In a comment a while ago L asked what I mean by calling myself prudish (in a comment, here). To explain I’d need to enter a topic that I think should remain personal and discrete, but I’ll go as far as PG language will allow (or no more than PG-13). So:
--I’ve only ever had and wanted one intimate partner… ever. Yes, all you naysayers, EVER, by the standard definition of those words. If there’s one thing I’m glad to have “wasted” in my life, it’s my youth in this regard ;-). It was years after I came out before I found the person I was waiting for, and once I found him that was it; no one else before, during, and I easily dare say after. Now that I think about it, I’ve only even kissed one person with romantic intent, the others being luckless beards (sorry) and a gay man I certainly didn’t want to kiss. I guess I’m a freak’n pilgrim in this respect, aberrant all around ;-).
--I have never owned pornography, and don’t want it. Though, I have seen it, gay and straight. At a bachelor party I threw, a copy of a pornographic magazine of… let’s call them extremely-plus-sized women was brought by a friend and given to the groom-to-be as a joke. And, by that accident of vision, not unlike the unintended origins of the Hulk or Spiderman, I was thereby transformed from merely gay to The Uber-Gay, superhero/crime-fighter/protector of the demoralized homosexual.
But I have seen gay pornography before too, though I think it was to be passed off as art. It’s nice and all, arousing, but my impression is that it accentuates some sexual aspects I’m just not interested in, besides the fact that they ain’t the man I depend on and depend on being attracted to.
Also, we have seen a couple videos that have explicit gay sex scenes, like Latter Days (and hey, odd detail, by coincidence the wife of one of my buddies worked on that film and she tells me the flamboyant gay lead in that movie wasn’t even gay. Though, he was… convincing?).
--I wouldn’t know where to look for Internet pornography either. I’ve stumbled on to it before (when the internet was in its youth I typed in whitehouse.com instead of .gov and got an eye-full of naked women). The closest I’ve ever come to seeing internet gay porn, would be some very tame things on youtube that an idle curious hand found when I first heard about the site, but that was a long time ago, and, again, with R in full knowledge (some of it was funny :-)). As with the printed version, maybe I didn’t look hard enough to find what would really get me going, but I’m left with a sense of “eh”. I’d rather read a blog.
--We’re not very, uhh, adventurous? How to put this, without going within earshot of detail? I do think it’s important for young gays to know, if what they assume gay sex is ain’t their cup of tea, that’s fine too; many feel the same and do more than great. For the far more exotic activities I’ve heard about, they just sound wholly uninteresting, or worse, like they’d strike me as mood-killingly humorous (not that I’d make fun of anyone into them, but that I’d have a hard time taking the activity as serious for myself if I was expected to participate, and that sort of amusement does not mix well into the bedroom :-)).
--In general and to my mind, sex, though an amazing tool, is not an end in itself, and nothing in need of complication or fetish. It’s great for building one of the most important relationships there is with another person (and, for the average fertile US couple, sex will also produce children about twice in a generation, but it’s not the only way to that end ;-)). Without that, the pleasure of release is just a chemical shot, the likes of which one could get from a drug and without the otherwise humorous dynamics of bodies in sexual motion :-). What is unique and useful is the direct and visceral concern with and pleasure through another’s joy, the joy in another, and their joy through you; it’s practical and miraculous at once. To me, it can’t help but build lasting bonds, if used carefully, and I hope to be careful.
Now let me stop here and say I kind of have my tongue in cheek when I say I’m a prude. I do and don’t do what I’ve done in this area because that’s what I’ve wanted, and how sex functions for my mind (Again, I'm a prairie vole :-)), not for some moral hang-up (save for the fidelity, to which I’m bound by promise as well as want). In some ways I wonder if this is not what happens to gay men who come out easily, with no need to obsess about sex or ever have it with guilt. On the other hand, I’ve known straight guys who could make a white wedding dress look reasonable on the most sluttly of queens. Anyway, I just count the above as part of my innate sexual orientation.
To be clear, though, I don’t think there is anything wrong with “adventurous” sex; I’m just disinterested in it, as I’m innately disinterested in knitting. While lying can be an issue, I don’t have a problem with adults buying paper or internet pornography either, on its own (as long as everyone involved is an adult freely making their choices). We do not avert our eyes at sex scenes or anything like that; some of my favorite movies are R rated. I’d not even chastise an adult who slept with a different man each night, IF they can possibly do it without lying, breaking vows, creating unwanted children, or spreading disease. AND if they aren’t my progeny :-). Such simply is not what I want, and I expect to not be judged by it either way. So, perhaps, I’m not really a prude, if I have no moral opinion on the many sexual behaviors traditional prudes would faint to the floor over.
But, besides my choices for my life, I do have more traditional prudish characteristics.
--I take other’s promises of sexual fidelity seriously, maybe too much so. Do not invite me to your wedding and later expect me to not get upset if you go on to cheat. If you made a mistake, then admit and resolve it, but don't cheat. I do feel, by asking for witnesses (and flatware), public vows become other people’s business. I’ve been a best man twice, both times for men who stood by my side at our wedding. They are my best friends, but even with them I feel we gave up loyalty to each other at our weddings, and replaced it with loyalty to the other’s family. Simply, they would not be sleeping on our couch if they cheated on their wives :-). I try not to be harsh--I know what it feels like to be on the other end of that--and I can let it go eventually, but I’ve a reflexively difficult time trusting any person who cheats. It’s certainly not for the sexual activity, itself; it’s for their betrayal of trust, especially within family. I mean, I immediately think, if they’d do that to people they say they love the most in life, what could their minds later excuse doing to a stranger, if the urge hit them?
--Lastly I will encourage our children to wait for marriage. I’ll tell them how much I value the fact that there’s only been one person to ever get that near to me, and the one who has has never broken that bond. There are no x’s to compare or downplay, no broken hearts (again, save for the girls, sorry), no STDs to explain, not even a week of unrequited love; maybe I was lucky but I think some of that was caution and pragmatism. It payed off for me, and I’ll encourage the same. Though, I wouldn’t anywhere near disown them if they choose otherwise (I’d not want to even make a debate of it if that hope is already breached), and I’d certainly never use threat of withholding my love as pressure, as I’ve seen too many do to their gay children. But, if they did spread disease or create unwanted children, my sadness would be palpable.
Anyway, that’s it. Prude...