The Giving and Receiving of Pleasure and the Development of Intimacy






Having homosex is primarily a pleasurable experience and is mediated by histories and contexts, informed by previous experiences both individually and collectively (porn videos, safe sex ads, group orgies and threesomes, dark rooms, saunas and beats for example), although I do not believe that gay men think of these influences consciously when they are having sex with another man. Gay men desire intimacy and connection with another man through pleasurable touching and the interaction of body surfaces; this stimulates different libidinal zones arousing passion. The boundaries of one's Self are challenged in the throws of sexual ecstasy & this makes gay men feel 'alive' and responsive to their partner, giving pleasure to both of them.

But great sexual chemistry between partners is of a different order, is a different form of intimacy, a different form of social communication than that found in longer term relationships and a lot of young men get confused recognising the difference between intimacies in sex and intimacy/love.
I suggest that developing intimacy/love can emerge out of the first type of intimacy (desire/lust), but it first requires an understanding of your Self, not in an ego way (hey look at me I'm great!) but in a loving way. Developing intimacy/love with another man may not be the transference of your desires/lust onto the body & being of your partner seeking completion of yourself in him - the phrase
'my other half' comes to mind - because you are a complete person already.

In a contemporary society where pleasures and passions are linked to the approval of others, I believe that finding completion of yourself in the desire/lust for an-other may not be an understanding and/or acceptance of the Self within, but the transference of hopes and fears onto the body of an-other.
Yes, gay identity is forged by sexual encounters with other men. It is through these intimate encounters that gay men may reveal themselves immediately to their partner (for example, through the decision to have unsafe sex directly upon meeting a body image 'ideal'); or perhaps a different kind of intimacy may develop over a period of time, one that balances desire/lust with deeper emotions. In this balancing a
'limerence' or 'passionate love' may emerge.

For some people passionate love is pleasurable, for others it can cause pain reinforced by jealousy, anxiety, grief and loneliness (over fear of 'loss of possession' of the object of desire). Revealing your inner Self, your deepest fears and beliefs, to others, can be a frightening and dangerous experience but is not without its rewards - the development of trust is an important factor along with the ability to feel emotions intensely and passionately; personal growth and caring for Self and another human being are other positive aspects of limerence.