Sex Ed in Bed
A Gay, Sex Educator Ain’t That Queer!
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).

I’ve heard it said that America doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality, as much as it has a problem with sexuality in general, and I agree. Consider a few topics from the past decade regarding America’s sexuality:

The former Surgeon General was fired for suggesting that masturbation can be a deterrent for teen pregnancy and STD’s. Couples claim fidelity as a grounding principle of their relationships, yet almost 50 percent admit to outside sexual connections. While blindly ignoring other countries‘ positive experiences with homosexuals in the armed forces, America‘s military believes they will seriously hurt soldier morale. Hardly anyone will talk positively about erotic media, yet in the U.S. alone, this industry generates 8 billion dollar a year that recessions barely touch. Former President Clinton brought our nation to a standstill simply because of his affair. Men resist showing affection for fear of being misinterpreted as sexual predators. A recent review of the government‘s ”abstinence only“ curriculum exposed a number of suspicious ”errors,“ such as the warning that mutual masturbation can cause pregnancy!

Sadly, this assessment of sexual issues is far from complete. Let‘s face it. Despite being ”the greatest country in the world,“ America has also become the sexual laughing stock of the world! Fortunately, even the delinquent state of America‘s sexuality has more than one angle of perception. Believe it or not, the glass half full is being held by a limp-wristed hand!

Circumstances have aligned at this time to make the LGBT community the leading example of a healthier understanding of sexuality. Think about it. Most societies have members who don’t fit in. Sometimes they‘re even marginalized as outcasts. Ironically, these are often the ones who are the most creative, the ones who think outside the box, and the very same people that evolve a society (kicking and screaming) toward maturity. History has shown this over, and over again.

Nature shows the first step in the evolutionary process is a mutation — something completely different, unplanned and out of the ordinary — that eventually takes an organism in a more complex and adaptable direction.

I have no desire to push any particular spiritual belief, but even Western Religion contains this process. When will Jerry Falwell actually read the Bible and recognize that the LGBT community has a lot more in common with Jesus than the Religious Right? Christ was an outcast and killed because he dared to love. We are outcasts and even killed because of whom we love.

Furthermore, no matter how you slice it, our outcast status is based on sex and gender. I know this statement is a big ol‘ hot dog to choke on for those who, instead of being themselves, are more concerned about being accepted as ”straight acting,“ or for ”proper“ folks who hide sex as a ”private matter.“ Get over it, Mary! Ultimately, our community is discriminated and oppressed because of whom we fuck! After all, if I’m not comfortable with my own sexuality, am I really comfortable with being gay? I don’t think so.

Therefore, as LGBT people, we‘ve had to do our sexual homework, when the general population hasn‘t had to give it much thought. Most of the time, we‘ve become more sexually aware as a result. At the same time, our process has educated others because this authentic growth is contagious, especially when we choose to be ourselves on a visible level. In doing so, we become natural (often unconscious), yet ideal sex educators!

Just look at children of LGBT parents. Are the vast majority of them more sexually savvy? You betcha! Why does Queer Eye for the Straight Guy work so well? Because gay boys, before coming out, have to work long and hard (pardon the pun) to act and behave like a straight guy. On a recent VH1 documentary about ”Gays in the Mainstream,“ an entire segment was devoted to, ”...a revolutionary development. Gay guys are now providing a role model for straight guys of how to emotionally relate to women.“ Even in the face the AIDS epidemic, not only did the LGBT community lead the way in safer sex education, but we also insisted that sex be taught as a positive, pleasurable, and important experience.

As I complete my Doctorate of Education in Sexology, I can‘t think of a more important, yet more neglected aspect of humanity than sexuality. I find myself, time and again, beaming with pride when I see our community pushing the envelope to further the sexual health of this country. The more we celebrate our similarities and diversity — publicly and in our beds — the more people ”catch the vision“ of an enlightened sexuality, free from negativity and shame.

Did I forget to mention that sex is a lot of fun, too?

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