Speaking of dildos. Speaking of rimming. Speaking of foreskins. Speaking of gerbils.

I've been writing the weekly column "Sex Talk" since the middle of 1999. It's distributed by QSyndicate and runs in queer newspapers including Ohio's Outlook and the Seattle Gay News, as well as a number of Websites including gaytoday.com, outuk.com, and gmax.co.za.

It's been a great, though challenging, experience, to come up with a new topic every week and to say something fresh, amusing, and hot about it. From the first, "Sex Talk" wasn't intended to be a conventional sex advice column. Instead, it's an exploration of the terrain below the belt. (Well, above it, too, from "Speaking of nipples" to "Speaking of armpits.") The columns are fact-based, quoting guys who are into whatever-it-is-this-week, talking about techniques, safety, buyer's guides, things like that. I'm not some queer Dear Abby, dopling out divice to folks I've never met. And I'm not Dan Savage; whatever you want to do, from wear a thong to remain a virgin, is okay with me.

I seem to have struck a chord. I get a lot of e-mail from men who are into jockstraps and want to share their enthusiasm, from guys with unrequited crushes wondering what to do, from young men tentatively coming out and older men dealing with aging. Some topics have gotten a lot more response than others. I expected the column on foreskins to engage men on either side of the circumcision controversy, but I was floored when my column on long hair got more response than just about any other topic I've tackled. Apparently, a lot of men into long hair feel excluded from the prevailing standards of the Gay Community (whatever that is.)

Listen, I really, really love gay men, and I love queer sex. So my not-very-well-disguised aim in writing "Sex Talk" is not only to inform and amuse, but make guys more at ease with their own desires. "Will and Grace" may be on TV, but the USA is still, in many respects, a puritan country, and, hey, it's still a pretty damn homophobic world out there. I'm no queer Mother Teresa, but if "Sex Talk" can make some queer men a little more at ease with their desires and their bodies (and maybe persuade a novice or two to get tied up), then I'll be happy.

While I was writing this, I got email that reads, "Babe, I just discovered your "Sex Talk" column today via PLANET OUT and I what to THANK YOU for breadth, sensitivity, sensuousness and PLAIN HOT, FUCKING SEXY writing. STAY HOT AND HARD, DUDE!"

Gee, life doesn't get much better than that.


ęcopyright 2001-2005 by Simon Sheppard