Why does everyone hate sex?

Recently there seems to have been a resurgence of an archaic, Victorian mindset to sex in the western world. I’ve seen multiple articles and twitter rants about how sex – particularly gay sex and fetishes – are disgusting and dangerous, and should be kept hidden and secretive. There has been articles about how fetish events such as Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington DC should be stopped, and that fetish men should be banned from Pride parades because children seeing men in leather and rubber is apparently damaging to them. There is also frequent public lynching on Twitter and in the press because someone does/has done porn or put ‘home movies’ on the internet (I have direct experience of this one), as well as councils waging war on venues with sex licences and so much more. 

An example of the attitudes gay fetish men are faced with even from our own wider community. Full article here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/dcs-degenerate-leather-weekend-annihilates-gay-progress

What I can’t get my head around is why there is this attitude towards anything sexual being dangerous and/or having any baring on the rest of your life. Sex is the one thing all humans have in common no matter where they are from. Practically everyone has had sex, or is the product of sexual intercourse. It is as integral to the human experience as breathing, eating, or sleeping. So why do so many people still look at it as thought its some terrible thing to enjoy it?

Take porn stars and sex workers for example, both should be considered legitimate career paths – porn is one of the biggest industries in the world, and sex work has been around since the dawn of time – yet both are still treated as shameful professions. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen press stories about people who’s porn past has been exposed by the press or twitter trolls, resulting in them losing their jobs and being shamed across the media. And its even more ferocious if they are a teacher, or in some other public facing profession. Why does it matter if someone is a teacher, and also does sex work? What difference does it make? Does it mean they aren’t a kind person? No. Does it mean they are unprofessional? No. Does it put the children in their care at risk? Absolutely not. So why do they still get persecuted in the way they do? 

A classic example of the kind of headline this kind of thing causes. Also, i would never normally promote reading the sun, but the article shows some prime examples of totally unwarranted outrage from parents. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5871291/maths-teacher-porn-star-aaron-cage/

Similar arguments get levelled at men – like myself – that are open about their fetishes. Every single year, people take to social media to decry that fetish men shouldn’t be allowed at Pride parades because of the effect it might have on children watching. Firstly, Pride isn’t for children and families. Pride is for people across the LGBTQI+ spectrum and their allies to celebrate what makes us us, and to protest to be seen and heard for who we are and the contributions we make to society. If you want to come down with your family; incredible, but you are stepping into our space, so be respectful of the different facets of our community and culture, one of which, is the fetish community. The fetish-men were right alongside the trans-women at the Stonewall riots, and it was the gay biker groups that spearheaded a lot of gay pride marches and protests across the USA. Secondly, when a child sees a man in a full rubber suit at a Pride parade, they don’t think its a sexual thing. I have friends that have had incredible experiences at Pride parades and such where a child has been captivated by their rubber or leather – why wouldn’t they be, its soft and shiny – and they almost always ask if they are a superhero. Children don’t have the knowledge to know that it might be sexual, those thoughts are put in their heads by parents that seem intent on sexualising everything rather than just seeing things from an innocent child’s perspective.

Its also interesting to note, that often, people with BDSM fetishes are far more in touch with their sexuality and their sex life, as is often evidenced in studies around sex. People who enjoy BDSM relationships and practises statistically poll higher than those with vanilla sex lives when it comes to sexual satisfaction, understanding of consent and limits, and safety practices in general. Frankly, if I had to entrust my nephew to someone, I would rather choose someone with that has explored their own sexuality and has a grip on it, than someone who has repressed their urges. The people at higher risk of abusing children are those that suppress their sexual desires – hence why it is statistically predominately straight heteronormative living people that are the perpetrators of this kind of abuse to children. 

(Linked to the above, and the false stereotype of gay men being more likely to be abusers has been researched by fellows at the University of California, and makes for an interesting, if slightly upsetting and infuriating read. Check it out here: https://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html)

As gay men we hold a unique place in the LGBTQI+ spectrum for being both the most visible, but also one of the most maligned sexuality groups (I’m not including trans or other gender non-conforming individuals in this, as their issues are centred around gender not sexuality). For example, in the UK, it has never been illegal to be lesbian or bisexual, in fact there has never even been an age on consent set on lesbianism. It has of course been illegal to be gay, and to practise gay sex, and when it eventually was legalised, the age of consent was much higher than for heterosexuals. It also took decades to get marriage equality, and only in the last couple of years have public health bodies and governments finally started to acknowledge the homophobia that lead to the AIDS crisis that robbed us of a generation of gay men, as well as the antiquated rules that still hold to that belief, such as the restrictions around gay men giving blood. 

As a symptom of this unique oppression gay men faced, we had to find covert ways to meet up and be ourselves. This was often at underground bars, bathhouses – and for those with a penchant for leather – motorbiking clubs. These clubs were also often the only places gay men could have sex with each other, owing to the fact many had to lead heterosexual lifestyles to ensure they stayed in the closet. This helped put sex front and centre of gay culture. Over the years gay men had to shed the oppressive heterosexual views of sex, thus leading to a group in society that functioned free of those societal hang ups. You can see that quite clearly in how open relationships and polyamory are much more common in gay relationships, as well as how gay men are far less prudish than our straight counterparts when it comes to talking about sex, and expressing ourselves sexually (hi OnlyFans). 

This, as well as systemic homophobia, has lead to gay men often being called out and harassed when their sex lives and work lives collide. For example, last year a video of me having a wank, that I’d uploaded to the amateur porn sharing site XTube, surfaced on twitter. The video in question was in a nondescript, white toilet cubicle, so I’d stupidly captioned it saying it was ‘at work’ – obviously not saying where I worked (at the time I worked in the head office a children’s charity) – to play into the exhibitionist fantasy – a fantasy by the way, that 39% of people actually do on a regular basis. The abuse on Twitter was astounding. I was called every name under the sun. I was called a danger to children and a pedophile. I was called a narcissistic pervert (which is kind of true), and told that I didn’t deserve to ever work again. People made up narratives that I did it BECAUSE of where I worked, and that that is what made it a turn on. It was sick, and highly upsetting. I had hate sites talking about me, It was in a national paper, and eventually I ended up loosing my job. And since then (this happened last summer) I have struggled to get another job because of it. Now, I’m not an idiot, it was incredibly stupid to caption the video saying it was filmed at work when it wasn’t, and I don’t blame the organisation for dismissing me, but it shouldn’t effect how good I am at my job, what I am like as a person, and any future career prospects. Which bring me round to my initial point. Why do we care about other people’s sex lives so much? As long as someone can do the job, is a decent person, and hasn’t done anything illegal, why do people seem so intent of bringing them down when there is an element of their life that is sexual?

The article The Mirror published after I was dismissed last year. This was the second article they had published about my situation, but they had kept me anonymous previously. This, and hate articles by trolls, are what comes up when you google me now, rather than the good work I’ve done around body positivity, which is really upsetting to me.

When people attack others for their sex lives, they often seem to forget there is a fully rounded person underneath it. That flight attended that got fired for being an escort? He might spend all his free time raising money for HIV charities. That teacher that parents bullied into quitting because he did porn in his 20s? He might have been the teacher to help a suicidal teen keep fighting. And that charity worker that had his sex life exposed on twitter, and then lost his career because he advocated for trans visibility? He wanted to make a better world for all the kids in this country that are victims of abuse and oppression. And I know, because that last one is me. 

One day I’ll publish something in depth about the situation last year, and the severe toll it has taken on my life and my mental health, but I’m not ready just yet. I just felt as though I needed to use it to highlight this question around attitudes to sex because its something that is really important to me. 

I would love to live in a world where everyone is free to explore their sexuality and sexual desires freely and without shame or oppression – legally of course. A world where someone can be an escort and not be maligned by society for it. A world where kids aren’t raised to think sex is some dirty thing, but to be educated to the fact its one of the most natural and beautiful things humans can experience together. I truly believe that if we could get to a place like that, the world would be better for everyone. Sex crimes would reduce significantly, sex workers wouldn’t be getting murdered, people wouldn’t be committing suicide because they can’t handle the sexual feelings inside of them, and everyone would be getting much more sex, and frankly, that can’t be a bad thing can it?

I Am

I am by no means a poet, but I felt inspired to express my thoughts on my body in a new way so I wrote this little poem, backed by a photo of myself showing off all my lumps, bumps, and imperfections.

Even when influencers and activists talk about body positivity, we tend to show the most flattering images and angles, and only really highlight the positive parts of our journeys, so I wanted to show that the perceived negatives can actually be positives.

The response when I posted on instagram was insane. It was shared so many times by lots of influencers and bopo activists, and it means a lot that people see can see their own selves in my content and story.

Lets Gay To Know You

In 2019 the lovely Morgan Defre asked me to take part in his brand new YouTube series called ‘Lets Gay To Know You’. We chatted back and forth chat about my life and experiences, especially around mens body image, and coming out, and of course RuPaul’s Drag Race! It was such a pleasure to take part, and it got me thinking about doing my own YouTube channel! Go and check out my video below, but also check out the rest of them too. Morgan chats with various people in the LGBTQ+ scene such as news anchor India Willoughby and Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes.

Self Love Brings Beauty takeover

Kicking off 2020, I was asked to do a takeover of the Self Love Brings Beauty instagram account. Self Love Brings Beauty was started by curve supermodel Felicity Hayward to promote self worth and acceptance of varying body image standards.

The takeover consisted of answering a few questions around self love, and my own experiences with my body positivity.

“What does self love mean to you?”

To me, self love is allowing myself to be exactly who I am, in an authentic way. Whether that’s embracing my body as it is, exploring and enjoying my sexuality, or playing with fashion to represent who I am on the outside.

“What do you love about yourself?”

When it comes to what I love about myself, I would say I love how I’ve worked so hard on my own perception of body image to get to a place where I can see my body as amazing in it own way. Also I have great tits!

“What practical things help you practise self love?”

I find the best way to help me practise self love, is believing I’m worthy of it. I know that sounds blah, but the power of the mind is surprising, and you’d be amazing what you can achieve just by telling yourself something.

“What do you put in place to safeguard self love?”

I try and safeguard my own self-love, by surrounding myself with positive examples and people I can learn from, whether that’s other plus size people, or people with other lived experiences such as trans/non-binary individuals, or people of colour. There are principles and learnings to be made from everyone, whether they have the same life experiences as you or not.

“How do you get yourself out of a negative head space, and how cope with down days?”

One thing that really bothers me is if I’m having a down day, and I mention it to people, so often they don’t listen, they just throw back the positive messages I’ve said myself. I truly believe that sometimes its healthy to be down on myself and have those non-positive days as it helps me gain perspective. Not one said we have to be 100% in live with ourselves everyday, but if the majority of your days are full of self love, then you’re on the right path.

Men of Manual campaign

Men of Manual was a campaign by mens wellness website Manual.co to highlight mens body image issues and mens mental health. The campaign consisted of 8 men of differing ages, body shapes and races. We all discussed our journey with our bodies, and the stories behind them.

The campaign was a huge success being picked up by multiple worldwide press outlets, as well as being covered on ITV and Channel 5 News, where myself and another were interviewed.

London Queer Fashion Show

In 2019 I took part in the London Queer Fashion Show at the V&A Museum of Childhood. LQFS is an incredible fashion show designed to highlight queer designers, models, and performers. I was paired with ELLI$E, a super artistic, and incredibly talented streetwear designer. LQFS was my first ever runway, and I had a blast.

I first cam across LQFS a few years ago, and fell in love with the concept, but didn’t think it was something i could be a part of. I have always been outwardly a very typical, cig-gender, white gay man. My friendship circles are predominantly made up of guys like me, and I didn’t have much influence of those outside my own experience. After I started on this journey of self discovery, and changed the influences I consumed on social media, I realised that identifying queer doesn’t necessarily have to mean being completely gender non-conforming and sexually ambiguous. The fact that I am a gay men that is deeply involved in the fetish world, is my mark of queerness. Off the back of that, and after booking a few modelling jobs and succumbing to friends convincing me to do it, I applied to model in the 2019 show. I didn’t expect to hear anything back, and didn’t for ages. I’d just decided I would be happy just attending and supporting, when I got an email asking me if I still wanted to take part.

The whole experience was incredible, and opened my eyes to the beauty of the queer world in a way they hadn’t been before. Standing in the hectic backstage area, getting ready and looking around at all the people from every end of every spectrum living their best damn lives was amazing and has definitely had an impact on how I live my life since. On the run up to our turn to walk, the nerves started kicking in, but the incredible group of models I was in kept each other hyped and excited right up to the edge. Those few seconds before walking out were agonising, but as soon as I stepped on the runway and received that cheer from the crowd, I was in it. On watching the video back, my walk was tragic, but the response from the audience was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. The surge of adrenaline after getting off the runway made me feel like I could accomplish anything, and all I wanted to dow as get back out there!

The event really is an amazing celebration of queer culture, and I am so honoured that I was chosen to take part. When 2020’s show rolls around, you can bet I’ll be applying to model again, and will be telling everyone I know to buy tickets and support the organisation and the incredible designers it showcases. Well done to the entire team that puts the show together, its a really vital and important thing you’re doing, and the queer community needs it, especially in this

Goodnight Angel

If you’ve ever had a dog you’ll know how much a part of the family they really are. They are always so happy to see you, and the love truly is unconditional.

We rescued Angel from Battersea dogs home 13 years ago. We’d looked at loads of dogs whilst we were there, but none really suited our family life. The woman suggested we might really love this young dog they had who was in the kennels out the back. She hadn’t been there long, so wasn’t “on display” yet. We went into a room and she bought in Angel. She was a quivering wreck. Tail between her legs, shaking like a leaf. Mum, Katie, Richie and I all looked at each other as if to say “really?, this dog?”, not at all convinced she was the one. Eventually she relaxed a little bit and started playing with the ball we had. We saw glimpses of the crazy, funny dog she was and we quickly fell in love with her. We took her for a walk in Battersea Park and knew she was actually the one.

We went back, signed the papers and suddenly had a new dog. On the way home she promptly vomited all over the boot and back seats of the car, leading us all to question what the fuck we’d done.

After that she was a dream – a crazy, scatty, over-excited dream. None of us were a big fan of the name Angel, but despite Aunty Becky’s best efforts to change her name to Poppy, it’s what she answered to, so we had to make our peace with it. Obviously we mostly call her stupid variants of Angel, predominantly Shpangel.

The past 13 years with her as our dog have been incredible. When I moved out I felt so bad that I was abandoning her, that she didn’t know where I’d gone and that I’d just up and left her one day. I was so scared that she would forget me, but thankfully every time I saw her she would get so excited, and I would make a big fuss of her.

But now at the ripe old age of 14 (98 in human years) like any old girl, her body has started to give up on her. She’s loosing control of her bladder and her back legs are starting to go. It’s a slippery slope from her that will only mean her quality of life will get worse, and that’s not fair on her. Unfortunately my mum has had to make the really tough decision to have her put to sleep today. She’s taking her for a fun walk before hand, and is going to let her jump about in the river and do whatever makes her happy one last time.

Neither my sister or I can be there due to the fact my mum lives a long distance away from both of us, but I know we are both there it’s her in her heart.

I’m not religious person, but I do really hope there is a doggy heaven that she is on her way to. A place she can hang with all the other dogs and have everything that makes her happy for the rest of time.

So Angel, I love you and will miss you tonnes. Thank you for all the love and the wonderful memories I have of you. Thank you for all the walks we went on and all the pictures I tried to get you to pose for. Thank you for all the times you got covered in fox shit, and the time you somehow managed to get stuck in Aunty Becky’s bra.

Sleep well, and make sure you find Dolly Dog, I know you two will be best dog pals.


Why is Gay Pride Still relevant in 2016?

In 2016 it is easy to think that gay rights are pretty sorted. It’s easy to assume that being gay isn’t an issue anymore, and that because we can get married, the fight is over. Unfortunately this is not the case. Homosexual people may have many of the same legal rights as heterosexual people, but legal rights are not day to day realities.

Many gay people are often asked why gay pride still exists, and the answer is not a simple one.  Sure, a massive part of gay pride is the party, the colours, the music and the drag queens, but we should never forget the history and the message behind it.

Gay Pride as a movement effectively started with the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. Many people came together to oppose the undue harassment of gay people by the police. Since then, pride parades have been held annually across the world. Pride events generally take place in June and July to pay homage to the riots. The parades are traditionally led by a drag queen to acknowledge that it was drag queen Marsha P. Johnson who threw the first brick in the riots.

There are still 74 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal. In 13 of them, it is still punishable by death.

One of the main reasons for pride in the UK nowadays is to show support for gay and transgender people in those 74 countries (homosexuality was only decriminalised in the UK in 1980.) It is also hugely important that we educate the younger generation on gay rights and equality from a young age. No one is born prejudiced or with any kind of hate in their heart, and thankfully here at the NSPCC, we are in a position to help educate the children of today, and hopefully, stamp out homophobia.

Research carried out by LGBT Foundation’s Exceeding Expectations programme in Manchester schools found that;

  • 95% of pupils hear the word ‘gay’ being used as an insult for something they don’t like
  • Only 9% of pupils thought that a pupil or member of staff would feel safe telling people they were LGBT in schools
  • Over half of pupils had witnessed homophobic bullying in school
  • 75% of staff had witnessed homophobic bullying in school
  • 58% did not feel that their school was a safe and welcoming place for lesbian, gay or bisexual pupils
  • 28% of pupils felt that homophobic language or bullying was dealt with well in school
  • 13% said that reporting bullying actually resulted in anything being done about it
  • 21% of pupils said they would report homophobic bullying or stand up for a pupil who was being bullied.

These stats show that something needs to change, and thankfully it is. 95% of young people polled by EndAbuse support the change to include attacks on sexual orientation and gender identity as hate crimes.

Our children, and all future generations, will ‘hopefully’ grow up in more open and more accepting society, but the risk is never far away. The horrific attack in Orlando in June is a prime example of that. It was not only the highest death toll of any LGBT attack in history, but also the highest death toll of any mass shooting in US history. This was an attack specifically on the LGBT community by someone who hadn’t been educated in dealing with that part of themselves. Last year Childline handled 5,257 counselling sessions about sexuality and gender identity – an 11 per cent increase from 2013/14. There were also 1,299 counselling sessions where the young person mentioned either gender dysphoria or transgenderism – a 22% increase from 2013/14. After Orlando, Childline saw a marked increase in contacts relating to sexuality and gender, and this information will be available in the Childline annual review in September.

So why do we need pride in 2016?

We need pride in 2016 so that our kids, and their kids after them, can walk down the street holding hands with whomever they love without having to glance around to make sure they aren’t going to get attacked. So they can get married and raise children without snide comments or barriers. So they can be who they are and not feel ashamed or scared by it. But mostly so they can love without fear just like everyone else.

Things I’ve learnt

I have lived in London for two years now. It feels like yesterday that I packed my stuff up in over 12 bags and suitcases, loaded my stuff into my Mum’s car and drove to my new start in the big smoke. In that time, I’ve had 4 jobs, been on countless dates, had one boyfriend, made loads of new friends and lost a couple too.  I was trying to think of highlights but in honesty all the experiences I’ve had, both good and bad, have added up to make these past two years the best of my life. The main thing that strikes me is how much I have learnt within the past two years. I think it goes without saying that moving out changes you, but no-one really tells you how much you’ll learn.

So these are some of the things I’ve learnt…

  • I can smoke less than 10 fags in one day
  • Being large and in charge is much more fun than being a gym going obsessive
  • Beer is just as important as food
  • That being myself is my unique selling point
  • Someone can fall for me just the way I am
  • I do actually love Taylor Swift
  • I can fake confidence to such a level I start to believe it
  • I am ambitious, and can learn how to succeed in anything I try
  • I’ve made peace with the fact that friendships come to an end
  • Sending a stroppy email to a supplier is one of the best vents of frustration ever
  • Celebrities are regular people
  • Cyclists in London are the absolute worst
  • No, people who talk into headphones on the bus are the worst
  • Or people who refuse to take their massive backpack off on busy public transport
  • I don’t exclusively fancy bears as much as I thought I did, and a twinky-type can turn my head
  • The London skyline seen from Waterloo Bridge at night, is the skyline seen for the first time
  • I can just about live on just my wage
  • I adore Manchester
  • Embracing your fetish publically is liberating, but it does lose some of its naughtiness appeal
  • Just because someone is incredibly attractive, doesn’t mean they know they are
  • Hating someone takes up far too much time and energy
  • Sharing one thing on social media a year ago, can shape someone’s opinion of you indefinitely
  • Anyone who judges someone’s whole character on a political opinion is a tosser
  • Gender and sexuality are not mutually exclusive, and no-one is just one of either
  • If I actually cared that much about being overweight, I would do something about it
  • Not having your family around so much sucks
  • Everyone is a bitch, some people are just more upfront about it
  • You don’t have to see someone a lot for them to still be one of your best friends
  • And you don’t have to have known someone for that long for them to mean a lot to you
  • Drag Queens are the ultimate artists and performers, and I would make an amazing one
  • Unrequited feelings are annoying
  • Meat Market in Covent Garden is hangover heaven
  • Sunday Pubbing is basically a sport
  • Talking about hot men in the office is also a sport
  • Parks & Recreation, Game of Thrones and RuPaul’s Drag Race are the best shows ever
  • Instagram is highly addictive
  • Riding on the back of a motorbike is equal parts fun and terrifying
  • Beards can make almost anyone hotter
  • There is always something to do that you’ve never done before
  • When you have a manager that treats you like an equal you can flourish
  • Having a proper photoshoot is a massive ego boost
  • You can have too much Domino’s Pizza
  • Most of the stereotypes about different types of Londoners are totally correct
  • London is surprisingly small, and you will bump into people and start to recognise strangers
  • Having good friends around you makes life worth living

Honesty – Right, or Wrong?

Recently I was thinking to myself about right and wrong.

Most of us are told our whole lives what constitutes good and bad behaviour, but in our everyday life how do we actually define those boundaries?

We are told that stealing is wrong, hell, it’s even in the bible, but we have all been in that situation where the sales person puts your items through the till and misses one, 99% of people say nothing, as everyone loves a freebie, but isn’t that stealing?

We are told not to discriminate or laugh about others, but there is not a single person out there who hasn’t laughed at a joke about people of colour, LGBT people, disabled people, blondes, gingers etc. So doesn’t that make us all discriminatory arse-holes?

Although the one that really got me thinking was honesty. Through-out our lives we are told that ‘honesty is the best policy’ and we often say we would love a partner who was honest, but is it the best policy? Do you really want a totally honest partner?

Imagine your friend asks you if she should end things with her douche-bag boyfriend. Your honest answer should be “of course, he’s a total cunt, you can do much better than that prick”, but in actuality you probably say something more like; “you should do what makes you happy”. Obviously we say this to be a supportive friend, but isn’t it a lie by omission? If you said the former, you’d feel better about getting it off your chest, but then if she does break up with him, you’re the friend that made her end her relationship and make her miserable, and if she doesn’t she will always know you think she should have.

The worst honesty of all in some ways, comes from being unfaithful. Granted, you shouldn’t be unfaithful to start with. But if you do cheat on your partner and ‘get away with it’ what good will ever come of telling the truth? If you told your partner, chances are it would break their heart and shatter their trust in you, therefore causing the demise of your relationship. It would leave you, single, sad and lonely. Someone tell me the good in that? The only person that can ever really benefit is yourself, and in my book, that is the very definition of selfishness.

And of course we are told that being selfish is wrong, so ergo, does that make being a liar okay?