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October 2017
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Another “Fucked Up” Gay Falsehood

By Ted Hoogkamer


“Yo man”; “Hey there”; “U a top?”; “Yeah u up for it?”; “Omw”. This astonishingly elaborate chat is a case that is likely to come to mind when considering the gay community and its infamous Grindr-app. However, instances can go even further, ranging from opening sentences like “Can I lick your shitoris?” – how inventive – to straight-up asking people if they are interested in a “nice”, “cozy” and not forgetting “romantic” “rape session”. Overall, my point here is not to show that Grindr is such a passionate dating app, neither is this article an exploration of the exceptionally innovative minds of Grindr-users. Rather, I want to dive deeper into the bigger process in society that these types of conversations are representative of: gay men often being labelled as sexually promiscuous. Naturally, we are all familiar with several stereotypes regarding the LGTBQ-community; gay guys being perceived as feminine, over-the-top, flamboyant, etcetera. These prejudices are increasingly contested by several media outlets and campaigns, while the prejudice of them being hopeless sex bunnies lingers on under disguise; why? Where does this come from? Is it legitimate?

Let me start off with some statistics: 28% of gay men have had more than 1000 sex partners, 79% state that half of their bed companions are strangers and finally, the modal range for the amount of partners is 101-500. These results are actually the most used resource in proving the gay community’s promiscuity; Christian groups, such as Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) and Exodus Global Alliance are among its frequent users. However, when further investigating its initial source, it becomes apparent that it all relates back to a 1978-study by Bell and Weinberg. Not only does this make the “evidence” obsolete, numerous hitches have also been brought to light. The concerning study compared a heterosexual sample with a homosexual one, but Rational Statistics shows how the sampling of the homosexuals in the study was not random, while the heterosexual one was. Further criticism says that the actual heterosexual data was not even included in the paper; seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?

Generally, most studies used to defend gay men’s sexual (over)involvement, are from this same time-frame. What about recent research then? In 2010, OkCupid – one of the key dating apps worldwide – displayed ground-breaking results. Among its 4 million members, no substantial differences between gay and straight people were observed; 98% of gay people have had 20 or fewer sexual partners, whereas with straight people this was 99%. Essentially, this entails that only 2% of gay people are having 23% of the reported sex. In other words, the (usually unidentified) truth is that the sex life of your average gay man is just as tedious and mundane as your average straight one, with merely a small part of them being the banging “bimbos”.

Thus, academically speaking, the sexual promiscuity of gay men is not as clear-cut as you may think. How is it then possible that the stereotype is still so wide-spread? I find it simply fascinating to look into ways of reasoning involved when people attempt to explain the perceived gay sexual openness. One argument often used relates to gay people having less marriage rights, thereby making the “perfect eternal love” almost impossible; sleeping around seems like the perfect solution then, right? However, with gay marriage becoming legalized increasingly, this reason no longer applies, not even speaking of its conservative nature; is eternal love really accomplished by marriage only?

A more thought-provoking perspective comes from Nicolosi, who claims that even if gay marriage is legal, other insolvable issues reside. Biologically, men were shaped for women, resulting in the body parts of two men not fitting together; sex has to be enjoyed independently rather than jointly. Turn-taking comes into play where orgasms are never experienced simultaneously, making interest in the long run likely to diminish, while variety and thus being sexually liberated is preferred. However, this insinuates that sex is the essential component in a relationship, while some people – including me – might infer that there is another overarching factor all along: love. Nicolosi also adds that without a woman, there is no restraining child-rearing force, hence further developing polygamous situations. This can instantly be rejected, as opportunities for gay couples to have kids are accumulating drastically – I mean, come on, it’s 2k15 here, not the Middle Age.

When focusing on youth, The Huffington Post’s Katehakis states how the period of being in the closet is extremely frustrating. Here, discrete sex with several other guys is the ultimate release of stress, while also functioning as some sort of gateway to the larger gay community within which these boys feel more at ease. That way, sexual promiscuity is projected to be characteristic of all gay boys/men, thereby overgeneralizing once again. A similar oversimplifying approach is taken by the “other side”, who proposes that there are no alterations between gay and straight men: “Why are gay men so promiscuous? Because they are men”. Evolutionary theory says that men are bound to circulate their seeds, thereby turning all men into hungry beasts; may the odds be ever in your favor.

Ultimately, the key term in all these ideas is overgeneralization; gay men or simply men in general are instantly seen as erotic creatures based on their biological and mental progressions. Even though some theoretical elements seem interesting and made me think about my own life as a gay man in contemporary society, in the end, overgeneralizations like these can never be justified. All gay men encounter sex, love and life in different ways, resulting in diverse sub-groups. The “hook-up culture” within this community is exactly that: a sub-culture that one can belong and relate to or not. It can actually be compared to the whole “fuckboy”-phenomenon in general these days, which also applies to heterosexual people. A fuckboy is someone who sleeps with many women/men without relational intentions; a term becoming increasingly popular in the current social media world. Just because one guy is a fuckboy, does not mean every type of guy is one and same goes for gay men. Besides all of this, considering the fact that sex is such a pleasurable, as well as natural thing, why do we even still make such a big deal out of it in the first place? It is not gay people that need to stop fucking around, but other people judging them – figuratively.



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