Purveyor of Pleasure

Delving into my humanity and the joys and pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

Kinky vs. Queer vs. Straight Sex

Something I’ve been thinking of a lot lately has been the differences between “types” of sex and sexual intimacy and encounters. It’s something that both The Leather Daddy and the Femme and PoMoSexuals made me think about a lot, because they both talked about male-female sexual interaction in a non-straight or non-hetero way. They recognized that males and females can interact sexually with each other in a queer way.

One of the main purposes of queer theory is actually to highlight and embrace the fact that no sex is normal/vanilla/straight, or, really, the opposite is emphasized: that all sex is queer. Very little aside from heterosexual missionary for-procreation-only sex is considered acceptable by our fucked up society, while the majority of people have sex that could not be categorized within that extremely narrow social definition.

Granted, ideas of acceptable sexuality have been evolving lately, but I wouldn’t say other types of sex have become any more acceptable, they’re just recognized as “what everyone does” which isn’t exactly an endorsement, though I’ll admit that my vision on this may be skewed by the last two years living in Utah. However, I really don’t think it’s just Utah talking.

So what’s the big difference between queer sex and straight sex? Aside from the usual definition of the sex of the partners (but that also brings into question is it the sex or the gender that matters?) it’s subtle, and may have a lot to do with intention. Can queer hetero sex include missionary sex? I say of course! The wonderful thing about the orbit(/label) queer is that it is very open to interpretation.

Most often the participants of queer sex are queer people, but that brings into the question of what makes someone a queer person. I’d argue that anyone outside of the norm of society is queer in some way, although not everyone would see it that same way. Queer is an important label for same-sex/gender-loving people to embrace, definitely, but I also think queer moves beyond that label as well.

If we define queer as what it’s not, meaning not normal, just about everyone would be able to be labeled queer. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met a normal person in my life, society perpetuates this idea of normalcy, but that doesn’t mean it exists anywhere, and usually those who think they are normal would not be considered normal by others, so where does that leave us?

Personally I dislike the term ‘normal’ for a variety of reasons, including the fact I have a degree in Psychology, but also because I have never believed that normal exists. People are just too damn individualistic for anyone to fit into a stereotypically cookie cutter image of what we are told we should be. Granted, this is a very western concept.

Back to queer sex vs. straight sex: personally I believe there is a different feeling to queer sex than there is to straight sex (though I try not to have straight sex at all, but every once in a while my sex slips into the realm of less-queer). Queer sex just feels a little, well, queer. It feels subversive and non-normal, even if it is normal to us and our bodies and desires. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with non-normal, quite the contrary, I think it’s necessary.

Queer sex, to me, can happen between people of any sex or gender. The times I feel my sex is slipping into less-queer territory are those instances when Onyx and I have had quickie sex in nearly missionary position (I say nearly because my legs are up and not flat) with little foreplay and sometimes little attention paid to me. This has only happened infrequently, and usually when we’re both tired but wanting sex. I consider it far from the queerer sex we have which includes toys, various positions, or me fucking him rather than him fucking me.

That’s not to say that just anyone who doesn’t have missionary sex is having queer sex, although that is one possible definition. As I mentioned above I believe there has to be some sort of queer intent, though that is a very broad topic and definition. Also, I think queer sex must also occur between queer people, though that definition is also very broad and open to interpretation.

Now to throw kinky sex into the mix. Kinky sex can be defined in a similar way to queer sex in that it can be defined by what it isn’t, and what it isn’t is vanilla, or normal, but see my dialogue about normalcy? Is there really any such thing? What do we consider to be not kinky?

Perhaps I should define kinky in a way other than exclusion, though I’m not sure how to do that because it is also subtle and it depends entirely on perspective and personal definition. I posit that just as most people could be deemed queer due to having anything other than narrowly-defined non-queer sex that most people could be deemed kinky for having anything other than narrowly-defined non-kinky sex.

That, or we just need to get rid of these labels all together, but that brings me to another theory on labels: that we must define them then broaden them in order to be able to abolish them, so perhaps that’s what I’m working on doing right now!

And what about the quote in the image above? Is anything you do really only kinky the first time, because after you do it that desensitizes you to it, making you think less of the kink factor of it and more of the enjoyment of it? That makes sense in some ways, and it’s been my experience that people tend to measure others against their own experiences rather than the so-called “normal” experience expectation.

However, what constitutes kinky sex? For some it would be using toys and props such as dildos, vibrators, restraints, or blindfolds; for others it would be engaging in “extreme” activities such as S&m, D/s, watersports, or enemas; for others threesomes, foursomes, and moresomes are kinky. Just like queer sex, there is a wide range of what could be considered kinky sex, and it all depends on the person putting that label on it. I do believe that kinky sex has an intention behind it, just like queer sex does, but it is also just as difficult to pin down.

What I’m trying to say is that there are definitely differences between these three “types” of sexual interaction, and none of them are better or worse than others as long as you are interacting the way you enjoy and desire to interact. I’m not saying that straight sex is bad, though I do wonder how many people actually have it. I am saying that more people have queer sex than most people may think, but I’m also saying that labels and definitions such as queer and kinky are difficult to pin-down, and perhaps shouldn’t be pinned down.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a fantastic post, and it got me riffing on things that I’ve been working through lately. Hope you don’t mind my ramblings.

    Despite my rather interesting relationship to gender, and my kinks, I’ve never been comfortable claiming the word “queer” for myself. I’ve always been too worried that if I identified with it I’d be appropriating, or at least stepping on the toes of those who have claimed that word before. After all, I’m sexually attracted to women nearly exclusively. Even with the pink hair I pretty much look like a dude. I’d worry that by declaring myself queer I’d be cheapening the shit other people have had to deal with. My shit’s something else, and I don’t want to feel like I’m claiming something that’s not mine. And, well, I don’t want to say I’m queer then have to explain to guys that I’m not into them.

    At the same time, however, I want a banner under which gender and sexual outsiders can gather, and “queer” seems poised to be that. I identify with what I’ve learned of queer theory and gender theory. I rally behind anti-assimilationist queers and Gay Shame and Bash Back (if only in my mind). I want to see more people for whom sexuality is deliberately a central part of life, and that seems to be a common thread in the type of queer with which I identify. It’s deliberate. It recognizes that there’s something broken in our culture, and wants to stand apart from it. That’s the queer I’m looking for. It’s not sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. It’s not the nice professional gay couple in the suburbs who are “just like you.” It’s not any sort of veneer of the normalcy of which you wrote. But I feel like I don’t have the right to make those distinctions, because I don’t feel like the word belongs to me.

    But we just bought my partner her first cock, and we’re looking forward to getting to know it better. As you have probably picked up on from my postings elsewhere, we don’t plan to fall into the prescribed roles of power exchange between penetrator and penetrated. We’re deliberately challenging both the norms of sex and the norms of non-normal sex. That feels pretty damn queer.

    To answer your question, I don’t think that kinky sex gets less kinky. I think it can for those who don’t feel that kink is an integral part of their sexuality (like those who use blindfolds and handcuffs as “spice” or who just think it’s fun to be “naughty”), but I find that going deeper and deeper into my sexuality doesn’t mean I get more kinky, but that my kinks go deeper, and I’m more infused by them.

    I don’t know how much of my sex is queer or kinky. I think kink is present even in my most vanilla looking sex in the subtleties of power exchange, the slight uses of pain.

    I do wonder about the flipside, can sex between people of the same gender or sex be (relatively) non-queer? If it lacks deliberateness. If it seeks to approximate normalcy. If it’s driven by fears of sex. I can’t answer that, but it’s something to wonder about.

  2. @Gabe, Ramblings are always welcome, I’ve been thinking a lot about this, but haven’t yet formulated an intelligent response.

    I had a friend a few years ago who called herself a “queer heterosexual” because she was so immersed in the queer community and was fat and somewhere in between as far as gender goes, but definitely female in appearance. I understand not wanting to take on a label that might not quite fit by everyone else’s standards, and plenty of people would disagree with my assertions about queerness, and that’s fine.

    Like you said, queer is a banner that gender and sexual outsiders can gather under, I really do believe that, so maybe you just need to embrace the “queer heterosexual” label, which would probably avoid guys thinking you might be into them, and which would lead to some pretty interesting conversations from both queers and heterosexuals. That might not be the right label for you, though, but I think that the more people who embrace queer makes us queers stronger rather than weaker. Like I said, part of the point of queer theory (in my opinion and that I’ve heard from others) is to abolish the idea of normal and to encourage the idea that we’re all queer.

    “We’re deliberately challenging both the norms of sex and the norms of non-normal sex. That feels pretty damn queer.” Amen to that! I’d say that’s definitely pretty damn queer.

    And as for kinky, I definitely agree with that assessment. There’s definitely a different level to it when kink is necessary to sexual expression versus when it is simply something fun to have on occasion. I like your way of putting that last bit too, about going deeper and deeper into your sexuality, and I can definitely relate. Personally, I don’t think of myself as getting kinkier the more I experience, though some might, and I think my main point is that kinky is in the eye of the beholder as well.

    “I do wonder about the flipside, can sex between people of the same gender or sex be (relatively) non-queer? If it lacks deliberateness. If it seeks to approximate normalcy. If it’s driven by fears of sex. I can’t answer that, but it’s something to wonder about.”
    I love this idea, and my first reaction is “YES,” though that is my opinion. There are plenty of queers that I’ve experienced who haven’t worked through their internalized homophobia or heterosexism enough to want to be queer. There are some queers who are downright straight, those who strive for a “normal” life instead of embracing their queerness. I probably wouldn’t ever qualify same-sex sex as straight, but I’m sure some of it can come pretty damn close. I know that with my queer we’ve come pretty close to straight sex too, and even though we’re not both the same sex I’d say that’s still pretty hard to do with two queers regardless.

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