Frot, part 2
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Page updated 21-Jun-2006

Categories: gay

[If you haven't read part 1, please read it first.]

One thing I disagree with Weintraub about is monogamy, and celibacy before relationship. He recommends both. That feels like such a slap in the face. First he introduces this wonderful new way to have fun, then he takes it away saying, "only with your boyfriend". That may mean waiting ten year for Mr Right, or it may never happen. Weintraub contrasts monogamy with the free-love promiscuity in the gay community, but there's a huge gap between "one man only" and "fuck everybody you're mildly attracted to". Better to follow Weintraub's general principle instead: "quality is better than quantity". Such as having a few select people you play with. Or focusing primarily on one person but allowing each other a "safety valve" in case they need it sometimes. Gay wrestlers for instance often have sex after a match -- with the consent of their non-wrestling boyfriend. The issue of outside sex becomes less important if one doesn't put sex at the center of the relationship. Put your desire to be together, or your compatibility, or your long-time acquaintance, or your complementary personalities and skills at the center instead. These things will not change regardless of sexual activity. If I want to see somebody I want to see them, and it doesn't matter to me if he bonked somebody else this morning. Some guys like to hear about their partner's third-party encounters, in detail.

Let's look at the variations again. "A few select people": I'm committed to my friends. Good buddies have each other's back and help each other out. If I have sex with somebody, I consider them a long-term friend, at least potentially. I don't really see a difference between a good friendship and a relationship, except in a relationship you know you'll see the guy a lot and you might live together.

"Safety valve": if you're seriously burning for somebody -- maybe he has qualities your partner doesn't -- just fuck him and get it over with. Better that than being miserable and getting angry at your partner and breaking up. If done right, it enhances the primary relationship rather than detracting from it. When I'm pursuing one person I'm not interested in others, but I still think the safety valve is important, "in case you need it".

"Sex after wrestling": as we have seen, fighting and sex are related through testosterone. So after generating all that aggressive energy in a match, it's not surprising they want to boink their girlfriend or their opponent or somebody else afterward. My point is that sometimes one partner has a sexual interest the other doesn't. Sometimes it's a fetish like boots, sometimes S&M, sometimes guys of a certain genetic type. Forcing the one guy to pursue an interest he doesn't have is unwise; expecting the other to forego his deep-set desire is unwise too.

But sex on the side implies two responsibilities. (1) Practice safer sex like frot, (2) be honest with your partner about what you're doing. "We're licensed to play but we'll tell each other about it", or "we're licensed to play but we'll ask each other's permission first", or "We're not licensed to play but if we do we'll tell each other about it", is better than "We're monogamous, period." It's a question of making a safe environment for the other to be honest or open. If he thinks you'll bite his head off or be severely disappointed, he'll hide it. Then you'll find out when his buddy calls -- the one he "didn't have sex with" -- to say he tested positive. Better to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. "Be prepared!", as the army slogan says. Hopefully the worst will never happen, but if it does you're an idiot if you don't have a contingency plan ready. If you apply that to your whole life rather than just to the relationship issue, your partner won't feel singled out about it.

The worst that can happen, of course, is the guy gets more interested in somebody new than in his partner. Weintraub mentions this, calling it "emotional infidelity". This creates an anxiety, "I must be better looking/smarter/more suave than Fire-Engine Fred, or Billy will leave me." But guess what? Promises of monogamy or a marriage license are not going to make the problem go away. They may give a disincentive but they're no guarantee. Again, why not just talk? "I've been getting along pretty well with Fire-Engine Fred..." Or if the other guy is smart he'll anticipate the potential problem and take the initiative: "I see you've hit it off pretty well with Fire-Engine Fred... You thinkin of leaving me?" Talking early and often can turn a potentially bad situation into a good one for all concerned.

Perhaps it's my own unique experiences that make me feel strongly about this; I don't know. I was in various Christian groups for twelve years starting in 11th grade, where the rule was "Marry a woman or be celibate". Joining the church was supposed to be a vow for life, so leaving it felt like an excrutiating divorce, but I wanted men and I wanted to find a man and I could no longer follow that rule. Later there was a time when it seemed everybody I wanted was already paired up, and it was only because some guys were licensed to play that I got any intimate relations at all. (And they are all still close friends.) Because the guys I like don't frequent gay bars or pride parades, it's hard to find them. Usually they live in another state or country, so seeing them more than once or twice a year is impossible. (Thankfully, I've now found a few in my own state, Washington.) I've been with so few men, how can I foresake all others forever? In Russia I learned that during the Soviet days people married not for love but because it was the only way to get your own apartment -- otherwise you had to live with your parents. People had 5-10 close friends they grew up with who protected them from government shenanigans, often including the person they really loved, and sometimes they played within this circle; male/female didn't matter. I thought this circle of real friendships was amazing; so much better than the casual friendships Americans often have, and containing all the essential qualities of a relationship: intimacy, trust, responsibility, openness, etc. Plus, one person can die or move away or disappear or hate you, but it's unlikely all of them will, especially not all at once. Also, I've changed dramatically every few years, and the kinds of guys I want has changed too. Hopefully I'm converging and not changing as much now, because I am starting to think about a LTR. But with my infrequent opportunities, the bad taste of the forced celibacy, my parents' divorce, and because I'm terrified of making the wrong choice and regretting it, I just tell guys up front, "I'm not sure I can handle a closed relationship." Maybe I could for just the right person. I don't know how much of this is just me or whether it's common.

[drawing] [drawing]

Sluggo is Mike Orr, a helluva friendly guy in Seattle. Email me if you have feedback.