I was attending a week-long seminar and the evening of the second day found me sitting in the hotel bar after dinner, not because I wanted to drink but because I just wasn’t ready to go back to my room and since it was raining like crazy, going for a walk was out of the question. As I sat and pondered the rest of the seminar’s agenda to come, a guy came in and took the bar stool a couple of spots from where I sat; we did the “up nod” greeting and we both kinda mumbled, “How you doing?” He started drinking and I was considering getting another drink when he broke the silence between us by asking if I was attending the seminar and like he was.
I said that I was and kinda half-smiled/half-grimaced when he said that he thoughts to and that I looked familiar and inside my head, I was kinda laughing because I was the only Black guy attending the seminar so, um, I wouldn’t have been that hard to miss – but I didn’t say that to him. But it was a decent ice-breaker and he moved to the stool next to me and we were talking about… stuff – our respective jobs and organizations, how long we’d been there, where we were from; you know, stuff.
After maybe his third or fourth drink – and I was barely through my second – the conversation turned to more personal things like being married with kids and the trials and tribulations of raising a family. After a while, I excused myself to hit the men’s room and upon my return, not only did I find that he had bought me a drink, he had a question for me:
“Is all there is to sex just about women?”
I didn’t expect that but I probably should have; I took a sip of my drink, kinda sighed, and said, “No, not really.”
He launched in to a monologue about how much he loved his wife and enjoyed having sex with her but felt like there was something missing and that he felt as if he’d run into a sexual wall. I allowed that a lot of guys – married or not – tend to feel this way and more so when women, well, they can be funny about having sex because they operate under different conditions than us guys did.
“So what else is there?” he asked – and now there’s a clock running in my head and telling me that I only had a few scant seconds to make a few decisions, from answering his question and on to what else there was so I flipped a coin in my head and answered him.
“A lot of guys, um, find that doing something with other guys is what they’re missing and some even get it in their head that sex with men is a next step kind of thing,” I said.
“Yeah, I thought so,” he said. “What do you know about that?”
“Probably more than a lot of guys,” I said, thinking there was no point in trying to be evasive considering I had already said something about it.
He sat straight up, not so much in a surprised kind of way but in a way that “said” that I’d gotten his attention. He said, “I don’t mean to pry…” and he didn’t have to finish the statement that I knew would end in a question so I took another sip of my drink and without going into great detail, told him how I knew that sex with women wasn’t all there was to having sex.
When I finished saying all I was gonna say about it, he was deep in thought processing what I’d said about sucking dick and fucking/being fucked and how normal and natural all of that seemed to be… and I’m sitting there waiting for the other shoe to drop and the moment when he was going to propose that, um, he gets introduced to this alternative form of sex. But the shoe didn’t drop; he just nodded and said that this was some good information to know. Against my protests, he paid his tab and mine and said that he’d see me at the seminar tomorrow and that he had a lot of thinking to do.
To shorten this part of things, ah, um, he got introduced to cock sucking the next night and, um, needed several moments to decide that not only was this the thing he was missing but it was something he could get very used to. He had asked me, “It is unusual for guys like me to go this route?”
“No, it isn’t,” I said. “I’m not really sure but it has always seemed to me that when men run into that sexual wall, doing what we’ve been doing just seems to be the next logical choice. It somehow goes from not making any sense at all to making all the sense in the world.”
And a lot of years after that event, I still don’t quite know how this makes the transition from “I ain’t ever gonna do that shit” to “I wonder why I never did this before now” and, again, go from making no good sense to some kind of a no-brainer. My… disadvantage in this is that I’ve never been in the position to make such a transition and like a lot of guys tend to be in and I’m sure that because I didn’t, it doesn’t exactly lend itself to being able to fully understand it except what I’ve learned from the many guys who have been in this situation and discovered that sex with women isn’t the alpha and omega of things.
It’s a bold step into unknown territory and one that comes with a huge disconnect in that it’s not like we don’t know that men have sex with each other but knowing it is one thing… and doing it yourself is, classically, an entirely different animal. And, yeah, women aren’t immune to the disconnect or the transition. It is not – and as some seem to think it is – exchanging one mode of sex for another mode; it is an inclusion and it can be a very confusing one due to people having said over all this time that people are either straight or they’re gay and finding out that you can be both, well, there you have it and now it’s a matter of whether this inclusion works and serves the purpose or not. Ironically, those who take the initial transitional steps are often of a mind that, nah, this ain’t working but upon further review, yeah – this can work and more so when many of these folks find that you don’t have to give up one thing to have the other.
Back to that moment. After his… initiation, he was pensive and thoughtful and I was pretty sure what was going on inside his head so when he asked, “How do you deal with the guilt?” I wasn’t surprised and I launched into the whole moral issue involved and including that a lot of what he was feeling wasn’t actually having a guilty conscious. Yeah, he just cheated on his wife and I aided and abetted in that and there was no excuse for it, well, no excuse that polite society would find acceptable.
“The moral conundrum isn’t easy to get past,” I eventually said. “Like anything else we do, there are always consequences and we have to decide on whether we’re going to accept the consequences of our actions or not. I’m not cheating on my wife because we have an agreement that shapes our open relationship because we came to understand that both of us are going to have needs that we can’t do anything about and I don’t know about you but there’s is nothing more miserable than living with someone who is being deprived. Yeah, it’s something that a lot of people think is totally fucked up but we weren’t of a mind to let something like this destroy not only our relationship but ourselves as well.”
Indeed, the aforementioned conundrum tends to fuck a lot of people up because they can’t seem to easily parse how something that’s said to be so forbidden can feel so right, normal, and natural. When he mentioned this – and I knew he would – I told him about the question I had asked myself after my initiation and that the answer was, “It feels good because it’s supposed to feel good… and it’s bad because everyone believes it is. I, um, have reason to believe otherwise.”
In between moments, we talked about how a lot of couples try to spice things up and trying to recapture the early moments of their relationship when the sex was crazily off the chain; I spoke to how this phenomenon isn’t something that just people in a relationship wind up dealing with and that a lot of single people also ask if having sex in one way only is all there is to having sex. Again, that disconnect I mentioned earlier comes into play because it’s not like we don’t know about homosexual sex; it’s just that few people can easily wrap their head around the fact that it’s something they can actually get into… and without having to be homosexual and in that steady-state we think just being straight or gay “has” to be.
When you’re bisexual, you learn some shit about having sex that our morality would prefer you never learn. It can’t do anything about finding out that sex really isn’t boy/girl, boy/boy/ or girl/girl or finding out that sex can be all of the above and it does do all it can do to prevent you from dipping your toes in to test the waters or, gasp, finding out that this ain’t as bad as it’s said to be. Whether or not one can find reason to dip their toes in is a whole different matter but, yeah, a lot of people do and they find out that being able to have sex in this was is the thing they were missing. It’s not being greedy or so much of a matter of not being able to have enough sex but more of a thing that simply says that having sex in the monosexual way of things just isn’t the only way to have sex…
If one can be bold and daring enough to take that step into the unknown… and the truth is twofold: Some people are that bold and daring and even out of some sense of urgent necessity… and some people just aren’t.
At one point, the guy had just made me cum and became pensive again; he asked, “Why does this feel so goddamned normal?”
“Because it is,” I said. “We’re just made to believe that it isn’t. What fucks people up about this is that they find that whatever they thought they knew about sex and intimacy is woefully incomplete or, really, they only know about one aspect of it. Most people, upon taking the plunge, expect it to be so… alien but as they’re getting into it, they find that it’s not all that alien and, like you said, that it’s not as bad as they thought it would be. It’s quite the shock to the system, isn’t it?”
“So everything I was told about this was a lie?” he asked.
“Only in that it’s more of a lie of omission,” I said. “You were told the truth… just not all of it and it’s even one of those semantical arguments because what we’ve been told is that we shouldn’t have sex like this… not that we can’t have sex like this.”
“Right… because if we couldn’t, it would be physically impossible,” he said, coming to the same conclusion that a lot of bisexuals become very aware of..
On night #4, we talked about fucking and whether or not it was mandatory and I allowed that for some it is and for others not so much, plus it’s not something that one can, ah, easily adjust to and, yep, it really does hurt going in and either a little or a whole lot. He wanted to try it – and I knew he would before the matter even came up and he learned something about himself and some of it didn’t sit well, like not being able to stay hard while trying to enter me.
“Don’t worry about it – it happens,” I said to him. “It’s a mental block that some guys just can’t remove because who doesn’t know what comes out of that place?”
He learned that being screwed wasn’t all that bad but, yeah, something that one has to learn to get used to. I pointed out to him that while a lot of guys believe that fucking is mandatory, it really isn’t if you find that it’s something you just can’t do, adjust to, or feel all that comfortable with. In the end he determined that blowing each other was easier.
In this, it’s not just about finding out that there’s more to having sex than what you’ve been told; it’s also finding out what works and what doesn’t and that’s mostly through trial and error and, as I told him, “Going forward – and if you even do – you will find that your experiences will most definitely vary and you just might get to a point where you’ll change your mind about doing something you previously didn’t find to your liking all that much. A lot of this is… situational; it’s the right/wrong thing to do in the right/wrong situation and with the right/wrong person. Don’t be surprised if, somewhere down the road, you blow a guy and it’s the yuckiest thing ever but the next time – and even with the same guy – it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
“This is complicated, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Only if you make it that way,” I said. “Or when someone else tries to complicate it for you. See, everyone has this idea of what this is supposed to be like but not always able to see the bigger picture and what it can be like and, mostly, dependent upon how you’re feeling. Don’t be surprised if, one day, you find that you wanna stick it in someone’s ass and your dick stays as hard as a rock and when you’re expecting it not to. It’s a… process.”
I don’t know what he did about any of this once the seminar was over and everyone went home. As I was flying home, I was… happy to have been able to show someone that there is more to this sex thing than we’ve been made to believe and that the other option really isn’t as bad as we’ve been told or may have heard. Yes – a lot of the horror stories are very real and we do tend to assume that if it went wrongly for someone, it’s going to go just as wrongly for us but it remains true that it can only go wrong when it does go wrong… and that if you fervently believe it will, Mr. Murphy is going to make sure that your worst nightmare will be made real.
Making the transition is… a process and not an easy one for a lot of people. I have seen way too many men and women say that this is something they could never do or have reason to… only to get severely shocked to find that not only do they have a reason to but they can do it… and like they’ve been doing it this way all along. I don’t pretend to understand how this works – I just know it does and works even better once one can sort it all out in their heads. Again, some people just can’t work it out and some find themselves being able to work it out somewhere down the road…
But it remains true that boy/girl, boy/boy, and girl/girl aren’t the only viable options when one feels like there’s something missing; all of the above is also a viable option if one is willing to take that step into the unknown. Many take and adjust to bisexuality like it’s no big deal… and some, again, just can’t; having the potential to be bisexual and being bisexual in both thought and deed is something that not everyone can do and even if they think they can or, yeah, get their eyes pinned open to find out that they can not only do the “unthinkable,” it’s what they’ve been missing in their sexual life and, yup, it ain’t really all that bad.