I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner,” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.
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Dear Sexplain It,
I am a 24-year-old bottom who recently started dating this 35-year-old. The sex has been amazing, but he gets really turned off when I call my hole a bussy. Like, he goes soft. This really bothers me because I love calling my hole a bussy and don’t want to stop. It really connects me to my feminine side when I have sex, and I love that. When I asked what about it turns him off, he said it’s because he’s gay and doesn’t want to think about women, bussies, or pussies during sex. I told him this was femmephobic, and he didn’t even know what that meant. He replied that he’s not being offensive or doing anything wrong. He’s simply asking me to not use a word during sex that he doesn’t like. I guess I see his point.
Other than this, our relationship really is great. I’ve always wanted to be the baby of a sexy, hairier, older daddy. Anyway, our three month anniversary is coming up, and we’re planning this cute date night, and obviously after, we’re going to have sex. The thing is, I really want to say bussy during sex! There’s a chance I’ll even say it accidentally since I’ve been saying it for years and always say it during sex. A part of me feels like I should be allowed to say it, but I also get where he’s coming from. I’m just afraid I’ll end up saying it and ruin the whole evening. I don’t know what to do.
Dear Bussy Boy,
There are so many gay gems in your question; I don’t even know where to begin. I think the main one that’s killing me is the fact that a 35-year-old man is your daddy! That’s a young, hip guncle at best! (Clearly, I take issue with how close your daddy is to me in age.)
But onto your bussy. Let me define the word since everyone reading this might not be familiar with the term. “Bussy” is a portmanteau of “boy” and “pussy.” It’s a word that some gay and queer men use to describe their anus. (Netflix’s Big Mouth defined it as “butt pussy” but that is incorrect!) Typically, though not always, the term is used by more feminine-presenting gay men.
First, I want to delve into whether it’s femmephobic that your partner doesn’t like the word. Femmephobia, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is the dislike of or hostility towards women and/or individuals who present as traditionally feminine. An example of femmephobia in the gay community would be when a muscular, bearded, more traditionally masculine-presenting man tells a more effeminate gay man not to wear a crop top “because men shouldn’t wear crop tops.”
I’m going to be real with you: I don’t think your partner is necessarily being femmephobic, misogynistic, transphobic, cissexist, or anything else by not being into the word “bussy.” Based solely on the information you provided, he sounds like a gay man who doesn’t want to think about women during sex, and bussy—because it sounds like pussy—makes him think about women. (Obviously, not all women have a pussy, but society forces many people’s brains to make such a connection.) I don’t think this means he looks down on women. I think it simply means he’s not sexually attracted to women and doesn’t want to think about them while making love to you. I wouldn’t call a straight man homophobic if he didn’t like when his girlfriend said, “Take all this pick!” while they boned. (Yes, “pick” is a word I just made up that combines “pussy” and “dick.”)
When I showed your question to Todd Baratz, LMHC, he agreed with me. There would be more cause for concern, he said, “if your partner replied, ‘I don’t like the word bussy because men should be men, and it’s gross to see another man acting like his asshole is a pussy.’” If your daddy said that, I’d definitely say he’s femmephobic, and you should dump his ass right then and there. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s going on. (Side note: I loathe when gay men act like pussies are disgusting and the grossest thing in the world. This behavior is not only childish but also misogynistic. Grow up!)
So now the question becomes: How do you compromise? You have a classic case of I like to do something during sex, and my partner does not. Can we find a middle ground?
I believe you can, especially since you mention that “the sex is [otherwise] amazing” and “other than this, our relationship really is great.”
“If you can describe the relationship and sex as ‘amazing,’ just let go of the bussy,” Baratz says. I agree. Additionally, you’re only three months into this relationship. After the first few hot times where the sex is fantastic, it’s normal for new relationships to go through a settling-in period where partners figure out how to adapt to each other’s desires. Very rarely do we find a new sexual partner and keep having amazing sex for three months without any form of communication.
If you realize that you have to say bussy during sex—say it feeds your queer and fem identities, and that’s something you need from your partner—well then, tell your man. If he still doesn’t want to do it (or loses his erection when he does say it), then you have to break up. Or, a third option is having an ethically non-monogamous relationship where you can say bussy all you want with the other men you fuck.
As for your big night coming up, if you decide you’re going to stop say the word bussy, but you’re still concerned about it slipping out in the heat of the moment, just go ahead and let your partner know in advance. You can say, “Hey, I’ve thought about it, and since it really turns you off, I don’t want to say bussy during sex anymore. Sometimes, though, it’s a reflex. If I do say it accidentally, try to keep going. It’s not on purpose!”
I feel like you’ve worked yourself up to the point of putting the entire weight of your anniversary evening on whether or not you say bussy in bed. TBH, I’d bet part of the reason you’re so anxious is that you really like this guy, and your brain is in panic-mode trying to identify any potential issue that could jeopardize your blossoming relationship. Take this as a promising sign that you’ve built something you care about!
And if the word slips out, the night won’t be ruined. He’ll still like you. He’ll still get all up in that booty of yours. Just say “whoops,” laugh, and move along to all the other sexy stuff you have planned for your three-month (screaming!) anniversary.
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