As some of you may have noticed, I like sex. Not just like, but am totally fascinated by it. Have been ever since I was young, but that's another post.
It makes sense that sex is a big part of most people's lives, without it the species dies out. No matter how you dress it up, sex is behind a huge portion of the things we do - nice clothes, sexy underwear, Viagra, fast cars, tall buildings, perfume, breast implants, money, Doctor Who underpants - we want to make ourselves a more attractive breeding option, even when we're already taken. What amazes me is the sheer range of things that people find that gives them a buzz. Some many of us will understand - a long gentle massage for instance. Others fewer of us get - spankings. And of course some are very much a minority interest - being farted on.
In the great scheme of things, when it comes to sex, I'm in favour of anything where no-one is made, through trickery, emotional blackmail or force, to do or endure anything that they don't wish to. If it's within those criteria, then generally speaking even if I don't like the act, I don't have a problem with it.
So if people want to poo on each other, they can go for it. I'll fully support their right to do that as consenting adults. I just don't want to see, hear, or smell anything about it.
Every culture has its own quirks, many of them changing over the years. Within ours, there was a time where chairs and tables had fabric draped over their legs to hide them, lest the carved limbs lead men to impure thoughts. Queen Victoria refused to believe that ladies would ever 'do things' with each other. There was a time when sex was only for reproduction and nudity, even your own, was a terrible, sinful thing. In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now goodness knows, anything goes!
Actually, that's not strictly true. Australia has become legally more sexually liberated than it was say, thirty years ago, but we've gained a bunch of conservative values as well.
Then there's cultural differences. Some cultures teach sex education as a part of their religion - in some it's seen that the woman's enjoyment of sex is more important than the guy's - so the young men are taught to please women in the sack. How cool it that?! Then you have the Japanese obsession with schoolgirls, and tentacle porn that dates back many centuries. Cultures where casual nudity is just that, casual, nothing to worry about, whereas in others you minimise how much skin is on show. In some countries you have whole families living in the one room/hut, so the kids learn about sex while watching their parents, in other countries the kids being able to see this would be illegal. In some cultures a good host offered his wife to a guest and it was a huge insult to decline the offer, in others another man may never be alone with a married woman. Prostitution, homosexuality, age of consent, moral values... there's as many variations as you can imagine, and in almost every culture, theirs is the right way to do things.
Every time I make a new discovery in the realm of cultural or historical sexuality, be it positive, negative or just strange, I'm thrilled and amazed.
And of course, I love hearing peoples' stories. Finding out about their history, their turn-ons, their disasters, their break-throughs, what gets them going, anything. Every person is unique. And on the all too rare occasions when I get to see this side of people, it's a genuine privilege. Sex is such a private thing, some turn-ons only having their power because they are private. There are single moments that completely change a person's sexual landscape. There are the changes with age, as experience or scars are collected. The experimental moments. The mad moments.
Stories of people's first discoveries are always amazing. Be it first masturbation attempt, first kiss, turn-on, cuddle, wet dream, fuck... Some are lovely, deplorable, boring, bizarre, arousing, or hilarious! The first time that that weird fetish you don't like/understand is done with/by/to someone else/someone new, and all of a sudden there are fireworks! And just the experiences are astounding... people put off something by someone, those whose libido is awoken by the right person, the unexpected thing that becomes a part of your sexual make-up and you try to desperately figure out, 'Oh God! Why on Earth do I like that?'
Many are beautiful, some are sad, some are just downright weird. And that's why I love them, as unique to each person as a pattern on a snowflake. It's what I loved about the sex shop, getting to share in the sexuality of hundreds of people each week. Sure, most of what I got to see was the boring, the ordinary, but some were special. The woman buying her first vibrator. The guy drumming up the courage to buy his first artificial vagina. The person who finds a video they didn't know existed and is blown away because they can see on the box, this vid caters to their particular fetish!
I often say to people who ask me advice on matters sexual that if I haven't done it, it's likely that I know someone who has. It's strange, I haven't actively sought out people with interesting or different sexualities, but the universe has regularly flung them into my orbit. Sharon, for instance, is asexual. She's not attracted to or repelled by either gender, and yet she fell in love with a horny little bastard. Go figure that one.
I've had friends who are gay, straight and bisexual. Which is not so unusual, but watching the way their individual sexuality is dealt with is interesting. The ones that try to hump everything that moves, the ones that distance themselves from the lifestyle...
The problems bisexuals face as some members of the gay scene accuse them of being cowards or fence sitters... Honestly who would choose to fence sit on an issue that means they feel like outcasts in two sexual communities? I'm very mildly bi, it's only one bloke in ten thousand that gets any sort of interest from me, but I helped get B.A.M. (Bisexual Awareness Melbourne) going. We got to hear horror story after horror story, but also helped give some folks a place to go and a number to call with our helpline. There was also a lot of love and support there, B.A.M. was a good group of people, and surprisingly lacking in folks just trying to pick-up.
I've met a few folks who have experimented with, and known two different women who are/were, active zoophiles or bestialists. One was attractive, smart, funny, and a dickhead magnet. After ten years of not finding any men that were up to scratch, she realised the only thing she was missing was sex, and started with her dog. And she never looked back... When she first told me I was stunned. She was a catch and could have almost anyone but at the same time, she was happily getting shagged, she didn't feel bad about it, and the dog wasn't being harmed at all. The other is another catch and has promised to tell me her story, but we rarely see each other and there's always other folks around when we do. One day...
But I find their situation fascinating. Both are different personalities, one strong and quiet, the other loud, outrageous.
Then there was the guy caught shagging a sheep at the abattoirs. I really wish I'd had the chance to talk with him, but he left and went interstate, for some strange reason. The story followed him, of course.
I was once friends with an old transsexual who'd had an amazing life. It deserved a miniseries. She was wonderful and taught me the difference between transsexuals and transgenderists ('gender's with your mind, sex is with your body'). Born male, her mother had dressed and treated her as a girl from the time her father left. She took on a male persona in her early teens when her dad came back and took her around the world, getting mixed up with sky pirates, you know, the usual things. That's just the tip of her life. Sadly, I realised recently that I could no longer remember her name... it's been about 12 years since we last bumped into each other. Fantastic woman.
There was the slightly older girl who was also the one who took me into my first sex shop. Nudist, bisexual, self-confessed nympho, she was more than a little interested in me, but I didn't have the right feelings for her. She had a huge collection of vibrators on display around her bedroom, all shapes, all sizes... and names. Every one had a name. I still remember the phone call where she dropped in the line 'Phillip died last night.' and I was halfway to giving my sympathies before I realised she was talking about a vibe. She was quite happy and willing to go out and pick up a random guy or girl or couple... Taught me a lot about safe sex, too.
There was the most beautiful, sexy and sweet girl who happened to be a hermaphrodite. At the time I was the only guy not threatened by her penis, and more than a little interested in her, so naturally she had no interest in me as anything other than a friend. She was always grateful that her parents hadn't decided to get her operated on as a baby, but at the same time, was having to deal with the problems it caused. Couldn't shower or change with the other girls at school, trying to figure when you do tell a guy you're getting close to that you have a cock, problems most of us couldn't even imagine. I will always feel privileged and honoured that she took me into her confidence. I was the one who explained that it wasn't just that she had a penis that scared the guys off, it was that she was hung! Most guys would have struggled with their girlfriend having a cock to begin with, let alone being happy that hers was much bigger than their own. I ended up being her 'snuggle-bud' in bed fairly regularly for a while, as she craved being held and liked for who she was. She used to cry a lot.
There was the fuck buddy who laughed during sex. She was always laughing and making jokes and just enjoying herself.
The lover who wanted to be come on. It was something I had never been into but she loved and wanted it. I can still remember the first time I did it for her, her pointing to a dollop of semen on her breast - beaming happily and so very proud.
The truckie I worked with and his routine when he got home. Away for up to a week at a time, when he'd get home the first thing he'd do would be to lay under the glass coffee table while his wife squatted over and pissed on it. And he used to invite people around to see and try it!
The other truckie, who swore by getting a blowjob while sitting on the dunny taking a dump.
The works Christmas parties, where prostitutes were hired as the entertainment. They'd drag a guy up on the stage and do him in front of a cheering crowd.
The friend who has been consistently used throughout her sexual life, one bad experience after another. She likes me and would love to have sex with me, and I like the idea of showing her the attention, the care, that not all guys are bastards out to use her, but she's not someone I would want to have sex with in any other circumstance, so it's not likely to happen.
The guy who got into spew porn after the girl he was screwing from behind started vomiting.
The people who only orgasm through anal sex and don't get much out of 'normal' sex.
There's been so many, and even the things that distress me teach me new angles on human sexuality. And this is my passion, I love hearing about it all. There have been the people who volunteered info after a long, late night, and those that asked me a question. And there's nothing like the look on someone's face when they want to talk to you about some odd kink, and you just take it at face value, or are actively enthusiastic because whether they are confused, freaked out or accepting, they've taken a huge step in their own sexuality. It's why people do speak with me about this stuff - an open mind, honest curiousity and the ability to keep my mouth shut.
For the record, no-one who ever asked me to keep quiet had their details mentioned here, even though most were fairly anonymous. I've had it suggested to me that I should do a 'sexology' degree. Not sure I'm up to the study, but it'd certainly be interesting... There's always something new to learn. Why it's only the other week I first heard about Nullos, people who have their genitals removed (and other body parts too, sometimes, but it's the genital removal I find most fascinating.)
Now some reading material, for those of you that are curious...
My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday is a book that I think should be on the curriculum for students being taught sex education. Seriously. It's a book about the sexual fantasies of women, ranging in age from teens to their nineties, and an incredible insight into human sexuality. Raw, honest, beautiful, tragic, funny, strange... Chances are if you've ever fantasised about something, there's an analogue of it in this book. Many women are embarrassed by things that turn them on, and this book shows them that they aren't alone, that it's ok.
I also think it's something teenage boys and men should be made to read. It shows women as complex and sexual beings, gives an insight into the range of vulnerability and wildness that can be hidden away. Some stories are arousing, some funny, some strange and some will break your heart.
I used to loan this book to people, but it kept not coming back, and after I lost my fourth copy, I stopped. Buy this book!
The Joy of Sex still serves us well as a sex manual. A little dated in style but still relevant.
The Karma Sutra is an amazing read, and details some positions that look like the results of a game of Twister gone tragically wrong. It's to my shame that I don't own a copy of it, having not replaced the one that went walkabout many years ago.
The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality - Only just discovered this today while looking up something else, but looks pretty good.
That's kind of it for the mo'. I could keep writing on this subject but I have to stop somewhere.
So if you ever feel you'd like to yak with me about things, please do. They don't have to be your experiences, they can be attitudes, things you've heard, etc.
I'm going to screen comments on this post so that folks can reply and not worry about their thoughts being public. If you don't mind your comment being seen, just finish the post with a "Yes" on the last line.
Things not being returned
I love introducing people to new things - books, movies, etc. The problem is, I have a crap memory and forget who I loaned them to. The bigger problem is, the people don't give them back!
When I loan things from people, they go on the 'loaned' shelf, where I can locate them to give them back. Occasionally I find something that I don't know who it belongs to, and then I ask around the likely suspects, I don't just get embarrassed and not ask anyone!
You have been loaned someone else's property in good faith, you owe it to that person to look after said property and to make sure it's returned! Especially in this day and age, when books cost a bloody fortune!
We've all been there, all had it happen. Maybe we should organise one day a year where everyone turns up to the one event with everything they've loaned and forgotten who it belongs to. It's a chance to catch up and for people to say 'Oh! You had that! I was looking for that everywhere!'
Now I have a PDA, I enter the item, the person's name and the date into it. Hopefully it'll make some sort of difference.
That said, if the person who has got my DVD of the pilot of the Lock, Stock TV series is reading this, I'd really like it back, please.