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Cleanliness is next to godliness, sure, but for many a kinky guy, messiness is next to horniness.

Gay men are stereotyped as overly neat, but not every queer man is into the freshly showered and laundered aesthetic. Mess play is about as far from primping as you can get - filth is part of the fun.

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This sort of messiness isn't about not straightening up the living room before your date arrives. It's a matter of full-on funk. Well almost full-on. One popular wallow, for example, involves mucking about in mud. Some men even have staged Club Mud, a multi-day extravaganza featuring a brigade of horny, naked males and some very inviting mud pits. "It just feels so great, so animal," says one enthusiast.

Mud play isn't, of course, the kind of stuff you can do in a brand new city-centre apartment. Fortunately, those with a taste for mess can opt for a variety of gunk. "I always get turned on by men with paint-covered clothes," says one mess fetishist. "I don't know where that comes from - maybe my childhood - but housepainters make me hard." And out on the Internet, it's possible to find shots of hot guys lying in garbage, or "auto repairmen" whose naked bodies are smeared with motor oil.

Many a hot mess scene involves edibles. It's not just a matter of licking a bit of strawberry jam off a loved one's chest; it's a total-immersion food orgy. There's even a name for this sort of food play: "gunge." One man's eroticism, the saying goes, is another man's belly laugh, and seeing sex pictures of a bottom getting a pie in the face fits right in. Gunge bottoms get pelted with eggs, covered with oatmeal, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream, and sometimes Styrofoam peanuts are sprinkled over the whole mess for, as they say in restaurant reviews, a "garnish." In one pleasantly kinky variation, gunge bottoms get all dressed up in a suit and tie, though more often there's naked flesh under all that food.

As with other fetish play, messing up a guy can be an end in itself, though often "real sex" will follow. "It's weird but hot," says one gunge top, "to screw a butt that's dripping with raw eggs."

If all this sounds a bit infantile...well, you're no doubt right. You can look at it as a case of arrested development, or, less critically, as a return to a state of innocence where all sorts of sensations can be erotic. There's also, fairly obviously, a link to humiliation play. One gunge guy says, "I love being humiliated in all sorts of sexy ways. Sitting there with a hard-on while a topman pours gallons of milk on me and covers my face with lemon meringue, it shows just how low I've sunk."

But why think too hard when you're hard? Gunge can be just plain fun.

There are a couple of nice things about using food for mess play. Unlike mud or motor oil, food fun can easily be staged at home; lay a few plastic sheets down and clean up is a breeze. And, unlike many other sex toys, food is easily available anywhere you go - the industrial-size cans of pudding, mustard, and baked beans available at cash-and-carrys are perfect for dick-delighting scenes.

Though one need not become a full fledged human dessert to have a great time with messiness, there's something about sloppy scenes that calls for total immersion. It's kinky, it's safe, and, whether top, bottom, or switch, it's a great, sloppy way to let go. Just this once, junior, it's okay to play with your food.

Simon Sheppard

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Simon's latest book of gay stories is In Deep: And Other Stories a new collection of intense erotic gay fiction. It features a gay vampire story to end all gay vampire stories, a raunchy Western tale that would have John Wayne riding a little snug in his saddle, and an in-your-face and up-your-arse retelling of the story of the Garden of Eden (and this time it is all about Adam and Steve). You can order it online from ShopGay.

Raunch fans will also enjoy Kinkorama: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Perversion in which he chronicles a first-person exploration of extreme sex from glory holes and three-ways to stronger scenes like S/M play and leather contests. Simon focuses a clear eye on what makes us squirm, sweat, and shiver, revealing a host of sometimes shocking, often hilarious, but always arousing scenarios of all kinds of gay sex. The book is available direct from ShopGay. For an OutUK interview with Simon click here. Simon is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power and editor of Hotter Than Hell. You can e-mail him at OutUK.


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