Love and Sex (or, Indefinable and Uncontained) Note: I am often asked if there is “anyone special in (my) life.” Aside from the man who is lovingly doing the asking (and most likely has just done me), there isn’t. But there have been three others I have fallen for and fervidly loved. Being an inciter read more..
Note: I am often asked if there is “anyone special in (my) life.” Aside from the man who is lovingly doing the asking (and most likely has just done me), there isn’t. But there have been three others I have fallen for and fervidly loved. Being an inciter of such love, it’s only natural that the inflamed would want to know who and what have inspired me.
This blog entry began as a gift to those who could benefit from just such information, then transformed into an hours-long cathartic clutter of love-fueled circumlocution. Tremendously ironic, given such an unequaled case of wordiness for a subject so beyond the binding of words, I then went with one or another of the eureka moments and swerved into a tangent on sex being employed as a catalyst for love, lumping in lightbulb twinklings into a sort of tangential tirade. And then there wasn’t the lifetime it would take to sufficiently edit. So –
This is a labor of love for a handful of you. I hope a certain something in the rambling instigates a hungered-for “Aha!”
A tow-headed teenager was flattening boxes in Petoskey’s original Burger King’s kitchen that June of 1998, where I had returned for my second summer of full-time work. I would come to be inextricably linked to this Southern Baptist minister’s son, artist, and overall dreamer with his own demons to contend with. “Jonathan” and I – both small-town boys striving for a broader world within a constricted context – were the same age, and I liked to think felt a complementary connection as we looked at one another across the service counter. Sensitive as we were for Midwestern stock, I would end up demarcating what I constructed as platonic love through him being the Jonathan to my David. While staying with my father in northern Michigan during summer, spring, and winter breaks I would plot times when we could shop the thrift stores, attend church events, and appear at school plays. When with my mother and step-father down state I would script painstakingly paced correspondences. Oh! And I can still smell the fabric softener and detect his indent on the other side of my father’s bed the night after his dad had baptized me. I drenched myself in this aroma, knowing it would be months before I could again be with him in the flesh. I was infatuatedly faithful, not fathoming how so much I wanted to be like him. And how much I saw myself mirrored, one-sidedly, in his essence. He was taken by my fits of flash and excesses of expression while I, on the other hand, was drawn to his distant, understated indications of love – a subtle smile, a self-conscious glance, a slippery, lingering hug. I would never really come to know him, but my fondness for the friendship rapidly attached itself to a cherished enchantment.
Sensing the sweetness of his silent snore past my shoulder and into my nostrils, I tentatively turned to observe this boy who would become my best friend – at his fair face in the moonlight beaming through the tent we were camping in in his backyard. The discord of crickets just outside, and a glimpse of an idea of how his lips might taste, I breathed in deeply and prudently touched my pointer fingertip to his. Soft skin. His on mine. Two fingers touching. Heated, under covers, in the cool northerly air, I saw the situation through a blameless lens with a fundamental cultural conflictedness of sensual suggestion that had frozen me – long sexually stunted and erotically unrealized.
In my mind – and stirring within my inexperienced and uncomfortably adolescent body – Jonathan was just like me, yet mysterious in a manner that aroused pronounced devotion on my part. His sense of time was fluid, as was his lanky figure. My paradigm was as rigid as the fundamentalism we were both immersed in. That night I dreamed of his smooth body’s forewarning and my furious father’s foreboding only to wake up wet and sticky. Through a desire for intense connectedness in such a restrained framework, I would go on to desperately attempt to taste a trace of freedom. My fearful heart was starting to surrender while I struggled for definition. The closer I approached myself, the more my idolization of my friend grew.
I came out to Jonathan in a handwritten letter sent so it would arrive Easter Weekend of 2000. Having crossed an unspeakable line, I was soon “disfellowshipped” from his church, home, and life. After almost two years of a quietly frantic friendship with my unrequited teenaged love, I would only come to declare an emailed “I love you!” in the aftermath, months later. An obsession that would last years, and a flame that will blaze within me until the day I go out – I had commanded exclusiveness without having the wherewithal to comprehend inclusiveness. Of myself. Of the situation. But this beautiful boy had befriended me. And befuddled me…
A dark, bearded, beast of a man entered Mama Inés Café mere days before that Christmas of 2011, where I recurrently journaled, endeavoring to incorporate more play into my routine. I would come to be unequivocally close to this loosely Catholic child of a Europeanizing Spain, engineer, and all-in-all romantic with his own past to confront. “Jaime” and I – men in our late 20s hell-bent on forging bigger futures – equally felt that inexplicable chemistry across the café. A “macho” who instantly viewed in me what I identified in myself: the “pasivo” I was in relation to him. I would wind up delineating what I wished to be an unrestrainedly short-termed and long-distanced affair while what he wanted was longer-termed and decidedly domestic. I envisioned us being set alight before I left Madrid on my “Rose-Tinted Glasses Tour,” as I had been preparing for my departure after a year and a half in the heart of the nation. I would end up adoring Jaime with an unparalleled ardor. We would walk through Retiro Park, arm in arm, provoking looks of appreciation from passersby. Hand in hand, there was a free-flowing giving and receiving that was as effortless as it was effervescent as all attracted men’s attentions were split between the two of us. He was seduced by my nationality and interpretations while I was spellbound by his possessiveness and his defensive stance, as we stood side by side, whilst he scoped out would-be competitors. I would never truly come to call him my boyfriend, but our hunger for each other had us pursuing one another as uncovered lovers.
His pheromonal pungence emanating from hairy pits, crotch, and crack – and now on my flushed face – I astonishedly beheld the Moorish features of the man who had become my lover – toward his ecstatic countenance in the candlelight of my attic flat as he stretched me thin and laid it on thick in previously unknown positions. His grunting – an uninhibited “¡UFF!” – culminating with the tang of his release on my tongue, I collapsed in his arms, having been fiercely made love to. We would go on to eat twelve grapes at midnight, and I would descend into sleep – my waxed back pressed to his forested chest, his mighty arms securely around me. When I would stir during the night he would tenderly lift my cheek to gift me his whiskered kisses before lightly letting me rest back into blissful slumber.
As the sun was first rising on 2012, Jaime arose to scrupulously dress next to my massage table. Our story had come to its climax. I tried to restrain myself and contextualize the circumstance, but we both wanted the other to be something he wasn’t ready to be. This young man who would call me his “amor americano” was so evidently rigidly defining me, but neither of us could distinguish how narrowly I was scrutinizing him. Demonstrations of what we weren’t prepared for, I had yielded my body as I never had before to a man and exploded with a full responsiveness to future promise. Just like me, he was hard-working and play-oriented. Unlike me, he wanted to completely occupy a man and model monogamy. I simultaneously revered and was alarmed by his Latin fieriness and he was nothing but distressed and confused by my Anglo coolness. By the time I asserted “¡Te amo!” it was too late. Love was to have been affirmed when felt, and the expanses of silence with volatile bursts of verbose accusations would only reveal our fervor. Impassioned, and seen through an escapist lens – a collision of cultural mores, we were both on the move, however much we longed to belong. My beloved had consumed my body, causing it to cede to his depth and his width – breaking me in his affection and leaving me splintered in attempting to affect a moment in time, only to find I wanted it to last given the impossibility of the uncertain sojourning to come.
Jaime would not hear me out, and I could not stay, so we swapped feverish words on Whatsapp – technological grasping with a palpable appetite for taste and touch. Pushed out from his life, while we smoldered in one another’s thoughts, I commenced in crossing borders after one tempestuous two-week affair. Emerging from the light-headedness of my time with him, I was heavy-hearted for months over this, my first requited love. We had witnessed mostly ourselves in the other, but failed to see ourselves lucidly. His childishness accosted my maturity, and my childlikeness exposed his machismo. He would overcome my mind, country after country, his heat coursing through my veins only in the memory of that one auspicious night as we had greeted a new era as changed men. He had fucked me with no restraint, but we had floundered in incorporating individuality into connectivity. Yet we had capitulated to one another. This handsome man and I had confounded each other…
A silver-haired gentleman mounted my massage table that Thanksgiving evening of 2012, where I had initiated the middle-western stint of my “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Tour.” I had made a festive exception, as I had an exceptional feeling about this Parisian who had planted himself stateside. I would come to be indubitably dedicated to this science-minded man of the Renaissance – so indebted to a distinguished domain yet quite captivated by the uncontrolled exquisiteness of mine – a through-and-through imaginative with his own existence to encounter. “Jacques” and I were commencing our respective new epochs of life comprised of fluctuating locales, and our closeness was unmistakable. I would dissolve the professional boundary and he would regard me from across the dinner table to state in his thick intonation, “I feel as though I’ve known you my entire life.” A reciprocated sentiment. I supposed it was camaraderie I was striking up with this man, nearly three decades my senior, who was wrapping up his life’s work in the Windy City with designs on winding everything down toward an idealized quiet life abroad. I was settling in to take off yet again, and he was consistently intercontinental. Little could I have concluded that as I navigated the American south and west I would find myself yearning to be with him. During subsequent stopovers, we would go on to take morning strolls along both an iced and warmed Lake Michigan followed by warmed croissants or iced coffees. Entranced by my sensual virtuosity, and viewing me as sincerely sensuous, we commanded one another’s attention, which resulted in a belabored affection. In Jacques, I witnessed my potential. He was in love with my ebullience and inexperience. The tender way he would put his hand on my shoulder, introduce me to a work of art, or laugh with me as he washed his forceful physique… I never accessed the opening – I wasn’t prepared to pierce his complexities. Yet my longing for a long-awaited love developed into a loyalty, and time and distance took their toll.
Inhaling the musky scent of his silky skin, I firmly held onto him as he clung to me in the middle of our first night together. I felt I was being a support during another’s transition, but held on myself for what felt like dear life. The sound of his breath, and the sight of his shoulders shaking, gently. Composed. Dignified. So much like me, he had such want of more; but so unlike me was every way in which he approached it. Only in the succeeding year, when I severed our bond, would I begin to piece him together through reading – from Seneca to Sontag. God! This magnificent mind had caused a craving for the cultivation of my own. I wanted to balance his brilliance, and he was in awe of my sensualism, avowing, “Your touch is incredible. It’s equally as desirous as it is generous.” And I desired and sought to give to this man unlike any before him. Considerations colliding, this cultured Frenchman was distracted by someone as uncultivated as myself who had crashed into his illustrious sphere. It was in how I invoked sexual instinct with my body while offering up peace-loving observations so fluently – with interspersed instances of all-out vulgarity – that would have him dub me his “hippy.” Exploring his form with my tongue, I was deconstructing his standards with a sincere appreciation of his sophisticated sensibility. Yes. Right here, next to this brilliant being, I was surrendering my own speeding mind as he tossed out of and turned into a suspended consciousness as the bitter November air juxtaposed our bodied heatedness. Cradling him, I was the only spectator to our conflict of interests.
Jacques and I were too frequently physically and psychically apart, and he had long understood that love requires proximity and compromise to transcend the initial lunacy – and texts were but a flirtation. Relegated as a friend, I requested more, and waited on a recognition he alluded he might one day come to – but the burden was too weighted. State-wide, then transcontinental, I would accept that the lightness he had initially inspired had transmogrified into a terrible heaviness. A feeble, frantic “Je t’aime!” wouldn’t permit me passable time in his terrain, as I pushed his boundaries with my demands, over a year of delaying something that was diminishing. Yet my second adult love is a man I can interpret better the more I translate his lifestyle into my way of being. He instilled in me a value for quiet refinement and mindfulness as I had mindlessly gone about my exploits. His unspoken reticence was an act of love, as was my retraction. A fascination that won’t fail, coming on a full year after the fact, I much more freely appreciate how futile it is to place limits on love and life. His ostensible detachment as he had caressed and cuddled me… in the placing of his hand over mine to compliment so as to appeal to my better nature while I projected onto him, wanting to be possessed at arm’s length – Yes! He had loved me in his philosophic fashion.
It was Jacques who touched on the long-suffered lack of attachment to sex in light of a cornucopia of love. I would voluptuously play to display my desire to be in his experience, while moving into my own mind. I wanted to cross into the unknown and be startled by bursts of tasted beauty – familiar and foreign. Something so deeply hidden within me was so irrevocably encouraged that I could only go it alone to nurture it. Yes! My amour and I had stimulated that something inside the other. But we were two gentle men that absolutely benefitted – yet also bewildered – one another…
Ah – LOVE! Beyond words, beyond bounds, it has brought an onslaught of suffering, unsettling me to the point of transformative surrender to being more freely and fully enlivened and awakened to myself and the world! Having conflictingly desired to unconditionally love another man while synchronously seeking to possess him, a personal collapse was inevitable, and an awareness of unbounded possibility was ultimately what ensued. Within myself, through the form of one so like me. From the brief buoyancy of insanity to the baffling burden of reality that love has necessitated, I have gone from struggling to capture someone to relinquishing myself.
It seems a man can only sincerely love his fellow man if he is willing to succumb to self-expansion. Whether it was Jonathan’s artless abandon to the artful moment, Jaime’s caving into inexpressibly authentic emotion, or Jacques’ rapture over beauty and refinement, I was taken in by what they represented within myself.
Post-falling, and though having sought to serve the illusion of self-lack – sabotaging my relationships to clumsily come to myself – I have come to see sex as sealing some dubious deal into insights that set me free! With Jonathan, it was the very act of coming out – uncompromisingly revealing myself. With Jaime, it was in letting him penetrate me intensely and unreservedly, moving my body and spirit at his whim, that led me to admit my disposition for active passivity. And it is Jacques – dear Jacques, who I am still a bit broken up over – who elucidates the lonesome nights that find me fantasizing about anything but an actualized lover.
I now see through the fundamental limitedness that follows the fallings-in and fallings-for – the madness of love! – to the love-full limitlessness of rising robustly through the messiness of sex! Let me clarify –
For years I considered whether something was undeveloped in me, as I never masturbated thinking about the men I cared for – just of conquests past and what was detached and smacked of the mysterious. Not once have I yanked my chain to the latent adolescent could-have-beens with Jonathan, the furious fervor Jaime had for vigorous fucking, or the slow sensory explorations of Jacques. So it appears that while love recurrently dissipates the desire for sex, sex – conversely – can be used to provoke love! Aha!
I know this much: With any man one falls in love with or makes love to, he initially sees him only in that moment. Only that moment is real, as the yet-to-come is but an abstraction. In this space and time two men can give up on their separate selves and give in to connectedness. A breaking down of the ego to build up an earlier version of ourselves is pure ecstasy!
And it is this rapturous, man-to-man presence that I make space for in the sex and spirit work I do. Man after man, a sort of simplicity is assumed of the inexpressible, as we both employ sex as a facilitator for love. And to embrace each man as I would myself, entranced as he is by my otherness as I am our oneness, we both appeal to the untold to uncover our true selves.
In channeling eros with one so like us, we can exist as our selves in relation to the infinite. Sex is best when engaged in a way that supports one another in bearing witness to an already accessible wellspring of love within ourselves.
I hold that in our oft-homo and erotophobic culture, a man’s erotic expression – amidst repressive social norms – is best experienced through surrendered sex with another man!
In a society where two people can prattle and rattle and not heed a goddamned thing the other has spoken, to simply be with another man in silence… encountering an inexplicable consciousness… being perfectly, wordlessly heard… well, there is no denying someone of his self in such a space – nor is there room to scheme to take something from him! It’s through such a joining that we can best come face-to-face with our own worth and wondrousness. It’s the wounded boy, the defensive ego, that adheres to the destructiveness of dishing out demands and determining delight. Eureka!
So the correlation betwixt love and sex may be indescribable, but – MAN ALIVE! – can I ever access such self and man-love through sex with you men – falling madly in harmony with each one, and you with me, in heated moments, both of us bringing every bit of our loneliness and longing and lostness to our lustful screwing and lovemaking! To trade in any impression of aloneness for the truth of togetherness as we interpret and influence one another…
And we make love lightheartedly, allowing sex one of its rightful, joyful functions! Navigating one another, we find ourselves capitulating the illusory to a transported reality in the hotbed of romance! And – yes! – we extend this seemingly punctuated moment – one Every Man to another, into our every day, having projected ourselves onto each other to reveal our real selves!
In your embrace, I become Jonathan, Jaime, and Jacques. I become you, and all those you have loved. And I become so much more myself. And we go back. Back, back, back… to the fun-lovingness of a flowing sense of self and time we had as boys. We are reckless and unreasonable! I thrustingly break your guarded heart and I trustingly let you blow my noncommittal mind. And as they drip and distort and heave, we’ll have havoc wreak itself on our bound and bonded bodies! The disarray of sexual desire sustaining us in our beautiful brokenness. Because to be controlling in love or controlled in sex will counteract any ability to self-realize or self-broaden.
As poets and prophets have long proclaimed, love is positively eternal! And there is no containing or defining its infiniteness. Though in fixed moments of far-reaching motion love’s ubiquity becomes illuminated by virtue of flesh and muscle, sweat and musk, as two men submit to its all-encompassing power!
(Incredibly influenced by recently having read Marianne Williamson’s spirit-sparking A Return to Love, and Mark Thompson’s heart-healing Gay Spirit, Gay Soul, and Gay Body, I am sure that I have unintentionally pirated their splendor. Check them out!)
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