We go deep into drama as we tackle Disclosure, Douching, Drag Kings and Queens, Dykes (on Bikes) and Dildos as Same Same’s educational alphabet continues.
Drag Kings and Queens
Some of them may look like clowns and perform hilarious stunts designed to be easy to mock, but we owe our colourful Drag Queens a great deal. That they were frocked up, stressed out, and ready to fight for their lives during the 1969 Stonewall Riots paved the way for the modern gay rights movement. From below a wig and way above a pair of heels, activist Sylvia Rivera remembers the scene as police confronted the gay punters on that fateful night in New York: “You’ve been treating us like shit all these years? Uh-uh. Now it’s our turn!”
There are as many different types of drag queen as there are styles of frock. Ask two sequined divas why they do it, and you’ll get two completely different answers. For some it brings them confidence, others experience a new part of themselves, yet more enjoy people’s reactions, and some just want to entertain any way they can. Let their spotlight shine! Being a pretty and feminine ‘prom queen’ tends to be important for the younger ‘baby drags’, but their drag mothers might prefer an over-the-top look. Although we may get slapped for generalising too much.
A show by a Drag King, complete with their masculine, stubbled look – and what’s that packed down the front of their trousers? – tends to be more of a political or avant-garde statement than a drag queen would make when miming along to Lady Gaga (age <20), Britney Spears (age 21-30), Madonna (age 31-40) or Barbra Streisand (age 41+).
With its many drag bars and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert heritage, Sydney has for decades been one of the drag capitals of the world, and one that shows no signs of slowing down. The city’s flamboyant drag divas celebrate and slap each other on the cheeks every spring at their Diva Awards, and as we speak, not one but two Priscilla shows take to the stage each weekend. And over at the Stonewall Hotel, Polly Petrie is still presenting her Polly’s Follies talent quest each Sunday night – just like she’s done for hundreds of years.
Enjoy your drag show! But remember, gay men who dress up as women for entertainment on a night out are often – and shouldn’t be – confused with transgender people who live full-time as a gender differing from the one they were born with, and for whom their gender identity is no laughing matter.
Let’s have a chat!
For many gay guys, the art of the pick-up conversations consists of little more than: “27, bottom, looking now” or “two guys, looking for third!” Not that there is anything wrong with that, but aren’t there a few other important conversations we need to have first? For men living with HIV in New South Wales, the law states that you must disclose your status before having sex.
Having a quick conversation with your partner (or partners, depending on how lucky you are) about your HIV status prior to sex lets them know the environment and situation that they are playing in, as well as giving them the choice of how much risk they are willing to accept.
Everyone is entitled to their own choice and their own decision, but only with a full, open and honest disclosure, can that choice be an informed choice.
The person most likely to pass on HIV is someone who does not know that they have HIV.
So, remember, the best way to be sure and to have a defined, honest disclosure of your HIV status, for the benefit of all involved, is to test regularly and know your status.
No we’re not talking about the slang term that originated in the 1960’s to describe an arrogant, obnoxious or irritating male!
Now many of you would have heard of vaginal douches but gay males use douches for a variety of reasons. Its main function is for cleanliness before anal sex for fear of the dreaded “choc top.”
It must be noted that douching does not protect you against transmissions of STIs or HIV, and some claim one should preserve the natural flora of the lower gut as it protects against a variety of infections – douching tends to flush the protective layer away. It should be noted though that your anus is relatively empty most of the time and will only fill up moments before it needs to excavate.
Medical practitioners strongly suggest that the best way to douche is to use lukewarm water, gently inserted until the rectum has a sensation of fullness. Now it is extremely important to do this as close to a toilet as possible, because it’s only a matter of moments before your anus tries to do its job and pushes it back out. The last thing you want is a messy bathroom floor.
If you do plan to have sex and have concern regarding the cleanliness up there, the key to douching is planning ahead. A high-fibre diet, with your last meal approximately two hours before you douche. You’re also advised to give yourself another two hours after douching before you indulge in any bedroom antics that involve the anus. Happy douching!
Dykes on Bikes
Everybody knows the Dykes on Bikes as the bike-riding lesbians who kick off the annual Mardi Gras Parade and Midsumma Festival, but how much do most people know about them beyond that?
The organisation of chartered lesbian motorcycle clubs actually has more than 22 chapters and contingents worldwide and the Dykes on Bikes are considered to be highly symbolic and illustrative of LGBT pride, liberation, defiance and power. The term ‘Dykes on Bikes’ came into official use at the 1976 San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade.
Spread across Europe, North America and Australia, the contingents have been described by academics Steven Kates and Russell Belks as emblematic of a “complex, multilayered form of consumption-related cultural resistance that raises awareness of social injustice and discursively informs social meanings in everyday life outside the festivals they participate in.”
Indeed, Dykes on Bikes chapters worldwide are involved in consciousness-raising and charity fundraising activities, actively working to raise funds and awareness for GLBT organisations, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer awareness and research.
Described in the mid-nineteenth-century as “the device that dare not speak its name,” it seems dildos are as old as, well, homosexuality itself, also oft referred to historically as “the love that dare not speak its name.”
‘Alternative imaginary,’ ‘Freudian fetishism,’ and ‘lesbian phallus’ are all ways scholars have come to define, describe and theorise about the ancient instrument of sexual pleasure known as the ‘dildo.’ Once made out of leather, wood and even wax, today’s high-tech thermal plastic models can be strapped on and even made to vibrate in ways perhaps ancient Greek men and women only dreamed about.
The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used them, as did the Chinese, who even went so far as to create one that secreted fluids into the orifice into which it was inserted. Contemporary dildos tend to be made of high-quality latex rubber and are popular sex toys for both women and men.
Feminist scholar Heather Findlay notes that “to date, contemporary lesbian discourse over the dildo has been marled by a debate roughly divided into two camps: on the one hand, some lesbians have debunked the dildo and its notorious cousin, the strap-on, as ‘male-identified,’ patriarchal and oppressive. Others see it merely as a tool for pleasuring oneself or one’s sexual partner. For men, they are traditionally used for anal penetration and simple sexual arousal or stimulation.”
Common abbreviations starting with D
DILF – Daddy I’d Like To Fuck
Dom – Dominant
DR – Dark Room
DSL – Dick-Sucking Lips
DTE – Down To Earth
DTF – Down To Fuck
DP – Double Penetration
And don’t forget… Darren Hayes!
Born and raised in Brisbane, 40-year-old singer/songwriter Hayes isn’t your average pop star.
Sure, he began his career as one half of the phenomenally successful duo Savage Garden, but since they split more than a decade ago Hayes has proven himself to be one of the most talented and dextrous musicians of his generation.
Based in London, Hayes has quietly gone about writing and recording some of the most unprepossessing, experimental and personally revealing pop music of the last decade.
Both The Tension and The Spark (2004) and This Delicate Thing We’ve Made (2007) showed Hayes at his most innovative and his most confessional, channelling and processing the demons of his troubled past and periods of intense, intractable depression.
In late 2011 came the extraordinary Secret Codes and Battleships, a grand and epic album of uncommon beauty and sweeping grandeur, both lyrically and melodically.
None of these albums ever replicated the massive mainstream success of anything Hayes did as part of Savage Garden, but they did something far more important: they established him as an artist of great integrity, unafraid to follow and explore his musical impulses, be they baroque pop, electronica or electro-pop inspired.
Openly gay, Hayes married his boyfriend, British animator, designer and director Richard Cullen, in a civil ceremony in London in 2006.
Unsurprisingly, he’s shown himself to be an eloquent and committed gay rights activist, speaking out in support of gay marriage, expressing disgust at the Salvation Army’s homophobic policies and contributing a moving video to the It Gets Better project.
This page was co-written by Heidi Maier, Chad St. James, Matt Akersten and the team at ACON.