Powerful Meanings: Anal and Oral Sex - Spiritual
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'Trade' System Ideology in Modern Gay Communities
  The 'Trade' System

Recent work on the urban gay male social history illustrates the imbrication of social relations with sexuality. Before the advent of AIDS, men undertook enormous risks to have anal sex [Chauncey: Gay New York, 1994]. Men have been willing to face the scorn of families, the loss of employment opportunities, and the threat of street violence for sex with other men. (Rofes, 1996: 166).

The 'Trade' System..... General: Tennessee Williams and a gay friend were the victims of two sailors in the trade category. "Brutal sex" of the anal kind was inflicted and enjoyed by the assailants who then viciously assaulted the gay males (Williams, 1976: 97).  Most common, however, was oral sex services provided by 'gay' males and 'straight' males were often paid for this.

Adolescents: From James Baldwin's life files: "On every street corner I was called a faggot. This meant that I was despised, and, however horrible this is, it is clear. What was not so clear at that time of my life was what motivated the men and boys who mocked and chased me; for, if they found me when they were alone, they spoke to me very differently - frightening me, I must say, into a stunned and speechless paralysis. For when they were alone, they spoke very gently and wanted to take me home and make love ... The bafflement and the pain this caused in me remain beyond description" (Boyd, 1986).

Career Delinquents: "The Social Integration of Peers and Queers" by Albert J. Reiss (1961). -  62% of career delinquents are homo-active. Generally involved in "trade."

Prisons - Juvenile / Adult: - From "Male Rape" edited by Anthony M. Scacco (1982).

The "turning out" process is "an act of conquest and demasculation, stripping the male victim of his status of 'man.' The act redefines him as 'female'... and he must assume that role as the 'property' of his conqueror or whoever claimed him and arranged his demasculation. He becomes a slave, in the fullest sense of the term" (Rideau and Sinclair, 1982: 5).

"We're going to take your manhood. You'll have to give up some face. We're going to make a girl out of you" (Scacco, 1982a: 94).

"There must be a 'husband' and 'wife'. ...Straight prisoners often play the game - only if they are allowed to play the husband. The hets consider this perfectly normal and not a homosexual experience - for they only do this when nothing else is available, no women around. For a het inmate to have an 'old lady' while in prison is acceptable to the prison staff and the inmates" (Jultry (1979) - "Men's Bodies, Men's Selves": 114).

Powerful Meanings: Anal and Oral Sex - Spiritual
'Trade' System Ideology in Modern Gay Communities

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