Monday, April 11, 2011

Beyond Limited Ideas of "Real" Gay Sex

Here are some words of wisdom from writer and philosopher John Corvino on why we need to resist limited ways of thinking and talking about what constitutes "real" sex for gay men.

. . . If anything smacks of heterosexist brainwashing, it’s the view that anal sex is the only “real” gay sex. For that view is premised on the idea that in order for sex to be “real,” a man needs to be putting his penis in some orifice below the waist.

On this view, oral sex – or mutual masturbation or frottage (look it up) – become “mere foreplay,” the sort of thing one might do with a teenaged girlfriend or a White House intern without overly threatening anyone’s sense of chastity.

Calling such practices “foreplay” suggests that they have to lead to something else – “real” sex – rather than being satisfactory in themselves for some people. It also implies, oddly, that most (all?) lesbian sex isn’t “real.”

I’ll say it again: this is just dumb.

If you want to make a baby sexually, then it’s important to put a penis into some orifice below the waist – specifically, a vagina.

But if you’re not having sex to make babies, then you should do what’s mutually satisfying to you and your partner (within safe guidelines).

If that’s anal sex, great. If that’s oral sex, great. If it’s dressing in furry costumes and chasing each other around the bedroom, awesome. Knock yourselves out.

Or maybe you just want to kiss and cuddle and “spoon.” That’s fine too.

Just make your preferences clear, be attentive to your partner’s preferences, and be safe.

Opponents of gay equality do more than enough to denigrate our sexual practices. The last thing we need is to impose hierarchies amongst ourselves about which sex acts count as “real.”

– John Corvino
"Is There One Kind of 'Real' Gay Sex?"
April 8, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Human Sex: Weird and Sill, Messy and Sublime
Evan Wolfson on the "Basic Biology" Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage
Sex as Mystery, Sex as Light (Part 1)
Sex as Mystery, Sex as Light (Part 2)
Making Love, Giving Life
It Happens All the Time in Heaven

Recommended Off-site Links:
The Gay Male Quest for Democratic, Mutual Reciprocal Sex (Part 1) The Leveret (August 7, 2008)
The Gay Male Quest for Democratic, Mutual Reciprocal Sex (Part 2) The Leveret (August 17, 2008)

1 comment:

brian gerard said...

Great quote from Corvino! I could not agree more.