In the opening scene of Bridesmaids, Kristin Wiig is getting pounded by a Beauty and the Beast, Gaston caricature of a man. He’s bad at sex for being brutish and outrageously unskilled, and she’s bad at sex for not telling him that he’s sexually incompetent. Either way, the scene is funny and reminds some of us of the sex we had before we were queer, or before were able to physically actualize our queerness with another person. Why is it okay for heterosexual cis people to be bad in bed, but the same doesn’t apply to queers? If a straight guy lasts for twelve seconds, it’s cute. It’s cute to joke about, at least. If a straight girl lays stiff as a board or mimics a woman in a bad porn, it’s like, “What else is new?” This is also fun to joke about.
Perhaps this is because some would argue that the sole criterion for being queer is the type of sex you do or don’t have; others believe that queerness is equal parts sexual practice and politics.
The thing is, most of the time, I’m not that into sex. It’s exhausting, it’s claustrophobic, and it’s less fun than eating. It’s so taxing, I don’t understand how anyone with a job has the energy for it. Not that I have a job, but I imagine that if I had one it would it would render me lifeless by the end of the day. It would be one thing if sex was just something you could just do for five to ten minutes as a fellow queer gyrated on top of you like a bona fide hysteric. But no. We’re encouraged to be present, creative, and actually engage. Sex must be long, complicated, and involve either a paring knive or incest “play” to be deemed legitimately queer. Guess what? No.
The thing is, most of the time, I’m not that into sex. It’s exhausting, it’s claustrophobic, and it’s less fun than eating.
For years, I’ve been told that I’m sexually “repressed,” “withholding,” and “lazy.” Once, a bold young genderqueer who I refused to piss on even went so far as to accuse me of being “sex-negative.” That all may be true, but maybe that’s all part of my radical queer femme identity.
Okay, so it’s not. I’m in no way radical. I only say I’m queer to steer clear of sex acts with cisgender men whilst simultaneously accommodating my devout lesbianism and propensity towards dating trans men when the butch pool feels too shallow. I’m femme exclusively in relation to the length of my hair and staunch refusal to reciprocate many sex acts. In other words, I’m not actually a radical queer femme, nor do I even know what it means to be one. But who are you, fellow queer, to challenge anyone’s indulgent and nonsensical interpretation of an established identity?
One time, a few years back, an ex of mine handed me a glow in the dark strap on and requested that I fuck her with it. There was never a moment in my entire life when I’ve been less turned on, but I was living with her rent-free and she plowed me with low-calorie snacks and soft drinks at all hours of the day and night, so I felt I owed it to her. I wrestled into her beet-colored harness and started awkwardly pumping away. She seemed to like it, or at least pretended she did so that I’d start doing it more often. It was then that I realized that she was one of those lesbians who got approximately zero play in her young gayhood, and then realized that if she cut off all her hair, stopped wearing underwire bras and pretended to be more masculine than she actually was that she’d get laid on a regular basis. I fell for it. And I realized this, mid-pump.
The few people I dated screamed at me whenever I tried to stop having sex after ten minutes. Generally speaking, it’s around the ten-minute mark that I start to feel like I’m owed some frozen yogurt, BBQ Soy Crisps, or at least an intense shoulder massage that incorporates a nice, scent-free oil. We would engage in heated debates that seemed to last forever about the merits of long sex versus short sex. My argument: short sex takes less time. Their argument: sex is a good thing, why would you want it to take less time? They totally didn’t get it.
Granted, there have been exceptions to my perhaps incendiary anti-sex practice and philosophy, but the exceptions are few and far between. Obviously, it’s more than mere laziness that impedes my ability to have sex with the same enthusiasm, inventiveness and frequency as most queers– insecurities about my body and fear of intimacy and rejection also come into play. If I’m committed to not caring, then it won’t faze me if someone opts to stop wanting to fuck me.
Currently, though, I’m trying to reconsider things. I’m trying to remind myself that sex doesn’t have to be contrived or laborious. But re-assessing it all is something I’m doing so hesitantly, grudgingly, and with walls up so thick that even if they could talk, it would take a powerful hearing aid to decipher their mostly-unintelligible dialect. That was a reference to 2000′s made-for-TV movie If These Walls Could Talk 2, because it is a film about lesbians. And that’s all I have to say about all that.