Sex Ed in Bed
Gay? Straight? Bi? Whatever!
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).
I was cruising a newcomer to our neighborhood bar. A friend or two had warned me that they had tried to find out his orientation, but the guy had alluded their questioning. I was up for the challenge, so I introduced myself and started chatting him up. Pretty quickly into the conversation I asked a generic getting-to-know-you question like, What do you do? His response was, Oh! I really dont like to put labels on myself. This clued me into an important aspect of his personality. He didnt like being pigeonholed. If something as simple as his job made him feel like he was being cornered, I could just imagine how skittish he would be if I started nosing around his sexuality.
To a large degree, if you want to get to know someone it can be as simple and fun as a game of twenty questions. I really enjoy it. I have developed a set of interesting and thought provoking inquiries that I draw a lot of information, not only from the answers, but from the reactions to the questions as well. One of my favorites is, What do you love/hate about yourself? You can learn a lot about a persons self-confidence when you see how quickly they step up to the plate for this one. Of course, they can ask me the same questions, too.
However, if someone doesnt want to play the game, like this guy, I give up right away. It should be a game of willing participation; otherwise, Ill only create further resistance. Besides, he still wanted to reveal himself, but on his own terms. When he saw that I had given up trying to get to know him directly, he suddenly changed his attitude and began to do everything he could to be the center of my attention. I cant say that we got to know each other sexually that very night, but my friends were jealous.
I suppose we have a preoccupation with labeling people. I suppose we also have a preoccupation with avoiding to be labeled. And nothing brings this more to light than sexuality. It seems, whether gay, straight, conservative, or liberal everyone really wants to know what camp youre in, what gender you are and how you came to that conclusion. Its easy to think that there are only two options to the Kinsey Scale straight and gay. Yet, the Kinsey Institute developed the scale from zero to six because there were so many of us that didnt seem to fit either category, rather somewhere in between.
Granted, nearly every word spoken and written is a label. No one can argue the avoidance of labels without using labels! The only way we communicate meaningfully is with the use of words/labels. Obviously, this is a very good and helpful thing. To demonstrate, heres a quick and easy rule of thumb that delineates four different sexual labels and their combinations: top, bottom, passive and aggressive: If asked, Shut the door, a passive bottom would shut the door. An aggressive bottom would say, Make me! To which a passive top would not know how to respond, while an aggressive top would make him! Its clever, concise, and pretty damn clear!
Even though labeling is unavoidable, in every crowd, community, or group theres going to be someone who feels the need to be different a person who feels they dont fit the status quo. We queers know all about that. Whether a society makes a person feel excluded or the person decides to exclude him/herself, that person becomes labeled an outsider to the group. You see this in each new generation trying to find its place in the world. One way they identify themselves is to be the opposite of the previous generation. And the generation thats now becoming sexually active doesnt seem to care that much about what theyre called.
I believe that problems more often occur not from individuals defining themselves differently, but from the larger group getting bent out of shape because of it. I know theres a whole lot of people out there who call themselves straight and primarily have gay sex. So what? Is labeling them going to make them feel anymore accepted? I dont think so. Is creating an accepting environment for them to come out when theyre ready going to help? You betcha! So label them what you will: Straight but not narrow, in denial, or just straight guys who happen to like getting their dicks sucked by other guys whatever! I just hope those undefined guys know that not only is my mind open to accept them, but my mouth is wide open, too, if theyre looking for a place to stick their undefined cocks!
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