What Are the Similarities Between the Two Ways of Loving?

By Garrett Jones, part seven

[The Similarities between a man's love for a woman and his love for another man.]

This is obviously an important question since, whatever the similarity, there needs to be enough difference between loving a man and loving a woman to account for the value we attach to the same person’s loving both.

The good news is there is more than enough.

Having said that, we can look at some of the similarities:

In both cases, ‘loving’ may be a misnomer since sex with a partner of either gender may be just, or mainly, that. On the other hand, ‘loving’ may be an equally accurate description of what is going on in both cases. Because of the homophobic hangover mentioned in the previous chapter, perhaps also because of temperament, some men have a big problem about this: they can enjoy having sex with another man but find the thought of actually loving another man, at least sexually, very alien. That ‘at least sexually’ needs looking at carefully. If you can enjoy sex with a man and if you can ‘love’ another man asexually, why can’t you love him sexually?

Both kinds of loving involve the genitals of at least one partner. Oral, manual and anal sex do not require two sets of genitals unless they are reciprocal (in which case the reciprocity can be either simultaneous – as in sixty-nineing or mutual wanking – or successive -as when partners swop roles in mid-session).

Sex with either gender can also involve whole bodies. This does not have to be the case and often is not when the sex is ‘casual’, not intended to foster a relationship or convey emotion. A loving sex act, in contrast, almost always involves whole bodies, not just genitals.

Regardless of the genders involved, body contact, including genital contact, can be purely sensuous or it can be both sensuous and expressive. When it is expressive, it is usually the whole range of loving emotions which is expressed – tenderness, affection, hunger, passion, care, protection, joy. When it is just sensuous, although the original intention may be simply to give and receive physical pleasure, the sensations themselves often beget surprising surges of emotion. It is interesting that the two kinds of body contact, sensuous and expressive, often look identical to a third party. A kiss, for instance, may go well beyond mere lip contact but be intended simply to yield pleasure; what looks to an observer like an identical kiss may feel to the participants to be expressing the profoundest emotions. The same applies to stroking and caressing.

Whether sensuous or expressive or both, sex with either gender speaks its own language, unmediated by words. It is this more than any other single factor which makes sex so satisfying. Verbal communication is limited to those who speak our language and, even then, is often detached and impersonal. Sexual communication can crash through linguistic barriers since, in this arena, we all speak much the same language. And sex is always direct, bringing two people together in the most literal sense.

These are some of the similarities. What is significant in the present context is what is distinctive to the two kinds of loving and/or sex. It is these differences which give a bisexual lifestyle such a satisfying sense of completeness.

The most obvious difference is, of course, that sex between genders can usually be reproductive whilst sex between partners of the same gender never can. One immediately has to qualify this by adding, due to the widespread use of contraception, the huge majority of even heterosexual acts is not these days intended to lead to pregnancy.

This should not obscure the fact that heterosexual acts must, at some level of awareness, be associated with parenting and with powerful in-built urges to perpetuate the species and, more especially, our own genes.

Homosexual acts never have these associations. If one is fixated on the reproductive function of sex, as traditional Catholicism is, for example, there is no point at all in engaging in sex that is not intended to be reproductive or which cannot possibly be reproductive: hence the ban (not conspicuously observed!) on contraception, homosexual acts, and even wanking.

The huge majority of modern adults accept that, at least in quantitative terms, reproduction, however important, is very much a sexual sideline. For most couples, a very few sex acts can furnish all the children they want. Gone for ever are the days when marriage meant, for most women, a seemingly endless succession of pregnancies, followed, all too often, by a string of infant and child mortalities – assuming the mother herself managed to survive. Contraception and modern health care have changed all that. Heterosexual couples nowadays expect to enjoy a great deal of sex which is non- reproductive.

Although this is unquestionably true, there are often limits imposed on marital sex by such factors as pregnancy, care of infants, interrupted nights when a child is yelling or ill, the periodicity of a woman’s sexual cycle, and so on. There is a general tendency for the sex to take on a domesticated, familial aspect.

None of this applies to sex between two women or two men. It is true gay and lesbian couples, although they cannot engender children within the partnership, are increasingly being allowed to adopt children. When this occurs, even their sex lives take place against the background of a family.

For people who live bisexually, however, this would only apply in a ménage a trois or some kind of communal set-up. When a man simply cohabits with a woman, his same-sex relationships and encounters are of an entirely different order from his domestic love-life. Homosexually, the impetus toward sex has nothing to do with children, everything to do with the desirability of same-sex bodies and the enrichment of same-sex intimacy.

This entails a fundamental difference in attitude to the sex organs themselves. Heterosexually, a prick is primarily an instrument, a ‘tool’, something which, as the word ‘prick’ itself implies, is destined to penetrate and, ultimately, to inseminate. Homosexually, another man’s prick is regarded in much the same way as one’s own when wanking, not a ‘tool’ or instrument so much as a thing of joy in its own right. This does not apply if anal sex is the chief objective but, as we have stressed earlier [<>see especially chapter 4], anal sex is a quasi-heterosexual, not a homosexual, act.

The homosexual preoccupation with pricks – balls too – as objects of desire in their own right is virtually universal and springs directly from the experience of solitary wanking. As we have already observed, it is hardly conceivable, having discovered the delights of one’s own prick, that one should not get interested in other pricks. Unless repressive taboos or restrictions are imposed, mutual wanking is the obvious next step. Indeed, many youths make their first erotic discoveries in company with their pals.

Sadly, dominant drive and social pressure either stifle this impulse completely or dismiss is as ‘just a phase he’s going through’. In a society which insists adult male comradeship should be sexless, devoid of any strongly expressed emotion, and where pairing into heterosexual couples is the only acceptable way to go, it is hardly surprising, especially when a fellow’s predominant drive is heterosexual anyway, if he seems quite happy to swim with the tide.

This can work very well for a time. Young love tends to be all-consuming and to promise total bliss. It is only over a period of time most men, if they have had some acutely pleasurable experiences in adolescence when wanking with their pals, gradually become aware of a missing dimension in their marital lives. Many of them fail to diagnose the problem; many of the others begin to seek out the odd homosexual encounter in secret.

The lucky ones – and I have to say, because of the homophobic hangover, they have usually, though not invariably, been those with a predominantly homosexual drive who have yet fallen in love with a woman, cohabited with her and fathered her children – have learned to recover the lost dimension. It is not solely a matter of recovery either; maturity adds a great deal to what had been lost.

Most early sex is intensely exciting because of its newness and the sense of tearing down taboos which go with it. But youth is a time of self-discovery rather than of deep involvement with other selves; it is also a time when proving oneself, earning a living, paying the bills – all the pre-occupations of dawning adulthood – tend to hog the centre of the stage.

It is usually only as a person matures that a sense of self becomes rounded and grounded. With growing confidence in one’s own identity comes much greater freedom to enter into really deep and intimate relationships with others. Maturity also brings greater clarity about values and goals, and these often give increasing priority to people and to a quest for greater depth in relationships.

A man who has anchored his emotions and his sexuality in a female partner and fathered a family with her (assuming this has been desired and proved possible), approaches another man, who is possibly in the same sexual situation as himself, in a different way from a boy approaching a close friend at school.

That boyishness is rarely completely lost. One of the joys of male companionship at any level is its ‘holiday’ aspect. Amongst adults, this is particularly evident in casual sexual encounters where conversation is minimal or even non-existent and where the mood is mutually celebratory, devoid of concern about serious adult affairs.

Even in a sustained relationship which lasts for years, this element usually continues to play a valued role. But now, other elements enter in and transform what could have been a narrowly physical affair into poetry.

When two such men are sexually engaged, they remain prick-centred and may be quite happy to keep words to a minimum, finding their eloquence in body language. But now their pricks and bodies become also the exquisitely sensitive and sensuous conveyors of emotion.

There is a basic male lust, straining towards orgasm, which is equally shared by both and gives an underlying intensity to the proceedings. But over and above this, there is a passion to say, through lips, tongues, hands, fingers, the whole of their anatomies, pre-eminently their pricks and balls, how utterly and passionately they delight in each other, desire to give themselves to each other and crave the closest possible intimacy with each other.

This may sound very similar to what goes on between heterosexual lovers. Certainly. It is in its essential form. But it is very different in its content. This is another man’s body being loved. It feels and responds quite differently from a woman’s but has resonances which are as familiar as one’s own body. Some oral sex may well form part of the lovemaking, as may some fingering around, perhaps even into, the arsehole, but, assuming we are talking about a truly homosexual act, penetration is not the goal. If one or both partners wants to do some really vigorous thrusting, there is endless scope for this when one lies atop the other and fucks his partner’s prick, or thighs or any other part of the anatomy they mutually favour.

This is a celebration of mutual maleness; it has no ulterior purpose or function. When finally the cum spurts, it simply registers a peak and presents the partners with the possibility of falling into each other as their pricks slowly subside. The poor little sperms all go to a lonely grave – which is probably as well since most men, in a lifetime, manufacture enough of them to populate the globe.

The point of orgasm is another difference. Heterosexually, orgasms can be very intense but they are hidden away. Homosexually, orgasms happen out in the open and can be viewed by both parties. Men are sometimes a bit squeamish about cum, especially if they are unused to seeing and touching it. I find, in some of my encounters, an orgasm is a signal to reach for the tissues and ‘clean up’ as quickly as possible. With most men, though, it is exciting to see a partner shooting, then to use his cum as a lubricant for further loveplay.

Here we have to note a difference between homosexual and heterosexual lovemaking which should not exist but probably will for as long as it takes for public opinion generally to catch up with all the changes of the past few decades.

Heterosexual love has been traditionally honoured in our kind of society, whilst homosexual love has been denigrated. A direct consequence of this is nobody disputes the right of a mixed couple to seek a bed and privacy so they can make love to their mutual satisfaction. There are still many people who dispute the right of a homosexual couple to do likewise and will make it as difficult as possible for such a couple to enjoy satisfactory sex together.

We have inherited a tradition which assigns malesex to holes and corners, some of them as unsavoury as public toilets, and then takes delight in deriding the squalor of such couplings. Whenever two men who really care for each other manage to find the kind of facilities which heterosexual couples take for granted, their lovemaking takes wings as readily as the latter’s.

I am in the happy position of being able to bring ‘A’ back home with me so we can have the run of the guest bedroom. After our early fumblings in the back of the car, never able to relax, always having to keep an eye open for prying eyes, it has been the height of luxury to have the privacy and convenience of a bedroom. Sex whilst standing or sitting certainly has its merits, but it is much more restricting than horizontal sex, especially if you want to make love rather than just have sex.

Our other great good fortune is to have discovered this beach where nudity is permitted and where, in the seclusion of the dunes behind the beach, sex can happen. On a suitably warm and wind-free day when ‘A’ is free (which happens only once in seven days in summer), this venue has permitted the two of us to experience some magical moments together and occasionally, if we have both been feeling hospitable, to enjoy the company of a guest.

I have some very good friendships with men, even with gay men, in which no sex has ever happened. I have other friendships going right back to early schooldays which were nourished by a lot of mutual wanking. Although we have never lived close to each other since we left school and have had no sex since those days, the early sex forged a specially close link and I am still in close touch with two of these friends and their families.

Highly satisfying as this is, the relationship with ‘A’ is in a category of its own. We are both quite happy to get on with our own separate lives when we are apart, but this is because we both know the apartness is never more than geographical. No words could possibly convey the difference it makes when, in addition to the immense enrichment of living with a loving wife and family, there is also a constant awareness of another man whose heart, mind and prick beat in unison with one’s own.

I just hope ‘A’ may eventually find the girl he so ardently desires so she can be, not a substitute for me, but a complement, just as he is for me. Meanwhile, when he is on his own, ‘A’ gets enormous pleasure from wanking, which is ideal from my point of view because it keeps his prick in excellent form and makes it always hungry for my fingers!

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