Since the dynamics within straight relationships have shifted relatively recently, we're kinda confused about how we're supposed to behave, particularly when it comes to gender roles. After we posted about this week's episode of Mad Men - in which Don Draper has a sexually charged dominance scene with one woman - and reading the comment thread, it became clear that some people are just as uncomfortable with women being sexually submissive as people once felt about women being sexually dominant. But maybe we should look to gay men for our cues. There's something sort of admirable about gay male couples. Not that they're out and proud - I mean, that's great, obviously - but that there's an acceptance about the fluidity of the roles each person is allowed to play in a relationship and an innate understanding about sexual expectations that doesn't always exist in heterosexual coupling. Maybe it's the fact that they are so used to not being the "norm" that they don't give a fuck about conforming to what's expected of "men." Either way, I think we could stand to learn a thing or two from them.
5.) Anal Is Optional Some gay men I know who are in their mid to late 20s have never had anal sex and don't really ever want to. Maybe they just haven't met that special guy to lose their anal virginity to, or maybe they are correct in the assessment that it just isn't for them. (I wouldn't know about pitching, but catching can hurt like a motherfucker.) Other gay guys I know only have anal sex with someone They're really close to. In this day and age where porn is so pervasive, people feel required to be a little more adventurous (which can be a good thing!), but just because you're open to trying new things, doesn't mean that your asshole is. And forcing the issue can lead to rectal bleeding. 4.) Sex Can Be Expected Or A Given For the most part, when gay men go on a date, or hook up with someone they've met on the internet or whatever, both parties assume (and hope) that the end result of the evening will be sex. I totally get this. Particularly because, personally, I would never be alone with a man unless I'd already decided that I wanted to fuck him, and also because I don't see the point in holding in my farts around someone all night long unless I got something out of it. Camille Paglia has said that "one of the costs of modern feminism is that women must be like gay men who understand that every date is a sexual encounter," adding that the way for women to be safe in our sexual relationships is to acknowledge and accept that it's dangerous territory, and to be equipped to deal with all that that entails. She's said, "Everyone in the gay male world knows that the price of sexual adventure can be death, so I am tired of young women regarding themselves as a special class that somehow wants a perfect experience." 3.) Stay Friendly With Former Lovers Every gay guy I have ever met stays friendly with at least some of his former hookups. Sometimes they become really close friends. Sometimes the old flames (heh) set them up with other guys they'd slept with, acknowledging that they are much better suited for each other. Sometimes they have sex with their ex-BF's ex-BFs. It's called "six degrees of Kevin's bacon." This might just be a New York thing, I dunno. But it's kind of a good idea. I say, yes, stay friendly with past hookups - and eliminate any jealous feelings - especially if they're hot or really genuine, because birds of a feather and all that. They might be able to set you up with someone else that you can actually date long term. 2.) Dominant/Submissive Roles With most gay couples there is a top and there is a bottom. But there is a give-and-take aspect to pretty much all sexual relationships across the board. In straight relationships, there seems to be this embarrassment for "progressive" people about a man taking the dominant role and a woman taking the submissive role. It's like the parties involved are afraid they'll set the women's movement back 50 years if a girl's hair gets pulled, or if her ass gets smacked, or if she's told what to do in bed. As long it's between consenting adults, no one should feel bad about what turns them on. Gay men don't have this problem of dividing the sexual power play. 1.) Resolving Our Sexual Selves With the Rest of Our Lives Identifying as gay means that your sex life helps defines who you are way more than it does for straight people. Perhaps having it so out there is why it's so much easier for gay men to embrace their sexuality while also embracing other facets of their lives, like for example, domesticity. Maybe it's part of the whole virgin/whore thing, but people find it weird when hyper-sexual women are also into things like, say, homemaking. It's totally accepted that gay men can be equally psyched about going to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and sniffing out a sale on pillows and matching damasks, and going to bed and having marathon sex (maybe in a threesome?). But people still have this stereotype in their minds of what a woman who enjoys filthy sex should be like. We should all accept that women, too, are multi-faceted creatures who might be into sucking a dick one night, and tatting a doily another; nailing a picture to the wall one night, or getting nailed against a wall another. Earlier: Mad Men: Don Draper Dominates Dames