Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
-Robert Frost
I recently posted the question of what to do for Valentine’s Day. I wanted ideas of what would be original and fun. The responses I got were mostly hypo-sexual – the kind of references that, frankly, I wouldn’t use in front of anyone I knew and respected. It seemed clear that for a huge number of people, sex equaled love: Valentine’s Day was for sex: Sex was the main/only/most important expression of love.

Remember, I am somewhat a conservative Mormon talking here. (If a gay Mormon is considered conservative) With my conservative background, I have been skewered (deliberate word choice) in a different direction.

I have never been what I thought "real guys" were. I considered sex to be something kept underground, something taboo for the “kind” of person I wanted to be. It was not for the guys in black socks, khaki pants and white shirts. The kind of guy I wanted to be.

My kind of man knew what he wanted, and what he wanted was more of an eternal nature. He wanted love. He wanted a relationship, communication, cooperation, companionship and expression. Sex was none of these things. Sex was something different.

Sex was urges, physical passion, and gratification. Love was not sex. The men I knew didn’t have sex as I understood it. They had wives and families and had appropriate, neutral, controlled expressions of love. They had sex to procreate, and then they went and earned some money to pay the mortgage.

So I tried that. Both. At the same time. I tried to have one, which seemed incredibly incompatible with the other. I kept them separate.

Talk about the swinging pendulum. Even today I have a difficult time with sex as part of an expression rather than simply fulfillment of physical desire. Most people who say that love is more than sex are thought of as prudish, naive, or as one reader said, “He has obviously never had spine tingling sex”. The thought seems to be that if you can think of anything other than sex, you haven’t had the right sex.

I know what it is to have tingling sex. Am I allowed to say that it was wonderful, and then to add-in the same sentence - that I want that and more? I want the sex and I want the relationship. I want the tingles and a commitment and I don't want one for a couple years so I can say I did it and then move on.

Even PBS is against me. A recent documentary emphases that man is not meant to be monogamous. That even women’s menstrual cycles are timed to encourage promiscuity, and that man would be better off genetically if he spread his stuff around instead of sticking with one partner.

Is this really where we are as a people that we are still comparing ourselves to members in the animal kingdom? This seems like the equivalent of “everyone’s doing it”, which is an excuse doesn’t fly past Jr High school. So, everyone is doing it. And I have had my share.

It is true that I have work to do in becoming emotionally healthy. I get that. I get that views towards sex need to change.

And I don’t generally look to PBS for answers to my problems. But the questions this last week has presented beg questions. But what if, after all the counseling and coming to terms and prioritizing, I want, expect more from a partner than sex? What if I consider myself to be more than just a link in someone’s reproductive food chain? Sex plus relationship, plus commitment, plus understanding?

A heightened sense of mutual well being. That topic would not make it to PBS because that would be called religion. When sex is everything, the instructions are easy to follow. When sex is one forth or one fifth of a relationship, when there is something that has to be achieved, the PBS documentary during sweeps week becomes simplistic at best.

I don’t want a club, or a bobsled partner. I don’t think I need to have every sexual whim satisfied. I do want sex as part of the physical/emotional experience.

And I want to be part of something more than just me.


  1. Seething, Calvin. No one can say that you’re not passionate. You've given me a lot to think about...

  2. The thought that we are more than slaves to passion? The idea of being more than we can be? That we are not ruled by our loins? Life sis hard enough for us gays, why do you have to go get all brainy on us?

  3. I love getting my info from PBS. Why, just yesterday I learned all about the number "7".