Up All Night to Get Lucky: Sexy or Obsessive?

For me, hearing Daft Punk and Pharrell's "Get Lucky" on the radio almost every day, and even hearing it from the Russian Military Police at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, recalls how so many of us gays "cruise" all night trying to "get lucky."

Of course, what I found particularly amusing with the Russian police singing that particular song was that I was sure that they were not referring in any way to gay sex! After all, gay sex is outlawed in that country, that group in particular is tasked with enforcing that heinous legislation.

Fortunately for us, we live in a country where our professional athletes can freely choose to come out of the closet in a very public forum, and where our president advocates for gay rights and marriage equality in accordance with both his political party's platform and his personal beliefs.

On the topic of pursuing sex to get happy, there is no doubt that the pursuit of sex in 2014 has changed a good deal from when I came out of the closet in the early '70s. With today's technology, most everyone is cruising on the Internet on Manhunt or Grindr, among a varied choice of other sites geared toward getting lucky, choosing their computer rather than the bar to reach their personal goal.

For those who would rather indulge in the face-to-face interaction of meeting that sexy guy at a bar or club, nothing can beat the thrill of meeting that "hot guy" and the sexual charge that comes with that first meeting. Unfortunately, staying out all night looking to meet that right guy can become an obsession that rarely, if ever, is fully satisfied.

As with the Internet, too much of a good thing can come with consequences. We all know friends who never seem to leave their apartments, choosing to use their computer as their central means of finding sexual gratification in their quest for love -- if one can ever refer to one-night stands as love.

How might this be too much of a good thing? Well, there is always the potential of having too much sex or falling into the proverbial "dark hole," where obsession takes over and you lose yourself in your quest to satisfy that overwhelming need for sexual gratification, similar to any drug or alcohol addiction.

In his 2013 book Cruise Control: Understanding Sexual Addiction in Gay Men, Richard Weiss attempts to describe sexual behaviors of gay men that can be viewed as bordering on addictive:

And for some, this addiction is more difficult to diagnose than in others. Such is the case for gay men. For some gay men fully committed to open sexual choices and experiences, modifying their sexual behavior and restricting their sexual freedoms is like going back in time and surrendering to the homophobic attitudes found in more conservative cultures. It just doesn't feel right.

Whether it feels right or not, the alternative to not modifying any obsessive behavior can be finding oneself in a living hell. My personal vision of Hell is me walking around and around in a circle within the confines of a dark bar without ever coming into contact with anyone, for all eternity! That's very frightening and something I now choose to avoid at all costs!

So, gentlemen, for anyone reading this blog post with a similar fear in mind, consider other choices for your free-time activity, or at least attempt to modify your obsessive behavior if at all possible. Otherwise, consider seeking professional help or twelve-step groups such as Sexual Compulsive Anonymous, which can be easily found at the LGBT Community Center in New York City and many other centers throughout this country.

But most importantly, consider what choices you are making in life and whether those choices truly work for or against you. And with this particular topic at hand, ask yourself whether the choices you are making are based on feelings of negative self-worth or "gay shame" (my principal focus of study), and consider how shame can affect the lives of gay men in detrimental ways.

In consideration of enjoying a long and healthy life, have fun but play safe, and try to be honest with the choices you make in keeping yourself out of harm's way.

Someone once said, "Nobody can hurt me without my permission." So try not to stay up all night in an obsessive pursuit of sex, and when you get tired, go to sleep! After all, no one is sexy with bags under their eyes.