Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why is it okay for straight women to have a gay fling but not men?

Writer Amy Sohn from New York Magazine writes in her article:

Straight, With an Asterick
It’s acceptable—even a little chic—for straight women to have a gay fling or two. But it’s a whole other story when otherwise straight men do it.

Same-sex experimentation among straight women is trendier than ponchos these days. The L Word is a mainstream hit, and if you go to any nightclub around three in the morning, you’ll see two pink-cheeked girls in a banquette, sucking face, often as their boyfriends watch. Gay experimentation for straight men is becoming more popular, too, even if you don’t see it in a dark corner at Vento.

I remember as a teenager sneaking into a adult film movie theatre in 1979 with my best friend. I recall scenes showing two women kissing and having sex naively thinking that next there would be a scene with two men kissing and having sex. I was a gay teenager so it was my hope that this would be shown. I remember being disappointed and confused as to why they would show two women but not two men.

Now I understand as a psychotherapist that the movies are made for straight men to enjoy, not for women or gay men.

However, today there are still very few porno movies featuring two men unless they are specifically geared toward gay men.

I agree with Sohn when she goes onto explain about straight men who have sex with men:

Those who experiment tend to do it covertly, and often stop short of intercourse. Such men maintain that they are not gay or even bisexual, just sexually progressive. And though in some cases this may just be denial, many say their interest in men comes from their frustration in the role limitations of straight sex.

Sexism and patriarchy block the scenes of two guys going at it in a heterosexual porn movie. And the bottom line is that it won't sell! Straight men will not purchase DVD's with two men inserted having sex with each other.

Or will they?

Could it be that it is women who are blocking the idea of two men being together as much as men?

Sohn reports this in her article:

Jonny, a 32-year-old Web designer, also describes himself as straight, though he’s had several dozen same-sex experiences. “I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay,” he tells me over dinner at Café Orlin as I cough on my tea. “But I like the idea of playing with sex roles and the way I am the object of affection with men, instead of the typical hetero male sexual aggressor.” He says he’s sure he’s straight because he’s always the submissive, he doesn’t find men physically attractive, and “I have 30 gigabytes of porn on my hard drive and it’s all women.” If it weren’t for the several dozen men he’s hooked up with, this might sound more convincing.

He, too, has had bad luck with women when he’s tried to talk about it, except for one woman who listened intently and then had a threesome with him. He sees himself settling down with a woman someday, but she would have to be someone who is okay with bending the rules. “I wouldn’t be happy with a woman who only wanted to play one role.”

I hope that the media coverage of Larry Craig, being on the Downlow and situations like Jim McGreevey will stop forcing men who enjoy having sex with men to have to keep a straight face.

Women need to start asking their male partners about sexual interest and fantasies about being sexual with men. Men need to feel safe to tell women about their sexual interests. Both need to stop being threatened that it will ruin their relationship. Too often it is just a sexual fantasy, interest and/or fetish.

Other times it is about a closeted gay man which of course does threaten the marriage. But, better to know this earlier in the relationship and marriage than down the line with children involved and lives ruined because our society makes it impossible for men to talk about interests in having sex with other men.

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