Coming back to life

[TMI Warning: The following posting contains information, opinion, or reflection that some readers might find uncomfortably or unwelcomely personal, private, or intimate in topic or content: too much information, as the saying goes. As a general observation, I’m willing to go almost anywhere in my postings, including some places that some readers don’t want to go.]

A series of postings on coping with medical conditions and the treatments for them: (1) on the disruptions they cause in the usual patterns of life; (2) on the side consequences of the condition and the treatments; and (3) on existing conditions that continue to need attention while you cope with the very pressing one. Plus a more specific piece of (1), on sex and disability. Several of these postings will talk about sex in plain terms, with personal details, so if that bothers you, tread carefully in what you choose to read.

For me right now, the pressing condition is crippling osteoarthritis, the treatment is complete replacement of my right hip. Yesterday it was three weeks since I came home from the hospital, and things have been moving very smoothly since then. I’m walking at least 6 blocks a day, doing assorted exercises (and a lot of housework), and generally feeling great. Yesterday I picked up a four-legged cane, or quad cane as the things seem to be called in the assistive literature, so I now lope around indoors with my interrogative friend:

On the intimate front, however, the big news is that my dick is back to life (meaning, really, that my mind is back in its familiar groove of affording me a satisfying sex life, from keen desire on to happy endings). It was like a switch flipped four days ago and we went back to business at the old location, after months of hiatus (serious crippling pain is tremendously anerotic).

(Since this is WordPress, there will be a lot of telling but no showing. Eventually, however, I’ll get to use material that I’ve been stashing on my X Blog to illustrate all sorts of relevant hot-hot man-man sex.)

In my experience, medical people helping you through rough times ask about a lot of disruptions in the practices and rhythms of daily life — how’s your appetite? can you manage toileting yourself (as they say in their fastidious verbing way)? can you sleep in a new and unfamiliar set of circumstances (sitting up in an armchair in my living room, in my case)? and so on. But in my experience they never ask about sex; you’re pretty much on your own.

And my sex life hasn’t been vanilla for a very very long time (truth be told, since childhood), so knowing that I’m gay and have been living alone for around 15 years, they’re probably reluctant to explore what is for them largely unknown territory. In any case, they probably have very little sense of just how central jacking off is for gay men. (Listen to Pansy Division rolling through Prince’s “Jac U Off!”) (On my part, it took me a great many years to realize just how profoundly little I knew about the sex lives of straight guys, beyond the most superficial understanding.)

Jacking off — slow, fast, furtively quiet, noisily dirty-talking to myself, dry or lubed, using just the resources of my richly dirty mind, getting the spur of all kinds of gay porn — is everyday sex for me, and it’s wonderfully satisfying. A decade or so ago, I made it my New Year’s resolution for several years in a row to masturbate more.

Meanwhile, in the larger sexual world of gay men, jacking off plays a whole series of roles. In cruising for casual sex, jacking off (slowly and intently) works as an offer of  your dick to other men, a lure for everything else that mght come. In intimate relationships, jacking off is at the least a companionable connection with another man, sometimes the main sexual event on its own. Guys jack off together, face to face (giving a tinge of male competitiveness and challenge) or, an old favorite of mine, side by side, with plenty of kissing and stroking and verbal appreciation. (Jacques and I used to do that fairly often, when we had the luxury of being sexually available to each other most of the day and night, so we were under no particular pressure to make every connection a world-class suck or fuck.)

And of course gay guys jack each other off, simultaneously or (as many guys prefer) taking turns, so that their attention is undivided at each point. That’s an especially intimate act, since each man has his own jack-off style, developed and practiced from childhood; satisfying another man deeply means you need to get into these preferences and techniques. (Jacques had my number perfectly — have I mentioned how much I miss Jacques? — and I was pretty good for him, though I had to take special care not to chafe his uncut cock. His was the first uncut cock I was close to on a daily basis.)

And lots of guys finish off other kinds of sex by jacking off (themselves or their partner) — either for the sake of supersafe sex (no coming in your man’s mouth, or in a condom in his ass, since condoms do break) or, more often, just for the theatrical show of shooting your load for your man.

So jacking off is everyday sex in my world and central to it. So you can see how fantastic it is to have Happy Dick back in business at the old stand. A big part of coming to feel that I’m being made whole again.

And jacking off, sitting in my bed/chair or wherever, doesn’t challenge any of my physical limitations; I eventually just asked, straight out, for reassurance on that point. (I didn’t ask about sucking cock, since I don’t have a buddy’s cock available for the purpose or a buddy available for sucking my cock, and haven’t had for years, but most positions for sucking and being sucked look unproblematic for my hip. I’ll get to that topic in another posting, also to the much more vexed question of fucking, which is what straight people think of, exclusively, under the heading of (sexual) relations). In any case, jacking off feels great, and when I come I get a big bath of hormones coursing through my body, so that my hip and knee actually feel better — tuned up, you might say. How could you feel bad about that?

(I’ve posted on other occasions on the bad press that masturbation gets, including how the vocabulary of masturbation gets put to disparaging metaphorical uses — but what what you’re going to hear from me personally is hymns of praise. And of course I reject the idea that all of this is unseemly activity for a 72-year-old.)

Next up: some side consequences of the osteoarthritis and its treatment. Stay tuned especially for discussion of the puzzling notion of referred pain.

4 Responses to “Coming back to life”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    In my rush to finish this posting (while repairs were being performed on my Mac), I left out one other important function of jacking off for gay men: as an accompaniment to taking cock, in your mouth or up your ass.

    In your mouth: I’ve written about the Cocksucker’s Hard-On in other postings; it’s incredibly common, though not universal. Several possible functions: showing how turned on you are by your man’s cock in your mouth; helping you get past any awkwardness you might have in sucking this particular cock; showing that you, too, want your cock attended to, maybe are looking forward to reciprocation. Stroking your cock refreshes these messages. Or, if you arrange your body-parts appropriately, your partner can stroke you up himself.

    In your ass: similarly, the Fuckhole’s Hard-On can serve as evidence of the pleasurable excitement your man is inducing in you, or as an indication of your interest in getting off yourself, and it can help you over any discomfort you might be having in being fucked. Again, stroking your cock keeps these messages fresh. And in this case, it’s usually easy for your partner to jack you off himself (as in the well-known Reach-Around in rear-entry fucking).

    Keeping a hard cock while you’re taking cock does mean dividing your attention somewhat; the two pleasures compete with one another. Not so pressing a problem when you’re sucking cock, since the loci of the pleasures are so clearly separated, but when you’re being fucked, the two pleasures call on overlapping neurological resources, and often the fuckhole role hogs those resources; not a few men stay happily soft while being fucked, and need (or want) no attention to their own cocks during the event.

  2. bratschegirl Says:

    It makes sense to me that Western medicine would describe every intervention as a verb with an object, since for the most part it sees treatment as something done by the practitioner to the patient and/or to the condition (although I don’t actually know whether this holds true in languages other than English). I wonder whether one encounters less verbing in the language of, for example, acupuncture?

  3. Will Says:

    A colleague of mine’s research focus (in occupational therapy) is geriatric sexuality. Mostly it’s about coping with general ageing issues rather than recovery, but there is research out there. I also recently examined a senior thesis on masculinity in older (straight) men following prostate cancer treatment. I was tempted to ask about homosexuality, but as a small study, it wasn’t appropriate, and I know that the population of actively gay post-prostate cancer treatment men in the area is probably not significant (if it exists at all). It was an interesting thesis to read and consider, even if it was a long way out of my area (as a mostly quantitative linguist teaching in speech therapy examining qualitative occupational therapy research).

    As for staying hard while taking cock, I’m pretty fine with that, though when it doesn’t stay hard, it can occasionally take some convincing that I’m still having a lot of fun. I can imagine that it’s a big relief for you to be able to think and do such things again.

  4. Stehpinkeln « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] the commode around with me. But now I get around inside the house with my interrogative friend, the quad cane, and I can lift the commode off the toilet and stash it to one side — and get back to peeing […]

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