The End of Gay: And the Death of Heterosexuality

ISBN: 1560256117
ISBN 13: 9781560256113
By: Bert Archer

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Adult Gender And Sexuality Identity Non Fiction Psychology Queer Sexuality To Buy To Read To Read Level 3

About this book

At the crux of Sex Without Borders is the question: "Why do we persist in defining ourselves by our sexual behaviors?" Written by a young man for a new generation of readers—one with radically different formative experiences—this book will be popular and controversial for its answer, and for its commonsensical defense of polymorphous sexual desire. Featuring gay and lesbian publications, this intriguing debut from columnist and reviewer Bert Archer is a timely, fun and healthy read.

Reader's Thoughts

Dusty Wagner

Bert Archer's basically an assimilationist, a "why can't we all just be the same." which basically to him means straight. He starts with a good idea, that kids nowadays don't care about defining their sexuality with words and he gives a good synopsis of the development of the term 'homosexual' (this being the only reason to read this book). So he effectively explores this thing called "homosexuality" but never gets around to talking about breeders, as his subtitle suggests he might. The subtitle is the most direct engagement with Heterosexuality, and at one point he says something like "'Queers' are doing everything right, but they shouldn't call it Queer cuz that scares straight people." 'nuff said.

Darin Barry

I learned that my own experience as a gay man who is surrounded by straights and gays a like, both in the work place and social circles, who genuinely respect, accept or love me, isn't unique. We are in a time where most intelligent gay people no longer allow themselves to be defined by their sexual habits. Gay culture has become tired and bloated like a classic rock band trying to hold on to it's hey day. Find out why some stagnate in a retrogressive social movement that hasn't evolved with the times and learn why progressive gay men and women enjoy their lives more being valued members of everyone’s society.


This is a very basic introduction to sex, sexuality, and gender and as a result I did not find it appealing and put it down after only sixty or so pages. I also found his ignorance towards the trans community offensive since he apparently went to extensive research on every other aspect of the book and seemed to have neglected looking into which terms are simply not appropriate to use.


Rigid definitions of sexual identity (gay, bi-,straight, etc.), while usually well-intentioned, are like a straightjacket -- they allay our fear, but also keep us restricted. This book effectively articulates the limits of sexual identity politics.


Good book! These are points worth making, although I don't get the sense that anybody (besides me) is taking Bert Archer's ideas too seriously. I think these ideas need another decade to digest.

Neil Fitzgerald

A gentle introduction into the history of sexualities and constructivist philosophy. Interesting and prescient observations in regards to contemporary sexual ambiguity and human behavioral science.


What did I learn? There is no such thing as straight/gay. Read this book! For real. Not at all highbrow. This guy is hilarious and (in my opinion) so correct. A good break from queer theory books.


This was a good and interesting book, and one I feel that all people who assocaite themselves closely with their sexual identities (straight or gay) should read.Just one problem with it. Bert Archer seems to think he's the first, or perhaps just the most important, person to realize that perhaps we shouldn't label or base identity on sexual preference.He makes great points about the nature of attraction, desire and sexual pleasure. However, the author's arrogance is very...unattractive, as are his continual backhanded compliments to women and lesbians. And I personally found his immediate dismissal of bi-sexuality (as well as monogamy), as a viable form of sexuality, insulting. Particularly since his explorations of what 'attraction' entails seems to imply bi-sexuality is inherent in everyone not caving to social pressures. It's just more palatable to him to say it, "without labels."Bottom line: Interesting take on history, and I agree with his ideas that attraction should be attraction without regard to gender and that labeling ourselves and forging identites out of sexual-preference is stupid. Just wish he wasn't so rabid about it.

The Kid

This book made me pretty mad at many points. I was taking things a little too personal. But I kept on reading, despite my anger, and sometimes, despite my sighs at his overly simplistic statements and his questionable formulations. I gave this book three stars because I found it was worth reading. However, most of the time I was thinking that there must be a better version of all these ideas somewhere else...


The writing isn't terrific, but the thinking is. Highly recommended for anyone who is twitching under the yoke of "born this way" orthodoxy. Here's hoping for a future where we can all follow our desires wherever they lead us, without regard to labels or politics.


I read this book when it first came out in 2004 and it helped me to understand the difference between queer and gay. A good basic read for newbies to the world of queer.

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