Going with a Gay Flow
Homosexual people have a lot to teach heterosexual culture about sexual flow. Take for instance, “foreplay.” I have a real pet peeve about this word. What exactly is it before?
Calling an activity FOREplay implies that intercourse is a necessary component of sex, and that anything that happens before it is just the warm-up band for the headline act.
Penis and vagina intercourse is over-valued in heterosexual culture, even though only 20% of women reliably climax that way.
Take a look at this graph where kissing (green) leads to foreplay (yellow) leads to oral (purple) leads to sex (blue). What exactly are those activities labeled “foreplay”? Could they maybe also happen after that activity labeled “sex”?
Heterosexuals use the words “sex” and “intercourse” often synonymously. In the Graphic Sex Project collection, I’ll see a graphs that include a whole smorgasbord of sexual activity, and then one cube labeled just “sex.” Or maybe “actual sex.” I want to break it to those people – all that other stuff is sex. And the order of them isn’t set in stone.
Where do they get this idea? Movies for one – straight sex in movies is practically all intercourse (and when the guy comes, it’s over). Two, the emphasis on “virginity.” The perennial question “have you had sex yet?” Never mind that you’ve been doing oral and manual and orgasming together, and being naked together and everything else, but in the minds of many you haven’t had sex yet unless a penis has entered a vagina. Some misguided young people think they are still a virgin if they’ve only done anal sex.
Queer Culture and Sexual Flow
Queer culture has a much broader conception of sex, encompassing all sexual activity, not just intercourse, of course. From the graphs I’ve collected in the Graphic Sex Project, I’m starting to see some interesting trends in the words people use. Very few LGBTQA people use the word foreplay compared to straight people, who use it a lot.
Mutual manual stimulation may be classified as “just making out,” among heterosexuals, whereas mutual manual stimulation is the most common activity among homosexuals and is certainly defined by the participants as sex. As one homosexual man stated in the informal survey I did on Reddit, “It actually helps quite a lot there isn’t as rigid a structure in mind and the end goal isn’t necessarily mutual orgasm.” I love that. Hetero people take note.
Why does it matter?
Because when you prioritize PIVI in your language, it becomes prioritized in your head. And PIVI is the activity most likely to lead to orgasm for men, and the least likely to lead to orgasm for women. And that, my friends, is a good way to end up with an orgasm gap.
When your concept of the sexual story arc is do some foreplay leading up to the big moment when intercourse happens, culminating in the man’s climax, the implication is, ok, now sex is over. Take a look at the graph at the top of this post and see if you think that’s what’s going on there.
In 700 graphs in the Graphic Sex Project I’ve only seen the word “afterplay” once. The man’s march to orgasm has framed the sexual experience.
If you drop the word foreplay, then it opens up the possibility that some of that stuff could happen AFTER intercourse. Or hey, maybe intercourse doesn’t have to happen this time at all. Maybe we could just play with each other junk back and forth for hours!
It’s not all just about getting the penis into the vagina, straight people!