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Saturday sex stuff

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Whether you’ve had the benefit of comprehensive sex education classes at school, or if you’ve had to figure stuff out through trial and error, here’s some gay sex facts that are worth a quick refresher on.

What happens when I cum?
To talk about your ‘cum’ or to say that you’re ‘cumming’ is an informal way to refer to ejaculation and semen.

Ejaculation is the discharge of semen from your penis — it’s usually accompanied by an orgasm, although you can also ejaculate during your sleep, this is generally referred to as a wet dream.

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There are two key phases to ejaculation.

The first is stimulation — your penis becomes hard and you are stimulated sexually, either my masturbating or through intercourse with another person. While your penis is being stimulated, it will start to produce pre-cum — this is pre-ejaculatory fluid that doesn’t contain sperm.

The second stage is the orgasm — once you have been sufficiently stimulated that your body reaches orgasm, you begin to ejaculate semen. Your semen contains sperm. Your semen is ejected through your urethra with rhythmic contractions — these rhythmic contractions are part of your orgasm. Once you begin to ejaculate, you can’t stop it. Your orgasm will probably have around 15 contractions, and most of your semen will be ejaculated on the second contraction. Your semen is ejaculated from your body at a speed of around 18 kilometres per hour. The volume of semen produced, and the distance that your ejaculation travels from your body varies between men — there’s no good or bad, everyone is just a bit different and you may get different results each time you cum. The volume of semen that you produce will generally range from somewhere around a teaspoon to a tablespoon. The number of sperm carried by your semen will be influenced by a range of factors, including the time since the last ejaculation, age, stress levels, and testosterone.

The third stage is the refractory period. During the refractory period you won’t be able to sustain an erection and you won’t be able to ejaculate. During the refractory period you’ll experience a deep sense of relaxation. The length of the refractory period varies between men, but generally the younger you are then the shorter your refractory period. Your penis is likely to be hypersensitive immediately after you orgasm.

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Life

Wednesday Wisdom: Heteronormativity

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Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

I find it hard to shake my perception that dating is ultimately about finding ‘the one’ — that you may have to kiss a lot of frogs in the process, but ultimately you’re hoping to find someone that you really connect with, that you have amazing sex with, that you want to move in together and do domestic things with, that you want to introduce to your family, that you want to go on vacation with, that you want to grow old with and live happily ever after.

That’s pretty much what I’ve seen in my family, that’s what I’ve seen in movies. For some gay couples that I know, that’s exactly how it works.

It’s not difficult to understand that from all of our cultural and environmental influences, we’re being conditioned to aspire to a ‘good’ relationship that roughly fits that Hollywood ideal. This is heteronormativity in action.

One of the foundations of much of queer theory, ‘heteronormative’ is a term first coined by academic Michael Warner in 1991. Heteronormativity is the belief that the binary genders of male and female are required for people to perform the natural roles in life — assuming that heterosexuality is the default and preferable sexual orientation.

I’m not making any moral judgements about anyone’s relationship. If it works for you, then that’s great. If you want to settle down with a husband and live happily ever after, then all power to you — that’s what equality is all about.

But it is helpful to occasionally challenge ourselves by asking if our thoughts or actions are being influenced in some way by the heteronormativity that we’re all exposed to every day.

Here’s an example. A friend of mine has been with his boyfriend for years. They live together, they bought a flat together, they decided to get married. They’ve always had an open relationship — that’s worked for them. The weekend before the wedding, he was in the toilets of XXL — a club in London — getting worked over by two muscle-bears.

My instinctive reaction was — “That’s not right…” It’s the heteronormativity talking. In my head, marriage is about monogamy, and that if you were continuing to enjoy an active and open sex life then maybe marriage is not for you. But clearly I’m applying made-up rules to situations that don’t fit the heternomative model.

Obviously, an open relationship isn’t incompatible with marriage. Neither is a monogamous relationship. But this is an illustration of the complexity that we’re all navigating as marriage equality offers additional options for how we define our relationships.

It’s too easy to apply a Hollywood-happily-ever filter to our view of a marriage between two guys. But gay guys are different, we’ve been told that all of our lives, and in that difference there’s power — just because we can get married doesn’t mean that our marriages have to look like anyone else’s, the only rules that need to apply are the ones that make sense to us.

It’s important that we don’t perpetuate the perception that ‘good gays get married’ or that marriage is only meaningful if it looks like something out of a mid-career Sandra Bullock movie.

It’s not easy to find someone that you want to spend time with, to make compromises for, and perhaps it would be a lot easier if there was a black and white set of rules that all relationships had to follow. But whatever your sexuality, relationships are messy and complicated things that really only ever make sense to the people that are in them.

Embrace love, forget heteronormativity.

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