Gay Times June 09 - Issue 369
The one, the only, Mister David Hoyle serves up his monthly musings.
It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about sex in this very column – and perhaps this is a reflection of the fact that, as a community, we’re obsessed by sex and encouraged to regard each other primarily as sexual beings. Now, I like looking at attractive men as much as anyone, but once you start putting sex first, you’re getting into very dangerous territory. Those people who are lucky – or unlucky – enough to possess extreme sexual magnetism, can end up being very dark and destructive. Whatever I’ve achieved in life, either in my work or my personal relations, I’ve got because I’ve gone out and earned it – not because someone wanted to swing off my cock. People who are very sexually attractive don’t have to work for it – it all comes their way. At best, they do nothing; at worst, they can really hurt others.
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I realise that all relations hold up a mirror to our own faults, and I’m just as guilty of objectifying some bubble-butted, six-packed twat as the next person. Perhaps when I see a very attractive man, I’m engaging with him in a certain way, based on his looks, that I wouldn’t do with someone more ordinary. That said, beautiful people do have a tendency to play games. They reel you in with their sexual power, and once they’ve got you, they give nothing back and it hurts. And it has to stop. I try to be open and emotionally available, but I’ve learned to be suspicious when young, good-looking men approach me. I always ask myself: “If I was a 46-year-old man with nicotine-stained teeth who worked at Asda, rather than at the cutting edge of the avant-garde, would he still be interested?” The answer, of course, is no.
The images of sex in the media brainwash us into believing that there’s only one template for desirability, based on youth and a particular body type. I’m susceptible to that, but I’ve always tried to see the potential in people of all ages, shapes and sizes. When I was young and relatively pretty, I used to do what I called “Sunday Night Specials” – I’d go to a bar or club and get off with people that, normally, I wouldn’t give a second look. And I have to say, I met some of the nicest people, and had some of the best sexual experiences, on those Sunday nights. I also met people who became real friends, and gave me more love than the more conventionally attractive.
Perceptive readers will probably have guessed that I’ve recently had my fingers burned, and so for the time being I’m focusing on my work and rediscovering the joys of masturbation. I’ve even given up on saunas, which I’ve started to regard as an admission of failure. I’d rather have a wank, to be honest. Masturbation is free – and, given my current financial situation, that’s an important consideration. Also, masturbation reconnects me with the intensity and innocence of my adolescence, which isn’t a bad thing. I remember someone at school telling me that, if you did such-and-such, then stuff came out of your knob – and, lo and behold, it did. I started spending more and more time in the lavatory, which, in a small but busy house in Blackpool, was not always easy.
Masturbation allows you to explore your sexual potential – and, before you know it, you’re balancing on your shoulder blades, utilising mirrors, and letting your fingers do the walking to where the sun don’t shine. You discover new uses for, say, a shoetree, or other inanimate objects. The images that turned me on then still turn me on now – I think we all have a sort of mental card index of masturbatory images, and the one I return to most often is the first lad I had sex with at school. We enjoyed each other for three years, during which time I saw three of his girlfriends come and go – let’s face it, I was prepared to do things they considered dirty. Of course, he didn’t regard himself as queer in any way; he’s now married with two children. I still see that relationship as a privilege, and I don’t expect to experience anything like it again. As I get older – and I’m still supple, I can still get my legs up – I find self-awareness more attractive than anything else. If it’s only about sex, then we’re on our own.