Gay or Happy?


I was asked to be on the “Shake,” America’s LGBT radio show (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, for those of you who just moved to this coast) in San Francisco. Producer Larry called me, said he’d heard of my show and asked if I wanted to come on to talk about sex but with more of a gay focus.

So I started thinking about what I should talk about. Of course, I’ve talked about gay and lesbian sex issues on my show. Lord knows that many of my guy friends have wished that I'd spent more time discussing lesbian issues. But that’s a different blog post.

I decided to read the paper to get some ideas. There are many social and political issues within the whole LGBT scene. But something I noticed, and noticed yet again while I was on the “Shake,” was that, as Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson once sang, “We are the world, we are the people,” which in short means this: We’re all in the same boat. Fancy yacht or gay ship lollipop.

Some of the questions that came up on the radio show included one in which a caller wanted to know why he always dated the wrong man (a rabid IMer suggested he was probably a commitment phobe). Another caller wanted to know why straight men seem afraid of “backdoor” sex, and yet another wanted to know if it was OK to date younger men.

Me at "Shake" with my god-dog, Sugar

A past intern of mine, who was a 22-year-old lesbian, would get upset sometimes and tell me, “Emily, you need to single out gay issues or gear some of your questions more towards the gay community.” But the fact of the matter is that I get callers from all walks of life and sexual orientations. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about; everyone—whether male or female, straight or gay—calls in to join the conversation.

Case in point: The Castro and Marina seem like the SF equivalent to the North and South Pole. To the casual observer, they appear to be polar opposites. However, whether you’re in the Arctic Circle or on Antartica, either way, you still may find yourself freezing cold and in the middle of nowhere.

What the heck is she talking about, you’re probably saying. It's this: If you’re alone and single in the Castro or the Marina, you’re basically in the same spot: sexual Siberia.

Sure, folks South of Market (and in and around greater SF) celebrate their sexuality at the Folsom Street Fair with a parade and inventive outfits, while the Union Street crowd may toast to nights worth forgetting. But in the end we’re all looking for the same thing: sex without too much complication and someone to cuddle up and flip channels with on cold summer nights.

Where are the real differences then? We all want to be loved, and we’ve all had our doubts as to whether we’ve made the right decisions. We worry if age matters and wonder why we always date the commitment phobes. And of course, single people everywhere, gay or straight, still bemoan the fact that they live in the worst dating town ever.

The Shake radio crew

Check out the Shake with Larry, Michelle, St. John and David on Sunday nights at 7 - 9 p.m. at 940 am The Quake.


Listen to Sex with Emily at

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