Myths you probably believed

Myths you probably believed (even if you think you are a GLBTQ person or ally)

Here’s a few thoughts I have on the many myths about sex and gender that our society perpetuates. These ideas are forced on us in subtle ways, even though they have little basis in logic or reality. I’m sure there are a few I’m forgetting, and may write more at a later date…. feel free to suggest your own in the comments!

All gay men want anal sex.

Not all gay men have, or desire, anal sex. I forget the exact statistics (and don’t really believe them because I don’t think people accurately respond to surveys about sex), but there is a surprisingly high percentage of gay and bisexual men who have never practiced anal sex. Even among those who have done it, it may or may not be their primary sexual behavior. They may or may not find it pleasurable. They may or may not do it with every partner. In fact, there have been people and groups that promote gay love without anal sex, saying that it undermines equal relationships (or for other reasons).

There is extreme peer pressure among the gay community to identify oneself based on anal preferences (as top, bottom, versatile, etc.) and to engage in anal sex. People also think they aren’t “gay” if they don’t want or don’t participate in anal… despite the fact that many straights also engage in mutual anal play. There is also the pressure within both relationships and casual hookups to engage in particular sexual behaviors, even if you don’t find it pleasurable yourself. If these pressures were removed, and more men were honest about their sexual desires and behaviors, I think fewer people would equate anal sex with gay sex.

You’re a virgin if you’ve never done ____.

People claim to be a virgin if they’ve never done one particular behavior (usually penis-in-vagina for straights, penis-in-anus for gays), yet they’ve done just about every other behavior under the sun. However, there really isn’t one single “cherry-popping” moment when your virginity is gone. Virginity is more about a state of mind, it’s about a loss of innocence, and losing various virginity to various behaviors happens over and over again in a person’s lifetime.

The common definition of a virgin is someone who has never had sex. Well, blow jobs are oral SEX. Masturbation while chatting online is cyber SEX. Sending nude pics on your cell is SEXting. See a theme? On the other hand, kissing – not sex. Posing for an artist nude – not sex. Though both of these behaviors could easily lead to it…

If you’ve engaged in a behavior where the primary goal is you – or someone else– getting off, then you’ve had sex, so please don’t claim to be a virgin. (Even if you don’t cum, it’s still sex… just ask any woman who’s faked it.)

Sexual acts should progress in a certain order.

One of the arguably-negative results of seeing sex in porn (or mainstream entertainments) is that people think sex should always progress in a certain order. Begin with kissing, then strip, then some oral, penetration, and then cumming. It’s not good unless you both orgasm simultaneously. Then you lie there and smoke a cigarette until you leave or fall asleep (with the walk of shame the next morning). This is all fine and dandy, and it makes it easy to tell a story: if you see two film characters kissing, then cut to them lying back with a cigarette, you can safely assume that the “real sex” happened offscreen.

However, there is no real reason why you have to follow these steps. Just do what feels good. Like many things in life, sex should be focused on the journey, not the goal. And while over time it’s best if a relationship is equal, that doesn’t mean that you both have to do the same things, or even cum every time, when you have sex. As long as you are both happy and satisfied overall, who cares?

All trans* people want to have sex-reassignment surgery or feel like they were born in the wrong body.

The term trans* is an umbrella includes many different types of people. Even among trans* people the terminology can be complicated and controversial, so I won’t try to define every subset of the community. However, the simplest way to describe trans* people is that they cross the barriers of either sex (what equipment a person has in their pants) or gender (the appearances and behaviors people exhibit).

There are those who take hormones or undergo surgery to change their bodies… and there are those who simply don’t agree with society’s overly simplistic roles and definitions for gender. Neither sex nor gender is truly a binary, black-or-white, male-or-female choice.

There are those who cross-dress but don’t want to change their bodies. There are those who do so purely for entertainment (like drag queens/kings) or for sexual fetishes. There are those who feel equally male or female, and those who may feel closer to one gender or another at different times. There are many people who identify as “genderqueer” or “genderflexible” or“androgynous” or “gender non-conforming.” There are boys who like pink and playing princess, and girls who like playing with trucks and wearing jeans.

All bisexual and polyamourous people are just slutty or indecisive.

Sure, there are some who are indecisive sluts. There are those who claim to be “bi” for attention or are just “experimenting.” But there are also those who are virgins, who are monogamous, who know specifically what they want in a mate, who enter into polyamoury for religious reasons, and more.

Both bi and polyamourous people are stigmatized even within the GLBTQ community. There’s no reason this should be – ideally all minorities would better understand what injustices other minorities must fight against – but that’s the way it is. We need to fight this now, and we need to recognize that any love or sexual act between consenting adult people is equal – even if we don’t have a desire to engage in that love or act ourselves.

Actually, there are probably far more bisexual people than would like to admit it. Not all bisexual people are equally bi. Instead, there’s a range of sexuality called the Kinsey Scale, developed with massive amounts of research, that suggests people may exhibit any mix of “gay” and “straight” -ness. There are massive pressures within society, so most people just pick the side they’re closest to, without admitting or perhaps even realizing that they have the occasional urge that falls outside those bounds.

And polyamoury doesn’t necessarily mean one Mormon guy with a bunch of Sisterwives. There are cultures where some form of polyamoury exists, with varying mixutres of male and female participants, and there is no real proof that monogamy is the most “natural” state for humans. Our idea of serial monogamy has developed over time within our culture, but that doesn’t mean it is automatically better. If it were, would there be so much cheating? People should decide what kind of relationship works for them, and realize that their own relationships are not threatened by anyone else’s.

All gays want to convert straights.

Sometimes the axiom that “you want what you can’t have” is true… but other times, it’s not. Yes, some gays lust after “Str8” men. But the majority of people aren’t going to waste their time chasing after someone who is actually unattainable. There’s plenty of easy cock or pussy to chase after. And those who are surfing the m4m section of Craigslist, checking out Grindr, or doing gay porn are not actually straight (at most, they are bisexual… actual, fully heterosexual people are not going to be convinced to have gay sex unless there’s a life or death choice involved).

While we’re at it, there’s absolutely no connection between sexual orientation and rape/sexual abuse. That’s a lie that some groups spread to further their own agendas (when perhaps instead of trying to take others’ rights, they should check the morality of their own selves). People can be abusers (or abused) regardless of whether they are male or female, gay or straight, tall or short, any ethnic or religious group. We may happen to hear more about certain groups, because of biased news reporting or because certain scandals are more “interesting,” but if you think that abuse follows the boundaries set by stereotypes, you’re wrong.

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