Author Topic: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)  (Read 28608 times)

andkon

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0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« on: June 01, 2013, 10:59:53 PM »
0024: Response to 0017 (Why Aren't Gay Men Attracted to Women?)


Quote
This is too big for a comment (on video 0017), so I'll make it a message instead.

Here's my take on your question ("Why Aren't Gay Men Attracted to Women?" when, you argue, so many of them end up partnered with more-or-less effeminate men). And yes, it is, as you say, an **extremely** un-PC topic, as is your question, and as is my following comment on the subject.

First of all, it really isn't the case that **all** gay
men are effeminate. (Yes, Dan Savage and Terry Miller
are -- they're not **flamers**, but yes, they "ping the
gaydar". ;-> ) But if you check out the coming-out videos on
YouTube (and other YouTube videos posted by self-identified
gay men), there's quite a range of "masculinity" exhibited in
them. Some of the military guys, for instance,
like "russmarine2014" or "agaytomorrow", do not give off
obvious gay vibes (which is probably why they can get along
in the Marine Corps). For other examples:
"carlose0318" or "kindagayblog" or "keeperdude07" or
"big93scott" or "gaycomicgeek" or "MarkE Miller", or
"ronjivaa" or "thatfatboiforu"
or Bryan and Jay of "depfox" are guys you
(or I at least) wouldn't in the slightest
suspect were gay unless they told me.

On the other end of the spectrum, folks like "Gregory Gorgeous" or "GoingCoen" I might not recognize as men at all
if I passed them while they were wearing their makeup.

And splitting the difference are folks like "wickydkewl"
("Davey Wavey") or "circlenostar" and many other YouTube posters.

I'm willing to grant you that **on average**, self-identified
gay men are shifted towards what you're calling "effeminacy".

Secondly, given the above, being a "straight-acting" gay man
is (grudgingly, by many "PC" folks who wish it were otherwise)
a quality that's very attractive to a lot of other gay guys.
(Though if you're insensitive enough to put a demand
like "straight-acting only, no fats, fems, ..." in a personals ad,
you're going to offend a **lot** of people.)

So finally, I would say that what's frequently happening when
gay guys pair up with other gay guys is that they are, to a greater or lesser extent, **settling** for somebody who is **masculine enough** even if not ideally masculine. (It's a well-known danger among gay guys that very masculine straight guys can be fatally attractive and lead to a lot of angst. Nevertheless, a lot of gay guys like to fantasize about people like, oh, Ben Cohen, let's say.) The "stigmata" of masculinity -- a muscular body, a square jaw, facial hair, bushy eyebrows, body hair, a prominent "package" -- these can also offset, at least to some degree, a shift in speech or mannerisms toward the effeminate end of the spectrum. Hence the modern gay obsession with the gym.
(And of course, some of the guys mentioned above who could pass for pretty girls might actually be able to attract a totally straight guy, though they'd be risking ending up like the character "Dil" in the movie _The Crying Game_.)

So there -- the masculinity of gay guys lies along a spectrum, and even if the average of that spectrum is shifted, the
**most** masculine gay guys are anchored at the same
pole of masculinity as their straight counterparts. Masculinity
(like youth and good looks) is a valuable currency in the
gay world (whether that fact is openly acknowledged or not),
and most people have to "settle" to some degree in their
partners, whether it's in terms of masculinity, looks, or age,
depending on their own value in the sexual and romantic marketplace. Nevertheless, "settling" for somebody as close as possible to the desirable end of the masculinity spectrum, even if not situated exactly at the ideal endpoint of the spectrum, is still not the same as being attracted to a woman. (Though such things can happen -- Dan Savage once told a funny story about passing a muscular fireperson ;-> in the street a few times and involuntarily turning his head and then doing a double-take when he realized he was checking out a woman (presumably a lesbian). She caught him doing this a couple of times and then quipped "You'd like to f*ck me, wouldn't you?" (she must've known she was talking to a gay man). And Savage says to the audience, "You know, I totally would have.")

It's also true (for me at least, and I suspect for a lot of
gay guys) that **too much** masculinity can be a turn-off.
Maybe not in terms of **looks**, but the gruffness,
violence-proneness, insensitivity, and uncommunicativeness
of traditionally hypermasculine guys is a total turn-off.
Give me a masculine-**looking** guy with a hint of
softness, and my heart melts. This may be why straight
women are sometimes strongly attracted to gay guys.

0025: Masculine Gay Might Not Be Gay At All?



0026: Why Don't Gay Men *Ever* Settle for *Masculine* Women?




Dan Savage talking about his attraction to a butch lesbian firefighter:

« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 07:14:34 PM by andkon »

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 06:03:17 PM »
> Dan Savage talking about his attraction to a butch
> lesbian firefighter... errr if anyone can find this,
> let me know.

It's in this video:
"Dan Savage On Straight Men"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TUg3XHPlzk

andkon

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 07:15:09 PM »
Welcome!

> Dan Savage talking about his attraction to a butch
> lesbian firefighter... errr if anyone can find this,
> let me know.

It's in this video:
"Dan Savage On Straight Men"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TUg3XHPlzk

Thank you very much! It's now embedded in the original post.

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 08:07:28 AM »
In response to 0025 "Masculine Gay Might Not Be Gay At All?"

It's possible, I suppose, but in modern cultures (even in the most
liberal ones) there is such a formidable barrier to be crossed
when a man acknowledges or acts on his attraction to other men
that the motivation to cross that barrier must be high indeed.
As Dan Savage points out, a woman can experiment or even identify
as a lesbian in college and nobody holds that against her
when she later marries a man, but if a man fools around sexually
with another man he will carry the "gay" stigma for the rest of his life
if his "indiscretions" become publicly known.  The price to paid
for crossing the line is high indeed if it entails taking on
the label "homosexual" or "gay".  You can see this in the coming
out stories on YouTube.  The angst is particularly pronounced
for those coming from religious or otherwise conservative backgrounds,
but even guys from liberal households are often terrified at
the prospect of coming out to their parents.  But before a man
who is about to cross that barrier comes out to anybody, he
typically goes through a terrible struggle before he comes to
acknowledge and accept his preference ("preference" is really
too weak a word here) himself, a struggle which takes all too
many guys to the brink of suicide.

Masculine gays, by crossing that barrier, are paying that high
price.  For what, one might ask?  If they're "not really gay"
then why would they subject themselves to all that pain?

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 12:06:14 PM »
You know, I had the opportunity to explore that never-to-be-crossed barrier
in the context of a gay-straight relationship, a few years ago.
I (a self-identified gay man) had become friends at work with a younger,
married straight guy.  I was attracted to him right off the bat,
and we became regular lunch companions, which is unusual (OK, unheard
of) for me.  Nothing much more might have happened, but the following year he
lost a younger brother (to a combination of alcohol and pain pills),
and I went home with him on the day he panicked and left work early because he
hadn't been able to get hold of his brother on the phone for a couple of days
(and yes, later that afternoon the police discovered the worst inside
the brother's apartment).  This came right on the heels of other
recent family tragedies -- my friend had lost both his parents (one
to cancer, the other to a heart attack) within a year of each other,
just a couple of years earlier, and his wife had lost a sister to
an automobile accident the year before.  The wife was out of the country
at the time visiting her own parents, so I stayed with him that night
at his place and spent the next several days accompanying him while he
made funeral arrangements, contacted the rest of the family,
arranged for his wife's return, cleaned out his brother's apartment,
and so on, and in fact I attended the funeral and met a number
of other members of my friend's family.  After that, I became more
than just a work acquaintance -- I was invited to several holiday
get-togethers, and agreed to stay at their place and babysit their
animals for a week or two on a couple of different occasions
while they were on vacation, and I was treated as a family friend.

It was an unusually close relationship for me to have with a straight
guy (and a married straight guy, at that -- no kids at the time, though).
I had made it a point to come out to him when we first started
getting chummy at work, and even suggested to him that doing
the lunch thing every day could conceivably start rumors about him, but
he didn't seem concerned.  He said later, during the family
crisis, that he thought I, being gay, was therefore less
judgmental than a straight friend might be.  My feelings for him
became stronger after his family crisis, but I kept them
to myself for the next year.  During that time, there were occasions
when I didn't quite know what to make of my friend's behavior
toward me.  On the day he discovered his brother's death, he
had spontaneously thrown his arms around me (as well as
his sister), but that was a moment of extreme emotional distress.
But there were other times when he seemed unusually touchy-feely, not
just shaking my hand but grasping my arm when I showed up
at the train station to visit his house.  I sometimes
wondered whether I had come across a "male fag-hag" -- a
straight guy wanting something more intimate (whether physically
or emotionally) than he might get from a typical straight guy friend.
But on the other hand, he didn't seem at all interested in
"gay stuff" -- he wasn't in the least curious about whether
I had any kind of ongoing relationship, or about gay-related
political issues in the news.  There were also times when I wondered
whether I wasn't just a convenience -- somebody who was
guaranteed to agree to take care of the dog while he was
on vacation.

Anyway, about a year after the brother's death, I made a deliberate
decision to push the envelope by initiating a gesture of physical
affection toward him.  Nothing extreme at all -- just a brush
of my hand across the top of his head as a greeting.  It turned
out he didn't like this at all, and he told me so, and that
led to a couple of further strained conversations at the
end of which I pretty much laid all my cards on the table
about how I felt about him.  And that (as I fully expected
it would be) was the end of the friendship.

I was struck, during our final conversation, by how much animus
there was in his reaction to hearing about my feelings.
It wasn't simply that he didn't reciprocate them -- he said
(with emphasis) that he was **viscerally disgusted** just
by the thought that another man could feel that way about him,
or "look at him" that way.  He also mentioned that his wife
had already suggested to him that his relationship with
me might not be a good idea, and they had actually argued
about it, with my erstwhile friend insisting that I was
"too smart" to allow something like that to happen.  I replied
to him (in response to the "viscerally disgusted" remark) that
if a woman were to make a similar confession to me, though
I would have to admit to being unable to reciprocate the
feelings (and would also want to terminate the relationship
for the sake of our mutual mental health), I certainly wouldn't
have such a reaction of vehement disgust.  That, I pointed out,
was what they call "homophobia".  "You can call it
whatever you like," he replied, "it's just how I feel."

And there's no argument to make in response to **that**.

Jack Donovan (a.k.a. "Malebranche") wrote somewhere that he has
a very strict policy about the boundaries of physical affection
with his straight male friends.  He said he treats it exactly
the same way he would treat affectionate gestures from the
wife of a married male friend.  You may **accept** such
gestures (within limits), but you must **never** initiate
them.  To do so would be a violation of trust.  One of the rules
of "androphilia", according to Donovan.

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 12:36:11 PM »
BTW, in your chapter "Grero in the Modern World" you mention
Gore Vidal's _The City and the Pillar_ (which earned Vidal
outright financial punishment in the form of having his books
ignored by the New York Times).

There's another book from the same 1940s era you might find interesting --
_The Fall of Valor_ by Charles Jackson.  The author is better known
for an earlier book (made into a movie) about a binge drinker entitled
_The Lost Weekend_.  Both alcoholism and homosexuality (or bisexuality,
at any rate) turn out to have been semiautobiographical elements
taken from the author's tumultuous and painful life
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_R._Jackson ).

_The Fall of Valor_ is the interior monologue of a married
college professor who has become conscious of a disquieting
fascination (which may or may not, at least at the beginning,
be of a piece with the general adulation and hero-worship
of a grateful public, together with the vague shame of being a passive
bystander during World War II) for the handsome young soldiers in
their uniforms so visible during the war years.  This
fascination intensifies and becomes focused on a particular
young man when the professor and his wife meet the soldier
and his wife during a vacation.  The young soldier seems
to treat the older professor with deference and affection
as a mentor and father-figure, and the professor responds with more
than fatherly regard for the soldier.  It all comes to an unfortunate
end, as you might expect.
( http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/580037.The_Fall_of_Valor )

andkon

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 08:59:47 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll certainly check it out. It sounds a bit like Death in Venice?

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 10:41:02 PM »
> It sounds a bit like Death in Venice?

Nothing quite so. . . Continental.

Unlike Aschenbach and Tadzio, the two men do actually
have conversations with each other.  ;->


andkon

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 08:49:12 PM »
Alright, book will be shipped soon. I'll do a review sometime in the next few years.

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2013, 11:20:57 PM »

andkon

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2013, 11:41:22 PM »
HA, it looks like Ryan Phillipe in Studio 54: http://files.myopera.com/Sabrina3363/albums/23171/sexy_santa.jpg

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2013, 02:25:29 PM »
Speaking of boundaries --

In Chapter 7: "So-Called Situational Sexual Behavior"

You wrote:

> What about men whose wives fuck them with strap-ons every
> once in a while? What percentage is the cutoff? Is it homosexual
> for a man to be fucked by his wife?

Interesting you should mention this.  As a matter of fact, I know somebody who, in an attempt to

spice up his sex life, asked his wife (of how many years? Something like 15 I think. with two

kids.) to use a strap-on and had his request blow up in his face.

His wife told him that as far as she was concerned, the suggestion **made** him homosexual, and

she divorced him.  Quite possibly it was just the straw that broke the camel's back, and the

marriage had been failing for some time, but in this case the wife certainly seized on her

husband's interest in being the recipient of anal penetration to vociferously accuse him of being

unmasculine and to suggest that he was probably "really" gay.

So tread carefully, married heterosexuals!

It would seem that in many cases it is women who play a significant role in policing the

boundaries of allowable sexual expression in the men in their lives.  Comments I've seen on the

Web suggest to me that for many women, it would be an absolute show-stopper if they found out

that their man had any history of fooling around with other men, or if he let slip any signs that

he might have the slightest inclination to do so.  In fact, support groups for women who have

husbands who they suspect might be gay (often run by women who have already gone through the

trauma of having their husbands "come out" and leave the marriage) encourage their readers to

take very seriously the discovery, say, of a gay porn site in a man's browser history.  E.g.,

Bonnie Kaye's support group
http://www.straightwives.com/newsletter2.html
warns:

--------------
But I also get letters from women who do confront their husbands with evidence in hand and get

denials with distorted truths giving excuses such as “Those pictures belonged to a co-worker,” or

“I have no clue how those websites got on our computer.”

For those women whose husbands eventually tell you the truth, count yourselves as lucky even

though you may not feel that way at the time. No doubt hearing the word **gay** is devastating,

but not hearing it is even worse. This month alone, I have received 32 letters from women who

asked me for advice because their husbands or ex-husbands will not admit to their homosexuality.

These women know the truth. They have stumbled on it one way or another. It has smacked them in

the face through hidden websites, email, pornography, letters, hotel receipts, phone bills, etc.

And yet, their husbands just keep lying or denying. They are not ready to be honest--and may

never be ready. Some men will never be ready to accept their homosexuality because it is too

painful or embarrassing.

These are the men whom I call the “Limbo Men.” Their whole lives are lived in limbo. They are

emotionally straight, but physically gay. They never feel totally comfortable in either world,

but they are much more comfortable “passing” in the straight world where they are accepted as

part of mainstream society.

All married gay men go through “limbo” for a period of time. In other words, they are stuck in

between both worlds hoping that by wanting the straight world badly enough they will be able to

“cross over” into it. . .

These are the men who will never leave their marriages. They will stay there until the day they

die, leading a painful existence and sharing that pain with their wives. More specifically,

pouring that pain upon their wives. We all know that misery loves company, and these men are

happy to make you as miserable as they are.

So often, these “Limbo Men” husbands luck out. They have wives who are much kinder and more

understanding than average. These are the women who will keep trying every little trick in the

book thinking someday they will get their husbands hooked. The women live an accepted existence,

looking for the crumbs in the marriage while trying to turn those crumbs into a cake. It is truly

a tragedy and waste of human life.
======

(See also
_Is He Straight : A Checklist for Women Who Wonder_ by Bonnie Kaye
http://www.amazon.com/Is-He-Straight-Checklist-Wonder/dp/0595004393/ )

This point of view (which may be perfectly justifiable!) does not bode well for a "Grero" culture

of fluid male sexuality (unless it's done on the "down-low" and in complete secrecy, which indeed

it is in certain subcultures of ostensibly straight men today).

Of course, the idealization of strict monogamy is part of this.  If you're a man, and you have to

choose and stick with **one** sexual partner, that partner will either be a woman (which "means"

you're straight) or a man (which "means" you're gay).

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 05:36:53 PM »
Dan Savage has some new(ish) videos up on the TakePartTV
channel on YouTube.
"American Savage - Airs Every Thursday by TakePart"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUIBo2ueM6k&list=PL4Ue-83YkTrwDlPP-6QGjnjcaoWfMRFUn

I gather the topics correspond to themes in his new book,
_American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith,
Sex, Love, and Politics_
http://www.amazon.com/American-Savage-Insights-Slights-Politics/dp/0525954104/

The Evolution of Cheating: Kristen Stewart to Petraeus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdho-Q-dEOA

On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN-B4kEl_30

Are You Ready for Some Gay Football?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m98ujIi8OQ0

Are You Ready for Some LGBT Athletes?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM9wkErfyeA



JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2013, 09:54:13 PM »
> (See also
> _Is He Straight : A Checklist for Women Who Wonder_ by Bonnie Kaye
> http://www.amazon.com/Is-He-Straight-Checklist-Wonder/dp/0595004393/ )
>
> This point of view (which may be perfectly justifiable!) does not
> bode well for a "Grero" culture of fluid male sexuality (unless
> it's done on the "down-low" and in complete secrecy, which indeed
> it is in certain subcultures of ostensibly straight men today).

You know, health-care professionals, psychologists, and other
researchers have had to invent a new category for men in contemporary
culture who do **not** self-identify as "gay" but who nevertheless
have sexual contact with other males.

The label is "MSM" ("Men who have sex with men"; not to be confused with
the dietary supplement methylsulfonylmethane.  ;->  )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_who_have_sex_with_men

JimF

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Re: 0024: Response to 0017 (Plus 0025 and 0026 Combo)
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 02:04:30 PM »
Re the question of whether all gay men are "effeminate"
(FSVO* "effeminate")

*FSVO = "For Some Value Of"  ;->

Seemingly on the inarguably masculine (apart from sexual
orientation) end of the spectrum there's this guy (an Air Force pilot
who was discharged after he was accidentally outed when the Don't
Ask Don't Tell policy was still in effect but probably on its way out,
who then challenged his discharge in court, and finally
won in the sense that he was allowed to serve until he was
eligible for retirement with full benefits):

http://nclrights.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/lt-victor-fehrenbach.jpg
http://www.victorfehrenbach.com/page/bio.php


And at the other extreme, there's the recent and rather startling case of
Kristin (formerly Chris) Beck, who had a 20 year career as a Navy SEAL
and was (at least on the surface, as described by ABC News) a
"man's man", but who after retiring from the Navy has come out
publicly as a transgender woman.

http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/meet-transgender-navy-seal/story?id=19315578#.UbdtndiqLzg
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/transgender-navy-seal-kristin-beck_n_3383015.html
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/06/exclusive-transgender-former-seal-tells-her-story/?hpt=ac_t2
http://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Princess-Journey-Coming-Transgender/dp/1935866427/

The news stories say that her book describes Ms. Beck as going to gay
bars in Florida dressed as a woman, which seems to imply that she's
seeking female partners as a (transgendered) **lesbian**, but
her sexual orientation (as opposed to her gender identity)
isn't explicitly disclosed anywhere I've seen.


It's complicated, isn't it?