columns usually run from weird to frank, but occasionally there's an absolute gem. Take, for instance, this week's issue
, which contains the following observation:
I understand why straight men hold straight women in contempt. I also understand why straight women hold straight men in contempt. And I understand why gay men hold gay men in contempt, lesbians hold lesbians in contempt, and bisexuals hold everybody in contempt. We all have to make ourselves vulnerable to people we find attractive. Straight men make themselves vulnerable to straight women; straight women make themselves vulnerable to straight men; gay men to other gay men; lesbians to other lesbians; bisexuals to anything that moves. And making ourselves vulnerable means getting hurt. A cruel sexual putdown, a toxic boyfriend/girlfriend, an abusive spouse, a devastatingly bad breakup or divorce, contracting an STD, a total asshole hiding under the bed--those experiences can be terribly scarring. Even people who haven't had bad romantic experiences develop a sort of anticipatory contempt for the people they find attractive. Allowing ourselves to feel and express a little contempt makes us feel a little less vulnerable. So straight men call straight women bitches, straight women will call straight men assholes, gay men call other gay men whores, etc. Everybody does it.
But the mark of all healthy adults--all adults worthy of sex and human intimacy--is that their expressions of contempt are designed to blow off steam, manage their fears, exorcise their demons, and get it all out of their systems before they have to interact with anyone sexually. Someone who expresses understandable feelings of contempt by actually hurting or terrifying or abusing a sex partner, DEPART, is a foot-wide, shit-smeared ASSHOLE.
It's always interesting to hear an answer to a question which most easily lends itself to "It just does."