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Sex is a smorgasbord

by Race Bannon

A large crowd was in attendance both inside and outside the SF Eagle at the recent 6-year anniversary block party. photo: Rich Stadtmiller
A large crowd was in attendance both inside and outside the SF Eagle at the recent 6-year anniversary block party. photo: Rich Stadtmiller  

I've noticed a creeping trend lately when it comes to how some people present their sexualities, kinky or otherwise. This happens mostly online on cruising sites and apps, but it seems to be happening increasingly during face-to-face engagements I've witnessed.

What I've noticed is how remarkably precise and specific some people have become with their stated sexual identities and options. Not only have sexual positions and power dynamic roles often been demarcated, but the erotic options within those structures are listed with no wiggle room for adventure or exploration.

My ex, Guy Baldwin, had a wonderful metaphor he'd use in his presentations and writings about sexuality, kink sexuality in particular, but it pertains to all of sexuality. I've poached this metaphor many times because it's so good.

Guy would liken sexuality to a smorgasbord. While there may be a seemingly endless variety of foods on the table, few people like them all. Nor should they feel compelled to like them all. We can pick and choose those that we like and leave the others for people with different tastes. The goal is to have an enjoyable meal, not to try everything on the table.

Just as with gastronomic tastes, sexual tastes vary. Some like spaghetti and some like egg rolls. Some like both. No choice is better than another. It's all a matter of personal preference.

Plus, we get to choose different foods each time we walk up to the table. How many of us have eaten the same meal every time? Few of us. We like variety in our food. Most of us like variety in our sexuality too.

Also, people change. Many people's erotic fantasies and activities grow, shift and morph in different directions throughout their life. People might grab and try something new off the erotic smorgasbord table today that they wouldn't have dreamed of considering five or ten years ago.

Rachele Sullivan backstage at the SF Eagle 6-year anniversary block party just before going on stage to receive an Eagle Feather Award for her longstanding work in the leather communities. photo: Rich Stadtmiller  

Yes, some people have incredibly specific and narrow ranges when it comes to their sexuality. They have every right to those choices. My fear though is that with such specificity being more common lately people will come to believe that's how our sexuality should function.

Few things are less interesting than someone presenting their erotic menu in painstaking detail with their favorites essentially circled and underlined, but without them ever once uttering something akin to "What's on your menu and what do you like?" This happens all the damn time. Those people should teach a class titled How to Turn Off a Sexual Partner in 60 Seconds or Less.

While this column caters to the kinkier among us, the problem of rigidity happens a lot in vanilla sex situations too. How often have you read an online hookup profile that lays out the exact and very specific way you're supposed to please them with nary a mention of their openness to pleasing others? I would guess you've seen it often if you peruse those sites and apps at all.

Like what you like. Do what you want to do with your sexual partners. If it's highly specific, fine. It's your sexuality. I just think that most people would end up with better sexual situations by remaining open to exploring things outside of their usual erotic box and especially being more open to focusing on pleasing their partners as much as themselves, even if that means sampling something new that their partner has selected from the erotic smorgasbord.

Two of the many sexy men at the recent SF Eagle 6-year anniversary block party. photo: Rich Stadtmiller  

SF Eagle turns 6, Eagle Plaza is born
On Sunday, April 28, I attended the SF Eagle's Sixth Anniversary Block Party. The event served as a fundraiser for the SF Pride Parade Leather Contingent while celebrating and raising funds for the soon to break ground Eagle Plaza, the world's first city-sanctioned outdoor plaza dedicated to honoring the leather communities.

The block party was extremely well attended with great entertainment, visiting city, state and community dignitaries, and a kickass lineup of renowned DJs providing music.

As part of the festivities, four people were presented with Eagle Feather Award plaques for their long-term dedication to helping the leather communities: Rachele Sullivan, Jason Husted, State Senator Scott Wiener, and Lance Holman.

The Eagle Plaza construction project is expected to break ground shortly with the hopes that it will be completed by Folsom Street Fair in late September 2019.

Congratulations to the SF Eagle on six years of reviving the bar from closure to now clearly again being one of the most important leather community institutions functioning in our city.

The Eagle Plaza is still actively raising funds to complete the final phases of the project which include various types of leather markers, which will differentiate the Plaza from other city public spaces.

People, clubs, organizations and businesses can help fund these markers by becoming an officially recognized donor with various donation levels available from $100 to $10,000 or more. You can adopt a garden, adopt a tree, have your name on an inlaid stud, sponsor the leather pride flag, be an Eagle Plaza VIP or fan club member.

Check out the Eagle Plaza donation levels available by visiting their website and click on Donate.

Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist.

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