Thursday, February 10, 2011

From this month's "Glamour."

I don't buy Glamour, okay? I buy Cosmo and that's bad enough. But whoever sits at my desk on the day shift always leaves copies of Glamour and Weight Watchers Magazine. (The Weight Watchers stuff is also really scary in its relentless push of "don't eat better, eat less!" There's no "have a salad, because it's nutritious and delicious"--it's all about "have a salad, because otherwise you're going to stuff yourself with bacon-wrapped twinkies like we know you really want to do." Diet tips based on the doctrine of Total Depravity. Yum.)

Anyway, this jumped out at me:

Q: My boyfriend confessed he's experimented sexually with guys. Could he be gay?
A: Make sure you're having safe sex. [...]


While good general advice for anyone who isn't in a "definitely exclusive since last STI test" relationship, I don't think it was meant that way. There's a reason it was this and not "and remember to always wear a seatbelt!" And there's a reason that women who write in about "my boyfriend slept with another woman" usually don't get this advice, at least not as a first line. (Note that the letter writer doesn't say this experimentation took place during their relationship, and now consider the likelihood that any woman saying "my boyfriend slept with another woman, at some point in his life" would get this advice.)

It is, in a strange way, the same reasoning as the Weight Watchers tips. It's the reasoning "if you can't call it immoral, call it unhealthy." If you can't say sex between men is bad or wrong, say it's dangerous.

"I don't disapprove, I'm just concerned" is friendlier than "I hate gay people and oh God I don't even know why," but I'm pretty sure it means the exact same thing.

I had a horrible anti-gay anti-sex roommate in college who told me that "there have been 36 new STDs since all this started." Leaving aside that "all this," whatever you might mean by that, has been going on for quite a few thousand years... that's a hell of a thing to come from someone who didn't believe in evolution.


  1. Something tells me your homophobic roommate (language watch, by the way- "crazy" is one of those insults with collateral damage) would not agree with you that homosexuality has existed for thousands of years. One of that crowd's memes is that homosexuality is an entirely modern phenomenon.

  2. Sorry about the language, fixed that.

  3. nentuaby-- I have a bunch of Romans who would seriously argue with that notion.

  4. Ozymandias- Romans, hell. The Hellenistic city-states would explode in a collective paroxysm of laughter.

  5. I nearly went out with a bisexual boy once, and much of the advice I got involved the assumption that he would be riddled with gay kooties. SIGH.

  6. ...seriously?
    Don't they have any idea how that shit perpetrates the "only gay sex results in STDs" myth?
    Also: why is a guy who slept with guys AND women almost always considered gay? What if he's bisexual? Or pansexual? Why does it always have to be either gay or straight?
    It also seems that women who slept with women AND men are more often considered bi rather than lesbian.


  7. Somehow I doubt Men's Health is getting panicked letters saying: "My girlfriend experiemented with another woman back in college! Is she a lesbian?"

  8. @Kollege, no, women who have slept with women AND men are more likely to be called, "straight but experimented that one time back in college..." The impulse to ignore the possibility of bisexuality as a legit preference comes up for both sexes I think.

    @Holly, *facepalm* both the person with the question, and whatever so-called-expert is behind the answering, make me almost too apathetic to take seriously. But, that does answer my bewilderment about where the heck women who are afraid of bisexual men comes from!

  9. "I don't disapprove, I'm just concerned" is friendlier than "I hate gay people and oh God I don't even know why," but I'm pretty sure it means the exact same thing."

    Ah yes, good old concern trolling. My favourite kind of fail.

    Like the Conservative MPs up here in Canada who just spent the last month trying to tell us that enshrining legal protections for trans people in law would actually mean that trans people had weaker legal protections (when they weren't telling us that enshrining legal protections for trans people would mean TEH SCAREY MENZ IN THE LADIEZ BATHROOMS EEK PENIS PENIS PENIS.)