Nosy Much?

Why People are Obsessed with How LGBTQ People Have Sex

If you ask any member of the LGBTQ community, whether they are homosexual, transgender, or fall under any of the other queer umbrellas, what question they get asked the most, invariably it will be something related to how they have sex.

A study released in 2014 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, titled Female Economic Dependence and the Morality of Promiscuity focused on cisgender, heterosexual (cishet for short) sexual behavior but does provide one possible clue. Humans may be wired to be nosy about other people’s sexual behavior, especially when it comes to promiscuity, in order to ensure paternal certainty. Paternal certainty among heterosexual couples can ensure fathers are more likely to provide and help rear offspring.

Societal pressure can come to bear in order to improve the chances of who a child’s father is, making sure they remain to care for their own child. This has shown to be an evolutionary advantage among humans, as human males are generally more involved in child rearing than most other species.

Yes, there may actually be a hard-wired evolutionary reason why humans like to pry into their neighbor’s sex lives. Reproduction is a biological imperative, even if not all humans share the same desire to procreate. However, bringing morality to bear to ensure paternal certainty seems to have led people to be a little bit too judgmental in regard to other people’s sex lives.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of studies looking into the evolutionary reasons behind why humans also seem to question and judge LGBTQ sexual behavior. However, I speculate that the same evolutionary drive that makes us want to poke our noses into heterosexual couple’s sex lives, also drives us to wonder what’s happening between the sheets of LGBTQ relationships as well. Since promiscuity has long been seen as sexual deviance, and still is by certain groups, then it stands to reason that any sort of sexual deviance is fodder for speculation and judgement.

Even so, despite people’s burning desire to know what and how LGBTQ people have sex, is it at all appropriate for them to poke their noses into our sex lives? Not at all. The fact that people will bluntly ask ‘how do you have sex?’ to anyone who enters a relationship that doesn’t fall into their cishet worldview is very intrusive. They would never consider asking something like that of their straight friends.

Somehow if someone chooses two or more same-sex partners, or transgender/nonbinary partners, then their sex lives seem strangely mysterious to people. Either that, or they ask because they want an opening to be able to judge our sexual behavior.

I always have to laugh when I come across such questions because either people clearly have no idea how to use their imagination, or they act dumb in order to open up a wider dialogue. Our genitalia can only come in so many configurations, even if you include intersex people. You’re still going to wind up with some variant of penises, clitorises, vaginas, and anuses. I’d like to think most adults know how to use some, if not all, of those for sexual pleasure. Which means that many people are probably playing dumb in order to incite a reaction.

I also think that many cishet people forget that they are equally capable, and many do engage in sex other than the standard penis-in-vagina sex. Many people practice oral and anal sex without being on one of the LGBTQ spectra. Everyone has mouths and fingers to help them explore their lovers’ bodies, and there is a myriad of sexual toys that exist for people to use either with each other or solo. There’s really no need to question anyone about what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

The next time you meet someone who is on the LGBTQ spectrum, imagine how it would feel if they asked you how you had sex. It’s an intrusive question that shouldn’t be asked. If you simply have an insatiable curiosity, you have the entire internet at your fingertips. A simple online search will lend a wealth of information on how many types of people engage in sexual intercourse. If you simply need to know, please use those resources instead of prying into the private lives of other people.

Transgender writer and author. I primarily write on LGBTQ issues, with a focus on the transgender community.

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