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Wednesday Wisdom: Heteronormativity

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

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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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Improve your sex life with a tantric workshop!

Learn how to unlock a whole new level of pleasure.

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Unlock a new level of pleasure with a gay tantric workshop (image supplied)
Image supplied

If you’re looking for something a bit different for your vacation options in the year ahead, how about a tantric sex workshop with gay travel specialists Spain Seven Degrees?

This is a five-day workshop held on the Spanish island of Mallorca. You’ll be staying in a gay guesthouse with stunning views out over the Mediterranean.

Attendees are limited to a maximum group of ten men. You’ll be guided by professional instructors through morning yoga, sunset pool Pilates, and a huge variety of workouts. Be ready to improve your sexual health with sex workshops that focus on tantric sex, gay kama sutra, and a few surprises.

The workshop will be held at the gay guesthouse Guapo Finca with available dates in May and October 2019.

Book before 31 January 2019 and receive a discount of €100 if you use the discount code of MAINLYMALE100.

Unlock a new level of pleasure with a gay tantric workshop (image supplied)

The discount code of  MAINLYMALE100 applies to all trips offered by Spain Seven Degrees. Options include:

Use the discount code MAINLYMALE100 for a discount of €100 on any Spain Seven Degrees trips if you book before 31 January 2019.

Unlock a new level of pleasure with a gay tantric workshop (image supplied)

Tantra Workshops included in this retreat

The essence of Tantŕa

  • This workshop is dedicated to knowing and experiencing the essence of Tantŕa. It will begin with a brief introduction of Tantŕa as a path that brings awareness to all areas of our life, the Tantŕa is a way to awaken to our true essence. Awareness. Love. First we will experience individually through bioenergetics with different techniques of breathing and movement of the body to connect with this state and let ourselves fall into this relaxation in the heart.
  • Then we will connect this inner state with the outside through meditations in pairs coordinating the breathing and the power of the look. Learning to connect with others from that authenticity of your present moment, learning to embrace your reality and that of the other creating true intimacy.

Activation of the 4 elements – how sexuality is expressed in each chakra

  • The human being is an energy system as well as physical, mental and emotional. In the energy plan we have “7 chakras” or energy centers. Each of them related to one of the four elements (earth, water, fire, air) and concrete emotions (fear / confidence / sadness / inspiration / enthusiasm / anger). In this workshop we will learn how to make love connecting with each of these energy centers but there will be no explicit sexuality.
  • What does it mean to live my sexuality from each of my chakras? There will be a theoretical part sustained by a practice activating with music and physical exercises the energy of the four elements in us and sharing through dance and a final circle, as we feel in each of them, where our connection and our blockages are, letting us see.
  • We will learn the importance of connecting with all our energy sources, the variety of expressions that this energy brings to our sexual practices and how to fully integrate and live your sexuality, loving and enjoying yourself as you are.

Ritual of devotion and initiation to tantric massage

  • The purpose of this workshop is to learn to look and be seen, touch and be touched to be, from heart to heart, from God to God . We are accustomed to looking at our body and the bodies of others through fixed images cultivated throughout our lives with which we find ourselves imprisoned when experiencing something new, something more enriching, something more divine.
  • Through a ritual of devotion to the body of the other we allow ourselves to expand our vision and sensitivity and finally connect with our essence and that of the other honoring their divinity. The workshop ends with an initiation to tantric massage: We touch and touch others in a hurry, trying to give ourselves and give pleasure quickly and in a structured way without listening to the real need of the present moment.
  • What would happen if we put aside all we have learned giving and receiving and open ourselves to the magic of a journey into the unknown? What would it be like to touch and be touched by the hands of God?
  • With this ritual we experience the magic of touch without intention opening us not only to pleasure but to the mystery of giving and receiving a much larger gift.

Kamasutra massage for single and partnerships

  • Body perception, active and quiet meditations help to let go of everyday life, and joining with oneself and one partner in the group of like-minded men.
  • Sequences of touch and massage brings you in contact and build up an intimate gathering. The whole body will be touched: chest, abdomen, legs, head, hands and feet, including genitals, anus and testicles.
  • Section by section various love positions flow into the massage, to which the Kamasutra – Kama the love and Sutra the teaching – instructs and inspires.
  • Exercises and movement sequences from yoga increase the mobility, flexibility and the ability to love of your body. Silence, meditation, conversations and sharing round off the workshop and provide ideas how the experiences can be cultivated and intensified in the daily routine and allow what is happening to us in the present moment and to express it, to let go of our fears, limiting beliefs and finally to access the truth of our essence
Unlock a new level of pleasure with a gay tantric workshop (image supplied)

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Guapo Finca

  • 1:00pm Mediterranean cuisine welcome lunch
  • 5:00pm Tantra workshop 1
  • 8:00pm Welcome Dinner

Day 2

  • 7:45am Morning meditation and sun salutation yoga in front of the beach
  • 8:30am Delightful and healthy organic breakfast
  • 11:00am Fitness session 1
  • 5:00pm Tantra workshop 2

Day 3

  • 7:45am Morning meditation and sun salutation yoga in front of the beach
  • 8:30am Delightful and healthy organic breakfast
  • 11:00am Fitness session 2
  • 5:00pm Tantra workshop 3

Day 4

  • 7:45am Morning meditation and sun salutation yoga in front of the beach
  • 8:30am Delightful and healthy organic breakfast
  • 11:00am Fitness session 3
  • 12:00 pm / 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm / 3:00pm Massage
  • 5:00pm Tantra workshop 4
  • 8:00pm Farewell Dinner

Day 5: Return

  • 7:45am Morning meditation and sun salutation yoga in front of the beach
  • 8:30am Delightful and healthy organic breakfast
  • Private transfer to the airport
Unlock a new level of pleasure with a gay tantric workshop (image supplied)

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