Lessons from the Bedpost, One Notch at a Time

By Mark Davidovich, Truth Teller

credit: Rupert Ganzer (Flickr)

credit: Rupert Ganzer (Flickr)

As the holiday season arrives, we’re collectively reminded of the important relationships in our lives (family, friends, loved ones) that we’re thankful for. It’s also during this time that many singles are reminded of the life relationships they lack — namely, the relationship. This is equally true whether you’re gay or straight. Many crave the affections of a special someone around the holidays, as well as a hot body to warm up to on cold winter nights.

With that said, us gay men are often known for our uncanny abilities to find many someones to get hot and bothered with every night of the week. Could that be why many of us seemingly perennially single?

My answer? Maybe. Maybe, because life — and certainly sexuality — are neither black nor white. Maybe, because human beings are exceedingly complicated creatures and being gay adds new dimensions, complexities and issues that make finding a long-term partner more challenging. Maybe, because the concept of the ideal husband, lover, boyfriend and/or Prince Charming is constantly evolving. Maybe, because monogamy and society’s view of it is also changing, meaning both gays and straights alike are finding the idea of fucking one person for the rest of their lives to be unrealistic, undesirable, or incongruent with their needs and values. Or maybe, because some of us suffer from addiction and use sex to fill a void. Just as there are many maybes and gray areas in life, there are countless solutions to every problem.

However, one thing that’s certain is humans’ collective need to pass judgment on others as a means to please our egos by making ourselves “right” simply by making someone else “wrong.” I was recently on the receiving end after learning that some folks I used to know think I’m single because I “sleep around.” Yes, I admit my feelings were hurt and I initially felt angry — I’m only human. But eventually I felt gratitude. Their words were the inspiration for this post (and future ones), as the subject of ‘sleeping around’ is one that especially resonates with gay men everywhere.

Gay men should have an open and honest dialogue with ourselves — and each other. How do we reconcile our male carnal needs with our human desires and societal pressures to be in long-term relationships? And how is that this question is often a paradox in itself, as sex is an integral part of every loving relationship?

The answer is different for everyone, particularly gay men, who live in a universe where there’s so much pressure to be practically perfect in every way. We’re quick to prosecute ourselves (and each other) for any/every reason.

A solution I’ve found useful is to find your inner defense attorney before an internal argument comes up. Your personal prosecutor is most likely a bossy bitch who constantly condemns you to horrible punishments that don’t necessarily fit the “crime.” You’re probably doing the best you can, so be grateful for what (and whom) you have in your lives. Also, know that you are everything you need to design the life you want.

A wise woman once told me that our lives are a lot like our homes: sometimes the existing structures stop serving us and need to be renovated according to our changing needs and desires. Always re-evaluate your life so you can continually explore, rebuild and rebrand according to your needs. Does this mean a more thorough exploration of your sexual needs and desires, or should you instead curb your nightly Scruff sex-capades? It just depends on what you truly want.

But before I start speaking for all gaymankind, let me speak for myself and my own experiences, brand return to the comments which sparked this post: maybe those egos and their judgments were right. I admit (wholeheartedly) that I have had more than my share of fun. I did for many reasons, none of which was to find a boyfriend. If I really wanted to have a boyfriend then, I probably would have had one. We all would.

So in the context of this very raw topic, I urge you all to have an open and honest monologue with yourselves about what you really want. This way you can take congruent action to get it. At this point in some of your young lives, it might simply mean selectively getting it on with anything that moves, and that’s OK. But when you do have the conversation, make sure you have that inner defense attorney handy. Odds are you’re going to need him, and you’ll be grateful for his services.