Features

Gay sex is selling more than ever and its thanks to mainstream media

Amie Troutt
Mesa Legend

Extending beyond just the erotica scene, from motion pictures to TV programs, finding an accurate example of today’s average homosexual woman is not easy. Today’s some gay women are annoyed by the way they’re perceived by the film industry. Former Mesa Community College student, K Short, came out of the closet by the age of 12. She identifies with what she refers to as “a masculine center of womyn”, meaning she doesn’t feel comfortable in a dress and is not interested in applying makeup.

Short chose the spelling “womyn” as a way to avoid ending the word with ‘man.’ As a lesbian navigating modern day life, the Arizona native said there is the lack of equal representation for both gay women who are feminine and those who are not. “I haven’t seen a movie in years where a lesbian women who wasn’t overly [feminine] has been accurately depicted. Even when finally written into the story, the characters attempting to portray the lives of butch women are these aggressive characters who prey on sexy girls and are a**holes to all men,” said Short.

“Not only am I annoyed that is that has become the norm for people unfamiliar with the LGBT community, but I am disappointed in the close-mindedness of the writers behind the scripts,” she added. A report by Pornhub shows straight women are beginning to watch an increasing amount of lesbian porn than years prior. Pornhubs’ article, 2014 Year in Review, reported between 2013 and 2014 the phrase “Lesbian seduces straight girl” increased by 328%.

What bothers lesbian women, like Short, about this is the focus on sex in a lesbian relationship. Just as Short said she does not support the way lesbian women are thought of “preying” on other females, this idea of gay women setting out on a mission to convert straight girls is what she said is another unjust stereotype. More entertainment companies appear to be evolving, with society, as they produce more stories featuring gay relationships.  Netflix has a “Gay and Lesbian” category of films and television shows.

Within this genre falls the Emmy Award winning Orange is the New Black (ONTNB). ONTNB portrays life behind bars in a women’s state penitentiary. Primary character Carrie ‘Big Boo’ Black, played by Lea DeLaria, uses her confidence and suave to frighten fellow inmates into complying with her antics. Always dressed in baggy clothing, sporting short hair, and even having “BUTCH” tattooed down her forearm DeLaria didn’t change much from her real look to get in touch with her scripted character.

As the story develops Black softens up and begins to show more of a nurturing side toward her fellow inmates, a personality trait rarely seen with gay women who lack a feminine appearance. In 2015 Lea DeLaria was awarded Equality Illinois Freedom Award for her contribution in ONTNB. Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, described her as “a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans.”

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Upon receiving the award DeLaria said, “As an out performer for over 33 years who has made it her life’s work to change people’s perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honor for me to receive such recognition from my home state.” In addition to OITNB, the ABC Family show The Fosters broadcasts the life of a lesbian couple and the way they parent their children under their roof.

The Fosters was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming by the Television Critics Association in both 2014 and 2015.  Although mainstream productions have begun to evolve, it is hard to say if the erotica industry will also change. As long as there is that constant audience searching for homosexual porn, producers are going to continue to film it.

The United States contributes an estimated $10 billion to the nearly $100 billion global X- rated industry.  Porn is a world-wide market, and even though they’re facing more scrutiny than ever before by groups like The Center for disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization the adult entertainment field, remains flourishing.

“Although increasing exposure into the gay community has been educating society on the issues their facing, it’s important to remember that being gay isn’t strictly about having great sex. Yes, it may be great, but my partner and I connect on a deep level. It’s the unconditional love gay couples share for each other that’s not shared on the big screen whereas countless romantic comedies show that side of a heterosexual couple,” said Short.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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