Writer Ramin Setoodeh takes on the ultimate Hollywood taboo, gay sex, at the least kind between men in an interesting essay that speculates on the various reasons that actually seeing gay sex is not more forthcoming:
By now, you’ve probably heard about Shame, this generation’s Last Tango in Paris. Michael Fassbender plays a single (and often naked) Manhattan bachelor named Brandon obsessed with sex, and the movie offers a voyeuristic look into his anonymous encounters with various women. One afternoon he even has sex with a pretty blonde prostitute against the window of the Standard Hotel, for all of downtown New York to see.
On another drunken night, Brandon wanders into a gay club. He’s so desperate for sex, he’ll sleep with anybody—even a man. The scene is meant to illustrate how depraved his character has become, but the moment is a turning point for another reason. For the first time in the film, Shame is ashamed to show you what Brandon experiences. In a dark underground corridor, a guy unzips Brandon’s pants … and the camera cuts away. The screen fades to black.
Gay sex is the last Hollywood taboo. When Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet as the first openly gay sitcom star in 1997—and her fictional self followed suit—a parade of gay characters came after her. There was Will & Grace, and Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City sidekick, Stanford. In movies, the gay best friend became a staple, from My Best Friend’s Wedding to Mean Girls.
Yet none of these characters do what gay men do. As Hollywood portrays it, the homosexual man is, astonishingly, sexless.
If you can’t name any great love scenes between two men in hit films or TV shows in 2011, it’s because there weren’t any. Last summer, Justin Timberlake experienced all the benefits in Friends With Benefits, while his gay pal (played by Woody Harrelson) was sidelined. On Glee, Kurt finally lost his virginity to his boyfriend—off camera, to the frustration of many of the show’s fans. When Christopher Plummer came out of the closet in Beginners, he signaled the occasion by wearing purple (his younger boyfriend hovered in the background). Leonardo DiCaprio’s J. Edgar had a hot male companion (Armie Hammer), but he exchanged only a single kiss with him.
read article here