While reading the coverage of the recent Supreme Court Of Canada’s ruling that morality shouldn’t affect the legality of private sex clubs, a comment from one of the sex club’s patrons caught my attention: The patron said they’d naturally prefer to have loud, kinky sex in a private club away from the prying eyes and demands of the children.
Now, the initial bawdy-house conviction was based on a Quebec court’s judgment that the sex club was not, in fact, a private setting but a public one because it took place outside the home. Shocking. Court justices think there’s privacy in the home? Clearly they don’t have kids.
Flash forward to my recent tour of a friend’s three-bedroom house, complete with open-concept loft bedroom.
“But how,” I asked, “are you supposed to have loud, kinky sex in a bedroom where the kids can walk in at any moment?”
“Don’t be silly,” my friend said. “Once we have kids we won’t have sex anymore.”
He was joking. Kind of.
It seems that straight and queer parents both have some battles to win when it comes to being horny, sexual adults whose lives are also filled with creamed peas, diapers and bedtime stories.
Parents are supposed to be sexless. Everyone knows this. The pastel pink and baby talk of parenthood is deliberately removed from the physical grit of passion, desire and orgasm. Given that, how is it possible to be gay, sex-positive and a parent?
Queer parents constantly complain that their sexuality is pulled into the foreground in every discussion they have with teachers, straight parents and their kids’ friends. If their son is unhappy, it’s because his parents are gay. If their daughter plays with trucks, ditto. If the twins always wear green, likewise. As a parent who’s defined by your sexuality, you stand out like a rainbow dildo against the baby blue sky.
While gay parents get tired of being seen through a hypersexual lens by the straight world, they’re seen through a post-sexual lens by the queer world. Sex radicals tend to sneer at queer parents as people who got too old and funny looking to cruise in bars — so they had children instead.
Where is the gay cultural mythos of the sexy parent? Where’s the hot video of a stay-at-home mom waiting for the repair-butch to come and plug that dripping hole? C’mon, doesn’t anyone besides me snicker when they hear a group of gay dads talk about “hooking up for a play date”?
I can’t be the only person who sees queer politics marching off in two different streams — those who want equal marriage and kids versus those who want a complete repeal of the bawdy-house laws that stop us from being as perverted as we want to be. But why do they have to be separate goals?
If we don’t become sex-positive parents, we won’t ever be accepted as queer parents. The straight world will see us as a clarion call to perversion whether we like it or not, and the queer world will define us by the children we raise. It won’t be easy, but there are a few simple actions we can take.
l Why can’t sex parties be held in the late afternoon? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a sitter until 6am? Do people burst into flame if they have sex during daylight hours or something? (And no, you can’t call me daddy. I’m serious. That’s completely ruined for me now)
l Adapt gay home décor to babies. How much difference is there, really, between a basement dungeon and a rumpus room? Other than a few obvious adjustments (that towering glass cabinet with your phallic art display has got to go — sheet glass isn’t safe around kids) don’t go nuts. You don’t need to lock your sex toy drawer. And there’s room on your bookshelf next to Heather Has Two Mommies for a copy of Mommies Who Have Five Dildos And Three Vibrators Between Them
l Separate the school environment. No matter how many MILFs (Moms I’d Like To Fuck) appear to be available, do not to cruise your PTA meetings for a threesome. Send the teachers a copy of your wedding photos, which will force them to smile politely while looking at a picture of two queers making out. At the playground, straight parents may annoy you with crass questions about how you had your children. If you want to see them squirm, point at their children and ask them if that was the last time they had sex
l Talk to your kids about sex. Make sure your children get a good sexual education and know where babies come from in straight-parent families. Make it sound as ridiculous as you can. Don’t try to explain to your kids where they came from until they are old enough to read legal contracts.