I’m seeing a lot of “if you’re a man who has sex with men, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re gay!” headlines lately in my Facebook feed (in large part, I think, as a response to the 2016 Olympic “reporter” who used Grindr to out athletes). Congrats random article that I’m not bothering to read, you’re right! A man can be heterosexual and still have sex with another man and still be heterosexual. Cause you know what? The act of sex does not a sexual orientation make.
But Brittany! Dick up the butt means gaaaaaaaaay!
Oh honey… stop.
Real quick, let’s talk about the difference between romantic orientation, sexual orientation, and sex.
Romantic Orientation: Romantic orientation refers to an individual’s pattern of romantic attraction based on a person’s gender. Romantic attraction is an emotional response that most people often feel that results in a desire for a romantic relationship with the person that the attraction is felt towards.
Sexual Orientation: refers specifically to a person patterns of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual’s ability to attract the sexual or erotic interest of another person, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice.
Sex: The act of bumping uglies, aggressive cuddling, clam diving, etc. Do you really need me to define this one? I think I’ll just refer you to Lord Google. On second thought, turn safe search on. Trust me. Or don’t. I won’t tell you how to live your life.
There are a lot of things that people are into when it comes to the bedroom (or their choice of location for their sexual encounters. I refuse to kink shame – all forms are valid. Just be safe out there, queerders. And responsible. But mainly be safe. And remember that nothing is sexier than consent). The act of sex is, well, the act of sex. Plain and simple. Something goes in somewhere (or doesn’t), friction happens (or doesn’t), and an orgasm occurs (or doesn’t, whether intentionally or not). Okay, maybe not plain and simple, as the ways that you can have sex is just as varied as the potential combinations of outfits in a department store. One thing about sex, though, is universal: The sex you have does not define who you are.
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some scenarios, shall we?
Hypothetical scenario #1: Married cisgender heterosexual couple who enjoy the use of an array of toys in their sex life. The wife uses a strap-on on her husband for some anal play. Does that mean she identifies as a trans man because she’s using a phallus to stimulate her husband’s prostate? No. Does this make the husband gay because he’s on the receiving end of anal sex? No. It is sex. These two hypothetical people are still cisgender, heterosexual people.
Hypothetical scenario #2: Two cisgender female friends, one straight, the other bisexual. Both have been single for a while, they’re really close friends, and they both have an itch they can’t seem to scratch without help. They consent to have sex and agree that they’re friends and want nothing else from it. They just want to have sex. So they do. Does this now make the straight female bisexual? No. She’s just had sex. If they agree to have sex with each other on a regular basis, does that make the straight female now bisexual? No. Why? Because she is not romantically or sexually attracted to women. She just wants to have sex. And she, as a consenting adult, can do that.
Hypothetical scenario #3: Two cisgender lesbians who are dating utilize strap-ons on a regular basis during sex. Does that make either of them bisexual? No. Does it make either of them trans? No.
Hypothetical scenario #4: An asexual is in a loving, long term committed relationship with someone else. They have sex on a semi-regular basis with their partner. Does that mean they’re not asexual? No. They could choose to have sex because they understand that their partner has needs and they’ve been able to establish what is and isn’t okay in their relationship.
Hypothetical scenario #5: A cisgender heterosexual male wants to have sex and happens to have it with another man. Does this make him gay or bisexual? No! It’s just sex!
Are you picking up what I’m laying down?
I could keep spewing various types of sex that individuals have. Really – there are so many ways that people enjoy themselves that the combinations of gender, sex, and sexual orientations are endless (well, I’m sure there’s a mathematical equation to figure out the max number, but I have an BA in English – ain’t nobody got time for equations). What people do with their sex lives is really, ultimately, no one else’s concern except between the people actively having the sex. Seriously. Like the whole “different folks different strokes” saying goes. The type of sex that we choose to have (or not have for that matter) does not define us. It is just sex.
You may now go and play Lonely Island’s I Just Had Sex on repeat until it is out of your head. (It’s been stuck in my head for the entire duration of my writing this, so now it can get stuck in yours, too.) Here, I’ll make it so you don’t even have to leave The Queerblr! Because I care.