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SEX AND PORNOGRAPHY

 

“I’m a Lesbian Who Loves Gay Porn”

 

I’m a lesbian with a dirty little secret.  I haven’t told my girlfriend or my best friend.  But when I search for porn online I always end up going for the gay male stuff.  What’s up with that?

I worked for 14 years in a queer, feminist, co-operatively owned sex shop.  One of the most radical and fun parts of the job was talking to people about pornography.  Most mainstream pornography is neither radical nor fun, but the store opened right around the time there was a blossoming of DIY queer and queer-ish porn being made, so the material that was available was not what people were used to.  And besides that, when you take away the simplistic identity based marketing, what you find is that there are few rules about who will like what.

Lesbians love gay porn.  Gay men love straight porn.  Straight people love gay and lesbian porn.  Customers love of bisexual porn was complicated by the fact that there is so little of it and what exists is usually terrible.

There’s nothing wrong with you liking the erotic material you like.  And it doesn’t have to mean anything.  Or to put that another way, it can mean almost anything.  The problem with wondering why you like a particular kind of sexual stimulation is that the “why” question can lead you to feel like you have to justify your sexual desire.  Understanding your desire might be interesting and useful.  Justifying it never is.

So keeping in mind that this isn’t a list of reasons why your desire is okay (because it is, you don’t need a list from me to tell you that) here are some general reasons why the things we like in sexually explicit movies might not match what we think we would like, based on what we call ourselves.  Or, in your case, why a lesbian might love gay porn.

Fantasy vs Reality

Porn is always fantasy.  If it isn’t fantasy then it’s documentary.  There is a big difference between being turned on by something for 10-20 minutes and wanting that thing in our lives in a significant way.   So in your case, you might like to look at ripped bodies with giant penises.  You might like to imagine feeling those bodies against you or being one of those bodies yourself.

But that doesn’t mean you want to work out every day and change your diet to get that body, or have the sort of parnter who will, and it doesn’t mean you want to be in a relationship with a man, or even have to deal with that giant penis the other 22.5 hours of the day (in this scenario you have sex for 1.5 hours).

Desire Is not Linear, or Logical

Your sexual desires are not the same as your life goals.  They aren’t even the same as your relationship preferences.  Just as there’s no accounting for taste, there’s no explaining desire.  Your sexual desire won’t match up perfectly with your relationship choices or life goals or politics for that matter.  This doesn’t make you unique, it makes you human.

One of the problems with our identity categories (like lesbian) is that we come to think of them as unchanging and monolithic.  And we think they are logical.  Being a lesbian mostly means you identify as a woman and your primary desire for romantic, intimate, and sexual relationships is with other women.  But that isn’t 24/7 for the rest of your life.  And it may not reflect all your feelings and thoughts.  You may never actually want to have sex with a man (gay or straight) but there might be something about the idea of it that turns you on.  That doesn’t make you less of a lesbian.  Promise.

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Maybe You’re a Little Bit Gay

This one may be confusing, but stay with me.  You are a lesbian and you like watching gay porn.  You seem confused by that because you aren’t a gay man.  Which is fair enough.  Except Gay (with a capital “G”) is more than genitals and gender.  It’s not just a body part or a sex act.  Gay is a sexual identity.

Gay is an attitude and an approach to sex and sexuality.  It might be that you like gay porn because you like that approach to sexuality.  Maybe there’s something about the way the guys look at each other or talk to each other or touch each other that turns you on.  And maybe it turns you on because it is so foreign to you.  But it’s also possible that it turns you on because it’s part of who you are.  You can be a woman, a lesbian, and also be a little bit gay.

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