Nobody wants to talk about buggery. And why would they? The trouble is, leftists count on this proper squeamishness. They want us to think that “LGBT persons” are a cultural group, and one very much like ourselves—all golden retrievers, church on Sunday, and fathers-know-best. They avoid discussing the carnal act that gives the movement its identity. And yet, as they sweep the board of law and public policy, the essential sexual outlawry has begun to peek out from behind the white picket fences.
You can see this quite clearly in a new book by Douglas Murray, a well-regarded British commentator and self-proclaimed conservative, who gets downright poetical in his encomiums to sodomy in his otherwise terrific book The Madness of Crowds.
Murray says one of the plausible reasons for “homophobia” toward male homosexuals—not lesbians, mind—is that male homosexuality is seen as a fundamental attack on the social order. He says there is “something about the nature of male homosexuality that strikes at the root of everyone’s sexuality.” (The emphasis is mine)
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Murray asserts there are mysteries in the relationship between male and female, which there certainly are. This mysteriousness is one of its delights, and the war between the sexes has been the topic of great literature from time immemorial. But then he goes on to assert that women want to know what men “might be feeling during the act of sex.” I don’t know if that’s the case, though I doubt it.
He then goes on to say that this question, and others like it, “are a staple of conversation between friends and a source of unbelievable private concern and angst at some stage (sometimes all) of most people’s lives from adolescence onwards.” He says heterosexual men obsess over what the “act of lovemaking is like” for women. “What does the other person feel? What do they get out of it? And how do the sexes fit together?” Does this sound like something heterosexual men obsess over? Ask the women in their lives.
It seems evident that Murray has a particularly homosexual view of what men think about women and sex. In my many years among men, from boyhood onward, I don’t believe we’ve ever discussed—let alone felt angst over—what the “act of lovemaking is like” for women. Yet this, according to Murray, is where the magical homosexual comes in. Before the arrival of transgenders, male homosexuals “have been the most disturbing travelers across the sexes.” Murray says it is not because of the “strongly feminine part of their nature” but because the magical homosexual knows “something about the secret that women hold in sex.”
And this is where things get more than a bit odd. In short, if men want to know what women feel during sex, they should ask a homosexual, because (pardon me) penetration. Sorry, gross. But this is what they make us talk about these days.
Murray brings in a massively awarded writer and thinker named Daniel Mendelsohn to do the dirty work. In Mendelsohn’s 1999 The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity, he writes:
All straight men who have engaged in the physical act of love know what it is like to penetrate a partner during intercourse, to be inside the other; all women who have had intercourse know what it is like to be penetrated, to have the other be inside oneself. But, the gay man, in the very moment that he is either penetrating his partner or being penetrated by him knows exactly what his partner is feeling and experiencing even as he himself has his own experience of exactly the opposite, the complimentary act.
Mendelsohn says gay men have an insight into the “total knowing” of the other that doesn’t happen in intercourse. Mendelsohn also reveals the essential narcissism of homosexuality. He says that, in intercourse, the woman is the man’s destination; while, in buggery, the gay man “falls through their partner back into themselves, over and over again.”
To his credit, Murray believes that homosexuality “is an unstable component on which to base an individual identity and a hideously unstable way to try and base any form of group identity.” But then he goes on to say that, through the act of buggery, gay men are in on the secret that women hold as wielders “of a kind of magic.”
It is significant that a conservative of Murray’s stature is writing about such a grotesque thing in such a glowing way. It’s an attempt to normalize for a conservative audience that which is abnormal. And he’s not the only conservative doing this. Last year, Fox News host Guy Benson announced his engagement to another man. The praise and congratulations from noted conservatives flowed in like the Mississippi in flood stage—particularly from conservatives, who should know better.
Just this week, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a talk by a man who goes by the name of Deirdre McCloskey; he wears dresses and has the voice of a three-pack-a-day truck driver. Afterward, I had the vertiginous experience of discussing his talk with a fellow conservative who kept referring to the speaker as “her” while I, quite naturally, referred to him as “him.”
Barbarism is not clamoring at the gates: it’s within the walls.
I know it’s hard to talk about these things. No one in their right mind has the slightest inclination to do so. However, we cannot ignore the situation at hand. We as Catholics have an especial obligation always to proclaim the truth. It’s now our role to be countercultural. It was ever thus and always will be. We must have the courage always to say that buggery is disgusting and bears no resemblance to the marital embrace, no matter the pedigree of the conservative making that case.
Douglas Murray may be right on Brexit, or Islam, or any number of topical issues. But he sure does have some queer ideas about sex.
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