I was checking Twitter on my busride home last night when I saw the headline, “Gay couple to have sex on live Channel 4 show” . . . Go on . . .
PinkNews reports: “The show, which will air live in front of a studio audience, will see couples have sex in the box before being interviewed by host Mariella Frostrup and a panel of experts including ‘It Gets Better’ founder Dan Savage about their experience."
Ugh. . . that’s headache inducing for a number of reasons. Least of all is my desire for Dan Savage to be considered an expert on anything. Let’s at least hear about the lucky couple:
"Three couples have agreed to appear on the show, including Matt and John, a gay couple in their 30s who are in a long-term relationship.” Sigh. I bet you any amount of money they’re both white, and that the show will spend ages focusing on how loving their long-term relationship is. God forbid gay people have sex these days without signing the mortgage papers first. The article goes on to describe all the ways the show Sex Box believes they’re groundbreaking and really opening up the dialogue on sex.
Oh, and it just gets better. In a post-filming article The Guardian spoke to the couple. John explains, “We were hoping to put a few facts right, that not all gay men wear dresses.”Matt adds, “We’re both gay but we’re not really in a gay community as such. We don’t have loads of gay friends. We thought just by being part of the conversation , we’re doing our bit to show what it’s like."
So, a bunch of major issues aside, let’s look at two main problems:
1. Is sex sex without actual sex? – You can point to a room and say, “There are people having sex in there, isn’t that exciting?” And then the people can come out and you can ask them if they had sex, and they say, “Yes,” and you say, “Look at this exciting conversation we’re having about sex!” but what is that actually saying about sex? I’m interested to hear the post-coitus conversations, because unless you’re talking about desire, turn-ons, safer-sex practices, sexual anxities, insecurities, there’s not a whole lot of conversing going on.
2. Are gays gay without the gay community? – This is my problem with the term “men who have sex with men.” I get that it’s a way of taking the stigma out of sex between men so guys will feel less social pressure seeking safer-sex and HIV prevention services, but in the end without the history of sexual liberation behind us, and the way homosexual sex has been patholgized and criminalized throughout the ages, all gay sex adds up to is getting fucked in the ass.
I’d rather think, and fuck, outside the box, thank you very much.