In the first year of the new millennium, one scene in the premier episode of a groundbreaking television series made a same-sex kiss seem downright quaint.

The scene began with a handsome twenty-nine-year-old telling a babyfaced seventeen-year-old about his first experience with gay sex a dozen years earlier. When the man finishes his description, the awestruck teenager says, “I bet you were really scared.” The man then responds softly, “We’re all scared the first time,” before gently directing the virginal youth, who’s lying buck-naked among the sheets, to lean back and lift his legs into the air so the man can insert his erect penis into the boy’s anus.1