Sunday, September 16, 2007

Queer Cowboys & Metrosexual Musings

A couple of events in my fairly recent past have encouraged me to do a wry post on my sexual orientation. My male friends - and a couple of dozen women! - know that there is no question about which way my compass points, but over the years I've garnered my fair share of askance "Is he or isn't he?" looks, which always makes me snicker quietly.

First off: Brokeback Mountain. Great film, a real career-maker for Heath Ledger especially as he's tended to do fluffy pieces in which he's portrayed as a studly (if vacant) paragon of male virility. The film has a quiet intensity that I really like, it's beautifully shot and has a killer soundtrack. It's a desperate film, one that deals with human desire in all its messy forms, but it's also about love and commitment. As I said: great film. Two of my good male friends refuse to see it. Weird, isn't it? I mean, *I* think it's weird. And of course, their whole reason for avoiding it is the cowboy-on-cowboy action...which, if you know the film, is actually a pretty small percentage of screen time. Basically there's that first scene where Ennis spit-lubes up and pretty savagely feeds it to Jack. After that, though, what is there? Some sharing of sleeping bags, a little heavy kissing...more human tenderness than "Saddle up!" action. I dunno, maybe that's what creeps these friends out...but, of course, if they haven't SEEN the film, then they don't know, do they? No, what turns them off is the buttfucking.

And really, for straight guys - TRULY straight guys - what's the harm? I don't worry that I'm going to suddenly start in with deadly sadistic games played by hapless victims, and so the Saw film franchise doesn't bother me. I just don't get the correlation between a strict denial of homosexuality and viewing a film that has quasi-gayness as a plot device. Don't get me wrong: these friends certainly know which side of the fence they're on. I just am mildly astonished at how assertive they need to be about it. 'Kay. You're straight. Let's move on.

Another interesting comment was made the other day, this time by a colleague. I'd noticed that he had lost a not-insignificant amount of weight; it was obvious (to me, at least), he looked good for having lost it and, since I know how hard it can be to take weight off, I complimented him on it. He laughed and later told me that he'd mentioned it to his wife in this way: "Of all the men I work with, guess which metrosexual guy with a few gay tendencies noticed that I'd lost weight?" He later tried apologizing, fearing that he'd somehow said it wrong or that I'd take offense, but I chuckled when he told me out of sincere delight. Sure, of COURSE I'd be the one to notice! I notice lots of that stuff: I'm a pretty free complimenter, just letting people in the halls know that, hey, you've gone to some effort to look good today, and you pulled it off. It's nice, right? I mean, a guy doesn't get done up in a fancy suit & silk tie & Steve Madden shoes only to walk around picking up garbage. Likewise, there are plenty of women I work with who wear pants & generic shirts most days; when I see these women in a skirt or nice dress or whatever, I say something. I notice haircuts, new glasses, and yes, I really can tell Steve Madden shoes when I see them.

So, taken in context then, because I like Brokeback Mountain and notice that a male colleague lost weight or got a haircut, I'm gay...right? Well, no. Not so much. Er...or at all, really. Thing is, though, I don't see any need to trumpet the fact. "I'M NOT GAY!" That doesn't need to be a bumper sticker on my car. (Besides, there'd hardly be room what with the "Coexist" and matching "Kiss Army" stickers already there...) I don't need marriage to be solely between a man & a woman only to protect MY identity as a straight married man, and I really think that's at the heart of that whole debate. It's a bunch of homophobic guys, who are nevertheless kind of unsure about their sexualty, that want the fact of their married status to be a beacon of hetero-ness. Whatever. Tess & I were only ever declared "life partners" anyway, so according to my frother Mike we may not be married at all! Either way, it just never occurred to me to be upset that someone might THINK I'm gay. Good case in point: there was a guy I played in a concert band with years ago, we'll call him Aaron, who was pretty much as gay as the day is long. We had to wear white pants as part of our band uniform, and, being the 80s and all, mine were pretty tight, with a banana hammock underneath. (The gods weep...) Aaron LOVED my ass. He pretty much told me every time we played: "Scott, I could eat off your ass, it's so fine." That kind of shit always cracked me up, because he was so over-the-top with it. Didn't BOTHER me. Didn't make ME gay. You wanna look? G'head! 'Tsa difference, you look or some hot chick looks? Either way, that's behind me and I don't know about it. Seems silly to me. Same with with the aforementioned Mike: there are several photos of us kissing, right on each others' lips. I think it all started on a drunken night out YEARS ago when I told my then-girlfriend I was gonna get out of the car and "Kiss Mike right on the mouth!" This has become a sort of in-joke over the years, and his wife ("Fun Guv") delights in having us pose so that she can put the photos on her Mom-to-Mom boards. Whatever. Geez, Mike & I have shared cigarettes and drinks and dinner forks and women...I think it's pretty safe to say that where my mouth has been, HIS mouth has been. So, we mock kiss. There is certainly no sexual excitement from this...because, quite frankly, I like fucking women. Or, rather, I like TO fuck women. Kind of a lot. Of course, to be absolutely transparent, it should be noted here that "women" is used by way of example only, since I save all of my sexual predatory hunger solely for Miss Tessmacher. But the idea remains: don't wanna fuck guys. So, I'm comfortable in my non-gayness.

As an aside: I wonder if this is why I think the ubiquitous default Halloween costume for men - that is, dressing "in drag" - is kind of stupid? The only time I've gotten up in a bra & skirt was to go to a very specific costume party where you were supposed to go as a pair. My fiancée & I went as "Vice/Versa": I wore her clothes & she did my hair like hers (easy in the 80s!) and she pencilled on a moustache & wore a Kiss t-shirt. Otherwise...well, I've seen lots of guys get up as chicks, and I always think it's kind of dumb. In fact: I've seen SINGLE guys come in drag to parties...where do they get the clothes?!?

Anyway...I could go on with some philosophical ranting, y'know, "If you close your eyes a blowjob feels just as good from a man as it does a woman," or "How much money would it take for you to suck a dick?" and that kind of thing. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I like shoes and nice clothes, I despise sports and monster trucks, I owned a curling iron in the 80s and wore a banana clip in my hair and once thought it would be the height of fashion to dress like Purple Rain-era Prince. It just makes me kind of shake my head with wonder that somehow these things make me metrosexual, while the fact that I only enjoy sex with women seems irrelevant. People are funny.


Blogger Steph said...

What are Steve Madden shoes?

Sorry, I am SO clueless. How have I known you for eight years or whatever it's been without realizing that so many people had this misconception that you are meterosexual/gay/not straight or whatever? Maybe because I knew Tess first! You have always struck me as so rampantly heterosexual (in, you know, a good way).

I really don't get why so many American men have such a sinister cooties fixation with Not. Being. Gay. But boy, you are so right. In addition to being insidious and problematic, this paranoia is a dead turnoff.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I think you leave false pings on the Gaydar b/c your primary parenting influence was female. My first serious boyfriend had no father figure for most of his life, and had the same problem. He had a good appreciation of clothing, jazz music, fine wine and a clean house.

I've dealt with my Afraid of Gay friends this way: "What makes you think that guy would want to fuck YOU? I SURE wouldn't" every time.

10:24 AM  
Blogger L*I*S*A said...


Not gay.

No way.

I never even really thought 'metrosexual' was a word I would use to describe you.

Banana hammock? Hmmm...I think the Speedo was quite enough.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Dear God...what is a banana hammock?

Great post. The thing that gets me is the whole "what do lesbians/gay men DO in bed?" etc. Um, lick, suck and fuck, same as straight people? Mr. Feral is also comfortably hetero, and he can easily (and without yakking noises) imagine what gay people might do in bed, nay, even imagine that it might be hot. He also likes Brokeback Mountain.

Hmmm...maybe our families ought to meet someday.

10:57 PM  

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