Collage by Sam Taylor. Photo by Alex de Mora. Make up by Rhea Le Riche using MAC.
People are still having sex. Paid sex. Drugs sex. Gay sex. And they love it. It's happening every day, week and month, possibly on the other side of that wall right next to you. Which is pretty exciting. You may have heard that British Gays went drearily mainstream this past week after winning the right to marry each other by massaging powerful Conservatives into thinking queer rights are part of the Tory ideology. Apparently, Peter Tatchell had to work on David Cameron for quite some time before he finally came through. "I had to pump Tory MPs – with facts and opinion poll results showing majority support for same-sex civil marriage," he told me.
Wonderful progress, of course, yet despite the jacket of respectability society will now lend to monogamous gay couples, many people are clearly still ashamed about their desire for hot, gay sex – a shame that penetrates visceral depths well beyond the reach of even the largest dildos. As horny as it may be to imagine hot guys guiltily jacking off to pics of other hot guys, I want to know: Why the shame? What's so wrong with one man putting his lips around another man's penis? I don't want to generalise or anything – trust me, I hang out with sluts of every sexual persuasion – BUT I KNOW PEOPLE WHO LIVE FOR THAT SHIT. Because sex is fun. And gay sex is super fun. If you're gay. Sometimes, even if you're not. In fact, your mum is probably doing some hot, gay sex now. It's all cool.
It's kind of ridiculous and pathetic, then, that – according to accusations made at the weekend – politician Mark Menzies felt he had to skulk around with male prostitutes to have a good time. If he wanted to get high and fuck around, he should've just headed down to Vauxhall like every other man in London who's down for same-sex fun. Then, we have silly old Paul Flowers – whom the BBC ridiculously described as "Disgraced former Co-op bank chairman" – popping up to tell us he has "sinned", like a Dickensian ne'er-do-well begging for mercy at the Old Bailey.
Um, isn't it the 21st century? Everyone is hooking up with everyone else on Grindr and Tinder now, so if you fancy a bit of cock (and let's face it, who doesn't?) then you probably need to get over yourself and suck it up. And if your employer has a problem with your sexual preferences, maybe you should sue them? And, I don't know, support political parties that support you? I don't mean to sound unsympathetic towards anyone who is too frightened to express their sexuality fully and safely, and I detest the system that makes people feel that they can't, but seriously, guys: Until everyone starts to not give a fuck, all this shame and secrecy is going to carry on being A Thing. And that's not good for anyone.
As David Laws put it in 2010, after he was forced to resign for claiming expenses on an apartment for his "secret lover", "My recent problems were caused by my desire to keep my sexuality secret." Or how about "terrified" Lord Browne, who talked about the "fear that was engendered in people's hearts about being gay"? Sad, isn't it? Browne resigned from running BP in 2007 following accusations of financial misconduct related to – wait for it – "his secret rent boy lover". I suspect that, once you start a secret life relating to your sexuality, it's tempting to be less honest in your other dealings, too. Anxiety corrupts. Boundaries fade. Risks are taken. Who is more likely to engage in drug fuelled "chemsex"? Men with low self-esteem. Whatever the outcome of Nigel Evans' trial, one thing is sure: He was pretty fucked up about his desire for other men.
Contrast this with Chris Bryant. He's the Labour MP for Rhonda but back in 2003 the Mail tried to kick up a shitstorm after finding a picture of him on Gaydar wearing nothing but his knickers. He's a lovely chap, Chris – we did Question Time together last year and I soon had him running errands for me, fishing through my underwear and fetching the hair straighteners I'd left behind at the hotel so I could straighten my beautiful, beautiful locks before the show. Would – could – a closeted gay MP have saved the day like that? Fuck no. Only someone amazingly comfortable with their sexuality could have pulled it off.
The major point is that everyone kinda loves Chris. In general it didn't matter that he was on Gaydar trying to get his end away because he's taken it with a pinch of salt, instead of the pinch of cocaine and self-loathing seemingly required by gay Tories. If anything, Pants-Gate may have earned Chris a greater majority. Rhonda clearly appreciates a man who can fill a pair of boxer shorts. It certainly endeared me to him. I don't want MPs to be heartless, mindless, passion-free mannequins – I want them to be real people and, on the whole, real people like to fuck. The very fact that you're alive to read this suggests you are the last in a long line of fuckers who passed their genes down via centuries and centuries of baby-resulting-fucks.
Even so, politicians are some of the least sexy people I've ever encountered – seriously, they're like the opposite of porn – and I'm frankly amazed they ever have any amount of sex of any description (despite the fact they clearly get into politics to bonk their assistants). I just feel like we're holding politicians to an impossible sexual standard and it's not fair on them. Why can't they have wild sex? Why can't they have wild sex hair? Why do they always, without fail, have to have that absolutely-no-fucking-sex-ever hair? The Mail may have a nervous breakdown (with full colour photos) every time they hear about an MP enjoying anything other than Putin-style "traditional" sex – but the rest of us mustn't make it harder for them by adding all this needless gay shame. Politicians need to cum, too.
One day, the idea of a politician resigning because he spent some time and money on a rent boy will seem terribly old fashioned. Bring it on. I don't want politicians who are preoccupied with what people will think about their sexual desires, forcing them to skulk about and get up to no good. I want the people running our country to focus on precisely that. We're kind of in the shit at the moment, in case you hadn't noticed, so stop worrying about being gay, and start worrying about what we're going to do about things like climate change, lack of jobs and affordable housing.
In my mind, the only embarrassment Mark Menzies, Paul Flowers and the other poor, misguided men like them have to be ashamed of is telling their secret rent boy lovers that they are Tories and bankers.
NB: You may have noticed that all the examples I've listed in this article are men wanting to secretly shag other men. I've never heard about a lesbian politician going through this turmoil, although I'm quite sure being a gay woman in politics brings its own set of pressures. I suppose we have very different ways of policing men and women's sexualities.