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SEXUAL PLAY AND GAY SEX
#1
This post is dedicated to analyze the connection between play and sexuality and aims to highlight the different meanings of sexual play in relation to sexual orientation of the people involved.

A large number of guys, if not all, sooner or later take part in or attend to episodes of play with a more or less evident sexual background, that is episodes of play which involve more or less overtly sexual content or content concerning nudity.

The play usually begins with only the verbal content, for example playing "truth or dare" when it comes to “truth phase” about sexual content, then passing through physical contact not specifically genital, as in the wrestling for fun, that, for example, when you are on the beach and wrestle with only the swimsuit on, involves a very direct physical contact, sometimes also embarrassing, and can also end up with sexually explicit play that also includes the possibility of touching the genitals, or implicates that one of the participants is expected to remain naked at the end of the play (strip poker).

The sexual play can be simple, that is it can arise without any explicit sexual purposes, but can also be programmed precisely in order to create a sexual involvement. In some cases, the sexual play verges on the edge of violence, when it comes to group play imposed on an unwilling victim. This is the case of "pantsing/de-pantsing", a play that sometimes involves also behaviors of sexual violence and is practiced in schools or universities against freshmen or in military environments. The "pantsing" usually consists in yanking down quickly and unexpectedly the underwear of a guy in order to leave him exposed in front of everyone, but sometimes the “pantsing” means stripping a guy in group, obviously against his will, blocking him and preventing him from defending himself, often the others may touch the genitals of the victim even if in a playful way.

The violent meaning of this play is considerably reduced because the rite is performed as if it was a joke and those who have been “pantsed” can change role the next time. It should be emphasized that this sexual play is characteristic of environments dominated by men (male barracks and classrooms). Today, with the obligation of mixed classes (male and female together) and also of mixed teams of physical education, the “pantsing” has almost gone and only remains in college dorms only for guys.

Among the games that are on the border between play and sexuality there is the tickling, that starts trivially as a play but allows two guys to familiarize with themselves, with mutual physicality and especially lowers the threshold of the defenses and makes the behavior less controlled. When the laugh becomes uncontrollable, physical contact is accepted in a dimension of play and fun. It is not unlikely that a gay guy gats a hard on being in a similar situation, which doesn't happen just as easily not even in explicit sexual contexts.

The laugh is the Trojan horse of sexuality that allows a guy to accept in this way, what explicitly he would not accept. Through the tickling and through sexual play often occur early signs of gay sexuality in young people who have been deemed always straight.

However, participate in sexual games between persons of the same sex does not mean being gay. In an all guys class “pantsing” was a typical straight play. I emphasize that it is not the participating in the game that determines sexual orientation but, according to sexual orientation, participation in sexual play is experienced in different ways. The straight guys, participating in a sexual play with friends of the same sex, see it as a game, as the most uninhibited game, but not as a sexual activity, on the contrary gay guys, participating in a same sex sexual play, consider it precisely as a sexual activity.

The difference in the way to participate is reflected in the fact that a straight guy who is involved in a sexual play with other guys will not load the memory of that episode with sexual meanings, what on the contrary a gay guy will certainly do. The gay guy will transform the memory of that episode, which for him is clearly a sexual experience, into a strong masturbatory fantasy and that episode will be printed indelibly in his mind.

The difference in experiencing the participation in the sexual game between a straight guy and a gay guy can create big problems in the event that the gay guy falls in love with the straight one and between the two guys the atmosphere is so uninhibited to actually allow sexual plays, what is quite common.

Each of the two guys projects his own personal view of the sexual play on the other guy, so the straight guy thinks that for his friend the sexual game is just a game with no real sexual significance, therefore feels uninhibited because assumes that the other guy is also straight. The gay guy sees the participation in sexual plays by his straight friend as if it was a real gay sexual activity and begins to fantasize about the hypothesis that his friend is not really straight but in reality is a latent gay guy who sooner or later will realize that he is really gay because "if a guy participates in sexual activities with another guy clearly cannot be straight."

Understandably these types of projections can create sexual expectations, hopes and, later, bitter disappointments. Sexual play is often used by gay men, consciously or unconsciously, as an attempt to involve their friends in a sexual dimension. For a gay guy is actually very difficult to understand that a straight guy is going through a sexual play in a completely different way. In this sense, try to involve a friend in a sexual play is definitely not a sensible system to verify his possible being gay. To find out if a guy is really gay there is only one way, that is, talk to him explicitly, what is often very difficult, if not impossible. To use various substitutes of the explicit direct speech means to choose unreliable methods.

A common feature of sexual games in which a gay guy tries to involve his friend to test his homosexuality or to lead him to homosexuality (what is absolutely meaningless because or you're gay or you're not), is the “graduality” which is a typical characteristic of not spontaneous but planned sexual play. In this situation, a gay guy who does not know the sexual orientation of his partner tries to involve him in forms of sexual play in which the sexual dimension is only just visible, if the participatory response of his friend is spontaneous, after a while the gay guy experiments a play in which sexual contents are more explicit, only if also in this case the participation of the friend is spontaneous it becomes possible to program another step towards an even more explicit sexuality.

From the point of view of the gay guy, when his friend has accepted an openly sexual play, doing so he has clearly shown his homosexuality. This strategy of small steps moves ever forward the limit that separates the play from sexuality.

There are rare cases of straight guys who are willing even to be masturbated by their friends supposed to be straight. Such a thing is automatically interpreted by a gay guy as a manifested admission of homosexuality on the part of his friend. This conclusion derives from an assumption, namely, that what matters to identify a gay guy are external behaviors, i. e. that there are "behaviors" typically gay that a straight guy would never put into practice. In fact, experience shows that to identify a gay guy you must know his own interpretation of his own behaviors and of those of others. In other words, it is not the behavior itself that defines a gay guy but the interpretations that he gives of that behavior.
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