The Anal Mouth

In my post Bottoms Up!, I focused on pleasures of the butt. Although I touched on some negative feelings, I did not dwell on them but rather on ways of enjoying the pleasures to be had from moving beyond taboos. Reminding me that deeply ingrained fears are always lurking in the background, some of these fears once again rose their ugly heads the other day in an SI session.

The butt is such a vortex for negative associations that it is little wonder we have wildly conflicting emotions about it. For far too long, it has borne the brunt of shame and filth. Closely tied to this are such ideas that it is passive and that passivity is somehow to be despised. In some bizarre way, manly men are associated with being active, which is supposed to be good even in its crudest forms, while unmanly men are deemed feminine, as if that were a bad thing. Guys, we need to move on!!!

One of my fondest memories is from a former yoga teacher, a Berlin grandmother. It was from her prodding us to grab the floor with our anal mouths as we were doing sitting poses that I had a revelation about the butt. An anal mouth? Cool, I had never thought of our being able to use and control it as we would any other muscle. I wish my own Oma had been so earthy!

In that image of an anal mouth, we also get to the heart of the problem, the negative images that have been put upon the anus but have not been associated with the mouth. These images are much more powerful to overcome than the muscles themselves in the butt. Yet, a change in perspective can do much to open our back doors to erotic pleasure. The butt is an equal opportunity pleasure seeker regardless of whether you are a man who is gay, straight, or a woman. What we need to do is to confront the taboos so that we can move beyond them.

When they arose in me, what was so helpful was that Steve, an SI partner, guided me through an extended butt exercise in which we focused on relaxing and opening up my inner sanctum. One technique was to prolong the time in which I clenched and released the sphincters encircling his fingers, going sequentially from top to bottom and vice versa. This technique not only helps to relax the butt canal, but it demonstrates that we do have control, and that we can be active players as bottoms. The more relaxed you are the deeper your partner can go. As you sensitize both of your organs with their own unique muscles to each other, they will interact in much deeper and subtler ways than if both of you were not so relaxed and receptive. Yes, even tops can be receptive.

Of course, we should be attentive to the fears that are well intentioned such as those around disease. The important thing is to find your own way into saying yes to the butt and its subtle pleasures. Take your time, begin with fingers, and slowly journey into the inner sanctum. Treat it with love and respect, and it will reward you as it opens up its hidden pleasures.

Man to Man

When I think of the phrase man to man, echoes of the often misused phrase mano a mano come to mind. I can recall several instances of some pretty macho looking characters using it to mean encounters of a manly kind, man to man, rather than its correct meaning, hand to hand. And, I have a feeling that if I had tried to convince them that the more correct phrase is uomo a uomo, it would not have gone over well. Probably it would have caused a level of discomfort, sounding, as it does, perilously close to its Latin root, homo a homo.

If we can step away from the taboos limiting how close and tender men can be with each other, there are new dimensions in man to man relationships to be found, regardless of where we fall on the sexual identity spectrum. In these posts, I have written a lot about my erotic adventures with other men most of whom identify as gay or bi. But now I am thinking about those kinds of connections that tap into erotic energy yet are neither orgasmic nor involve full body touching.

One of my favorite ways to connect with guys who, for one reason or another, do not care to engage in full body touch, is through a cranial massage. It is a totally great way to connect, and is an intimate way to share touch, even with a straight friend.

A loving and tender cranial massage can be an experience beyond words. Have your buddy lie on the couch with his head in your lap. Gently run your fingers through his hair and all around his head. Don’t be afraid to hold his head close to your body while massaging it. It is within our power to challenge taboos limiting ways in which we express the love we have for a friend, and we can do this through touch that is erotic while also respectful of boundaries.

As you experiment with different levels of pressure, let your fingers explore his face. Gently, massage his eyebrows, the area under his eyes, along his nose, and around his mouth. He may even want to draw your finger in and suck on it for a bit, let it happen, it’s a sweet gesture. Be relaxed and playful. Continue on down around his chin and neck. I could easily spend an hour just touching the head, face, and neck of a friend.

The touch world opens up very different ways through which we perceive another person. How different a person looks when we slowly run our fingers and hands over his face, scalp, ears, and neck. What a difference it makes to me to have a touch impression of a friend. When I am with friends I have done cranial massages with, not only do I recognize them by sight and sound, but my hands tingle with the distinct impressions I have of what their faces feel like. For me, the day cannot come too soon when it will be seen as manly to caress a friend’s head as it is to arm wrestle him.

Touch Talk

It’s like butter (or buttah as Mike Myers said it in his SNL skit). Skin is luscious, especially around a guy’s tastiest bits. Because it’s so good, it calls out to all of us, enticing us to enter into its magical realm. Even if you are a straight man, I have little doubt that you too want to touch another guy’s joystick. For women I am sure it is much the same thing with other women. At some level, we all want to touch each other in intimate ways. That is a good thing because touch is all about communicating at a deeper, more intimate, level. That’s where the magic is, where we unleash the healing power that is in us all.

But how do we get beyond all the taboos preventing us from being intimate with others, especially with others of our own sex? I like to think of touch as a language, and a universal one at that. As with a foreign language, there are times when it is mysterious and not at all understandable no matter how familiar we are with it. In reaction, we try to impose our way of speaking onto it: say it this way, why don’t they just say such and such instead of…, and so on. But if you can begin to leave your preconceptions behind, what seemed like an impenetrable wall starts to melt away. Not only has the language let me in, but in the process I have let go of my ego and the way it shapes my world. A new world opens as the new language guides me in. So too with touch.

Skin wants to be touched, stroked, coddled, maybe even pinched or spanked! It has its own desires and rules, its own mysteries that beckon to us. But how often can we step outside the controls that prevent the journey? Controls are a potent mixture of taboos and fears so deeply ingrained in us that we will never be free of them. This does not mean, however, that we are forever their prisoner. We are not.

Think about what happens when we enter into another language, we become another person. Even though there is a certain freedom in this, we never do fully leave ourselves behind. We remain who we always have been, only enriched from our new adventure outside of our familiar selves. So too as we venture into touch space letting eros guide us, we become one with the other person for a time before we return to being ourselves again.

The journey does not need to be one of having access to the entirety of another’s body. I have journeyed with straight men who desired only limited physical touch, which in no way limited the feelings of erotic connection between us. Intimacy is about our ability to get beyond our egos and connect with another through touch space. Although for me the most rewarding journeys are the ones in which we give complete access to each other’s body and are the most sexual, all journeys into touch space are rewarding. Let your  relationship with the other person determine the level of access. The most important thing is to connect at a deeper level, and with each such journey we break down the taboos and fears that prevent physical intimacy. We say yes to the language of eros with all of its healing powers and no to the small minded ways of fear.

A Man’s Touch

There are guys I love to be naked with, touching and caressing their bodies, as we explore each other’s hidden territories luxuriating in our shared smells and tastes. I like to think of it as our man to man time, when we step outside society’s norms and simply be human with each other through that most intimate of sensations, touch.

Most of us live in societies where man to man intimacy is generally not accepted, or if so only begrudgingly. At times through the study of aboriginal societies we have the possibility of gaining insights into our distant pasts. In the mid-twentieth century, there were reports about contacts with rainforest peoples in the remote reaches of the Amazon that told of men greeting each other not by shaking hands but by taking hold of the other person’s penis. Where is the time machine when a boy needs it the most!

One of the insights I take from this is that man to man intimacy has it’s own special energy that perhaps people were less fearful of in ages past. In today’s world, my own tribe of gay men have cast aside the age old taboos against man to man intimacy. Yet, I think we need to go further so that any person, male or female, regardless of where they fall on the sexual identity spectrum can have the confidence and freedom to explore same gender intimacy. I am lucky to have a few straight male friends who are comfortable with being together in an intimately physical way through massage. The only negative part of these experiences is that they are the exceptions to the rules of physical distance that dictate our interactions with each other.

Whenever I am back in Berlin, I am very much aware of the differences in societal attitudes towards the body that are so much more in sync with my own than when I am in New England. No doubt the Freiköperkultur movement that began a couple centuries ago has had a great impact. Literally translated, it means free body culture. Generally, it has been associated with fostering healthy connections with nature and public acceptance of nudity. How or why Freikörperkultur developed or flourished in Germany, I cannot say. In the US, sadly, there were only brief expressions of something similar in such figures as Walt Whitman and Thomas Eakins, or in the flower child movement of my formative years. Unfortunately, they did not become major influencers on overall attitudes that Americans have towards their bodies or same gender intimacy.

Wherever we live, it is time to cast off the idea of shame about our bodies, sexual identities that limit us, and unhealthy restrictions on physical intimacy. There is nothing better or more natural than living in our bodies and sharing them with those we are close to. As I have often said in these posts, our challenge is to step outside of our egos and just let the simplicity and goodness of touch guide us. The key point is that we enter touch space with the intention of connecting with the other person in a healthy and respectful way.