The Backlash To Linford Martin’s Promiscuity Piece

The Backlash To Linford Martin’s Promiscuity Piece

Following Linford Martin’s opinion piece on how promiscuous gay men give the community a bad name, there was an expected backlash. Another writer for the same site, Dan Clegg penned a rebuttal which he titled ‘OUR VIEWS ON SEX AND SEXUALITY COME FROM SELF-IMPOSED NORMS AND ‘RULES’ LEARNED FROM GROWING UP IN THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN’.

Read below.

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So, here we go again. Another gay man, shaming other gay men, for doing something perfectly consensual and harmless, purely on the pretext that it might make narrow-minded, judgemental people think negatively of him. Hasn’t this debate been done, over and over again?

When ‘out-gay soldier’ James Wharton said in 2014 that he thought gay saunas should close because they too ‘gave gays a bad name’, he was rightly and roundly criticised for imposing his own prejudices and bigotry on our community and in my opinion, Linford’s view is no different.

So let’s break down exactly what’s going on here. First things first, doesn’t this really just perpetuate the myth that sex is somehow dirty and something to be ashamed of?

If we remove our heteronormativity goggles for just one minute, we quickly realise that all of our views on sex and sexuality come from self-imposed norms and ‘rules’ learned from growing up in the society we live in. There’s nothing ‘right’ or ‘correct’ about these rules, they’re just hard-coded to our brains and understandably difficult to break out of. Nonetheless, they’re utter nonsense and are there simply to make us feel guilty and to live our lives under the cosh of others.

Of course, if people want to continue to follow these rules, that’s up to them and the best of luck to anyone who can meet one partner and spend the rest of their lives with that person, with all of their sexual desires and needs taken care of.

I just don’t think it happens very often and we (allowing me to massively generalise here), as a community are just a bit more open about it. To think the straight community isn’t pretty promiscuous itself is delusional; they just have babies, weddings and other such societal norms to paper over the cracks.

On a more practical level, the happiest gay couples I know are the ones who have open relationships and we’re talking 10-15 years or more here, not a few months. One of those couples discusses the sex they’ve had with other people, together which in turn turns them on and leads them to have a full and healthy sex life; just not always with each other.

One half of a couple I know also has a huge interest in leather and fetish-wear, which in turn does nothing for the other one. Their relationship allows him to continue to explore his own sexual interests which he doesn’t need to repress or hide, whilst the other one never has to get involved in something he doesn’t enjoy. Surely, this openness and communication is better and healthier than pretending that we stop fancying other people the minute we fall in love with someone?

Ultimately, this all comes back to my opening paragraph; why do we care about the views of someone who would judge us based on the same behaviour of someone else in our ‘community’? If someone wants to think I’m promiscuous, or camp, or bitchy, or shallow just because that person met another gay person once and made a snap judgment, who am I to care? That person is a small-minded idiot.

The idea that in order to be accepted, gay people must just become ‘like everyone else’ is offensive and absurd and it’s the same argument we hear every year at Pride events – ‘why do they have to wear gold hot-pants, what’s wrong with wearing normal clothes’. Pride events are there for us to say ‘we may or may not follow the rules, but whatever we do, you don’t get to think you’re better than us’. They’re absolutely not and have never been about being ‘normal’ and ‘fitting in’.

We gays have spent our whole lives being judged by other people. Let’s not turn on each other and continue piling on the shame.

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Also, unsurprisingly, Twitter reacted pretty strongly to the article.gaytweet1gaytweet2

Martin took to Twitter to defend his comments.gaytweet3

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11 Comments

  1. Peak
    June 02, 07:33 Reply

    There are so many part of this article that is worth quoting. It captured everything we sing and wail about day in, day out, but falls on deaf ears.

    The biggest disability a man can have, is his inability to learn, unlearn and relearn.

  2. Mr. Fingers
    June 02, 07:47 Reply

    I don’t think it gives anyone a bad name in Nigeria (the word gay is ready tagged evil by most nigerians, the number of persons u sleep with doesn’t add or subtract to that view).

    However the issue shouldn’t be how many guys u sleep with, but how often u practice safe sex.

    Even with all the sex education and health advocacy campaigns going around there are still people in the community that are not practising safe sex.

  3. Delle
    June 02, 10:43 Reply

    After reading the tweets, it’s obvious this Linford guy is just a bigot. Very irritating character for a gay man. And the funniest? His relationship with Jess, which he’s so pumped up about and the obvious reason for his ludicrous sex-shaming, isn’t even mature enough for him to be so relaxed and bitchy about it. Na wa o.

    The rebuttal basically sums everything up. But open relationships? Nehh, not a fan.

  4. Mr Simon
    June 02, 12:42 Reply

    Hi everyone,

    Nice topic and interesting views. But in my opinion I think when it comes to relationships, “traditional” works best – at least if u intend it to last half a life time. I dont believe we are to engage in every fantasy just cos we are in a relationship (e.g like the case of the chains and whips). Relationships are all about compromise. But we now live in a world where everyone feels the must always get everything they want. This is both a fallacy and really impractical. For me relationships are strictly between 2 people who have decided to be committed, loyal and unwavering. No eating cookies outside, no cheating and certainly no weird shit. Keep your fantasies just as they are…fantasies.

    I hope with these few points of mine i’ve been able to convince u but not confuse u…

  5. Khaleesi
    June 02, 14:35 Reply

    the two models used for this post, yummy chunks of gorgeousness — ***licks lips***

  6. Dimkpa
    June 02, 14:54 Reply

    A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or “wrong moves” in the construction of an argument. A fallacious argument may be deceptive by appearing to be better than it really is.

    The fallacy I see here is saying relationships are about compromise and then not extending such a compromise to sexual fantasies. I bet you any partner will leave the moment he finds someone willing to explore those fantasies. There’s no ‘weird shit’ when it comes to sex, the sooner you accept this the better things might turn out for you.

    I also think it is fallacious to use the word ‘traditional’ when talking about same sex unions, an alliance already outside what is commonly acceptable. There’s nothing traditional about gay relationships, the trail is still being blazed. Furthermore, whose traditions are you referring to, our African forebears practised polygamy.

    I also think it is out of line to refer to open relationships already being practised by many gay couples and some straight ones as impractical. You might not ‘believe’ in it but your unbelief doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and hasn’t worked for those who are in such relationships. It think it is always worthwhile to examine the source of your beliefs. I would recommend it.

    It would also be great if you enlightened us on how you came to the conclusion that open relationships can’t last half a lifetime. Is it from experience? Have you been in any or have you had first hand knowledge of any such relationships or is this mere conjecture?

    If you wish to convince people of something it is better to use facts rather than opinions because like is said ‘opinions are like ass holes, everybody’s got one’. Not really much to go by in my opinion 🙂

    • Mr Simon
      June 02, 15:44 Reply

      I was referring to what works for me and obviously I can only express my own opinion. You dont have to agree with me, but its for this same reason most gay relationships never last. Y’all always think u are supposed to get everything in a relationship. No u are not. Compromise means u must forgo something u want in favour of what your partner needs.

      Till gay people learn commitment, loyalty, perseverance and compromise, its just going to be hopping from one bed to another. Am not saying sleeping arnd is bad, but if u intend to be in a committed long term relatnship, for me traditional works best.

  7. Brian Collins
    June 02, 18:19 Reply

    Yeh!!!! The only thing I saw in the post was that amazing clap back at the end.

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