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Book Review


Challenging assumptions about gender and sexuality

Pomosexuals is a collection of essays that explores sexuality beyond the confines of the
labels of heterosexuality and homosexuality. Reading this book presents the impression that boundaries of sex and gender are beginning to break down that perhaps human culture is emerging from identifying itself into convenient labels that limit any social and political discussion. Pomosexual if you haven’t figured it out refers to post modern sexual those who are “not tied to a single sexual identity and may not be content to reside within a category measurable by social scientists.”

In looking at the limitations of identity, several writers react to society’s push to put them into one category for which they do not fit. Katherine Raymond in “Confessions of a Second Generation Dyke” clearly and eloquently elucidates the limitations on personal identity when politics is defined by sexual orientation. As a bisexual Raymond is not accepted by either the lesbian or heterosexual community. If she has sex with a woman she is expected to take on all the social constructs of a lesbian because according to the rules of gay identity “‘Queerness is a state you either exist in all the time or don’t exist at all.” Although recognizing the need for strong identity in order to form a cohesive group she finds it confining for herself and not ultimately useful in bringing about greater awareness socially or politically. “The idea that individual sex acts will, over time, somehow permeate and alter the collective sexual consciousness seems to be suspect to me.”

In Le Freak, c’est chic! Le Fag, Quelle Drag! the D. Travers Scott declares that the gay parades” have gone from being revolutionary to being boring as shit.” An essay that could rattle a few activists acknowledges that Queer identity was useful in the early stages is clearly now part of the past and is limited. Noting that a rigid identity is more aligned wit fascism than a democracy Scott Declares that “homosexuality is over” encouraging not separatism but a growing movement against Western ideas of sex and the body.

There are those who recognize the limits of their sexual or political identities and go beyond those set boundaries. Marco Vass’s theory of Metasexuality resembles a geometric formula for achieving greater consciousness through multiple sex partners. John Weir’s “Like a Virgin” is a sometimes humorous account of his desire to sleep with a woman because “he’s tired of being gay.” Like a teenage boy he ends up with a prostitute without achieving his goal. Laura Antoniou goes outside the confines of her dyke identity to find comfort in love in an S/M relationship with a man.

Pat Califia as a lesbian writing porn for gay men transcends gender and her sexual orientation. Not just a writer but also an activist who crosses boundaries to understand another’s body and to celebrate the sexuality of gay men. Utilizing heterosexual sexual dynamics she helps to deflate its power. Believing that the shared erotic leads to political cohesion, she hopes crossing boundaries to step outside the wall s of identity politics.

Michael Thomas in “A Real Girl” takes on the role of a woman via the internet in order to find what has eluded him as a gay male “to be the object of desire”. Recognizing that gay male sex for all its reputation is not all it cracks up to be “limiting when it comes to sexual play. Referring to his cybersex personal in the third person “Lily”, he engages in cybersex with mostly straight men in order to free himself from the boundaries created by expectations, roles and fears, and even from the limitations from my own genitals. 

gothic, dark, fantasy