A pet theory of mine around the widespread use of penile erection-facilitating drugs (Viagra, Cialis etc.) and the apparently millions of Medicare dollars spent on penis-pumps has as much to do with boredom as it does the ravages of aging and atherosclerotic disease affecting penile veins. I am extrapolating here from my own personal experience of course and exceptions for some would be the real nerve damage often related to prostate surgeries.
When I was twelve a hard-on seemed to be virtually a permanent waking and often sleeping state of being. The slightest friction or even the most innocent male image, genitalia not even required, was enough to get there. Organisms once I began to indulge in them regularly were easily a several times a day pleasure requiring only minimal effort and stimulation.
To say that that level of excitement today is a rare thing would be an understatement. What now can take literally an hour or two of perusing internet porn or 45 minutes of foreplay with a friend, at times I’ll admit aided by a bit of Sildenafil, used to take only 10 minutes to reach an explosive climax.
Now there is definitely something to be said for the longer and certainly more intimate cuddling and foreplay leading up to fruition. I would love to think that this is related to maturation on my part and an appreciation for the art of true lovemaking and genuine care and concern for my partner. Being male though and believing that our true imperative may really be a lifelong drive to “fuck it or kill it” (h/t Ken Wilber) I am forced to wonder what is really going on here. Do I think for a minute I wouldn’t like to return to the sexual excitement of forty years ago? Oh and of course to the same firm ass and flat belly of those days.
As mentioned above I certainly think that the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque, not only in our coronary arteries but also in our dick veins is a culprit here. Looking back though at my own sexual history if you will I have to say that over time I could quickly get bored with what turned me on. Is a mediocre ejaculation with a half assed hard-on after thirty minutes of effort more a function of ennui or ageing? For me personally I am going with the boredom. Not that I am in denial here, I am sure my arteries are as sludged-up as the next aging American male.
Is it boredom that really is the goose if you will that allows someone to progress from getting off with a bit of print porn or just the simplest of visual images to hours of S/M bondage with endless aides and props? Or why do so many go from getting satisfaction from a finger to a fist? I mean does your prostate really care about the “size’ of the stimulus?
For example if the image or time spent with another real human is just right then things seem to work just fine for me. So much of what precedes this though seems to hold little erotic interest and I seem to think this is not related to anything more complicated or mundane than boredom. Perhaps the task at hand for me is to appreciate more the long periods of boredom during sex for the often-genuine expressions of love they can be. I mean I am now semi-retired with much more time on my hands
The examples of men getting into trouble at all ages in search of what is described as excitement or risk are of course tediously endless. Pick up any newspaper, turn on any TV show etc. 24/7 and the examples are rife of men doing stupid things in pursuit of a happy ending. Risk of course could be the default mechanism we have honed to deal with boredom. Have gay men in the past been “forced” through oppression to seek sexual gratification in very risky situations or on a more mundane level have we simply been seeking to tackle a crushing boredom?
Let me close by saying that women, especially lesbians, are much more evolved in these areas. They seem to have, and perhaps this is my own ignorance and not true, replaced boredom with the rewards and satisfaction of true intimacy integrated both in and out of bed. For us men though perhaps this is all a testament to the fact that most sex is for us crudely physical with our limbic system connected directly to our cocks, but what does that really say except that maybe the average male, gay or straight, has the attention span of a gnat?