The World of Sex

NightCharm have an article, in their usual provocative style, on the differences in mainstream attitudes towards cruising and other forms of "devience" between America and the Netherlands. My comment developed into a mini-essay of it's own. Here it is.

Who was it said, "In America sex is an obsession. In the rest of the world it's a fact."...?1

It was Eric Idle who said, "In America, religion is all about sex."

Here in the UK we're halfway between America and "the rest of the world". Here no one cares about religion2
but everyone's obsessed with sex. In fact, the one thing that turns lifelong, shoulder-shrugging agnostics into demented bible-bashers is...mansex.

Not the existence of gay people, not lesbians having sex, not gay male couples being happy and monogamous together - mansex. Men having sex with each other.

That's why all our out gay male celebrities are painfully asexual - including the ones from America3. They can talk about it all the time, and it's seen as good family fun, but if there's the slightest hint they DO it, they're dropped from TV and vilified in the newspapers.

1It was Marlene Dietrich.
2Unless it's Islam, but that's not really about religion at all - it's very thinly disguised racism.
3I was thinking of John Barrowman here. But it also applies to Graham Norton, Larry Grayson, Andrew Haydon-Smith, Danny LaRue, John Inmann and every other out or outed British entertainer I can think of.


  1. I luv Dietrich!

    You know, it took the US hundreds of years and a Civil War to finally agree that black people are people! Though it's nearly 150 years since the end of the Civil War, there are still racial tensions in America--more so in older, less diverse areas.

    And it's been over 500 years since the Europeans began the slaughter and annihilation of the American Indians--and the few that have survived are still forgotten and relegated to the very fringes of society and gov't, barely eking out a living, poverty stricken and ridden with disease and depression.

    So, while I think that gay men (hell, just gay/bi/transg, etc....people) have a long struggle ahead of them, I do think that things will change for the better. More and more states are recognizing gay marriages. And we did elect the first mixed race President in our country's history.

    So long as people keep fighting, things can change for the better.

    Nothing defeats a movement faster than people who just sit on the sidelines and complain. Change comes from action. It cannot be done any other way.

  2. Yes, people have to fight for their rights, or they'll never get any. But a few points about that.

    First, sometimes the fighting has to turn literal to win. I'm not sure why fighting with fists and stones sometimes works but fighting with bombs and guns (aka terrorism) doesn't, but that seems to be the pattern.

    The passive resistance of MLK and the NAACP (or indeed Ghandi) might be seen as the necessary backbone of the movement, but I don't think it would have been enough on it's own without the Black Panthers.

    Second, to push for rights requires unity on the part of those doing the pushing. Some say the modern black civil rights movement in America was derailed by a very few Uncle Tom characters being given positions of power - Condi Rice, Colin Powell, perhaps Jesse Jackson.

    Now there's gay republicans to join the rightwing pseudofeminists and sell-out Afroamericans. When there's no more gay-hating gays being used as posterboys by the gay-hating straights, we can say we've won.

    But third, winning is never final, forever. Racism, sexism, homophobia etc. can be beaten back, held at bay, marginalised, but not extinguished.