It is an age of casual sex. In our great-grandparents time we would have expected a long courtship, followed of course by a very long engagement. During all this time one would have pined for the wedding day, when the relationship was finally consummated. Now we’ve got it all going on backwards. We meet, and following a drink or two, we fuck. We fuck until we’re pretty sure we’re in love, then we move in together. The marriage bit may or may not happen.
It seems from my experience as a 30 year old gay man that casual sex is a given on our team. It’s so common that not having it seems to set one at odds with what it is to be a young gay man. I can’t say what the stats or expected norms are for my straight brothers, (whom it must be said, seem to have more sex than gay men), so let me confine this discussion to we homos.
I’ve had the usual experiences for a gay american of the millenial generation. I came out in high school, moved to a big city, did a lot dancing and haunting of gay neighborhoods. I lost my virginity to a married politician, who at least took me to dinner (and breakfast the next day). That was my introduction to man/man relationships. Easy pick up. Dinner. Sex. In the twelve years since then, I’ve never been asked out on a date. I’ve never even had an inadvertent date. I’ve had casual sex. Once or twice it has turned into a relationship.
A few years ago I made a vow to no longer fool around (which includes flirting) with married men. I also vowed no more casual sex. Not because of any moral objection, but out of respect for myself, and what I’m worth. I don’t get off with a guy I don’t know. I’m too nervous and singly fixated on his pleasure, which leaves me no room to feel it myself. I’m also too nervous to tell a guy I don’t know what I want. I’ve given up on casual sex because I want real pleasure…if that makes sense.
I know, I know. I must be the only guy, gay or straight on the planet who doesn’t enjoy a meaningless shag with a hot stranger. I’ve tried. I’ve tried a lot. If my sex life were to be considered a series of controlled experiments, then I can say the data is empirical: I can’t let go until I can trust the lucky guy who’s going to fuck me.
Yes, yes, I may be dooming myself to a life of celibacy, but right now I think I’d choose to be Joan of Arc rather than the temple harlot. We’ll come back to this in a year or two…my resolve may have weakened by then…or I may have learned what other guys seem very capable of doing: getting pleasure out of casual sex.