Keep Calm, It’s Just A Bit Of Bum Fun
By Ogaga Emuveyan
*** DISCLAIMER *** This is an article about straight men who have heterosexual sex, I have not directly spoken to all straight men but I will be making some generalisations. There are moments when a ‘some’ will be appropriate but I may leave it out to expedite the process of getting to the point. Please read this whole thing with the notion that the word ‘some’ is implied. Now let us continue. *** DISCLAIMER ***
Men have often been accused of being limited in the bedroom. Many of us are stuck in our comfort zone, going through the motions till we reach the point of climax. It has been said that a lot of men’s only expression of sexuality is ‘vanilla sex’. Vanilla is awesome and delicious, but it is the default flavour for a lot of desserts. Though wonderful, some people want more.
To be a man, from childhood you are given a list of do’s and don’ts and you sort of infer the rest for yourself. That really is the extent of being taught how to be a man. This list of do’s and don’ts is heavily influenced by patriarchy, and patriarchy that places value in hyper-masculinity and dismisses all and anything seen as feminine. If you are a young man that is seen as feminine you too are dismissed.
Masculinity isn’t definable, nor is it tangible, rather it is learnt prescriptive and performative behaviour. I could give you a dictionary definition of masculinity but what’s the point right? I mean next I’ll write something on racial inequality in the west and give a dictionary definition of racism?
A plethora of everyday things could end in a man not being seen as ‘manly’ enough; these things often vary from person to person as there is no set guideline, nor should there be. Using an umbrella as a man has been an issue for some, men adorning themselves with jewellery is another thing others take exception to. Masculinity means one has to constantly police and assess their actions, their words, their demeanour and apparel or be found wanting. The examples for things men should not do in order to remain a ‘man’ are far too numerous for me to list. The patriarchy and homophobia that ascribes a limiting expression of masculinity on men is the same one that affects their notions on sexuality and sexual expression.
Sexual language in society has been engineered to mirror this dominant view of masculinity. The words we use in reference to sexual activity is indicative of this, men speak boastfully about how they “beat”, “killed it”, “hit it”, “tore it up”, “smashed” etc… A lot of dominating and violent aggressive wording. With that in mind, it stands to reason to say that maybe men don’t want to appear (in their minds) as taking on the woman’s role in sex and have all of that done to them.
Various sexual acts are seen as feminine because of the extremely fragile and rigid box that is masculinity, and men are warned to steer clear. Things such as having your nipple licked as a man is frowned upon beyond the frame of “personal preference”. This is where the issue lies, it forces me to ask myself about my own sexual enjoyment and flexibility, what do I like because it feels good and what am I unwilling to try because I’ve been told not to for years and years, that *insert atypical sex act being done to a male* isn’t how straight men have sex? The conversation around male sexual activity needs to gravitate towards what an individual prefers and away from what is deemed acceptable amongst peers (of an outwardly appearing similar mindset).
A lot of men are steadfastly against the idea of anal play, although it is widely reported as a pleasurable experience for the man, predefined notions on sex and sexuality govern the whole booty region for men. Seeing any anal activity as something that exclusively applies to homosexual sex between men, which is ridiculous, as the majority of anal sex is engaged in by heterosexual couples.
One small infraction on the already established parameters of manhood could have one ostracised and deemed either womanly , gay or “worse” yet, both. Patriarchy and masculinity lends itself very well to homophobia and misogyny, I’d go as far as to say it is in fact the building block upon which they rest.
There are no sex acts that will turn you into a woman or turn you gay. Your enjoyment of sex is yours, it belongs to you and whoever you choose to share it with. We could end world hunger and really know world peace if men protested as hard as they do when a woman’s finger lingers on their perineum a second too long. Myself included, that jolting flinch of fear that overcomes us as time slows down and reality crashes all around us… butt (pun intended) what if it does happen? Will the world actually end?