The sound of keystrokes from my iPhone were at a tempo not even Twista or Tech N9ne could make a rap from. As I was typing to my potential Grindr hookup about what that night’s sexual escapade would entail, my straight girlfriend was caught off guard as it sounded like I was typing a Ph.D. thesis.
“What are you writing?” She probed.
“I’m just talking to this guy I might hookup with later.” I said back in a dismissive tone. Like, leave me be to sext over here.
“What the hell are you typing to him?” She continued. “Just say, ‘Come over’.”
I set my phone down and imagined how a gay hookup would unfold if the two parties didn’t talk about sex beforehand. It was an outlandish thought because there was so much this potential gentleman of the night and I needed to discuss prior to pulling out the bottle of lube.
“What are you even typing that could be so long?” She asked again.
“We’re just talking about what we are wanting to do.”
As if she had never sexted in her life, she inquired about gay culture, “You guys talk about stuff before actually meeting up?”
It comes as no surprise that the world of gays is very different than the world of straights. Not only are gay men working with two swords, or two bumper cars (depending on one’s position), but gays are prone to a communication style for sex that is much more open and transparent than the communication between straights.
Yes, we share the prophetic dick pic that symbolically screams, “You up?”, but gays communicate deeper than a surface level of:
“Just alone in bed.”
Instead, gays will send a creative dick pic and ask one another, “Looking?” When I first came across this singular word, I narcissistically thought the guy forgot to add the word “good” where he was giving me a compliment on my looks. I was flattered that my good looks had made him physically erect. However, after he sent the message again, but said, “Are you looking?” I realized he was actually asking if I was looking to hookup and his full solute had nothing to do with my appearance. He was just horny.
Two gays interacting on a hookup app—and both being men—obviously it didn’t take much for my thumbs to act on my raging testosterone and accept his ticket to pound town.
But this is where gay sex talk vastly differs from the communication methods of straights.
First, the two gay parties need to discuss who is the top and who is the bottom (if it isn’t already listed on the user’s online profile). Obviously, this is a clear difference in communication between straights and gays because, well, two men getting naked could either end up in a game of sword fighting or scissoring. If we’re going to play a game, we have to ensure our Lego blocks are going to connect.
Second, now that both parties have discussed who is going to penetrate and who will be a human shish kabob, gays ask each other how they like to bang, which is a different disclosure of sexual boundaries compared to straights. For gays, everything is laid out on the table, including if the kitchen table is a preferred place to have some hanky panky. From kissing, to oral, to desired positions are communicated. Even the difference in making out vs. light kissing is discussed. For straight individuals engaging in sexting, the conversation is a bit more on the steamy, Judy Blume-esk, surface level erotic type of conversing.
“I’m going to take off your panties, then take you to the bedroom…” Said the straights.
But for gays, it’s less stimulating and more informative. Instead of stating the two are going to engage in an oral activity, gays ask if it’s even a foreplay activity they both share.
Third difference amongst sex communication, gays ask each other openly about condom preference. For straights, this question is rarely asked. Or, if it is asked, it’s when the penis is centimeters from entering the vagina. But in gay world, gays ask one another’s condom preference sometimes before learning each other’s names.
Regardless of condom preference, there comes the disclosure of STIs and HIV status. While it is a valid question to ask one another – straight or gay – before having any type of sex with one another, the question between gays is asked: “Are you clean?”
Are-you-clean? While this query is based off the AIDS epidemic that began affecting gay men in the 1980s to ask if one another have been tested recently, the question has a negative implication. If one of the gay individuals does have an STI and/or were HIV positive, it implies the oppositive of “clean” and are therefore considered “dirty”. Gays are already a minority subculture that often feel marginalized from the rest of heteronormative society. Adding an implication of being “dirty” is only adding further stigmatization to an already vulnerable subpopulation. I’d like to see gay culture rebrand the question of “Are you clean?” to a more sensitive one like, “May I ask your STI/HIV status?”
Finally, there is the question of where the two of gay love birds will have their thumping thighs session. For straights, one of the two ask each other to come over to their place. But for gays, there is the question of, “Do you host?”
When I first was asked the question, I immediately thought that they asked if I hosted parties. Sure, I’ll host some people for a Super Bowl game or for a game night, but I was lost when the ambiguous question first appeared. Ultimately, I learned that it was, “Are you having me over?”
No wonder my typing skills were going at an 80 words per minute speed. I had to relay if I was into kissing, body contact, oral foreplay, doing doggy style, and using a condom before inviting him over to my place that night. Plus, I had to recall the last time I had been tested for any STIs and HIV. But it begs the question on why there is a difference in sex communication between straights and gays. Perhaps one reason is that gays are primed to be open with communicating sexual boundaries because gays have already confessed their deepest darkest secret when coming out of the closet. Asking one another if they can video record their fornication is a cakewalk compared to announcing to friends and family they have an attraction to the same sex.
But maybe when gays ask one another about top or bottom preference, it’s a covert icebreaker for further sex talk. Once one gay reveals they are a bottom, the top can interpret that information as “Oh, he accepts penis inside of him”, which then only leaves him to ponder, “Well, how does he like to take it?”
“Are you almost done sexting over there?” My straight girlfriend asked from across the room.
“Yes.” I stated annoyed. “I just have to type one last thing.”
“See you soon. Btw, I’m Eric.”