How Can Gay Buttsex Be Heterosexist?

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: How Can Gay Buttsex Be Heterosexist?
Creator: Professorfangirl
Date(s): September 18, 2012
Medium: online
Fandom: it has a Sherlock (BBC) focus
External Links: Professorfangirl's Bordello of Learning, How can gay buttsex be heterosexist?, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.


How Can Gay Buttsex Be Heterosexist? is an essay by Professorfangirl.


persian-slipper said: "Is it me, or is there something very heterosexist about the assumption that penetration = real sex? So yeah. Keep subverting the dominant paradigm, Ben! *salutes*"

Bendingsignpost replied: "Dude, it’s incredibly heterosexist. The fandom arc of slash sexual progression goes: kiss, hand/oral, anal. Meaning that if you don’t get to the anal bit, you don’t complete the arc, and there’s a sense of the narrative being incomplete."

Yes! This is a conversation that I’ve been looking forward to hearing. Thank you so much, Ben, for talking about this prejudice and writing alternatives in your fics. Work like yours lets me explore all the varieties of sexual expression, and that freedom to experience real sexual differences is one of the greatest rewards of slashfic.

I agree that to make anal penetration the culminating act in a fic can overvalue it, echoing the stereotypical arc of heterosexual experience: to fuck=to fuck like a man and a woman. In this light it’s heterosexist. This may be because we’re still working on the model of reproduction as the center and primary motive of sexual experience—in the end, sex is for making babies, and whatever looks like baby-makin’ is sex. If we naturalize sex as reproduction, then the more closely something resembles reproductive intercourse, the more authentically sexual it is. Mainstream culture has used this idea to make gay sex invalid — “perverse” —for centuries.
It troubles me a bit to say that the presence of a sex act in a fic is heterosexist, if only because that can slip into implicit moral judgments about our real-life experience. If I find vaginal penetration to be the most physically pleasurable act, does that make me heterosexist? If I prefer anal, does that make me less heterosexist? Most importantly, do either of these preferences make me a more or less admirable person? No. But constantly representing them as the most important acts in our stories does repeat the heterosexist assumptions in our culture. We need to be aware of this.