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11 August 2009, 2:00 pm 80 Comments

Zack's Ramblings: Slut

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This post was submitted by Zack Rosen

big night

Last summer, at a 4th of July party, a combination of alcohol and an escalating series of dares lead to my peeing on some some guy’s face. The recipient of the beery splash was actually the one leading the dares, and the six or so men around me were in support. We were all naked and hanging out in an oversized kiddie pool. If nothing had happened it would have been infinitely more surprising than any of the revelry that followed.

My dad doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know any of my stories, or at least he didn’t last summer. That was when he voiced his relief that I had not fallen into the “promiscuity” that he believed characterized the lives of many gay men. This is several minutes after he told me how happy he was that I had just celebrated a year with my boyfriend, and that when he was my age he was like “a pig in shit” when it came to his dealings with girls.

It’s not gay men who chase sex desperately. It’s all men. Men are dogs, pigs, aardvarks or any other mammalian nouns ascribed to those who can’t control themselves. The only thing that generally stands between most men and utter sexual exhaustion (or at least the promise of such) is women. Women love sex just as much as men do, but I believe there is truth to the fact that our genetic hard-wiring leads men to spread their seed far and wide and women to try and nest with one partner. (Again, I really stress these are broad generalizations and many exceptions exist.)

I don’t think most men don’t fully understand their the grip that sexual desire has over them. We just know it’s there. Every single guy reading this: think of one truly bad decision that you made just in the name of having an orgasm in another’s presence. Wait- I bet you couldn’t stop at just one. How about this- can you think of ten bad mistakes? Fifteen? Cars entered, sleeps lost, asses made of your selves, shirts purchased, weights lifted, drinks consumed, condoms bought in bulk and never used, late-night texts sent?

I know that this is a part of me. The first time gay sex became available to me was in college, and though the dating pool was small I splashed around in it every available chance. Soon my telltale pruny fingers, toes and other parts marked me as a frequent swimmer. I loved this designation. The first time I got called a slut it caused me a little thrill. It just meant that I was being recognized for going after what I wanted. All subsequent iterations — tramp, freak, whorezilla — are similarly exciting. In fact, it was the times in my life when I was being known as a good, innocent boy that I felt sad, because this is when I wasn’t be true to myself. Even my boyfriend likes to joke about the eternal, unquenchable horniness that causes me to ogle bus drivers and hospital nurses and say hi to strangers on the street. He appreciates all my foibles, and remembers what it was like to be my age, but mostly he’s just a man.

Though gay men’s lives are not purely defined by sex — I don’t need to tell you that the richness of the modern queer experience goes beyond an eternal search for dick in ass — I think we do ourselves a disservice by forgetting that we have been designated like we are because of sex. Not love, not companionship, not dating, but sex. Gay marriage is verboten because it leads to gay sex. Parent freak out about gay teachers because they think we’ll teach their children about abhorrent sex. Gay adoption, gay blood donors, all “controversial” aspects of us as a people can be traced back to a popular disdain for how we get off.

However, the way to address this is not to cut sex out of our lives entirely. Some people seem to think that we can whitewash ourselves to equality. Show no affection, no desire, no indication that you have anything between your legs but a smooth strip of plastic and we’ll be able to do what everyone else does. This is true in a sense, but if we win our acceptance as a sexless people we’ll be forever robbed of sex. It’s common sense. Not everyone wants to be joined in holy matrimony or to fight in the military, but everyone wants to have sex. And if the way we have sex is fundamentally accepted, then all of our other rights would fall into line. I’m sure of this.

Gay men are only cast as the societal whores of Babylon because we have the kind of potentially unfettered access to the one thing that most people only dream of. Gay men might be the most understanding about how different the concepts of love and sex are. When both are present the gods themselves will smile on us, but we know we’re not going to hell if we have one without the other.

We should have sex 100% safely. Anyone that hasn’t learned that lesson from history is a fool. We should be honest with our partners about what we’re looking for, and not use people for sex when they are looking for love. Those of us with boyfriends should keep their behavior within whatever parameters are set for them. But we should never beat ourselves up for seeking pleasure. TNG


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80 Comments »

  • Mark said:

    Great post Zack. Finally somebody discusses male sexuality honestly. Men are biologically driven to fuck all the time. This drive can and has been culturally conditioned, repressed or diverted but is, nonetheless, naturally occurring and everpresent. Men are constantly negotiating, suppressing or sublimating their natural sexual drive every day of their lives.

    I am thinking about how hot Zack is and about having sex with three other guys right now instead of writing this damn comment. Later today when I’m in the office up to my neck what will I be thinking about? Sex, hot men. Do I know the location of every hot man in my office? You got it dude. Would I rather think about vacation and making more money? Sure. Will I? No. Why? Those are culturally conditioned and socially constructed responses designed to sublimate and distract from biologically innate sex drive…and no matter how much I and my culture try to control it my brain is wired for it. The biological male reflex is sex, not HGTV. That we’re not fucking all the time means we’re controlling it. The mere fact that we must control is the very proof that our sex and our gender is biologically determined.

    Reading Zack’s post I remember all the arguing on numerous past threads over gender: culturally constructed v. biologically determined. Male sex drive is a glaringly evident example of how gender is not learned but biologically determined. Masculinity expresses itself culturally through the framework of biologically determined sexuality. Some men allow that sexuality to be culturally conditioned more, some less. The point is sexual orientation AND gender, at it’s most basic and fundamental part, is biology.

  • S said:

    mark, gender is a lot more than sex drive. gender is a social construction, so i think you are thinking of something else but using the word gender. for example, women don’t biologically have an urge to wear dresses, and men pants. there are plenty of females who you can describe as masculine and males who can be described as feminine; there is nothing “biologically” wrong with these people.

  • Jimbo said:

    Sex is yet another drug used as an excuse for why men are the way they are. I too am a man. I love sex but I can tell you for sure it does not define me. I have been around the block a few times but it was not a requirement that it was something I had to do. Partly done for pleasure but largely done out of boredom. I am one of the few gay men in the world that appreciates a good monogamous relationship and no I am neither fat, femme, or unattractive. Theres something about having someone to talk to on a regular basis, come home to, have a drink with or just in general great conversation. I strive hard everyday to avoid what is considered gay culture from the clothes, the attitude, personalities, and in general lifestyle. I come across those people whom are straight(girls) that like that side of gay culture but I make it known thats not me and if we’re to be friends they can forget that stereotype. I am not opposed to getting dressed up nicely, and heading out for drinks and a good dance but I am opposed to making that my daily lifestyle and being consumed by such a thing which includes drugs and numerous partners on a weekly basis. Also, not opposed to the quick shag but if its good I usually like to continue such a shag with that one person ither casually or something serious depending on where I am and where they are in life. Anyway, I think as time goes on some of that stigma of who gay men and women are will begin to fade to black but I think the stereotype will always stand in the light to some extent as it does with black people being thought of as ghetto and uncivilized, white people smelling like dog, and so on.

  • B.B. said:

    I am so exhausted from hearing excuse after excuse about why having sex with anyone and everyone anywhere and everywhere is “okay.” No, it is not okay. Let’s also not fool ourselves into believing that straight men are just as slutty as gay men. Women are still socialized to rebuff men’s attempts to have sex with them. I do not doubt that many straight men would have sex as often as possible if they could, but there is still a certain degree of dignity in the straight dating arena.

    It seems that most men in the gay scene believe that without women around, we’re entitled to having as many sexual encounters as we want. And then we tack a “We must have safe sex” at the end of it for good measure. Let me tell you something: actions speak louder than words. These gay guys who get drunk all the time and engage in raucous sexual behavior (peeing on someone’s face in a hot tub full of naked men, really?) may be safe most of the time, but the frequent levels of intoxication in gay men assure that there will come a time, sooner or later, that they will not be safe, and all it takes is that one time. Alcohol fuels bad decisions and only one bad decision can completely change the course of several people’s lives.

    There are several things about posts like this that bother me. First, it seems that some gay men will find any justification for their own actions. Second, in doing so, I am lumped in with these other gay guys that lead irresponsible sex lives devoid of self-respect. No, it is possible to have a dignified dating life. It is possible not to go to bed on the first date. It is possible not to cruise a club looking for a quick fuck. It is possible to resist the urge to pee on someone’s face (be it a dare or not) in a hot tub full of gay men. The worst part about this all is that this is how the gay community gets painted, because the people leading irresponsible sex lives want to pretend that all the gays are doing this in order to make themselves feel less promiscuous. As a result, this is how the straight community stereotypes us and this stereotype is singularly damaging to our fight for equality.

    The thing about this article that bothers me the most is what it leaves out. Sex is not a purely physical experience. Sex is a physical, emotional and spiritual experience. Sex reaches its peak when you’re with someone who truly care about. That’s why there is more tied to sex than raging hormones. These gay “sluts,” they don’t seem to realize that some people don’t consider sex a shallow, caveman-like activity. And more often than not, these gay “sluts” selfishly hurt other people by their irresponsible behavior.

    I’m just tired of being associated with this when it’s the very thing I’m trying to fight against. I want to live a dignified life, not be some shirtless circuit boy on X giving blow jobs in a back room at a rave.

    Soapbox gone. Rant over.

  • NationsKappatol said:

    well, Zach, I agree with you.

    Methinks B.B. needs to get over himself.

  • Kyle said:

    That’s right, because if we all become prudes, the right-wing straight people are bound to accept us then! Seriously, people, if you want to be a prude, fine, but your preachiness is on your own head. There are people who will hate you even if your monogamous. There are people who will hate you even if you are celebate. Stop trying to win their approval. Enjoy your life however you see fit, let others do the same, and get off your high horse.

  • adam said:

    oh god. i don’t think zack meant to “justify” pissing on someone’s face here. i think it’s implied that consenting adults having sex isn’t something that needs justification.

    and please, can we just once (once!) have a discussion here where no one evokes the cliche (a dated cliche at that) of the “shirtless circuit boy giving blowjobs at a rave”? i don’t know this raver boy, you don’t know him either. that’s because he’s not a real person, you’ve just invented an avatar for all your perceived problems with the way gay people treat you. it’s fucking tiresome. besides, i’m sure this mythical raver boy has enough problems with out taking on all your sexual issues too.

  • Zack said:

    i love how on a gay website the person advocating monogamy and self-restraint in the sex department is getting ripped apart by all the gay whores. how typical. then again, BB, look at the article you just read–what kind of gays do you think the majority of its readers are?

    adam, we all know the shirtless circuit boy giving blowjobs at the rave. he’s the one with glitter on his face, usually just post-crack-snorting, that tries to slip unnoticed into the bathroom with one or two other guys by the end of the night. oh, and not being a slut doesn’t mean someone has “sexual issues.” “filthy whore” is not our default setting, though it may be what many of you have devolved to.

    i’m with you, BB. they might be whining about your rant, but the truth hurts. and in the end, so will they, because their asses are transforming into giant black holes. they’ll be pulling objects into orbit within a month.

  • Zack said:

    p.s. ^^^ i’m a different zack, not the one who wrote this.

  • adam said:

    look, i didn’t endorse anything except letting consenting adults to themselves. but the moment people start even just talking about sex your “default” is to start shouting dirty whore? jesus. that sounds like sexual issues to me.

    and are you a regular at these numerous “gay rave party events” that are so frequent and so full of the worst kind of slutty faggot? the ones that right kind of uppity faggot (read: you) are so above? what are you doing there? just silently judging in the corner? for people who are so ultra-sensitive to avoid being stereotyped (god i can barely type that word) you can sure sling a stereotype or two yourselves. leave the circuit boy alone for once. he’s just a scary, slutty, drugged-up, (make believe) “other” that you can lay all your problems on.

  • Kyle said:

    @BB and Zack2—there is a very big difference between advocating monogamy and condemning those who choose not to be monogamous. If you had wanted to, you could have promoted monogamy without condemning those who disagree with you. You chose not to do so. So don’t whine when those taking a contrary position defend themselves.

  • Susan said:

    I’m currently engaging in post-graduate coursework in human sexuality and psychology and this makes for one interesting study.

    I’ve always been considered relatively liberal when it comes to issues of sex, but when did I miss the memo that nowadays you’re considered a “prude” for being against random acts of sex and being appalled at the thought of someone in a hot tub peeing in another person’s face?

    As far as I could tell, B.B. in no way demonstrated any sort of glimpse into his psyche that revealed he had “sexual issues.” In fact, from my experience, the people with “sexual issues” would be the ones engaging in boundless sexual activity–or advocating it, which generally implies that either they can empathize with these persons from their own personal experiences or could see themselves engaging in that kind of behavior one day.

    And as for the person who said that this has no effect on gay rights, I beg to differ. Homophobes, people who are anti-gay rights, and people who have simply not been exposed enough to gay culture, when interviewed, generally respond that gay men have no self-restraint and engage in sex acts with little discretion. What’s ironic is many of you are siding with these small-minded persons, for you, too, are agreeing that gay men are like this. And why? Because you think the argument that “everyone’s doing it” will somehow justify this reckless behavior. In your failure to recognize the faultiness of this argument (isn’t the adequate response “If your friends jumped off a cliff…?”), many of you have not progressed past the mentality of children.

    B.B. is right. There are many gay men who lead responsible, respectable sexual lives. That doesn’t mean they don’t have any fun; it simply means they don’t have sex with anything that moves. It’s regrettable that some of you are so quickly to stereotype yourselves simply to justify your own behavior. It’s understandable that B.B. would not want to be categorized with men who pee in one another’s face, have naked hot tub parties, or have sex on a whim. I wouldn’t want to be thrown into that lot, either. That doesn’t make me a “prude,” though, as I still manage to have my fun.

    Also, I’d like to point out that I fully believe that sexuality is determined by biological influences, or at least these influences predispose one toward their sexuality, but I do not agree that promiscuous sexual behavior is. Even if there were predispositions, it would not make them right. If someone was predisposed toward being a murderer, taking the life of another wouldn’t be right (an extreme example, but you understand my point).

    HIV/AIDS is sweeping through the gay male community. It is not because it is “God’s wrath” or any other anti-gay fantasy. It is simply because men transfer STDs/STIs more effectively through their semen. Lesbians are at the least risk. Gay men must be extra careful, and B.B. is right. One drug-induced bad decision may be all that it requires for the ship to start sinking. The higher one’s standards, the less of a risk they become.

    A crucial issue in B.B.’s argument also went unnoticed. He mentioned that there are more things tied to sex than simply physical senses. This is utterly true. Sex between consenting adults is not the only thing that makes it right. Imagine two men gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes and then consenting to have sex. Cute, right? Except I left out part of the story: what about each of their boyfriends alone at home, wondering where they were? This is clearly an issue of standards.

    On a personal note, B.B., I have many gay friends who are like you. I also have gay friends who are like the others posting comments here, but they are not as close, because I find it easier to be close with people I trust and respect. There are countless gay men like yourself, although many of them are hard to count, because they steer clear of the “gay scene” because they fear being judged (as a “prude,” like you already have been) or their morality becoming conflicted by social requirements. It’s unfortunate that the homophobes and many members of the gay scene have teamed up to promote a pejorative depiction of the gay man’s sexual lifestyle, but if people like yourself become more vocal you may help show that the reckless sexual exploits of these gay men don’t necessarily speak for the sum of you. And to the person who said that having sexual standards wouldn’t make homophobes or anti-gay people hate gays any less or be more willing to give rights, that’s probably true. BUT there are people who are on the fence, and open-minded about campaigning for gay rights, and this kind of stuff is not helping your cause. At all.

  • michael said:

    It’s also to note that there is a lot of middle ground between living a dignified, monogamous (or asexual) life and being a circuit queen drug addict slut. It is very very easy to have frequent yet respectful sexual relations with one or more people. The internet is full of guys who don’t drink or do drugs and look for anonymous sex online, mostly because they don’t like the “bar culture” you (B.B.) seem to be so against.

  • ZK84 said:

    Because meeting strangers online for anonymous sex isn’t slutty, it’s perfectly normal.

  • michael said:

    Why is it that we as gay men have to appear sexless and conform to straight norms in order to gain acceptance, yet straight people engage in acts like Spring Break and Girls Gone Wild and this has no impact on their ability to maintain the human rights we all deserve? Why would anyone accept this hypocrisy as acceptable?

    Anyone advocating for a more dignified gay lifestyle as THE method of gaining civil rights is giving in to the straight majority who will only find us acceptable if they see us as asexual Will (from Will and Grace) rather than one of the characters from Queer As Folk (British version, mostly).

    And for all of you who think Zack’s story involved a hot tub, you obviously didn’t read the post or didn’t read it closely enough.

  • Mark said:

    re Susan:

    I love comments from straight people “currently engaging in post-graduate coursework in human sexuality and psychology”. Please do not say ever things like The Gays make “one interesting study” for you. Shall we put on some Gay Face later and gush, prance and mince for you so you can study that too? I think you know where I’m coming from. Your well-intentioned but un-selfconscious comments, to tell The Gays who they really are, betrays heterosexist hegemonic privilege which you will always have whether chosen and acknowledged or not. What you wrote is right. You sound pretty cool and pretty smart and The Gays need folks like you around. Please do not become one of those Ph.D types who are parodies of themselves.

    The reason The Gays “have no self-restraint and engage in sex acts with little discretion” is because, unlike heterosexual men, thay have not had an entire planet of cultures and societies built around satisfying or assuaging their every need,offering them countless diversions and responsibilities to sublimate their sexuality into things like marriage, military service, fatherhood, organized sports, etc. Recognizing this does not make us self-loathing, just aggressively politicized.

    re S:

    You cannot compare behavior such as an “urge to wear dresses, and…pants” with biologically determined sexuality. The degree to which gender is learned is based on biological drives such as aggression, linear thinking and increased sexual drive which come from chromosomes, hormones and brain structure (not fashion) and from which, I think you’ll agree, females are very different.

    In general:

    Acknowledging males biologically driven need to have sex is not in any way condoning anything or any lifestyle. It is merely acknowledging biological fact. The learned behavior is the sublimation of those drives. Where do you think the idea of sending men to graduate school came from in the first place? Stop them from fighting and fucking all day and night.

  • Mark said:

    Michael is absolutely right. Gay men remain eunuchs to neuter the heterosexist stereotype of the feared and reviled promiscuous predatory homosexual…who only exists in the minds of heterosexuals.

    Straight people need to just deal with their bigotry. Gay men need to recognize and refuse unwitting collusion in the heterosexual fantasy of the sexless sterile male who sublimates his natural sex drive into fastidiousness and good grooming for the benefit of fag hags and clueless straight men who need fashion tips. Straight people have imprisoned The Gays in a minstrel show of Grand Guignol proportion. Fuck that and fuck them.

    I doubt anyone accepts Girls Gone Wild, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, et al as typical of all women. But some crazy faggot with glitter on his face sucks dick at a party and suddenly The Gays are all promisuous whores.

    Fuck that.

  • Phil said:

    B.B. and Susan, your posts are full of prescriptive notions of right and wrong, moral and immoral.

    “No, it is not okay”
    “Even if there were predispositions, it would not make them right”

    you two should be careful of this. as in, you need to justify WHY it is wrong, whether fundamentally or because of the outcomes (or both). like you, i would argue that its wrong to constantly engage in promiscuous sex because of its outcomes (herpes, aids, etc). but anything beyond that sounds like your own superimpositions of sex. as in, “this works for me so it should be like this with everyone”. Like the part about sex being a physical, emotional, and spiritual experience. maybe this is so for you, and even me for that matter, but how dare you universalize that? the language the both of you use sounds exactly like the shallow rhetoric preachers and priests use.

    anyways, write more about it.

  • Phil said:

    on the flipside, everyone arguing against B.B. and Susan has been eerily quiet about the physical outcomes of promiscuous behavior. whats the deal?? are we to ignore the fact that this behavior can easily spread diseases. are we really to believe that the countless drunken hookups are preformed safely and honestly. theres middle ground to be found here, at least on this issue

  • Susan said:

    MARK,

    Do not even attempt to pull the “gay card” on me. You obviously didn’t read my post. If you had, you would have understood my disgust in your stereotyping all men together. That was the problem in the first place. B.B. was offended that his thoughtful, responsible sexuality was tossed into the same pool as loose (and irresponsible) sexualities that peed in one another’s faces. I said that by stereotyping all gay men, you side with the homophobes and anti-gay persons who are doing that. When both massive quantities of gay men and the anti-gay/homophobic front argue that gay men have promiscuous sex, what do you think happens to the reputation of your community? There are many gays and lesbians who do not engage in that behavior. They certainly don’t want that label attached to them.

    And what do you do? You continue stereotyping the gay sexuality. “The gays” this. “The gays” that. B.B. had just made it clear that he wanted no part of that reputation, and that it was not the only gay sexual lifestyle there was. You do not speak for him and countless other gays.

    Furthermore, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said “the gays made one interesting study” for me. The interesting study was the subject matter on this forum, not “the gays” themselves. I’m above generalizing, first of all, and I would find more psychologically appropriate language if I was going to make any general statements at all.

    You continue to put words in my mouth later on when you say “the gays ‘have no self-restraint and engage in sex acts with little discretion.’” I never made that generalized accusation towards all gays. I clearly praised the lifestyle led by B.B. and most likely Zack and ZK85.

    I agree that in this society heterosexual men are privileged, but please compare the benefits society grants them to the irresponsible sex some gay men seek. They in no way parallel and therefore your argument is defunct. How you attempt to justify sexually promiscuous and irresponsible behavior by saying straight men have “marriage, military service, fatherhood, and organized sports” does in no way correlate. What is marriage? It is a monogamous, responsible, romantic (as well as sexual) union with ONE person that is not anonymous. That seems to be the very thing many of you are condemning in B.B. So don’t act as if you want marriage when many of you are complaining that the requirements of monogamy, emotion, and a non-anonymous sexual relationship are too much for you to handle. I agree that there is injustice and I actively campaign against it, but I only feel marriage is due to gay men like B.B. who can handle those requirements (I am not being unjust in this, as I feel only straight people who can meet these requirements deserve marriage likewise).

    I am furthermore distraught by your misogyny in “acknowledging males’ biologically driven need to have sex” statement. Because what? Women aren’t driven to have sex? Just because many women can resist sex or attach a higher mental, spiritual and emotional meaning to sex than simply animalistic behavior does not mean we are not driven to have sex. On the same token, there are many women who do have sex. But you know something? If a woman were to engage in the kind of label you’re condoning, she’d be irreparably labeled a whore. Unlike the crowd you obviously hang around with, she’d irreparably be labelled a “whore” and socially extricated, rather than being praised and sought after. Don’t talk to me about injustice. You’re simply helping to fuel double standards. We have to acknowledge men’s “biologically driven need to have sex” and chastise men like B.B. who advocates a respectable, responsible and monogamous lifestyle because they don’t conform to your twisted opinions of masculinity and we continue to ignore and mask women’s sexual needs and chastise the women who admit to possessing them. How divine.

    MICHAEL,

    I sincerely believe you need to see a counselor, as you appear only able to witness the world in shades of black and white. No one is advocating that gay men appear as “sexless” “eunuchs.” Leading a safe and respectable sexual lifestyle in no way is sexless, nor does it make you a eunuch. Your egregious hyperbole in trying to twist B.B.’s argument into an argument for celibacy is truly flabbergasting. Whoever accused B.B. of having “sexual issues” completely missed the mark. The one’s with “sexual issues” are the ones who think there is no area between celibacy and promiscuous, irresponsible sex.

    Furthermore, I advocate the same sexual lifestyles to straight persons and warn those who do not, so please don’t label this as “hypocrisy.” Furthermore, “Girls Gone Wild” and “Spring Break” do not speak for the whole of the straight community. You people praising anonymous sex do not speak for the whole of the gay community. There is also a huge difference between flashing your breasts on TV shows and engaging in sexual intercourse; one is undeniably far more risky than the other.

    I also engaged in a study about a year ago, interviewing both gay men and straight women. While more than half of the straight women argued they could refrain from one night stands and didn’t feel their relationship was jeopardized by “holding off from putting out too early,” gay men almost unanimously responded that they felt pressure from other members of the gay community to have sex right away, or else they would be socially cast out by the one group that’s supposed to wholeheartedly embrace them. Many men struggling with their homosexuality also responded that they didn’t want to be gay because gay men had loose sex far more than the straight community.

    When you respond with this black and white thinking, that YOUR gay lifestyle is the ONLY gay lifestyle, you cease to make your community a loving and accepting place. You pressure other gay men into following your perception of gay normalcy, promoting promiscuous, anonymous sex that is incredibly unsafe. What many of you need to understand is that the gay rights movement is about destroying social conventions to allow more freedom. You promote sexual liberation (which you have somehow correlated with promiscuity) at the cost of your own health (emotional, physical and spiritual), but you condemn those gay men who do not want to lead the same sexual lifestyle as you (just because B.B., Zack, and ZK85 argue for safe sex or monogamous sex, they are called “asexual”). If this were about freedom, you’d be letting them live the way they want. You wouldn’t be saying that there was only one way to embrace your homosexuality. The path you are forcing other gay men down is a dangerous one.

  • zack (author) said:

    I try not to comment on my own posts, but I wanted to remind everyone here that promiscuity does not spread HIV. Unsafe sex spreads HIV, no matter how many people you sleep with.

  • Queer Blogger said:

    Susan, no one necessarily condemned B.B. They rejected his condemnation of the free expression of gay male sexuality. There’s a huge difference. No one here except you and B.B. is telling anyone else how to live.

    Really. Reread the comments above.

    No one is forcing anyone down any path. I think those of us on the pro-sex side of things find no reason to maintain heterosexual behavioral norms (most often restricted by a woman’s desire to nest vs. a man’s desire to spread seed) in a universe of sex involving only men. Of course, it should be done safely and respectfully.

    And those of you so revolted by the whole urination thing, that’s one of the safest sex acts around. (Not one I enjoy, but urine is sterile!)

  • adam said:

    can also just bring to attention the outright hysteria that people attach to stds? because the infections are the result of sexual contact people can freak out about how “dangerous” sex is and how “irresponsible” those who sleep around are. people would certainly disapprove of someone with a cold or the flu taking metro and sneezing all over, but i really doubt they would end up getting called a whore for it. i mean, walking in the woods can get you lyme disease, but no one would say your being irresponsible with yourself for walking in the woods.

    so for susan to claim that her judgment isn’t based in some sort of anti-sex morality is deluded. i just don’t believe her. the fact of the matter is that safer sex is really quite good at preventing HIV infection, and anyhow, these days i think i’d rather get the clap than the flu. so disease-spreading-whores aside, how else is this sluttiness “dangerous and irresponsible”? because i really don’t think you’re qualified, susan, to comment on my “emotional and spiritual health”.

  • Kyle said:

    Really, Susan, you are way off base. BB, etc. aren’t prudes because they choose to enjoy a monogamous lifestyle. They are prudes because they want to force monogamy on everyone else. As far as that goes they are no different from any other person wanting to force his/her lifestyle on others (e.g., fundamentalists). No one in this post or in the comments is advocating, much less demanding, that monogamous men become “sluttier”. It’s just that the non-monagamous folks want the intrusive prudes to leave them alone.

  • Phil said:

    adam, true, she really can’t explain your emotional or spiritual health. especially since she hasn’t even defined what spirituality is. but are you really downplaying STDs??? people who have multiple partners, dont get tested, and dont tell others about their current status are IRRESPONSIBLE. these guys exist. true, promiscuity may not spread HIV if its done safely (unless, of course, the condom BREAKS). but safe sex can still spread herpes, something which is untreatable. (this danger exists for people who have one or many partners. but the chances are significantly higher with more partners). im not saying promiscuity is fundamentally wrong. but unless its done with complete safety and honesty, it enters very irresponsible waters.

  • Phil said:

    “untreatable” i meant incurable

  • adam said:

    i’m just saying there’s no need to be hysterical about it and people shouldn’t just use their existence as another way to shame people. obviously the spread of stds should be avoided.

  • Susan said:

    Perhaps some of you need to take sex education again, but sexual promiscuity most certainly does increase your chances of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. I have engaged in so many studies that demonstrate men (and women, though for our purposes we will only consider men) do not know everything they need to know when it comes to safe sex. Many men are not aware of what kinds of condoms are better, many men do not know what condom size best suits them, and many men do not accurately apply condoms. The improper use of condoms is hugely detrimental to the health of both gay and straight communities. In addition, even latex condoms, generally the best choice, don’t protect against all STDs.

    Let me repeat what I just said. Even latex condoms, the most effective kind, do not protect against ALL STDs, and in order to protect against SOME STDs, they must be the right size and must be used properly 100% of the time. Do you think for one moment, that if you lead an utterly promiscuous lifestyle, that you can achieve this? Most men are overconfident in this but admitting fault in that area generally comes all too late.

    Let’s not forget that many men forget that condoms have an expiration date, use antiquated methods of storage–wallets, pockets, etc.–that can create tears in the condom, and sometimes tear condoms during their application. Men are also overconfident in their condom’s potential duration, reusing it after a short rested interval when they should apply a new one.

    In addition, what most of you are unwilling to admit is that many of these sexual encounters occur in impaired circumstances: meeting someone at a club, going home with someone from the bar, or after a drunken party in a kiddie pool (I’m sorry to whoever reasoned that my entire argument was invalidated by my wrongful use of “hot tub” in place of “kiddie pool”–but really, I think “hot tub” might have been a step up). If it’s not certain that you’ll use a condom PERFECTLY 100% of the time when you’re sober, what makes you think that you’ll use it perfectly when you’re intoxicated?

    This is why promiscuous sexual intercourse is irresponsible (promiscuous is simply defined as “not restricted to one sexual partner,” so do not try to back out of that one; it can also be defined as “not restricted to one class, sort, or person” which would most definitely fit this kind of sexual behavior as well). What fails to register for many of you is that actions speak louder than words. You can preach “safe sex” as much as you want, but the fact of the matter is that this is gross overconfidence bordering on complete dishonesty. Between all of you advocates of promiscuous “safe” sex, I would reason, given my personal experience in studies of sexual behavior and the statistics given by gynecologists and other medical doctors as well as psychologists, that many of you are not practicing what you preach. It could be entirely unbeknownst to you, but that is what generally creates problems in the first place.

    Another problem is that mentioned by B.B. The willingness with which you people advocate giving into your sex drive indiscriminately is appalling. This behavior can be detrimental to anyone who falls into it. Despite the frequent sexual encounters you may be admitting to, most gay men readily state that they desire to end with a monogamous relationship/marriage one day. Sexual promiscuity is not just a switch you turn off. The vast majority of people cannot quit promiscuous sex cold turkey. Which is why it puts many gay men like B.B. in danger. Because most gay men eventually seek a monogamous relationship, some of their sexually promiscuous behavior resides in them even after they enter into monogamy. If they have provided justifications for sexually promiscuous behavior before, they are very likely to find justifications for promiscuous behavior (including adulterous behavior) after. This is a complete injustice to men like B.B. You have no idea how many stories I have heard of monogamous gay men like B.B. being betrayed by their boyfriend and infected with HIV.

    Part of the problem is many of your complete unwillingness to acknowledge your potential to fail or potential to become “a bad guy” and do something like that. The reason for this lies in exactly what you have been demonstrating: your eagerness to justify anything you do.

    Just beware that like everyone else, you are prone to fail. And the more promiscuous your sexual lifestyle, the more you are setting yourself up for failure. Don’t call me a homophobe, because I say the same thing to straight individuals. Don’t call me asexual because I enjoy sex… a lot. Hear me when I say that a lot of you need to grow up and wise up.

  • DL said:

    I appreciate Susan’s psychological input on this article and in this debate. I know someone was put off by her saying that sexually promiscuity affects mental, emotional and spiritual health (perhaps she struck a nerve?) but those things are all linked together. In addition, she referred to one of the posters on here as a candidate for borderline personality disorder because of his inability to distinguish the gray area between asexuality and wanton/loose sexual practices. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t promiscuity a symptom of borderline personality disorder? Sounds like it’s all starting to come together.

    It relieves me to see there are others who aren’t fans of the screwing-like-animals that seems to go hand-in-hand with being gay anymore.

    Two things to those using the but-straight-people-do-it-too argument:
    1. So? Just because they’re animals doesn’t mean we have to be.
    2. I can’t tell you the last straight party I was at where a straight dude peed in a straight girl’s face.

    And I hang out with a lot of straight people. The gay scene makes me feel uncomfortable anymore. I feel objectified, my comfort zone invaded, and pressured to have sex. It’s like these guys think “Women don’t like ANY sex and thus don’t like being harassed but because ALL men like slutty sex, it’s completely okay to touch and/or make obscene comments to another guy.” This doesn’t make me a eunuch. It just makes me pickier and the owner of higher moral standards than some of you. In my life, the gays who lead promiscuous sex lives are also the ones grabbing me and creeping me out at clubs and bars.

  • DL said:

    P.S. If gays spent as much time campaigning for equality as they did humping, I think we’d be a lot further ahead. In my experience in gay rights advocacy, the people who are fighting the hardest are the ones that are having promiscuous sex the least. These boys I meet at clubs who are simply there to find their one night stand–they couldn’t be less interested in the fight for justice.

  • Mark said:

    Re: Susan

    What a mess. You could have said all that in about five sentences and instead took ten paragraphs. Good call!

    Haughty academic in da house! She gonnna open a can of theory on yo punk ass! Looks like we got us a bona fide straight-white-knee jerk-peace lovin-liberal-bourgeois pretender from outer space. And a humorless academic at that. Thank you Miss Uppity White Lady fo splainin all ‘at. We ain’t got no book learnin so’s we sho do preciate it. As though none of us has taken a simple liberal arts undergraduate level sexuality 101 course. Really Susan. To what heights does your arrogance aspire? I guess we’ll find out in your future book length posts to this thread. I don’t know who you should go to first: your advisor or your psychiatrist.

    1)“Do not even attempt to pull the “gay card” on me.”

    Then don’t pull the condescending, superior feminist/woman card with us.

    2)“You obviously didn’t read my post.”

    I did read your post. Why do you think I care about “the reputation of my community” in the minds of “the homophobes and anti-gay persons”? Who are you to assume this is “my community”? Who are you to assume that at all homosexuals are also, by default, culturally identified as “Gay” and, therefore, members of the same mythic monolithic Gay Community that (all heterosexuals believe) love musical theatre and Cher?

    How remarkably condescending you are to The Gays, confining us all to a simple semiotic box that makes life easy for YOU. Carelessly wielding that unacknowledged hegemonic heterosexist privilege. I guess you think, like a good white liberal, that all Black people are also African American. I would no sooner place Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Paris Hilton in the same Women’s Community than I would collapse all men who [avowedly] have sex with men in the same box. The term “Gay Community” is nothing but demographic shorthand for straight people. Start feeling the diversity.

    3) “There are many gays and lesbians who do not engage in that behavior. They certainly don’t want that label attached to them.”

    Then why don’t you worry about the “the homophobes and anti-gay persons” who are attaching those labels to The Good Gays instead of terrorizing those who don’t care?

    4) “And what do you do? You continue stereotyping the gay sexuality. “The gays” this. “The gays” that.”

    Ever hear of irony? Guess not as a humorless academic. Guess you never heard Blacks and African Americans using the “N” word amongst themselves. You are on a Gay blog. How dare you presume my ignorance and bigotry when you have clearly not interrogated your own.

    5) ”Furthermore, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said “the gays made one interesting study” for me. The interesting study was the subject matter on this forum, not “the gays” themselves.”

    Here, Susan, is what you said: “I’m currently engaging in post-graduate coursework in human sexuality and psychology and this makes for one interesting study.” How is Gay men’s sexuality and assigned promiscuity not about The Gays”?

    6) “I agree that in this society heterosexual men are privileged, but please compare the benefits society grants them to the irresponsible sex some gay men seek. They in no way parallel and therefore your argument is defunct. How you attempt to justify sexually promiscuous and irresponsible behavior by saying straight men have “marriage, military service, fatherhood, and organized sports” does in no way correlate.”

    I NEVER “justified” promiscuity, that is your unfortunate impression and misguided projection. If Gay men had the privilege straight men have always had for centuries they wouldn’t have been spending all their time being mythically “promiscuous” but instead contributing to society. Instead they were fired for being Gay, evicted for being Gay, disowned for being Gay, universally repudiated for being Gay. Had homosexual love and relationships been given the formal historical recognition and the very same exalted place of romantic heterosexual, monogamous “love” then Gay promiscuity would not be an issue. Your lack of homosexual history is embarrassing.

    7) “I am furthermore distraught by your misogyny in “acknowledging males’ biologically driven need to have sex” statement. Because what? Women aren’t driven to have sex?”

    You have no idea what it is like to be a man biologically or culturally. I refuse to feel bad as a man and a person because you need me to, because male sexuality makes you uncomfortable. Fuck you. I refust to feel guilty for your ignorance. I reject your sophomoric analysis of what men, and especially Gay men, are really like. I am sick to death of listening to politically correct types like you tell us we are so awful (or not) and explain to us who we really are (or not). You are no more relevant to men’s sexuality and homosexual cultures than men are to Feminist Theory and Women’s Studies. So fuck off.

    8) “We have to acknowledge men’s “biologically driven need to have sex” and…your twisted opinions of masculinity…”

    How is it that this natural sexual drive is accepted in heterosexual men and in female-to-male transexuals but not in biological Gay men? Google Pat Califia. Second, how can you argue against natural biological male sexuality but accept (as I’m sure you do) that transgenders are born in the wrong body? If it’s all learned then what is the problem? Why the surgery? How can some sexuality be genetic and some not?

    Like a good academic you impose an argument on me I am not making. Stop generalizing, projecting and acribing to others what threatens you most. I am simply calling out biological fact and ALSO the cultural fact of socially presribed sublimation of natural sexual drive. Why don’t you go back and re-read what I wrote.

  • HG said:

    Re: Mark

    Hey, Mark, do you realize that most people start cursing when they don’t have an argument? I’m sure you *think* you have one, so I’ll reply to you in kind.

    “Then don’t pull the condescending, superior feminist/woman card with us.”

    It was relevant of her to do so, considering you completely ignore female sexuality and pretend as if women don’t have sexual urges either, or that it doesn’t compare to men’s.

    “How remarkably condescending you are to The Gays, confining us all to a simple semiotic box that makes life easy for YOU.”

    I am gay. I don’t feel condescended by anything she says. I feel empowered by what she’s arguing against you fuckheads who attempt to speak for ME.

    Then why don’t you worry about the “the homophobes and anti-gay persons” who are attaching those labels to The Good Gays instead of terrorizing those who don’t care?

    First of all, who said she doesn’t worry about the homophobes and anti-gay persons? And the “good gays” here, the ones that care about safe sex and being respectable, civilized people DO care. It’s the shitty whorebags like you who don’t.

    How dare you presume my ignorance and bigotry when you have clearly not interrogated your own.

    What bigotry? All I see from Susan is her defending us from being included in mass generalizations by gays with anuses the size of pizza pans.

    How is Gay men’s sexuality and assigned promiscuity not about The Gays”?

    Quit trying to play the fucking victim. This is an interesting rift between gay people–respectable gays vs uberwhores–and I’m sure straight people find it intriguing considering the only glimpse of us they see is that of the uberwhore, since all of you try so hard to make everyone think this is all we are, people getting banged in a back alley behind a dumpster because it represents our sexual freedom.

    Had homosexual love and relationships been given the formal historical recognition and the very same exalted place of romantic heterosexual, monogamous “love” then Gay promiscuity would not be an issue. Your lack of homosexual history is embarrassing.

    Stop making fucking excuses. If you obviously recognize this, then there is no reason for any of you to be getting rammed by ten dicks in one night. I know it. You know it. This justification shit is the very stuff Susan was making a point about in the first place. “Those straights are so mean to me! They take away my rights, so I fuck like it’s going out of style as a result. It’s not my fault!”

    You have no idea what it is like to be a man biologically or culturally. I refuse to feel bad as a man and a person because you need me to, because male sexuality makes you uncomfortable.

    STOP FUCKING THROWING ME INTO YOUR GENERALIZATIONS!!! Slutty sexuality is not male sexuality. Stop fucking equating the two. Just because you can’t keep your pants on doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t!

    Second, how can you argue against natural biological male sexuality but accept (as I’m sure you do) that transgenders are born in the wrong body?

    THIS MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE WHATSOEVER!!!

    Like a good academic you impose an argument on me I am not making. Stop generalizing, projecting and acribing to others what threatens you most.

    STOP BEING A FUCKING HYPOCRITE!!!

    Wow, I feel like in responding to Mark’s replies in the same manner he replied to Susan’s, I lost at least 20 IQ points. Oh well. And he called Susan uppity. His whole comment reeks of hypocrisy. There’s so much bullshit in there, I’ll need a shovel to get out of here.

  • Zac said:

    Whoa. I’m with BB, HG & Susan on this one, I want someone I can watch movies with – not someone who wants to fuck then go home to their boyfriend.

  • Mark said:

    Re: HG

    “…you completely ignore female sexuality and pretend as if women don’t have sexual urges either, or that it doesn’t compare to men’s. “

    That’s right. This blog is a Gay space for discussion of issues relating to Lesbians and Gay men. This discussion is about Gay men. The opinions of heterosexual women who relate to Gay men as nothing more than “research” subjects, and who generalize about all Gay men from the few Gay friends they have , do not matter.

    ” I am gay. I don’t feel condescended by anything she says. I feel empowered by what she’s arguing against you fuckheads who attempt to speak for ME.”

    Uh huh. What was that you said about cursing? I see. So because you’re a “Gay” we should just follow you and believe what you tell us? The whole reason this blog and this thread exist is for us all to register our opinions. The only person on here imposing her morality on us (like a good heterosexual) is Susan. The degree to which you feel empowered by what Susan says is in exact proportion to your ignorance of Gay history, your desire to be “normal” in the eyes of straights and your own self-loathing. We choose who we are. If some Gay men are making poor choices regarding sex I choose to examine the reasons behind those choices instead of condemning them dismissively. How is that transformative?! “Promiscuity” is a mere symptom of the much larger problem of insecurity and self-loathing that comes from a hegemonic culture that is constantly, like Susan, moralizing against our behavior but not helping us make better choices. Again: fuck that.

    “And the “good gays” here, the ones that care about safe sex and being respectable, civilized people DO care. It’s the shitty whorebags like you who don’t.”

    I challenge you to find one statement of mine that advocates irresponsible and unsafe sex. I advise you to stop hurling accusations that are baseless. Irony is useful but, apparently, wasted on you. Keep on believing in the “Good Gays” and in “respectable, civilized people” (because they’re bound to give you healthcare, let you get married and have the right to serve in the military if you choose). Dude the reason Stonewall happened, the reason there is a Gay Rights movement at all is precisely because “respectable, civilized people” thought and (if Susan is any indication) continue to think we are filthy, predatory, promiscuous, disease vectoring whores. Gee, maybe those “respectable, civilized people” will change their minds and let us get married.

    ” This is an interesting rift between gay people–respectable gays vs uberwhores…getting banged in a back alley behind a dumpster because it represents our sexual freedom. “

    Back to my original point. How is Susan correct, then, in asserting Zack’s post and this thread has nothing to do with The Gays? Here is what Susan wrote: “The interesting study was the subject matter on this forum, not “the gays” themselves.” How is a discussion on a Gay blog about Gay men’s sexuality and fabled promiscuity not about The Gays”?

    ” If you obviously recognize this, then there is no reason for any of you to be getting rammed by ten dicks in one night. I know it. You know it. This justification shit is the very stuff Susan was making a point about in the first place. ‘Those straights are so mean to me! They take away my rights, so I fuck like it’s going out of style as a result. It’s not my fault!’”

    Now you are the one blaming the victim. Stop being part of the problem and be a part of the solution. Or just go back to your sterile hermetically sealed “respectable, civilized” world and live in a plastic bag for the rest of your life.

    “Slutty sexuality is not male sexuality. Stop fucking equating the two. Just because you can’t keep your pants on doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t! “

    Now you’re projecting. As I have said over and over again, the fact that “respectable, civilized” people (like you) suppress their sexuality is a choice they’ve made to control those urges and sublimate ith “respectable, civilized” and productive activity. Great. But the mere fact that men must control it in the first place is transparent proof of the fact of biological male sex drive.

    I just gotta say this: you don’t know shit. Gays like you are the reason I left Official Gay Culture 15 years ago. I see things have not changed.

  • WBC910 said:

    Re: Mark

    I have grown up with a psychiatrist parent my entire life. Any psychiatrist, any psychologist, and any counselor for that matter will tell you that the people who are “self-loathing” are the ones seeking countless episodes of anonymous sexual intercourse. That is common knowledge. You are so ignorant to this point that it’s almost humorous to watch you sloughing around in your own filth.

    Your argument does not even hold up. Monogamous gays aren’t ashamed of their homosexuality. They’d be ashamed for being sluts. What, are monogamous straights ashamed of their heterosexuality? Don’t even try that argument; it’s illogical and irrelevant. People who can exist in monogamous relationships or actually postpone sex until they’ve gotten to know the person they’re dating a little more simply have higher standards for themselves. They feel they deserve something more than filthy anonymous sex. This is a sign of the exact opposite of self-loathing. These people possess self-respect. It is these others who are self-loathing. I don’t remember if Susan mentioned it earlier, but promiscuous people are much more likely to report feelings of self-hatred than those who aren’t (once again, this is true of both straight and gay people).

    Sexual promiscuity is a sign of self-loathing and of potential mental disorders. This is the standard for gays AND for straights, so stop saying, “Woe is me! You’re being mean to me for being gay!”

    Stop CHEAPENING homosexuality by using it as an excuse for this garbage. I am quite proud of my homosexuality, but I also am proud of my entire being. This is why, like Zac mentioned above, I want an important relationship–someone I can watch movies with, someone I can trust to be there when I need a shoulder to cry on, as well as someone to have sex with–but I care about myself enough that I’m not going to engage in that with just anyone.

    It’s these people who seek constant sexual gratification that consistently need to be cared for by someone else (even if this person is simply caring for their physicality) that are self-loathing because they need others to constantly reiterate that they’re attractive and they’re worth something, but in the end these guys never stick around (they were only there for one thing in the first place) and these people wind up feeling worse about themselves.

    As for you leaving the “Official Gay Culture,” good fucking riddance. I hate seeing my culture cheapened by people who like grouping me with their sorry asses.

  • Mark said:

    re: WBC910

    “… it’s almost humorous to watch you sloughing around in your own filth.

    You must be Christian.

    “…the people who are ‘self-loathing’ are the ones seeking countless episodes of anonymous sexual intercourse.”

    How stupid are you? I haven’t said anything to the contrary. STOP projecting your obsession with promiscuous sex on me. STOP attributing to me approval of unsafe sex. Acknowledging biological men have genetically determined stronger sex drive than women is in no way a condonement of spreading STDs. How does your mind (and Susan’s) make that leap?

    That you have the remarkable stupidity to compare the shame levels of “monogamous straights” to “monogamous gays” without any apparent understanding of the drastically different circumstances for each is impressive.

    ” People who can exist in monogamous relationships…have higher standards for themselves. They feel they deserve something more than filthy anonymous sex. …These people possess self-respect.”

    Funny. You sound like one of Susan’s “homophobes and anti-gay persons”? Why is it people like you go nuts because other people make different choices, choices you disapprove of? Obese Americans are eating themselves in to diabetic comas everyday. Does that bother you as much as The Bad Gays who embarrass you in front of “respectable, civilized” straights? Instead of contributing something constructive to this discussion you’d rather condemn the “self-loathing” Bad Gays for “sloughing around in [their] own filth”.

    How kind of you to leave the rarefied air of Upper Fag Heights to come here shit over all The Bad Gays. I thought you’d be way too busy finding “someone [you] can watch movies with, someone [you] can trust to be there when [you] need a shoulder to cry on, as well as someone to have sex with…”

    Shouldn’t you be at a healthcare town hall somewhere with a gun?

  • Mark said:

    re: WBC910

    How fucking dumb are you not to even read what you so haughtily and self-righteously criticize? I am embarrassed for you.

    Here is what I wrote:

    “If some Gay men are making poor choices regarding sex I choose to examine the reasons behind those choices instead of condemning them dismissively. How is that transformative?! “Promiscuity” is a mere symptom of the much larger problem of insecurity and self-loathing that comes from…moralizing against our behavior but not helping us make better choices.”

    AND…

    Acknowledging males biologically driven need to have sex is not in any way condoning anything or any lifestyle. It is merely acknowledging biological fact. The learned behavior is the sublimation of those drives. Where do you think the idea of sending men to graduate school came from in the first place? Stop them from fighting and fucking all day and night.

    So…what argument is it I’m making that “does not even hold up”? What argument am I making that is “illogical and irrelevant”?

    As for leaving Official Gay Culture, life without people like you has been a joyful relief. Have you found that shoulder to cry on yet?

  • Howza said:

    Nothing Mark says makes sense and everything he says is hypocritical. What in the fuck has he said that’s “constructive?” Nothing!

    Pfffffft, trying to project violence on the only people in here worth anything.

    Roll out the red carpet, boys and girls, Queen Mark has left the building.

  • Mark said:

    re: Howza

    You can dish it out but can’t take it, huh? Who’s the hypocrite now? Keep drinking the Kool-Aid asshole. The Church of Official Gay Culture depends and thrives on your uncritical obeisance to politically correct doctrinal dogma…under threat of excommunication. And you all are terrified of life without the precious construct of “Gayness” or “Queerness” because Official Gay Culture has made you co-dependent to the point of controlling how and what you think. Example: you reflexively collapse sexual orientation into cultural identity. You no longer know how to be homosexual without being Gay.

    Oh, and please keep using those gender neutral screen names (fooling no one).

    Again, so nice you deign to visit all the way from Upper Fag Heights (or Outer Dyke Enclave) and impose upon us this self-righteous moralistic performance art…unironically, humorlessly.

    Shouldn’t you be sweeping the floor at a food-coop somewhere? Shouldn’t you be focusing your biblical-scale zealotry in some iconic bucolic suburb going door-to-door selling Watchtowers?

    Gaytard.

  • Howza said:

    Mark’s doing the hypocrisy dance one more time now. For someone who tried to condescend Susan for using analytical technique, you sure don’t seem to have a problem with doing it yourself. But oh, I guess it’s okay to discriminate against someone for both being a woman and being straight. I don’t even take you seriously, man. You’re talking to other people about dogma? The only one who looks like they have any dogma here is you. You’re the one completely losing your cool, losing your grip on reality and going nuts of logical posts made by Susan, Zack, Zac, B.B., WCB910, ZK85 and Phil. You’re the one who started calling people names and cursing at them. You’re the one who made this conversation become the Jerry Springer show. Please don’t unload on me with that “You no longer know how to be homosexual without being gay” trash. Don’t tell me what I know and what I don’t know.

    Here’s what I know and what I’ll tell you since you’re apparently to stupid to figure things out for yourself. My screenname isn’t gender neutral. “Howza” is what my friends refer to me as because my first name is Howie but I never go by it because I don’t like it. Howie I believe is generally a guy’s name which is fitting since I’m a dude. I’m a 24 year old bisexual dude, meaning that I’m attracted to both men and women about equally. I’m not a slave of gay culture. In fact, I rarely am around “gay culture” (official or unofficial) because I found out a long time ago that many gay dudes have no qualms about pissing in each other’s faces or screwing 10 people a week anonymously. I can easily find decent girls but the few decent gay dudes I know aren’t easy to target because they don’t hang around “Official Gay Culture” that much for fear of being tugged into a bareback orgy.

    Now please, tuck your tail between your legs and leave, because nothing you have said has registered as a coherent point. It’s just like you’re vomiting words and you keep going. I’ll give you Pepto Bismol if it will make you stop. Oh and by the way, you’re not allowed to italicize, bold, capitalize, and quote words in lieu of a rational argument. It just makes you look more desperate.

  • Mark said:

    Wow. You really need to get a hobby. Why do you feel you must explain yourself to me? I neither care nor desire to know who you are. But thanks anyway for weighing in from the bisexual cul-de-sac.

    “gay dudes have no qualms about pissing in each other’s faces or screwing 10 people a week anonymously.

    On behalf of all “gay dudes” everywhere, fuck you. Who are you to perpetuate bigoted Gay stereotypes? And WHY does it bother you so much? Gee, maybe your angry “the few decent gay dudes I know aren’t easy to target”. You know, you’re 24. Too young to know you really know nothing. But that’s ok, just keep on pontificating, sophomorically generalizing from personal experience.

    The Gays don’t need straight women or “bisexual” men to impose their bigoted stereotypes on them. So why don’t you just stick with the “decent” boys and girls you already know and go the fuck away?

  • Chuck said:

    I really don’t agree with this article in the slightest. Sure, men and women are all driven to have sex. It’s what keeps our population alive. But what separates us from animals is our ability to act on some urges and not act on others. Certain hormones make men more violent than women, but we don’t justify violence by saying because of our biological urges it’s okay to knock the girl scout cookies out of an eight year old’s hands because she woke us up from our nap by ringing the doorbell.

    Susan and Phil make some strong points about a total lack of sexual safety on the gay scene, and I completely agree with them. The more sex a person has, the more likely they are to spread/catch something. And given the statistics on sexual safety, most of these gay guys will catch something or give something sooner or later. I also agree with Susan that most people in general are uninformed when it comes to protection, and gay men like all others are completely arrogant in thinking that they’re safe 100% of the time. As BB mentioned, when you throw in other factors like booze or pot or any other kind of drug, things are going to get even less safe.

    Fucking all the time is not good for anyone’s overall wellness. It makes people feel worthless (people will try to deny it but clinical evidence shows that people who engage in unregulated sexual intercourse have lower self-esteems) and it affects their physical health, too. I personally am shocked and saddened that some people in my community like Mark so adamantly advocate loose sexual lifestyles.

    Mark, how do you keep missing people saying you’re a hypocrite? You’re telling people they need to get a hobby? You’re in an argument with about 10 different people. You post here several times a day. And you misquoted Howza. He said “many gay dudes.” Not all. You are the one who has making consistent generalizations about prudes, women, homosexuals, heterosexuals, and scholars. No one in this conversation has generalized as much as you so put down your goddamn finger and shut the hell up. At what age does someone know enough to generalize? If we’re talking logic, one’s age does not make one’s argument unsound. That is simply an ad hominem. I’d expect someone at your age to know better. Furthermore, if generalizing is sophomoric, you have truly established your place as the youngest person in this argument.

    How come everyone is a bigot but you? There were plenty of gays in this argument making the same case against you. How come you’re not a bigot for making generalizations and stereotypes about everyone else? Why don’t you go away? You post here more than anyone else. So what I’m getting from you is that you’re an older gay man who’s fond of unscrupulous sex. You’re prone to play the victim card bemoaning others as bigots why you hypocritically remain blinded to your own obstinate bigotry. You also hypocritically generalize all homosexuals and heterosexuals while simultaneously decrying others for making statements about gays involving “many.” You don’t speak on behalf of me, a gay man, because I agree with your opponents in this conversation. Once again, stop generalizing, you damned hypocrite. If anyone needs a hobby, Mark, it is you. Returning ten times a day to defend promiscuity on a little website. Tsk, tsk. Maybe the reason for your frequency here and your displaced anger is because you have no friends or lovers to spend your time with. You’re much older than Howza and this is what you do with your life. Look where your lifestyle has gotten you.

  • seared said:

    Some of you seemed to have missed the second-to-last paragraph of Zack’s article:

    “Gay men are only cast as the societal whores of Babylon because we have the kind of potentially unfettered access to the one thing that most people only dream of. Gay men might be the most understanding about how different the concepts of love and sex are. When both are present the gods themselves will smile on us, but we know we’re not going to hell if we have one without the other.”

    Newsflash: some guys are “sluts” because they can — but if you can’t, that’s OK too. Some people want no-strings-attached sex purely for the physical enjoyment of it — but if that’s not you, it’s perfectly fine. If you want to romanticize every sexual encounter, hoping it to be a culmination of physical, emotional and spiritual unification two grown men can have with each other, more power to you — but why get so bent out of shape if others don’t feel the same way? If anything, Zack’s point is that we should be more responsible when we embrace our sexuality — we don’t have to deny it, but we shouldn’t hurt others because of it either.

    The term “slut” itself is pejorative anyway; what makes someone a slut? Is the guy who’s trolling on hookup sites the same as the guy who has a few regular fuck buddies? Or is the guy who gets it on in the dark corner of the club with his boyfriend/husband the same as the guy who’s a serial monogamist? Promiscuity is totally relative and subjective at best.

    But really, none of this has anything to do with Mark’s original assertion, that we as men are biologically driven to want to have sex, and lots of it (be that with one special person, or many different people — it just is, sans judgment). What we do with these urges and how we manifest them in our behaviors — consequences and all — is up to each individual.

  • Mark said:

    re: Chuck

    “So what I’m getting from you is that you’re an older gay man who’s fond of unscrupulous sex.”

    “Returning ten times a day to defend promiscuity on a little website.”

    I challenge you to find anything I’ve written proving I’m “fond of unscupulous sex”. Funny how you all just hurl baseless accusations like spoiled children screaming from your collective ID. Instead of reacting so emotionally try using some facts about Gay life or, maybe, what I have actually written.

    What the hell is “unscrupulous sex” anyway? Did you come here from 1872?

    Why don’t you go away? You post here more than anyone else.

    Really? Five long paragraphs? Stop projecting. Why is it YOU keep posting then? What compels you to keep telling me I’m so “wrong”?

    “Look where your lifestyle has gotten you.”

    Sure. I was one of the responsible adults educating Gay men about safe sex before you were even in the womb. Just so clueless, spoiled brat Gaytards like you could sit back, watch Logo, think everything is just great and tell us all how it’s done.

    Fuck you brat. Earn your attidude.

  • NickP said:

    A few things:

    1.
    The only sexual act that Zack explicitly describes, and which everyone has their panties in a twist about, is actually quite safe. His little golden shower was about as dangerous as pouring a glass of tap water on the fella’ in the kittty pool’s head.

    2.
    The ultimate badge of honor among many of the commenters seems to be friends with only straight people instead of “nasty, dirty” fags and dykes. My set happens to have a lot of fags, dykes, and bi boys and girls (and straight people too). Be friends with peole because you like them not because you’re trying to appropriate the dominant culture and hoping it’ll rub off.

    3.
    Have you guys met straight people? I mean, really. Quite a few of the hets I know practice the behaviors many commenters seem to think is the exclusive domain of slutty nelly boys: ie threesomes, anonymous sex, drunk and drug fueled sex, one night stands, public sex, kinkiness etc.

  • Phil said:

    Howza,

    “In fact, I rarely am around “gay culture” (official or unofficial) because I found out a long time ago that many gay dudes have no qualms about pissing in each other’s faces or screwing 10 people a week anonymously.”

    i think this is slightly judgmental. i dont think many gay guys feel this way at all. it might be that when one is at nellies or cobalt, its easy to notice the slutty ones. but just think how many of those guys choose to go home alone. OR, even if the majority of those guys are trying to hook up for the night, its entirley possible that they are doing it for that ONE night. (which wouldn’t make them in love with pee or 10 partners a week). be careful not to judge gay culture on the actions of the “sluttiest”. that could be your confirmation bias at work.

    ————————————-

    ANYWAYS, there seems to be a pissing contest in this thread. “you’re the hypoctire, no you ARE” blah blah blah. we all misrepresent each others arguments, at least to some degree. get over it. what is interesting, however, are the premises behind the two camps…

    one side: sex can be detached from love and commitment, and can be an affirmation/release of our manly, biological impulses. we can be free to pursue as many lovers as we so desire. prude men do not understand this.

    the second side: promiscous men are somewhat disgusting, and are hurting themselves, and potentially others. according to some statistics, promiscuous sex leads to emotional harm. STDs can spread a lot easier with this behavior. slutty men do not understand this.

    i would argue that both sides are idiotic. (the sides, not the people). the 2nd side “the prudes” are imposing their own beliefs on sex, and adding a muddled sense of morality to an otherwise physical act. (which is what the religious right does to us). just because sex is a spiritual or emotional commitment to you, doesn’t mean it is so for everyone. statistics showing promiscuous behavoir LEADS to low self-esteem are crap. because statistics don’t show causation, first off. and second, they say nothing about the people who engage in promiscuous behavior and are completely emotionally fine.

    the first side “the sluts” say nothing about the horrible problem of STDs. even if sex is purely a physical act, there is A LOT of responsibility involved in light of STDs. many guys out there are not resopnsible, and dont even get tested.

    so why dont we stop TYPING IN UPPER CASE and cussing at each other, and rather find middle ground? even if we disagree with each others sexual lifestyles, we can all work towards a more SAFE, RESPONSIBLE gay culture, free of judgment and hate. or is this too idealistic to hope for?

  • Mark said:

    re: Phil

    That’s just it: my “side” is not about me or what I prefer. For me this is not a personal argument or about how I personally have sex.

    My “side” is neither “slut” nor “prude” but Responsible Safe Sexer. A third position that has 1) gone unrecognized here, and 2) proves the futile nature AIDS education in Gay Culture. Many men are sequentially non-monogamous and engage multiple partners safely. That means they’re educated about how to have safer sex and have taken the necessary steps to do so.

    Reading the comments above I get the impression many believe non-monogamy is a lifelong “lifestyle” that continues in one individual for decades. Generally it is alternated between monogamous periods or a sequential pattern the eventually recedes.

    The comments here elide the existence of men who are responsibly non-monogamous and instead portray all Gay men as either 1) monogamous Good Gays, or 2) evil “promiscuous” predatory disease vectoring whores. A stereotype that has been with us since the myth of Sodom & Gommorrah.

    When many Gay men are neither monogamous nor “promiscuous” I wonder to what degree people making these comments and accusations have uncritically internalized the very anti-Gay bigtory they profess to reject. Many appear willing to embrace the very stereotypes that make HIV & AIDS an issue in the first place: the fantasy of Gay men as evil whores gleefully spreading STDS. I believe the virulence of HIV/AIDS is not the primary problem but a secondary symptom of low self-esteem. When AIDS hit in the early 80s Gay men were ignored, refused the attention they needed to survive.

    That is the impoverished legacy we still are fighting today. People who feel, and are made to feel, like worthless “trash” and “filth” are not inclined to protect and care for themselves…or others. This is how STDS, including HIV, are spread. In 2009 this kind of retrograde thinking is not merely anathema but unacceptable.

    The necessary message of taking responsibility for yourself AND your partner can’t reach Gay men who are constantly told (by members of their own “Community” on a Gay blog) they’re “sluts” and “trash”, “sloughing around in [their] own filth”, who have “no self-restraint and engage in sex acts with little discretion”, who exhibit “reckless behavior”, who “have not progressed past the mentality of children”.

    Condescending moralistic reproof and repudiation (from those who relate to The Gays as research subjects) is precisely the way we preserve the divorce between Gay men, self-esteem and greater responsibility with sex.

    Consider Susan’s question:
    “When both massive quantities of gay men and the anti-gay/homophobic front argue that gay men have promiscuous sex, what do you think happens to the reputation of your community?”

    “Massive quantities”? With questions like this it is clear the point is not to help Gay men take care of themselves but to restore their reputation among straight people in general and improve their image to bigots in particular. We cannot lower HIV transmission rates this way. We certainly cannot and do not help Gay men this way.

  • Mark said:

    re: Phil

    Forgot to add that I’ve appreciated your reasoned intelligent comments above.

  • Women and Gay Men Are Sluts. Jealous, Straight Guys? - The Sexist - Washington City Paper said:

    [...] The New Gay editor Zack made the gay man’s double-standard clear. Zack has been seeing his boyfriend for two years. And one time, Zack peed on someone’s [...]

  • Susan said:

    I think many of you are ignorant to the concept of true “safe sex,” but I also recognize that many people will tell themselves whatever helps them to do what it is they’re so hell-bent on doing.

    Once again, “safe sex” is something that’s easy to say but nigh impossible to practice when you consider how frequently people are having sex.

  • adam said:

    of course you’re right susan, the only real birth control is abstinence. guh-roan.

    pardon me if i have a hard time your respecting your positions on sex and sexuality when you claim to be some sort of academic authority on the matter, but are shocked (naivete!) and disgusted (moral judgment!) by a little piss; something which is firmly on the mild and common end of the spectrum of shocking and disgusting human sex acts.

  • Mark said:

    re: Susan

    “I think many of you are ignorant to the concept of true “safe sex…”

    Before you denounce our ignorance question your own. There is no such thing as “safe sex”, only safer sex. It is a fact that full protection, while necessary, may still not be 100% safe. Many have contracted STDs, including HIV, while responsibly engaging so called “safe sex” practices they were told would protect them. Pretending otherwise is dangerous. More importantly, approaching ideas and people in absolute terms is neither helpful nor transformative nor accurate.

    “…but I also recognize that many people will tell themselves whatever helps them to do what it is they’re so hell-bent on doing.”

    So…The Gays will rationalize their destructive behavior because they’re so selfishly “hell-bent” on getting AIDS and giving it to everyone. For someone doing “post-graduate coursework in human sexuality and psychology” that is sloppy. It is also a very good example of how “academic” and “intellectual” are two very different things that rarely occur in the same person. Indeed most actual intellectuals I know of won’t go near the academy (for obvious reasons).

    “Once again, ‘safe sex’ is something that’s easy to say but nigh impossible to practice when you consider how frequently people are having sex.”

    Is it the lack of safer sex practices that bothers you? Or the fact that people have too much sex? Or that Gay men have sex at all?

  • Joseph T said:

    I loved this post!

  • Arthur said:

    Wow! What emotion and accusations! All because Zack published an update on his life.
    Thank you Zack for telling us about your life and ideas in a clear, understandable essay. I am curious what questions you might have for your readers. You sound as if you are exploring your gay identity and that is to be encouraged, and commended.

    No one has the answers for anyone but themselves. We can and do learn from others experiences and from our interactions with others.

    Gay society is diverse and an artificial construct born out of oppression.
    A healthy society would be more concerned with a person’s character and contributions than with sexual behavior alone.

    I suggest people look at the the following psychological terms to understand what gay men live with, life compression, PTSD, self-esteem, and addiction. All are common to gay experience and all limit and control behavior and the enjoyment of life.

    The creation of healthy gay lives is one of the major accomplishments that gay men have created in the last 40 years. The creation of healthy gay families is another. The continued gay contributions to culture, education, relationships, and positive living are another. I suggest celebrating our shared successes each day as a way to deal with the lies and negativity we all deal with on a daily basis.

    34 years of activism has taught me that diversity is healthy though often contentious, people believe what they believe with or without factual proof, and the creation and sharing of love is to be encouraged and applauded. Best wishes to all.

  • Robert said:

    I am a gay guy & I hate being gay! There is nothing good about being gay at all & gay men are promiscous! The trend is for them to sleep around with as many as possbible like its a competiton. The minority seem to be looking for one person to be with but the majority are not meeting up to find a partner. You only have to look at profiles on gay websites to see this trend to see what gay men are looking for today.

    In the UK there are 74,OOO people with HIV & there are 24,OOO of that number who dont even know they are HIV Positive. Its estimated that by 2O17 there will be 1OO,OOO people in the UK who will be HIV Positive & gay men are the gender most affected in the statistics. Today no person is safe for having unprotected casual sex as their word that they are not HIV Positive cannot be believed, but still gay men are having unprotected sex with the rate of HIV infections among gay men.

    Gay men are tacky … The talk in gay chat rooms is disgusting about sex & shows that many gay men are nothing more than sluts … There is no apology for this opinion as its a fact … You only have to witness the talk in chat rooms to see it for yourself. Today many gay men will remain single because of the trend of sleeping around is so great that they wont find anyone to be with & if they do they will find the relationship wont last very long with cheating going on. So when it comes to relationships gay men have ruined it for themselves because they are a gender that are not to be trusted as trust between two gay men is often a misplaced one.

    There are many who are uneducated about HIV/AIDS as they think it wont happen to them because they dont know of the statistics. Many who have unprotected sex dont get checked out at a GUM Clinic to be tested for HIV & so they go looking for more bareback sex not knowing that they are then spreading HIV & they will continue to do so for many years if they dont get a HIV test done. There are also many with HIV who will not disclose their status or protect a guy who is up for unprotected casual sex. By the the time that person finds out they are HIV Positive it could be years later & they wont know who gave it to them if they are promiscuous or know that they were deliberately infected by a person with HIV.

    When a person who is HIV Positive discloses it to another gay guy then he can be rejected by the other person but that person will look for unprotected sex elsewhere, so he puts himself at greater risk of having HIV than by having sex with a person who is HIV & who will use protection … This shows the love affair gay men have with unprotected sex & the love affair often ends in tears with them being diagnosed with HIV. The rate of HIv is linked to the promiscuity of gay men as the two go hand in hand.

    Gay men are slappers & its the majority that give them that bad name as being sluttish by the trend in sleeping around. There is nothing good at being gay today … Many gay men will look back on their lives at a certain age & have the regret that all those years they lived was spent not with anyone & having a future life, but it was spent wasting their life as a person who was only good enough to be used for sex … Gay men use each other for sex as the majority are nothing more than predators.

  • msh said:

    Robert, have you considered the possibility that internet chat rooms are not representative of the general gay population? (And besides, how *do* you know so much about them if you think they’re so bad?)

    Mark, love the comments above.

  • Robert said:

    msh with thousands of profiles on Gaydar & other sites the profiles give a good idea of what gay men are looking for & its for fun … even married men are listed in their likes of who they like to meet … Gay men today are not meeting up to find one guy to be with in a relationship as they are looking for no strings fun.

    These profiles do give a good indication of what gay men are looking for today & the rise of HIV infections even in the UK is proof that gay men are not looking for one guy to be with, but they are promiscuous as the extent of HIV among gay men in the UK is increasing at an alarming rate as that is a clear indication of the promiscuity of gay men.

    Even on Gaydar you get HIV Positive guys in a chat room for HIV cruising & they are all looking to bareback with each other. They make the choice to bareback with each other, but they risk catching another STI or even a worse strain of HIV, so even HIV Positive gay men on websites can be still reckless about their own health by going with different HIV Positive guys knowing full well it could give them a worse strain of HIV.

    The love affair gay men have with unprotected sex is linked to the rate of HIV infections in the UK as every year there are thoussands diagnosed with HIV, so gay men are promiscuous & not using protection, so that is a good idea of what the gay population in the UK are looking for as the fiqures are there in black & white for everyone to see.

    When it comes to gay relationships gay men have ruined it for themselves as trust today has gone out of the window & gay men are cheating on their boyfriends & partners because of the trend to be promiscuous.

    The minority are looking for a partner but the majority of gay guys clearly are not.

  • Kyle said:

    I agree with msh. Sure, if you check gaydar and manhunt, it looks like the gays out there are all looking for a hook-up. But the one’s looking for relationships aren’t on those sites. Since they are not there, we have no way of knowing how many there are. I suspect that the thousands of guys looking for hook-ups on gaydar and manhunt are significantly fewer than the hundreds of thousands who are already in relationships, are happily single, or are looking for relationships by means other than the internet.

  • Robert said:

    There are many gay sites … Gaydar, Ladslad, Manhunt & many more … There are thousands & thousands of people on these sites & they arent looking for a relationship. Sometimes their profiles will put they are looking for a relationship, but they are not going to stop using the site to hook up with others … If gay men are looking for a relationship without using the interent then they are likely to meet someone who does use the internet to sleep around & once they sleep with that guy they are off to find the next one.

    Gay relationships dont even last long today specially when one of the 2 guys or both have the internet as they are cheating on each other or one of them is cheating on the other one.

    Gay men are sleeping around as that is the trend whether they have the interent or not & most people have access to the intenet sites with their mobiles if they dont have laptops, so the majority of gay guys are not meeting up to find a boyfriend to form a friendship that goes to a telattionship … Some are but they are in the minority.

    The statistics of gay men diagnosed each year in the UK runs into thousands & the rate is increasing, so that is a sign that gay men are sleeping around. Even gay men put on some profiles they are looking for a relationship, but of course they arent to be trusted if they have a profile on a gay site.

    I have known many gay couples & one of them has a profile on a gay site to hook up with other guys & their profile photos & others are hidden so their partner doesnt see it as they send their photo to a guy who is interested in meeting them. I also know of gay couples where one of them has more than one profile on Facebook & their profile says they are single not in a relationship as their other profile on Facebook does, but these are not one off instances as this is going on a lot … The fact is that gay men are promiscuous … Some do want a partner & they find a partner, but they are going to find it very difficult to find a partner if the one they meet uses the internet by a mobile phone or laptop as then the trust is compromised & many people today use the internet by laptops or mobiles.

    It can be very difficult for any gay guy even if they dont have the internet to trust someone they meet & have a relationship with because of the promiscuity that does go on. Those on Gaydar & other sites who are just looking for different guys all the time to sleep give a clear indication that the majority of gay men are sleeping around.

    The NHS are aware of this which is why they dont want gay guys to donate blood because of the rate of gay guys being diagnosed each year runs into thousands & on being diagnosed they are told how long they have had the virus & it can be many years since being infected & in that time they didnt get tested & continued to bareback … The NHS in not wanting gay people to donate blood are not discriminating against gay men, but its common sense that gay guys are not suitable to donate blood because of the trend of them sleeoing around & having a love affair of wanting unprotected casual sex … Its naiive to think the ones wanting a partner are being like Mother Theresa until the right one comes along as gay people are promiscuous.

  • james said:

    Robert, your comments surrounding the blood ban on gay men, are dated.

    The National Union of Students LGBT Campaign has been challenging these arguments effectively for last couple of years; Stonewall (once unmovable on the topic) have now agreed to review their stance on the blood ban, and the NBS have also been increasingly responsive to the arguments put forward, about why a life long ban on gay men donating blood is prejudice.

    To see the arguments in full google “NUS donation not discrimination”

    From the site:

    Since the early 1980s, the NBS has had a blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men who have had oral or anal sex – even with a condom. This is unscientific and unjust, as it is based on the presumption that all men who have sex with men are at ‘high risk’ for HIV, regardless of their individual sexual behavior.

    As for the rest: the scene is ok, but I know even Cilla couldn’t help me find my special guy. Which is fine, because I just went for a drink.

  • Robert said:

    I dont see the NHS are discriminatory about not wanting gay men to donate blood. I am HIV Postive but never had the symptoms of HIV. I had the primary symptoms as does everyone but with me & many others it went unnoticed & if I wasnt tested I wouldnt know today I am HIV Positive as there is nothing to say I am with my health being so good & thats 2 & half years after being diagnosed. There are gay men who are HIV Postive but dont even know it & they dont get themselves tested & the statistics in the UK is that over 7,5OO are diagnosed each year with HIV … The majority are gay men than hetro people … The NHS doesnt discriminate so much that they dont want blood from a gay person, but they are concerned that there is promiscuity among gay men … There is promiscuity among hetro people but gay men seem to be more promiscuous as the statiscs show with the rate of gay men being diagnosed each year & they become diagnosed when they become ill after having HIV for many years, so it shows the NHS that gay men are very reckless about their own health when it comes to HIV.

    There is nothing to stop any gay person going to donate blood & putting on the form they arent gay as they will be allowed to donate blood, but the NHS would rather not have blood from gay men because of the promsicuity as the gender isnt discriminated against, but the reckless behaviour of gay men in having a love affair with unprotected sex with strangers & then continuing to meet other strangers without being tested for HIV. So I think the NHS not wanting gay men to donate blood is common sense than being discrimination because its the statistics of gay men being diagnosed each year that makes the NHS rather not have gay men donating blood.

  • Jon said:

    I don’t think the tension arising from the article is because some people (Susan, bb) are insecure or angry about some gay men leading promiscuous lives. It’s because the original article seems, to some people, to make generalizations about gay men from a *slightly* immature perspective on sex.

    Not all guys like it when they get stereotyped as sex machines… myself included. I don’t have that kind of sex life, and I cringe when I read articles that presume to stereotype male-male relationships in this way. I don’t begrudge anyone their own sexual choices. It happens that there is a strong correlation between promiscuity and insecurity. But there are promiscuous men who are healthy and vice versa… the world is a complicated place.

    And some gay men probably take slight offense at the idea that gay men have “unfettered access to the one thing most people only dream of.” They don’t take offense because sex is bad or shameful, but because such statements presume to speak on behalf of all gay men. Why don’t some people like those kinds of statements? Gee… well, it’s slightly juvenile for one. I mean, yes, I can understand having a little fun with words and playing off straight peoples’ insecurities about the gay world. But at the end of the day, many gay people feel that it only hurts ourselves when we resort to superficial stereotypes.

    Further, there is a sense that the article not only repeats stereotypes but almost takes them at face value for the construction of a gay identity. Stereotypes can be amusing, but it’s nice when someone actually engages with them, questions them, tries to understand what’s true and what’s false and why.

    I’m not saying every article has to be mature. I suppose there’s a place for immaturity as long as it’s intelligent. I’m not sure this article is all that intelligent though.

    I agree that we shouldn’t hide pleasure. But it’s misleading to characterize gay men as having unlimited sexual access, as if men were universally made happy by lots of sex. The article is just too simplistic in this sense.

    More important in my mind, the article seems to embrace an overtly sexualized interpretation of the “gay” label. The author admits that it was the heterosexual world that defined “gay” according to the physical act, which to it seemed perverse or queer. And yet the author declines to challenge that construction, declines to question it and ask whether that is even a positive thing.

    I’m no idealist and no prude, but I feel like we often make it more difficult for ourselves than it has to be. What do we expect when sex is such a central part of “gay” at the expense of other parts of ourselves? Do we think that makes it easier? Because at least that’s the one great, easy thing we’ve got going for ourselves that heterosexuals don’t have? It’s tempting to think that way, but ultimately immature. Did we ever think that the focus on sex only makes things MORE difficult? Biological urges are real, yes, but we do have the choice to build our lives and our identities around many satisfactory things.

    I don’t have ambitious goals. I really don’t. At some point, I’d like just to be a guy who likes others guys and who doesn’t have to confront gasps of surprise when I say I don’t sleep around and honestly don’t believe I’m any different from any straight person in any way. That’s the world I want to live in… where all these weird obsessions about being different and marked and oppressed have disappeared. I’ll try by best to make it that way.

  • james said:

    Robert, your arguments are based heavily on unfair stereotypes. I invite you to look at the NUS’s arguments, which directly challenge a lot of what you wrote.

    A blanket ban based on someone’s sexual orientation is discrimination: not common sense as you suggest.

    Originally such bans were set into place to help to prevent the spread of HIV through blood transfusions. This was because there was little understanding of how the infection spread – and why so particularly among the gay community.

    However, as the very first quote from the NUS says: “Since the early 1980s, the NBS has had a blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men* who have had oral or anal sex – even with a condom. This is unscientific and unjust, as it is based on the presumption that all men who have sex with men are at ‘high risk’ for HIV, regardless of their individual sexual behavior.”

    What this means is, instead of discriminating all homosexuals as participating in “high risk” sexual activities, we screen donor’s on their actual sexual activity. For example, if an individual has partaken in high risk sexual activity, such as unprotected anal sex, then a doner would be banned for a determined period of time, until they could pass HIV/STI screening. If a donor practiced safe sex, they would be eligible to give blood, provided they passed the generic statutory quality control checks (so the screening all donors undertake).

    Which is to say, we now have the scientific understanding to deploy effective and non-discriminative guidelines on blood donation.

    Such is the weight of evidence against your arguments, America, as well as the UK, are also re-examining this discriminatory policy – google: “Ending the Federal Ban on Gay Blood Donations” for some informative hits about the debate.

    *This ban does not apply to women who have slept with a man who has had sex with a man

  • Ben said:

    @james:

    I find that the use of the word “discrimination” in the context of your post and other arguments with regard to blood donation regulations, even if technically correct, is a little bit exaggerated. What right is being infringed upon by not allowing men who have engaged in oral or anal sex with other men to donate blood through organizations such as Community Blood Center? I might agree if you say it gives a bad *perception* of homosexual men, but unfortunately that’s not what blood transfusions are all about.

    Blood banks have a very hefty responsibility on their hands — they must ensure, to even more than just a reasonable degree, that the blood which they receive and send off to patients needing blood transfusions is not infected. Everyone knows this is not an easy task. On the one hand, in order to be completely sure, one might suggest that they deny donations from anyone who has engaged in any unprotected sexual acts for the past three months, in order to wait long enough for detection of HIV to become reasonably accurate. But, of course, this is not the type of criterion used, as the number of donations would plummet. The other extreme is to allow donations from anyone not denying participation in a most basic list of unsafe practices — sex for drugs or money, sex under the influence, and so on, but this is insufficient to reasonably guarantee the safety of the transfusions.

    What this boils down to is that blood collection organizations are not in the easiest of positions. Their decisions greatly affect the lives of those who receive blood donations. The possibility that even one person could contract HIV from infected blood due to a policy change must be taken into account, and this applies even if the donor is a well-meaning, homosexual man who mostly engages in safer sex practices, but who happened to contract HIV due to an unsafe (or even safe!) encounter.

    That being said, I do disagree with a blanket ban. Why, pray tell, must a man who had oral sex with another man **in the 70′s** be excluded from giving blood? I am not using this decade on a whim — this is specifically the time range I remember reading. This is, as you have said, unscientific and unreasonable. Unfortunately, though, progress on any matter such as this will be very slow, and it will almost certainly be hindered by adherence to outdated ideas. This might seem a bit contradictory to what I just said, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Change to policy that has such significant impact on the lives of so many people should be slower than other progress. It should always be on the conservative end of the spectrum, on the safe side, just in case. But, it is in this sense which I believe the regulations have failed — they place too much emphasis on homosexual sex, and too little on unsafe sex in general. Unprotected anal sex is a horribly efficient means to transmit HIV infection, and that holds whether the partners are of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Criteria for donation exclusions should consider this as well.

    So, the way I see it, the blood ban(s) should “discriminate” against a whole lot more groups of people. They can back off on the ridiculous, far-reaching bans on homosexual men, but in no way should the acknowledgement of this risk group vanish. The fact of the matter is that male homosexual sex spreads HIV very well — and so do a whole lot of other sexual practices.

    I hope that this jumble of thoughts has been relatively coherent, and I invite replies and rebuttals as appropriate.

    (Also, you mention at the end of your post, “This ban does not apply to women who have slept with a man who has had sex with a man.” Perhaps a federal ban does not, but of the times which I have viewed the screening criteria for blood donations (for particular organizations in the U.S. only), not one failed to mention this specific action as sufficient grounds to deny a blood donation.)

    (Also also, I apologize that this post has really nothing to do with the article . . . )

  • Ben said:

    Additional Comment/Revision:

    When I say, “The fact of the matter is that male homosexual sex spreads HIV very well — and so do a whole lot of other sexual practices,” I do not mean to suggest that any engagement in male-on-male action will or is likely to spread HIV. This claim would be ridiculous.

    Rather, a significant potential exists for the efficient spread of HIV through certain homosexual male sex practices (the risk of which is very greatly reduced by using protection, but which certainly does not vanish, as with almost any sexual act).

  • Dan said:

    In response to BEN:

    Your painfully verbose “ramblings” sound distinctly like the siren call of a g0y man standing on the shoreline directing the gay community to the shoals by going along with all established societal de facto standards.

    Always something unconstructive to say, but ever really taking a stand, never really getting invovled, but ALWAYS interjectcing. And WHY? Because you can’t really come to terms with your own true homosexuality.

    So stop kvetching from the sidelines whilst the home team is fighting in the end zone and pray go kaffe klatsch cluelessly amongst your g0y selves!

  • Ben said:

    Hmm . . . I can’t really say I expected being called a g0y. Nice one, though.

    What, exactly, prompted you to think that I wasn’t in terms with my homosexuality? Is this the response you give to anyone who disagrees with you?

    If you want a less verbose version, my post basically boils down to that removing blood bans should be done slowly and carefully, and the exclusion of donors is not a critical human rights issue. Current policy might not always make complete sense due to previous biases, but it requires a lot of care to make the appropriate call on blood donation decisions.

    I am particularly put off by the suggestion that just because I don’t find blood bans to be as important as other issues that I don’t care about the gay community, or that I don’t get involved. Give me a break.

  • Ed said:

    RE: Ben

    Human Rights 101. When you lump entire groups of people together and make blanket generalizations, it’s called “bigotry.” When the bigotry becomes policy and exclusionary practices directed against one-specific group, it’s call “discrimination.” For the record, EVERY human rights issue is critical.

    When you and others put forward the idea that some of our rights are more important than others, you are essentially agreeing with our oppressors. It’s a manifestation of internalized homophobia (which is probably where the g0y charge comes from) that says, “We are second class citizens and don’t deserve access to all of our rights at the same time. We have to pick and choose and settle for less than what is ours.” Then, if that weren’t bad enough, people who buy into that extremely limited way of thinking legitimize the discrimination being perpetrated against their own community by echoing the same bigoted assertions.

    It may not be important to you, but there are shortages at blood banks. By arbitrarily turning LGBTQ people away, the Red Cross is putting the lives of others at risk. Well, I guess you’ve already answered that question.

    Finally, when you say, “it requires a lot of care to make the appropriate call on blood donation decisions,” you’re wrong. As with all things, education is the primary way to fight bigotry and discrimination. You should check out the American Red Cross’ website and the extraordinary lengths to which they go to inure the safety of the blood supply. They test and track every single unit of donated blood. The care to which you refer is already in place.

    You may not think it’s a priority, but don’t defend it and try to rationalize discrimination, especially when it’s against you and the community you call your own.

    Back on topic: I totally disagree with this column.

  • Ben said:

    Thank you, Ed, for actually responding to my post and not just resorting to name-calling . . .

    The point I’m trying to make is that giving blood through blood collection organizations is not a right at all. And why not? That’s because someone who wants to give blood (usually to a particular person, such as a family member in need) can still do so through a directed donation. Blood banks are just a specific method which tries to seek out blood which is almost certainly uninfected. It is a matter of convenience, not right.

    That’s not to say I think the current ban is sensible — it just plain isn’t. The MSM risk group is, in the U.S., banned for life from any contact, unprotected or otherwise, which occurred after 1977. This is far longer than the detection period for HIV, and as such, the blanket ban is nonsense. The risk groups are just not being appropriately identified. A heterosexual who has just had unprotected sex the night before, with a stranger, but not for money or drugs, can still donate blood — this is a significant risk, because HIV antibodies can take up to three months to detect (six months in some cases, although that much is a stretch).

    So, the way I see it, the MSM risk group should not just vanish, but emphasis needs to shift on prohibiting unsafe behavior for any blood donor. If that means still putting a ban on, say, those who have had anal sex without a condom (with men or women) within the past six months (or more for someone with an already compromised antibody production rate) or people who are one link away from such individuals, I do not think this would be totally unreasonable. But, I get the impression that the gay community would still find this to be an outrage, because for some reason, blood donation recipients should still have to take our blood, no matter what the probabilities of recent infection are.

    In particular, you stated that “[t]hey test and track every single unit of donated blood.” Yes, they do. But that’s not the reason for excluding a risk group, because there is still a decently high chance of undetectable, recently acquired infection. That is exactly why the MSM restriction is not completely unfounded, but just overstated, as individuals infected in 1977 certainly have detectable infections by now.

    So, before I ramble too long here, I hope I have been clear that I do not think human rights issues are not important. I just don’t think this is a human rights issue at all. But, because blood banks do have shortages and do have an overreaching ban, they should refine their restrictions to be more reasonable.

    One last thing: although I am hopefully correct in saying there was no bad intent with your allegation, not every dissenting opinion is a result of “internalized homophobia” (a much nicer phrase than “you’re a g0y”).

  • Ed said:

    @ Ben,

    It’s not an issue of dissenting opinions. In fact, at this point, it sounds like we agree. The unilateral ban on MSM donating blood to blood banks is “overreaching.” It’s not “sensible,” and the policy should be changed. You say “refined.”

    I am completely confused by how you could think that the Red Cross can take our tax money and then tell us we aren’t good enough to donate blood–not just some of us, all of us–and it’s not a violation of our human rights. Are you disaggregating civil rights and human rights? I think that’s a mistake people frequently make. Our justice system is far from perfect, but, as a general rule, if an organization receives federal funds and denies access to certain groups, it’s a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. There are exceptions. People with fatal or chronic blood born diseases do not have the right to intentionally pass them on to people who do not want them and do not take the proper precautions to protect themselves. Blood recipients have a reasonable expectation to receive non-contaminated blood.

    Help me understand how you think that it’s okay to deny you the right to donate blood because of an immutable characteristic, like your sexual orientation, but it’s not a violation of your basic rights as a human being.

  • Kyle said:

    I think, Ed, this would depend entirely on whether the funds from the government coffers were used for blood donation collection, or not. (My cursory search on the internet only turned up info that the American Red Cross receives government money for “special projects”.) If only privately donated money is used during their collection of blood donations, they are entirely free, IMHO, to determine from whom they collect it. This is about receiving donations and services, not dispensing them (which is an entirely different issue). My rights as an individual do not infringe on the rights of other private persons or entities. In other words, I cannot force the Catholic Church to take money from me if they don’t want to receive it from me, and the same goes for donations in kind, even blood. The policy is wrong-headed, but they are entirely free to maintain it unless, of course, they are using tax-payer money in the process of collecting the blood.

  • jay said:

    I didn’t read all the previous post (there’s 71 of them!) but I wanted to repeat what one of my best girlfriends told me about why men hookup more than women.

    I was always trying to get her to hit on guys at bars and she was always reluctant. Finally she was like, “Gay men can go home together and are pretty much guaranteed an orgasm, no matter how bad the sex is. Thats not true with girls. I could take any guy in this bar home with me and 99% of their drunk asses wouldn’t be able to get me off.”

    Bottom line is girls tend to require a little skill in their lovemaking. Obviously, as I guy, I want good sex too, but I know I can always just jerk myself off in about 30 secs if I have too and go home.

  • awcmon said:

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    - hit the nail right on the head.
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  • Wonder said:

    B.B., can I have your phone number? :) I’m kidding, to you flame throwing “pit viper whores.” haha

    A funny thing I have to mention is that, in my experience, people who have multiple random and regular sex partners and/or drink a lot and/or abuse drugs, but especially the trifecta, lie all the time and with such ease as telling you the time of day. When they say, “It’s 3:00,” they really mean, “I had sex with all of your friends at 3:00 this morning.” They even lie about what they know you already know, because you were there with them and looking right at them, to your face. It’s easy to get drawn in, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a gift, and takes years of talent, drawing you in. But they’re just so cute when they’re angry. Even lying. It’s kind of adorable. An easy mistake. And it went on and on with you here. They like to be noticed. All that rubbing “mmm-yeah, yes! yes! yes! I’ll have what she’s having” kind of a thing, at every bar and motel and hot tub (yes, hot tub!) you can get your 2xist baskit brief self into. –Suz, get your head on straight. Don’t you know sex isn’t logical, man. It’s natural! Where’s that gallon of oil and that gallon of vodka. Lissssssten to us. Mmmm, come in, the water’s full of us swarming around like bacteria! :D If you did the right drugs, maybe you’d understand. They slipped something in your drink. You’ll feel better soon. GIVE US YOUR BODY. GIVE US YOUR BODY. Picture a quiet mummy from Scooby Doo in a hot tub at 2 a.m. coming toward you and all you know is something is really, really wrong. You feel like you’re not a real person and you’re not supposed to really be there. It’s kind of like a dream, but it’s scary and you’ve been duped and it’s all too damn real and you’re even too weak to speak up for yourself. You know it’s a nightmare. And the drugs make you afraid you might die. But he is having a great time. And this was someone I knew.

    Hey, check your emotions at the door, this is about a party. Aren’t you tense? They can fix that. Need a massage? Hey, no charge for the first one.

    They’re all so nice. See them smiling? And they’re friends with each other. They have to be decent, right?

    Oh, to dread that HIV test. That’s sobering when you’re waiting for that. Especially your first or second one. Awful, being afraid and calling yourself stupid.

    Brave of you Susan, for entering into the seedy underworld and defending helpless B.B. from the angry, hissing (this means they’re happy) orgasmers. Tough love. Get out while you can. It’s a bottomless pit.

  • Andre Bekare said:

    I’ve been HIV positive for the last four years. Recently I found out that it has developed to AIDS. I was dating many guys in Brazil, Canada and America but I couldn’t tell them. I had relationships but as much as possible I used protection so I did not feel like I had to tell them.

    I have been trying to get in touch with some of them and to make sure that they are at least okay. I have not been able to reach some of the guys I’ve been with. Do you have any suggestions?

    thank you

    Andre Bekare

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