The Gospel According To Marc
|by Marc Acito|
|Label Manners, What's in a Name, Anyway?
I slept with a guy in college who insisted he wasn't gay. "I won't be defined by society's narrow labels," he proclaimed. This from a guy with Ralph Lauren on his chest, Gucci on his feet and Calvin Klein in his pants. I felt like I was at a designer orgy.
The trend continues today. Recently someone younger than I informed me that he's not gay, he's "queer-identified." "My sexuality is something I do," he says, "not who I am." Following that reasoning, and in the interest of being more specific, I suggested that he simply identify himself as a "pillow-biter" or a "manhole inspector," as the case may be. Lesbians can simply say that they are linguists. When asked the question "What kind of linguist are you?" they should simply smile and reply, "I'm a cunnilinguist."
The gay press seems to be spending a lot of time trying to figure out just what to call lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and, of course, lest we forget, the "questioning." (Is it just me, or are we so hard up for numbers that we've got to include the questioning, too? I say let's just leave these poor souls alone and let them make up their minds, for God's sake.) In the interest of brevity, I suppose we can always use the abbreviation LGBT, but that to me sounds a little too much like a deli order: "I'll have the LGBT on rye with mayo to go"
I suppose "queer" works as a good catch-all for anyone not straight (let's not forget the questioning!) but to me "queer" still means "weird," whereas "gay" means "happy," as in "Tra-la, it's gay, the lusty month of May." I'm reminded of all those religious wackos who stand on street corners screaming "I've never seen a happy gay person!" Obviously they've never been to a Bette Midler concert.
And what are we supposed to call our significant others? Like some of you out there I'm old enough to remember when our "lovers" became our "partners" but I must've missed the memo when our "partners" became our "life partners." It's not that I'm against lifetime commitment, quite the contrarymy partner and I have been together fourteen squabble-filled yearsbut to call him my "life partner" just sounds so dreary, y'know, like in the phrase "life insurance" or, worse, "life sentence."
We need a new term that still has the official quality of "partner" without losing the cachet of "lover." My suggestion: Masturbation Assistant. It's accurate and still fulfills the time-honored tradition of freaking straight people out. Just try using it at your next church coffee hour and you'll see how much fun it is: "Good morning, Pastor, I'm Betty and this is my Masturbation Assistant Linda"
What's more, every time you hear a straight person say "wife" or "husband" you can just imagine they're saying "Masturbation Assistant," too. I guarantee you'll laugh all day long, particularly when you're stuck talking with that particularly annoying brand of married women who go on and on about "My husband this" and "My husband that" as if the poor slob were dead instead of just wishing he were.
But there's simply no keeping up with gay terminology these days. New sub-groups abound. Can anyone tell me, for instance, what a "pansexual" is? I'm inclined to think it's a person who gets off on teflon, but I can't be sure. So, as a service to you, dear readers, I've compiled a list of terms in hopes of ahemstraightening out the controversy regarding labels.
Bye-sexual: Someone who has sex with you once and then leaves.
Try-sexual: Someone who's impotent.
Quadrisexual: Someone who can box in your ears with their thighs.
Pentasexual: Someone who only has sex to get out pent-up aggression.
Sexasexual: The lucky soul on the receiving end of the pentasexual.
Septasexual: Someone who smells like a septic tank.
Octosexual: Someone who's all hands.
Non-sexual: Pat Buchanan.
Decasexual: 10 inches. (Definitely not Pat Buchanan.)
Drysexual: Someone without lubricant.
Whysexual: The trick you wished you hadn't brought home.
Lie-sexual: "Of course I've been faithful, dear."
Ho-ho-ho-mosexual: Someone who only comes once a year.
Ho-hum-osexual: That person's partner.
Promo-sexual: Someone who brags about their own prowess in bed.
Gay, queercall yourself whatever you wish, but personally I'd rather be known as a Slo-mo-sexual. That's someone who takes a good, long time.
And that, my friends, is The Gospel According to Marc.
Marc Acito can be reached at MarcAcito@home.com. Call him what you want, just don't call him late for dinner.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 11, No. 3, Apr. 6, 2001