Now, apparently, homosexuality has nothing to do with sex. Andrew Sullivan has begun using "affectional orientation" instead of "sexual orientation," and this guy has suggested "romantic orientation."
So, Christian bigot, you hate us because we engage in sexual behavior you believe is immoral? But wait! Didn't we tell you? We don't have sex! Being gay is just sort of like being really good friends, with a little more cuddling, maybe. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm so glad we cleared that up and that you don't have to hate us any more!
This move to de-sexualize homosexuality may sound like a lot of nonsense (to some of us, anyway), but remember how wrong-headed we thought Sullivan's marriage idea was when he proposed it 15 or so years ago? Now it's at the center of our movement. I can totally see this "affectional orientation," or "romantic orientation" thing catching on in the way that we talk about "marriage equality" now instead of saying, "get the hell out of my bedroom."
And, depressingly, I suppose it makes perfect sense as a sort of endpoint in the "righting" of the GLBT movement.
I'm as romantic as the next guy. I love to hold hands with my boyfriend while we watch a movie, to cook dinner together and tell him I love him, kiss his neck in the morning when I wake up. All those cuddly, affectionate feelings I have for him are real and deep and meaningful and important. But at the core of all that stuff is the sexual response my body has to men, to masculinity, to people of the same gender as me.
We would not be bonded in the way that we are if we weren't spending some time grunting, sweating, fucking, licking, cumming. As I see it, the romantic stuff grows from the sexual attraction. I mean, good lord, I feel physical affection toward my mom, but she doesn't make my dick hard. (Well, there was a chocolate cake once that came close, but ... that's different.)
I don't want to extrapolate too widely from my own experience (nobody can compete with Sullivan in that contest), but I will tell you without a doubt that when I was in 8th grade gym class and got an erection when I looked at Marvin Johnson's butt in the locker room, what I was discovering at that moment was that I wanted to have sex with boys, not that I wanted a fairy tale wedding and a couple of beagles and a stroll down the Provincetown beach at sunset.
This effort to de-sex our sexuality makes me want to start identifying who I am in an equal and opposite way. I think from now on, instead of saying I'm homosexual or gay, I will start saying, "I fuck men" or "I suck dick." Just to make it clear.