Q: Why is it easier for a man or woman to get into homosexual encounters than heterosexual ones? Who is putting up all these barriers, roadblocks and obstacles between heterosexuals? Most people say it is the American woman. That is why prostitution never diminishes. What is your take on this, Alexis?

--Cold Truth Joe

A: First, I'd like to tackle your prostitution theory, so allow me to coax you out of your cave for five minutes so I can drop a little knowledge. Much like homosexuals, prostitutes do exist outside of the good ol' U-S-of-A and they've existed, well, pretty much forever. The first written account of prostitution appears in one of the first recorded works of literary fiction, the Epic of Gilgamesh, from about 2000 B.C. In the ancient story, Gilgamesh sends a lady of the evening to his rival in a successful attempt to weaken and then defeat him. (Those sexist themes -- women trap men, men are weakened by having relations with women, hot women are usually whores -- would continue to be explored in the Bible and in finer films like "Bedazzled," starring Elizabeth Hurley and Brendan Fraser.)

You see, back in Babylonian times, all women were prostitutes at least once in their lives as part of a religious rite, required to chillax in the temple of Aphrodite until a dude came along with an offering. They conducted their business one time and that was the end of the woman's civic duty, although some ladies decided to stick with the job. Because these brothels were also temples, the hookers were directly connected to the gods. The money given to prostitutes was an offering of religious devotion, so it was turned over to the priests and used to maintain the temples and tend to the needs of the girls. Essentially, priests were pimps. This practice continued for centuries until compilers of the Old Testament began degrading women (jealous of our divine connection much?), and it just went downhill from there.

Prostitution has been on the decline since then, with a significant drop after last century's sexual revolution -- hooray for effective contraception and no more stupid "chastity" double standards! -- but that doesn't mean it's dying out. An estimated 10 percent of American men have sex with female or male prostitutes, and most cite their motivation as satisfying a basic need that isn't being met. Since every species essentially has to screw to stay alive, it makes sense that all of them, especially those fertilizing males, have an inherent desire to copulate. People need to have sex. That, Joe, is the cold truth about why prostitution never diminishes, not your claim that it's somehow the fault of the American woman. ("Most people"? Please.)

Your other claim that gay people get more action than straight people is usually made by heterosexuals who are afraid of integrating homosexuals into their communities. It stems from ignorance about differences in others and contributes to the emotional difficulties that many American men and women still suffer: They're afraid of, can't talk about and can't enjoy sex, so they avoid it completely. These unfortunate hang-ups are the roadblocks and obstacles preventing people from experiencing real intimacy with one another, not some imaginary queer force at work.

If you're sick of your problem -- and yes, you've managed to communicate in just five sentences that you have a problem with gays, women and sex -- then work toward a solution. Identify the source of your angst with the help of a stack of sexual self-help books from the library. While you're there, check out "A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society" by Bruce Bawer. It's a controversial book that some people feel divides the gay community, but one with a conservative angle that will help you understand that not all gay people just walked off the set of an old John Waters movie.

  • Alexis McKinnis is taking your questions about sex, dating or relationships. Send it to advice@vita.mn, and don't leave out the juicy details!