FEATURE

Sex talk
Speaking of Homophobia


Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

"So why," a friend of mine blurted out recently, "do some straight folks hate us so?"

Part of it, no doubt, is the usual fear of difference. Then there's always the rationale of religious prohibitions. And plenty of folks in the good ol' pecking order just feel gol durn good puffing up their own precarious positions by dumping on the lowly fag.

But it may very well be that some of the fear, disgust, and disdain homo-hating boys feel toward us has to do less with faith or politics than with what goes on below the belt. Anyone who's spent much time reading online message boards can testify that Little Mr. Antigay just simply hates the fact we like to fuck and get fucked up the ass. "It's dirty," bigots scrawl. "And unnatural. And dirty." Well, of course, poop is dirty. Anal sex, though, doesn't have to be. (Apparently homophobes have never heard of douching.)

Of course, plenty of queer men aren't even into buttsex, and it's not only gay men who get shtupped up the tuchus. Surveys show that between 20 and 45 percent of women have at least tried anal sex, and a sizable proportion of them enjoyed it. Hell, in some circles it's now trendy for straight boys to take their girlfriends' strap-ons up the rump. Bad toilet training aside, fear of the penetrated sphincter - as with other aspects of homophobia - just doesn't withstand close scrutiny.

Then there's the dicksucking double standard. While homophobic straight boys may insult us for liking to suck cock, they fully expect their girlfriends to give them head. But why shouldn't Seymour like to do what Sue likes, too? Hmm - no easy answer to that one.

Clearly - beyond Leviticus, the "sacredness" of het marriage, and the like - plenty of antigay feeling stems from anxieties over specific sexual acts. Moreover, plenty of people (queers included) have anxieties about sexuality. Maintaining an attitude of "What I do is normal, anything more adventurous is wrong" can help quell some of the fears that the specter of sexual pleasure can bring.

Meanwhile, back in bed, some queer men get off on using homophobia as an edgy little sex toy. "I confess," confesses one otherwise pro-gay gay guy. "I love verbal scenes that use words like 'sissy' and 'fag.' Maybe it's not politically correct, but it sure is hot." And one may well argue that - as with the reclaiming of the former slur "queer" - there's a certain justice in seizing the tools of the oppressor and using them for our own ends, even (or especially) if that end is a hot fuck.

Still, being raised in an antigay culture leaves lingering scars on many a queer psyche, and not everyone feels comfortable using "faggot" as a term of endearment. "I'd just rather not hear that sort of thing in bed, same as I'd rather not hear racist words," says another gay man. "It's just not necessary."

Necessary or not, it's important that all concerned feel comfortable when doing verbal abuse scenes, whatever the content. And perhaps there are some places it's best not to venture: Who, really, wants the vision of some pinch-mouthed televangelist with bad hair to intrude on an amazing assfuck or some bonus bonersucking? Yech.

As for my puzzled pal who asked why some straights despise us? He answered his own question, somewhat cheekily: "They're just envious because we have so much good sex."

Guys, go out there and prove him right.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion



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