Sexponent Failed to Address Other Side of Barsexuality

I was incredibly disappointed by the Nov. 15 Sexponent on “barsexuality” that criticizes barsexuals for playing with the emotions of their queer partners. The article barely mentions that barsexuality is a performative act intended to elicit the attention of heterosexual men. As a queer woman, I too am disgusted that my sexuality is often seen as a kink by hegemonic, heteromasculine culture, rather than as a legitimate sexuality in and of itself.

And yet I wish the article had leveled its critiques against the members of the privileged class — namely, heterosexual men — rather than women who are encouraged to perform acts of queer sexuality that are not genuine to their identities. The other side of this problem is that our culture has so internalized homophobia that the only acceptable time for queer-curiosity is under the guise of barsexuality rather than an honest exploration between the partners engaging in queer sexual acts.

The article also playfully discusses the problems with engaging in drunken sexual behavior, citing awkward mornings after as the main reason to refrain from barsexuality. The article fails to mention that drunk sexual behavior can often lead to things more serious than an awkward walk of shame: namely, rape and sexual assault. Although the vast majority of sexual violence is committed by biologically male men against biologically female women, rhetoric similar to that used in the article contributes to the erroneous myth that queer people (and especially queer women) cannot commit sexual violence against each other.

I hope that the Sexponent continues to address issues of queer sexuality in the future. The Sexponent is a viable place of discussion and education, especially when exposing our community to non-normative sexualities, but only if the editors refuse to publish incomplete material that also normalizes situations that can lead to violence.

— Ellie Newell, post-baccalaureate student