There is tremendous power in queer sex. It’s an act of pleasure, intensity, raw emotion, and joy. But our sex is also profoundly political. We live in a world that has criminalized our sex and pathologized our sexuality. This country has a long history of laws against queer sex, as well as, against the bodies of people of color, trans folk, and women. We are often most vulnerable when it comes to out physical bodies and our sex. The people who pass these laws want us to be afraid and ashamed of queer sex. That is where their power lies. But our power lies in the simple yet radical act of queer bodies coming together to pursue pleasure and intimacy. Our sex is how we defy homophobia, sexism, racism, and transphobia. It’s how we can fuck the status quo and upend the world we now find ourselves in.
Many in the general public find queer sex gross, perverted or obscene. Remember the outrage over Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on live television? They might cheer for gay marriage but show them two men making out and many recoil. They worry that we are disrupting traditional gender roles or going against god’s law. Well that is precisely the point. Gender constructs and archaic religious laws are meant to keep people controlled and confined. Our queer sex is liberation.
Now is the time to be unapologetically queer and that must include our sex. When we fuck it has value and meaning and no policy or lawmaker can ever take that away from us. Let’s share that with the world. We all lose if we advance a movement that has divorced itself from sex. Love may win but no one ever passed a law preventing us from loving. Scores of laws have been passed trying to prevent us from fucking.
In these political times our queer sex must be front and center. It’s how we show the world that we are not afraid and not ashamed. We must talk openly and honestly about our sex because it’s not something that only “belongs in the bedroom.” If people accuse us of flaunting our sex then we respond by making our signs bigger and our voices louder.
In the 80s we had some great moments of defiance around queer sex. We had Mapplethorpe’s photography that forced the public to take notice of our sex at a time when gay sex was still illegal. While the government and media portrayed Black men as criminals, drug addicts, or worthless, Marlon Riggs gave voice to the experience of Black gay men and celebrated the defiant act of two Black men fucking. Hundreds of thousands of gay men died because our government viewed us as disgusting and perverted. ACT UP responded with the simple image of two men kissing.
There is such wonderful value in our sex. It’s how we express ourselves. For centuries sex has been a key part of our culture from cruising to saunas to hook-up apps. Our sex is a demonstration of our resilience in a cruel and punishing world. That is the valuable lesson in our sex. They can beat, jail, and ostracize us but we always find our way back to each other. Back to that sensual, erotic, taboo, dirty, piggy, glorious act that reminds us of our humanity. It’s how we resist and how we can change the world.
So, what can we do?
- Make queer sex part of your politics. Our sex has political power. Don’t run away from it. Wield it. Prioritize it. Make it incidental to work around health, equality, and social justice.
- Read about queer sex. There are so many great things to read that will help cultivate critical thinking around queer sex but start with Gayle Rubin’s transformative piece, Thinking Sex.
- Talk about sex. Our sexuality is at the core of our human experience. To not talk openly about it is to deny part of who we are. There is no shame in pleasure and intimate connections.
- Have sex and lots of it. Push boundaries and explore. Find pleasure in your sexuality in the midst of the chaos and the insanity. Think about what it means to choose queer sex and to value queer sex in a world that tells us it’s wrong. When we fuck we resist.
Keep resisting. Fuck as if you life depends on it because with this new administration it’s how we can fuck the status quo and upend the world we now find ourselves in.