Sunday, August 25, 2013

"The yuck factor"

People keep quoting the post from the Gospel Coalition's Thabiti Anyabwile about gay sex. I've ranted about it on Friendly Atheist and Love, Joy, Feminism, so I'll rant about it here, too. Anyabwile says that fundamentalists need to:

"Return the discussion to sexual behavior in all its yuckiest gag-inducing truth... I think it would be a good thing if more people were gagging on the reality of the sexual behavior that is now becoming public law, protected, and even promoted in public schools....That sense of moral outrage you’re now likely feeling–either at the descriptions above or at me for writing them–that gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, hand-over-your-mouth, 'I feel dirty' moral outrage is the gag reflex. It’s what you quietly felt when you read 'two men deep kissing' in the second paragraph. Your moral sensibilities have been provoked–and rightly so. That reflex triggered by an accurate description of homosexual behavior will be the beginning of the recovery of moral sense and sensibility when it comes to the so-called 'gay marriage' debate."

Absurd. This guy is actually proposing, straight-faced and seriously, that all religious fundamentalists need to do is describe what happens in gay sex, and Americans will all suddenly be horrified by the dreadful reality of it, realize their mistake, and rush to outlaw gay rights. Is he really so naive that he thinks Americans aren't already conscious of how sex in all its various forms works? And is he really so naive that he doesn't realize a lot of straight Americans are not at all revolted by gay sex?

I've mentioned slash fanfiction and gay erotica elsewhere, but let me offer a concrete example of how revolted Americans fail to be by descriptive gay sex. J.R. Ward has written a long series of heterosexual paranormal romances/urban fantasies, all of which are pretty hot. When she finally wrote a book getting two of her guys together (which many fans had been waiting for), the book was a number one New York Times bestseller. (And that was the hardback release-- when the paperback releases in October, that one will probably sell plenty of copies, too.) Odds are most of the readers of this book were heterosexuals, and odds are most of them were not revolted (the book has over 1600 reviews on Amazon and a 4.4 star average). And while this book did unusually well, there are lots and lots of gay erotica and erotic romances out there, and many if not most of their readers are straight.

Thabiti, most of us already know what gay sex involves. We're not stupid. And unlike you, we also realize that straight sex involves many of the same activities that so repulse you (manual stimulation, oral sex, anal sex, and so on). If we need to ban gay sex, we'd better ban straight sex while we're at it. Good luck on that.


  1. all nonsense while the war rages

    the end of effective social movements




    how we won the James Randi Million Dollar Paranormal Prize

  2. I think this sums up religions problem with sexuality and restrictions on sex. They just are unable to enjoy it as it grosses them out. I am sure this priest does not even masturbate lol.