Question of the Day

Are You Maximising Your Heterosexual Potential?

By Simon Childs

Remember when the internet was briefly outraged by this at the tail end of last week? It didn't take the Mayor of London long to realise it wouldn't be great to have moving, bus-size adverts for homophobia parading through the city's transport arteries, so he stepped in to block them. Obviously this was the most sensible way things could've turned out, but it was almost a shame that they were blocked so quickly, because it didn't really give us a chance to process the idiocy of the people behind them – namely Christian groups the Core Issues Trust and Anglican Mainstream, who believe that therapy can "cure" gay people and make them: "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!"

"Reparative therapy works to help men, who want to change their sexual orientation, naturally dissipate their homoerotic feelings and maximise their heterosexual potential," said Reverend Lynda Rose, a spokesperson for Anglican Mainstream in the UK. Aside from making me wonder what gay men have done to Ms Rose to make her think that they're all ill, it also made me wonder: Am I maximising my own heterosexual potential? Were the heteros of the UK maximising theirs? How do I know when I am "maximum straight"?

I did as I always do when I need guidance on matters of sexuality, and asked some strangers in the street for help.

VICE: Are you maximising your heterosexual potential?
David, 32, graphic designer: That doesn’t mean anything to me.

No?
Come on. No. That doesn’t mean anything. Especially when it’s religious people talking about it. It’s like, er... Mormons talking about drugs. It’s unrelated. It’s stupid.

So are you glad that they weren’t allowed to put the adverts up?
Of course. But if it was me, I would ban religion. I’m open-minded, but not with religious people.

Are you maximising your heterosexual potential?
Ken, 68, caretaker: I don’t go with funny men. I go with funny women. I must be maximising something.

Do you feel like you could do more?
What more could I do? I don’t want to go with men. I never fancied a man. I might fancy one of my brothers, but generally no.

One of your brothers?
Wait, what are we talking about?

I don't know any more.

Are you maximising your heterosexual potential?
Harriet, 26, door girl: I think so yeah.

What makes you say that?
I don’t know. It’s a difficult question. I have a lot of sex with people of the opposite gender.

Could you do more?
I could have more sex with more people of the opposite gender.

Are you going to resolve to do that?
Yes, from now on.

I’m pretty sure that’s what the Christians were hoping for.

Are you maximising your heterosexual potential?
Sarah, 27, charity PR: What do you mean by that? [laughs] I don’t think anyone’s homosexual or heterosexual, really.

So you think sexuality is a spectrum?
Yes.

Where do you fall on the spectrum?
Probably more heterosexual and a bit the other way as well.

Do you feel the need to maximise your sexual potential?
I feel the need to underplay it, if anything.

Are you having too much sex?
No, I’m not saying that. But, like, you know… Is this all going to go in a magazine?

Well, on a website yeah.
Oh no! My Mum and Dad might read this!

Are you maximising yours?
Gracie, 24, contemporary dancer: Maybe I’m not. I don’t think I am!
Ian, 29, cinematographer: Maybe we should talk to the Christians about it or something. Do you have their number?
Gracie: I’m not wearing enough dresses and having enough lady sex. Lady sex meaning with my boyfriend. You know what I mean?

Yeah. So you feel like maybe you’re not conforming to gender stereotypes quite enough?
Gracie: No, not at all.
Ian: Yeah I should drink more beer and less coffee.

Do you have a plan to rectify this situation?
Both: No.

So if some Christians were in your face telling you to be more heterosexual what would you do?
Ian: Laugh? Raise an eyebrow? I don’t know. It’s confusing.

It sure is.

Previously: Would You Eat Your Family If You Crash Landed on an Island and They Were Already Dead?

Comments