Imagine my surprise when I saw the news that the recently departed David Bowie’s bodyguard has confirmed that Bowie and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones had a sexual encounter. The surprise didn’t settle on me because of the nature of the headline, though. Rather, the surprise was due to the fact that this is a headline. At all. First of all, I was pretty sure that a relationship of a (at least, sometimes) sexual nature had occurred between the two rock idols had already gone down in the annals of our common cultural knowledge. It’s just an accepted fact, like how Vanilla Ice ripped off (omg wait, what?) “Under Pressure” to make “Ice, Ice Baby” the earworm that it was (you guuuuuyyys, I’m so glad that’s over) or how Teddy Roosevelt was pretty much a dick.
So, to see it as a headline in the wake of Bowie’s death was kind of a shock – must be a slow news day. Secondly and I think more importantly, is why in all the land of the Goblin King are we chuckling and blushing over two dudes getting busy?
[bctt tweet=”why in all the land of the Goblin King are we chuckling and blushing over two dudes getting busy?”]
I’ll allow you a moment for pearl-clutching. Better? Now, back to business. Seriously, I cannot fathom why we are scandalized over or even interested by the knowledge that two men engaged in sexual activity with one another. Yawn. Next.
There’s a real problem here with purportedly progressing attitudes of acceptance towards homosexuality, bisexuality, and genderqueerness in a world that still does a double-take at the idea of two famous men in the heat of passion with one another. Is it because, maybe, as a society we’re still just a shade homophobic? I hope not, but I fear that may be the case.
[bctt tweet=”Is it because, maybe, as a society we’re still just a shade homophobic?”]
We have to stop shaming people, gay or straight, cis or queer, for what they find sexually exciting and palatable (and on that note, can we leave aces alone as well?). I mean, I’m much more concerned over the fact that Bowie had sex with underage groupies (as did, I’m quite certain, loads of other stars) than with the fact that he and Mick Jagger had a sexual relationship.
A recent encounter – er, rather, accidental eavesdropping episode – I had outside a local music venue might clue us all in on how far we have to go in America in terms of accepting and embracing our own sexual proclivities and leaving those of others’ alone. I stepped outside to use my phone and cool off. Two guys (who were apparently probably straight and cis) were having a smoke and talking to one another.
Dude 1: Would you rather watch someone fuck your girlfriend to completion, or have your girlfriend stick her finger in your ass?
Dude 2: Uhhh, like, just one finger? Like, the pinky?
Dude 1: I think I like butt stuff – is it okay to like butt stuff?
Dude 2: I love being pegged. It’s cool, but like I’m not sure I feel safe talking about that with you, bro.
It’s pretty clear to me that we’re still stuck in a lot of ways in America regarding our attitudes to sexuality. I’m just gonna make this announcement right now: it’s okay to like the butt stuff, guys.
[bctt tweet=”I’m just gonna make this announcement right now: it’s okay to like the butt stuff, guys.”]
Bowie’s genderbending presentation is not secret at all – it goes hand-in-hand with his musical genius. What’s more, can we focus on that rather than his sex life? What’s more, can we stop giving two shits about whether or not someone likes sex with people of their own gender? Truly.
As stated above, the only part of his sexuality I find concerning and noteworthy are any encounters he may have had with underaged persons. I don’t really care that they were “okay with it” then and still maintain that position – if a 13-year-old comes on to you, as an adult you tell them to go the fuck home. Bowie was vitally important for a lot of people because, not only was his music groundbreaking, but his performative presence was liberating for a lot of us. He showed that it wasn’t just alright to be weird, but that it was actually, of all things, preferable.
In that sense, the only sense that this ‘news’ might be relevant, I suppose it is excusable for us to talk about this: in the way that it brings attention to, and hopefully increased acceptance of, sexualities that break away from norms so concrete that they harm anyone who deviates from them. So, if we must continue the Bowie worship machine, let us refocus our attentions on his contributions to art and society – not that he and Jagger got it on.