I’ve noticed a trend in the queer rights movement: we only talk about love. There’s campaigns asking lawmakers to “legalize love” and proclamations of “love knows no gender” when discussing issues such as same-sex marriage. While these campaigns are at least somewhat effective, should we really be focusing this much on love?
Don’t get me wrong—I want to someday fall in love with a man and have him sweep me off my feet and be romantic and a great dad and be happy and cute and I’m rambling now. I LOVE the idea of falling in love. As shown in my run-on sentence, I’m a huge hopeless romantic. But that’s just me, and that’s only one aspect of me and my gay/queer/fluid/however-I’m-feeling-that-day identity.
As an adolescent, what made me realize that I was gay wasn’t that I felt romantic feelings towards other guys, because those feelings didn’t come until much later. I realized I was gay because I wanted to have sex with them. Obviously, this is perfectly natural and most people have these sorts of feelings about someone at some point in their lives. So why don’t we talk about it?
The discussion around queer rights is a sex-negative one. It’s not uncommon for someone to say that they support gay rights, but they don’t want to hear about anything sexual. For the most part, I see a lot of the movement falling in line with this narrative; discuss love, but not sex.
Why do we do this? Asexuals aside, I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of the queer community really enjoys sex, but there is little to no discussion about sexual health and education for queer people publicly. Most of the talk about queer sex is focused around three points: 1) gay men are promiscuous, 2) lesbian sex is a giant mystery because there’s no penis involved, and 3) general confusion around how trans* people have sex. In order to turn this into a sex-positive movement, we need to educate the public.
First, gay men are no more promiscuous than anyone else, based on my own observations alone. (And even if they were, what’s wrong with that?) Second, there doesn’t need to be a penis involved for it to count as sex; female bodies have genitals too. Third, it varies, based on what I’ve heard.
In order for us to be truly equal in this society, the discussion about queer sex need to be equal to that of heterosexual sex. No stigmas, no fearing for the children, and and no more self-censorship.
In the words of Salt-n-Pepa: Let’s talk about sex!