Boys on the side
Embedded in, and at the core of, heteronormativity is the idea that men and women are fundamentally different, with men expected to be masculine and women expected to be feminine. When you get into the world of gay/queer men, these expectations are frequently transposed onto how we present ourselves to the world and how we define ourselves, and because we don’t (usually) have such clear external markers as male and female, we might not notice our adherence to gender norms.Ben Cohen
When it comes to sexuality, you know we cannot draw a line anywhere. The array of flavors and tastes when it comes to nookie makes some people dizzy, but there ARE may flavors and tastes out there. One of the things I've learned (and I've been around for a little while) is that we should be ready to not be surprised about what turns people on. Take for example, the Sides.
According to their definition, a Side is a queer/gay man who does not identify as a top or a bottom (or vers) and that may prefer not to have anal sex or have it only under some conditions. Now, most people associate gay sex with anal sex. If you doubt it, ask any Wingnut Xtianist what they think about anal sex and the first thing they scream is: 'UNNATURAL!' And they're not alone. Most gay/queer men associate having sex with, well, anal sex. But that is not always the case.
So when I came across the Sides, I had to read about them. I know that some men don't really like anal. Be it because they find it uncomfortable, they get blocked when they try it or just find it too cumbersome, some men don't like butt sex. And that's perfectly fine. One can have a perfectly good sexual encounter with another man and not have anal. I know some guys who definitely prefer oral to anal. They will come with a blow job but can't really do it when topping. Or really like frottage and are able to enjoy themselves just with the friction of their body against somebody else's body. Or only like to practice mutual masturbation and that's they way they get it on. And that's sex.
So Sides have basically been around for awhile, you'd say. But in this world of apps and websites and electronic communications in which you disclose who you are in order to be matched and packaged for consumption, like in that Black Mirror episode, enumerating your likes and dislikes and perks and kinks, it has become mandatory that you choose a side. And if you're a Side, you don't have one. You see, in this new wild world, you mostly have to be either/or. Some sites do offer other alternatives to the usual male/female, gay/straight dichotomies dictated by our heterosexist world, but many are not that flexible. And apparently, neither are gay apps.
And then, when it comes to fucking, some gay and queer men have found that the apps that are supposed to facilitate getting some nookie can be as reductive as your garden variety church Bingo. I haven't been on one lately, but I understand that people on hookup apps are usually looking for either somebody to fuck them or for somebody they can fuck. It's kind of that clear cut and simple. And boring. There's some apps that I'm sure cater to a more sophisticated public, a public that goes for any of the common fetishes (leather, rubber, used underwear, uniforms, urine, feet, diapers, etc) but most of those men ARE indeed looking for some nookie and, at some moment, would include anal in their repertoire.
And some men are just not into it. Weird? Well, no. There's really nothing 'weird' when it comes to sex (and I'm not talking about some gay men and their 'preference' for excluding people because of their race, body type or gender presentation) because sexual expression is as individual as, well, people. So I'm all for Sides getting their freak on under their conditions. I'm sure there's more than one guy out there that can identify with them and would be able to form meaningful relationships with someone who just doesn't like anal that much.
I think it's funny how we all tend to try to make people fit the boundaries that form OUR world. And when anything does not fit that world it is deemed 'weird' or 'funny'. There's nothing weird about sex. And I think that as queer/gay/bi men we should be able to discuss sex without being judged or ridiculed. Especially within the gay/queer community. Every sexual expression is real. Every sexual orientation needs to be validated. We cannot paint ourselves in a corner and decide to be judge and juror of other people's sex lives. We should instead concentrate on our own and enjoy it.
So, tennis, anyone?