Rappin' with Rip
By Rip Corley
The Desexualization of Homosexuality
The first series of articles that is to appear in this column is to deal with the
sexualization aspect of homosexuality.
As is evident to many members ofthe homophile community and also to many of
our heterosexual counterparts, there is an
overabundance of sexual acting out within our community. This is due to many
and varied reasons, each of which will be
dealt with individually in subsequent articles.
Too often a relationship is made or broken on the basis of the ability of a partner's sexual performance, when such a
very small part of our life is spent between two sheets. Much of the conversation we hear about the activities of our
community is directly or indirectly related to sexual activities. We even frequently hear phrases from our understanding counterparts ... "I don't care
what they do in private," ... or, "it is
none of my business what you people do
in the privacy of your own home" .. .
and the like.
Also, many of our legal problems are
sexually oriented, i.e., .t is not illegal to
be homosexual, but rather it is the sexual
acts in themselves that are illegal. It is
this type of statute that gets misconstrued
and causes uneasy lives for many gays.
Much of this problem is our own fault,
however. If we take a careful look at our
community, we will see an overabundance
of sexually oriented "stuff." Most of our
social outlets are sexually oriented, or at
least have sexual overtones. Take the
bars, baths, parks, T-rooms, beaches, etc.
... all are places of frequent sexual contact or sexual pick-up places. Therefore,
much of the mass media reporting and
literature lean on the sexual theme.
We must recognize that we are responsible for the bahavior, reputation, and
growth of our community. In order to
change the over-emphasis on sex, we may
well have to experience a desexualization
process. It is, therefore, beneficial to examine some of the areas that promote undue sexual connotation.
The first deals with the sense of touch,
probably the most basic form of communication. The short article immediately following is a reprint of an article I
wrote several years ago dealing with
"I don't know how to touch him ... I
used to . . . but now I've forgotten how."
Touch . . . one of the most basic forms of
communication, has become a lost, or at
least confused affection with all too many
gays. For some mysterious reason, gay
plus touch equals sex, or at least a prelude
Take a typical bar situation. Two gays
meet, decide to trip the light fantastic on
the dance floor, and there go the roaming
hands and rushing fingers. What is wrong
with us? Why are so many of us unable
to touch one another, just for the sake of
touching ... or being touched; to hold
someone just because we desire to hold
or to be held; to kiss someone and relate,
"Hey, I like you;you're nice!" Unfortunately, this is an all too frequent trite prerequisite for bedroom play.
A baby, well-nourished, kept clean and
free from the more physiological needs,
will die if deprived of the touch that communicates love. Most of us have (or at
least had) that communicative ability and
could carry it out without participating
in a gang-bang in the nursery. We still
have th?t need. The baby will really die:
we, out of that chronological infancy,
die, too, but not physically. We lose that
most important part of humanism that
says, "Hey! There's more to me than the
attributes between my legs. Find it, find
me, grow with me."
Reach out and touch somebody's hand.
Find what's attached to that hand, find
out what's inside. It is most likely beautiful.
Sex is important. So is love. The two
are not necessarily analogous in toto.
When was the last time you searched for
a person first, who might with time and
growth become a sex partner in a dynamic relationship, as opposed to a sex object that might become a person.
If one's mindset regarding touch is that
it must be sexual in connotation, this
person is demeaning to himself, and
equally as tragic, he is demeaning to another.
Reach out .. . communicate .. . understand touch him ....
I trust the readers of this column will not
feel that this is an article designed to
scold; for indeed it is not. The thrust of
this column will be to provide channels
of communication that will question and
examine all of our behaviorisms and hopefully generate comments and reflections
from you the readers, allowing our exchange to generate new perspectives.
6 / COMMUNITY NEWS / DECEMBER 74