Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saturday, after spending 45 minutes convincing my friend that I was, indeed, gay, I was bombarded with that single question that drives me absolutely insane.

"Have you ever had sex with a man?"

No. I have not ever had sex with a man. I'm too much of a romantic to allow myself to become a slut - to allow myself to sleep with every man that would be interested in sleeping with me.

This is the more-than-third time that this question has been asked of me, which seems outright pathetic. Just because I'm gay does not mean that I have any experience in it. And, your knowledge of my gayness does not give you any more of a right to ask questions about my sex life than my knowledge of your non-gayness grants me the right to ask you questions about yours.

Most of the people that I make a point of telling tend to be relatively intelligent people. And still, I find myself disappointed by this question. It tells me that people still have a frighteningly poor understanding of sexuality - that it is limited to sex.

I hope that at some point I can convince them that sexuality is about so much more than sex...


  1. Neal, are you sure you're not me about twenty-seven years ago?
    Listen, buddy, your sweetness is so obvious in your posts. You are going to make someone an excellent partner some day. Hold on to your romanticism and don't succumb to the constant temptation to give it away to the next cute guy.
    Honestly, I was twenty-six when I lost my virginity, so you have a few years to go.
    I'm so impressed that you're holding out for the right person, time, and place. That says a lot about your character, not to mention your self-respect. Once your self-respect is gone, there's not much left.
    Don't be irritated by "that" question. They're looking out for your best interests; they just want you to be sure. They're questioning how you know you're gay if you haven't had sex with someone of the same gender yet. Be confident in the knowledge that you know who you are, and that you don't have to have sex with another man until you're damn good and ready.
    And I assume the comment you left in your previous post was about me and my age. Yep, I'll be fifty-one in a few months. I think that's a little old for you. You'll be happy with someone much younger when that happens. But when Chris and I met, he told me he'd always seen himself with someone older than him, someone who knew himself better, was more established in life, more mature. Sounds like you'd do well with someone like that, too. Believe me, I always found the young ones cute, but they didn't have much going on except what was happening between their legs. Didn't do it for me. Although, curiously, Chris was twenty-three when I met him (I was thirty-two). Chris was an old soul from the start. Sure, he was young and immature in some ways, but we really connected in others. You'll know when you find the right person for you. You'll feel it in your heart. Until then, nothing wrong with waiting.
    I love reading your posts, by the way, and everything you write about. Like I said, you're one cool dude, and your head is definitely on straight (so to speak).

  2. The Queer Behind the Mirror Likes This! (thumbs up) :-)

  3. Coming out to people is awkward. I've always hated that, most of the time, the ball is in the gay person's court. Only once have I had someone respectfully ask if I was gay. It was so refreshing!

    I grew up in East Texas where Southern Baptist self-righteousness and hypocrisy are prevalent. (I was deeply religious at the time; just not the right religion.) Can't count how many times people told me "love the sinner, hate the sin." That was supposed to convey some form of acceptance. I couldn't really go anywhere with the conversation after that.

    Almost any question, however, is a good one, including, "Have you had sex with a man?" It's a starting point. It's an opportunity to begin a dialog with a straight person who has only thought of homosexuality as homoSEXuality. Initially, I was frustrated with some of the responses. Then I reminded myself that my own path to self-acceptance took years and included some detours for self-hatred and ignorance (e.g., Would I have to do drag? Would I have to stand on a Gay Pride float in a Speedo?!).

    If it took me years, I can give someone else time to get his/her head around the coming out news. Really, I just want them to keep asking questions, keep the dialog going.

    It's an opportunity for education as well as a promise for deepening a relationship.

  4. Love is not sex. Sex is not love.

    When the world learns this, then also "that sexuality is about so much more than sex..."

    The day is not that far in the future, but some places will get there sooner than others.