Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sex and Middle Aged Gay

I like sex. I like doing it. I like thinking about it. I like watching it. And I like talking about it.

This isn't a porn site, so I am going out of my way to avoid sexing it up too much. But sex is a reasonable topic for the middle aged gay man. Or so one would think.

So, as the dedicated blogger that I am, I have spent two days doing the research. I found precious little on the topic. However, there seems to be two takes on the subject of sex and the middle aged gay.

The take with the most attention paid to it is the one that says middle age for the gay male is equal to a great vacuum, an oblivion - the stuggle of the middle aged guy is to adapt or disappear. So expression of a strong sex-drive is seen as sort of pathetic. Your time for cruising has passed. Monogamously coupling is an oft mentioned remedy. But the problem with the remedy is the problem of finding Mr. Right (if you even want Mr. Right). So, if you don't, is Plan B the ever popular Mr. Right Now? But, according to the literature, that quick fix for the sexual urge becomes less and less available as we get older. What a cycle! What a dilemma!

The second take seems to suggest that there is too much emphasis on sex in the gay world. We need to just calm down and re-prioritize as we get older. Often it is suggested that middle aged men feel pressured to artificially inflate a hormonally failing libido because everything in gay culture seems to come back to sex. One should almost feel guilty if he is gay and doesn't want sex 24/7. How can you be a part of community so focused on sex and not be "sexing"? But as the first problem suggests we are not welcomed in the meat market. Around and around we go. The remedy for second problem, I suppose is donning our khaki shorts and taking up bird-watching. Or perhaps tying on a gingham apron in a kitchen Martha Stewart would envy. Is that what they mean by re-prioritizing?

(I guess we should keep in mind that sometimes a low libido is the result of depression or low testosterone and the such. It's probably best to talk to a doctor about low sex-drive to rule out any treatable problems.)

Personally, I think both takes are so much bullshit because again, they are culturally based. Both covertly say this is culture's definition of who we are and this is how we must behave.

As children of the 60's or 70's perhaps we should reclaim our old motto of "If it feels good, do it - as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else." I, for one, am tired of people pigeon-holing me in anyway, including my age.

If you feel like cruising all night in a bar or bathhouse or online, do it. You know what it's like out there! You're a big boy now and can handle either acceptance or rejection. But, like the lottery people say, "If you don't play, you can't win." And your odds of getting laid are much better than scoring the Mega Million.

If you don't feel like doing the meat market thing or having a lot sex, by all means, don't do it. Figure out what makes you happy. Don't feel pressured to do anything that isn't right for you.

The only caveat I would offer about either situation - pay attention and make sure that you are not using sex or lack of sex as either as a substitution or avoidance of anything else that might be healthier. But again, you figure it out. Get help doing that if you need or want to. A little introspection is healthy. But ultimately, you decide and don't let anyone else set a standard for you.

If you've read anything else on this blog, you know my goal is self-definition. Sex should be as self-defined as anything else in our lives.

Comments, as always, are welcomed.


Andrew said...

When I was young I could not imagine not pursuing sex at every opportunity. Now it is all too hard and I can't be bothered. Well, an occasional lapse. Even during it though, I feel like I have done it all so many times before. Shouldn't have been so greedy when I was young, hey.

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Anonymous said...

The chances of contracting erectile dysfunction goes up substantially with age, increasing significantly above the age of sixty-five-which is rapidly approaching for the baby boomers. Although erectile dysfunction becomes more likely with advancing age, there is certainly no age cutoff for a sexually fulfilling life. Some men enjoy sexual activity even in their eighties and nineties.

Anonymous said...

are you kidding me? is this a "shadow site" for viagra or something?

the main problem with being gay and middle-aged isn't about maintaining an erection - it's about identifying with a group that no longer identifies with you. and god help you if you haven't found a partner before you turn 45... you're screwed (and not in that nice way).

Larry said...

One of the problems that middle-aged queer men have is that so many people who would be contemporaried died in the AIDS plague - thus the field has narrowed. All of society, not just gay society, is directed toward people 35 and under - but gay men seem to be fixated on the physical in all its attributes... body type, age, dick size, etc etc etc - the only dimension never measured is depth.

Leon Acord Shameless Plugs said...

I love this blog! Just discovered it, and perfect timing! I've written, am producing and acting in a web series about a group of four gay friends pushing 50 living in WeHo. It's called 'Old Dogs & New Tricks,' and will address many issues you discuss on the blog.
Check it out at www.olddogsnewtrickstheseries.com

And keep up the GREAT work!

Anonymous said...

If you libido goes down naturally in your mid 40's, why worry about it?

Since when is natural a bad thing?

Take your life as it comes, enjoy the sights along the way.

Fair said...

I believe everyone has the right to happiness, but what about the love ones that your new found identity affects. What about the wife who has spent a life with you, loving a husband who vowed to grow old with her, until death do you part. What about the children who grow up believing in a man, looking up to this man before any other, the one person in the world who stood for what a man was suppose to be. In your journey of self fulfillment, did you ever consider what your actions would do to them. And yet, as a society we have been told to step quietly aside, even rejoice with you, because you are now at peace. Why did you wait so long.? You have known for so long. Why didn't you think of them first. You could have let them go years ago, giving them time to find their own path. But, no, it was to easy for you. The perfect little family met your needs at that time. You could have been a good, understanding, open minded human being. (That is what you ask of them now). You could have been a Man, and left them in peace. Take the blame that is yours to take. You should have left as soon as you knew. You should have told them what you were, the you that your so proud of now. That "Peace" you have, should be theirs. So while you start on your new journey being the person you always wanted to be, remember that price owed, it has been paid in full. The ones you left behind paid the bill. May your happiness find you easily. Yes ,Everyone has the right to happiness, even those who are truthful from the start.

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