The perils of sex (3)

Isyu 2 October 1995

Dahil sa AIDS, peligroso na ngayon ang pakikipagtalik unless you’re protected by an HIV-proof latex condom. Unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse (any position) as well as unprotected oral sex involve kasi the exchange of body fluids between partners, and this is the big NO-NO since it’s a sure-fire way of getting (or passing on) the AIDS virus.

Colors suggests that we re-invent sex instead. “Sex isn’t just one thing. It’s anything you care to try.” Put more candidly, sex isn’t just copulating or fucking, it’s anything that turns you on makes you come.

Colors goes for treating the whole body as a complex field of pleasure zones. “So make a map: lick armpits and abdomens, suck toes and fingertips, nibble your lover’s inner thighs. Create new sensations. Dominate with a tickle. Soothe with a massage.” Tips: bare butts are for biting, ears for exploring.

There’s also “dry fucking”: as long as you’re covered, you can grind against each other all you want. And bareback riding, which can bring a woman to orgasm (the one who plays horse gets a lower-back massage, complete with lubricants). And finally, some eating – start with spaghetti and tomato sauce on the small of the back, then turn over for dessert, that’s scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream on navel and pubis. Happy eating.

Colors, however, completely avoids the M-word (masturbation, what else) even if that’s what dry fucking and bareback riding are all about. In fact, masturbation (or the manipulation of genitalia to achieve orgasm without coitus or intercourse), whether do-it-yourself or with a partner, is as safe as sex gets. With-a-partner is more fun, of course, but Amanda Page is right, you don’t need an-other all the time; sometimes a vibrator or finger or hand will do. And there’s nothing “kinky” or unusual about it. It’s what humans normally resort to, in private, when sexual energies run strong and a partner is unavailable. Nowadays even partners resort to it, in aid of AIDS prevention. Like the AIDS posters suggest, beat it! And be safe.

It was Martin Nievera on M.A.D. who introduced Amanda Page as one of the “kinkiest” ladies in town. As usual, he exaggerates. I don’t think Amanda is kinky at all. I’d say she’s just having a little fun. Alam niyang sex-talk has shock-value, so she’s deliberately playing along with media and getting a lot of mileage out of it.

It’s not only the showbiz press that’s hanging on Amanda’s every word these days, even public affairs professionals are. Like she’s already made it to Dong Puno Live where to Dong’s delight, she talked naughty again: the man she marries has to be better at satisfying her than her own hands. Maldita talaga. Well, at least she’s consistent. I suggest though that she take up (not just self-satisfaction but) AIDS prevention as a cause, too. At best, she’s raising sexual consciousness and could be ushering in a sexual revolution that would arrest the spread of AIDS.

What I’m saying is, it’s all right to talk about sex and AIDS. Given the sexual promiscuity around us, we will soon enough be faced with an AIDS epidemic of deadly proportions unless we talk some more about sex and AIDS. In fact, we should get used to talking about sex and AIDS. If we’re lucky, the discourse might even see us maturing sexually as a people.

By sexual maturity I mean a certain sophistication about sex, such that we are in control of our sexual energies and not the other way around. Like, you don’t have to give in to your libido or libog or panggigigil all the time. It won’t kill you to say no and do nothing or something else, like taking up sports or a cold shower. Besides, deliberate restraint is as good for the soul as occasional sex. Builds character. The kind of character that doesn’t need censorship.

Also, sexual maturity means a certain sophistication about romantic love, which does not always (or immediately) have to lead to sex, especially in this age of AIDS. Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Love means keeping yourself clean and safe for the one you’ll really marry. And usually s/he comes later than sooner. Take it from me, the first ones don’t usually last.

For those of us who were part of the make-love-not-war generation of the ‘60s, it’s like coming full circle, back to the very rules that we had sought to change, back to the same monogamous relationships that we had sought to escape. Ang masakit, it’s not a matter of principle, this homecoming; rather it’s a matter of life and death.