Wednesday, October 12, 2011

But who is the man, and who is the woman?

Occasionally, when discussing gay male couples with heterosexuals, I will be asked, "So which one is the man, and which one is the woman?"  I usually respond, "Well, they're both men, because, you know, they're gay."  This is really the most polite response that I can come up with.  What they're actually usually asking is "Who is the penetrator, and who is the penetratee?"  I have a number of problems with this line of questioning.  The most basic is that I don't feel it's anyone's business but those who are in the relationship.  But I also have a big problem with the phrasing of the question.

There is this prevalent idea that homosexual relationships can be viewed through the lens of heteronormativity.   That in a same-sex relationship, one partner will fill the role of a woman, and one of a man.  In my own heterosexual relationships, this has hardly been the case, so I don't understand why anyone would assume that homosexual relationships would reflect this false reality. 

I think that this question of who fills which role is just another symptom of the patriarchy.  The idea is that women are sweet, sympathetic, and receptive of their partners, whereas men are emotionally unavailable, confident, and aggressive with their partners.  I think this cheapens the experience of love and sex for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

I am not speaking from the stereotypical female perspective here.  I admit to being somewhat emotionally unavailable.  Certainly, while I have had sex plenty of times, I have never "made love".  That's something of a regret for me, as I feel like I am missing out on something that could be very emotionally rewarding.  But at the same time, I don't feel like I can have that level of commitment to someone during sexual excitement.  I know that I am not alone in this, and that it's a stereotypically male problem.

Feeling somewhat tired all of a sudden.  I will finish this up later, if I feel like it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment