We're All Queer!

Venus & Mars flirt (with themselves) like mad in Gemini, but they finally hook up in Scorpio.

By Eric Francis

Photo: Rainbow Family Album

VENUS RETROGRADE IN GEMINI is the kinkiest astrology I've ever personally contemplated. Kinky is good. We need kinky. If you ask me, that is. It's fun, wholesome and takes us out of the trance for a second. It calls us beyond itself. We need lures for enlightenment; we are busy, lazy little motherfuckers and unless something really juicy gets us to put on clean socks and walk out the door looking for adventure, it ain't gonna go down.

I bestow this qualification of Kinkiest Astrology Ever on a couple of accounts, one being that the inherently dualistic nature of Gemini turns the love aspect of Venus into a plainly self-conscious entity, having a good bit in common with the narcissistic quality of our zone in history: mirrors, mirrors everywhere. The Gemini factor will attract Venus to herself, as will the retrograde factor, whatever, perchance, that might mean to you. Self-adulation glares brilliantly, is publicly affirmed and vividly glorified in every respect of Western life but sexual. We can primp and preen all we want. But in that closed-door room, Eros's bedroom, as it were, we must seek out another to indulge the gratification of touch and release worthy of revealing to others. Or is it to ourselves.

Self-given sex (even the word masturbation is disturbing, and it means to abuse or disturb oneself) happens a lot more than we usually talk about. Why, pray tell? What's the big deal? I have a theory. (I have a theory for everything, so don't be shocked.) Everyone masturbates, thus has same-sex sex with themselves; therefore, every hetero is part dyke or fag, possibly both or even rather all three. Naughty, naughty! Married, single, swinger, little old guy, hot bitch in club, HRH, blue nun, top cop, His Holiness or your granny, it's all the same.

More accurately, because most people practice homosexual sex with themselves and heterosexual sex with others, all who fit this Identikit are, according to my theory, some shade of bi. This is Queer's Queer. (I have a theory of Queer which says that no matter how queer you are, someone else is always more queer than you -- and thus, Really Truly Queer, and you don't have to worry about having that distinction any more.)

Bisexual is (still) a sticky point of controversy amongst both gay and straight-identified people because it suggests that sexual reality exists upon a continuum rather than in fixed measure; the radical notion of flexibility and potential. The resistance to this fact is all dressed up in flaming pink as being about loyalty, or worse, loyalty to the cause, but really it's anxiety about potential and change.

There is also the less-than-subtle point that bisexual implies polyamorous (i.e., more than one love or sexual partner). If you relate to both genders and any one partner can only be approximately one gender, what about the other? What do you do with this? Some monogamous bisexuals alternate relationships with genders every five or ten years. Others keep their bisexuality in theory only. Other couples have rules such as you can only have up to three dates with a same-sex partner, then you have to end it. They're all rough compromises.

A few just go with the flow; it's daring, and at times harrowing, and a true adventure.

Gay and straight theory both propose that we throw an endless Jamboree in one camp or the other. It would seem, far to the contrary, that given a little space to do so, each person orients their sexuality, affections and emotions in their own individual way; that sex is a long road trip. We keep reorienting, and experiencing ourselves new ways. And that this involves a complex mix of relationships with people of different genders and different affectual orientations, and it involves sex that happens physically, and in fantasy and on any of countless energetic levels. There are as many erotic orientations as there are people in the world and minutes in history.

In current sexpositive culture, the door is opening and there are a variety of new words to represent some more flexible concepts: bicurious, bisensual, metrosexual, gender fluid, transexual, transgender, and others that insinuate a kind of psychic transexuality. Words are good, but I also know how long it takes them to get from sexpositive culture into the actual culture -- a lot longer than I'd want to wait for a bus. And the problem with words is that we tend to get stuck in them; they fast become labels, so we keep changing the labels to escape. Tuesday you're gender fluid, Wednesday you're transgender, lord knows what on Thursday.

Some day, Time magazine will write this up, but we can't wait for permission from them to do what feels right. So it comes down to you, me, Venus and Mars.

I forgot to mention that between March 21 and May 5, Mars makes its presence known in Gemini, too. This promises to be an interesting relationship year for Geminis and Saggitarians as a result. The movement pattern brings Venus and Mars no closer than 5 degrees of arc in Gemini. Mars then moves on, while Venus goes retrograde. Finally, in December, the two form a conjunction in Scorpio. The suggestion is that a lot of discussion, negotiation, recontemplation, preparation and flirtation precede the actual meeting of two dynamic and influential counterparts. Did I mention self-exploration?

INNER SEXUAL VALENCE is a fascinating topic of meditation and play. With both Venus and Mars traversing Gemini in early 2004, the sign of doubles, mirrors, twins, opposites, siblings and reflections, the possibilities are endless. Or are they endless times two. Imagine that Venus and Mars both manifest as inner male and female, amongst whom there are a dozen possible relationships. How would you feel at an orgy of this gang? Would you have unprotected sex?

Don't worry, I'm just making up stories. Gemini emphasizes the necessary MENTAL equality of sexuality. And it plugs consciousness into a new set of dynamics, where equality is more the norm rather than relationships based on power and authority.

Most of the time, sad to say, I notice that humans experience sex as a parent-child dynamic rather than as equal partners in companionship and pleasure.

Had I not mounted on a therapy-induced campaign to level my relationships out and, as it were, shoot my inner parents, and take over the raising of my inner kid, I am sure that I would have drowned in domination and guilt long ago. I'm still breathing.

Parent-child dynamics lead to power struggles in relationships. They obscure the quest for pleasure and fulfillment with a shitty replacement or two, cumbersome necessity and useless obligation. Well, there's always a use; even that which is useless serves to protect the status known as quo. Stuck is safe.

For some of us, the power imbalances are in the open and for others they are in the closet. If you notice they are in the closet, parent-child games may be at work in more subtle ways. Then that can suddenly change in a moment of waking up. In the open shifts of perspective to the sibling or peer level, there's sometimes this revelation: Hey, we're relating, we're conscious of ourselves and one another. What do we want to do with that?

This is what Gemini is hear to teach us: that in order to be partners in pleasure, we need to be closer to more equal rather than more distant and less equal. 'Hear' was a typo and I think that typo means learning to listen, and to listen to ourselves. Tons of us had really distant parenting, no parenting at all, or very mean parenting. How can we learn to listen and be listened to under those circumstances? Lots of people went through the literal abandonment of adoption. It is awesome that so many have figured out how to love and be loved despite astonishing odds against it.

We are, I say as an astrologer, stark realist and wishful thinker, about to do a lot of noticing all at once. Venus, the smartest planet, retrogrades through Gemini making a series of contacts with some compelling and potent new resources: Ixion, Quaoar and Pluto, all dense, small, slow and way out on the edge. The short story -- I'll tell the rest in layers of detail as I explore it with you in time -- is that we will learn to confront. Not to be confronted, but rather to meet a living, creating and penetrating force by choice, face to face.

Someone once said of Burning Man that it may not push you past your boundaries, but it will surely reveal to you what they are. That's a festival for you. As Venus makes its retrograde in Gemini, I think we're going do better. [aq]