In Defense of Planned Parenthood
Gay Men and Sexually Transmitted Infections
Dan Savage comments:
Straight men would do everything gay men do if straight men could but straight men can’t because straight women won’t.
If there were straight bathhouses full of women who wanted to have anonymous sex with straight men, straight men would go to straight bathhouses. If there were straight public-sex environments—parks and truck stops and toilets—where straight women cruised for anonymous sex with straight male strangers, straight men would cruise straight public-sex environments.
Not all straight men would go to straight bathhouses and straight cruising areas, of course, just as not all gay men go to gay bathhouses and gay cruising areas. But a lot of straight men would. If they could. But they can’t. Because women won’t.
It’s important to remember this when we talk about HIV infection rates and syphilis rates among gay men. The problem isn’t that these men are gay. The problem is that these gays are men.
Straight men have an external check that makes it more difficult for them to spin out of control sexually. Whether you believe that female sexual reserve/reluctance/caution is about socialization or biology or both, or that it’s a reaction to sad fact the many unpleasant consequences of sex fall disproportionately on women (greater risk of pregnancy (um, duh), much likelier to be the victims of sexual and intimate-partner violence, easier for STIs to be transmitted from male-to-female than female-to-male), female sexual reserve/reluctance/caution exists. It’s consequently much harder for straight men to get laid than it is for gay men to get laid. Gay men tend to get laid more, as a result, some gay men get laid lots, and a core group of hypersexual gay men get laid like crazy and these core group members, according to epidemiologists, fuel the HIV and STI epidemics in gay male communities. (And core group members don’t just sleep with other core group members.)
The challenge that gay men face—and it’s something that HIV “educators” and gay men working in the laughably ineffectual “gay men’s health movement” refuse to acknowledge or address—is that gay men have to find an internal check to avoid spinning out of control sexually. Gay men should be encouraged to find that internal check, challenged to find it, and confronted when they fail to find it.
As I’ve said before: straight people should have more sex, and more sex partners, than they do; gay people should have less sex, and fewer sex partners, than we can. Somewhere there’s a balance.
You Can’t Pray Away the Gay…
Dan Savage comments:
…but can you gay away the pray? That’s an open question. What isn’t a question anymore—what should never have been a question, and what certainly isn’t a question I’m going to tolerate after this morning—is whether “ex-gay” ministries and quack therapists can “change” a person’s sexual orientation. Here’s Lisa Ling on The View today:
Lisa Ling: The truth of the matter is that he, and people who are part of the Exodus movement - we spent a lot of time with them, got exclusive access into the Exodus movement - they say that you can’t completely turn it off, you can’t change your sexual orientation. But you can try to live a life according to what the Bible says, with help.
Barbara Walters: You talked to a great many people, as you say all around the country.
Do you think it is possible to change your sexuality, is that what you’ve come to as a conclusion.
Lisa Ling: Even the head of Exodus says he doesn’t believe you can change your sexual orientation. He says that he constantly has to fight his attraction for men.
So… the head of the largest “ex-gay” ministry in the country told Ling that it’s impossible to change your sexual orientation, and admitted that he—after twenty years of being involved with Exodus—is still attracted to men. This is the same guy who once said, “The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness.” As John points out, Exodus and other anti-gay “ministries” aren’t in the business of making gay people straight. (And it is a business.) They’re in the business of making gay people celibate. It would be amusing if they didn’t employ spiritual violence to terrorize weak gay people and if they didn’t hold up their own “ex-gayness” as proof that gay people don’t deserve full civil equality. No one has to be gay, the argument goes, so no need for gay people to be treated like citizens. (No one has to be Jewish either—your point is?)
But, hey, if gay people are ex-gay when they’re not having gay sex… then that means most gay people are ex-gay most of the time.
Dan Savage comments:
Don’t have time to pick apart Ross Douthat’s column in today’s NYT. (Guess what? I’m on an airplane, and the doors are closing.) But I do want to toss this out there…
A lot of those blissfully happy people in monogamous long-term relationships—and it seems odd to credit monogamy for their happiness instead of the personality traits and interpersonal skills that allowed them to form those long-lasting partner bonds—actually aren’t in monogamous relationships. People cheat and they don’t always inform their partners and spouses; and just as premarital sex isn’t a modern phenomenon, cheating—and getting away with it—isn’t exactly a new thang.
Perhaps some studies have found a high correlation between monogamy and happiness. But have those studies compared people in successful, long-term non-monogamous relationships with people in successful, long-term non-monogamous relationships? I suspect not. I’d wager that most-if-not-all of these studies have compared people in long-term monogamous relationships—or people in what they believe to be monogamous relationships—to people who aspired to be in stable monogamous relationships and failed, e.g. people who have gone from one failed monogamous startup relationship to the next. These studies would have very little tell us very little about how honest, ethical non-monogamy stacks up against traditionally monogamous relationship models.
Ok, now I know what to order next time I go to a pub. (Via Joe.My.God.)
What Celery Does To Straight Dudes
Ok, now I know what to order next time I go to a pub.
Huckabee: Icky Things Happen In The Bedrooms Of Same-Sex Couples
Dan Savage comments:
Look, Mike, I get it. You think gay people are icky and gay sex makes your eyes bug out. That’s fine. I totally understand where you’re coming from: cunnilingus gives me the willies and I’d rather see my own intestines wound onto a spool than see you fuck your wife. I don’t wanna see what’s going on in your bedroom—even if it’s just sleep—anymore than you wanna see what’s going on in mine.
But it’s like this, Mike: people shouldn’t be discriminated against because other people don’t wanna see ‘em fuck.
And answer the man’s question: How does denying marriage rights to the same-sex couple down the street make the single mother up the street any more likely to marry the father of her children? How does discriminating against gay people make straight people more responsible? How does that work?
Dan Savage at U of Montana: How To
Avoid Developing A Porn Addiction In Montana.
A message to all small-town gay men.