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18 October 2010, 9:00 am 4 Comments

From Lesbos With Love: Groping: Just a Guy Thing?

This post was submitted by t

Apparently there’s a groping epidemic. That’s right. In gay clubs everywhere, a man can walk past another man he finds attractive and cup his butt, or if he’s feeling bold, his crotch.

The whole thing seems so impersonal to me. I have a hard time imaging the situation and wonder what his motivation is and if it’s premeditated. Maybe the guy knows he’ll be going home alone and this is his only chance to get some action. Or maybe he’s just drunk and wants to cop a feel. I hate to stereotype but does it have to do with men having a hyper sex drive? Do you guys like this? Is it a turn on? Some men must find it uncomfortable. Does anybody ever speak up, or is that taboo? Perhaps it’s just accepted as part of the culture.

In a straight club or bar it would be considered sexual harassment or at the very least creepy. What makes it different in a gay club?

Maybe I’m just having a difficult time wrapping my head around it, but I was stunned when my friend told me this is often the norm.

I’ve been groped before but usually it’s the classic ass slap or a suggestive lingering hand along my back or shoulder, and it’s usually followed by a wink or a compliment of some sort. Sometimes it’s flattering. Sometimes it feels like a challenge. Actually, I think in the lesbian world there’s a fine line between groping and flirting. I just can’t imagine a woman grabbing my boob or slipping her hand between my legs as she passes by.

It can’t be that lesbians are just classier. Maybe we value personal space or respect our bodies more. Maybe it happens across gay culture and I just haven’t exposed myself to sleazy-enough bars. But I would venture to guess that groping occurs primarily in mostly male gay bars and since I’m at a loss for words, I want to ask my readers: Why?

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  • Dickie said:

    I think the groping is largely to do with the sexual liberation felt in the male, G set. The culture is full of open, frank, and (sometimes) lewd discussion of sex and sexuality, ranging from bar talk to serious discussions on condom use and STD prevention at Every. Single. Gay. Gathering.

    So in a culture that by-and-large accepts hook-ups and one night stands as a norm or standard (even if not all members participate), I don’t think it is that hard to move that same openness with sexual expression to more public venues.

    Of course, this is one of the aspects of the culture that many non-G people site as one of the reasons gay bars are so odd to them, but I just write it off as part of our culture. When we go to Straight bars, we often have to be prepared for fist-pumping, bad cologne, and random fist-fights breaking out, so I think a gentle ass-rub or two is a better trade off. ;)

  • Steven P. said:

    I think there is a sense of sexual entitlement afforded to men in Western culture; it wasn’t too long ago that copping a feel off the office secretary was the norm within the male-dominated spaces of the corporate world. That this practice would perpetuate itself in the highly-sexualized environment of the gay bar is not surprising, considering that it (generally) lacks the moderating forces of feminist critique and sobriety.

    Groping is a problematic mode of objectification; on one hand, it’s nice to know that someone finds me physically attractive, but on the other hand it shows that their desire to “know” me is only surface. But this a larger issue in the gay community; it seems that courtship and dating have given away to exchanging numbers after a particularly good backroom hookup.

  • Taylor said:

    bi guy here. that’s definitely one of the things that I hate about going to gay bars. I feel like a piece of meat. sometimes I can’t even get a beer without some creeper hitting on me or grabbing me. then when you tell them to keep their hands off, they give you this look like “if you don’t like me touching you, you must be straight, so what are you doing here?” you almost have to explain, yes, I am queer, but no, you can’t touch me, it’s not that I’m straight, I just don’t know you and/or you are a gross ugly desperate creeper. it’s like they can’t imagine anyone going to a gay bar just to chill out and drink in a queer-friendly environment. they seems to have this mentality that everyone in the bar is there to grope and hook up for casual sex. I’m not into that kind of thing. I like men, but not rude ones that grope without asking.

  • William Bennett said:

    Taylor: I totally agree with you. It has never been acceptable to me to be groped or to grope someone. I know some people like it, but it is never acceptable. I live in Detroit, Michigan, USA.