Darren is 26, of Asian background, and lives in Australia.
I knew around the age of 9 or 10 that boys bodies attracted me more than girls bodies. At 10 I had a neighbour who was as equally inquisitive about boys bodies. We experimented together - sucking, playing with bums, mutual masturbation and all that stuff. I already had a vivid imagination and fantasy about men - their dick size, sucking dicks, beautiful bodies - they had to be broad-chested, broad-shouldered, tall, slim-waisted. I used to swim a lot when young and that's where the fantasy came from - my elder brother was a serious body- builder and had a nice stash of muscle magazines I could sneak a look at. They made me horny.
I started having regular sex with men around the age of 20 and still like a swimmers body more than anything. I came out at 22. Although my 'ideal' hasn't changed I now have more of an appreciation of the individual personality of people - the body image doesn't matter as much - its more of a composite look and feel now. I don't think that body discrepancies matter so much to me now as earlier in my life.
Author: You may like to compare the above statement with what Darren has to say below about picking up boys that fit his body image 'ideal'.
When I came out I felt a bit inadequate, you know, in regards to my body. All the images in gay magazines made me feel imperfect and inadequate. It didn't affect me making friends but I felt self-conscious when I went out so I didn't take my shirt off. But right now I feel very confident with my body image. I think this is due to going to the gym - it gives u an aura of confidence that gay men tend to find attractive. I first started aerobics and weights irregularly, now more regularly than not. I still feel self-conscious of how I look and how I carry myself. My self-esteem has definitely been boosted by the fact that the guys I am sleeping with are a lot cuter than they were before - I'm basically getting the 'ideal' gay body image men I thought I would never get. Even right now I think I am still the hunter, seeking the 'ideal'. Rarely do I bring boys home or go to bed with them if they don't fit my 'ideal'.
Author: Note how important it is to Darren that he picks up the cuter guys for his sense of self-esteem. It makes him feel better about himself. Darren is now more self-reflexive, always checking how he looks and acts; he is fully into the 'look' of the experience.
I've found that the whole thing is now so intricately wound into my psyche that it overlaps into my interactions even with the 'straight' world. I haven't really thought that most people do not have or cannot attain a body like mine - I just hang out with people from the gym, from different gyms and the 'Party Boy' scene. I suppose in some ways I have been isolated from thinking about the impact my body image has on others.
There have been a few times when I have been tempted to fuck without a condom and I have actually done so - this was with guys who had good bodies. Its almost like an impulse that pushes right through you. All the checks that you would normally do don't feature as prominently, as consciously, because of possession through desire. I think the whole thing becomes an act of 'taking in' the person, not of control. I really want this so I am going to take it into me. A sense of enclosure I think.
I remember this boy at a party, he was close to my body image 'ideal', and I allowed him a few strokes of anal sex without a condom because I wanted to feel him inside of me - a taking in, the physicality of his whole body - his look, the energy of the moment, his passion. I didn't loose control of the situation - it felt like it was almost planned that I would do this. I think it was a soul decision and not a cerebral thing. I just felt like risking it because it as worth the risk. Worth feeling that risk. I was feeling really good about my body at the time and the other guy liked my body very much as well. But I suppose that was a justification to myself after the fact. Afterwards my self-esteem dipped badly, and then there was a feeling of guilt and foolishness. It just wasn't my normal self to do this and I knew it and had to find a justification for my actions.
Author: What justifications do we make to ourselves for having anal sex without a condom? Is there such a thing as a subconscious decision to have anal sex without a condom or is it always a conscious decision, no matter what the circumstances or justifications?