The Mangina

If there is one conflicted area of a guy’s body, our Gaza Strip, it is our butts! Yes, the Glory Hole, the Mangina, whatever you want to call it, at the same time one of our greatest sources of pleasure and angst. Like our cocks, our butt is a dual purpose pleasure machine and waste eliminator. Unlike our cocks, we are much more conflicted experiencing the pleasures the mangina has to offer. Why is it we hardly need any coaxing to experience cock pleasure but need to be dragged kicking and screaming to the trough of anal ecstasy? Hey, if this is alien to your experience, hats off. So I wonder, where does this all come from? Yes, I know, shit stinks more than piss. If that’s all there was to it, a sweet smelling douche, a car freshener, or something would have solved this a long time ago. Not to make too light of the situation, I am very much aware that the mangina is a convenient place for HIV transmission, and we really need to take this seriously by practicing sex as safely as possible.

As I explored tantric literature and Sacred Intimacy practice, the term that helped me to lessen my own anxieties around penetration is rosebud. It really paints a pleasantly accurate and positive image of our anal sphincters. After failed attempts to enjoy passive anal sex, it was a Sacred Intimate who showed me that with slow and gentle preparation, the rosebud could be coaxed open and relaxed enough to enjoy a good banging! This was a really important lesson for me to learn because I am as guilty as the next guy of charging in like an infantry brigade when in the active position. Guys, we need to slow down! The mangina is our feminine side, so it pays to listen to what gals have to say to their beaus about spending a little more time with foreplay. OK, if you need to have a quick shag a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do. But if you can dim it down a notch take your time, light some candles, massage your buddy, gently rub his belly, his cock, his butt, and coax that rosebud open with gentle finger strokes. As it opens, you can massage the inside of his bum with your finger, then two or three. This really helps to open that baby up for the big number, which is where you want to sing and dance! Hey, put on the Stars and Stripes Forever and make it a holiday march – I still crack up at the threesome scene in Short Bus where one of the guys is singing the national anthem into another guy’s butt. Life is good.

When I think of pleasures like this and how they are so much a part of our bodies, and then I look at the angst many of us have gone through it makes me wonder why the disconnect? Part of me wants to say it’s because of the narrative about how sex is supposed to be – you know the drill, love, marriage, missionary position, etc. I’m sure that’s a potent voice in all of us. Another voice in me says that as guys we don’t know how to be the passive partner – hats off to you guys who learned much more quickly than I did, this ought to be part of every boy’s sex education. Sadly, there is another layer influencing our alienation from our butts – the layers of shame and disease that have been associated with it. I suppose this has to do with the dual role as waste eliminator, but I wonder about the level of guilt people felt when they discovered how much pleasure there was in it too? Add this to the historic and cultural taboos around being gay and you have a pretty potent mixture. Regardless, we do not need to let these things stop us from enjoying one of the truly great pleasure areas of our bodies. And, it can be done safely, cleanly, and pleasurably if we can just take care and relax into it. Like the gals say, take your time and focus on the foreplay.

Hominid Sex

My friend Steve gave me a great read, Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. It was a Times best seller a few years ago, which I completely missed – kind of par for the course for me. Anyway, the authors delve into the murky past of pre-history and our sexual evolution and upend some of our current ideas about sexual relationships. Because I am only about a quarter of the way through, it’s too early for me to give a book review. Nevertheless, some things come to mind I thought I would write about.

The authors start with the basic premise that our current model of monogamy and marriage pretty much has it wrong – hint, look at divorce rates in the US. If the authors are to be believed, we are as a species better suited to polyamory relationships than to our notion of monogamy. We all know the drill: romance leads to marriage, a preordained opening of the door to sex for the purpose of procreation. Needless to say, the polyamory bit sounds right to me. One reason is that it brings up recollections of some things I have read over the years about remote peoples, so-called primitives, living in great communal societies in which men and women tend to live separately in large segregated houses. As I recall, each group has sex within their gender with occasional cross overs to have sex with each other. I’d like to believe that such sexual fluidity is part of our communal past. If it is, then how did the current model come to be the ruling one – the one in which are we are bound for eternity to a sexual mate of the opposite gender as our one true partner?

An answer to that question certainly is above my intellectual pay grade! But I can draw on my experience of Sacred Intimacy for some inspiration. Sharing orgasm with another is one of the most profound of human experiences we can have – and this need not have anything to do with a married partner. Am I trying to say we need to reach for an SI experience every time we have orgasm. Hell no, that would be like living in a monastery – only without the sex (oopps). Even though I have been writing about SI, it is only one part of our sexual vocabulary. As the song says, sometimes a wank is just a wank – or something like that. Creating a space for SI is about intentionality and consciously connecting with  your partner to create a magical experience. If this happens in the framework of marriage, great; if not, so be it. Love brings people together, and love is not just about romance. Sure, that is a particular kind of love, but just as valuable is the love that two buddies can express for each other by being totally physical and sexual with each other. If you and your buddy’s flutes want to play in unison, let them spew forth. Dance to the rhythm of eros even if it takes us outside of the models we are used to, and this is at the heart of what I think Sex at Dawn is about.


We are surrounded by magic, yet for the most part do not see it. Maybe this has to do with our attention being diverted by so many other of life’s daily necessities.  A couple of days ago, a visit to see my friend Steve brought me back into a magical dimension. A nomad by choice, Steve follows an inner path as he roams the world. At the moment, he is house sitting for friends of his, a gay couple who have created an enchanted spot nestled in the mountains of Vermont. Entering into their property was like stepping into a scene out of Hänsel and Gretel, only without the evil witch. Their home, three separate structures really, sits atop a small hill in a wooded area. The front and back porches of the main house use tree trunks for posts. From the back porch, there is an uninterrupted view of a spectacular mountain scene. But wait, there is something even more wonderful. As you gaze out at the mountains from inside the porch, you quickly realize that the view is framed by vines trained in a circle. It’s like the camera shutter effect found at the beginning or ending of cartoons. If I had used my head, I would have taken photos which would have shown this effect better than my lame attempts at describing it. Needless to say, the impact was one of pure magic. Were this the single aspect of the property to have such a quality, it would have been sufficient. But no, it was but one part of an entire setting that was completely beguiling. Being in this little compound set atop and along a sloping hillside was like being in a fairy village – a place of the little people, something that Icelanders instinctively understand. The biggest surprise of all came from the earth, from nature. At the bottom of the gently rolling hill, there was a dramatic drop-off into a very deep gorge. At one end was a grotto framed by massive granite rocks with a waterfall that tumbled into a stream at the bottom. This was definitely a land fit for fairies.

This visit got me to thinking about sacred intimacy and how connectedness to the erotic permeates all aspects of our lives. In some way that I cannot quite understand, the connectedness to the dance of eros increases the incidence of serendipity in our lives. But, what is it that allows some people to find those golden nuggets, those OMG moments,  beneath their feet while others simply walk by unaware? Somehow I think it is tied to Eros because it is about connection with a universal life force, with an energy that opens our senses to really see, touch, feel, taste, and hear all that is around us. Is this limited to gay people? Not at all. But I do think we bring a special energy to the world when we are fully and sensually connected. This certainly impacts the spaces we create for ourselves because these are spaces where we let the energy flow. Whether this be a whole compound such as the one I visited, within the walls of one room, or between partners, we imbue these spaces with magic – even down to the dust (well, maybe that is going too far, but you get the picture).

This is the stuff of Sacred Intimacy as I like to think of it. It’s not very complex really, for it is about intentionality and the opening of ourselves to awareness, to eros, to its dance, and to our entering into its rhythm. Caught up in its flow is everything we touch from deeply intimate connection with a partner to outwardly creating an environment that becomes enchanted space. As we dance, we fine tune our sense of being in this space, of being creative, and thus of opening ourselves to serendipity – to magic. This is fairy power!! It is among the most powerful of forces in the universe because it is about love and healing. It is about cultivating an environment of positive energy and connectedness with others and with life in all of its forms.