Op/Ed: Can the Gay Community Survive Without Hyper-Sexuality?

Op/Ed: Can the Gay Community Survive Without Hyper-Sexuality?

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Sex. It’s driven gay society for years. Through sexually charged clubs, bathhouses, movies and more. But as we enter a new decade, will queer men be able to live without the gay hyper-sexuality that made our society for so long?

The Unhealthiness of Gay Hyper-Sexuality

Let’s face it, gay hyper-sexuality has been in our culture for centuries. From the times of ancient Greece, to the truck stops and bathhouses of the 1900s, and to the sex-fused dating apps, gay movies, and gay video games of the present, hyper-sexuality has kept gay society going.

Of course, that’s not always good. Gay men have put themselves in unhealthy situations because of our unhealthy attachment to risky sex. For instance, a recent UK study found that 24% of gay UK men had casual sex during lockdown.

There’s also the idea that not all gay men are the same. Not every gay man wants to hang out at a club or have anonymous sex at men’s only hotels. As time goes by, that section of gay society is growing larger and stronger.

Going Mainstream & Losing Spaces

As homosexuality and LGBTQ people become more accepted by the mainstream populace, we are becoming expected to follow mainstream rules. That means gay apps having to stick to the family-friendly rules of the app store, movies having to lower the sexuality factor if they want to include LGBTQ representation while still marketing to conservative box offices, and more. 

On the app front, this has been happening for a few years now. Two years ago, Tumblr, which used to be a great space for gay bloggers and adult content viewers, announced that it would ban all adult content. Doing so was in response to the Apple app store taking Tumblr’s app off its service for breaking policy. The same happened to other apps in the gay digital sphere.

On top of this, the current coronavirus pandemic has put many gay spaces in dangerous situations. The historic Royal Vauxhall Tavern, which is a hotspot for England’s gay community and once housed Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana as patrons, has announced possibly facing closure and eviction. The venue has resorted to crowdfunding in order to fight off bankruptcy. This is just one establishment among many with similar circumstances.

Unfortunately, that has all led to the erasure of some gay spaces. With gay men finding each other through apps or other spaces, gay bathhouses and clubs are closing down and disappearing. Or, they are opening up to straight/cis audiences and changing the very natures of the spaces altogether. How many of us have entered a “gay bar” and seen bachelorette parties or heard straight DJs openly hitting on women?

Love, Victor & Wholesome LGBTQ Content

But again, going mainstream can be nice. Being gay isn’t just about the sex. Our lives amount to more than hooking up in alleyways. Wholesome LGBTQ content is on the rise, showing that being LGBTQ means a lot of things. Just think about Hulu’s recently released Love, Victor, which spotlights a wholesome portrayal of LGBTQ existence. It’s about a teen who is just discovering his sexuality and what he wants in love and life. We can all be like Victor. We can be more than just clubs.

Sexuality & LGBTQ Spaces Must Thrive

But, of course, we deserve to still have those spaces preserved and present in our lives. LGBTQ people, and gay/bi men specifically, don’t need the hyper-sexuality as much nowadays. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need it at all. As long as there are gay/bi men, there will be little hole-in-the-wall bars, bathhouses and clubs providing spaces for sexual activity. As long as there are horny men, there will be sexual games and movies to entertain us. Sexuality, hyper or not, will thrive for years and decades to come.

That said, we also have to accept that hyper-sexual aspects of gay society will be on the decline in the future. As we get more accepted by the general populace, we’ll be less able to openly participate in hyper-sexual spaces. Gay society is changing. Part of that is sad, but part of that is great too. And in the end, all of it is a natural part of life.

What are your thoughts on gay hyper-sexuality?

Featured image by Anastase Maragos | Unsplash

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