Oh, it is good to be home! It’s also sad to no longer be in France. This qualifies as a great vacation… I had a great time and was really missing home by the time it was over. Even so, it was hard to leave. I want to return there. A lot.
And now, some responses…
How is sexuality viewed in France/Spain compared to the US?
Of the limited exposure we experienced, our couplehood was a complete non-issue everywhere we went. That included Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Bayonne and St. Jean-de-Luz. If anyone had a problem with a couple of out, middle-aged homos in their midst, there was absolutely no indication in the general public. The French may simply be more discreet than American in their disapproval, but we dealt almost entirely with the general public, not gay people, and found them uniformly friendly and warm.
Actually, Paris was a bit colder, but I perceived that as about a general dislike of tourists and outsiders, not Americans or Gays. Beyond that, I’d say we felt safer, more comfortable and less conspicuous there than anywhere in the US.
Do men cruise differently there?
I can’t say. We had very little “gay time” on this vacation. we were sightseers, shoppers and diners, but not specifically cruising homos. We did go to a couple of gay bars in Biarritz, but the tourist town was in total off-season mode and the bars were mostly deserted. Most of the people we saw there were locals being convivial… We’ll have to go back and see.
Then again, neither of us cruise a whole lot in the way single guys do. A little online, of course, but not out and about. I can tell you that there were virtually no cruisers online in Biarritz and Grindr was almost useless there, since it wouldn’t fully log me on to the alien network…
If you have sex with any locals, does it feel any different than sex with Americans?
I wish I could tell you. I’d love that perspective. From my experiences with visitors in the US, there is a different approach and energy, but the sex is not radically different. In my experience, every locale in America is a bit different, feels more or less safe to explore. I can tell you that in places that don’t have a vibrant sexual scene, options are limited and people don’t quite get kink as well. More of them just want to fuck and suck, and won’t settle for just JO. I think it takes the presence of a bater community to increase awareness of options, and Europe doesn’t seem to have JO clubs per se.
Do you feel different sexually while on vacation?
On this vacation, I felt far less sexual than I do at home. This may have been part of a general “lull” in my libido but I think it had more to do with the lack of bear culture versus lean culture. French people are generally quite a bit thinner than Americans. This was obvious when we were there and even more so when we got back and saw how big Americans are in contrast.
I love how American culture has delivered plenty of lovers for the bigger man, as evidenced quite well in the photo blogs of tumblr, but I think nothing quite branded me as an American quite so immediately as my size did. I’m 225 pounds in a 6-foot body, not that unusual here in the US but a good 40 pounds heavier than my counterparts in France…
Being there made me want to lose weight, and when I’m in that frame of mind, I don’t feel sexy. If I’m in the process of losing weight, that makes a huge difference, even if I’m the same size. On this vacation, I was in the process of enjoying French cuisine every day, and that is not weight-loss mode.
And to be frank, I feel less sexual when I’m with my partner than I do when I’m on my own. I adore this man, but we don’t have a lot of sex anymore. We negotiate our sexual openness and constantly take care of our relationship, and it’s a living process. We’re both very much in love with each other, very comfortable together, share 19 years of history together, but we sleep together in the literal sense, not so much in the figurative anymore. I think that’s normal and I’m grateful we are both still so unequivocally eager to be together, but that means less sex. This vacation was about being together, so there was very little sex. There was lots of walking, eating, exploring and interacting with people, and there was much love. Not much sex… I masturbated a few times but a lot less than usual.
I understand and appreciate why a lot of men who have taken up the mantle of “bater” would express their enthusiasm for the bate by referring to themselves as “chronic,” “addicted” and/or “compulsive.”
But I do not believe in sex addiction, compulsive masturbation or any other identifiers that would brand enthusiastic sexuality as “disease.” While there are uses of the words “chronic” and “compulsive” that do not specifically refer to disease, that is the commonly understood meaning of these words and words make a difference, especially when we use them to claim something about ourselves.
I will grant you that I’m a middle-aged white guy, and I don’t refer to things as “bad,” “dope,” “stupid,” “sick” or “the shit” when I mean something is really great. I don’t pretend to be that urban regardless of my Chicago roots.
I do, however, generally appreciate what people mean to say in whatever context they choose. I assume, perhaps mistakenly, that when you call yourself a “chronic, addicted bater” that you’re trying to emphasize how much you love masturbating. You mean to say that you’re so into masturbation that you want to spend hours a day doing it and may actually do just that. You think that by claiming to be addicted to it, you’re actually doing it a sort of honor, saying that it so good you can’t help yourself…
But here’s the thing: I just don’t feel good about what looks like the application of disease-model language to something I view as inherently natural, good and healthy. Regardless of the intent, I think this is a bad use of language and we ought to choose alternative ways of expressing our enthusiasm for frequent, protracted self-love.
What I think is this: we almost always judge human sexuality, human behavior and sexual activity, according to social norms, not according to objective reality. There are people who, sometimes for extended periods of time, want to have a whole lot of sex. They may be compelled to have a whole lot of sex with a whole lot of different people. Just because that behavior doesn’t fit with our social fairy tale about what is an appropriate dating and mating ritual for a “healthy” adult human does not make it a disease. It’s only abnormal in the context of a stuck-up, plugged-up social norm.
You want to just have missionary-style intercourse with your legal spouse in the dark of your bedroom in your average, Christian-American suburban home? FIne! I’m still going to beat off every day and it’s not a disease just because you don’t…
If a guy thinks about sex and wants to act on that impulse for 95% of his waking hours (I’m giving you 5% for meals) the only thing wrong with that is that it interferes with many standard daily routines (and most job descriptions). Who cares how much a guy wants to masturbate? It does not harm him or anyone else (I do not include anyone’s hurt feelings because those are always the responsibility of the one who hurts). If it’s more jacking off than his boss or his spouse or his room mate thinks is normal, that may be a source of discomfort but that discomfort doesn’t make it pathological.
If a sexual act is consensual, negotiated and nobody is harmed, then in my view, it’s perfectly okay to do it as much as you can make it work for you.
Around the world, every year, 147,000,000 women and girls are sexually mutilated by having their clitoris removed. This is done because women’s sexuality is deemed pathological by those societal norms. I hope you agree with me that this is fucking insane, barbaric and needs to stop. I also hope you can see that in those communities, the girls themselves go along because it is what their culture deems is appropriate.
In the United States, there are hundreds of laws that limit sexual activity that is healthy only because those societies consider those activities as unhealthy, evil, wrong, whatever, based upon whatever moral judgements they have chosen in their county, city or state. Consider polygamy: Aside from the legal issues involving property and liability, how exactly do polyamorous arrangements harm anyone? How does gay marriage harm anyone? No, offending people still does not count because being offended is not actual harm… It’s just being offended.
I am an enthusiastic masturbator, cocksucker, butt-fucker, man-kisser, homosexual man. I’ve lived with my sexual orientation and navigated my way to happiness through it for half a century and I know it’s perfectly fine and harms not a single person. If masturbating a lot is to be considered a chronic condition, an addiction disorder, a compulsion to recover from, then what’s to stop cocksucking, butt-fucking, man-kissing or even loving someone unconventional from being labeled as pathological?
Just because I live in a moralistic, deluded culture that likes to base sexual morality upon ancient, middle-eastern religions doesn’t make my masturbation diseased no matter how much I may do it. You may not masturbate that much yourself, and the thought of it may make you feel sick to your stomach, but your discomfort with my sex life has nothing to do with my life or with objective reality.
Is it erotic to call oneself addicted? Not if one has personal experience of actual addiction.
I think guys who love masturbating—be they homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, solosexual or sociosexual masturbators—should claim it in positive terms and avoid anything that characterizes their penis-passion as pathological. I’m not a compulsive masturbator, I’m an enthusiastic masturbator! I’m not an addicted, chronic masturbator, I am an avid masturbator! I am an expert at giving myself intense pleasure. I love my penis, my testicles and the orgasms my body gives me in response to my own touch. I know myself and care about myself and I do not accept anyone else’s shame about my sacred body and miraculous life.
We live a very short life. Even a hundred years is a short life. It’s over before we know it so why would I want to waste my precious, limited moments on a behavioral disorder? Nothing is more natural than masturbating. You might as well call me a compulsive breather or a chronic sleeper. Eating, breathing, sleeping, fucking, loving, jacking-off… It’s some of the best of what life has to offer every one of us and it’s all supremely good. We should enjoy it while we can without apologizing.
I’ve got some awesome excuses for missing my blog dates. I’ll post soon… from distant lands…
Monday, October 4, 2010
I haven’t added anything original to the blog for over a week now. Forgive me. I’ve been sick.
It was nothing serious. There’s a good chance you had something like what I had. It’s a cold. Nasal congestion, cought, sore throat… no fever, no aches… I took one day off from work when I was at the hight of grossness, just to spare my fellow salt miners one day of my ambient miasma, but it wasn’t serious. I could have easily updated the blog…
But I had this great excuse to “take it easy” and so I didn’t write.
Not much to tell you… except I also skipped a Jacks event because I wasn’t 100% better. I came in and set up, arranged furniture and played foreman to the opening crew, but I wrote the rules and one of them is:
Do not attend an RCJ event if you have or suspect that you may have a disease you can spread to other members in the course of an event…
I couldn’t very well break my own rule, could I? Very bad form. So I went home horny and not as sick, but still sick.
This morning, I had clear evidence that I am on the road to full recovery: I had a spectacular orgasm with a fine fellow in the steam room at my gym. This was after a complete if easy lifting session, so I got it all done. Pumped up the back and biceps and cleaned out the tanks. I also had a second orgasm just a little while ago. I think I am going to feel even better tomorrow.
I want to point out that I could have easily blown off this brief entry. I’m tired, my teeth are brushed, my face is cleansed and moisturized and my tanks are, once again, well drained. But I needed to follow through before another day passed. So this was my mundane, boring report on just getting better.
Next, I will select a topic from my vast list and just write… Unless you “Ask Me Anything” and point me in a new direction… Either way, I appreciate you bearing with me. I’ll be back.
And in conclusion, here is a picture of my very own penis, just so this isn’t a total waste of your time…
…history will always remember her for taking a fearless stand against masturbation, the one national pastime with more fans than baseball…