Once upon a time, I was a pastor. It’s a long story, and not the point of this post at all– except to say that when I was deciding what random facet of gay life I should write about, marrying my ex-ministry background and current love of men seemed like a cute idea.
So. The Seven Deadly Sins, except gay. Each week, we’ll go through one of these good ole’ naughty habits, and I’ll just spill some tea for ya. Also, this isn’t going to be really all that Christian (surprise!) so if you’re looking to really kick that terrible ‘Sloth’ habit that’s gluing you to the couch, I suggest finding your nearest confessional.
Today, we’re talking about ‘Lust‘. Stereotypically, this is the sin that the queer community is probably most associated with. Why? Well personally, every time I open my Instagram, my feed goes something like ‘porn star, hot shirtless guy, model, drag queen, my aunt, porn star, hot shirtless guy.’ I willingly- if not completely consciously- surround myself with men to lust over 24/7.
I know that may be just a ‘me’ thing, but looking at overall gay culture suggests otherwise. We’re obsessed with beauty, with youth, with masculinity; we idolize either the young twinks who are smooth and androgynous, or the older muscle daddies who fulfill our wildest masculine fantasies. Some would say that we are seeking something that fills a characteristic we’re lacking- that the more feminine presenting gay man would seek a hairy ‘alpha’ man, or vice versa- but just as often we’re called out for ‘twinning’ too much with our partners.
Also, aside from all of the potential psychological reasons for our ‘lust’, we’re just horny. Testosterone plays a big role in our (at times) seemingly constant quest for sex. Sex feels good, it’s fun, so why not think about it all the time? Plus, us queer folk aren’t confined to the same social norms as those boring straights, so why not have a date night at a bathhouse?
(On an unrelated note, never go in the hot tub at a bathhouse. I feel like the reasons should be obvious- do you know what people do in that water?)
I get it. I get all of it- I, too really like sex. I too really like the fact that, as gay men, we all get to make our own rules and boundaries when it comes to love and lust. Please, feel free to go forth and have all the triads and orgies you want. Heck, post them on your ‘Only Fans‘ page so I can watch too.
I do think there is a fine line where our focus on sex can be dangerous, though. At the risk of sounding like one of those gays on Grindr whose profile says, “Here for friends, you’re a depraved asshole if you send me a dick pic” (I mean it’s Grindr dude, not Christian Mingle) I think there are times where we as gay men can use our ‘sexual freedom‘ as an excuse to avoid real intimacy.
You see, since most of us felt a lot of shame growing up different from everyone else, we are really sensitive to ridicule. It is really hard for us to show parts of ourselves that are genuine and authentic to not only romantic partners but our friends as well. In fact, a lot of us would sooner bare our ass’s or dicks to a stranger than to tell them anything authentic about ourselves. It’s just easier. (Also, again, sex feels really good. Opening yourself up to criticism? Not so much.)
But, in the end, avoiding emotional intimacy will leave you feeling pretty unfulfilled. Not even a dick can fill the void that not being known does. Yes, that sounds cliche. Whatever.
This is already really long, but I just want to say this; Lust isn’t bad. Lust is the spice of life- being attracted to people, having little daydreams about getting pinned down in the locker room by that guy with the big pecs (whhhaaaat? I never.) – that junk is great. The ‘Deadly‘ part of this sin comes when you trade genuine vulnerability with other people for lust.
So… don’t. Engage in your fantasies, be your little sexy self- but make sure that when those opportunities come for real, meaningful connection, you take them. Rumor has it that they make sex just that much sexier. And I guess at the end of the day, lust fades. I know that’s not a nice thought, and we all want to believe that we will be horndogs forever, but it’s true. When we’re all sixty or seventy years old, the sex will be a great memory- but the relationships we have invested in and given ourselves over for are the things that will last.
What do you guys think? Am I off here? Do I sound too ‘preachy’? Are sex and intimacy completely interchangeable? Let me know in the comments!