Sunday, 27 January 2013

Don't let the bastards get to you

Brace yourself everyone. If you think we’ve had to put up with quite a lot of abuse over the last few months, then it’s no doubt going to get worse over the next week. Parliament is to debate the same sex marriage bill on February 5th, and our opponents’ attacks are about to get nastier and ever more virulent, in their attempt to have their minority view heard and to stop progress.

This is probably the most important piece of LGBT regulation since 1967, when it finally became legal for two consenting men to have sex in private (it had never been illegal for women), and, though the personnel may have changed, our opponents are the same as the ones who objected then. What worries me most though is the effect all this negative campaigning (by certain conservative Christian groups and certain churches) is having on the rest of us. One of my friends, out, happy and proud, has actually deleted the PinkNews app from his phone, unable to cope any longer with the barrage of news stories in which this bishop or that MP spews out their bigotry. Of course PinkNews, thegayUk and all other sites need to keep us informed about what our enemies are up to, but it can become a bit wearing; and if it’s having such a negative effect on someone who is out and happy, what do you think it might be doing to a teenager, still struggling with his or her sexuality?

This was brought home to me a couple of days ago, when reading a blog post by Queerily in response to Anthony Ozimic’s appearance on Breakfast TV. Anthony Ozimic is the Communiucations Manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and is worried about children being taught that homosexuality is a “valid” lifestyle. As Queerily points out, Mr Ozimic professes to want to protect children, when what he is actually doing is making life harder for them. It’s hard enough coming to terms with one’s homosexuality in a heterosexual world already, without the likes of Anthony Ozimic telling young people that their feelings are wrong and sinful, without him reinforcing the attitudes that get children bullied, bullying which sometimes leads to young, vulnerable people, both gay and straight, taking their own lives. It astounds me that these idiots never seem to make the connection. People don’t commit suicide because they are gay; they do it because they feel outcast and rejected. Higher levels of drug abuse and alcoholism in gay men are not a direct result of being gay, but they are a direct result of society’s negative attitude to homosexuality.

Marriage equality is not going to change people’s attitudes overnight of course, but it is a hugely important step on the road to equality. So don’t let the bastards get you down. However much hate and bigotry we have to deal with in the next few weeks, remember that the louder our opponents get, the closer we get to success. They are dinosaurs, still living in a pre-1967 world, and we cannot let them win. Keep up the pressure. If you do nothing else, write to your MP. He or she is voting on your future. It’s easy enough to do. Just follow this link.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

You can't please all of the people all of the time

I’m a tantric masseur. My mission is to make people feel good.  I’m good at what I do and I enjoy it. I love it when someone arrives tense and nervous, but leaves relaxed and happy, almost a completely different person. However, every now and then I will come across a client, who confounds all my attempts to get through to him, and he remains as locked in and closed off to himself as when he arrived. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I find myself momentarily questioning my abilities and wondering if I did something wrong.

A few days ago I received a call from a new client. He evidently had little experience of tantric massage, so I explained to him that it was a sexual, sensual massage. Was this what he was looking for? Yes. I asked him which of the two massages I offered he wanted (with or without digital internal prostate). Unhesitating, he opted for the prostate massage, so I booked him in for later that evening and said I would look forward to seeing him later. When he arrived, he was extremely tense, uptight and nervous, so, as I usually do, I asked him to sit down while I gave him a brief description of how the massage would progress. I explained in detail about the digital prostate massage and asked him if he was sure that was what he wanted. He was sure.

Before my client gets on the table, I usually start with a short ritual, assuming of course if they are ok with it. This ritual consists of some deep breathing, mutual touch while still clothed and then slowly undressing each other. During the mutual touching phase, I put my arms round my client and hug him. It is at this point I can usually tell how the massage will go. Most men give themselves up to the hug, hug me back and we remain locked in embrace for a few moments, breathing in sync. It is a moment I particularly enjoy. This client remained rigid. He half-heartedly put his arms around me, but I could tell he wasn’t giving in to the experience so I swiftly moved to get him onto the table. I started to massage his back, but every time I went anywhere near his buttocks he tensed up and clenched them. I quickly abandoned any idea of internal prostate, and decided to just massage the perineum area. However, having already spent a substantial amount of time on his legs, as I slid my finger between his inner thighs, he screamed out as if in pain, enjoining me to stop. Believe me I wasn’t even anywhere near the opening of his anus. I decided to go back to basic massage.

Eventually I asked him to turn over. Judging by the tumescent state of his penis, something was turning him on, but it was as if he refused to acknowledge it. When I massage a person’s arms, I usually hold their hand and lower arm up against me, whilst I massage the upper arm and shoulder. When I tried this with him, he pulled his arm away from me, the very opposite of relaxed submission. I decided the only thing to do was to give him a basic massage for the remaining time and then leave it at that. As I moved on to his chest though, his penis started to swell and grow. I moved down to his stomach, occasionally brushing his penis with my hand and it got even harder. OK, so maybe he would give in to some penis massage. As I took it in my hand, gently massaging its length, he took hold of my penis and started furiously wanking it. I quickened my strokes on his and it wasn’t long before he exploded all over his chest and stomach. Usually at this point, I clean up the client, have him lie there a little longer, while I gently caress his body, do a little head massage and generally relax them. Often at this point, they fall asleep. On this occasion this was not a possibility. He sat up immediately, asked if he could have a shower and disappeared into the bathroom. He was gone quite a while, so maybe he was trying to wash away his sin. I really don’t know.

When he came back from the bathroom, I tried to engage him in conversation in an attempt to discover what had gone wrong, even offering to reduce the fee, as he hadn’t really got what he paid for. He refused and grunted that everything was fine and that he was quite happy. After he left I felt awful, as if I had somehow let him down.

Fortunately the next day redressed the balance. My first client of the day was also very nervous, and admitted to it when he arrived.  How different from the previous day, though. The moment he gave himself up to the hug, I knew we would be ok, and indeed he told me, after the massage, that he was completely taken by surprise by his own reaction, and how he’d felt at one point that he was almost lifting off the table, so intense was his pleasure. I remarked on the fact that he had made my job easier by totally giving in to the experience, and he told me that this too had surprised him, as he was normally such a reserved person. Clearly I had got through to him in a way that was impossible with the other man. He was so closed off to himself and anyone around him, that there was nothing I could do. For all that, I did feel bad that he had not received the service of which I am capable, and felt that I had let him down, so I’d like to say thank you to the second of these two men for restoring my belief in myself.

I should have remembered something my father used to say to me.  “Son,” he would say, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” It’s definitely something worth remembering.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Merry Christmas from the Church

Well Christmas is over for another year, and what did we learn from it? We learnt that the attitude of the  Church towards us, and particularly the Catholic Church, would continue to be one of closed minded bigotry even at this time of year. The message came over loud and clear. “Peace and goodwill to all men – except the gay ones.” The barrage of hatred and abuse started with the Pope’s annual Christmas address to the Vatican, in which he stated that people were manipulating their sexual orientation to manipulate God-given nature, and it continued with the Bishop of Westminster’s Christmas sermon, in which he called the Government’s equal marriage plan an Orwellian shambles.

Over the last few months we have been compared to Nazi fascists, accused of undermining the heterosexual fundamentals of society, and, most recently compared to communists, the idea of marriage equality apparently stemming from” the egalitarian utopia that did so much damage during the 20th century … deceiving humanity as socialism did in the past.” (Lucetta Scaraffia in L’Osservatorio Romano).

The religious bigots believe they are winning, but, so far, fortunately, they are not. Spain’s courts recently threw out an attempt by conservatives to overturn the country’s seven year- long marriage equality law, more and more US states are introducing marriage equality, and, over here, David Cameron has vowed to make marriage equality law before the end of the year.

 What does bother me though is the way that the media and the press treat all their ridiculous pronouncements with such reverence, the pervading impression being that a belief in God is an indication of someone’s veracity and moral character. My attitude is completely different. How on earth can you take seriously the views of someone who believes that Christ was the result of a union between a virgin and a mythical God, for whom there is no scientific evidence? Now I am prepared to believe that Christ existed. I am also prepared to believe that he was an extraordinary man, well ahead of his time, with some very interesting ideas (too bad the Church tends to ignore most of them), but believing he was the son of God is too much of a stretch for my imagination. It’s a bit like believing in Peter Pan and Neverland. It’s a nice idea, but we know it’s just a good story.

Bypassing mass murderers, suicide bombers, war mongers and all sorts of evils in society, the Church has chosen to make us the enemy. I am not aware of many gay people who go out straight bashing on a Friday night, who go around bombing innocent individuals in the name of their cause, who hound and bully young straight teenagers until they find no other way out other than to commit suicide, but somehow we have become the root of all evil in society. The Church has blood on its hands, but it doesn’t care because it is more concerned about losing its power. Paradoxically it doesn’t seem to realise that, in the West at least, its draconian stance is losing them followers as more and more people become disillusioned with them. Apparently a Dutch website, which gives information about how to de-register as a Catholic received around 10,000 hits per day over the Christmas period. Normally it receives only 10. Clearly things aren’t working for them here in the more enlightened and educated West. One has to wonder why they see us a such a threat, and, the only conclusion I can come to is their preoccupation with sex. The Church, as Stephen Fry once put it, is obsessed with sex, and they can’t cope with a generation that increasingly sees sex more as a channel for pleasure than procreation. This, presumably, is the reasoning behind the bizarre decision taken by the Church of England recently, to allow gay clergy to become Bishops, as long as they affirm that they are not having sex. What are they going to do? Install CCTV in their bedrooms? And what about straight couples who can’t, or don’t want to, have children? Should they be forbidden from having sex too? Their thinking on this seems very muddled to me.
Unfortunately the gradual erosion of the power of the Church in the West, means that they are working hard to increase their stranglehold in less developed countries, particularly in the African continent, where people are less well educated, and more prone to believe the mumbo jumbo they come out with, a direct of result of which is the notorious Ugandan Kill the Gays bill. Only recently the Pope was pictured blessing Rebecca Kadanga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parlaiment, who vowed to pass the bill as a “Christmas gift”.

Where will it all end I wonder? I was certainly very angry over Christmas, angry that the press gave the Church such a platform, angry at the incredibly biased reporting by the BBC, which made the story of the Bishop of Westminster’s Christmas Day attack their main news item without including one dissenting voice, just plain angry and I’ve had just about as much as I can stomach. I just wanted to scream at the TV.  “Don’t you get it? We don’t care. We don’t actually care what a bunch of crazy bible bashers think. Just go away and leave us alone. It actually has nothing to do with you.” The Bishop of Westminster, and hundreds of other Catholic ministers around the country, enjoined their congregations to bombard the government with letters protesting their plans to legalise gay marriage. I just hope that members of parliament realise that for every letter they get from “disgusted of Wells”, there are hundreds of other people, a lot of them straight, who won’t write because they don’t really care! Remember only about 2% of the population go to church regularly on a Sunday. They just happen to be a very vocal 2%.