Mail & Guardian
We’re queer and fucking here
Just in time for Pride Month, a mythbusting guide to queer sex for the straight guy (and gal)
Pride Month (October) is a time when queerness (in some spaces) is front and centre. Some will take time to take stock of what their sexuality means to them. Some will do a situational analysis of the harsh reality facing members of the LGBTIQ+ community in this supposedly safe rainbow nation. Some will simply use the various events to find someone’s face to sit on.
For those outside of the community, a myriad of prejudices and curiosities will colour this time, and none is more prominent than the idea of queer sex. Queer sex has always dumbfounded those outside (and sometimes even those inside) the queer community.
What is it? How does it go down? Who is having it? Does it always include gizmos and gadgets?
The questions society has around queer sex are strange, silly, and sometimes downright intrusive. This obsession stems from the oversexualisation of queer bodies, stemming from a lack of proper understanding and engagement with it. Sex within the LGBTIQ+ community is as alien as little green Martians.
But, low-key, don’t we all have the potential to have queer sex?
Sex between two people
People have a lot of ideas about it, some correct and some downright nonsense. One of the biggest myths about nonheterosexual sex (and dating) is that it is wildly different from its heterosexual counterpart. That, for some reason, when two people of the same gender come together suddenly, a lot of the mechanisms, positions and ways of working go out the window.
The truth is, there is arguably more overlap than divergence. When it comes to the bedroom, there are queers doing classics such as the reverse cowgirl (or cow-person, for those who are gender nonconforming), sixty-nine and even the good ol’ missionary position. On the other side, straight couples (well, those with range) are also known to engage in such queer classics as fingering, cunnilingus and various forms of butt play. Furthermore, with straight people allowing themselves to explore outside the box, we now even have sexual acts such as pegging (such as when a heterosexual man allows his woman partner to penetrate him with a strap-on).
Outside of the sexual logistics, folks in the LGBTIQ+ community have all the same intimate experiences with sex. Some sexual partners are rubbish in the sack, and some have more skills than you can shake a stick at. Some people are down to clown for the night and some are in long-term relationships where the sexiest moment they have had in months is when one of them got turned on because their partner did the dishes. In a lot of ways, everyone is singing from the same song sheet.
Another misconception about queer sex is that it is always a transformative and transcendent experience. This is especially true when it comes to the idea of WLW (women loving women). We have all seen movie scenes where a woman finally has her “come to Jesus” moment, coupled with the most astronomically amazing sex of her life. This is not always the case.
This is not to say it isn’t good. Sometimes it is, but this is mainly because there is more communication, more attempts to figure things out and find out what does and doesn’t work, rather than blindly stumbling forward with tricks you learned in your late teens or early twenties. And sometimes, yes, even queer sex can be trash.
Nothing in life is perfect all the time.
No matter who you are, sex takes work and time and effort, as well as a willingness to learn and engage with the person. Great sex takes understanding and communicating with the person (or people) you are sleeping with.
Along with the idea of all the great sex LGBTIQ+ folx are having is the idea they must be having it all the time, right? Wrong. Just like with straight people, access is dependent on numerous factors: whether you are in the right spaces, whether people around you are single (or at least pretending to be), whether you are giving off “shag me” vibes or whether you are willing to risk getting a little strange in the middle of a pandemic.
There is this idea that people are swinging from the sexual chandeliers the minute they come out, but plenty of LGBTIQ+ people can tell you that, just like in straight circles, finding a date can be hard. Whether gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual or TBC (to be confirmed), dating can be The Hunger Games. The pits. The absolute ghetto. Folks are in these streets having dry spells, getting ghosted, going through break-ups, meeting trash people. They are on the receiving end of their well-meaning coupled friends’ attempts to hook them up with this really nice person they know from church/pilates/book club. It’s tough in these streets, especially post pandemic.
Queering your sex life
Although there is a lot of overlap, there are ways in which queer sex allows one to break outside the mould. Knowing that you do not have a blueprint to work from means that you can start reconceptualising what good sex means to you. There is so much that having sex outside the heterosexual paradigm can teach you about your sexual wants and desires.
Now that you are not simply climbing on someone’s penis as the ultimate form of copulation or instantly whipping out missionary at every opportunity, what does engaging with someone sexually mean to you? What stuff do you like? What stuff don’t you like? What turns you on and what makes you cringe at the very thought? What are other erogenous zones outside your genitals?
Not having a blueprint about how sex should go allows for a person to diversify your portfolio. As a femmepresenting person who loves to give orgasms, what does your skill set look like in a world that says you are meant to be a recipient? What does it mean as a masculine person if you like to have your booty eaten or neck kissed?
The author of You Need to Be Gay to Know God, Siya Khumalo echoes these sentiments by stating: “My queerness means that each time I have sex (and when last did this happen?) I open the door to negotiating roles and positions and with those, to an extent, identities.” He goes on to say: ‘There’s a great freedom in questioning the rules that have been handed down to us; there’s also a great responsibility in discovering and understanding the rules society never really emphasised. For me, the queer community speaks more about consent than the cishet [cisgender and heterosexual] community.”
The great thing is anyone can queer their sex life, even if you are straight. It is simply about going outside of the script presented to you. It’s about asking yourself questions. What is it I think I am not allowed to do because of my age, race, gender or ability? What is it social norms tell me I shouldn’t want? What is it that I have told myself that I shouldn’t desire and explore? And then you do what you want to do (with the full enthusiastic consent of everyone involved, of course).
Queer sex can be confusing, intimidating, deliciously enjoyable and infuriatingly elusive. It is something that is often misunderstood, but not that far outside the realms of understanding once you know that queer folx, like everyone else, are just trying to get theirs.