Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Straight folks are thinking far more about gay sex, than we ever could


This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.


Sex, sex, sex, sex, let’s talk about it, because we all know the straight folk want to. Oh I know we hear over and over again from straight folks, “I don’t care what they do behind closed doors” or “I wish they wouldn’t flaunt it,” but honestly, just a glance at the haters will tell you that straight folks are thinking far more about gay sex than we ever could.

I’m sometimes amazed by this obsession. The number of hate groups who go out of their way to search for gay porn, to try and find the fetish that they find the most horrifying. I can’t imagine spending hours of my life trawling the internet for porn I find most unappealing, I can’t comprehend what would make people do this. Some of them even attend gay sex clubs and fetish meetings, so they can find things to be horrified about.

Honestly? If you have to go to this much effort to find things about us you think will horrify people, then you’re just proving the point of how ridiculous it is to object to our presence so much.

But it goes beyond that – there are so many straight people who feel a desperate need to poke their nose into our sex lives. I’ve lost count of the number of truly inappropriate questions I’ve been asked over the years – some are blatant fetishism, some to convince themselves “I don’t do that” (whatever that is) and some who seem to be trying to freak themselves out. Seriously, if you’re that desperate to know what 2 men do in bed, go hit google but I honestly can’t imagine why you’d care.

And straight people need to seriously shut up about Grindr (yes that certainly includes Paris Hilton) or gaydar, or the many dozen other places, aps and websites out there. Yes it’s a nifty little tool that gay men use to meet each other. As such, it is so completely and utterly NOT YOUR BUSINESS straighties, it really isn’t. What would make you think your opinion is wanted or remotely valid?

Oh, and the reason why things like Grindr exist, is not just convenience (though it is awfully convenient), it’s the same reason the gay cruising areas exist (and, yes, police entrapment in these areas is homophobic persecution and damn common) it’s because it’s still hard and dangerous for GBLT people to try and meet each other. Because not everywhere has a friendly GBLT neighbourhood or gay bar, because not everyone is Out and feels comfortable in those places – and guess where the violent haters go when they want to attack us? That’s right – there’s been no small amount of our blood spilled on the steps and in the car parks of gay bars and clubs. Gods, my next “Bad News List” includes 2 gay bars which have been firebombed and they’re far from the first.

And we don’t need you to lecture us about AIDS. We know it’s a problem, ye gods we do. We knew it was a problem while you lot were calling it GRIDS and completely freaking ignoring it, while we died in droves. We know we have to strike a balance between not stigmatising people with AIDS and countering the growing impression that AIDS is an easily managed chronic disease. We know about safe sex and getting tested and all the rest and there’s probably a lot we still need to talk about within the community. We don’t need or want you to lecture us, or judge us, or screech at us. I don’t speak for all gay men but I, for one, am thoroughly freaking sick of being bombarded with AIDS lectures. The clubs, the bars, the community centres, the drop ins are plastered with AIDS messages, it’s like wallpaper. My doctor wants to test me for AIDS every time I go there. There was a gay men’s health clinic recently – did it talk about suicide rates? Mental health issues? Our high rate of Anorexia? High rates of drug, alcohol and tobacco consumption? Any other health issue we could possibly have? Nope – AIDS AIDS AIDS AIDS. Aaaargh give it a rest, people are tuning out now, they’ve heard it so much.

And you’re upset because Pride Parades come with so much skin? That’s part of it. It’s part of being proud – and part of that pride is being overtly sexual. Our every sexual expression, our every romantic expression is constantly shamed. We’re shamed from the moment we can understand for our love, for our lust, for who we find attractive, for any and all of our sex lives. Shame shame shame shame – combatting this shame is the very point of Pride. It’s about saying us, our lives, our loves – all of it – is not shameful. We are who we are and we’re proud of it, we love who we love and we’re proud of it, we’re happily and proudly expressing ourselves and our sexuality in as loud a form as possible. You have 364 days of screaming shame at us, this is our day of screaming Pride back.

You think we should cover up more? Why? The straight world loses its shit on an epic level if we hold hands! Us kissing in public is treated like we’d just fisted your great aunt Mabel in the middle of the street. You expect us to care about your conniption fits over a hot guy in speedos and glitter? Yeah, I could wear a 3 piece suit and give Beloved a kiss on the cheek and you’d still freak out. Our slightest gestures of affection are treated like porn, like something obscene that needs to be hidden away. Why try to conform to your expectations of “decency” when our very existence has been deeemed “indecent”?

I also really want to know where you get this prim and proper idea that only gay people do this. That, of course, absolutely no straight person would ever ever do such things. You’re never promiscuous, straight folks never have casual sex, never go to bars to hook up, right? You’re all busy in your monasteries and nunneries thinking the oh-so-pure thoughts in your all-encompassing magic underwear, right? Hah!

And all those lovely fun kinks and fetishes the hate groups are busy googling up to get all hot and bothered about? If they’d spend a few more seconds on google, they’d find straight folks doing all the same things we do – I don’t think there’s a single thing gay people do in bed that the straight folk don’t do just as much. There’s no super-special extra-dirty secret sex moves known only to gay people (well, if there were I’d be totally kicked out of the Agenda for revealing them). And I really don’t see why they care anyway – it’s ridiculous to base prejudice and hatred on the sex acts that consenting adults get up to.

And above all, I’m tired of the idea that I’m supposed to police or judge my own community for being so “dirty.”  Screw that, I’m not going to judge people for having multiple partners or being kinky, when I have no problem with either, not when I’m comfortable in my own kinks and monogamous by preference, rather than morality. I’m sick of this idea that if we don’t rigidly control our sex lives, we’re somehow “letting the side down.” If someone’s peeking through your curtains, you don’t change what you’re doing for fear of offending them – you chase them off and make them mind their own business. It’s about time we did the same to the straight voyeurs constantly trying to peep into our bedrooms.

All in all, this straight obsession with our sex lives is pretty creepy. Go get a hobby or something.