Larry Kramer discusses Frot on gay dot com

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

Larry Kramer discusses Frot on gay dot com


Larry Kramer, the long-time AIDS activist who founded the New York City AIDS Service Organization Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and the AIDS protest group ACT/UP, has four paragraphs on gay dot com, as part of a series on activists responding to the alleged new superstrain of HIV, in which he discusses Frot and The Man2Man Alliance.

This is the URL.

And here's what he says:

For some time now, an old friend of mine Bill Weintraub has been dunning me to talk about frottage -- or "frot," as he now calls it -- as a safe replacement for anal sex. He has been on a sort of one-man crusade for this since his lover died a number of years ago. His lover, Brett Averill, was also a good friend of mine whom some of you may remember as a truly wonderful journalist and editor of the New York Native in one of that paper's better periods.

I received an even more fervent plea from Bill to speak out about frot. In view of the possibility of this supervirus making an appearance, his plea seems more than reasonable. He has sent me a Web site to look at. It is a very hot Web site indeed. It struck me that perhaps we should circulate its information.

One thing is certain: We must make all efforts to de-eroticize anal sex. Why has it become written in stone that no sexual encounter is complete without an anal experience? Perhaps frot is a way to try doing this. This Web site is certainly hot enough in its own right.

I've had a few complaints about some of the Web site's prose, which is evidently discriminatory, and has dismissive things to say about those who are less than totally butch. I must confess to not having read all the prose and concentrating on the pictures and the idea of frottage, which I still think is of value.

There's a forum where you can post responses to Larry's words, and I encourage you to visit that forum and post: Forum

Even though Larry's comments on our stance on effeminacy are misleading, he's done us a big service by talking about us and Frot on gay dot com.

I tried for five years to get gay dot com to do an article, and they wouldn't.

One email from La Kramer and it's done.

The pity is that he and / or they didn't do it five years ago, before 100,000 more gay and bi Americans and who knows how many MSM around the globe were infected with HIV through anal penetration.

Nevertheless, it's great that he got us up there, it's a big boost for us and for Frot and the anti-anal movement:

We must make all efforts to de-eroticize anal sex. Why has it become written in stone that no sexual encounter is complete without an anal experience? Perhaps frot is a way to try doing this. This Web site is certainly hot enough in its own right.

Finally, to return for a moment to Larry's politically correct swipe at us on effeminacy:

The question to me is whether effeminacy can ever be "constitutional," that is, an intrinsic part of the person rather than a learned behavior.

I've never known any gay man of whom I could say that.

For example, my first boyfriend was the very talented Michael McDowell, who wrote the screenplays for Tim Burton's BeetleJuice and Nightmare Before Christmas and a host of TV shows as well.

Sadly, Michael died of AIDS in 1999.

Michael was somewhat effeminate, and his effeminacy was very much a consequence of having grown up gay in Alabama the 1950s.

As such, it was a symbol and symptom of his oppression; and I see no reason why he should have been supported in it then or why we should support it now.

Greg says something similar in his reply to Larry, which I'm reposting below.

In the meantime, please visit at this URL

and put in your own good word for Frot.

It's very important that you do that guys -- more important than I can ever tell you.

Greg Milliken

Re: Shit Sex


A message for Larry Kramer:

Dear Mr. Kramer,

It would be both a shame and a tragedy if you were to not include Bill Weintraub's work in fighting this new supervirus, what I shall call HIV 2.0. It would be a shame not only because he has some brilliant ideas, but also because the one aspect of the site you have a problem with is the result of a misunderstanding.

You see, when your team came to his website and viewed the messages decrying effeminateness, they automatically assumed that Bill was attacking gay people with feminine traits. In reality, however, this is far from the case. Bill is simply reminding gay people of who they are.

Let's start by taking a trip back to the turn of the century. The turn of the 20th century, that is, the year 1900. During the last half of the 1800's, there was a new wave of psychological and physiological arguments about the nature of men and women. Women were supposed to be weak, sickly and inneffectual, in society's view. This was reinforced by the type of clothing women wore (very restrictive clothing which clenched around the stomach, causing gastrointestinal problems), the diet they were supposed to live on (it was considered improper for ladies to choose meat) and the general thought that women who learned too much would have their brains leak out their ears.

What does this have to do with gay men, you ask? Well, it was the thought that men who loved other men were like women. This was the leading psychological explanation for why men preferred the company of other men, and it remains with us to this day in the form of effeminateness. I know this is the case because I was taking a gender history course at my university. I suppose if you don't wish to take my word for it, you can look it up yourself, as I am sure the information is widely disseminated, especially on the internet.

On to the point, though, there is no reason gay men have to act effeminate except because other gay men tell them they are effeminate.

Furthermore, to act effeminate is damaging to both the community and the individual. It takes all of the good aspects of what women are--nurturance and intuition--and throws them away. This leaves a bitter shell of womanliness that should be offensive to both women and gay-identified men, and IS offensive to most straight-identified men. Calling each other "bitch" and "gurl" does nothing except reinforce a culture where it is good not only to be penetrated, but to be penetrated, WITHOUT the need or desire to nurture a relationship between the penetrator and the penetratee.

It should be fully understood that Bill does not denigrate feminine traits or women, only this denigration of them. Repeatedly on his website he refers to the good feminine qualities of nurturance and intuition in a positive manner. I repeat, it is only this gross abortion of true feminine values in favor of a bitchy pseudo-womanly archetype which Bill speaks out against.

And I would go even further and suggest that this effeminate behavior hurts us professionally. As Bill Cosby says about young black people, doctors don't speak ebonics. Similarly, doctors don't call each other bitch and girl. At least no doctor I've ever been to has.

It's time to see effeminateness as it truly is, a useless left-over psychological construct from a time when women were viewed as, not simply different, but also inferior to men.

And if men want to value nurturance and intuition, they are free to do it, just drop the bitchy, queeny attitude.

But I should say that men are different from women.

Even in native American societies, which are widely believed to have been matriarchal in nature, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. The men went out and raided neighboring tribes and hunted for food while the women stayed home, tended the gardens and raised the children.

Even when women hold the political power in a society, they retain their feminine qualities.

In fact, in every society created by the human species, at least that I can think of, men are the providers and women are the nurturers. While it may be true that some other species of primates reverse these roles (i.e. the males raise the children while the women gather food) it is important to keep in mind that they are just that, other species. There is no reason to believe that in the long history of the human species men have been anything other than providers, and women anything but nurturers.

You can blame this on the cultural dominance of males throughout human history if you'd like, but again I point to Native American culture. Furthermore, all primate species exhibit their own cultures, as do species closely associated with primates (dogs, for example). It is only when differentiated between different species that male/female roles change places. So while one species of primate may have women hunting and men nurturing, it will always be the case in that species that women will hunt and men will nurture. Likewise in other species men will always be providers and women always nurturers. There are even species of primates where both men and women nurture and provide, but always in these societies both sexes do both activities. Whether there are differences between the sexes is not a question of culture, rather it is fundamentally a question of biology.

I also took a course on primate evolution, as you may be able to tell, and again I remind you that all this information is freely available to those who look for it.

These differences are what make women and men different, even though there is no reason to believe they make one sex inferior to the other. I would think that the most well-functioning human beings express the positive characteristics of both sexes. This is also shown on Bill's website. He shows ancient Greek images of warriors taking care of each other, tending each others wounds after a battle. He also expresses the ideal of when fighting cocks become mating cocks, a switch from the male role of aggression to the more feminine role of nurturance. This switch is fulfilled upon climax, when two men, often simultaneously, share the ultimate joy two humans can share with each other.

The point of this is that Bill cannot be "discriminatory against those who are less than butch", as you put it in your piece, if he is simply speaking out against a misogynist and outdated understanding of homosexuals to begin with. That is akin to calling someone a "racist" for questioning whether it's a good idea to openly promote the offensive and outdated Uncle Tom stereotype of black culture's history.

I do hope you read over this letter and come to the correct conclusions, Mr. Kramer, as there is more at stake here than simply offending a few people. Is it worth it to protect the gay "Uncle Tom's" sense of unquestioned righteousness over the lives of men who have sex with men? I don't think so, and neither should you.

Oscar Vallejo

Re: Larry Kramer discusses Frot on gay dot com


Mr. Kramer :

Greetings, My name is Oscar Moreno Vallejo and I would like to ask you, Do you remember your old friends: Enno Persh, Nick, Jack Nau, Rick Wellikoff and Paul Popham? According to Randy Shilts in "And the band Played on," you were in love with him, you were there when he said this in the Paradise Garage in 1982:

"It is possible that it is in equal parts combination of fear and hope which has gathered us here. But the important thing is that we are really together. The majority of you know someone, or someone who knows someone, that has been hit by the epidemic. I have lost two friends.




We have to demonstrate ourselves and the unfriendly world out there that we have much more than good appearance, brain, talent and money.



(my copy is in Spanish )

What do you think that Paul would say about Bill Weintraub's ideas and work?

I consider Bill's web-site very useful positive and empowering. I just can't believe you called him a "hitler". I am reading that in San Francisco in 1984 Bill Kraus was called exactly that and Joe Brewer was called "sexual fascist" both of them for proposing similar strategies to Bill's to save gay men lives.

I thought that you fought against AIDS.

Why don't you re-read your own work in "Faggots" and "The normal heart"?

You were ridiculed for fighting against promiscuity and apathy and now we are in your place!

Please reconsider your opinions about Bill Weintraub's work.

Thank you,

Oscar Moreno Vallejo

Monterrey, Nuevo León, México

Bill Weintraub

Re: Larry Kramer discusses Frot on gay dot com


Thank you both Greg and Oscar.

First of all it should be noted that Larry has by and large been supportive of our work.

The context of the "hitler" remark was that I told Larry, in an email, that our stance on masculinity was wildly popular.

He responded (by email), "so was hitler."

Facile, huh?

Let's play with it for a moment.

Andrew Sullivan is a forceful political commentator.

"so was hitler."

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a supporter of a strong national defense.

"so was hitler."

Larry Kramer was an organizer of highly politicized, very aggressive, street activists.

"so was hitler."


I guess Andrew, Hillary, and Larry are all Hitlerites.

Nevertheless, while facile, it's a common tactic of politicians to use that sort of big lie.

For example, Larry said we were "discriminatory" when in reality we don't have the ability to discriminate against anyone.

Rather, we're the ones who are discriminated against.

Within the gay male community, we're a denigrated and discriminated against minority.

We're the guys who are pressured incessantly and often coerced to take part in anal penetration.

Even though it's a behavior which is both dangerous and alien to us.

We're the guys who are told over and over again that there's something wrong with us psychologically cause we won't take part in anal.

Even though it's dangerous and dirty and degrading.

We're the guys whose sexual tastes are consistently denigrated and derided by our fellow gay men, even though Frot is both far safer and far more pleasurable than anal.

We don't "discriminate" -- the analists do.

Why doesn't any one talk about that?

Where's the outrage over discrimination against Frot men?

Where is it?

Not only is it totally absent, but that lack of outrage is NUTS.



Because in the face of this continuing and unrelenting epidemic, Frot men should be seen by other gay men as models of safe, sane, sensible, sexually and spiritually healthy, behavior.

Frot men should be on the cover of every mag and on the splash page of every gay website.

Instead, we're relegated to tiny internet ghettoes.

While the epidemic marches merrily on.

Now, let's talk about effeminacy.

I told Larry that "effeminacy facilitates anal penetration."

And he responded "this is shit."

Guess I struck a nerve.

We are opposed to effeminacy because effeminate behavior buys into the MOST FUNDAMENTAL LIE about men who have sex with men:

That we're not really men.

That we're some sort of bizarre species of pseudo-woman.

We are not.

We are men.

All men who have sex with men are men.

And that's all they are.


Fact is, no other minority culture enshrines such a damaging lie at the center of its life.

The Jewish leadership doesn't say all Jews are mercenary.

The Black leadership doesn't say all African-Americans are criminal.

But it's okay for the gay leadership to put effeminacy at the heart of gay male life.


Once again, effeminacy both facilitates and is a product of anal penetration.

Because, clearly, if you're not a man, then it makes sense for you to take the woman's or receptive role in "sex."

To repeat: Effeminacy both facilitates and is a product of anal penetration.

Which means, that if, as Larry claims, he wants to de-eroticize anal, he needs to take on effeminacy.

Apparently he won't.

Yet, and ironically, except for a handful of the terminally politically correct, doing so would actually be popular among the majority of gay men.

Most gay men do not like effeminacy.

But they think, because they're gay, they have to put up with it.

They don't.

Just like they don't have to put up with shit sex and the buttboy turdtoys who peddle it along with crystal meth.

The question, as the gay male community faces a new and deadlier form of HIV, is whether that community has yet found the will to ignore the queer theorists and gender feminists and insist that the only ideology we'll listen to is an ideology which SAVES LIVES.

Because that's the only important question.

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