Fear of Flying

How wonderful and fearful defying gravity is and no less so than in the swirl of a man to man embrace. In eros as well as other dimensions, it seems that the law of physics around overcoming inertia applies. Perhaps this is no more true than in the presence of man to man love. The tethers binding us to the ground are both strong and supported by webs of fear and worse.

I’ve always found it odd that the mere sight of two men expressing tenderness with each other arouses such negative reactions. As gay people, we are no less subject to these than others. In the days of the Marlboro man riding high on his horse puffing away, I would sometimes find myself looking up at the billboard over Times Square wondering what it would be like if instead of being alone he were sharing the sunset with his cowboy lover in a deep embrace topped off by a kiss. It would hardly take a genius to discern the backlash that would be heard from every pulpit and political soap box across the country, not to mention the yobs in the street below taking it out on men fitting their image of a queer. Funny that many of those same people would salivate at the sight of two women licking at each others lips.

The fear of male to male intimacy is still one of the greatest tethers we struggle with in our journeys into the erotic. Though these obstacles lessen over time, they still exert an influence that we need to overcome every time we venture out. I like to think of it as similar to an airplane overcoming gravity the more its momentum builds. And just as a plane is built to fly, our bodies are made for sensual connection. When we are flying, we are in our joy bodies tingling with aliveness, full of sensuality, full of freedom. We soar when we break free of the ties that bind and hold us back. How wildly such moments contrast with the negativity that we, as gay people, know so well from the looks of disapproval, the biting comments said behind our backs, to even the potential for physical harm. Yet, in spite of all the attempts to gag us and put us out of sight we find ways to break free and to soar above it all for that is our genius, and maybe even the source of our creativity.

Cultivating a healthy erotic landscape means providing space in one’s life for eros and being sacredly intimate with another. It also means, for me, a balanced life. In the garden of eros, there is no shame or banishment for carnal knowledge, it’s quite the opposite. Am I advocating wanton sex? Not at all. Sorry lads, as I said in my first post I am not a Tom of Finland on steroids, just an advocate for a sensual life.

As someone who inhabits an overly rational world, I find the use of rituals to be helpful in the transition from a world order dominated by language into one of touch. The simple acts of lighting candles, incense, and putting on some music are good ways to transform mundane space into one worthy of the gods. Don’t worry about the rest, once the door is open the sensual takes on its own rhythm. Your job is to open yourself and your partner to it and let it guide you on your ride.