Homosexual Men and Sexual Standards
What are you sexual standards? Let's back that up, do you have standards and do you know what they are?
Here's how we measure out Sexual Standards. We question them when confronted by others with their experiences and look at---does that fit/suit me?
You can have your personal peccadilloes, your interests in the fetishes that turn you on, that's completely fine. However the things you like, more importantly, what do they say about you? Do they endanger your job, your health, your life? With that additional info, what are your standards around sex?
A funny diddy, is that in the course of facilitating a men's group (full of African American and Latino men) around sexuality, men having sex in the park kept coming up. In fact, a particular park in Manhattan. Mount Morris Park Harlem kept coming up as a destination for sexual cruising and outdoor sex. Finally, I had to admit to the group that I'd not only never gone to that park for sex but not searched and found sex in a park setting. The group was shocked, I was shocked that they were shocked. So I questioned them deeper and it turns out that is the sexual expectation for Black and Latino men, that was a community sexual standard......for some men. My defense as to why I wouldn't do it went along the lines of first, I didn't want to damage my slacks. That should have tipped everyone off as to where the discussion could and couldn't go with me. Second I had no experience of such a craving, but I took it a step farther, I actually went on a Sunday, later afternoon, and investigated this sexual Wonderland. Was I young and handsome and missing out on something amazing and scintillating?
Imagine, at the top of a hill a concrete arena surrounded by trees. No one is in the wide expanse but men are circling around the concrete wall on the outskirts side of trees, shrubbery and dirt making it difficult to discern them from the woods. So I took up residence, at around dusk, on one side of this circle and noticed that if you moved say clockwise, the scattering of men around the circle (it's about 100 feet wide) would move either closer or farther way. The other thing I noticed was that I had poor vision at dusk, even with my contacts in, so I didn't know who or what I was clockwise or counter-clockwise towards.
In two words, after a half an hour of observing this, I deemed it somewhere between de classe and ridiculous, and went home.
In retrospect, I realized I had a different standard. A date, an online chat, a study buddy from school, a friendship---something before sexual contact. Now I'm no prude, I've been involved in enough sexual congress to have answered all of my questions....and seven of yours....twice. But standing outside on a Fall afternoon playing sideline, clockwise games in the dirt and foliage reeked of fear and weakness to me. Then I thought deeper into it and I realized that the art of cruising is the deliberate action of riding low level fear. Not fight or flight fear but the anxiety level fear of acceptance and rejection and the hope that you'll finally be sexually (socially) acceptable and therefore sexed as an outlet for all that fearful anticipation of copulation.
And beyond my lack of fear or interest in it as an anxiety based aphrodisiac, I have an addictive penchant for Emporio Armani slacks. Uh huh, they can't rock outdoor ground based stress. Sometimes one standard will inform another, a vacuous example but I think you can see it's a valid point.
This brings me back to Sexual Standards.
- Are you down for outdoor hits and misses from strangers?
- Are you down for public restroom sex? Are you down for public sex (voyeurism/exhibitionism), period?
- Are you into threeways, fourways?
- Are you into strangers?
- Are you into abuse?
- Are you into risky pick up off the-corner-boy sex? (I have a friend who calls them Dirty Boys.)
- Are you into being penetrated by random strangers without condoms?
- Are you into back of video store/triple X theater sex with strangers?
- Are you down for married men?
- Are you only into ex-convicts?
Notice some of these turn-ons aren't so much about personality or personhood but around stereotypes and anonymity.
The bigger question is then are you turned on by sex that lacks human intimacy---without hitting this with judgment, I think we should look at how often are you into non-intimate sex and how risky does it need to be? The answer to this is your sexual standards, because your sexual actions are more about you than someone else.
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