No, you can’t always get what you want—or even, despite what the old Rolling Stones’ song says, what you need. Sure, sex is supposed to be great, one of the peak human experiences. And we’ve all been raised on tales of “happily ever after.” But, dude, that’s in fairy tales. In our beds, things can get more complex. Let’s face the awful fact: sometimes booty can be a bust.
“He was so cute and nice,” says one young man. “We went out on a few dates before we landed in bed. But the sex I’d been looking forward to turned out to be pretty disastrous. Boring, awkward, you name it.”
Even the best-oiled sex machine has an off night, of course. But sometimes a dingus-based disappointment can be difficult to surmount. “We told each other that it didn’t matter,” our young guy continues, “and that we could get beyond it. But neither of us had much interest in trying again, and we drifted apart. Sad, really, but there it is.”
Long-term relationships, too, are vulnerable to screwing-related screw-ups. Says one homo who’s had a honey for years, “My partner hadn’t penetrated me in a while, and I was really looking forward to it. But he took so damn long to get ready—fussing around with lube, rearranging the bed—that I got frustrated and kind of pissy. We ended up fighting instead of humping.”
Not every setback is an outright disaster. Recalls another fellow, “I was having really great sex with someone new, but I just couldn’t get him to come. He told me that he usually took a really long time to get off, but that didn’t help. I took it personally. Neither of us ever came that night, but we did go to bed together again. That second time I didn’t expect him to nut, so things felt OK.”
Expectations—inflated or otherwise—often go hand-in-hand with disappointment. It can be a physique-related frustration. Perhaps the guy whose face you find fabulous has a body that, for one reason or another, turns you off. And there’s the size thing. Despite what you may read in online ads, not every man has eight thick inches. You may order out for an extra-large, but don’t be surprised when what gets delivered is a medium-sized mouthful. It’s still tasty, right?
Sometimes the script doesn’t play out as planned. That proffered “sensual massage” turns out to be clumsy rather than erotic. The man who boasts he’s a dominant top becomes a big ol’ bottom once the shades are drawn. The self-described submissive who told you he wanted to explore bondage changes his mind once the knots are tied.
Then there are emotional letdowns. You’re having such a great time with Mr. Right Now that you figure he may be the love of your life. But as soon as he comes, he heads right out the door, and never returns your e-mails. Or the guy who’s a stud in bed turns out to be a dud out of it. And there’s always that old stand-by: infidelity.
Despite reams of perfect-sex pornography and bookshelves full of sex advice, it’s best to be prepared: Not every coupling will be a colossal success. One hyperactive homosexual who claims to have had hundreds of partners says, “One of the good things about being promiscuous is that there isn’t all that much riding on a session of casual sex. Sure, there are men who’ve become sex buddies of mine, but often when I say goodbye to a guy, I’m content knowing that we’ll probably never see each other again.”
One need not be a slut to shrug off setbacks. A sense of humor helps, too. Though we may stake a lot of our self-worth on sex, it’s basically best to step back and keep a sense of proportion, rolling with the penis-deflating punches. Though, as one middle-aged man says, “It’s easy to make jokes about impotence…unless it’s happening to you.”
Advice? Don’t place unrealistic demands on your sex partner…or yourself. Being caught up in expectations can make a guy miss out on what’s actually taking place. Life is full of surprises, good and bad. So take things as they come, including coming. As our self-anointed slut says, “Sure, a stiffy can give rise to all sorts of dreams. But when it comes to sex, it’s best not to anticipate anything in particular. That way, whatever swell stuff does happen turns out to be a delightful surprise.”
And that sounds good.
Simon Sheppard is the editor of Leathermen and Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica, and the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at SexTalk@qsyndicate.com. Visit Simon at www.simonsheppard.com.