by RYAN BOLTON

I have had sex. It was responsible, appropriate and forthcoming. And it was a beautiful experience that I hope everyone can (if they wish, of course) enjoy. And society, dear convoluted society, please stop blurring the splendor of sex.

Okay, so dear reader, like the rest of us, you are asking, “Can he write this? Is this outright sex talk allowed?” Certainly it is, and here’s why.

Religion, you have had your say. Mom and dad, you have made your point pointedly clear. And you society, you have flip-flopped on your advice for time enough. Our heads are one day rebellious and another day Sarah Palin conservative. The Pussy Cat Dolls say, “Look what we can do” and Bert and Ernie remark, well, it’s okay to be gay. Sex, like everything else in a proper democracy, is a choice. It’s a choice we make, botch, regret and question. It’s a beautiful act. A dangerous act. A scary act. And still, for many, a stigmatized act. It’s a bizarrely paradoxical notion, really. We denounce the simple act of blissful pleasure that we, in the end, need to survive as a species. Procreation is flaunted, but the act is disparaged. Disconnect anyone?

Everyone is fuckin’ equal and privy of equal rights. Black, gay, Muslim, white, Catholic, Tom Cruise.

More to the point, it’s devastating and downright sad that sex and love are still bound to outright discrimination today. I recently watched Milk, the story about gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk’s fight for the allowance of gay schoolteachers in the ‘70s against Proposition 6. Milk was not fighting for whom people chose to have sex with, but how they lived their lives. As I sat there, I was dumbfounded by our society’s cyclical intolerance. Milk was fighting for equal rights for homosexuals in San Francisco; 30-something years later, the good fight is still occurring as Proposition 8 somewhat recently overturned the right for homosexuals to wed in California. As openly-gay comedian, Wanda Sykes so eloquently put it, “We’re asking for equal rights, not special rights. Special rights is like bringing firecrackers on a plane.”

This is the point where people start throwing labels around. Oh, you’re pro-gay or you are ruining the sanctity of marriage… we have all heard the ass-backwards drivel of bigots. But sure, I will take a moniker. Egalitarian. Everyone is fuckin’ equal and privy of equal rights. Black, gay, Muslim, white, Catholic, Tom Cruise. No one should have special privilege over another as we are all cut from the same loaf of embryonic bread. You want to have sex? Go right ahead. Who am I to say otherwise? But in our quasi-meritocracy tinged with birthright and cloaked with the colours of democracy, equal rights are often found strewn on the wayside.

It’s remarkable what sex can do for us and how it can so easily divide us. But then again, it’s not just sex. It’s love, lust, sadness, confusion, bitterness and downright batshit crazy tangled up in a loosely held ball of yarn. But sex, like everything else in your democratic life, is a choice. Make it. Break it. Lose it. Fight for it. Enjoy it.

I know I will.

Originally published in TRAVIS magazine.

Written by Ryan Bolton

Ryan is a Toronto-based writer and photographer that likes to break the rules. His work has taken him around the world to do what he truly loves—storytelling. And drinking cold beer.