Come Back to the Middle


Ian Drew

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Come Back to the Middle


Ian Drew

Come Back to the Middle


Ian Drew

Renegade Activist and Author Champions Alternative to Gay Male Promiscuity


Issue 69

MARCH 11 2002

Activist and author Bill Weintraub recently released his latest article questioning gay male life and identity on the popular Canadian online gay website

For Weintraub, this is only his latest effort to spread his ideology of an alternative to the current conceptions held by gay men about sex, particularly the centering of gay male sexual identity around anal sex.

Through numerous published articles, books and his website, Heroic Homosex, Weintraub sits at the head of a movement that he has dubbed The Cockrub Warriors.

Through this, he espouses the virtues of the gay male sexual practice known as "frottage," which presents a safe, skin-on-skin alternative to anal sex, and he has called for national discussions of the cultural domination of anal sex in gay male life.

"Though there are variations, frottage is most often phallus-to-phallus sex that's done face-to-face and heart-to-heart," he says on his website. "It is full-body and very sensual, and, unlike anal, partners aren't divided into tops and bottoms.

"For most, anal sex, far from being an aid to intimacy, is a barrier and a turn-off. Unfortunately, because cultural messages equating anal with being gay are so ubiquitous and strong, men into frottage are frequently and almost obsessively derided and denigrated by men into anal. Sometimes they're even raped."

Weintraub has been a gay activist during much of the time that he says the movement towards anal sex as the center of gay male sexual identity began.

After coming out in 1972 Boston, Weintraub founded the Cambridge MA Lesbian and Gay Political Caucus in 1975, co-founded Boston Advocates for Human Rights in 1977 and served as the Gay Rights National Lobby's Metropolitan NYC Tri-State Coordinator of Field Associates during the Reagan era. He is also a founding board member of the NYC Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project.

In his writings, Weintraub has traced the ideas of gay men towards the use of anal sex from the extreme homophobia of most of the 20th century to the gay rights movement that he says made rejection of sexual restrictions and celebration of sexual freedom a defining aspect of gay culture.

Weintraub says that anal sex thus became the "ultimate sexual act," but it wasn't always at the center of gay male sexuality.

"In the '50s and '60s, oral sex was more popular, and guys into anal were sometimes derided as 'brownie queens,' " he says. "But, around 1975, life became more conservative, and gay men did too. Whereas previously sex had been a smorgasbord, with oral sex, J/O, frottage and anal sex seen as essentially equal, a new and rigorous definition of 'good gay sex' appeared in which the first three were considered foreplay, and only the last regarded as the culminating, and therefore essential, gay sexual act."

Weintraub asserts that the emphasis on anal sex really mirrors heterosexuality in that foreplay leads to penetration, and that those who fail to participate in unsafe practices are often alienated and seen as prudes.

He says that anal sex play between men has now mutated into something beyond even the heterosexual model.

"Heterosexuals have moved on," he says. "It's very difficult to imagine a middle-class straight woman accepting the sort of sexual subordination expected of a gay male bottom."

Weintraub sees his quest for exploring the real ideology behind gay male sexuality as his new form of activism.

"Most guys into cockrubbing will tell you that as adults, it continues to feel instinctive, uncontrived and free," he says. "Anal sex, on the other hand, has now become so formalized and goal-driven, so hemmed in by health precautions, so often associated with drug use, and so co-opted by the condom, lube and porn industries, that I think for many gay men it's become a morass, a dangerous act between two unequal partners that has to be carefully negotiated, planned for and even financed. What we are saying is that cockrubbing can be every bit as intense, as passionate and as intimate as [anal sex]."

Weintraub cites numerous aspects of anal sex as problems, including the feminization of one partner, the pain element to receiving and the ease of getting sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis and HIV.

He says that gay men have used one act to define who they are, but there is a growing movement of people wanting to have sex differently.

"Despite all the talk of honoring diversity among us, when it comes to sex, most gay men have a very rigid and without question culturally-dictated standard: You're not really gay, they'll tell you, if you don't have anal sex," he says.

"But there is an alternative."

For more information on the frottage movement, e-mail Bill Weintraub at or or visit The Man2Man Alliance.

Ian Drew

Copyright 2000

© All material Copyright 2011 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

Bill Weintraub heads The Man2Man Alliance, an organization of men into Frot



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This essay, like all other material on this site, is protected by copyright. It may NOT be reproduced, in whole or in part. Webmasters and hard copy publishers must contact Bill Weintraub for permission to reproduce this or any other material from our Man2Man Alliance, Heroic Homosex, Heroes, Cockrub Warriors, Frot Men, and Frot Club sites.

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