FEATURE

Sex talk
Speaking of Lies


Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Lies. We've all told 'em, some of us more than others. And, heaven knows, lust provides a fertile field for fibbing.

Falsehoods range from the little-white-lie variety to mendacious whoppers that can cause very real harm. Dinky dishonesties can serve as social lubrication: "No, you don't look like you've gained weight." And most of us, in a moment of pulse-pounding passion, have blurted out something that's not quite true, from "You give the best head ever" to promiscuous use of the word "love." But then, testosterone and truth aren't always good buddies.

When it comes to age, weight, or dick size, rare is the online ad that doesn't include at least a little creative bookkeeping. This sort of truth-stretching – irritating but essentially harmless – goes with the territory; veteran ad-cruisers know that an online "inch" is apt to be more like two-thirds of one. And there are other "truth or snare" moments. One college-age lad confesses, "I usually tell prospective dates that I'm bi, and that I've had sex with girls. Not true, but I think it makes me seem more masculine, and kinda hotter." Truth in sex-centered advertising? Let the booty buyer beware.

One step up (or down) is the "If he knew the truth, it would hurt him" lie. Often, it provides cover for infidelity. A frequent business traveler confesses, "One night when I was out of town, I got a little drunk and ended up in bed with someone. But my boyfriend and I are supposed to be monogamous, and when I got home, I sort of let my partner think that I'd been a good boy. I mean, there's no way he could find out, so why make trouble?" This can often be a short-sighted tactic; though inconvenient truths can hurt, harboring lies can be even more damaging to a relationship. Still, our businessman says, "That was over a year ago. He never knew, we're still together and happy, and I've controlled myself since then. So where's the harm?"

The for-everyone's-good rationale is also often used where the closet is concerned. As in, "The news would kill my mom." But though in some situations – like custody cases – discretion is indeed the better part of valor, keeping mum about being queer usually takes its toll.

Some untruths can be a lot more dangerous, even deadly. "I'd been dating this man for a month," one sadder-but-wiser soul recalls. "He swore he was HIV-negative, so I had unprotected sex with him...until I found out the truth. Fortunately, I didn't get infected, but I learned the hard way that anyone who doesn't use rubbers – even if they really want to trust somebody – is a fool."

Not every lie is outwardly directed – humans' capacity for self-deception seems infinite. As one old gay joke has it: "He's like Cleopatra – the queen of denial." That fellow who tells you he's free of STDs may more or less believe it himself, and there are plenty of speed freaks who've convinced themselves they're not really addicted.

"In an ideal world," says one ironist, "everybody would tell the truth. In this one, lies – from 'The check is in the mail' to 'I won't come in your mouth" – are common. The very least someone can do is tell lies that won't easily be found out. Telling me a stupid lie is insulting."

Sure, life is tough. It's full of awkward moments, boyfriends we want to keep, and dicks we want to suck. And sometimes prevarication seems to be the shortest path to penis. But honesty is the best policy – at least usually. Want to see my 10 inches?

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion



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