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The 'gay gene' - myth or reality? (image: Wikipedia) The 'gay gene' - myth or reality? (image: Wikipedia)

Life

The ‘gay gene’ — myth or reality?

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Small, dark and fiercely intelligent, Dr Qazi Rahman speaks quickly and excitedly about his specialist subject — what makes us gay?

Rahman is the assistant professor in cognitive biology at London’s Queen Mary University — I started our conversation by asking what cognitive biology means.

“We’re really looking at what is the function of various human behaviours — for example, why do babies cry?” Rahman explains. “We look to understand the behaviour by asking a series of questions: How does that behaviour increase reproduction? Is it learned behaviour or genetically hard-wired? How does the behaviour develop during your life-span? Is there a similar behaviour in comparable species? I’m using that same framework to try and understand homosexual behaviour — what makes us gay?”

I suggested that watching a lot of Will & Grace might have had something to do with my sexual orientation, but Rahman quickly rubbishes this suggestion.

“Fifty years of psychological research has not been able to document any psycho-social basis or learning of homosexual orientation. Any suggestion that you could decide or learn to be gay is based on the traditional understanding of psychology that believed that everything was learned behaviour. Heterosexuality was seen as the norm, and therefore any variation from that was deviant — generally it was some form of ‘failure’ in the parenting of the child that was seen to have led to homosexual behaviour.”

“Around the mid-80s and up to the early-90s more detailed research was completed — particularly in relation to to kids who showed early indicators of being ‘different’. This research has shown that differences in parental rearing style, or what parents did to their kids, didn’t predict whether kids would grow up gay.”

What about the notion of the absent or distant father, or the dominant mother?

“In the research, some kids do report fathers being distant but there is a general acceptance that this is likely to be the parent reacting to differences in the child as opposed to the other way around. In relation to the influence of a dominant mother, or Oedipal complex, suggesting that boys were unable to get over their attraction to their mother and therefore become gay — this just doesn’t make any sense and requires leaps in logic that don’t bear any scrutiny.”

So how does Rahman and his fellow scientists define sexual orientation?

“At its most basic level, the question is: Which gender attracts your attention? When you walk into a room does your gaze travel to guys or girls? Sexual orientation is like a rudder — generally an either/or kind of trait. About 95–98% of people are oriented to the opposite sex and can be classified as heterosexual.”

If somewhere above 95% of people can be classified as heterosexual, that means that the percentage of guys who are gay is a lot lower than I’d imagined. I quizzed Rahman on my understanding that we were generally working on a one-in-10 rule.

“That’s a bit of an urban myth based on an interpretation of Kinsey’s ground-breaking research. Based on today’s research it’s more like 2% to 5%.”

I take our conversation back to the starting point of what makes us gay. Rahman’s research is exploring a number of theories:

“We know that there is no such thing as a ‘gay gene’, but there could be a combination of genes that leads to a guy being attracted to males. Research has shown us that one in seven gay men owe their sexual orientation to having an older brother. Each older brother increases your chance of being gay by 33%, and so the more older brothers you have the more likely you are to be gay.”

“What we don’t know is why that is the case — we think it might be that the mother’s immune system forms antibodies against male proteins in the developing foetus, potentially making the brain more feminine. It’s just a theory but there is some interesting research that suggests that it’s part of the picture.”

“We also know that gay men generally come from larger families, not just immediate but extended, primarily on the mother’s side. One of the theories being explored is that the evolution of homosexuality provides some sort of reproductive advantage to the relatives of gay people. For example the female relatives of gay men appear to be more reproductive than those females without gay men in their family.”

Cognitive biology looks at what comparable species can tell us about human behaviour, so what does this tell us about homosexuality?

“Loads of animals exhibit same-sex behaviour, but we don’t have any other comparable species that show life-long same-sex orientation as we know it in humans…” Rahman explains. “While there are no comparable species, we do see it in some. For example 5%–10% of male sheep will consistently only go for other male sheep — even if other options are presented. Zebra Finches also consistently demonstrate life-long same-sex orientation. But amongst primates, humans are quite unique in this sense.”

“For me, the big question is evolutionary. Why does a trait like homosexuality, which is non-reproductive, persist in evolution when natural selection should have got rid of it? Genes for homosexuality exist but gay men — who rarely have biological children — are not passing these genes on, so why does it exist?”

This is one line of research definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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Life

Blowjobs in Berlin

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Image sourced from photo library
Image sourced from photo library

Want to know how to give the best blowjob of your life? Michael Soze of Boner Magazine has put together this handy guide.

Why is it called a blowjob?
The name itself isn’t particularly accurate. Nothing is blown here. The theory is that the term is derived from the slang of English prostitutes — to ‘blow off’ was to drain the steam, to release the pressure from the pipe.

Who invented the blowjob?
The earliest recorded blowjobs have been found on papyrus scrolls from Ancient Egypt. But the blowjob also appears in the records of the ancient civilisations of China and India. It’s a practice that also seems to have been celebrated by Native American tribes. Even today, there are tribes in Papua New Guinea where boys swallow the sperm of an adult as part of their initiation rite. Blowjobs have power.

Who wants a blowjob?
While blowjobs are generally accepted as a fairly normal part of a sexual encounter, studies suggest that 50 percent of straight guys report that they want to receive more oral sex.

Turn-offs or turn-ons?
If you’re guy who’s hooking-up with another guy, it’s a pretty safe assumption that blowjobs will be on the menu.

But not all guys are into the same things, so until you’ve got a bit familiar with each other you might want to play it safe to ensure that some repeat business is an option.

Cleanliness is usually a good starting point. Sure, lots of guys are into sweat and stank, but if you’re expecting a blowjob from a guy you don’t really know then having a shower and ensuring that you’re minty fresh is a sensible move.

Manscaping is something to consider. If you’re a hairy guy, a bit of a pre-blowjob trim might be a good option. Not only will it reduce the amount of stray hairs flying around, but it presents your package in its prime.

Take your time
Depending on the encounter that you’re having, a blowjob maybe all that you’ve got time for. However, if you’re not in a rush, taking your time with each other will result in a better blowjob all round and will probably lead to a further exploration of the fun that you can have together.

Practice makes perfect
Here’s some things to think about if you’re wanting to deliver a great blowjob:

  • Make him wait. You know you’re going to give him a blowjob. He knows you’re going to give him a blowjob. But don’t just dive straight in there. Foreplay of any description is all about building the anticipation and expectation. If the first step on the sexual road-map of your encounter is getting your mouth on his cock, gradually work your way towards that. Use your lips and hands to explore his body. Slowly undress him. When you eventually peel down his underwear and his cock springs free he should be so ready for you that he’s begging you to put your mouth to work.
  • Get him wet. Once you’ve got his cock in your hands and your mouth ready to go, don’t think that you’ve got to get his cock into the back of your throat as quickly as possible. Ideally, that’s where you’re heading, but take your time. Use your lips, use your tongue. Work your mouth up and down his shaft — get as much saliva as you can all over every inch of his cock. Keep jacking him while you’re working your mouth on him. Get your tongue into his balls. If he’s got a foreskin then give that as much attention as possible. Get him so turned on that he’s aching to feel your lips wrap around the head of his cock.
  • When you can’t resist any more, let the head of his cock start to slide across your tongue. Try and stay in control of the pace and momentum of the encounter. If you’re doing it right, by this point he’s going to be tempted to just grab hold of your head and throat-fuck you, but if you show him that you know what you’re doing he’ll want to experience everything you’ve got.
  • While you’re taking his cock in your mouth, keep using your hands on him. Jacking his cock while you’re sucking him, alternating your mouth and your hands. Some guys really respond to a bit of a twisting action as you work up and down their cock-shaft. Keep playing with his balls.
  • The general rule with a blowjob is no teeth. The cock is obviously a sensitive part of the body, and teeth are generally a bit of a boner killer. However, if you’re having an encounter that’s a bit more intense then you might not have to worry so much if your teeth are occasionally making contact with his cock.
  • When it comes to blowjobs, saliva is your friend. You need his cock to be spit-slick and as wet as possible. Don’t worry about slobbering all over him, that’s what you’ve got to do. If your mouth is getting dry, it’s handy to keep a bottle of water handy. You can use lubricant if you want, but nothing beats a spit-slick cock.
  • A good blowjob will often lead to rimming, but that’s a whole separate article, so we’re not going to address that here. Except to say that we’re obviously in favour. We love rimming. You also might want to use your fingers on his hole or fucking into him. Some guys really like that while they’re getting their cock sucked, for others it feels a bit like a distraction. Give it a try, the way his body responds will let you know how he feels about it.
  • As the heat between you builds, you’re going to be taking his cock deeper and deeper into your mouth and into your throat. It can take a bit of practice to build confidence and experience to know what it feels like to have a hard cock slamming into your throat. Take your time, do what you feel comfortable with. Breathing through your nose helps. The more you can relax, the deeper you’ll be able to take him. There’s nothing quite so blissful as feeling his balls slapping against your chin or nose as he slams his hard cock into the back of your throat. This is where you both lose yourself in the intensity of the moment — all he can think about is fucking your throat, and all you can think about is servicing his cock.

Gag-worthy?
When you lose yourself in the pleasure of giving an awesome blowjob, it’s fairly likely that from time to time his cock will slam so deep into your throat that you’ll gag a bit. It’s no big deal, don’t panic, just slow down the pace a little, re-focus, and get back to work.

Nipple play
It’s not always easy to multi-task while you’re focused on giving a great blow-job. If you’ve got a spare hand, give his nipples some attention. Twisting them hard is a great way to intensify what he’s feeling.

Eye contact
Giving a blowjob is one of the most intimate things you can do with a guy. It’s really important that you’re totally present in the experience. You don’t need to have constant eye-contact, that would probably raise some red flags, but looking him in the eye while you’re sucking his cock is a real turn-on and demonstrates the sexual connection you have with him.

Don’t speak
Leave the bad dialogue to vintage porn. Your mouth should be too busy to say anything, and all you want to hear from him are grunts of pleasure.

Special tricks
These are a bit superfluous if you’re giving a blowjob to a guy on a one-off random hook-up, but if you’ve got repeat business and you want to mix things up a bit then here’s a few tricks you can try:

  • Warm your mouth with warm water, this gives him a different sensation.
  • Heat up half a grapefruit. Squeeze it and cut off the end — you’re effectively making a grapefruit flesh-jack. Push his cock through it and jack him with the grapefruit while you’re also sucking him.
  • Suck on a mint and then lick his cock-head. It will give him an intense tingling sensation.
  • Play with your food. Whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or honey can all be good fun.

Spit or swallow?

  • Obviously, your encounter may not end with the blowjob, so how you enjoy each other’s cum could be a question at a different stage in proceedings.
  • There are some studies that suggest that 90 percent of guys don’t swallow — that they prefer the cum to spray over their chest or their face. That number seems high to me, so we might need to do some more research on that.
  • Sure, it may not taste exactly like pineapple juice, but feeling a guy’s cum pumping down your throat is pretty satisfying and a great testament to your blowjob skills.
Image sourced from photo library
Image sourced from photo library

Republished courtesy of Boner Magazine

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