Word of the Gay

*Straight talk on Gay language, one word at-a-time.

Archive for Domestic

#40: “homosensual”

Minorities and oppressed peoples often reappropriate words and phrases that are used to disparage them as a means of empowerment. Pejoratives like ‘queer’, and ‘faggot’ have long been used to hurt gay people, but over the years have been reclaimed and even used by the general populace as well.

And in some cases, this reappropriation is so successful as to turn a previously disparaging word into the preferred term: for example, ‘gay’, previously an insult, is now strongly preferred to ‘homosexual’, both as an adjective and a noun. [wiki: reappropriation] ‘Gay’ may be used over ‘homosexual’ so as not to identify solely on the basis of sexuality.

‘Homosensual’ is a new and creative portmanteau (a combination of two words and a favorite of Word of the Gay) being used by comedians Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson on their weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade.”

-adjective or noun, portmanteau

1. the combination of the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘sensual’.

2. adjective: of or pertaining to the homosexual senses or physical sensation; sensory.

3. adjective: pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or homosexual appetites; carnal; fleshly.

4. adjective: arousing or exciting the senses or appetites of a gay person.

5. noun: a sensual gay person, in most instances a gay man.

6. see also: “Double Headed Disco” party by the same name.

Related: homo, gay, homosexual, sensual

Ex: “God, he’s so homosensual.”

Ex: “Hi, I’m homosensual Bryan Safi.”

[Origin: American. Used by Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson in the opening of the weekly podcast, “Throwing Shade”.  Root: ‘Sensual’: 1400-50 late Middle English, from Latin ‘sensus’ sense.]

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#31 “realness”

Exhibiting “realness” in the drag world commonly refers to the ability to “blend” or “pass” as the opposite sex, or as heterosexual.  Because for some, it’s got to be real.

To be able to blend, that’s what realness is… the idea of realness is to look as much like your straight counter-part as possible.” – Dorian Corey, “Paris Is Burning”.

Others have, of course, used this particular phrase over the years, but none as fabulous as Dorian.  What her quote, and interview in this documentary, focuses on is the theme of emulating specific traits or qualities of the opposite sex, gender, or sexual identity.  Gay men exhibiting ultra-masculinity and toughness to “pass” as straight; or, men wearing the latest couture-inspired fashion to seem as feminine and glamorous as possible.

[reel-ness]

1. verb: to perform or exhibit the quality of being either of the opposite sex, or gender, or heterosexual – if one is homosexual.

2. noun: the quality one might possess if he, or she, can successfully convince others that they are off the opposite sex, or gender; or to be heterosexual if they are homosexual.

Ex: “She was giving us some fierce realness tonight!  She could’ve convinced anyone he was a girl.”

[Origin: United States, probably ca. 1970s.  Related words: “passing”, “blending”, ]

#21 “cruise”

The term “cruise” refers to the act of seeking a sexual partner – either the act of moving from one place to another, or the interaction between two individuals.  More recently, “eye-fucking” has also been introduced into the vernacular as a more vulgar, colloquial term to use.

Gay men recognize “cruising” as more than just eye contact, but as a sort of sport – to see who can get eyed, or “checked-out” more times while walking through a gay district.  Some popular areas for cruising include, but are certainly not limited to: parks, beaches, supermarkets, shopping centers, gyms, bars an restaurants.

– verb

1. to move around in order to look for a possible sexual partner 

2. provocative, direct eye contact with possible sexual partners; meant to casually attract a person as you are walking down the street, or are driving in secluded areas

Related: cruised, cruising, cruisy

One movie is tentatively related to this term:  The 1980 cult film, “Cruising” featured Al Pacino as an undercover police officer sent into the beat of the “sleazy” underworld of gay S&M and leather culture in New York City during a rash of serial killings.  Pacino is sent into the scene as a decoy for the murderer, and the film chronicles his encounters with leather daddies, johns, and ultimately the killer.  This film didn’t win any Oscars, and it certainly wouldn’t win any glaad Media Awards either. 

[Origin: The terms was coined in the 16th – 17th Centuries when referring to ships at sea, then given to individuals.  The gay meaning is most likely derived from mid-Twentieth century North America, when the popularity of the automobile, the full development of the highway system and gay culture combined – resulting in “cruising” spots from Mexico to Canada.]

#14 “dykin’ out”

Similar in many ways to “queening out,” “dykin’ out” refers to women exhibiting stereotypical gay traits or mannerisms. Commonly used to describe an instance when a straight woman experiments with lesbian sex, or when two straight women share intimate moments together.

This term is used primarily by gay men or straight women in a flippant manner, and is most often uttered to solicit a laugh.

#12: “versatile”

Guys who are versatile really like to do it all… they are the sexual OCD or bi-polar of the gay community.  They are both active and passive, dominant and submissive, top and bottom.

[Syn: Vers, VERS, VRS, flip, flip-flop]

#11 “bottom”

Newton’s third law, the law of Reciprocal Actions, states that: “For every force there is an equal, but opposite, force.” This is one of three basic physical laws he used to describe motion and the basic principals by which we have come to understand the relationships between the forces of nature that act upon the body and the motion of the body itself.

In gay culture, it can be pretty cut-and-dry: for every “top” there is a “bottom.”

Bottoms” enjoy being on the receiving end of sexual activity and are thought to be the submissive individual in the relationship. In gay male relationships, many straight people often refer to the “wife” of the couple, or the partner who is more feminine or submissive.

-noun
1. an individual who is penetrated, or takes a passive role during sexual activity
2. the perceived submissive individual in a relationship or sexual encounter
3. in the S&M and leather community; an individual who takes a submissive role or “submits” and identifies as a masochist, fem, femme, or slave

-verb
1. the act of taking a submissive role during sexual activity (bottoming, bottoms, bottomed)

-advjective
1. to be submissive or take orders in a given situation
2. “bossy” bottom can refer to an individual who takes a passive role in the sex act, but who has an assertive or dominant personality

:”I am a Bottom.”
:”I am interested in guys who want to bottom.”

#9 “Tina”

When it comes to thinking up catchy phrases and nicknames for illicit drugs, no one does it better than gay men.  The term “Tina,” or “Teena” is widely used in gay communities as the casual or street term for crystal methamphetamine.

The name derived from the fact that the drug is commonly bought in sixteenth of an ounce packages; known as a “teena.”  The name has also been attributed to the Western female name, Christina, which sounds similar to part of the drugs name, “crystal.”

[Origin: Most likely American, either San Francisco or New York City.  The phrase was popularized by men frequenting online dating sites in the late 1990s and early 2000s.]

For a comprehensive list of  Methamphetamine slang terms, visit KCI: The Anti-Meth Site.  Many LGBT, HIV/AIDS  and anti-drug organizations have focused on this particular drug in the past ten years for being so closely linked with the increase in HIV infection rates among young men.  “Hurricane Tina” was a successful ad campaign and program launched by Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City in 2007 to spread awareness of this troubling trend.