“So what porn are you into?” Ugh. Guess I minced straight into that one. ‘K’ and I had met through a mutual friend earlier this year, before meeting for a drink in a local pub. It wasn’t long after that our texts became more than flirty. We're both gay men with smartphones after all.
He’d made a joke about spending the weekend cracking one out, and I insinuated that you could tell a lot from a man by the type of porn he watches. And here we are.
I was hesitant to reply. It’s not like I was into felching, sploshing or any other fetish that sounds like a bowel movement, or that you’d have to cover the furniture in plastic to enjoy. But that doesn’t change the fact that fantasies are mostly private, (we’re often worried we’ll be judged by someone less open-minded, or with different tastes to our own); but do they have to be?
Naturally, I consulted the ‘Single Ladies’ WhatsApp group before making any kind of rash reply. What I got back was a choir of ‘why not?!’, ‘Go for it!’ and ‘what’s the harm?’
I guess they were right… They’d all had men openly share fetishes and fantasies with them; cuckolding, pissing and even farting, and it hadn’t deterred them from seeing these men again - so really what do we have to lose? Although I’d sensed K was open-minded anyway; he’d been to a darkroom sober, after all.
So off I went, reeling off an extensive list of my turn-ons and PornHub bookmarks, only to return the question, for him to reply: “Err, yeah amateur stuff”. Fuck me in the bushes and call me Barbara. I felt like I’d just dressed my loose pussy in a short skirt, and dragged it through an open-casket funeral service. I mean, I thought I was the vanilla knickers in this pairing. Not that it mattered, but it was as though I’d just shown him mine, and now he was refusing to show me his.
My flatmate cackled away, “I’d probably get arrested for some of the filth I look at”, and I could see his point. Not that my porn tastes were that extreme or niche, in fact, on the scale of mild to wild, I’d say they drifted around the middle mark. Kinda how I like my chicken at Nando’s; lemon and herb. But I was curious, if we don’t share our sexual tastes with our partners, can we ever really be fully satisfied?
I had a flashback of being around 18 when one guy asked me a similar question, to which I told him role-play. With him being the teacher, and I the student, he generously offered to pour custard down my school shorts. I didn’t even like that gruel on my dessert, let alone having my balls bathe in the shit.
Another scolded me for “swearing in the playground.” What was I, six? So you can see where my apprehension laid; in a bed with a fully-grown man named after one of the X-Women. Needless to say, neither of these ‘fantasies’ had a happy ending, and for the same reason you should never meet your idols; it rarely lives up to the hype.
Which begs the question, should our fantasies remain just that? As it goes without saying that fantasy and reality are not one in the same, and clearly don’t always translate accurately. One friend of mine had played out a number of fantasies with his ex-boyfriend, from bondage to watersports, to rape. And had it made their sex life better? “Acting them out did! But not the porn...” Perhaps that’s because the fantasies we’re open to trying in real life, aren’t always the same as the ones we watch onscreen.
S&M doesn’t give me the slightest bit of fanny flutter when I’m watching lads tie each other to the ceiling like joints of gammon, but I’d happily take a stroll into the Red Room to be shown the ropes… (and paddles, and chains). It’s the difference between a real fantasy (somatic) and faux fantasy (visual). The same way one might enjoy horror films but wouldn't want to slash sorority girl's throats in the real world.
So do we need to share our fantasies at all? Well, when it comes to our faux fantasies, it seems pointless in some sense, unless they match our genuine desires. But what about our real fantasies? Our urges to experience something darker or different in the physical? Well I guess that depends on how important it is to us to experience them.
I definitely believe discussing these with a partner often leads to better sex. But what happens if there’s a pivotal part in your pleasure that your partner can’t - or won’t – fulfill? Will we learn to live with that, or eventually seek it elsewhere?
And furthermore, what if he’s the perfect guy, with a cheeky smile, great sense of humor and a heart of gold, (a rare find as it is), but you differ sexually - then what? Does the sexual appetite devour the lust of being in a loving relationship? Or does the fantasy of true love truly conquer all?