4 min

Scared of not measuring up

What you're about to see might not be as hot as you'd hoped

Gay sex was always a  mind-fuck for me.

In a heterosexual pairing, everyone’s a winner. As long as you show up with the opposite equipment you can be confident that you are right for the job and that you belong. Gay sex, however, presents the embarrassing possibility of comparisons, with the inevitable distinctions of winner and loser.

Through my first nerve-racking sexual escapades, I’d desperately maneuver myself under the covers to satisfy my lovers while keeping their hands and eyes away from my unsavoury nakedness.

As I’d gaze across at the angelic perfection before me, I couldn’t help but be bitterly upset that I didn’t measure up.

After observing all the dish that flew amongst Vancouver’s cliquey queers, I worried that word of my sexual inadequacies would spread through some underground network of tricks, thus ruining future prospects of romance and sex.

Then I met Nia (not his real name). Beyond being a gorgeous blonde, Nia was also intelligent and wonderfully engaging. I’d chat him up and buy him drinks but always considered him to be way out of my league.

I was quite shocked by our first kiss, which he followed up with an invitation to come over to watch his favourite movie.

As we watched Office Space in his bed, Nia would elbow me sharply in the side of the arm to get me to pay attention, all the while rubbing his leg up against mine. This quickly evolved into making out.

But as soon as his hands went underneath my shirt, my whole body stiffened.

I pulled his hands away and warned him that what he was about to see might not be as hot as what he had observed through my polyester club shirt.

Nia looked me in the eye, smiled with those gorgeous lips of his and said, “I think you’re hot. There’s some things you don’t like about your body just like there are things I don’t like about mine. That doesn’t matter right now.”

Those words snapped me out of my head and into the present. His reassurance made the truth of the moment undeniable and undeniably hot.

Unfortunately, not all of my lovers have been so open and articulate. Such was the case with Adam (also not his real name).

One night after getting ejected from our third bar stop, I walked Adam back to a friend’s place to pass out. As he curled up on the couch, I started to help him out of his tightly tied designer boots.

With a sudden burst of energy he arose, swept me up and pushed me onto my friend’s bed. Our clothes were scattered about the dark room, the only light coming through the door from a faraway lamp. I’d waited for this moment through several weeks of flirting but my fantasy quickly unravelled.

As our lips and tongues massaged each other, he suddenly lunged forward and bit down hard on my upper lip.

The shock of pain sent red flashes to my eyes and shrank away all the pleasure of the moment. I let out an anguished sound and our lips parted.

As I gazed into the hot boy-shaped silhouette before me all I could focus on were his gleaming white teeth.

After several attempts to place my lips in safer, sexier parts of his body, it was clear he wanted something else.

Out of nowhere a Ziploc bag of condoms and lube hit me in the face. In my drunken, raw-lipped panic I knew I was nowhere close to being able to perform.

“Hey listen,” I said, “we’ve been drinking and I just think, maybe, I could use a bit of encouragement.”

As soon as I finished that sentence, he was out the door.

Alone and naked, I was left to consider his parting words, “Too bad. You had your chance, you blew it.”

I felt so small. I felt like such a failure as a gay man.

I couldn’t get out of my head and it turned my one chance with this dream boy into a nightmare.

Looking back, I can see that no one was to blame. It was simply bad sexual chemistry in that each person wanted something different. Sometimes experiments create fireworks and sometimes they make stink bombs.

I’m reminded of what Simon, my boyfriend of three years, said the first night we had sex.  After a month of dating and an evening of sipping wine watching a foreign film, it was clear the moment had arrived. Before we moved things to the bedroom, however, I gave Simon some speech about how I was scared to disappoint him.

I didn’t have the guts to use the word “sex” and was so wound up that Simon misread my panic and thought I was breaking up with him.

“No!  I’m just nervous and I don’t want to disappoint you… sexually.”

And then Simon said the words that still resound with me today: “Look, sometimes sex is good and sometimes it’s not so good. It’s not the most important thing.”

We ended up having an amazing night and a good three years together too.

I’ve learned that my original idea of winners and losers only applies when you are the only judge.

No matter how hot your lover is, they still yearn for more than what they see everyday in the mirror. Seen this way, with a lover, you are both the winner and the prize.

Is there a network that discusses your flaws? Yes, you’re reading proof of it right now.  Can this ruin your sex life? No.

It’s been my experience that regardless of stories and gossip, those who are attracted to you need to find out things for themselves.

They are inspired by the accurate belief that the individual experience is varied and that sex can offer the promise of fun, acceptance and any number of pleasant surprises. Or not.