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NO "SHAME"

Should The LGBT Community Advocate For More Gay Sex In Movies?

Our old friend Ramin Setoodeh is back causing more problems.

You remember Setoodeh, he’s the Newsweek writer who said gay actors couldn’t really pull of playing heterosexuals. And that effeminate characters on shows like Glee and Ugly Betty were hurting gay youth.

Now, in a piece called “Why Does Hollywood Hate Gay Sex?”,  Setoodeh bemoans the absence of man-on-man sex scenes in 2011’s big-budget films—arguing that we’ll need to show the straight community what happens in our bedrooms for them to accept us.

For Setoodeh, it’s a surprisingly thoughtful article: He makes the case fairly well that “gay sex is the last Hollywood taboo” by showing how little intimacy we saw between men on screen last year—and that what we did see wasn’t pretty.

A quick rundown: 

*The erotic drama Shame has one gay sex scene, but it’s dark, furtive and represents a low point for lead character Brandon (Michael Fassbender). “A guy unzips Brandon’s pants… and the camera cuts away. The screen fades to black.”

*Glee‘s Kurt and Blaine (above) take each other’s virginity by exchanging eskimo kisses.

*J. Edgar‘s veiled relationship between Hoover and his confidante produces only one furtive kiss.

*To signal he’s come out, Beginner‘s Christopher Plummer (right) wears purple. (Was it Spirit Day?)

And so on.

Lesbian sex gets a pass, writes Setoodeh, because men get a kick out of it and women don’t really mind it. Thus we get Black Swan‘s Natalie-on-Mila scene and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo‘s rendezvous between bisexual Rooney Mara and a goth-club dyke.

Sex between men, though? Even out director Joel Schumacher knew that was a no-no. And he put nipples on Batman!

Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick told Setoodeh that when W&G was coming together, Schumacher told him, “Whatever you do, don’t make it too butt-fucky. Don’t let anyone in the audience think about butt-fucking and you’ll be fine.” Mutchnick continued: “The sad reality is, if you’re in a theater and they show gay sex, someone in the audience will shout, ‘Ewww!’ ”

It’s too bad more straight guys and girls aren’t comfortable watching man-on-man action. But do we really need to force them to view the act so they’ll let us get married?

Setoodeh says we do, concluding that the road to gay acceptance in the mainstream is paved with Astroglide:

Real societal change is always the product of the stories we see. In 1967, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner made interracial marriage normal just months after the Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. That’s why there’s more at stake in this gay-sex debate than just the titillation.

If Hollywood refuses to push boundaries, to make more people comfortable with something that a segment of America is still uncomfortable with, gay people remain second-class citizens.

“Here’s my thing with gay sex,” Dustin Lance Black says. “In terms of sex, we get plenty of that every day in our own lives and thrown on the Internet. I feel like what I’m really interested in is gay romance.”

And that’s the real problem with no gay sex. You can’t tell a real love story if nobody is doing it.

Here’s where we think Setoodeh’s wrong: While Dinner may have made interracial marriage more palatable to mainstream America, it didn’t do so by showing an interracial sex scene. Hollywood didn’t need to get explicit to show the value of a love story between a black man and a white woman. It just needed to show the romance, and there was only one brief make-out session between the lovebirds.

And we don’t think mainstream America needs to see whats going on between the sheets, even though we’d like them to know it’s perfectly normal.

We think Dustin Lance Black is spot-on: tell the romance. Show the kiss and a maybe a little more. The rest can stay in gay porn, where it belongs.

  • 71 Comments
    • That Burning Sensation
      That Burning Sensation

      Whenever anyone asks for my opinion, from now on my response will be “don’t make it too butt-fuckey”.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      From an equality perspective, or course there should be more gay sex scenes (although I’d settle for less heterosexual ones), but if we’re simply talking about moving the cause forwards, then it is more prudent to focus on tenderness and love rather than sex, so subtlety is definitely a more sensible way to take it.
      Many straights are so revulsed by the sight of gay sex scenes that they will look away or leave the room. How is that helping anyone? It reduces homosexuality to the sex act, not the emotions.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Really?
      Really?

      “Show the kiss and a maybe a little more. The rest can stay in gay porn, where it belongs.”

      What about straight sex?

      Only for straight porn?

      Jan 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I think we should advocate for this. This article brings to mind the Queer as Folk episode where Emmett is Channel 5’s Queer guy. They wanted him to be this de- sexualized fairy, giving fashion, hair, grooming, and socializing advice, turning frumpy straight men into fabulous metrosexuals. However, the second he did something even remotely sexual (something to do with underwear, don’t remember what,exactly), the station manager slammed him for it because America wasn’t ready to view gay people in a sexualized way on network television, no matter how tame.

      Many times, heterosexuals are fine with us, just since we are their idea of the stereotype, but as soon as they see us as real people who come in all forms, and yes, those forms include sex, they are extremely uncomfortable. The only way to break that is to let them see us for who and what we are.

      Now, besides all that, it is simply unfair that we are bombarded with hetero sex all the time on tv, often even in the middle of the day on network television (think soap operas), and anything in the realm of the homosexual is seen as X rated. Hell, the soap that did dare to portray a homosexual relationship, As The World Turns,with two gay guys, Luke and Noah, lost ratings and went off the air soon thereafter. Same with The Guiding Light and the lesbian relationship between Olivia and Natalia.In fact, Guiding Light was the oldest soap opera in history. It started out as a radio show. However, mysteriously, the other two soaps on that network with exclusively heterosexual relationship portrayals are doing just fine.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • v
      v

      Yes, more gay sex. Yes, more gay heroes. Yes, more gay villains. Yes, more gays shown in all the multiplicity of human behaviors. Blacks still have to struggle with the “larger community”, but great black theater and meaningful films about blacks do not pander to racist sensibilities. Certainly blacks now enjoy more visibility and possibilities in media, but it has been a long, long struggle and is not fully won yet. Gays are in it for the long haul, and it will be many years until some level of parity is achieved. Hiding has never been a good way to be seen and accepted.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @v: Well said. And another reason to be out and proud rather than hiding for the sake of not offending the delicate sensibilities of bigots.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      we have openly gay and lesbian characters in at least 2 soap operas that go out at 7:30 in the evening, they are seen kissing and cuddling and to my knowledge have been seen in bed but not having sex and this is on free to air tv, one on the BBC and one on ITV. When the UK version of Queer as Folk was on tv again on a free to air channel that received some of the highest ratings ever for that channel and included quite graffic sex scenes for a programme on British tv, I beleive when it was shown in the US it was shown on cable as was the US version and as I’m told by friends in the US that is one of the problems, anything remotely to do with homosexuality is shown on cable/satelite as the main channels are to afraid to show anything that will upset Mr & Mrs Average, the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake debarcle speaks volumes!

      Jan 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Mike UK: The US Queer as Folk is not only nowhere near as risque as the UK version but is only shown on Showtime, which is premium cable, has been completely off the air for years…so…yeah. Good luck there. Even weekly episodes of Glee get backlash.

      As for soaps, as I said upthread, those that did dare to have gay and lesbian couples portrayed in any remotely sexual scenes got the ax for no good reason. America is full of bigots.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      @Shannon1981: I’ve just been informed by a friend that there are gay and a transgender character in a soap opera aimed at teenagers called Hollyoaks that goes out daily at 6:30 in the evening on the same channel that aired QaF.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KCraigJ
      KCraigJ

      While more is presently at stake directly regarding gay sex in the media, the problem is bigger than that. Whether it is base on race, religion, gender, position or fetish; America has ignorantly set up value points/hierachy on sex itself. From normal-classy to obsene-slutty. The truth is beyond pediphilia, beastiality, necrophilia, and rape; all sex can honestly be evaluated on is whether the individuals are any good at it. In a perfect society, all would be evenly reactive to all sex being in media. It should be an all or nothing choice; plus what level of exposure to what rating (as age appropiate). So keep it even in the media while my str8 friend & I are watching. If I got to sit thru her boobs-in-bra on screen, his chest needs to come out. If he give butt-out-of briefs, she should come out of panties. If I can evaluate camel-toe, He should be able to eval circumsition. Percentile it all out with the overall average- what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Or simply, eliminate it all. JUST KEEP IT ALL EVEN AND FAIR whatever the decision.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Mike UK: QAF was aired on Showtime, which is a premium cable channel people pay big bucks to view. Hardly network TV where all the hetero hot n heavy lovin’ is aired.

      If I can see a man and a woman romping in the sheets in the middle of the day on basic cable, why not two men or two women?

      Just like they don’t want to see us, we don’t want to see them.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      DLB is right. People don’t need Hollywood to help them conflate homosexuality and sex, they already reduce us to that and only that. We need them to see that we also fall in love and that we go through everything any supposedly “normal” straight person does.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      @Shannon1981: Hollyoaks is on TV over here in the UK, the same channel that did the UK version of QaF and is free to watch, it also shows the UK version of Skins. I have the the US version of QaF on dvd and must admit I did enjoy it.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan

      @Keylew “From an equality perspective, or course there should be more gay sex scenes (although I’d settle for less heterosexual ones)”

      That reeks of pseudo-equality to me. It makes as little sense to show an equal number of homosexual acts as heterosexual as it does to have a 1:1:1 ratio of black:white:asian people on television. If we’re really going to be anal about portraying things as they really are, we’re going to have to try to show somewhere near the true percentages of these things.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Shannon1981: Guiding Light and As The World Turns were both kept on their last several years simply because they *had* been around so long. Last I heard, their gay story lines got a good response, but if anything they were a near-last attempt to gain audience, any audience, to avoid what was already coming.

      I do like the idea of more portrayals of good gay relationships rather than going for semi-explicit sex. That movie was, after all, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which is a far cry from Guess Who’s Coming In Our Son.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stevoj
      stevoj

      @That Burning Sensation: i’m gonna steal this line too

      great article btdubs

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden
      Aiden

      You forgot to mention that most people laughed at Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. They made sure that Sidney Poitier had to be perfect in order to be in a relationship with the woman.It was behind the times then. Except for the 70s Hollywood has always been behind the times. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a full on sex scene.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Larry
      Larry

      we’re here…we’re queer and nobody really wants to watch. queer as folk is a queer show and is completely different but no one wants to watch gay sex on modern family or glee (unless it involves sam, blaine and puck in any combination)

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Interesting
      Interesting

      If they show us as having more intimacy (not just sex), but holing hands, touching, in the way couples do, that would be a good thing. Its not just the sex part. Its the intimacy or lack thereof. You will see these movies and shows in which the guys never really touch or sit next to each other just holding hands. It never feels natural.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bryan
      Bryan

      The last line of the article seems to suggest movies can’t show the romance while at the same time showing explicit sex. They’re not opposites to each other you know? People don’t stop having hot sex the more in love they get.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      I don’t care what breeders think.

      Never have.

      Never will.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      While it may come across as one of a mere handful of exceptions that prove the rule, Torchwood – Miracle Day had some man-on-man action that I thought was totally on-par with any of the straight sex you could have found elsewhere in the same time-slot. (Though, when I recently saw a rerun of it during primetime they pixellated the nudity, which was lame.) But then again, that is a BBC production, so it doesn’t necessarily exonerate Hollywood.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @David Ehrenstein: Having grown up in the punk rock scene, I’ve maintained the unabashed and unapologetic attitude and arrogance that it *gifted* to me. Subsequently, my first thought was yours. We exist regardless of the opinions of those around us. If the hets don’t want to see us getting it on, that’s fine because it doesn’t alter the reality that we’re sexing up anyway.
      Though, for that very reason, it would be great to see more gay sex in mainstream movies. Both for our pleasure, and also to let those outside of the community know that we exist and are just as alive and active in our humanity as they find themselves. It might not win us marriage equality or any other political battles (though we must never underestimate the power and influence of film and all other art), but it further cements the presence of the gay community as very much on the board and unmovable.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      @Ken S: it wasn’t pixelated when it was shown on the BBC over here at primetime!

      Jan 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TASTEY GOODIES
      TASTEY GOODIES

      LIKE SOME OF THE COMMENTERS HER, I, TOO, AM TIRED OF BREEDER SEX AND AFFECTION IN MASS MEDIA. I DEF ADVOCATE 4 GLBT SEX SCENES. AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T MAKE US LOOK LIKE ALL WE R IS SOLEY BASED ON SEX. IT JUST ADDS FUEL 2 THE FIRE 2 THE NEG STEROTYPING OF THE GLBT COMMUNITY. MORE GAY ROMANTIC COMEDIES, GAY SUSPENSE THRILLERS, ETC, ETC. ALL MOVIE GENRES.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Craftybaz
      Craftybaz

      What was the point in starting a gay relationship storyline on Emmerdale then ending it just as quick?? Personally i would love to see more gay relationships on tv programs and in films.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      Sex scenes would be great but only if they enhance the story line. More same sex intimacy would be great to desensitize the public. But if the sex is in a movie just to attract an audience or particular demographic then it shouldn’t be included.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lizcivious
      lizcivious

      Hetero sex is gratuitously shown or implied all the time. It’s only fair that gay sex should receive equal treatment. Either that, or cut back on the gratuitous hetero sex. I’m a straight female and have had no problem viewing gay sex depicted on the screen. (I actually enjoy male-on-male action.) I can’t understand why heteros have a problem with gay male sex, especially since lots of straight males are obsessed with anal sex. If they can do the act with a female partner, why can’t they tolerate the simulated sight or implication of it with a gay male couple on film or TV? Are they afraid they might enjoy it?

      Jan 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      I agree w minimal to no gay sex, FOR NOW, as it’s that image that plagues many straights, so they see red. It’s the intimacy and the show that gay people live and love like everyone else that is needing integration right now. It supports the gay marriage culture war. When the above-the-belt portion has been well tilled, then I think it’s time to go further.

      Babies need to be small-spoon fed. If you cram a big full soup spoon in their mouths, they go ballistic. As they grow so does their ability to take bigger bites.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayKay
      JayKay

      Yes, let’s start with the Twilight movies. There’s still time to re-shoot the ending for the last one.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Christine
      Christine

      This is crazy!!!! see through the lies!!! http://bit.ly/xQTfod

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      This is what I call the bisexual double standard. It is present in every aspect of society. Liberals are responsible for this discriminatory double standard.

      Liberalism is about making same-sex behavior socially acceptable for women but not for men. This is why female-female is glamorized whereas male-male is treated either academically or in a shameful, dark way.

      However, the female-female behavior that is glamorized by Hollywood is of the type that can be objectified by sexist and homophobic men. Therefore, such behavior by females does not lead to progress in GLBT rights but merely confirms the sexism and homphobia of these men.

      Women have sold the GLBT rights movement down the drain by pandering to the sleazy straight guy fantasy for girl-girl action. They are molls and whores.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Mike UK: The UK is definitely ahead when it comes to that sort of thing. I wish the US would catch up.

      @Hyhybt: Color me cynical, but I somehow think that is simply what they want us to think. I was a religious viewer of all 4 CBS soaps from age 9 when I broke my ankle and was laid up until ATWT and GL went off the air. I still watch The Young and the Restless.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Shannon1981,

      I don’t think the UK is that progressed. I haven’t seen many recent UK movies with gay or bisexual male characters.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike UK
      Mike UK

      @jason: we were talking about UK television.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @JayKay: Hear, hear! And I’m sure Kellan Lutz and Taylor Lautner would be none-too oppossed! ;)

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DenverBarbie
      DenverBarbie

      @JayKay: Hear, hear! And I’m sure Kellan Lutz and Taylor Lautner would be none-too opposed! ;)

      Jan 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff
      geoff

      What happened after Brokeback Mountain? From Dec 05 thru Mar 06 it grossed 178 million worldwide. It won more awards than any other film in history (Director’s, Writer’s and Producer’s Guilds – BAFTA- etc etc etc and came this close to winning the Best Picture Academy Award) Although not graphic it clearly showed what Jack and Ennis were doing. And it certainly has not hurt the careers of of Gyllenhaal, Hathaway or Williams. (Ledger either in what time he had left) My guess is this movie was an aberration in Homophobic Hollywood.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      geoff,

      Yes, you are right. Brokeback Mountain was an aberration in Hollywood. Funding was very difficult to come by. Most of the major studios – including the ones run by liberals – did not want to touch it.

      Hollywood is indeed a very homophobic place unless you are prepared to shut up about your sexuality and work behind the scenes to make movies that prop up the male heterosexual fantasy.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      That is so true about BBMountain. The Academy Award went to Crash, a movie about and shot in LA. How arrogant was my thought with the Academy awarding a movie about it’s own town when BBM was shot in mind blowing brilliance in the Canadian Rockies while shattering sexual stereotypes world wide. I still have movie posters signed by the lead cast and director Any Lee. Loved that movie.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Men are horny by nature. Even the straightest male will turn to a good looking male if there are no women around. Male sexual behavior is determined not just by sexual orientation but ALSO by libido. This is a critical determinant that many in the sex research field fail to consider. Male libido is a very powerful thing – much more powerful than a woman’s – and needs to find a release eventually. If there are no women around, the straight-identifying male will almost always turn to another man for his lusts.

      This is why society has developed shields in the form of segregation of male-male activity from everything else. These shields are designed to reduce the straight-identifying male’s exposure to male-male passion. They are also designed to keep men interested in women. Women use these shields to prevent straight-identifying men from straying to other men.

      A most important point is how the sexual revolution made it hip for women to wear less and less clothing even when it’s not appropriate. This is how women keep men on their side, sexually speaking.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • apples
      apples

      Why does everything about homosexuality have to be about sex and why are you all so obsessed with it? Sex should be a wholesome and private act between two lovers and not this filth that so many gays seem to be promoting. If you want people to respect your loving relationships, then why not prove that that’s what you’re all about instead of acting like pornstars and shoving it in everyone’s faces??

      Jan 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Jason

      What planet are you reporting from? I want to visit stat!!! ; )

      Jan 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva
      Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva

      @apples: All I got from that is that a bunch of pornstars shoved it in your face. Any vids?

      Jan 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan [Different person #1 using similar name]

      You want acceptance then you actually have to show violence and gay romance together. Show, for instance, a cop shooting bad guys and then going out holding hands with his boyfriend. Straight guys are only turned off by feminine behavior in males. They don’t like guys acting like girls. Guys want guys to act like guys – gay or straight. Guys want validation of masculinity. So to gain acceptance among straight guys, gay guys in mass media should be shown as masculine and homosexual (the guys from the movie 300 are an example, butch and homoerotic). “Gay” is used as an insult to mean “fem, weak” among men so counter that with depictions of masculine and gay, so people get the message that you can be a man’s man and into men. Straight men idolize masculine sports stars and action heroes, so make that connection. Most television programs and movies depict fey gay guys – often to make the hetero characters appear more masculine in contrast. There needs to be way more depictions of masculine gay/bi guys so that being called gay is not immediately associated with being called “fem, fey, girlie, and thus weak”. Think about it as less gay vs. straight, and more masculine vs. feminine in straight guys’ minds.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter
      Peter

      On the subject of soaps, the UK tends to be much more accepting of gay relationships. On Coronation Street there is the long running gay character Sean Tully , openly and flamboyantly gay, and involved in an adoption/gay marriage plot. There is also recently come out teen lesbian character Sophie, and a transgender lady who had a plot centred around her husband finding out about her transgender identity and that she used to have a mans body, but he didn’t care. Eastenders has a gay couple, Christian and Syed, one being a muslim,and more recently a gay teen Ben and Emmerdale had Aarons coming out process and relationship with Jackson and then Jacksons death. Hollyoaks has Brandon and Ste, and the list goes on.

      Whereas US soap Days of our Lives has the gay character Sonny, and the character who is currently going through a coming out storyline Will Horton…. No relationships, etc.

      I think the U.S tv networks are generally more scared of backlash, and America has a stronger more vocal religious fundamentalist group who fight against gay content.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      @Dan: I don’t think that I was arguing for a perfectly equal number of gay and straight sex scenes, although I suppose my use of the word “equality” probably implied that. But the current ratio of 10,000 to 1 (or whatever) is not remotely indicative of the actual ratio of gay to straight viewers. I simply feel that program makers should not actively steer AWAY from depicting such scenes, if it is appropriate to show them.

      But personally, I get so pissed off when movies always have to shoehorn a love interest into movies where it has no value, so if they start shoehorning gay love interest in as well, that will not be progress to my mind.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      @Dan: Dan I very much agree with your assessment of how to gain acceptance, but moreover, I don’t actually think that it’s an unrealistic depiction anyway. I’m sure that there may be a higer ratio of sensitive/fem gays than hets, but I’m sure that the majority of gay guys are as masculine as most straights. It would be awesome to see some butch (not Village People butch) or at least, ordinary, gay guys, doing ordinary guy stuff.

      Jan 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      What I’d really like to see are shows and movies about gay romances that aren’t about their being gay. Make the story as perfectly normal as possible, just with the two happening to both be men. Now, this may not be as easy as it sounds; you’d have to avoid portraying either of them as being “the woman,” for example, so simply remaking an existing picture may not work; and you’d want to avoid as many other stereotypes as possible, and best to arrange so they don’t have to deal with anti-gay family and all that mess either. “Normal” men, who happen to go for each other.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 12:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      First, I want to comment about U.S. soap operas. None of them were cancelled BECAUSE of the gay storylines; indeed, Luke and Noah on ATWT were going strong for nearly 4 years when the show finally got the axe. GL and ATWT were cancelled because they had had basement-dwelling ratings for years; the American soap opera, in general, is on its way out — vapid storytelling combined with competition from (much cheaper to produce) reality programing is killing the programs. The one soap that truly dared to show a gay sex scene — One Life to Live, between Fish (out actor Scott Evans) and Kyle (straight actor Brett Claywell) — made the mistake of writing off these characters — at the time, the most popular romance on the show among younger viewers — due to “outrage” from older viewers — only 6 weeks after the event.

      It’s not just UK shows that have more enlightened portrayals of gay romance/sex. The French cop dramedy Les Bleus featured a tough and out gay cop (played by the adorable Nicolas Gob) who got hot-and-heavy with a fellow closeted cop. The German soaps Forbidden Love and All that Matters have portrayed gay relationships complete with surprisingly explicit sex scenes; in fact Christian (Thore Schollermann) and Olli (Jo Weil) just got remarried on Forbidden Love this week.

      These shows, along with the UK’s Hollyoaks and, to a lesser extent, Emmerdale have demonstrated how to tell compelling romances featuring two men. I would like to see the same on American TV, but recent attempts — such as Teddy on 90210 — have been utterly lacking.

      As for movies, I agree the focus should be on the romance first with maybe some modest erotica thrown in. You have to start with a smart script, possibly a comedy in the Annie Hall – Goodbye Girl – When Harry Met Sally – Sideways vein, featuring popular, attractive actors. Peter Lefcourt’s marvelous novel The Dreyfus Affair — about a romance between two baseball players — has been in development hell for over a decade, but it would be the ideal material to cross over to mainstream success.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 1:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shannon
      shannon

      YEAH….RIGHT….THESE “STRAIGHT” MEN THAT YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO CONCERNED ABOUT CONSTANTLY….WILL SAY EEEWWWW AROUND THEIR WOMEN…THEN BEG TO HAVE “BUTT SEX” IN PRIVATE! AND THE WOMEN…THEY GET MAD CAUSE THESE ARE MEN THAT DO NOT WANT >>>THEM<<<….WOMEN GET VERYYYYYYY MAD WHEN THEIR ARE GOODLOOKING MEN WHO DO NOTWANT THEIR "PUSSY"……THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ABOUT…

      Jan 6, 2012 at 1:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      throw the sex scene in IF it actually brings something OTHER than pure titillation to the movie. Is the sex scene really necessary to advance some character development? or some plot point? If you can say “yes”, then include it.

      Otherwise, why the hell should be we “advocating” for more gay sex scenes in movies?

      Would Pirates of the Caribbean actually have been a good movie if there had been a gay sex scene?

      Would Inception be any less pretentious and silly if it had a gay sex scene?

      Nope. Those movies would still suck.

      Add gay sex scenes WHERE THEY MATTER, but not “just to add them”. Otherwise, move to the other end of town and just shoot porn.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Christopher Banks
      Christopher Banks

      I think Hollywood’s reticence to show gay sex is tied to their reticence to tell full, meaningful gay stories. It’s a symptom of a much larger problem, and the reality is that we are a permanent minority – they are not interested in catering to us.

      As a gay film-maker myself (as in a gay man who makes films that are about gay men and their lives), I’m not too fussed about showing sex. Intimacy and conversation, yes. Things that show a real connection, yes.

      A lot of independent gay films pour on the sexual content as if they’re trying to compensate for the fact that we don’t see it in mainstream films. If it’s gratuitous and doesn’t form part of the story, I find it off-putting.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Joseph,

      Lots of American soaps have depicted male-male relationships. The UK is not special in this regard,

      We’re talking about movies here, not TV. Movies where people pay to watch. The UK is just as lacking as the US in terms of depicting male-male relationships.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 5:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Christopher Banks,

      Don’t fall for the notion that male-male sexuality is a minority sexuality. Most men have a form of male-male sexuality within them whether they admit it or not. Keep in mind that the stigma on male-male sexuality was invented so as to minimize male-male sexuality and to make the concept a minority issue in the view of those who want us to be irrelevant and unimportant. Don’t fall for it.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 5:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trav
      Trav

      Here’s the thing: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is about straight people. As taboo as that was, it didn’t have to cross the barrier we’re talking about here.

      In any straight love scene in an R rated movie, you know what’s happening even if you don’t see what you would see in a porn; ie: you know who’s penetrating and who’s being penetrated, there’s no question, by default. I believe this is one of the main issues the general population doesn’t feel comfortable knowing about. What is possible in bed for two men, and what role they choose to take, and even switching roles, is something the gay community is constantly aware of and is exactly what the rest of the population either doesn’t even know of, or doesn’t want to think about.

      But that’s the problem. It stays in the gay community. Why is it such a taboo for us to risk making straight people uncomfortable by talking about or representing our normal sex practices? It not just them. We need to change our behavior toward the world as well. I think Setoodeh is right.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 7:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      @jason: I’m replying to earlier comments about soaps and TV.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 8:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brew69
      Brew69

      What is void right now is lack of gay storylines. We had Brokeback Mountain which won several awards. We need more romance, a love story, a love affair, not more sex being shown. Movies such as Love Story, showing two people romantically involved with their ups & downs would be the way to go.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      @Kylew: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Another Adam
      Another Adam

      @Dan: I don’t really see how we’re making progress for GLBT equality if we’re getting straight men to accept certain, limited portrayals of gay men. I’ll agree that we want diverse portrayals of gay people in the cinema, showing that they are as complex and varied as straight persons, but I don’t want to create some (incredibly misogynistic) hierarchy where only super butch guys are of any/equal value.

      GLBT equality, by definition, would necessitate equality for and acceptance of “effeminate” gays as well. And I mean acceptance by the straight community AND the gay community, who seems reluctant to throw effeminate men under the bus on the grounds that they aren’t politically viable or perhaps on the grounds of an internalized sexism or homophobia.

      Maleness and femaleness are social constructs. A more masculine male is not, in any sort of biological or absolute sense, “more male” than an effeminate one. And to play into the sexist, misogynist notion that feminine behavior is weak and therefore of no value is to gain acceptance for SOME gay men at the risk of furthering the oppression of women and the feminine.

      And kylew, I’d love for you to define what “ordinary” guy stuff and “ordinary” gay men are. Because they sound like very close-minded terms.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Another Adam
      Another Adam

      @Really?: Exactly!

      I understand it may be more politically viable (and socially palatable) to exclusively display gay men as romantic, monogamous, and sexless. Especially when so much of a society thinks homosexuality is only about sex, and sex with anyone at any time at any place under any circumstance. But, we’re not going to achieve equality (or even, if it’s what’s desired by assimilationists, convince straight people that we’re “just like them”) if the straight community never faces the fact that WE HAVE SEX! And we don’t tend to have cute, vanilla, missionary sex. How I have sex and who I have sex with is part of who I am and I don’t intend to sacrifice that for anybody. So, eventually, we’re going to have to start putting gay sex in movies. Straight people are going to have to deal with it. And just get more comfortable with sex in general.

      And I realize I mispoke/mistyped in the post above. I meant to say ” And I mean acceptance by the straight community AND the gay community, who DOESN’T SEEM THE LEAST BIT HESITANT to throw effeminate men under the bus on the grounds that they aren’t politically viable or perhaps on the grounds of an internalized sexism or homophobia.”

      Jan 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gus
      Gus

      The Straight Community doesn’t need to see *The Gays* having sex in mainstream films. They have imaginations which run wild about that subject anyway, so don’t bother.

      What the Straight Community needs to see is members of the LBGT Community sitting around the dinner table with their families fighting over which teams deserve to play in the Cotton Bowl. Staight folks need to see gay male characters working as coal miners or cement mixer truck drivers….just like in real life…..not all gay men work in florist shops or hair salons.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      What consenting people do in the bedroom is no one elses business, and who you sleep with is so NOT important to your being able to achieve recognition in society. This is the basis of a truly tolerant and liberal society.
      BUT then it also becomes everyones obligation to keep their sexual acts in private and not to involve the un-consenting public. Doing so is bad taste.
      The same applies here. We should expect equal civil rights not equal desire to watch gay sex scenes. And we claim we are deserving of equal marriage rights, then lets show we are capable of loving relationships that deserve being equalled with marriage. Marriage is a lot more than sex. Lets not reinforce stereotypical ideas with graphic SM or rubber sex or senseless promiscuity

      Jan 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      @Brew69: Agreed.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      @Another Adam: Adam, I’m sure you’re only too well aware that current portrayal of gay people in entertainment too often tends to focus on exaggerated and stereotypical gay mannerisms; most particularly effeminate and fabulous behaviours. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these characteristics, but this is not how most gay men are, any more than most straights are lumberjacks, cowboys and football players.

      To start to change public perceptions and bring about acceptance and understanding, gays need to be portrayed in exactly the same ways as straights out of the bedroom, and in.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Another Adam
      Another Adam

      @Kylew: that much i’ll definitely agree with.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Kylew

      I certainly ditto that. I also would add that those “mannerisms” are not particularly “effminate” as women don’t have many of those traits. I might call it “obviously gay” rather than effeminate, and I’m hard pressed to find where these mannerisms actually come from, other than some just want to be a diva from birth and…..just shooting from the hip. Any clues where those mannerisms originate?

      I would like to see “sexy” in “str8″ media w everyday gay guys. Simple kissing will take time to get a pass w the general audience.

      Jan 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheWeyrd1
      TheWeyrd1

      @Shannon1981: Neither ATWT nor GL went off the air because they had glbt characters. In fact, they got a reprieve due, in part, to ratings bumps because of those story lines. The actual reason they went off the air is because of production costs and CBS’s desire to increase their profit margins by reducing those costs since they didn’t dare increase revenue by charging more for commercials (like the Republicans think will work in the government when it comes to spending cuts vs. increasing taxes). In fact, GL moved to Podunk, NJ and filmed on location to cut the cost of maintaining elaborate sets for each of the primary families in the show, not to mention town buildings, etc. Finally, despite their stablemate’s (ATWT) ability to show to MALE characters kissing and then some, Olivia and Natalia NEVER shared a mutually desired kiss or anything more than bumping foreheads and holding hands. The ONE kiss they did have was Olivia planting one on Natalia to make the point that townsfolk thought their close relationship MEANT they were lesbians and therefore together (all prior to them actually getting together).

      Moving on…the idea that the interracial story from the 60’s in which there was only a brief make out session is proof that showing gay male sex in movies, NOW, will make things worse, is a fallacy because it completely disregards the context of the times. In that era, NO movie for the general public was showing sex between any consenting adults (hetero of course) same race or not. So it’s not remotely equivalent to say that, today, we only need to show the romance in order to gain acceptance for same sex relationships and marriage. On the other hand, do we need to pornographic about it? No. I’m not a fan of pornographic scenes in movies for the adult general public…glbt or hetero. But I do want to see love stories that show the physical intimacy beyond just kissing…however, sheets are appreciated even if totally unrealistic…heh.

      Jan 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evvan
      Evvan

      I’d just like to make one quick point. Everyone complains about the sex scene between Kurt and in Glee, and frankly, everytime they do it only serves to tell me that they don’t understand the entire point of the scene.
      Glee has had its fair share of sex scene between teenagers, mainly drunken hookups, one night stands, and cheating affairs. All this sex has led to pain and pregnancy and emotional distress, because, whether you agree or not, Glee wants to teach people that sex is only healthy when you have it with someone you love.
      And in this episode, they make it blatantly clear that that is exactly what they want you to believe. It’s even told directly through Tina, who swoons over her virginity snatching encounter with Mike.
      And so, when Kurt/Blaine and Rachel/Finn sleep together, you know this is different not only because they tell us, but because they show us. The scene is shot in a more romantic, purer light.
      And isn’t that a better lesson to teach straight people about gay people. Not that we can have sex as hard and graphic as they do, but that we can represent as much love and purity as any straight person?

      Jan 8, 2012 at 12:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kty
      Kty

      Hmmmm gay is the way!! Gay up the sex lease

      Apr 4, 2012 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      @That Burning Sensation: Butt Fuckey will now be part of my vocab. Best adjective ever.

      Apr 10, 2012 at 4:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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