Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm queer.

Wait, what? I'm all about the dudes. I flirt with dudes, I date dudes, I get obsessed with dudes, I love Bruce Campbell and Kurt Russell and Nathan Fillion, I look at porn of dudes and I fucking love fucking dudes. Sure, I like the ladies too, but my lady-tastes are much narrower and pickier and much more rarely indulged. And frankly a lot of the time there's a dude involved too, or I go for particularly dudely ladies. On the ol' Kinsey scale of 0 is all straight and 6 is all gay, I'm, like, a 1.5.

I support LGBT activism, but my involvement has always been in the role of "straight ally." In a weird way, I feel like it would be presumptuous to identify myself as LGBT, since I'm just your garden-variety socially-acceptable "bicurious" chick and it's not right for me to take the same label as people who face real challenges because of their sexuality. It would be like crashing an NAACP meeting to tell them that I got a real dark tan once. When I hear about queer people being beaten up or harassed or denied jobs or military service or the right to marry--I think "that's terrible," but I don't think "that means me." And coming out to family and friends? That's not liberation, that's just TMI.

There's no question that porn has had an influence on my sexual identity; in porn sex between men is gay, but sex between women is "girl-girl." And girl-girl is a very different thing than lesbian. (Weirdly, two straight women doing "girl-girl" is considered less hardcore than a woman with a man. I guess it's less challenging for a straight male viewer, or something, but jeez.) So I often don't see myself as bisexual but as a girl-girler.

(Tangent: I've heard people suggest that BDSM should be considered "queer," but I don't agree and think it can get a bit wanky when straight people try to pretend they have a full stake in the Oppression Olympics because they like to get spanked. BDSM absolutely doesn't get a fair shake from the mainstream, and there are some scary cases of people's lives getting screwed over when they were "outed," but I don't think it's nearly the same thing as being queer.)

But the fact remains: I've done some things with women, and want to do more, that are queer. And my gender expression is not 100% feminine standard. I may have landed on the "eh, that's just hot" side of homophobia and the "but I'm basically a straight girl" side of self-image, but I'm queer. That's important not because it makes me somehow special, but because it makes me vulnerable. That when people discriminate against queer people, I'm not offended because I'm a magnanimous benefactor of the downtrodden, but because that's my neck out there too. I don't expect to be entirely part of the queer community or even to totally understand the queer community, but... well, I kiss girls. I don't get a giant rainbow award for that but I don't get to ignore that and clothe myself in "don't worry, I'm normal" either.

Finally, something I think is important whether you're queer or not, that I've been trying to do: when someone tries to insult me by accusing me of being a dyke, I don't say "no I'm not" and I don't say "it's none of your business, but anyway I'm not." A plain old "it's none of your business" settles the matter just fine.


  1. Of course not. While you do have a bit of common ground with the LGBT folks, the fact of the matter is that "heteroflexible" women are at least tolerated by most and are even highly desired in some quarters. That, and the fact that if you were somehow prevented from having sex with other women it probably wouldn't signifcantly impact your life in a negative way. So from a completely personal perspective (rather than a general "I'm-against-denying-others-freedom" perspective) your issues aren't really theirs.

    In my case it's more complicated. I'm also probably around a Kinsey 1.5, so I don't mind having sex with other men occasionally. The thing is, occasional sex with men is all I ever get. Women just aren't interested. Heteroflexible men don't appear to be in any kind of demand aside from with gay guys who have a "str8" fetish, which is a little weird. And let's not even get into the fact that men get more than their fair share of the homophobic rancor. So if I were completely prevented from having sex with men, I wouldn't have any at all, which would have a pretty severe negative impact on my life. (Masturbation is rather unsatisfying.)

    So like it or not, I'm much more one of "them", even though my relative sexual preference is probably the same as yours.

  2. Here's the distinction I would make between lesbian porn and girl-girl porn: girl-girl porn features, as the name suggests, two women, and caters to the tastes of straight men*. The label highlights the most socially acceptable, in my circles, reason for its appeal (i.e., naked women=good, more naked women=more good). Lesbian porn features whatever it features, and caters to lesbians. At least in theory, there may well be overlap. In fact, I suppose you could make the categories orthogonal and say porn with two ladies is girl-girl, whomever it's for, and any porn catering to lesbians is lesbian porn, regardless of the subject matter.

    I might like lesbian porn; more likely it wouldn't do anything for me. I like girl-girl well enough, when it's what I'm in the mood for, though I don't have a disproportionate predilection for it**.

    * * *

    I once tried to determine what "vanilla privilege" might entail. It exists, but it's not a big deal, largely because it's so easy and trivial for kinky people to stay "closeted"; you can have a full life without telling anyone you don't want to fuck about it in a way you can't do if you're gay and can't easily do if you're poly.
    *That doesn't mean only straight men may watch it or only straight men will enjoy it, but decisions are made on the basis of what the producers believe straight men like, and other tastes fall by the wayside.

    ** I'm not trying to distance myself from the subject matter, I talk like this all the time.