Sex Ed in Bed

Choosing a sensuous lifestyle.
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).

Burning Man is a weeklong event in the desert where 35,000 people create a city of art, diversity and freedom. I just got back from the experience and I have a hot story to tell. A neighbor, seeing our gay flag, stepped into our camp and casually told us that a friend of his was curious to find out if gay men actually gave the best blow jobs since they know how it feels to get one. He then asked if any of us would be willing to satiate his friend’s curiosity. My friend, whom I’ll call Michael, matter-of-factly replied, “I’ll give ‘em a blow job.” So the neighbor returned to his camp and within a few minutes, a shy, young guy approached us and asked if Michael was around. We all tried not to “let on” as Michael gently zipped his tent closed with the curious boy inside (One great feature to camping in groups is that tents have very thin walls!). Needless to say, that young man returned to our camp a few times before the week was over.

Prior to Burning Man, good friends of mine just celebrated 21 years as a couple. Their relationship is an open one, and it’s no secret. We joke that they should be listed in tourist guides as a sexual welcome wagon to San Francisco’s Castro. I suppose that if you overheard a conversation about recent sexual adventures between them and our friends, you might think they were boasting the latest conquests. Yet, it has never felt like that to me. We don’t really care about who gets to do whom and how many times. Our focus is to maximize, share and affirm as much sexual pleasure in each other as possible. So I’m happy for them, not in competition with them.

Another friend of mine is a painter of erotic portraits. Recently we rented a porn film to watch while I modeled for him. He worked his creative magic and I satisfied the exhibitionist in me. This afternoon culminated with both of us tying for first place in our own taffy-pulling contest (if you know what I mean).

These experiences for me are reminders that despite the conservative climate of our society, we still have an enormous amount of sexual freedom. I just think we don’t recognize, and take advantage of it. After all, these are all personal experiences of regular guys simply choosing sexier lifestyles. Believe it or not, there really are people in this world who seek out intimate connections with integrity and love, creating sexually abundant lives.

Now, the Religious Wrong (as I like to title it) uses the word “lifestyle” like a toggle switch that only flips from gay to straight. Of course, neither sexuality nor lifestyle is this simplistic. Although we did not choose to be gay, we do indeed choose how we spend our days. We have the options to create our sexual lifestyle precisely the way we want it to be. Just look at the incredible variety of erotica that is available. You can find any particular activity that tickles (or spanks) your fancy. Hey! If it’s being done on camera — guess what — that means there’s got to be someplace for you to do it as well.

Oh! But wait. My Southern Baptist upbringing (God rest it’s soul) is screaming hysterically from beyond the grave, “Pleasure will surely lead to addiction. Pleasure will make me lazy. Pleasure you will ultimately regret.” I’ll bet that most of us have some form of those over the top pleasure-phobic voices. After all, we live in America. This is why I find I have to make a conscious effort to not let fear dictate my life, anymore than I allow my vices and the status quo to dictate how I live. You choose the when, where and how much pleasure you fill your life with.

I realize you may agree with me conceptually but you’re not quite sure how to get the balls rolling, so to speak. A great first step is reading the book, The Ethical Slut by Easton and Liszt. This cutting edge book is for “anyone who is committed to finding a place of sanity with sex, and to freeing ourselves to enjoy our sexuality and to share it in as many ways as may fit for each of us.”

Maybe for you it means taking a risk and going to Burning Man, where sexual diversity and fantasies are celebrated. Maybe it’s participating at a friend’s erotic sketching circle. Maybe it’s just running around your home naked even if there’s a tiny chance someone could see you. The sexual power is in your hands to make your lifestyle as sensual as you want it to be.

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