Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 05 May 1997


by Jack Nichols


"The art of life consists largely in the ability to see beauty, to remain open to beauty, for nature never tires of showing it to us in new forms."

Dr. George Weinberg

"Tits and ass sell."

Sign on the original desk of SCREW's publisher, Al Goldstein


Few more demanding dullards exist than those non-spontaneous lounge lizards who, before they consent to spend the night, hiss, "Just what do you like to do in bed?" After hearing such words, can any stalked bar quarry feel truly appreciated for himself--as opposed, say, to being appreciated only for his ability to perform a certain act? Who, in fact, after careful consideration of such a unsubtle insult, doesn't want to damn the old specific demands? Must love and affection, whether promiscuous or monogamous, insist upon being mapped out beforehand, becoming a never-changing route?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. provided just the thought needed to deal with this lizard's question by saying that "unconditional love will have the final word in reality." Conditional love-making, sadly, is what most mainstreamers offer. They enter the arena of affection insisting on some angle of the missionary position, renaming it now as trysts between tops or bottoms. Aren't there other choices? Is imagination so dead in our comrades and lovers? After all, either/or demand-makers hardly approach the threshold of affection, insisting on bodily placements, saying in advance, "Do it as I like it or we won't relate at all." Dominant/ submissive macho-mania insistence--being a drill sergeant in bed-- can dull the night. Why?

This kind of conditional affection lacks imagination, that's why. It says, "By making specific demands about what we'll do sexually, we'll remain within the perimeters of my own particular bag." Conditional affection puts sad limits on what otherwise might lead to maximizing pleasure and genuine, slap-happy affection. If it weren't for those who set conditions in advance, we might easily find ourselves relating to a greater variety of types, and, hopefully, on various levels of consciousness. Instead, unfortunately, too many insist on those singular, repetitive acts from their companions, limiting all other possibilities in tactile awareness.Think about it. Insisting on a singular act, a would-be lover cuts himself off from any who don't fit into his fantasy-category or who may not share his taste for a highly particularized behavior. Each demanding preference, therefore, becomes a severe limitation, and, as a result fewer people--who might otherwise get close--relate. Too bad. A social/sexual calamity, in fact.

Such also limit themselves by liking only blondes or brunettes, or smooth or hairy bodies or older men or younger men. And how about the "bigger is better" crowd--the size is status bunch--insisting coldly and mathematically on some measured anatomical part as a must---an essential---if they're to relate in any "affectional" way. We've heard this mainstream rapper before, no? Last week he saw his perfect dreamboy stuffed into an underwear ad, and until that ad appears in person and agrees beforehand to his tired sexual routine, he won't bother talking to anyone else in the gene pool. Everybody loses.

The surrounding commercial culture shapes tastes more than we know. Erotic videos offer old monkey-see, monkey-do habits, sealed with mainstream fantasies, often showing, as author Mark Simpson explains in Male Impersonators, how gay boy, possibly with low gay self-esteem, gets lucky for a couple of minutes with a straight dude, one whose idea of intimacy is a grunt. (Porn star Jeff Stryker, maybe, an uninvolved dolphin-dick mumbling corny encouragements but never really being reciprocally involved). Jeff wouldn't be a very good choice for a poster boy endorsement of mutuality in gay sex, would he?

Even the words many people use to describe sexual acts point to the old-fashioned behaviors. That's why the wise 1960's counterculture dreamed up an easy-to-use word to replace pushy, penetrative terms like "screwing." Their new word was "balling," a word that bore no invasive connotations. Balling encompasses two or more naked persons stroking, licking, massaging, rubbing, jacking, hugging, and whatever else leads to unbridled, passionate, rhythmic friction among or between unclad writhing forms. There's no phony macho aggression in this relaxed concept. No commands. Those who ball are aware of the amazing truth that procrastination is the soulmate of sensual touch. Neither is there a hurried, clumsy rush toward some almighty orgasmic finale, no demanding positioning, no shoving insistence, no placing and re-placing by an overactive director-coach. Breathe anew. Its time to bring back this counterculture word, balling. You can help by swimming with it written across your wet tee-shirt whenever you take a dip in the mainstream.

1998 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission e-mail