Essays


Leather & Kink

Brotherhood
“I am not the kind of brother most guys want me to be.”
Article written for Instigator Magazine.

Brotherhood

I am not the kind of brother most guys want me to be. It’s a fact. And it’s because I’m gay.

Calm down. Let me explain.

It takes a gay kinky guy a while to feel safe in the world. Right? We don’t get to sort out our lives the way non-kinky kids do by talking to parents and guidance councilors about what’s really going on with us. “I like to stick corn cobs up my ass and I’m wondering how many I can get up there,” is not something I discussed with anyone. Or, “When I’m fucking my boyfriend, I like to clamp my hand on his throat and watch his face turn red. Is that normal?”

I did those things, but didn’t talk about them. I had to figure out everything on my own.

At one point I thought that maybe it would be better to kill myself rather than deal with the overwhelming evidence that my sexual nature was way outside the norm of behavior that my parents, the sex ed class teacher, the church, and everything I saw on TV was telling me I should be doing. Luckily I didn’t off myself.

It was a hard road, but somehow I made it from sweet mormon kid to independent kinky fucker. I made it through drugs, god, depression, and AIDS. Some don’t. I’m grateful to be one of the survivors.

If you’re reading this article, this story probably doesn’t sound all that unique to you. You have probably overcome similar obsticle. And more than likely, you did it the same I way I did it. On your own.

Many of us have learned to live without the church, without parents, without the supportive protections of our government, and without the support of other people. We learned to make our own money and clean up my own messes. We learned to shield not only our bank accounts, but our hearts, our hopes, and our egos.

We become fiercely independent and nobody could hurt us. And that felt good. It felt safe. Nobody could hurt us when we controlled everything.

But that fierce independence often comes at a cost, and that cost is brotherhood.

Because brotherhood is not about hiding out in isolation with all your own stuff, it’s about working with other people toward a common cause. It’s about creating something together that is not possible to achieve when we are all alone protecting our stuff.

Is it worth the risk?

To make it to the next level, to get all the cash and prizes, I’m going to need to start taking chances and learn how to be interdependent. Learn how to depend on and be relied upon by other people.

Don’t get me wrong, I think independence is necessary before a man can be much good as a brother. It’s the first step. If a man hasn’t achieved independence, he needs to be encouraged to get there so that he’s ready to take the next step.

So keep working on your own independence, if that’s where you’re at right now. You are more valuable to everyone, especially yourself, if you are confident in your own abilities. Independence is not a bad thing. We need you standing on your own two feet before we can lean on you or know that our investment in you isn’t going to be wasted.

But when you are asking other men for help, be clear about what you’re asking for. Are you looking for a mentor or a benefactor?

A mentor will help you strengthen your abilities. A benefactor will give you a hand out that may help you with your immediate needs, but does little to help you develop in the long run.

If you are a gaping wound of “need” you’re really not looking for a brother, you’re looking for a benefactor. Pull your shit together, or find guys willing to guide you in the right direction and take their advice until you have it pulled together. That’s actually a very old guard concept. It’s one I believe in. You have some personal responsibility in the process of brotherhood. We all do.

So if you’ve done that, good for you. You’re ready to join the brotherhood. You’re ready to take responsibility for your own actions. The next step is to find other people like yourself to make shit happen together with. You’ll find that the stuff you make happen together is far better than the stuff you each produce by your lonesome.

Take this mag for example. Alone, the pics are hot, the ideas are cool, the information is useful, but put together as a whole they become a powerful force that at least gets guys off, and at best, saves guys lives. Could this happen as individual pieces? Maybe. But probably not. At least not as effectively.

It’s effective because all the pieces are put together through an interdependent relationship.

But I want all the bells and whistles. The life where I’ve got the hot healthy body, the occupied and peaceful state of mind, the spiritual connection to my world, and friends and kinky-family I can both depend on and support. To do that, I’m going to need to put myself at risk. I’m going to have to open myself up to the possibility of other men disappointing me.

That doesn’t happen without interdependence, and that’s where brotherhood comes in. Brotherhood is earned. You need to do some work on yourself to pull yourself together. To have something to offer the tribe. We all have something, talent, treasure, or time?

This is the third go at trying to get something put into words on the subject of brotherhood and “I suck at it” was the first thing that really jumped off the computer monitor as an undeniable fact. We all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to relationships. Find out what your strengths are and bring those to the table.

Thorn (the editor of the mag in your hand) saw a draft of what I’d written and suggested that I tweak the opening phase into, “I’m not the kind of brother most guys need me to be.” Although, that is probably true, I didn’t like the sentence because I think our world has way too much NEEDING going on. I need you to change your tone. I need you to change your culture. I need you to understand my plight… fuck you! I need you to pull it together!

I want to see a lot less needing and a lot more doing! I want to see more stepping up and GIVING to your brothers by pulling your shit together and being a competent man and less WHINING that there is not enough out there for you to TAKE.

If you’re an open wound of need and drama, I don’t think you’re really doing your part for brotherhood. Those of us who are keeping it together are a little pissed when you’re detracting from the party with your turmoil. Of course we all have our aberrant moments that require a brother to help us out from time to time. Men make mistakes. It’s only a problem when it becomes your behavior all the time. If I’m constantly paying your rent, bailing you out of jail, or visiting you in the hospital because of another overdose… we have a problem. Yeah, I expect to see you in one or two of those places over the course of your life, but when it’s consistent drama, you’re not acting like my brother you’re acting like a child. It is probably better for both of us if I step back until you’ve pulled it together long enough to be teachable. 

See, this takes the focus of THEM and brings it back to ME.