Age of Consent

I’m very happy that my penis and the law agree on so many things. The law says that I, as an adult, am allowed to have sex with someone else only if they are over the age of consent and consenting. Fortunately, my penis knows exactly how old somebody is upon looking at them, so I never have to feel like a creep for finding someone who is only seventeen-and-a-half sexy. Take, for example, Olympic diver Tom Daley. He turned eighteen back in late May, which is fitting, since it means that no one has to feel guilty about masturbating to this photo shoot that he posed for in early June. If he’d done it a few weeks sooner, it would be wrong for me to rub one out while admiring his impeccably chiseled physique and boyish good looks.

He was seventeen, however, when he shot this video. I definitely did not find him sexy in this one, even though that word appears in the title.

The same goes for Daniel Radcliffe. He’s only a few months younger than I am, but even so, I definitely did not while away precious minutes searching for explicit pictures of him starring in that play where he got naked and something something about a horse. One of my favorite things about Harry Potter fandom, in fact, was watching people count down the years until it was acceptable to comment on Emma Watson’s looks. “Lookin’ pretty sweet there, Emma.” “She’s seventeen.” “Fuck! Next movie!”

In all seriousness, I understand why age of consent laws exist. They may be arbitrary, but they do establish crucial protections for our minors. Without them, there would be no way to stop the predators who would seek to harm our children, and I doubt any of us could sleep at night if we allowed that to happen. I’m going to post this song now just so whoever thought of it when they saw the title of this post can feel sated.

I’m not really sure I understand why we stigmatize sex so much in our society. Anthony Weiner made an idiot out of himself on Twitter, and for that, had to resign from his post as one of the few upstanding politicians in the worst Congress in our nation’s history. I’m not saying what he did was right, just that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty small-time. There seems to be a cultural bias that turns anyone who admits that they can’t live without sex into the bad guy. If, for example, a husband cheats on his wife because she refuses to sleep with him, who does everyone blame? It doesn’t matter if he’s lived without sex for months or even years, if she’s withholding it just to hurt him, or if he’s wheedled, cajoled and outright begged her to give him just a little something so that he can keep his sanity. If he really loved her, he’d ignore his biological programming and have blue balls for the rest of his life. Well, he could divorce her, but what if they’re staying together for the kids?

I think what much of our negative feelings stem from is a misplaced sense of propriety. We think that by pretending not to have our primal urges, we can better protect those who might be hurt when we fail to control them. In practice, this accomplishes just the opposite. Hey, I get it: sex makes people do crazy things. Pretty much all of us have done something idiotic in the name of getting laid at some point. But I don’t see the point in pretending not to feel things that we really do feel. What does that accomplish, except to make everyone miserable?

I don’t know about you, but I get a kick of out seeing the looks on people’s faces when I go into way too much detail about my sex life (or lack thereof). Part of that is because I’m gay. Not to harp on this one too much, but there are no two words that change the air in a conversation faster than those. I’ve gotten really sick of people asking me if I’m serious when I comment on the attractiveness of a member of my own sex. Straight people, ask yourselves something: if people looked at you funny every time you said that you thought somebody was cute, how long would it take you to get deeply irritated? Most of you probably wouldn’t last ten minutes. I’ve had to put up with it for a lifetime. So consider that. I’m through holding back.

Gore Vidal died recently. I know only a little of his work, but he was a pioneer of gay fiction, as well as one of the most influential intellectuals of the 20th century. Here’s something that I find interesting about him, though: of all of his novels and plays, only a few of them were gay-themed. Why is that? Perhaps someone more learned that I am can offer a thorough overview of his career and the man’s outlook on art, but I suspect that that was a conscious decision on Vidal’s part. He was openly gay at a time when that was unheard of, and he got a lot of shit for it. Since he didn’t want to be known primarily for his sexuality, he made sure it didn’t bleed into his writing too much. But something as primal as that has to bleed in. It can’t be avoided. Author Christopher Bram argued that “a gay man who writes nothing but straight stories works with his heart only half connected.” That may be true, although it doesn’t mean that cocksucking writers should have to confine ourselves to only queer-themed stories. I write fiction, and the majority of my protagonists are straight guys. It doesn’t take more than a sprinkling of fagginess to keep things in balance.

There is something about two men showing affection for each other that cuts to the heart of our beliefs about gender roles and sexuality in a way that lesbian action doesn’t. You have to confront that prejudice head-on if you want to get over it. Once that’s done, you can move on to other things.

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