- sometimes without sex and sometimes sexually -- and that the label homosexual is a burden and barrier to them

so what's important is to empower "gay," "bi," and "str8" men to act on their sexual feelings towards other men in a safe and affiliative way, without hemming them in with language which may or may not accurately describe how they feel

because as far as i'm concerned, regardless of how you define yourself, if you're on this site, you're a Cockrub Warrior, and



Second PS

recently, Dan Savage, a syndicated "gay sex advice" columnist who I'm beginning to think must be one of the greatest dopes on this earth, wrote a column with a take similar to Bruce's about bisexuality, castigating men who called themselves "bi" even though they rarely strayed from one gender to the other, and inventing all sorts of needless sociological categories for sexual identity

well i could care less how the guy i'm rubbin cocks with defines himself -- and really what difference does it make?

that was Allen Ginsberg's attitude towards his str8 lover Peter Orlovsky -- he put together an anthology of their love poems and letters titled "Straight Hearts Delight" -- and it's terrific

now it is true that 30 years ago many of us in Gay Liberation made it a point of honor not to sleep with str8-identified guys

but times change

what's happened is that the category "gay" has become so anally ossified and effete that it's gotten in the way of men exploring their natural sexual feelings toward other men

so which do we toss -- the category or the men?

i say the category -- like the emphasis on anal, it's just a cultural construct, it's had its day, and it's time to move on


David McQuarrie

Re: Masculine Sex


"what's happened is that the category "gay" has become so anally ossified and effete that it's gotten in the way of men exploring their natural sexual feelings toward other men"

I agree with your assertion Bill. Indeed "gay or homosexual" sex has become a paradigm for "anal" sex in many peoples minds, in many gay men's minds too.

I think it's equally important though to be able to "identify" who we are and what we feel. For many guys, myself included, this site has reaffirmed who I am and what I feel. That's important, good and healthy. It mustn't stop there though, we can't abandon ship because a "term, phrase, word" has become muddied. I'm GAY, HOMOSEXUAL, QUEER whatever society wants to call me. BUT I identify myself as a MAN who LOVES other MEN. My IDENTITY is WHO I AM, I was born a man and will die a man. I'm PROUD of WHO I AM, I may NOT always identify with fellow "gay" men, but that's part of being human and part of the world we live in. I'm willing to help change that, one mind at a time!

Bill Weintraub

Re: Masculine Sex


hey david

i hear what you're saying

most of us have fought very hard to achieve our gay identity, that is our identity as men who love other men

so this is a difficult time -- because on the one hand, the gay community is still under attack -- in places like the US Senate -- and that includes all of us, no matter what we do sexually

and on the other, we have a gay male establishment living, as The Black Lotus says, in anal sex fantasy land, and doing all it can to cement the identification of anal with gay -- which, unchallenged, leaves us without an identity

so you're right to insist that "gay" belongs to you as much as it does to men into anal -- and that it's important to continue to reach out to guys who identify as "gay"

at the same time, when i talk about junking categories like gay or homosexual, i'm not talking about giving up our identity as guys who love guys, whatever word or phrase we want to use for it

what i'm doing is trying to reach those nongay men who say to me, I want to be intimate with another man -- but i'm not gay

by which they mean, i'm masculine, i'm not into anal, i don't like drag, i don't want to be promiscuous -- everything that Blk Warrior says in his post MAKE LOVE -- not fuck

and i think David would say to them -- and this is part of David's uncompromising strength -- look, i'm masculine, i'm not into anal, i'm not promiscuous -- and i'm gay

whereas i say to these guys -- fine -- you don't have to be "gay" to be intimate with another man -- you don't have to do anal, you don't have to be effeminate, you don't have to be promiscuous

instead you can get hard with him and hug him and mash faces and put your hard against his

and you can do that for the rest of your lives and not be gay or homosexual or anything else

you can just be two guys who love each other

so perhaps i'm wrong here, but i don't see the point of trying to force a gay identity on guys who aren't happy with it

but that doesn't mean men who do like it have to give it up either

my goal, ultimately, though, is to free people from these labels so that they can be themselves



Re: Masculine Sex


I didn't even know what the word GAY meant til I was 15. But a friend of mine--I'll call him Mike--and I had been hangin out together for years by that point. My family was a bit repressive and his was ultra-religious but we meshed nicely. He was taller than me, about 5'11'' and 180 lbs with sandy brown hair and smooth skin. One day in his room while we were lounging -- I don't remember how it started -- we started wrestling. It was HOT. I got so hard so instantly, I didn't even know how hard until his right foot (bare) landed on it while he was wrapping his legs around me. I don't think he noticed at the time.

We started wrestling every day we met--then one day we were at my poolside in August and he was wearing tight little speedos -- we started wrestling some and this time my hard-on wouldn't hide. Well now... he saw it and said "Hey, cool. But if you got hard, we need to go inside." We went inside and he let me wrestle with him and play with him. He got hard and we just spilled on each other somewhere after taking off the speedos -- I was never the same afterwards. He was my first and my friend even more afterwards. He never considered himself gay but loved the physical attention I gave him. And I still think of him once in a while ... wouldn't you?

Don F

Re: Masculine Sex


Thanx for another great story of first-time encounters between buds.

The fact that it is a teen story of honest comraderie, physical contact leading to arousal and finally the purity of male climax between two guys who trust and care for each other illustrates the expression of what this site is about. No femme roles, no diminishing of one partner at the expense of the other....just full acceptance of each other's maleness.

Because this openness is sometimes so completely honest and instinctive for teenagers, it has unfortunately led to the ridicule of Frot as "juvenile" or condemned as strictly "adolescent" behavior.

It has been said that the teen years are a time when guys have little opportuity for expression with girls and are frequently yearning for any sort of affection so they respond to almost ANY kind of stimulation. For some, their buddies are "the next best thing," allowing sexual fulfillment that is both mentally and physically safe with someone they trust. This may refer to the "situational" sexuality discussion in Bill's writing.

You wrote: "He never considered himself gay, but loved the physical attention I gave him." Maybe because he was hungry for ANY sort of contact and he felt comfortable with you. Who knows.

And so it happens sometimes between buddies.

Maybe stories like this one are far more common than generally believed.

Personally I know my own first time experience as a teenager that it resulted, for me anyhow, in an incredible fulfillment that was homosexual. I was never sure the same was true about the boy I was with. For him it might have simply been "situational." I dunno.

The important point is that buds can and do trust each other and can share an intimacy together without giving up their masculinity.

Bill Weintraub

Re: Masculine Sex


thanks guys

these are all great posts

and Don's right that these experiences, which exemplify the purity of adolescent sexuality and of frot, are far more common than most people realize -- simply because teens aren't likely to talk about their male-to-male sex lives

but i wouldn't characterize the contacts that either of you had as "situational"

"situational homosexuality" is a sociological construct from the 1950s, when homosexuality was officially a mental illness and social scientists et alia were desperate to explain away homosexual behavior in "normal," aka "str8" men

in other words, either these men suddenly became mentally ill when they entered single-gender environments like the army or prison, or something in their "situation" was causing them to have sex with other men

implicit in that notion is the idea that homosexual sex is second best and an indicator of a dysfunctional social system, and that "normal" men will only do it under some sort of duress -- such as being deprived of women

that's homophobic nonsense -- guys have sex with guys all the time, and nobody forces them to do it -- quite the contrary, they do it despite all the pressures not to

and that's something that Cockrub Warrior Pete, who though he's bisexual has been characterized throughout his life as a "man's man," talks about in his post About Dickfighting -- that a great many men who don't appear to be "gay" are in fact very interested in their own gender -- and given the right circumstances, that interest emerges -- with a vengeance

so when you guys had sex with your boyhood budz, you can be sure that they liked and wanted it as much as you did -- otherwise, given the severe social strictures against homosexuality, they wouldn't have done it

no way

the problem is that those strictures are still so severe that many guys will have same-sex experiences in adolescence, and then "go str8" -- or at least appear to

that's not cause they don't like having sex with guys or because it's in any way second best

it's because the social pressures not to have sex with other men are too great and over-rule their same-sex desires

that's why i keep steering you guys toward ancient Greece

and i'm going to put this in big red letters because i want people to hear it:

in societies that lack a divine prohibition against homosexuality,
bisexuality is the norm

which tells us that most human beings are bisexual, and have to be coerced into not having sex with people of their own sex

so bisexuality is what you see in ancient Greece -- masculine guys who married and had children, but whose romantic life was with other masculine men, and who constructed societies full of visual representations of those men -- nude

and once again i want you to be clear about this -- we have far more visual "beefcake" from ancient Greece than "cheesecake" --

and that's because they really liked beef

but that's not something you'll see in the average history textbook -- instead they'll have gender parity -- an equal number of vase paintings and statues of men and women

but that's false and misleading -- the number of images of nude youths and men far far outnumber those of women, clothed or naked

and that in turn is why many writers have said of the ancient world that it was a time when men had sex with women for procreation, and with men for pleasure -- because the sense one gets from the visual record is that these men were what was called in my youth "boy-crazy"

that doesn't mean that ancient men didn't enjoy sex with women -- of course they did -- but having a family was a duty -- whereas having a male lover was fun and independent of family obligations and the need to make money

then Christianity came along and became the state religion, first of Rome, and then of the subsequent European states

Christianity believed that all sex outside of marriage was sinful, and that even in marriage only procreative sex was in any way to be allowed -- and since the early Christians believed that the second coming of Christ was imminent, many thought there was no need to reproduce or have sex at all -- that's why there were so many monks

so Christianity, with the full power of the state behind it, destroyed that sense of men being able to have sex with men for pleasure

because sex was NEVER supposed to be fun -- it was just something you had to do to keep humanity going until Christ re-appeared -- and you were not supposed to enjoy it

and that's why there's so much joyless sex, including joyless anal "sex" among gay men, and other people today -- because many people still don't think they deserve to enjoy sex

that's the problem

Christianity also sought to control and in a sense destroy male aggression

so two key aspects of masculinity -- sex and aggression -- Christianity attempted to totally sublimate for its own uses

faced however with first the continuing barbarian invasions and then Islam, Christianity recognized that it needed male aggression -- and so it sanctioned the Soldier of Christ

but it has never relaxed its stance toward non-procreative sex

so: your budz loved having sex with you -- it wasn't something they did just to be kind -- they did it cause they liked it -- it was full genital-to-genital stimulation, which we're all hard-wired to enjoy, experienced when adolescent hormones were at full flow

and if they abandoned same-sex contacts when they got older, they were following society's dictates -- not their own sense of pleasure

and of course there's no way of knowing if they truly abandoned same-sex contacts -- the easiest thing in the world for most guys is to pass as str8 -- that's the point to Doug Schading's luminous essay in Heroes titled "I Know I Have Loved" -- for both he and the man he loved -- and who certainly loved him -- were married, and neither knew the other was gay until it was too late

so when i talk about junking concepts like homosexuality or gay, that's not because i think that gay is inferior to str8 -- not ever and not for anybody

it's because i think those constructs as presently defined get in the way of guys being bisexual -- which is where, on the great bell-shaped curve of sexual orientation, most guys are

but gay, bi, or str8, dudes



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