Growing up and coming out, I constantly heard very interesting messages regarding friendship between men and women.
The message was loud and clear and annoying: they don't work. I thought this was interesting and often wondered why people would make such assumptions. Then, of course, I grew up and started dating men and to some degree began to believe and conduct myself based on this odd and accepted view of men and their "nature."
Like our straight counterparts, gay men are seen as always horny, on the prowl and commitment adverse. While this may or may or may not be the truth when it is used as both a point of reference and a place to build a relationship from, it can have inane and very limiting results.
Yes, gay men can be highly sexual creatures.
This is simply my observations of myself, my friends and damn near thirty years of personal research. While this may be the way things get played out, there are instances where this doesn't occur.
What do you do when you have decided that you will have a full bodied, powerful relationship with another gay man and there will be no sex?
From personal experience during my younger days and the days of my gay male posse, several friendships either sprang up from having been sexual at one time or began because there was the promise or hint of some type of sexual interaction in the very near future.
Sexual tension is awesome.
It is fun and enjoyable and can lead us into making some very stupid decisions. It can also cost us friendships and a great deal of hurt feelings via confusion and misunderstanding. While it can be a thrill knowing that the person you are having a serious conversation with would totally do you in the broom closet, sexual desire can often be our own undoing.
What is more exciting than the promise of sexually fulfilling desire?
When we mutually agree upon goals, add respect and value of another person, we create something infinitely more exciting than sexual conquest and fulfillment. This may sound boring to those of us who see the be-all-end-all as sexual conquest and the next great orgasm, but sex can mislead and confuse the best of us even we are trying to establish a foundation beyond the physical.
The trick is trying to establish a relationship when everything around you says, "It won't work". Keep in mind that as gay men we have already figured out what works to some extent.
If you had to navigate a less than friendly and accepting world as a result of coming up in any decade prior to the 1990's, you most definitely have some tools for thriving amidst hardship. While the 1990's may not have been ideal, it sure beats the hell out of being out in the 80's or 70's.
It is my understanding that back in the day (70's and early 80's) several friendships had their beginnings in sexual adventure being the only mutual goal. I have never been able to figure out how I can climb out of your bed in one moment and then say we're best buds the next.
This is a grave exaggeration.
It has always baffled me how you could have both. Perhaps this is the reason so many of us fail to make meaningful relationships and have challenging times creating them if everything is seen through the lens of sexual conquest.
I have several friends I adore and would do absolutely anything for; I don't think about fucking them.
I no longer utilize this criterion for friendship and during the brief stint I utilized this stupidity as a guide-rule, the shit always blew up in my face. My best and closest relationships have not been sexually. It can be very difficult being honest with someone if it may cost you an incredible roll in the hay.
It can be extremely upsetting to try and be emotionally honest with someone if you know they are just there for a good time or will be out the door before you can state why you don't want a proper romp.