As a gay teen, learning about sex was a hit and miss experience for me, as it is for many. I knew I liked the feelings of sex and yet as a fumbling adolescent, I didn't always get the technique and connections right. And as most gay teens still encounter to this day, there was no discussion of LGBT sex in the curriculum of the high school Sex Ed class.
Sure, I got to see all of the banal videos of changing voices and changing bodies but all of the material was oriented toward straight people having sex with other straight people of the opposite sex. Sex was portrayed as unromantic, missionary position and something that was more a chore than a pleasure. And there was definitely no room for the urges I was feeling to get it on with another guy.
And strangely enough, that conceit has not changed very much over the years. Yes, there are some progressive schools that are offering modules that are much more inclusive, but these types of programs are more the exception than the norm. In fact, for most LGBT teens the only mention of gay sex is connected to the conversation about HIV/AIDS and STI's. How's that as a way to boost your sexual confidence as a gay teen?
And more than just the mechanics of having sex, it also would have been helpful to understand the deeper psychological connection of having sex and the relationship of intimacy to the physical act. All of the education seemed to skip the fact that sex felt really good and could be a lot of fun.
So here are 4 things that nobody taught me in Sex Ed class. I have learned them through both life experience and education and they may just bring a new zing into your gay sex life.
1. Sex is Not Just a Mechanical Activity. If you remember back to Sex Ed, the examination of the mechanics of sex were just that, a step by step guide to inserting one part of the body into anther part of someone else's body. And they were done in the most scientific animation models, which created a clinical distance of what sex was supposed to be. Over time, we get to discover that the mechanics are similar but intriguingly different for gay sex and that there are myriad means of creating sexual connection and pleasure with male partners. Instead of just inserting tab A into slot B, we as gay men have man slots and tabs that can be connected to create all kinds of pleasurable sensations. And there is so much more to erotic play and sexual pleasure than just connecting slots and tabs with entire bodies available for our sensual pleasure. It is important not to be afraid of discovering which of those activities brings you the most pleasure and sexual fulfillment.
2. The Body is Not Just a Sex Machine. As we first explore sex, it often is just about getting off and finding pleasure. And that is a great thing all to itself. Over time, we may find that sex is also a doorway into deeper connection and intimacy and that the pleasure centers of our bodies react differently in response to trust, connection and integrity. There may be times when it is just about pleasure and release but as we learn more about our needs for connection and intimacy, an entirely different level of sexual pleasure can open up to us. And finding that connection with the right person can be really exciting as well as meaningful.
3. There Are Many Facets to Great Sex. If you go back to those Sex Ed videos, there was really only one vanilla way to have sex. But as gay men, we can bring creativity into the bedroom and what you will find over time is there are as many unique ways of having sex as there are people. And sex is often influenced by our mental and emotional states. Sometimes we may crave a long passionate session of pleasure and indulgence, while other times we just want a quickie as we head out the door to work. We may want toys, multiple boys and erotic play to be part of the scenario and all of these experiences can be healthy and exciting. These choices and all the others in between on that scale are not only okay, but can also deepen our connection to our erotic self.
4. Communication During Sex is Hot. I bet if you imagine yourself back in that classroom learning about sex, nobody was actually talking about their needs and desires during the process. The art of communicating what turns you on and learning the same from your sex partner can be an amazing tool to even more erotic connection during sex. If something feels good, let your partner know and conversely, if something isn't quite working the way you like, share that as well. The art of talking to each other about the experience makes it possible for sex to get even better each time you do it.
As a gay man, educating yourself about sex and your own personal experience of pleasure is a lifetime learning experience and know that your needs and desires will change over time. By being an explorer of the world of sexual fulfillment you can move beyond the lame lessons in your high school Sex Ed class and become a true connoisseur of the many pleasures that sex can bring into your life.