[See Carolin Emcke speak about desire at All About Women on Sunday 10 March. Get tickets here.]
Narratives in the media around LGBT issues tell us that queer shame has all but been vanquished in our egalitarian, equal-marriage voting society.
Pushing the Grindr icon on my phone at any given time (modestly hidden alongside a group of innocuous tabs to mask its appearance), that feeling is immediately challenged, and I’m greeted with a familiar scene: an endless grid of disembodied torsos stretching into infinity, blurred faces by the hundreds, and a plethora of empty profile photos with stark charcoal backdrops.
Sentiments about “pride” remain relevant while anonymity is still widespread. The discreet and pernicious nature of so many gay dating apps makes me wonder whether the perception of the queer community shared amongst our kind is even slightly coherent with what the wider public thinks.
Indeed, many of us still see intimacy and the immediate visceral realities of queer sex as something that must be hidden or airbrushed; it’s considered ungodly and shameful, or risky. It must only take place in private.