Life’s most appropriate questions always come up at life’s most inappropriate times. So it is that I, about to put on a condom and fuck the most gorgeous guy at this bear orgy—he’s thick with muscle and fat, with a soft, cuddly belly framed by broad, powerful shoulders and the cutest face, open and friendly with his babyfaced cheeks and wide, eager smile made manly by his thick ginger beard; oh, and his eyes, attentive and intelligent, quickly taking in my body, then meeting my eyes for a moment of mutual appreciation—think of the Catholic saint and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas. Now, I assure you that I am not yet senile, my brain firing through long-forgotten connections between Aquinas and bear-baiting from my university days. And, no, I did not think about Aquinas because he’s the saint known for his pillowy corpulence—don’t be crude. No, no, I thought of Aquinas because Aquinas was a pervert. He thought a lot about sex, talked a lot about sex, and formed the Catholic Church’s position on sex.
But this is really not the time to think of St. Tom. Here is this sexy, beefy bear, his legs rising into the air, his eyes looking into mine through his eyebrows, coyly begging for me. Would I ever get a chance with him again? Probably not in a situation like this, surrounded by bears watching me as they enjoy themselves—a major turn-on for an exhibitionist like me. And, before we started making out, when we sat naked on the couch, my hand stroking his round, yielding-yet-firm belly as we discussed politics and art and video games, he mentioned he was just visiting from Vancouver; he could even be going back tomorrow. But, what is even more important, it would be unconscionably rude of me to step away and stop now, and I am nothing if not polite. There is simply no socially-acceptable recourse in a situation like this. I couldn’t just mention Aquinas and say that I needed to think; it sounds hollow, as if I was so turned off that I couldn’t even bother coming up with a good excuse. It could hurt him terribly, make him wonder what he had done to scare me off. I could, of course, think of St. Tom enough that I go soft and then plead erectile dysfunction. Yes, then he would properly blame me for the failure, and, since he is from out of town, my reputation here would be mostly intact. But who else would he go with? All of the other bears have already paired (or triaded, or quarteted) up. He would be left alone in the middle of an orgy, feeling the self-loathing of ostracization. Now, of course, if I saw him eyeing another pair who were also appreciative of him, I could set them up in a threesome, fulfilling my duty to him, but unfortunately, he seems intent on me, and, if you’ll allow me a moment of vanity, I do believe I am one of the better-looking bears here, so anything else might be a letdown to him. Alas, there is no alternative: I must fuck him.
And so, after putting on the condom, placing his legs on my shoulders and then leaning in to lock my lips on his as I grab his wrists and pin them above his head, and push thoughts of St. Tom to the back of my head, I enter him.
He gives out the sweetest sound a man can: the slight hiss from the tinge of pain as he takes me that turns into an unconscious husky breath from the release of anticipation, and then opens into a broad moan of pleasure as his head and eyes roll back and his hips arch up, willing me deeper inside him, but I can’t stop thinking about that damned saint Thomas Aquinas! He is there, watching it all, talking through it all, condemning every moan and every thrust as though he gets off on condemning gay sex as much as I do on gay sex itself.
But don’t you believe I am thinking of Aquinas as part of some latent homophobia from some conservative religious upbringing not yet quashed. No, I have been indulging without guilt for many years, and feel none now. To me, St. Tom’s condemnation is as quaint as the flat Earth preachers are to an astronaut. And yet Tom, for all his silly posturing, for all his conflation of is and ought, had something we do not. And, no, I don’t mean faith; I’m no Matthew Arnold who’s experienced a taste of freedom and recoiled in fear, condemning the world as sterile, vain, and useless instead of recognising that the absence of heaven means that this world is no longer a mere testing-ground for an afterlife, but a beautiful, vibrant, living planet with boundless pleasures and meanings.
No, I am not longing for some ignorant past. But, still, for Saint Thomas Aquinas, sex was something magical, something that brought us closer to the nature of the universe itself. For Aquinas, everything had a purpose, including our genitalia, and, when used according to that purpose, was used morally. Since genitalia is for procreation, moral sex is for procreation, and sex for any other reason is immoral—hence no condoms, and no gay sex.
Of course the very idea is absurd, and remains an embarrassment to the Catholic Church; under Aquinas’s theory, using a golf club to save a person who is about to fall off a cliff would be horribly immoral, as a golf club’s purpose is hitting a ball. How dare you use it to save someone’s life! But there is something about St. Tom’s wacky ideas that just won’t let me focus on this, on my cock deep inside one of the sexiest men ever while surrounded by other gorgeous bears, having my ears filled with the sighs of satisfaction, the slurp of suction, and the slap of skin on skin, and my man’s moans above them all.
But is this it? Is this all? After this, will I simply go home with a fond memory and a phone number, going about my life as if this made no difference to who I am?
I cannot accept that. I cannot accept that a person’s life can be diced up and served in little digestible chunks—each bite a different flavour! It’s like trying to discover the taste of a sandwich by eating a slice of bread, moistening it with your saliva so it doesn’t scratch on the way down, and then, afterwards, eating a teaspoon of margarine, then a leaf of lettuce, then a slice of cheese, then a slice of meat. Disgusting.
Some subconscious part of my brain notices that the lust is starting to go out of his eyes. Fuck, I’ve been too wrapped up in my thoughts to be a good top—I’ve just been mechanically thrusting like some fucking machine—and now I’m letting him down. I try again to find a way to pass him off without hurting his feelings or ruining his evening, but there’s still no way. I have to redeem myself. What did he say before we started? Right, he likes being put in his place by a big strong bear—like me, I flatter myself. I bring his arms together above his head, placing his palms against his elbows so I can pin his arms with one hand while my other hand strokes his body down to his balls, and squeezes, bringing him to the verge of pain, but not over—I squeezed just hard enough for him to know that I could hurt him, if I wanted. That he is under my control.
“That sexy ass of yours is all mine, boy, and you better remember that” I growl, but I forced it. My voice came out too raspy to be anything but an affectation; I sound like one of those pathetic, insecure leather daddys who’s too shy to be a proper top, and so overacts his dominance, as though people wouldn’t notice that someone who only barks orders and growls is overcompensating.
“Oh, yes, Daddy,” He breathes, and that’s a sexy voice, all husky because his vocal chords have relaxed, “Use your son hard!”
He is a kinky one, isn’t he? Mmm, that is the way I like them. I squeeze his balls again, this time a touch harder—just enough to make him gasp and know his place—and then, as I pull my hips back leaving just the tip of my cock in his ass, I spank him hard, my years of rugby and strength training coming in handy as the sound echoes through the room, and I see a few heads turn our way, impressed by the loud smack and that exquisite cry of pleasure and pain, and, yes, of course it is true that pleasure is an important part of life—ascetics trade pleasure for the vices of folly and pride. I’m not one to wear a hair shirt to inoculate myself against the temptations of life: there are enough real evils to practice resisting that I need not invent my own. But it cannot be that this is merely for pleasure, all the clothes, the pleather, the gym memberships, the lube, the condoms, the grunting workouts, the smartphone apps, hours spent going through online profiles for a few minutes fumbling in the half-light. Can it?
I live for those moments when my body, my mind, my essence are all one, there’s the uninterrupted flow from feeling to thought to action. And of course we can’t have it all the time, and even I, pompous pedant that I am, play mindless video games to relax more often than I should. But that pleasure is more akin to masturbation, lying back after a long hard day to reward yourself with an explosion of pleasure, or taking a break to relieve the built-up stress and then go back to work refocussed. No, sex is something I put work into, and as much as the aftermath is relieving, it’s the type of relief I get when I finish a project or a short story: accomplishment.
So I’m still at square one. Sex feels so important, but all I can point to is pleasure. And, no, you monogamous people don’t escape this problem, you who think that sex is so important it needs to be controlled like a weapon: if sex weren’t so important, why would you care who you or your lover fucks, as long as you are willing to die for each other?
Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. What would I miss, if I were to stop having sex, if I devoted all my time instead to my writing and education and political activism? If I sublimated my sexual desire into more tangible goals? Of course, recent politics shows the danger of such an attitude, with the reams of social-conservative politicians who condemn gays as pedophiles, but are then caught touching pubescent dick. But let’s assume that I sublimate my desires successfully. That I could give up fucking such a gorgeous bear and watching his belly swell as his legs squeeze my shoulders, and my God look at his face, his eyes gorging themselves on my big strong body, his gaze interrupted by those spasms of pleasure that crank his neck back and his mouth open and make another spurt of precome soak the soft fur of his belly and I see my hand has unconsciously reached out and rubbed it into that strong, wide torso, and dammit, I’m supposed to be thinking of Aquinas and the meaning of life, not this guy—or, wait, no, didn’t I want to forget about Aquinas until later and enjoy the moment? Or, I… I… Oh, fuck it all!
In a fit of frustration, I grab his left leg and swing it over my head so that, for a moment, he pirouettes on my cock before I pop out, leaving him on all fours with a cry of shock and arousal at my strength. I then seize him by the back of his neck and force him down into the pillows, his head turning at the last second so that his cheek crashes down, and keeping my hand there with enough force that he can’t move, I grab his hip with my other hand and hold his ass in the air. I go to one knee, and say, “Ready for Daddy to really pound that ass, son?” And, dammit, I fucked up again: I tried to fix my previous overacting by being calm and ended up sounding like I was asking for the time, but his sweet moan makes me hope he’s too far gone to notice, and I start fucking him again, this time thrusting harder as my hips and hand work together to slam my cock into that ass.
OK, now where was I again? Oh, right, if I could be successful, what would I lose? I would certainly gain a lot more time and energy to put into my other goals, but I feel that I just wouldn’t be as good, that my judgement would be compromised. But how? My mind would be just as sharp, or even sharper with more time to study and learn. I must consider the possibility that my feelings are misguided, and all this effort really is just for a few moments of hedonistic pleasure; that the only real downside to sublimating sex is the danger of our bottled-up desires exploding out in immoral ways. But why is that such a danger? The rage against gay sex indicates that there’s something else, that these people who want to do and be good get so caught up in something that hurts no one. If the choice to sublimate sexual desires were truly a good and fulfilling one, why would they care? Why were the Victorians, the generation of abnegation, also the generation of oppressors, who lost all compassion for a fallen woman?
I remember when I first started having sex, when I was a shy and awkward teenager, I always bottomed because I foolishly assumed everyone wanted to top simply because I did. I thought the proper, the moral thing to do was to let the other person have the better position—to do otherwise would be selfish. Of course that is all ridiculous, but, logically, isn’t that what morality looks like: making sacrifices for the good of another? But happiness isn’t a zero-sum game; it is a game of matching desire to desire. When logic has control, morality becomes about restraining our desires for our goals or our morals, and our life becomes a battle between our feelings and our reason—and our feelings become a thing of evil. But it is from our feelings that we have passion, joy, and love.
How could logic appreciate this chaotic, unpredictable, crazy world? How can the logical search for perfection and harmony understand that it is only by abandoning the ideal that we have the chance to fulfill ourselves? It is this very chaos that gives us the space to follow our passions and desires and make the world a better place for it. And there is no better place to learn that than here, where the clash of desires means not that I am stymied, not that it is a competition between us for happiness, but that it is our diversity that allows us to all be satisfied. I want to abuse this gorgeous bear, and he wants to be abused. What could be better, more moral than each of us finding a way to get what we want and make the other happier for it?
“Oh, Daddy, I’m going to come!”
He snaps me out of my thoughts and his panting breaths are getting heavier and heavier. Then, with a long, deep, broken moan, he comes, his sphincter gripping my cock in his pleasure and oh my god that feels good and suddenly I’m on the edge, and a few thrusts and a shudder later, I come, my nails digging deep into his hip as my other hand grinds his cheek into the pillows. As the pleasure rolls through my body, my hips keep bucking involuntarily, the feeling of my oversensitive cockhead against his sphincter so intense it’s painful, and interrupts my breathing with sudden hard exhalations. Slowly, I stop, and his hips sink to the floor, bringing me down with him, our bodies pressed tight together. There, we rest.
My cock still in his ass, though shrinking and soon to slip out, I roll us both to the left, spooning him as I rub his belly and feel the thick wetness there from his come. I feel a conceited joy knowing that I made him come from my fucking, and I smile. He cranes his neck back to look at me, and sees my selfish smile. His lip twitches up into a happy smirk, and we kiss.