From: a recent IM exchange
Her: Why do even the nicest straight guys get weird when you talk about gay sex? Are men just naturally more homophobic than women?
Me: Weâ€™re talking gay male sex , right?
Her: Yeah, of course. Straight chicks donâ€™t act like that when you talk about lesbians.
Me: Uncontaminated ones donâ€™t.
Me: By patriarchal fundamentalist religions… but thatâ€™s a whole different can of writhing phallic worms.
Her: Oh, right. But whatâ€™s the deal with uncontaminated guys?
Me: You mean, why do their anal sphincters snap shut with a faintly audible *pop* right before they remember to mention all their gay friends?
Her: Yeah, the sphincter snap.
Me: Let me think about it…
Her: Youâ€™re going to use this for that Guide thing, arenâ€™t you? Itâ€™s about men, not women.
Her: E? E? E?????
Her: Goddamnit. Donâ€™t use my name, for Christâ€™s sake.
For the record, I believe â€œgayâ€ and â€œstraightâ€ are useless terms. The universal human desire to get off isnâ€™t as simple as A and B, even with ABâ€™s thrown into the equation. Human sexuality is more like a spectrum, or a range, or perhaps a Cartesian coordinate system with wet bits and lots of throbbing â€“ complex, confusing, and much, MUCH more situational than most people want to admit. I think in terms of percentages.
Like this: Youâ€™re a guy. You say, “Iâ€™m totally gay.â€ I say, “Youâ€™re a Ninety-Five Percenter,â€ meaning that in a perfect world full of freely available 23-year-old International Male models, youâ€™d shun the vagina. Youâ€™d laugh at the vagina. You might even utter a contemptuous “Tchah!â€ when the vagina came up in conversation. If, however, you were born into an environment in which a young gay boy was beaten, humiliated and brainwashed into seeing himself as sick and disgusting, you very well might be able to not only marry the possessor of a vagina, but put it to occasional use as well. As my NFP(Gay) friend Bruce explained once, “If itâ€™s dark enough, a hole is a hole is a hole.â€
Or like this: Youâ€™re a guy. You say, “Iâ€™m totally straight.â€ I say, “Youâ€™re an NFP.â€ You say, “I-donâ€™t-have-a-problem-with-it-Iâ€™m-just-not-attracted-to-men (the official appropriate response on page three of your Enlightened Modern Male Handbook).â€ I say, “Have another beer. Or two.â€ Then I take you to the menâ€™s room, promise you complete secrecy and the best blowjob of your life, unbutton your fly, kneel, and right before the magic moment say, “By the way, Iâ€™m a trannie.â€
Ninety-Five Percenter, pal.
So back to the original question. My correspondent had a point: ask an NFP(Straight) woman if sheâ€™d ever have sex with another woman, and sheâ€™ll say something like “Oh, probably not,â€ or “I doubt it,â€ or “Which woman are we talking about here? Like Tina Fey?â€ Ask the same question of a charming, progressive, lovable NFP(S) man and listen closely… yep, there it is, just before the “I-donâ€™t-have-a-problem.â€ The telltale sphincter snap. Why?
This is where the Just Came Out Gay Men’s Chorus melodically exclaims, “CLO-seted!” with the annoying but blessedly transitory zeal of any recent convert. This is where Euphrosyne says, “Hmmm. I don’t know.” Suppressing a vital part of who you are for years and years and having it come out as rage, hatred and violence: that makes sense. Horrifying, revolting, fatal sense. Momentary but instinctual discomfort, particularly in a relatively safe environment, like a room full of like-minded guiltily uncomfortable liberals and women who dig the Enlightened Male? Not so much.
My theory (and the word once again is theory): it might just be about dominance. Pack position. Who gets to piss last and longest on the fire hydrant of society. Nature or nurture, most men have been expected from birth to compete, to win, and to equate their rank in the Big Game with their worth as a human being. The times they may be changing, but not much and not fast. And unless that nice tolerant NFP guy is a total blithering idiot, he has noticed that in this game, women start out behind and never really catch up. He may be aware of the essential wrongness of these rules, he may be actively involved in fighting against the status quo, he may have “NOW” tattooed on his scrotum and a rainbow ring hanging from his Prince Albert – but that lifelong conditioning is deep. Associating being on the receiving end of penetrative sex (the root of the sphincter snap) with being feminized and therefore with being weak or vulnerable… at a gut level, like it or not, it makes sense. Sad but true.
So give a good NFP guy a break. Turn a deaf ear to the involuntary muscular spasm. Appreciate that he’s able to kiss his father in public, plays basketball with his daughter, and will watch every episode of Project Runway with you and a roomful of gay men without even once clasping his hands unconsciously over his genitals. Give a little, get a lot.
But save the pegging conversation for a really opportune moment.
Got a question about women? Or men and women? Tap out an e-mail with the hand that’s not wanking to Internet porn and send it to:
askeuphrosyne at gmail dot com
Confidentiality guaranteed, ball-busting absolutely free. Go on, hit me.