Exploring Sexuality

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As a guy, I instinctively know that when girls join sororities, their initiation must include some variety of lingerie-laden pillow fights. I mean, you see them on television, read about it in magazines…it’s become a popular myth alongside perpetual sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll during first year residence. Thanks to the guys who are in charge of encoding and disseminating culture, we see girls, especially in early years at university, as the avant-garde movement within sexual exploration. Ironically enough, these girls always explore within the same set of restrictions, namely homosexual and masturbatory endeavors.

What strikes me the most about women being in charge of exploring something as amorphous as one’s sexuality. In popular culture lore, it is often the men who go out into the public sphere and conquer new and foreign territories, while women are the ones who stay within the same private sphere, keeping it tidy for the exploring man to come home to. Examples of male explorers are plentiful – actually, off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single female explorer, except for the saucy sorority gals.

So, what does this mean for men who enjoy pontificating about the goodness of sorority exploration? Well, in a sense, it just ends up agreeing with Green Day’s frontman, Billy Joe, when he said that, deep down, we’re all bisexuals, and it is only heteronormative cultural processes that make us dig foxy girls. This is evident throughout closer analysis of the Pillow Fight scene, so prevalent in popular lore and fantasy. As men, we enjoy this scene because we identify with the women in it, though at a safe distance. Much like we identify with the Final Girl in horror movies, and through her, are able to satiate our masochistic tendencies (who wants to watch a killer beat on a guy? That’s just weird…), we are able to play out our deeply homoerotic fantasies by watching women beat on each other with pillows in skimpy bras and panties. In addition, should the exploration and experimentation go well, it is not men who are being gay. Popular culture would never allow for two phalluses to touch – however, were to women to touch, we can just chalk it up to penis-envy. So, if women are allowed to touch, and more importantly, feel good because they are touching in “new” ways, it is culturally ok. It is only through women that men can explore their homoerotic instincts.

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