The Conformosexuals

We all have a choice to make, in forging a life for ourselves as sexual beings. It is a choice both simple and complex, both conscious and unconscious. To put it simply, do we get with the program or do we live out our authentic nature?

At the most basic, primitive level, we have to make a choice of whether or not we will subscribe to the heterosexual fantasy. I call it a fantasy because I do not believe that there is such a thing as a heterosexual orientation. Gay history shows that the typical masculine man, the world over, as far back as we can see, enjoyed males and females without discrimination. Thus the chimera of a natural state in which “normal” men only like the female form is nothing but a self-perpetuating mass delusion. That which blinds us men to the physical beauty of another male, that which kills our spontaneous erotic response towards that person, and that cripples any manifestation of that response be it as muted as the glance of an eye or a smile or the touch of a hand, cannot be called an orientation. It would be more accurate to call it a panic state.

So, if we are among the fortunate who have escaped the trap of heterosexual panic, either because our feelings are too strong to be denied, or our love for truth is too strong to permit us to live a lie, or our contrary nature rebels against following the herd, any herd . . .  and probably it is the case that our escape from banality is due to some combination of these factors . . .  then we still have a number of programs that could trip us up. They have varied over time. It used to be, not so long ago, that the beloved had to be younger – a lot younger. Now the requirement is that the beloved not be younger, and certainly not a lot younger. But when did love ever seek symmetry – or asymmetry? No, love seeks beauty wherever it is found, whether in someone younger, or the same age, or older than oneself. Yes, follow the law (unless you live in some barbarian land where people are executed for loving others of the same sex) but then, if you want to live free of programs, follow your heart.

Then there is the what. There runs this modern mania, based not a little on internalized Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Old Testament dogma, that real male sex means butt sex. But that is another fiction, dreamt up by those who are busy doing exactly that to women but who are in need of a foil. If we look at the numbers, even in these days when anything goes, only about half the men who love other men go for butt sex. That is not very different from the percentage of men who have done that with a woman. Historically, if we look at other civilizations we see that the path to male+male pleasure has been whatever a given culture is accustomed to. Distill that history, and you are left with the essence – real sex is anything that elevates you and your partner to orgasm. There is no identity between butt sex and male homosexuality.

Anthropology and history have clearly shown that sexuality is socially constructed. What that means is that people tend to desire what they are trained from earliest childhood to desire, and perform the sex acts they are told are normal, and find repugnant the behaviors they are programmed to see as abnormal. But we can opt out of the program, and many do. Many men who find males beautiful understand that anal sex is a practice likely to give one partner pleasure at the cost of causing the other to suffer pain (more than 60% of those who receive it complain of pain as their biggest lifetime sexual problem, and of these almost half always find it painful), and that carries with it the risks of physical damage, incontinence, and disease, to say nothing about the aesthetics of the act. They want nothing to do with the activity and would not dream of inflicting it on someone they loved. So for those not benumbed by religion or the rejection of religion (they are still in the river, who swim against the stream) and who are possessed of a modicum of imagination, the modern program to turn your partner upside down holds little sway.

Enshrining anal penetration as the primary form of gay sex to the detriment of all the other forms of sexual pleasure between males can lead to real aberrations. Witness the recent attempt of the board of education in the town of Helena, in Montana, USA, to draw up a curriculum which, in a benighted effort to teach tolerance for same-sex love, instead taught eleven year old children that anal sex was a valid sexual choice. Not surprisingly, the parents rose up in arms. They might still have rejected a curriculum that affirmed the beauty and rightness of loving whomever you happen to fall in love with, but at least that would have been an ethical message imbued with emotional truth, and one that young children could and should hear. It is also a message that has a chance to be accepted by reasonable people, unlike one peddling anal sex to fifth graders.

I would not want to convey the impression that, were they a few years older, those children would be ripe for being stampeded towards each others’ anuses. Regardless of age, it seems a sad betrayal of our gay youth, and a fundamentally homophobic posture, to mislead and brainwash boys into thinking that if they fall in love with another boy then they must end up sooner or later performing an act that goes against one of their strongest instinctive distastes, and that puts them at risk of disability, disease and death. The best that can be said of the current situation is that we are still at the dawn of this homosexual renaissance, and after almost 2000 years of scorched earth policy by the Abrahamic creeds we have been thrust back to a very primitive stage in the work of evolving a mature homosexual ethic and aesthetic.

What of those few men who actually enjoy being penetrated? Certainly it is nobody’s business but their own, as long as they pay their own medical expenses. But the least we can ask of them is to admit that theirs is a minority preference that in no way defines or characterizes the love of one male for another.

The outer form our love should take has also been the plaything of authoritarian forces. Witness the “gay marriage” tug of war. There are, and always have been, those men who see themselves as wives to other men, and such couples should be free to marry. (See our article on the two-spirit tradition, as one example.) But what about everybody else who is drawn to male love and yet has not a shred of womanly identity, on the contrary. Would it not be useful to have other options? The Albanians had official brotherhood bonds. They called it vellameria, “brother-making” and consecrated it in their Orthodox churches. So did the Greeks – remember Boswell and adelphopoiesis? The two brothers, would have special privileges and obligations, in some ways the same and in others different from married couples. And how about legalizing adoptions of youths above the age of consent who already have good parents. Of course those parents would also have to agree to the adoption. One would become a kind of formal godparent, with rights and obligations, and the young man likewise would have obligations and rights, including the right to enjoy sexual play with his godparent.

Finally, let us not forget the very real pleasures of marrying someone of the opposite sex. We can enjoy male love yet not be exclusive. Examples of men with a taste for males taking a wife abound, and let’s not make the mistake of assuming that all of them were the result of succumbing to societal pressure. For example, Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, after 55 years of avoiding female relationships and enjoying masculine ones, married a (boyish looking) woman of 23 and proceeded to have three children with her. And not long ago, a prominent gay advocate married a lesbian friend, and the two had children and raised a family. To enter into such a relationship with one’s eyes open is an expression of freedom, rather than submission to some program.

That brings to one last aspect, the current fascination of same-sex couples with adopting children. That is certainly better than having those children languish in institutions. However, who would deny that a child has a natural right to be brought up by a father AND a mother. Men and women are not interchangeable. They have different intellectual, emotional and psychological characteristics. They impart different teachings to their children, lessons that are mutually complementary. Thus a child brought up by two men or two women starts life with a void in its makeup. Let’s hope that same-sex parents will make sure to engage a third person, of the opposite sex, in the work of raising any child that they may adopt.

To conclude, I would like to propose a different structuring of sexuality, not one which divides people into homosexuals and heterosexuals, but one which divides them into those who are true to their inner erotic calling (I do not know what name to give them, any ideas?) and those who fall for one or another program, heterosexual or homosexual, whom I would like to call the conformosexuals.

Andrew Calimach

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  • http://www.fabianblackromance.com Queerfiction

    “To conclude, I would like to propose a different structuring of sexuality, not one which divides people into homosexuals and heterosexuals, but one which divides them into those who are true to their inner erotic calling (I do not know what name to give them, any ideas?)”

    How about ‘blissfully at peace with themeselves’ I can’t think of anything more descriptive or technical. or catchy. To be at ease with one’s erotic nature is I think to truly be at peace. To have to constantly battle guilt, to question and live in fear of your own desires and calling is a torment.

    Great article. :)

    Libby

  • Rangdrol

    HI, I totally love your blog. Good work!

    You mentioned the practice by Sufis of gazing upon the naked youth. I wonder if you know the name about that practice?

  • admin

    Nazar ila’l-murd, or “contemplation of the beardless.”

  • Calimach

    Nazar ila’l-murd, or “contemplation of the beardless.”

  • Kokovnl

    Calimach, that is a nice article. indeed. However, I find you passionate opposition of anal sex very disagreable. “..pay their own medical bills.” What are you talking about? Almost all men I met enjoy anal sex and I do, in fact, enjoy being penetrated, a lot, and I do not have STDs or other ‘damages’.

    Filled with jealousy, I see you.

  • Calimach

    .K, I am sorry if my attitude upsets you. It is a delicate subject, and I was not perfectly comfortable wading into this terrain, I can assure you. It is no one’s business how people take their pleasure (as long as no harm comes of it). But when one takes the position that anal sex is as safe as any other form of sex I am afraid that one is on shaky ground. The fact is that lots of people have died from AIDS (including a couple of my own friends), that many have gotten cancer of the anus, that it can cause incontinence and other kinds of physical damage, and that it exposes both partners to the host of diseases associated with contact with human feces. Is any of that necessary, or desirable? Mind you, I am not even including the fact that it exposes one to all the OTHER diseases that are anyway associated with sexual contact.

    So while it is no one’s business to comment on the private lives of other adults, it is the business of all of us to pay attention to what we are teaching to new generations of youths. Let’s by all means encourage them to be free to express their affections and desires free of guilt and paranoia, but let’s also teach them that the expression of those desires can take forms that are inherently respectful of their health and their life. It is a higher order of freedom, and an invitation to use their imagination, rather than to fall from one sexual orthodoxy into another.

  • Ramosgarciaisaias

    what about veritafilosexuals, f.ex.?

  • Derrick K.

    I love the whole article except the anal sex part.
    I myself don’t enjoy giving or receiving anal sex , but I don’t know a single “bottom” who doesn’t absolutely love it. According to you, are they lying?
    Also you’re completely overstating the health risks of receiving anal sex, seriously.
    There is no health crisis involving the asses of older gay bottoms.
    Have you considered that your revulsion to anal sex is also socially constructed?
    Unfortunately this revulsion ends up degrading and invalidating your entire argument.

  • Spiritual_lover1893

    Mavi (Turkish for ‘blue’) a collection of poemsfor The BelovedThe Beloved___We love dreaming hallucinationsof ivory towers out of fearof tumbling truly asleep into visions ofdoghouses and nightmares ofTinseltown-Princessesfalling in love with the dog in the backyard…* * *Alexander… they called him Great,loved a beautiful soldier and a beautiful horse,kissed oneand the riddle is: Did he kiss both?which one first and with the most ardor?…___… pulsing…… our blood thickwith us togetheroceans of each otherin the salted mist,rapt, I hear your thunder and hissam at sea in your siren callbeckoning my shorescleansed of all else…… our anchor rockedin the umbilical rhythmwashing through usceasingly pulsing…* * *… my vision of you blinded mewhen you came to livein the irises of my eyes…… the ultimate,marriage of illumination and lustrous darkness…… perfection of vision – blind, yetstill seeing…irises…* * *… there is a dark realm of everykiss as the kiss of death…* * *… I am dying even while I am livingthe death you handed me – musicsearching blindly for us inforsaken alleys,fractured, empty bottles of winereflecting the winking of starswe hold in our hands…* * *… you send me artificial roses…… their spears mock myfingers,your ears hear my words, my voice,… are your guts listening tothe inflection of minetrying to breathe lifeinto the petals – and thorns?…* * *… I am spirit-Casanovaa consecrated harlot of soul,boundless, my loves…… oceans envy my reach…* * *… ask and I’ll disrobe forthe velvet storm of your eyes,barren but for your glance,not sleeping, revelingin velvet drunkenness to our core …… then again, you don’t have to ask…… I have been assailed beyond theillusion of my robe…* * *… in mydrunkenness I don’t see double,I see the blurring of our shadowsetched from above the clouds…… stumble…… fall with me…the floor is a place for usto lieinundated in stuporour stink rising from the floor as one…* * *… reach deeply into the quiver,your hand won’t get lostexcept in my flame…… come…… the arrows will follow…* * *… respiration…perspiring throughthe smudgedwindowpane thatis us,indistinguishable from lost expulsions of the hidden sun,sacredotal robe,we hide in our nakednessunashamed to sweat ragingpheromones of naked desireto live in, breathe one anotheruntil stricken byarrows of themoon and laid side by side…… who cares about the silly sun?…* * *… our love needs no tailoring,unclothed we wallow and playin the biting November raintattering the warp and woof of ourmother sea –- liquid muslin – too much clothinglet usget more naked than naked,more than the earththe sky,all the tailoring we need inthe ocean wind…… do you feel its stingshredding the veil ofeven the rain?…* * *… I felt my heartthundering in the gripof your satin-steel gloveslightning rods thrust inwardto a bone-searing…… and still I am stunned,please let me sleepuntil the dawn of more thunder…* * *… I can’t mirror you,only hope to hold you ina reflection of myself, daggerof heaventhrough our pores screamingin a fever for a transcendent wound – alchemy…… madness…* * *… a chemical, my loveenlivening the roots of youin the ash heapof all this…… and I encompassed by thereek, infusing myselfwith your incense incinerating all that is,with me firmly lashed to the acrid-smoking pyre…… our essence rising above the stench…* * *… when you leavethere is no deathno silence butsoundless criesof chaos – living,nothing when you retrurnbut heat raging between hereand beyond,furnace-anthem strugglingtoward fusion …… my longingfor a molten center …* * *… snarling beneath the despairing numbnessshuddering trap of my teeth caressing your veinstrying to strain you back into my recesses..… hissing silence,blood-cadence, smoke andseething ice beneaththe emptiness…… only a trash can to catch and love the debris…* * *… moon-stripped void of minestaring into the pre-time howling of wolvesand sand through your hairspinning requiem- ours – in a cauldron of void,moon-watched, staring… unashamed…* * *… I beg your indulgence in rough,unevenrhythms, for my best refugeis me – with the door open to you,Come, jitterbug in gratitude, in thata stuttering heart is a heart alive…… stutter with me…* * *… how brutal!… Isaid ‘I love you’and deepened was the poolof our blood-touched union openingto the most beautiful of poisonous flowers;we drank deeply, druggedwe slept wide-eyed in each others arms…* * *… deeplywhere unfurl the petalsburn the jarring-jagged points, theflourishesof our labyrinth beyondunraveling…… unsolvable riddle, primal,priceless, profanely scorching…* * *… trembling echoes – smoldering -our lava boils upwardto singe away the scars…… ashes of newness…… the wind has never been more lost…… demons of joy are on the loose…* * *… love is blasphemy inherent,scripture…* * *… the distance between us – scornedby the glance of your eyes possessedby our nightsflittering before the mocking dawn of your eyelashes…… sunrise disheviling darkness hasnever been more replete,as close asour clutching fingernailseyelash to eyelash, skin-of-skin…* * *… a bright shadow casts our darkness -never more luminous…* * *… suspended, I languish in the wantonness ofyour shadow,breathless, watching you kick it around…… lost… found … lost…… I don’t live on the edge,we are the edge, you and I…… the exit is the way in…* * *… give me your cheekand I’ll slap yourblood to your roots,stunning them, shouting them awake,the dance thereof will never dieand resurrection never sleepexcept to dream…… us…* * *… you came down from Mt. Olympusand my head suddenly spunwith your olive scent,craning my neck tolook up at your tangled hairsearching to fathom our connectioncrowning the summitholding our olive branchtorn from your sacred grove…… anointed snare of our depths,dirt-scented vine of Olympus…* * *… shards of laughterstrew some alleys,shattered grace of bridges,haunted sacrifice of cathedrals, hovels, our temple…… strewn… stinging grace of laughteraching to remove the shards…* * *… no wound is deeperthan that laid openby your eyes and I bathein the salt sweat to immersion,never crying outfor a ceasingof the floodriding mercilesslytoward our immolation…* * *… I once was prenatally afraidof your eyes, now luxuriatingin the exquisite excruciation of terrorrenewing the womb of my being…… I can only begfor bliss of the nightmare evermore…* * *… the raven spoke: ”Nevermore!”and I wandered into the raven-soul of nightcasting about for wings…… my face was smitten by the feathers ofyours soaring through the musky dark,and it rained!”nevermore!”… our wings are locked together…* * *… numb satin intoxication arisingto awakening epiphany of anguish,expectant grind of waiting,ecstasy of desperation to fall unleashedfor flight…… let me see into your eyes andI shall lose my grip,… linger for my plunge…* * *… before you pull the triggerask yourself if there is any loveat the point of a gun…… or anything but…___… staggering,I fell on my facein The Ineffable Onehidden rawly in the smell of your feet lifting me back to mine,staggering, still, butwrapped in the musky perfume ofIneffable Oneness…… forever – lost – ecstatic…

  • admin

    Derrick,
    If 60% of people on surveys say that pain is a problem, then that is what it is. They can certainly feel pleasure and pain at the same time, nothing more natural than that. As for the risks, how many have died of AIDS? Let alone all the other possible consequences. I do not think that putting oneself or others in harm’s way is a good idea, even when it is done in the name of “love”. Real love and real self-respect means not taking chances with one’s welfare or that of your lover just for the thrill of it.

    And that is what it is. All those who have criticized me for suggesting that anal sex an unwise thing to do have one principal argument: “But it feels so good!” It very well may, the brain is infinitely reprogrammable and no doubt people can learn to like all kinds of things that at first are repugnant. Think of aged Brie cheese. But just because something feels good does not mean we should jump into it with both feet, when it is demonstrably harmful. I am told that heroin also feels very good. But intelligent people stay away from it. What you do with your body is your business. But when that activity begins to market itself to the next generation, and to seek legitimacy in the face of all the evidence against it and in the name of a false “tolerance” then do not be surprised if some people will not buy the party line and point out that this behavior has nothing to do with the love between two males.

    Anal sex is something that about half of male/female and about half of male/male couples have experimented with. There is nothing gendered about an anus. So why the association? Long topic, many ideas. Be well.

    Andrew

  • Walter

    Homophobic.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dancolliergay Dan Collier

    Beautiful article, thanks so much. Covers such a wide range, yet always under the umbrella of male love. Excellent!

  • steve heath

    I enjoyed your article and especially like the idea of the many forms of expressing  love sexually to a beloved companion. How much sweeter life might have been had such an idea been expressed to my young self. The beauty of other boys matched with  common  interests and activities just made complete sense to me. Despite Unholy Mother Church and her vile efforts to warp me into a mold I could never shake my love for my male brethern. I paid the price for that with self loathing and the conviction that I was damned for many years. Regardless I continued to share my love with men. Your article would have been very liberating back then.

    Anal sex has always been very painful for me and because of the pain I felt it was difficult for me to “top” other guys until convinced by some that they found only pleasure in receiving me. I still hesitate to top when there are so many other ways to enjoy each other.

  • Anonymous

    Steve, I can relate to that self-loathing. I experienced it as long years of self-sabotage, self-destruction, and potential not realized because I did not deserve it. I was fortunate to come out the other side, past shame, past pride, past self-acceptance to simple appreciation and constant gratitude for it all, the good and the bad.

    Who knows how all those lives and loves never lived would have turned out? Maybe all that suffering and self-hate was the crucible that led me to work on the ancient myths, to rediscover that lost Greek world with its elan towards a moral passion.

    As for the ongoing wave of physical self-destruction that men with men engage in, and that has taken so many lives, perhaps it is a necessary step on the ladder of evolution, like crawling before walking and grunting before talking.

    Or perhaps it is the misbegotten reaction to the oppression of a Church that in its simple-minded way identifies love with penetration. But the love of Saul for David, and the love of Jonathan for David never made a woman of David, yet who can deny that it was love, the selfsame love that you and I have felt and feel in our own hearts?

  • Settie

    I see a hint of Functionalism in your article.

    Your article is highly influenced by heteronormativity.

    ”The outer form our love should take has also been the plaything of
    authoritarian forces. Witness the “gay marriage” tug of war. There are,
    and always have been, those men who see themselves as wives to other
    men, and such couples should be free to marry.”

    Wanting to marry a man doesn’t mean I want to be a wife to a man.

    I am a MAN who wants to have a relationship with a MAN which is on equal footing to heterosexual relationships (i.e gay marriage).

    I don’t like overly feminine men and if I wanted feminine beings as romantic partners I would be going after women.

    Nor am I effeminate myself.

    The natural companion of man is not woman just because she possesses a natural penis receptacle and men don’t.
    Biology is not destiny.
    To be married to a man doesn’t mean I am being the woman to him or vice versa.
    We are MEN.

    ‘That brings to one last aspect, the current fascination of same-sex
    couples with adopting children. That is certainly better than having
    those children languish in institutions. However, who would deny that a
    child has a natural right to be brought up by a father AND a mother. Men
    and women are not interchangeable.’

    I disagree with the necessity of parents of both genders in order to bring up children.

    I personally know of children raised by two or more members of the same gender,often when the parent of the other gender died and a family member of the other gender pitched in.
    The children are fine.

    We have been programmed since the birth that the only ‘right’ way to live is to have one mother,one father and children.
    The nuclear family,however,is a recent invention.
    I many places we have collective child rearing and we also see many matrifocal families in regions like the Caribbean wherein the male parent is absent.
    The children are fine.

    They are not ‘NORMAL’ in that they are deviants from the Patriarchal Heterosexist ‘one man-one women and kids’  nuclear family system but they are FINE.

    As a man I can provide a child I adopt all that a woman can provide.
    I can be tender and harsh,and I can be loving and indifferent when required.
    No woman needed just for being a woman.

    ”They impart different teachings to their children, lessons that are mutually complementary”

    I can posses ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ traits when required…it is society which tells a man he always has to be ‘masculine’ and a woman always has to be ‘feminine’.
    I don’t care much for socially constructed gender roles.

    The role of parents we see around us is not set in biology but is largely socially constructed,as can be seen when we examine historical and present societies radically different from the major Western and Eastern ones.

    These ‘teachings’ are cultural norms not set in our genes.

    ” Thus a child brought up by two men or two women starts life with a void in its makeup”

    They seem perfectly fine to me.

    ‘Finally, let us not forget the very real pleasures of marrying someone of the opposite sex. ‘

    To be homosexual does not just mean I want to have sex with a man.
    I want to have sex with, and LOVE men and have them as my most emotionally intimate partners and not women.
    I do not want to marry a woman and have her in my most intimate spaces as I would want a man.I don’t want to spend my entire life with a wife but with a husband.
    When I reach home and lie in my bed I want a masculine body to hug and sleep with NOT A WOMAN.
    I want to hold a man before I sleep and wake up in his arms in the morning.
    The soft caresses of the female body bore me.
    I want a partner who can understand my situation as a homosexual male in this society because they are like me and with them I can be emotionally intimate.
    That can never be a woman.

    Why would I find pleasure in this heterosexist subsystem?

    If heterosexual marriage were more pleasurable for gays than homosexual male-male partnerships then we would like marrying women instead of campaigning for gay marriage.
    Yet most of us who end up marrying women are MISERABLE even if we manage to have sex with men on the side because the important component of male-male LOVE is missing…something lust cannot compensate for.
    You are bringing up anomalous situations to support a minority view.

  • ed

    I think , now the people, society still not ready to understand that a person can be whit a woman or a man.

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