Friday, October 24, 2008

On Double Standards.

*** This blog discusses sexual material, including homosexuality and bisexuality. If you read past this warning, I will not be responsible if you decide to take offense. Please feel free to comment, even if you are in disagreement, but you are hereby warned about the content, so please don't pull a "Why didn't you warn me you'd be talking about TEH SMEX and TEH GHEY" ***

As Ms Papercuts and I discuss the use of sexuality in our writing, the topic of bisexuality has frequently come up (so to speak). We have had several lengthy discussions relating to it, particularly after she threw the "a woman can't write male POV erotica" gauntlet and I proved her wrong. (No, I will not post it here. Yes, I *may* send it privately if requested.) That discussion led into more convos about the differences between the sexes when it comes to sexual overtones, affection, etc. So:

We are a society of double standards, and one that really annoys the crap out of me is when it comes to sexuality. Particularly, homosexuality and bisexuality. More specifically, the double standards between males and females when it comes to homosexuality and bisexuality.

We're getting to a point where not only is female bisexuality acceptable, it's practically encouraged. "Girls Gone Wild", anyone? Nothing seems to turn more heads -- and tighten more trousers -- than two girls kissing at a club or party.

But what happens if two men kiss? What if a guy sang about how he kissed a man and he liked it? I can already hear many of you cringing at the image of it. But why?

Ok, different things turn different people on. Nothing wrong with that. If you don't like watching two men kiss because it doesn't turn your crank, fine. But why is one seen as wrong, disgusting, etc., while the other is hot, when the only difference is the gender? A man who admits to being bi, or even bi-curious, is automatically labeled "gay". Women can be anything from bi, to bi-curious, to "tried it, didn't like it", to straight, to lesbian. Men are either gay or straight. WTF?

Why can't a man be curious about another man, when a woman can be curious about another woman? This incredibly lop-sided double standard bothers me to no end. Maybe it's because I do think it's hot when two men kiss. Or maybe it's because I think there are more bi-curious men out there who are afraid to be open about it because there's such a stigma against it.

As Ms Papercuts and I have discussed a few times, when the movie "Alexander" came out (so to speak), people screamed about how the title character was gay. ZOMG HE HAS TEH GHEY!! THE HORRORS! *sigh* Does anyone actually read history anymore?
  1. Alexander the Great was not gay, he was bisexual.
  2. In ATG's time, many, if not most, men were bisexual.
  3. In that era, there was no stigma about sexuality. If you loved someone or wanted to have sex with them, that was that, regardless of gender. I wonder what the people of that era would think of us, being so uptight about what tidy little labels we can put on each other to categorize us as "gay", "straight", or "bisexual".
  4. No amount of Jared Leto, Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, or Angelina Jolie could save "Alexander" from being a retarded movie. It was nothing but golden orbs of blond wiggery and overacting.

(#4 is really irrelevant to this entry, but it needed to be said.)

So why was it such a big deal? The movie really didn't show much -- though the sexual relations and romance between men was heavily implied -- so what was the problem? It's not like Alexander was *only* doing the men in the movie.

Admittedly, I used to balk at mano a mano kissing and such. But time and maturity (ok, that's a stretch) have changed my view and I realize that a male/male kiss can be just as sexy as a male/female or female/female kiss. Really, even if it doesn't turn you on to watch it or to do it yourself, the fact of the matter is that two people (adults, of course) kissing is just that: two people kissing. Does it really matter what gender they are? What is it about a kiss between two men or a kiss between two women, such that they can have polar opposite effects on a bystander?

What individuals find sexy, attractive, etc., is certainly subjective. We all have our tastes, and that's okay. I just can't seem to wrap my head around why the general consensus seems to be that bisexuality in women is socially okay -- even encouraged -- but is taboo, disgusting, etc., in men.


I'm interested in comments and insights on this subject, so please feel free to post them. Disagreements and debates welcome, as with all of my blog entries.


  1. It's 1am here and I'm hella tired so I'll comment properly again later, but I wanted to voice my agreement.

    I've always said married women who have affairs with other women get sympathy, as if they're uncovering part of their sexuality, like it's a discovery.

    Whereas men who have affairs with men? They're really gay underneath it all and they've been hiding it all these years.

    Why is it women are thought of as 'discoverers' whereas men are thought of as 'hiders, who only just revealed what they truly are'???

    Sexuality is fluid.

    Fluid sexuality = liquid smex.

  2. Dear Lori

    please get the hell out of my brain, No matter how much time you spend in there you I will not share my naked Jared Leto memories (ok maybe imaginings is a better word than memories)


    In all seriousness though I have thought about this to a degree that I am not sure is completely healthy and have some theories on the subject.

    The first is that I believe a lot of what we as a society deem as sexy/sexually attractive/sexually acceptable comes from pornography and its spill over influence in mainstream media.

    A major (IME) male fantasy is to have sex with more than one woman at once but that really only works if they are into the idea so therefore they have to have at least a slight attraction to other women. To this end women in pornography are often portrayed as lesbians or bisexuals and after years of having their prepubescent brains saturated with the idea 'lesbian action is hot' men believe it in the same way they believe 2+2=4.

    As women we are told by men what it means to be sexy so we get the same message.

    Since there does not seem to be as great a desire among the heterosexual male population (also the target audience of most porn) to have threesomes with other men (I think this may stem from the inability to share their toys) it is not as often portrayed in porn or more mainstream media. Since we haven't been brainwashed into thinking it is sexy the general public will continue to assume it is not until told other wise or until there is enough demand for it that man on man displays of affection/lust that industries are forces to cater to that desire.

    Or there is always my less well thought out theory that women are just naturally sexier than men and 2 women together just doubles the sexiness ;)