Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Would You Rather?

Recently in the group, someone posed the following question: Suppose you could have one but not both of the following:  
 1) Loving relationships, but no sex, or

(2) All the sex you wanted, of the anonymous, faceless, zipless variety, but no loving relationships

Which is more important, love or sex?

I see this as a profound question. 

I'm not sure how the average would answer that question. I have had friends, acquaintances and co-workers over the years who have answered the question in each of these ways. And in observing these people over the long run, it has invariably seemed to me that those who chose sex over loving relationships always came out on the short side of life's experiences.

Over the past few months I've been more and more open about the fact that I have cancer. There is nothing like cancer to screw up one's sex life. As one of my long time friends told me the other day, "I've never known a person more sexual than you." And I guess it is true. Sex has been a huge part of my life since my earliest memories. As a young boy it was shared with my friends. Sexual play bonded us into true friends. It was a natural part of being boys.

As I grew older, the sex with the guys continued; but my thoughts also began to turn to sex with girls. I was, as I've always been, very lucky. I met the girl who was to become my wife in the 6th grade. As we dated through the years, sex became more and more important in our lives. You might say we kind of grew into it together. I never will forget the first time we went all the way. It was a summer night in June. We were at the lake on which I had water skied for years. The stars were bright above the trees and the water reflected the moonlight. Everything we had defined as sex up till that time melted away and a new definition of sex took its place in our lives. That was almost 50 years ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday. I remember how I felt as I took her home. I had never felt that way. 

I also remember that I was scared shitless because I knew her mom and dad would be waiting for us to get her home. I was afraid they would see it on my face what I had just done with their daughter, and if for some reason they didn't see it on my face, I was sure they would smell the sweet smell of sex lingering around us. I don't know if they did or not. If they did, nothing was said and I managed to get out of there alive.

Over the years after our marriage, sex just got better and better. That first time, as romantic as it had been, came to the point that it held no comparison to sex as we had now  come to define it. My wife loved sex as much as I and she never failed to find something new and exciting. We've had sex half way around the world and back and in the majority of the U.S. We've had sex by several lakes and in National Parks and on ships. We've had sex in the back yard and in the swimming pool. And practice really does make perfect.

As I came to understand my bisexuality, I found my first buddy and sex with him added a whole new dimension to the meaning of sex for me. As with my wife, as the years turned into a decade with him sex simply got better and better. There was nothing we wouldn't try and much we came to love including each other. But I always knew that for me sex didn't just have to be good, it had to be with both my wife and my buddy. I was never afraid to say I loved them. I was well aware I did love them both though in different ways. My wife was my life, my partner. My buddy was my bond, my buddy, the one person in the world I could say anything to without fear of saying something I shouldn't. Sex with my first buddy came to an end a few years ago. It was time. We were moving in different directions sexually, he to living openly as a finally self identified homosexual man, me to continue living as a happily married bisexual man. But what has not changed is the love for him and the bond between us. I love him still and feel so blessed to have him still as a constant part of my life.

Today, as I said above, my cancer has really screwed up my sex life. It will never be what it was ever again. But the love of my wife and my buddy remains. I often feel a burden to my wife now, especially on the bad days. But she never seems to see it that way. She seems to take joy in caring for me and supporting me. My buddy is always there for me too, but in a very different way. Where my wife cuddles me and protects me, my buddy keeps reminding me in the crudest way possible that I have to keep my ass in gear and not whine about or give into my problems. He tells me I have to have years left simply because he's not willing to give me up even if I am a crotchety and worthless old man (he's 12 years my junior).

There is no sex with either of them anymore really and for sure not in the way we use to define it, but the love lingers. I'll go to my grave loving them and I think they will both be there as I go still loving me too. They, along with a number of great friends I've found and sometimes met along the way give me great comfort in what is surely the winter of my life. Love abides, sex does not.

Many of you out there are still struggling with your lives and your sexuality. I guess I would say to you, life is not endless. If you knew you only had 6 months to live, what constructive things would you want to achieve or experience in the rest of your life?  It's a question worth asking, and it's answers are worth working on in a personal, real and constructive way.

This link is to one of my all time favorite songs. It speaks of a philosophy that is absolutely essential to a happy life. Life is never perfect. Life is always difficult. But when you get a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you'll choose to dance. Click here and listen carefully to the words of the song.

Jack Scott


  1. Jack,
    How can one not be saddened by your revelation of your cancer, and the toll it is taking on your once robust sexuality. You have lived so fully and evolved through stages of doubt and fear into a rare adult man who truly felt deep love for your wife, and additional love for another man. You become the steady and unconflicted mentor for other men struggling with their own sexuality.

    Were it nor for your own self confidence and firm conviction that one could be a moral ethical human being and also be a loyal to both a wife and a male lover, you could not have helped others come to peace and resolution about their own sexuality.

    I hope you can savor and value the great good you have done, and the deep love you have given which may have had a vibrant sexual component at one time, but still has a lot more meaning without sex than many people ever experience with sex.

    Whatever the next stages of life bring to you, I hope you know how much difference your example has made even to those who barely know you through this random medium of blogging. You have touched more people than you may realize.

    I wish you the best in dealing with this disease. You are a joyous dancer and always will be no matter what limitations your physical condition places on you.

  2. I second everything Jayson said. I'm very sad to hear of your cancer, and I'm sad for your whole struggle around it.

    As to the question, I don't know that I can have an answer. If I really had to choose, I would choose the former: a loving relationship, but I know that the lack of sex would be endlessly frustrating.

    Be well friend.

  3. Hi Jack, welcome back. It's a brand new year, and who knows how it will unfold? I remember you bringing this up a while ago, but you didn't say too much about it. You touched on it, and then moved on. But I must say it didn't go unnoticed, and I've thought about it often when coming here. I wondered when you would come back to the topic and want to talk about it. Perhaps this is that time.

    I look at it this way. One way or another, sex eventually ends and I think the sooner we all realize that, the better we can deal with it when it happens. Is it simply an extension of youth that we hang on to, or is it a life long function that we all expect to keep? Who knows? At times, it all seems to be one of those cruel jokes of life. [continued…]

  4. [continued…]
    My first thought with this turns to my parents. Once I was about 9 or 10, like you, I was beginning to explore my own sexual feelings with friends, only to find that they were just as curious as I was. [Thank God the tree fort, my tent, and George's barn couldn't talk. If social services or parents ever knew about us, who knows where we would have landed…]

    When we learned what the whole purpose and pleasure of sex really was, I was dumb founded! I just couldn't imagine my parents doing that, probably because their relationship was so alienated. I can remember them being somewhat footsie with each other when I was very young--about 4 or 5--, but soon after that--it was over. By the time I was 12 or so, they were so angry all the time, I knew there was no way that sex was a component for them. Besides that, they seemed to have no emotional ties what so ever. They barely spoke! They were miserable, and I used to hope they would just divorce and end it all.

    The years wore on, and they stayed together riding out their storm. Eventually they were able to conquer their personal battles, and slowly I could see a definite warm friendship developing. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! IT WAS WONDERFUL! By this time, I was in my late teens, my brother had left home and married, and they now had separate rooms. NO SEX I'm sure, but a very loving friendship. Love did conquer all, and sex just didn't matter. I think it's a shame they didn't have a healthier, happier mid life, but once they got past it, their 20 "golden years" that they had left were happy. [Simple, financially frugal, but happy.] I think you would agree, that love trumps sex when it comes to lifetime experience.


  5. [continued…]My other thought is a woman I listened to on some talk show. She spoke about her wonderful, well spent sex life, and how once menopause occurred, it was over. As much as she enjoyed her sexual life, once it was over, she saw it as a wonderful release. She was no longer bothered by the energy & work it took be sexually active. She still prided herself on her active lifestyle and appearance, and often glowed about her many fond memories. As we grow older, what more can we ask for?

    Lastly, I think of Steve. How I wish I could find Steve! At the risk of being cliche, our eyes met across a crowded room, and I couldn't believe that he was interested in me. This guy was a Tom Selleck look alike. Tall, with dark wavy hair, and a pelt of dark fur that pounced out from under his shirt. I was 42, and I was amazed that he was 50. He was a self employed construction man and had the body to prove it. He took me back to his place and we spent the most amazing time together. Like Jake & Jayson, we just seemed to click. But before we ever got in to it, he explained that he was unable to achieve an erection. He had a number of nasty surgical scars, all the result of falling through a sky light and the surgery he had to have. He was afraid that I would find all of these things as a turn off. But as I said, our eyes met, I was totally enamored, and I was more than totally willing to accept these things. We both had a wonderful time. But as it turned out, he was in the process of moving to Rehoboth Beach, and any type of relationship would have, would be long distance at best. It was so disappointing, plus I felt so sad for him. But he explained how he had a good group of friends down there, he wouldn't be lonely, and was truly looking forward to it. He also explained that the performance of sex wasn't as important to him as the emotional rush he still got from the whole process. To be with someone and to experience the closeness and mutual passion is what he really enjoyed, and he was so happy that for our short time together, we were able to know that. I was so, so happy that out of the crowded room that night, he chose me. I think of him still.

    I wish I could undo the things you're going through Jack. I wish we could all understand why these things happen. But I feel you are the type of guy who has cultivated lots of love and meaningful relationships in your life. Embrace them and know how valuable you have been to us all.

    Now. Write on, get busy, and tell us something more.

  6. Wow Jack, I am a three year survivor of pancreatic cancer. There were times I thought I would never be sexual again (first 7-8 months for sure) My wife has been very good like yours loving and caring. Our sex life was some what diminished because of her going into menopause at a very early age. Now I am not sure I don't get much vibe from her I think she likes it this way.

    As for my guy friends. I never had a lone buddy friend. Always kind of a one time hit and miss thing with guys. I do have a very special young friend (24) who lives a couple of hours away and he makes me very happy but we don't see each other much.

    Not sure where you are with your cancer. I know mine will eventually kill me, as my doctor says it might be months of years but it will show up again and than we will take care of it. I have great friends and family that have already saw me through tough times. I am blessed that way.

  7. Your words are an inspiration. It sounds as if you have lived a wonderful, great life. I am so sorry for your struggles, it saddens me. Thank you for being of service to me and so many others who needed your encouragement, your advice, and most importantly your support.


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott