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Opinion Piece

O boy! A gay sex scandal!

Originally published in Woroni Magazine, May 2012

It’s a titillating tale isn’t it?

A new Speaker, Peter Slipper, is appointed the chair after a controversial defection from the Coalition. An openly gay man, James Ashby, begins working in his office. As the months go on, Ashby starts to feel like he’s being harassed. He alleges that he’s been asked if he can shower with the door open. Apparently he is sent dirty text messages and he has been sexually propositioned against his will.

Oh boy, it’s a sex scandal.

And even better than that, it’s a GAY sex scandal.

Gay sex scandals are so much better than those boring hetero sex scandals, and not only because you get the put the word gay into every sentence you write (I mean, when was the last time you heard someone talk about a ‘straight sex scandal’.)

No, they offer so much more than that.

Gay sex scandals allow us to pour out the built up gay jokes, stereotypes and innuendo we’ve been waiting to use for ages. We finally get to talk openly about the dirty, sex-filled lives of gay men. We can bring out all our innuendos and jokes and fill them with our newspaper columns – and nobody complains.

Oh, it’s just so much fun.

A gay sex scandal truly is a journalists’ wet dream (noting of course that any lesbian sex scandal would result in simultaneous multi-orgasms for every journalist in the country).

But, guess what! This one is so much better than your usual gay sex scandal! There is a third involved in this one.

After the original allegations about Slipper came out new allegations have arisen that the rumoured gay member of the Coalition caucus, Christopher Pyne, (noting of course that this rumour has never been proven to be true – not that we should care either way) once met Ashby. Even better than that, the meeting was late at night (in fact it was a drink) and at some point Pyne may or may not have asked for Ashby’s phone number!

That’s right; it’s a gay sex scandal triangle!

Of course, reporting about Pyne’s involvement has been focused on whether he was aiding and abetting Ashby in the development of his claims about Slipper (one must ask, since when is it a crime to help a colleague who is feeling harassed at work?). But we all really know that the information we’re really after is whether Pyne was trying to get it on with Ashby himself. That would make this story so much more fun.

And of course it must be true!

As a gay man myself, I have personal experience with what it is like to encounter other men in my workplace. When I see a gay man, I, like everyone in the gay community, can’t help myself. We are like the women who can’t help but get drawn into a pillow fight when watching a movie – if another gay man enters my office; we know that we are going to eventually get drawn into something.

We gay men are just like the women of the Victorian Age (and, according to some, the women of the modern age). We are driven solely by our irrational emotions, ours focused wholly around sex. Every 7 seconds – that’s how often we think about sex.

Mothers, lock up your sons. Children lock up your father. We gay men are out to get them. And if you don’t stop us we will bring them down – taking their career and the Government with them.

Of course, how else could accusations that Ashby was a ‘plant’ get by if it wasn’t for the overly sexual nature of gay men today? Of course someone could be a plant in an office like this – put a nice looking gay man in and of course Slipper is going to crack. We gay men can’t help ourselves – put the bait in front of us and we’ll take it.

Yes, there is nothing better than a gay sex scandal.

But at the same time, there is nothing worse than reporting on a gay sex scandal.

Journalists, after you (finally) drop the word gay in front of the word sex scandal when it involves two men, could you do one more thing for me? Next time, could you forget your stereotypes, drop the innuendos and stop writing as if sex is all that is on the mind of gay men.

Sexual harassment accusations are serious, and it would be great if we could treat them seriously as well, even if there is gay sex involved.

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About Simon Copland

Simon Copland is a freelance writer and climate campaigner. In his spare time he plays rugby union and is a David Bowie fanatic. He is a regular columnist for the Sydney Star Observer, blogs at The Moonbat and tweets at @SimonCopland.

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