In a previous article for Bent I confessed that the onset of Multiple Sclerosis and all that accompanied my diagnosis had for the first time released me to admit my true sexual nature. Not only to admit it but to enjoy it. With support from my children and those I care about I didn't want to hide any more. I'm embarrassed to say that I even used the phrase "born again homo."

It really is the way I feel, though in retrospect it sounds a bit glib, a bit flashy, not what we Brits are supposed to be like. In reality we are the most vulgar nation in the world. Just look at Anne Robinson, voted TV's rudest woman for her role on "The Weakest Link." Even Mike Tyson calls her "One Mean Momma!" I was brought up within streets of her in the same city

Speaking of vulgarity, I refuse to entertain any thoughts of good taste in the paragraphs that follow. I want to write about sex, and if I need to be tasteless in order to make my point, so much the better. More precisely, I want to write about gay male anal sex, a topic that should come as no surprise, since BENT bills itself as "A Journal of Cripgay Voices," but the writing I find here seems more crip than gay. Some contributors are funny, some so profound that weeks later I find myself mulling over their views, but, Julio Moreno and Max Verga excepted, I find that BENT writers don't write much about sex, a subject the popular press insists that all of us queers are obsessed with.

Sex is something that my condition has set me to thinking about incessantly. Since my advancing MS has meant a degree of nerve damage that even Viagra cannot remedy, I had begun to believe that my time was running out, erotically speaking. Straps, rings, and other means of trapping blood in my penis do help, but as my hands fail I fear that after applying a strap for a little solitary pleasure I may have to call the paramedics to release me. I don't fancy ending up as one more chapter in the medical profession's Funny Stories Library, like those men whose idea of fun with the fundament involves leaving light bulbs and large vegetables behind. "Hey, did you hear about the guy who poured concrete up his ass and then let it set?" Yes, that particular case was treated with maternity forceps. I warned you I was intent on being tasteless.

My choices, along with my sexual horizons, seemed to be diminishing relentlessly. "Oh well," I thought with resignation, "too soon for the hemlock. If I can't be active I shall try being passive." So I started some research on the Net, where I discovered plenty of advice: sites with instructions on how to do it, how to prepare for it, and how to practice with graduating sizes of blunt objects so that the body becomes acclimatized instead of traumatized.

My research led to some linguistic confusion when I visited sites selling sex aids and toys. Most are American and so employ American words, but "Jelly Dong"? Being an amateur student of American English, jelly, I had been led to believe, is a substance we Brits call jam, or fruit conserve, much used at teatime to spread on buttered crumpets and toast, while our "jelly" is something you call Jell-O. Which brings us to "Dong." Isn't that a unit of Vietnamese currency?

Linguistic confusion sorted out, I busied myself with warm water, KY, and a pink plastic (vibrations optional) body insert. I'll confess that after a bad experience in my youth, I have thought of anal sex as one of those practices you might engage in because the "other person" wants it. You are in a relationship, and you do for the other what he desires, in hope of reciprocity. All quite mechanical.

I debuted my new paraphernalia in a solo performance. The result was OK but it didn't rate an entry in my diary. Still, in for a penny in for a pound, so when I met a guy on the Internet we gave it a try. The first encounter was not bad. A bit messy but acceptable, so we met again. He is kind and considerate and though not as young as he first claimed, his purportedly twenty-six-year-old body could pass for seventeen. His bubble butt, his slim, almost hairless physique, his lovely eyes . . . Am I in love? I don't want to be, but I think I am.

Our second meeting was like a lottery win. Totally unexpected, pleasure beyond measure, an ecstatic experience. I was able to relax and trust Andrew with my body. He entered me slowly, carefully—almost reverently. When he judged the moment was right, and with reassurances from me, he became gratifyingly vigorous! An image of steam hammers sprang to mind as the focus of my being shifted to my abdomen and the internal workout it was receiving.

On and on he went, pistoning into me, the rhythm of his flesh slapping against mine. For seconds, maybe minutes (I can't be sure), he kept me on the edge of orgasm, until I was convinced that unless I parted with semen I might take leave of my senses. I swear I only touched my penis once before I unleashed a torrent. It was as if, throughout my life, a little semen had been left after each previous ejaculation and this was the time to clear out all of it, not only the cum but the repressed sexual feelings as well, in one giant orgasm. I have never been so wet, so content—so puzzled that I had not tried it before. In short, I was dumbfounded. This new experience was as intense as that never-to-be-forgotten, very first orgasm at the age of thirteen. But now I am in my fifties and thought I knew all there was to know.

Andrew showed me that the center of sexual pleasure in a man need not be his penis but can instead be deep inside, in some place that feels like the middle of the soul. I learned for the first time what a truly visceral experience an orgasm can be. I had had my prostate massaged before, but a finger is nothing like the sublime stroking Andrew gave me with his penis. My Multiple Sclerosis, which meant a limp dick and an ever-encroaching sexual desert, now seemed like the portal to a pleasure garden, a place where, like other men, I can find gratification.

So this is the experience condemned by ministers of Church and State! Are they jealous we are adventurous beyond their imagination? Or do they fear we may abandon our daily routines to give each other such pleasure? "Oh, no sir! This elevator can't move just yet, the operator is getting rodgered around the corner. He'll be here soon!" For those who believe scripture prohibits anal sex I have only this to ask: would a loving creator construct an individual to his own design, then fill him full of guilt by prohibiting him from following his pre-determined drives? If so, that's a strange interpretation of a loving God.

It's a surprise to me that men don't riot in the streets, demanding more anal orgasms, the older men burning their "Y" fronts, the younger their boxers and thongs! Make the cost of Velcro on trouser flies tax deductible (faster access to the parts of interest). Let us make an end to this matriarchal bias: being entered sexually is not the exclusive domain of women. Let us assert, with our feminist allies, "This is my body. I am the final arbiter of what happens to it."

Wouldn't it be truly revolutionary if that assertion encompassed the possibility of anal pleasure for all men, gay and straight? Picture fathers and uncles, mentors of masculine pleasure, presiding at school graduations to give their sons and nephews instruction on prostatic orgasm. Now there is a revolutionary thought. Is it in very bad taste? I hope so. Revolutions usually are.

My MS has reminded me that this life is no rehearsal. The here-and-now is as good as it gets, and if it's not good enough, it's up to you to make it better. That goes double for all of us crippled faggots. Don't make excuses for not getting the sexual satisfaction you want. America (says this snotty Limey!) is the great CAN DO country, after all. So do it. My own erotic conversion demonstrates my "can do" thesis in a small way. I am aware that some of us, because of the nature of our impairments, might need more help than others, so I was heartened to see in the contacts section of BENT a guy advertising his services as a sexual facilitator. What a great idea, but "only in America," I fear. I suspect that to many of our caregivers and personal assistants, our sexual needs, or even the thought that we may have (or want) a sex life, is anathema. But that's for another article.

Finally, let me end with the ultimate tasteless associated topic, that function of the anus that we don't like to discuss. True, it is intended for excretion, but is that all? Our anatomy and our natural predilections make it clear that the anus is not meant solely for storage and evacuation any more than the penis is just a urine faucet. Both are designed for pleasure as well.

But what about the mess? What about hygiene? A washout with tepid water is simple to achieve. And the mess? Well, mess is what life is all about, something we prefer to deny in our sanitized age. All of our important bodily activities produce mess. Death. Birth (have you seen what happens at a delivery? Yes, there's often some shit). And when it comes to that other insertive sexual activity, heterosexual intercourse, that can be messy, too (It's a very inexperienced straight guy who has never been "blooded" in bed).

Lately, I have had my share of accidents, incontinence included. What they taught me was how matter-of-fact shit is. You simply get on with cleaning it up. These days I expect the possibility of an accident and I'm prepared for the rare occasions when it might happen. It could be me, it could be my partner, whether he's abled or another crip. I refuse to allow attitudes to be a barrier to my own erotic fulfillment, simple as that. And anyway, a little bit of shit is not too high a price to pay for the sublime feelings that backing into bliss brings me.

©2002 Frank Hughes


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Frank Hughes maintains that "Bios are always difficult. This is what I read about myself (or my star sign, at least) recently in, and I cannot argue with any of it! 'Aries: You are the pioneer type and think most people are dickheads. You are quick, original and just plain disgusting to be around. You do nothing and still piss off everyone you come in contact with. You are a prick. You are honest and direct, and the first to find a motel room when your boss or your friend's lover is horny. You read the text in sex manuals and try to follow it by the numbers. Aries is the type of guy that promises 10 inches and turns out to only be 3.'"


BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/September 2003