Monday, September 29, 2008

Good vibrations

There was a lovely moment on Saturday night, when a gay friend - who's fairly proper and not prone to disclosing anything too intimate - admitted she'd had a recent education on sex toys.
Gay girls, in South Africa at the very least, are - in my experience - rather prone to having very, very strong views on sex toys. You're either for them, or totally against. And the reason, most likely, that women are against them is that the only toy people seem to talk about is the dildo, and using this is often perceived as being anti-lesbian; or trying to emulate a straight relationship. Why, some have asked, would we want a fake penis when we don't even want the real thing?

Not a bad question, and one that I've certainly encountered a few times.

But on Saturday, my friend said a recent movie she'd seen had made her see sex toys in a different light. I think she'd actually watched Claire of the Moon (yes, I know it's old, but it was new to her) and in it, there was a debate over sex toys. The character in the film put forward the argument that sex toys were positive props in lesbian pleasure and so my friend has suddenly seen the light - hence our conversation the other night. This largely revolved around the dildo versus vibrator. My mate said she'd always equated a vibrator with a dildo, and now that she knew the difference (blame it on a lack of sex shops in SA!) she wanted to try the former with her partner. Her partner, incidentally, looked very pleased at the prospect, and I have no doubt that they will be hunting online, or in store if they dare (at the hetro-positioned Adult World we have) for a perfect vibrator that appeals to them both. Please, you can even get a vibrator that vibrates to the beat of the music on your iPod! That's when a high energy playlist is a must! :-)

My view is that as long as both partners are in agreement, experimenting is part of a healthy relationship.

This brings me to another topic, and a rather grisly one at that. Sex toys, in my view, should not be recycled across relationships. If you're involved with someone and have a tog bad full of toys, great. If you break up though, toss 'em please. They should not be the legacy of one of you. Noone really wants sloppy seconds!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fighting for our rights

A friend of mine in London emailed me tonight to ask me to post something about the situation in Iraq. Gays and lesbians are being targeted there, and in the last week or so a gay activist was gunned down in a barber's chair in Baghdad. Freedom, it seems, really is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Read what's been happening below (off the Guardian website)

"The "improved" security situation in Iraq is not benefiting all Iraqis, especially not those who are gay. Islamist death squads are engaged in a homophobic killing spree with the active encouragement of leading Muslim clerics, such as Moqtada al-Sadr, as Newsweek recently revealed.

One of these clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the "most severe way possible".

The short film, Queer Fear – Gay Life, Gay Death in Iraq, produced by David Grey for Village Film, documents the tragic fates of a several individual gay Iraqis. It is a truly poignant and moving documentary about the terrorisation and murder of Iraqi lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Since this film was made, the killings have continued and, many say, got worse. For gay Iraqis there is little evidence of the transition to democracy. They don't experience any newfound respect for human rights. Life for them is even worse than under the tyrant Saddam Hussein.

It is a death sentence in today's "liberated" Iraq to love a person of the same sex, or for a woman to have sex outside of marriage, or for a Muslim to give up his or her faith or embrace another religion." 

More details here

Monday, September 15, 2008

'I kissed a boy..'

A conversation with some gay boys this weekend got me thinking. I was showing off videos of a few of Katy Perry's singles. She's been at the top of the US and UK charts with "I kissed a girl" for several weeks now, and I have to admit that I love the song, despite it being tweeny fluff -  probably pitched at adolescent guys.

But us gay girls are so starved of mainstream music that we all sing along when we hear Katy, even though she's so quick to point out she only tried it with 'drink in hand' and that she dearly hopes her 'boyfriend don't mind it.'

I like to think we're evolved enough to enjoy the song, and I got a good kick out of it when I walked into a conservative Muslim-owned cafe the other day, and it was playing over the speakers!

Anyway, back to that conversation with the boys. The one commented that he didn't really see a song with the lyrics 'I kissed a boy, and I liked it' becoming a commercial success. Not if it was sung by a guy, that is!

Our homophobia is such that we allow fantasies of girl-on-girl action, but male-on-male sexual activity is still taboo to even talk about in casual straight conversation, let alone to sing about.

Why is lesbianism more acceptable? Male fantasy plays a role. The average 'bloke' would love to get between two women in the sack. Women are also more comfortable showing affection in public, and you're not deemed lesbian if you hug or kiss a girlfriend in public.

Back in the 1880's, rumours are that Queen Victoria refused to criminalise lesbianism (along with gay sex) because she didn't believe sex between women was possible. 

I don't know if that is true or not, but the belief that sex between women is not as serious or significant as hetero sex is commonplace. And so, men, in particular, feel less threatened. Especially if the women look like Katy Perry. Put two diesel dykes together and it'd be another story completely.