Articles in the national press
have drawn attention to the growing imbalance of the sexes in countries
such as China and India.There are now millions more males than females
and the situation is growing. The authorities are worried that millions
of males unable to find female partners will cause trouble as their sexual
frustrations give way to violence.
One suggestion is to stick them in the
army, then have a big war with Taiwan, for example, which will kill off
huge numbers of them.
The problem with this is that modern wars
tend to kill more civilians than soldiers.
In some rural parts of India, brothers
are it seems sharing one woman but paternity of children is an issue and
sexually jealousy rears it's ugly head.
As I see it, the answer is to legalise
homosexuality where it is currently illegal and encourage same sex partnerships.
Most men are to some degree bi-sexual, if the number of married men I have
knowN is anything to go by, and as long as they found an outlet for their
sexual needs and 'bonding' needs, a new kind of society would arise. It
would also help to control the population growth.
In the meantime certain countries seem
doomed to have huge numbers of sexually frustrated young men looking for
relief. Perhaps some could be shipped over here. I am sure their needs
could be met by many of the growing numbers of older gay men newly
aroused by the viagra revolution.
PLACE FOR US
I think it is great that elderly members of ethic minorities are
being catered for in the provision of old peoples homes. I'm sure they
enjoy swapping memories with people who share their background, enjoying
a diet they are used to and being cared for by staff aware of their needs.
It would be nice to think that the same applied to elderly gay men
(and our Lesbian friends, of course)
Some years ago Age Concern held a conference about the needs of older
gay people including housing. The rather strange minister Barbara
Roche came in and gave a cheery speech about how concerned the government
were. ( She soon stopped smiling when asked difficult questions by the
audience but then that's politicians for you !)
Across the pond there are some stirrings but here private enterprise
does not seem to have realised that a home for elderly gay men might be
more profitable than running a gay bar.
I hope I won't need such a place, we all do, but it isn't possible
to predict our future needs and it would be reassuring to know that such
places might exist.
One fairly regular news item in the national and local press is a report
of an older man being murdered in his flat. Usually the report mentions
that the victim lived alone but rarely mentions any possible motive.
Why are we still victims ?
Every time I see such a report, I always thing "this man was probably
Most of the time, if any follow up is printed, this more often than
not proves to be the case.
Only this week, a 60 year old school teacher was murdered in Pakistan.
Now it is suggested that he may have had sexual contact with some of his
A man is murdered in the East End. A respectable man, literary agent
for many well known writers. Without stating his sexuality, one report
refers to his long standing male partner. Now a young man is arrested in
connection with the murder.
It goes on, a steady stream of older gay men murdered because of
Is it because we become desperate and careless with the partners
we pick up, less choosy, less street wise ? Perhaps we are targeted as
suitable victims, if not for murder, perhaps for robbery, perhaps with
violence. Perhaps the violence goes wrong.
It would be interesting to have some statistics for the number of
older gay men murdered each year and which way the trend is going. is it
increasing, decreasing or pretty stable.
The decrimilisation of gay sexual acts should have led to less fear
of blackmail, less fear all round, but perhaps as a generation bought up
when fear of discovery was real, we still seek our partners in a covert
manner, prepared to run risks rather than be open in our search.
But even if we are careful when we meet someone new, can we ever
be sure they mean us no harm ? I know that if I have even a slight doubt
about a new contact, I just walk away. I'm sure I miss out one some great
sex but better safe than sorry.
But perhaps some of us are lacking a sense of possible problems.
Some years ago, an acquaintance in his late 50's was constantly having
problems with the guys he met including having both knives and guns drawn
on him, but he never seemed to learn. he even visited some of his would
be attackers in prison. He was murdered eventually.
Another friend loved the danger of rough trade and died at the end
of a knife attack by a young drug addict he had picked up outside a straight
None of us deserves such a fate, but It's something we should all
visited the Coleherne pub for the first time in many months. It was a Sunday
afternoon, a time when twenty years ago it would have been heaving with
leather clad flower arrangers all looking for a suitable guest to invite
back to their bed sit for cucumber sandwiches.
The first impression I had, apart from the fact that it was almost
devoid of customers, was the blandness of the decor.
It looked a little like the lounge area of a chain hotel. Even the
pictures on the wall appeared to have come from the wholesalers who supply
Holiday Inns and Travel Inns.
It was very clean, very neat, well lit and totally without any character.
I thought about this while toying with my Stella in it's designer
glass. It's happening everywhere, I thought. Blandness is taking over.
Building societies look like coffee shops. Coffee shops look like doctors
surgery waiting rooms. Hotel rooms look like....well other hotel rooms.
One of my favourite pubs in Amsterdam used to be the Monopole. Located
alongside a canal, it was tatty I will admit. Over twenty years I knew
it it never changed. there were an odd assortment of bric a brac hanging
from the ceiling, a mix of unrelated posters and pictures stuck on the
wall, a worn look about the whole place. Around nine in the evening
they served small snacks on a large plate which the barman handed around.
It had atmosphere.
And yes it was always busy with customers spilling out onto the road
outside. Not only was it busy it was friendly.
The last time I visited Amsterdam, it had gone. In it's place was
a rather twee little bar, very thoughtfully decorated by some queen on
drugs. All the clutter had gone, everything was very tasteful. There were
no customers and I quickly finished my beer and left, a bit like the old
time investigative reporters exploring brothels.
Now I'm not against swish, modern, soulless places. They have a place
in the world but it really would be nice to have some individuality in
the places where we socialize. I fear that things will get worse as everything
we eat, drink, buy, watch comes from a large multinational company without
a spark of tolerance for any deviation from a centrally issued manual.
The downfall of M & S and Sainsburys owe much to their blandness while
Tesco has always managed to retain a colourful buzz despite being a huge
These companies have made visiting a cinema a joyless experience
with no pre show atmosphere creating music or lighting, no curtains across
the screen, endless trailers and adverts, a small of popcorn wafting through
the whole complex, and all but the US made block busters kept out. The
few independent cinemas which do survive slowly disappear one by one or
are swallowed up by the large chains.
There is one cinema in London I go to whenever I can because it never
shows adverts or trailers, it's straight into the feature film. I can't
name it as it might attract the attention of the movie police as I'm sure
they must be breaking some kind of contract.
Having said that the presentation in the modern, bland cinema is
technically good and screen visibility excellent. But let's have a bit
of a 'show' as well.
So back to the Coleherne. Times have changed, we all know that. The
customers of twenty years ago lived in a different environment. Gay pubs
were scarce and choice limited. Punters had to put up with breweries spending
no money while raking in the cash. Now though, they probably spend
too much. the target for every pub is the 20 year old and he is fussy about
where he puts his designer trousers.
There are places which get it right. The Birdcage in Chiswick is
clean and well kept but cleverly designed to feel intimate and cosy. Perhaps
one day the owners of the Coleherne will have the courage to reinvent,
a pub bringing back a sexy, exciting atmosphere. Somehow I doubt
it. More likely an era will end as it did with Banana Max, another Earl's
Court venue which went from one of the most popular bars in London to one
of the worst, and the straight crowd will take over and it will become
a bland gastro pub or some other horror.
We shall see
many perverts around !!
It seems to me that the word pervert is one of the most misused in
the English language. It is hurled as a term of abuse at gay men especially
by the bible thumpers, right wing verging on lunatic, politicians and fundamentalist
clerics still living in the middle ages.
But surely the real perverts are those who take the teachings of
so called prophets and twist them around to become messages of hate, death
and destruction. Jesus, if he every existed, would today be a member of
some kind of socialist party preaching against the excesses of the rich
and supporting the rights of minorities. He would be a kind of Robin Hood,
taking from the rich to give to the poor.
In Sunday school which I was forced to attend as a child, I was taught
a lot about love and the stories from the bible were all about helping
others and being kind to people. Strange how when you grow up you find
that a different kind of religion takes centre stage.
First there are the catholics with their inquisition and don't do
as I do, do as I say philosophy. Stories of paedophile priests, sadistic
nuns, mass murder of innocent people through bombings and a pope who condemns
millions to die of aids by refusing to advise the use of a simple rubber
sheath. Oh yes and preaching that all gay men will burn in Hell. Not a
suprise then that the Catholic church faces shrinking congregations in
this country and world-wide great difficulties in recruiting new priests.
The Protestants for the most part have a softer side in the Church
of England but the extreme edges get pretty nasty. They turn up, especially
in the USA, at the funerals of murdered gay men with banners rejoicing
in the death of a pervert and confident also that the poor victim will
burn in hell. Christian charity ? Forget it. Fortunately in the UK, church
attendance is at an all time low with the average congregation being about
The other people of the book, the Jews don't say a lot except to
condemn gay men as perverts who will....well by now you get the picture.
They of course solicit great sympathy, and quite rightly too, for what
Hitler and his thugs did to them but forget they were not alone in suffering.
Gay men were there too in the camps, killed simply because of their sexuality.
The violence in Israel also shows that Jews too are capable of great inhumanity
towards their fellow men.
Islam at it's extreme edges would of course crush us under large
stones, throw us off cliffs or stone us to death. A merciful god ?, I think
not ! I leave you to judge who is practising perversion. Strange
too that in my life I have met so many of this faith who are gay and don't
see a conflict with their religion.
I define perverts as those who take a creed, a political idea or
a religious book and distort it's content to reflect their own fears, hatreds
and uncertainties. They pervert the message and in doing so destroy the
whole message and any good it may contain.
There is a quote from Blaise Pascal 'Men never do evil so completely
and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction' As gay men
we can never ignore this. If there is a god, we are his creation too. The
perverts should remember this and reflect on their motives for their perversion.
A CROWD BUT THREE CAN BE FUN !
I have to admit, as a young man threesomes did not figure much in my
life. Nor did sex as it happens. What I understood about sex boiled down
to the fact that there was respectable sex, the sort which happens in a
marriage sanctified in church and therefore somehow holy and spiritual
and the other sort, nasty, dirty and perhaps even dangerous or disgusting.
The 'Screws of the World' (News of the World newspaper for our overseas
readers !) loved the second kind of course and published pages of shocking
details every Sunday featuring scoutmasters, vicars, titled ladies and
gentlemen, politicians, judges and even bank managers. When I say details,
of course, I don't mean details, these you had to use your own imagination
to fill in from the clues given by the paper. This probably turned fairly
mundaine if a little out of the ordinary sexual activity into something
wild and perhaps even a little exciting.
Threesomes are much like that. If two can enjoy sex together, why
not three. Of course three people having sex together can be dull and boring,
just as sex with two people can be. But it does extend the possibilities
of enjoyment, it has too, there are three brains at work and three imaginations.
If two heads are better than one, three must be even better.
Strangely even in the so called 'gayworld' there is some reluctance
to accept threesome. Guys who will have sex with a total stranger in the
toilet of the 6.30 from Euston to Birmingham come over all virtuous with
a 'I don't do threesomes' when the subject is raised. Why is this I wonder.
perhaps they are afraid of coming off third best in a situation they see
as competitive. Maybe it's a size thing. being smaller than one guy is
OK but smaller than two guys, well it's not on is it ?
I have to say some of my best sexual experiences have been with two
other guys. I've never really found one guy getting ignored or left out
but perhaps I've been lucky with my partners. I still have some wonderful
pictures in my brain I can bring out on a cold winter night if I'm sleeping
alone. Strangely, I've also found that threesomes tend to be repeated,
some over many years whereas one to one casual encounters more often than
not tend to be just that, one offs.
Perhaps the fact that they are just about sex means repeating the
experience doesn't carry the danger of getting involved emotionally whereas
one to ones could be dangerous if they happen too often with the same person.
ALL MY WORLDLY GOODS
With all my worldly goods I thee endow. Quaint old words from a quaint
old ceremony. Just at a time when more and more straight people are rejecting
the idea of marriage as a prerequisite for living together, gays and lesbians
seem to be jumping onto the abandoned bandwagon.
For heaven's sake why ?
Having friends and perhaps a wider society recognising that you are
a couple, I can understand. This seems to happen at present without the
red tape or pink ribbons of marriage. There are, to be sure, a few corners
where difficulties can arise. Often quoted are problems over access to
information in hospitals if one partner is ill. In practice, of course,
while this may happen and does indeed sometimes happen, common sense usually
A simple change in the law where the person in hospital gives permission
to divulge information to a named person could get rid of the problem overnight.
Politicians, or rather their Civil Service masters are not, however,
into simplicity. Complexity creates jobs for the boys.
Tenancies in common sort out potential home ownership disputes and
even 25 years ago my partner and I had no problem getting a joint mortgage
despite being a pair of unmarried poofs. Clearly drawn wills also avoid
Inheritance, tenancy and pension rights are perhaps areas where there
could be benefits but partnership registration seems a perfectly good way
to approach these legalistic concerns. And yes the sex of the two partners
should be irrelevant, why special rules for gays and lesbians and only
the option of a full marriage for our straight friend ? Some of our continental
neighbours seem to have worked out pretty good systems.
As someone who has been on both sides of the fence so to speak in
more ways than one, I've experienced marriage and non marriage as it were.
Undoing a marriage was a pretty horrendous experience and only seemed to
benefit the lawyers, making enemies of two people who left to theirselves
could have parted and stayed friends. It messed up contact with the children
involved, upset families and is not an experience I would want to repeat.
So there you are, put me down as against gay marriage but quite happy
with either a simple registration of partnership for everyone who wants
it or a do it yourself living together arrangement. Not that it will happen,
the politicians are sure to find an answer which gives everyone the worst
of all worlds, they always do.