Greek / French : active / passive?

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If you, like me, were part of queer prehistory you might remember when personal ads expressed a preference for greek active (or passive) or french active (or passive).

Even though they weren't using Michel Foucault for guidance greek was all about anal penetration. And french had to do with kissing a man's body at midpoint.

As a young gay man I remember marshalling my powers of concentration to memorize these details. It took more mnemonic effort than I care to confess.

Greek active (penetrator) got the orgasm from passive (penetratee). But french passive (fellated) was got off by the active (fellator). It seemed very complicated.

Nowadays modern up-to-date gay men have tops and bottoms. A top is greek active an french passive. A bottom inverts the preceeding.

Or are they?

I'd rather be greek active (damn it is getting tiresome to type that) than anything. But french active would be my second choice.

For me there's more pleasure in being the doer than the done. Orgasm are fine (especially if they take more than the 150 seconds a recent study of heterosexual men said was their norm). But setting the stage, controlling the pace is really more exciting.

I'd always rather be active as the old parlance had it than anything else.


That stuff is nothing compared to the hanky code! You need a reference dictionary to figure that one out.

Do people still use the hanky code? I’d have thought it was gone but I guess the visible specification of fetishes in a leather bar always saves time and hassle.

If you aren’t “active” you’re not doing it right.

I had one that just laid there motionless… I got up and got dressed. What’s wrong? he asked. I replied, I don’t make love to dead people.

Even Passive should be Active!

oh, sounds very complicated.

how about being passive-aggressive?

Passive-agressive pretty much defines every boyfriend I’ve ever had. Don’t know why I attract them.


Yeah, that sounds awful. I’ve never had one of the living corpses myself. But I’m sure without a response I’d just go limp. If the other guy doesn’t seem excited it isn’t that much fun.

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Greek / French : active / passive?
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