North Carolina Pastor Patrick Wooden is a rabidly anti-gay preacher who’s, well, a little obsessed with anal sex. Now, in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with being obsessed with anal sex — I can get a little obsessed with it myself, especially on Tuesdays. Hey, what’s not to be obsessed with about anal sex? Simply put, it rocks.
Pastor Wooden, however, doesn’t think it rocks. To Wooden, any male-male contact is flat-out wrong in God’s eyes, so the two-guy buttfuck is right out.
One might think that’d more or less be the end of the conversation, right? But no! Pastor Wooden can’t stop talking about buttsex! In fact, he’s spent a significant portion of his ecclesiastical career going into grotesque and stupendously excruciating detail about exactly why gay anal sex is an abomination, to the point of — if you’ll forgive the pun — making shit up. In attempting to justify his objection to gayness overall, the Pastor comes up with a spicy gumbo of urban legends and misinformation that’s as stark-raving psycho as it is unintentionally hilarious. His claims, it pains me to tell you, are…ugh…crap.
In this podcast interview with Michelangelo Signorile, transcribed here at The Huffington Post, Wooden goes the extra mile in trying to justify his bizarre statements about anal sex and a few other choice sexual variations…but mostly about anal sex. In fact, It’s not — oh, I just can’t help myself — it’s not a stretch to say that Pastor Wooden has butt on the brain. Like so many hate mongers, is — Ow! Somebody stop me! — Pulling things out of his ass.
And speaking of things coming out of Pastor Wooden’s ass: Is it just me, or does the guy seem to spend an inordinate amount of time justifying his anti-gay sentiments by talking specifically about shit? He’s more hopped-up on shit-steria than a scat freak on Imagefap. Those of us with a healthy love of anal sex — honestly, we deal with shit when we have to, but most of us don’t go out of our way to spend the whole day talking about it. As so much with Pastor Wooden, I’m left wondering what he’s hiding under his polyester Hagars that makes him think about butts and poop seemingly 24/7.
Anyway, among Wooden’s oft-repeated claims? The one that “gay men” — by which he means men who engage in receptive anal intercourse — invariably end up in diapers and must use butt plugs not just to “stretch the anus” but to prevent incontinence, apparently owing partially (to hear Wooden tell it) to the widespread practice of anal fisting, “in some cases up to the armpit.” (“The homosexual community, they know I’m not lying,” sayeth the preacher.)
Then there’s Wooden’s awesome “anecdote” about the guy who put a cell phone up his ass and had to have it removed at the emergency room:
The surgeon asked, “Will anybody get that?” And of course, no one answered the phone. And to add to it, that the individual, when they were released from the hospital, called back and wanted their phone.
Does Wooden actually believe what he’s saying, or does he realize he’s making it all up based on half-remembered locker-room jokes and homophobe horror stories? Figuring that out would take an army of psychoanalysts and more couches than Ikea sells in a year.
As interviewer, Signorile plays devil’s advocate, soft-pedaling any challenge to Wooden’s Dadaist assertions. This gives the guy more than enough of a well-lubed eighteen-incher to thoroughly impale himself. Given how far Wooden is prepared to take is confused anti-logic, that’s not surprising.
What makes Wooden different than any other garden-variety anti-gay preacher is his reliance on “medical information” and “factual” claims. That makes the argument especially graphic, unsupportable, and…well, weird. The result is that the strange-to-begin-with debate eventually jumps the rails into WTFisms that hurt my brain. Wooden is particularly out of his depth when with Signorile as to why it’s okay for “man and wife” to engage in anal or oral sex, but not for two men to do so. He kinda runs like a scared rabbit when Signorile starts asking about vaginal fingering. That’s my favorite of Wooden’s recurring themes — his desperate attempt to explain why female butts are okay to fuck, but male butts are not.
For instance, after Wooden’s lengthy and exceedingly uncomfortable rant about exactly what occurs at glory holes, Signorile suggests maybe straight people have group sex, too, resulting in this amusing exchange:
Signorile: But you know many heterosexuals have sex clubs, swingers’ clubs…They’re saying Newt Gingrich wanted an ‘open marriage’–
Wooden: So you then believe that the anus and the vagina are the same —
Signorile: No, they’re not the same.
Wooden: Let me tell you, the anus does not lubricate itself.
Hard to argue with “logic” like that, I’ll admit — even if it’s not 100% true. (The rectum does produce a small amount of mucus that can act as lubricant, but it’s almost never enough for comfortable or safe anal sex.) On that topic, there follows a strange discussion about whether vaginas need lube. Later, after saying husband-wife anal sex is OK, Wooden tries to start an argument about where shit comes from:
Wooden: This pastor is telling you without apology that the Bible allows a husband and a wife to enjoy each other —
Signorile: Including anal sex? Including anal sex?
Wooden: I guess so, if that’s something that they agree to.
Signorile: But you said that that place is the place for feces.
Wooden: Well, do you disagree with that?
While I do think the good Pastor’s brain-benders are hilarious, it’s sometimes hard not to cry as I laugh. That’s because Wooden is just a symptom of a broad-based culture that justifies homophobia through any means necessary, including straight-up medical lies. A member of Newt Gingrich’s staff just claimed AIDS can’t be transmitted through heterosexual sex. When homophobes no longer rely on the magical thinking of scriptural claims but retreat into a wholesale reinvention of physical reality and the human body to spread their hatred, aren’t we straying into dangerously Orwellian territory?
When I was in junior high and high school, I heard all of Wooden’s claims (and more) repeated to me as fact — they’re classic urban legends. I didn’t just hear them from other youngsters, either; teachers and other adults helped spread the shit. Years later when I, a straight man, asked a physician if there was any medical risk for someone with irritable bowel syndrome using an anal toy, I was told that gay men often end up in diapers. This physician was a gastroenterologist. It wasn’t in North Carolina. It was in San Francisco, in the mid-1990s.
Prejudice and hatred thrive on misinformation. The great advantage held by blatant liars is that shit spreads faster than fact. It takes a pantload of reason to wipe away a dingleberry of hate.
I’m happy to laugh my ass off at liars and lunatics like Pastor Patrick Wooden. But in doing so, I run the risk of painting his flavor of bigotry as “quaint.” His views do seem antiquated with all the progress that’s been made in the last 20 years on the front of sexual freedom. But those repetitive, hateful, homophobic, sexphobic lies have been with us for years. And sometimes they seem like they’re here to stay.
Lead image from this hot gallery.