not exactly

Thursday, January 13, 2005


sex must always be a power play

If everything I know I learned from porn, that is.

I haven't seen any heterosexual porn and, frankly, not much homosexual porn, so I may be completely off-base here. It seems that most pornographic pieces, whether they be visual or written, are based on the idea that sex is some sort of power struggle. And it can be: between men and women, between men and men, and less often between women and women. That doesn't mean it always is, however.

In porn, the man on the receiving end of anal sex (the "bottom") is always in that position because a) he is owned by his partner or b) he is acting selflessly to grant his partner pleasure. It is very rarely the more obvious option--that he likes it that way (I'll get back to that later).

Being the bottom implies that he is weaker, more womanly than his partner. His partner has the brawn and the penis, while he has metaphorical girl parts, the ones that make women so detestable in the first place. Why is it that so many attacks on gay men are because of their supposed femininity? Even within the gay culture, it's made very clear that while some men are gay and remain men, some are submissive. Just like women. Some sacrifice their own pleasure and comfort for their partners, just like women. And, just like women, some of them are disgusting whores who actually like to be fucked.

Sometimes, if the top is feeling generous, he will trade places and allow the bottom to enjoy sex for once. This is not because he actually is generous or selfless or even a nice guy, but because it's even more demeaning to allow the bottom an orgasm. Sloppy seconds.

On this one I'm not sure if it's porn that reflects real life or if porn can be blamed for originally spreading this idea (after all, who says that most producers of gay porn actually know anything about gay sex, other than there's a pretty big market for it?). Or if, again, it's option C: a larger misogynist (oh, shit, that word) and homophobic culture is to blame. If you hate women, what would be more insulting to a man than to be called a woman?

(Amanda and--again--Hugo's comments on Amanda's blog are partly to blame for this post.)

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