It is Pride month. This year is particularly politically charged. There are fights about adding black and brown stripes to the Pride flag. There are articles on how to be an ally to queer and trans folks. There are fights about how to incorporate trans folks more visibly and inclusively into Pride. There are lots of articles this year about recognizing bi folks as part of the community. I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted.
Amidst all the talk of intersectionality, allies, microagressions, and inclusions, we kind of forgot about the sex. This is sad. And wrong. And denies a big part of the fight to be queer.
Sex, more specifically, the way queer and kinky folks fuck is why so many people hate us, right? Or, at least that seems to be the focus of their hate and the justification for bigoted policies and our murders. Queer and kinky folks are feared because other people are afraid: 1) we will fuck them, 2) we will fuck their kids, and 3) we will want to fuck their pets. I am crass here purposefully because the arguments against queer and kinky sex are that crass and distasteful to me.
Sex, not sexual orientation, not gender assignment or gender orientation, but sexual intercourse is the focus for so many conversations with hetero and cis- folks. In brief, I have been asked the following:
Can lesbians actually have sex if there is no “real” penetration?
Since I am kinky, what keeps me from sleeping with immediate relatives?
If I like rough sex, how can I ever say someone could abuse me? Did I come when I was involuntarily and non-consensually hit by a man?
Have I fucked an animal?
Why would I mind being raped if I like kinky sex?
Why don’t I find it funny when people make jokes about drugging and raping someone? Isn’t that a kink?
Why do gay men purposely infect women with AIDS?
Why is it not okay for a man to kill someone if he has “gay panic” or “trans panic”?
I support teaching children the intricacies of sex, don’t I?
Disgusting right? I don’t know where hetero folks get these ideas.
The assumptions straight folks have about queer and kinky sex are horrifying to me. And, I know by the number of times heteros have mentioned my sex life, they spend waaaaay more time thinking about me getting laid than I do.
The fears of heteros and cis folks around sex are rooted in the patriarchy and rape culture. They are rooted in the belief that rich White men get to choose what happens to other people’s bodies. It is rooted in the belief that queers, women, POC, trans, and any “other” lack the moral fortitude to not rut like animals in heat unless there are policies penalizing our bodies.
Let’s face it, the trans bathroom issue is not about trans folks. It is about rape culture. The fear behind “assigned gender” bathroom policies is that if someone with a penis is around “real women”, they can’t help but rape them. If it was about anything else, we would be talking about trans men using the men’s room (which nevers come up). We would be talking about bullying and safety of people. We would be talking about stall equity. We don’t talk about these things because the debate is about rape culture, not trans bodies.
Queer folks can still be fired from jobs in at least 26 states for no other reason than they are queer. Most often, these firings take place in schools, day care centers and other child care facilities. The belief is that queer folks are also pedophiles. Again, the issue is rape culture, not sexual orientation. The reality is, nearly all pedophiles are heterosexual. There are a number of studies on this including this one which show that the vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexual. It is the specter of gay sex and rape culture that allow these discriminatory policies to continue.
I can go on for volumes about the real roots of anti-gay legislation and probably will at a later date. Regardless of what the underlying causes of hate toward us queer and kinky folks are, the public discussion is about how we have sex.
Our sex, especially queer kinksters, is a revolutionary act. Engaging in dominance and submission and BDSM fetishes requires that we participate in sexual practices that are antithetical to rape culture and the patriarchy. Consent is at the core of BDSM. If I whip you without consent, its assault. If I tie you up and have sex with you without consent, it is rape. Kinky folks talk about consent. We talk about desire and needs and sex openly.
Having consensual, discussed, passionate sex goes against our culture. We are raised to think the best sex is the sex that is never discussed. Look at any romantic film in pop culture. Most of the plots are borderline stalking and rape. The girl says no in a dozen different ways. The guy keeps pursing her. Finally, he grabs her, kisses her and they fall into a passionate bliss without ever discussing sex or even if she wants him to touch her. This is the dominant culture’s ideal romance. Stalking and borderline sexual assault.
Queer kinksters practice the antithesis of this. We ask what our partners want. We discuss the intricacies of the sex we will have. We talk about boundaries, limits, desires, and what lubes we want to use. We plan for sex. We buy props for sex. We pay dungeon fees to have sex on equipment we don’t have at home. This is revolutionary sex.
Sometimes we even have sex without penetration (SHOCKING!). Our patriarchal culture defines sex as a penis penetrating a vagina. This understanding of sex fuels teenage girls having anal intercourse as a way to “preserve their virginity” until marriage and fueled the debate if Clinton “really” had sex if it was “just a blow job.” Kinky and queer sex can actually involve a bunch of different acts where there is no penile penetration of anything. Understanding these acts as acts of intimacy an