When Private Acts Performed Publicly Are Problems - OZY | A Modern Media Company

When Private Acts Performed Publicly Are Problems

When Private Acts Performed Publicly Are Problems

By Eugene S. Robinson



OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

By Eugene S. Robinson

What’s the Big Deal With Porn?

EUGENE, SIR: A few years ago I needed money, and for $1,500 I had sex on film. This is not a secret, and my friends and I have joked about it, but I’m dating someone new and we’re only almost a month in and he’s been very direct that he wants us to start doing stuff that should be no “big deal” because I’ve “already done it” before. So to be clear, I don’t want to have sex with more than one man at a time again, and I’m not a fan of regular anal sex. Getting jealous over real people I understand. But getting jealous over an old job? I’m thinking I need to move on. Agreed? – Prisoner 2 Porn

Dear P2P: I feel fairly certain that negotiating over sexual activity of any kind is a precursor to bad sex. Yes, everyone should talk about everything all the time, yeah, yeah, yeah, but there are two types of negotiations. There’s the “man, I love potatoes, don’t you?” kind of opening gambit and then there’s the “man, you gotta eat these potatoes” kind.

The former in its air of assumed agreement makes it easy to counter especially if in fact, you do not like potatoes. The latter? Well, it’s the kind of wrong-foot negotiation that lands people in, if not actual court, then in the court of public opinion. Which is where we are now.

Measuring present performance against past activity is a fool’s errand, and methinks your lover is a fool. Or put another way, you liking past potatoes is no guarantee of future potato loving. And having to say that more than once? A drag. And having to say that at all this early in? Almost the same kind of unacceptable as if he had got you all tickets to a cricket match or a poetry reading or something.

Also, and I’m not sure whether he’s watched too much porn or not enough porn, but having to explain to him that there’s a difference between porn and real life? Ugh.

Between a Blanket and the World

EUGENE, SIR: My boyfriend and I were having sex in a car parked in a public place but while we were under a blanket we got cited. California Penal Code 647a. I want to fight since no one knows what was going on under that blanket, and the cop just assumed. My boyfriend does not. He’s worried about losing and having to register as a sex offender. Please advise. – Name withheld by request

Dear Blanket Bingo: Well all public places are not created equal, and there’s a big difference between a back corner in a parking garage at night and the drive-thru at McDonald’s at noon, but I think you know that. But let’s assume for a second that you do, indeed, know that so that I can say: I like the way you think since, yes, in fact, no one knows what you two had going on under that blanket.

Steamed windows, flushed faces, stuttering, muttering, undulating, none of it is anything other than circumstantial. Circumstantial or not though, anything in public opens itself up to public involvement. Which you have learned. The uncomfortably hard way. That’s the bad news.

The good news? You won’t, according to our cop friends, become a sex offender from 647a, the lewd conduct in public charge. Guilty or not? It’s a misdemeanor.

So, sure — though I’m no kind of legal authority and shouldn’t be confused for one — fight it. On philosophical grounds. You got nothing to lose. Outside of time. Effort. Possible cash. But forget that. You be YOU.

Can Homosexuals Have Heterosexual Sex?

EUGENE, SIR: A friend of mine slept with a friend of mine’s boyfriend a few years ago and so I told my friend and she accused him, and he told her that having homosexual sex doesn’t make you a homosexual. Ummm … – Marie

Dear Ms. Curie: What can be said about your letter that hasn’t already been said about popcorn shrimp? Look, this Grand Inquisitor thing you got going? Where you’re running your mouth and into other people’s business and those other people are accusing and demanding responses? It’s not dignified. Or sexy. Or necessary.

Moreover, you don’t have a real question for me and if there was one there I missed it but I am guessing you’re seeking comment and well … commenting is my business and business is good, so here we go.

Once upon a time, there was some Republican on one of these chatterbox shows. In a “glorious” gotcha moment they revealed that this very right-wing Republican had worked for many years as a … wait for it … male escort!

Ooh. Scandal!

The grilled former rent boy did not blink and on TV for all to see he blew minds when he said something to the effect of, having homosexual sex didn’t make him a homosexual.

Mic drop. Segment ended.

Because of course, he was right, and not just right wing. Plenty of women do sex work with a gender that they have no sexual interest in. Besides it’s called sex “work” for a reason and really, in the end, we’re not our jobs.

So as ridiculous as it might sound? He’s right. However, if his actual enjoyment of it is the issue, I’d say, based on my vantage point here, that plenty of hetero folks are having sex they don’t enjoy and no one talks about them not being heterosexual or even of being homosexual because of it.

Specifically, the argument is one of affinities and not actions and activities. Could be sophistry but in the end, if a dude says he’s not a homosexual despite having engaged in homosexual sex, what’s it to me? Or you, for that matter?

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