Living Vanilla: The Anti-Deviant Deviant

Implicit in the ever-pervasive cultural fear of aging is the supposed decline of sexual urges and activity. While due in part to biology, in another to priorities, integral to this fear is one helluva loaded word: monogamy. Why? Because fucking the same person for years can get boring. The solution? To experiment; to unearth and explore your latent desires; to mix things up. But what if you’re simply not interested?

I’m not going to sit here and make some bullshit assertions that we as a culture praise “sexual deviance” – please take careful note of those blinding quotation marks – but there’s something to be said about the way we glorify and all the while fetishize certain preferences: the pathologized “sex-addict”, the happy-go-lucky swingers, the librarian-cum-slavemaster. I don’t like to throw around the word trendy, but what’s “in” always seems to tiptoe on the cusp of mainstream, yet what gets me off is the equivalent to goddamn Lady Gaga – the analogical irony isn’t lost on me: I feel like sheep in wolf’s clothing.

I’m very sex-positive and find myself constantly arguing the case: “You think face-fucking is degrading? As long as you’re both into it, degrade the shit away!” I’d love nothing more than to have safe and legal spaces for sex work to function. I’m all for bedroom experimentation, as long as it’s fair: if I want to fuck my girlfriend in the ass, then I’ve no choice but to grit my teeth and offer her the same privilege, albeit on slightly more rubbery terms. But I don’t want to get fucked in the ass. Is that wrong? No. But my insecurities lead me to believe that it’s fucking boring.

Further media representation of the topic presents the notion of the “inner-kink” waiting to emerge; deeply repressed and rarely capable of rearing it’s head, bullshitty-Freudian-style! As if it’s certain that one harbors at least one sort of bizarre desire, anything up to wanting to screw my own mother. This further problematizes my seeming ailment, as if my lack of niche desire implies psychological dysfunction. Remember when we used to treat homosexuality as a disorder? Apparently not.

The opposing social archetype – one which I find equally unfitting and unappealing – is that of the machismo womanizer: poor in bed, uninteresting, brutish, driven merely by their innate desire to jam their cocks into holes and ultimately lackluster in ever sense. This representation lacks sexual intelligence, passion. Another, the celibate-save-twice-monthly husband and wife. If you’re gay, you’re in the clear: even the proudest of boyfriends get some sort of irrational credit merely because there’s more than one dick present. How kinky! Like my interest in public sex, the love for vehement vanillas seems to be lacking.

This isn’t, however, a cultural criticism. I’m not delusional enough to liken my lack of adventurousness with the lived experiences of those who face constant stigma and unfair treatment based on their sexual preferences or identities. Instead, this is a selfish monologue regarding my desire to be freakier than my erection will sometimes allow me. This is a confession of the fear I carry that one day, my partner may wish I fancied leather more. But most importantly, this writing is celebratory: when a dull white, heterosexual male can feel left out – or at least a bore – in our culture, then things may just be going in the right direction after all. TC mark

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  • Guest

    You really need to learn how to edit.

    • Matt Houghton

      I was just trying to spice things up, y'know?

      • emily

        no I don't

  • http://my.staff.get/it jeez

    i don't see why i should let a girl put something in my ass just cause i wanna plug hers

  • Jim Sydnor

    This blog both makes it clear that it is not a cultural criticism, yet locates culture as the site of anxiety. It is no longer a selfish monologue; you literally say that many of your woes come from what is “in.” Any story that explains and navigates the social order in a way that simultaneously describes it and diagnosis why it produces anxiety for the subject follows many aspects of cultural criticism.

    Thank for you at least noting that these people who you have discussed face an unfair stigma and unfair treatment. However, I can't dismiss the total contradiction when you call these queer identities “in” multiple times. Heteronormativity, which heavily regulates not just whether GLBT sex is legitimate but queer (multiple partners, kink, S&M, sex outside bedroom, the list goes on), is what's in, and plays a much more significant role in determining what can and cannot be understood to “get it up.”

    Monogomy, heterosexuality, “vanilla sex”, etc are all produced socially. Our culture has agreed that these are preferable, and the history is located in a morality that privileges male dominance over woman, and the exclusion of queer identities. Desires are socialized, and cannot exist outside its contingency on the social order. My suggestion? Let your girlfriend stick it in your ass, and discover the meaning of the prostate. Or experiment. Either way, explore this concept of “desire to be freakier than my erection will allow me to be” — which as written as is, is a recognition of the psychological process and repression by the ego.

    • Matt Houghton

      I would hesitate to agree with you that the kinks I described are entirely “queer” in that they have been appropriated to work within a heteronormative framework. In my terms, the notion of queerness steps entirely outside of such a framework – in fact, some queer anarchists would make the argument that notions of “homosexual” and “lesbian” are not queer, due to the fact that they work within this heteronormative mainstream framework. This isn't my point, however.

      Please note that I chose never to use the term queer, because I found it irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I'm well aware of social constructivism and how we produce and rehearse these identities – I've read Foucault and Butler respectively. I don't argue that I wish to step outside of this discourse, but instead confess that, for whatever reason, I fit into one which culturally we deem boring.

      In fact, I think it's quite obvious that I'm addressing the taxonomical labelling and social stereotyping of these identities, speaking not of anyone else's desires, but only to my own and the way in which they fit into these labels. Sure, I could argue the problem is systemic, but how dry would that sort of an article be?

      I won't speak to your last point regarding repression of the ego – someone so misogynistic should hardly be so credible.

      Thanks for the thoughts.

      • Jim Sydnor

        Can you post a link or cite for the queer anarchist literature? That sounds like something I'd be interested in reading. However, from my (limited) knowledge, it seems silly. GLBT people can act according to the confines of heteronormativity, such as finding “equality” by same privileges as straight people, whether that be serving in the military or getting special rights for being married. That doesn't mean they arn't queered; it just means that they engage in strategies to assimilate into the structure that has made them queer. This makes a lot of sense to me in terms of queer anarchy since the anarchists are probably against assimilating into state institutions such as marriage and the military.

        As for kink being queer and being the precise identities you discuss, please refer to works by Michael Warner — particularly The Trouble with Normal.

        Even if you (desperately attempt at) say(ing) that you're not a cultural criticism or an analysis of systemic problems, you say a lot of stuff which is and can only be an analysis of culture, systems, and the social order. Let's let your words speak for themselves:
        “there’s something to be said about the way we glorify and all the while fetishize certain preferences”
        “what’s “in” always seems to tiptoe on the cusp of mainstream”
        “Implicit in the ever-pervasive cultural fear of aging”
        ” media representation of the topic presents the notion of the “inner-kink” waiting to emerge”
        “The opposing social archetype”
        ” If you’re gay, you’re in the clear”
        “when a dull white, heterosexual male can feel left out – or at least a bore – in our culture, then things may just be going in the right direction after all.”
        “I fit into one which culturally we deem boring.”

        What makes your article NOT dry is that it very much is an analysis of culture. So why not embrace that?? I enjoyed aspects of it, but find contention with other parts.

        Psychoanalysis, while certainly does have a history of sexism, homophobia, and a host of other problems, still has liberatory potential. That's why authors such as Tim Dean have been able to reclaim it and form queer psychoanalytic thought. We can still make claims that acknowledging there are desires for something queer and not being able to perform them, not out of practice of experimentation but because one has made a conscious decision that you will not like it, is a form of repression.


      • Matt Houghton

        Many Anarcho-queer organizations like Bash Back! (…!) and Queer Fist ( seek to critique the mainstream LGBT movements, and quite clearly state in their mandates that they are anti-assimilation.

        Clearly, there is a large debate as to what the definition of queer is, and in some senses, we will have to agree to disagree. Otherwise, I don't see any further points worth discussing: that you view my writing more as a cultural criticism than a personal piece is up to you, albeit arbitrary. Too, if you believe in Freudian repression, suit yourself: I made no argument one way or another, and as stated, have little interest in exploring it.

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