Lyn Gala

One writer's journal through one version of reality

  Let Sex be Sex


    Sexuality is flexible.  Sometimes. For certain people.

Variety may be the spice of life, but for some people, variety in the bedroom annoys them.  Some people always take dominant roles.  Lady Joy, a beautiful Domme I met at a play party, said she cannot even come without dominating someone, usually in rather severe ways.

The live-in submissive of an Internet friend commented that he can’t even understand switches.  He always needs to be controlled and hurt.  Personally, I am a little more flexible, but only under certain circumstances.  I would pretty much spork my eyes out before submitting to a man or letting his dick near me, which doesn’t mean I couldn’t have fun playing with one.  Sorry guys, nothing personal, but that’s just my dynamic. I’m far more into (and flexible with) women. Everyone has their own limits.

However, I am so tired of reviewers denying this simple truth.

She’s like most women—she thinks all men have fixed roles!” they wail.

Yes, wail.  That’s how I “hear” the words when I read reviews like that.

For the record, I don’t think all men have fixed roles any more than I think all women have fixed roles or all transgendered people have fixed roles.  I also believe that some people prefer to have more fixed roles.

Tom in Blowback always wants to submit (and preferably to women where his trust issues are less likely to make him fight the restraints).

Temar and Shan in the Desert World books are flexible. Events have made Temar a little hesitant, but by the end of Desert World Rebirth, we have plenty of flexibility.

Jeremy is not flexible at all.  The protagonist of Out of Balance is a bit of a pain slut (or a lot of one) and he really needs bondage and pain to get his groove on. On the other hand, Ferro from “Shepherd Slave and Vow” is just a happy slut.  He’ll try anything, anytime. Top, bottom, or in the middle—he’s good with it all.

However, I’ve had about three reviewers wailing (yep, an unfair characterization and unnecessary editorialization that I’m going to keep using because it makes me feel better) that “like most women” I think men have fixed sexuality.

No, no I don’t.  I think men and women and intersexed individuals and transgendered and heterosexuals and homosexuals and bisexuals and bigendered and cisgendered and transsexuals and pangendered and transvestites are all unique.

So, in some of my stories, you’ll find those who are flexible.  Vin from my upcoming In the Weeds is all Dom all the time. In fact, he has trouble reining in his urges to both dominate and play papa-bear all the time.  However, as much as he loves to dominate, he is happy to be the pitcher or the catcher.  So he’s half-flexible.  Stunt from my in progress Mountain Prey really does need to be tied up and taken hard to let go, so he’s inflexible.  Rahul Dwivedi from a book still in draft and blurb stage is so flexible it will break your mind.  Fireplay, topping, bottoming, sensation play… if he hears about it, he wants to try it.  All of it.

So stop assuming.  Stop assuming that gay men have to pursue flexible roles. Stop assuming that they can’t enjoy flexible roles.  Stop assuming that topping means dominating or that a submissive can’t be a damn good top. Stop assuming that any two people–gay or straight– have to express sexuality the same way or that people have to even have sex to be sexual.

Just stop assuming.

Personally, I’m going to keep writing books with characters as different as the people I know in real life.  RJ is a woman who identifies as a man. Miss Dolphinia is a pushy old queen who is as dominant as they come. Nikolai prefers hand-jobs or oral sex, while Carl wants to be the “catcher” every time.

Variety is the spice of life, but only some people want a spicy bedroom. That’s okay, too.


Author: lyngala

Lyn Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn't stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists which eventually gave in to any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that's where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy ending (or happier anyway), but it's writing the struggle that inspires her muse. When she isn't writing, Lyn Gala teaches history part time in New Mexico and constantly prays for that one big breakout novel that will let her leave the classroom behind forever. She loves teaching, but she loves writing more.

11 thoughts on “  Let Sex be Sex

  1. *applaudes* I love your writing, I love the fact that you obviously know what you are writing about, and I completely agree with you on this. I think people (and that includes reviewers) have a tendancy to make assumptions about what they view as set roles, top, bottom, sub, dom, etc. and I think this about well be what people mean when they whinge about men having fixed roles.

    • They assume all men switch. I don’t know why we (we as a culture) try so hard to push people into roles and then call it “wrong” when others don’t live up to that. Everyone gets to be different.

  2. Are these women reviewers who say that?

    That brings up some interesting conjecture in my mind…

    But i think that something you explore over and over again, is the person who has a limited sexlife because their needs are so specific– and who meets the person that can partner them. At last.

    It’s not that you think all men are inflexible, as that *some* of your characters are inflexible– and in fact, it’s a problem for them. If you wrote more women, I imagine you’ld write similar dilemmas.

    • I honestly don’t know who’s saying this. They’re very derogative about “all women” having this belief, so I think they want to come off as male. That doesn’t mean they are. And yeah, I think mismatches in sexuality is a huge thing because I’m a gay woman in a world of straight women. I’m constantly surrounded by people that I would love to date who aren’t gay. It sucks. It’s also what happens when you’re in a sexual minority and you’re in a deeply conservative part of the country

    • Oh, and I also meant to mention that my women do have that issue. Paige in Insistent Hunger has always had an unfulfilling sex life, in part because she’s never admitted and indulged in her truly dominant side.

  3. I like this post, especially since I am on the more fluid end of the spectrum. I have taken a LOT of shit over the years from both the gay and kinky communities, because i am both bisexual and a Switch. Basically, I’ve been told that I just need to make up my mind already, or that I haven’t met the ‘right’ _______.
    I know my own dynamic very well. I don’t submit to women – because I’m the Top/Alpha bitch of my environment (I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner), but like you, I am wary of the men that I allow into my life and my body. My husband and I are polyamorous, but I haven’t had many outside relationships at all, because while sex is just sex, intimacy is a whole other matter.

    I hate that other people feel the right to judge any of that, just because it differs from their own paradigm.

    • Hey, I like alpha bitches, so don’t apologize for that, but I do agree that everyone has their own dynamic. I’m equally offended by people assuming that everyone switches or no one switches. How about we let everyone be themselves.

  4. I feel like some of that attitude (at least as far as gay men in literature) comes from readers who started out with Yaoi. Japanese culture has very clear rules as far as who does what to whom. readers such as myself have moved happily into the less rigid waters of slash/gay fiction as our tastes matured. Many old yaoi fans complain a lot about characters who are not(or are) equal opportunity players. I have never read anything that was gripe worthy in your stories but that is just me.

    I guess it is just another part of what makes people scoff when I say I am asexual. The fact that I am submissive seem to mean I am either not into vanilla sex or I havent found the right dom/me. They are sure I will meet someone someday. Or they decide I have been abused. grr.

    • So one group tries to lock men into absolutely inflexible roles, so another group insists on absolute flexibility. Seriously people… it’s called middle ground. Middle ground! And I totally understand what you mean about not needing to act on sexuality to have a sexuality.

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