Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Junk And Fig Leaves: The Curse of Genital Shaming



Western society has form when it comes to the image of the nude masculine beauty ideal: far from ars gratia artis, these images form useful symbolism for the promotion of nationalism. From Ancient Greece through J.J.Winckelmann’s 18th Century revivalism, to the Nazi purchase of The Discobolus and on to us via 1950’s American muscle culture, we observe a recurrent theme. The attractive representation reinforces a doctrine of male perfectibility through restraint and self-discipline, with “weakness” being kept in check. Penises are also notably kept in check: deliberately infantilized male genitalia represent status and control over moral turpitude in the Classical oeuvre, and the habit permeates modern maleness from the cradle to the grave. We are then left to question exactly what the perfect nude male and his genitalia subliminally represents to the homosexualist, and how it will impact on his sexual psyche and subsequent emotional wellbeing.

The most famous dick of all time is worn by Michelangelo’s shamelessly naked and sexually ambiguous David. It’s also the most ridiculed dick of all time – to the point that art and cartoon are now one, and nobody ever mentions his ass. It’s become the crude moustache painted on the Mona Lisa postcard. The public discourse has nothing to do with relaxed comfort around the male nude, just as it has nothing to do with appreciation of flawlessly executed sculpture. Scholars don’t help by assigning lofty messages of freedom and republicanism to the piece while overlooking the sexuality of both sculptor and subject.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Top 10 First Date Tips For Men & Boys





   In the good old summer times there was no such thing as gay dating. You simply hit the streets and got laid and if he stuck around he was your next loving assignment or whatever. The Zen of it all gave way to the prophylactic sensibility of a Connie Francis record, and we embraced "dating" so that we didn't appear to be what we were, while at the same time not getting what we want.

   But there's no need to wallow in the crushing disappointments of gay dating anymore! No point in trying to spiritually manifest Mr. Right! Ignore the horoscopes! Just follow these proven commonsense tips for shaking the bastards down!


1. How do I know if things are moving too fast?

He puts out on the first date.

2. How do I know if things aren’t moving fast enough?

He doesn’t put out on the first date.

3. How do I know if he’s too old for me?

“All my friends call me Lana Turner!” is a sure sign.

4. How do I know if he’s too young for me?

He won’t admit to being desperate.

5. How do I know if he’s emotionally available?

Tell him you’re desperate.

6. How do I know if he’s good in bed?

See above.
 
7. How do I not appear desperate?

LOL

8. How do I know if he’s too smart for me?

He steals your wallet on the way out.

9. How do I know if he’s too stupid for me?

He steals your doorknob on the way out.

10. How do I know if he’s a stalker?

If he tells you he likes you why not run with the idea anyhow?







What We Pick Up At The Movies




Cultural sustenance is much the same as diet: you’re never quite sure if you’ve got the balance right. The healthy and unhealthy content aren’t as obviously presented as you’d hope. Our psychology can only be appropriate to the culture and especially the times, but the ethical aspects of morality are far more deeply embedded in our psyche. It’s that go-to place in our minds where something just seems inherently right, and stories and legends take us there if our rational thoughts don’t. 

The theme of one of the most enduring and soulful legends is redemption through love. But, as filtered through the ages, it presents significant identification problems for the modern male homosexual. We had it better in the lore of antiquity: heroic male-male relationships produced overarching respect with values of integrity and equality. The many faces of true love were as inspiring as they were diverse. Gilgamesh, David, and Alexander the Great go the core of our homosexuality, and they do it with epic heart-stopping drama of the most profound kind. The “gay zeitgeist” we often acknowledge is more likely to have its origins in our far-distant collective past than in the golden age of Hollywood, and the drama we crave isn’t as cheap as the drama we may resort to.


Those guys, their beloveds and the very heart of their shared melodramas went away with the help of determined and thorough homophobic scholastic interventions, but we didn’t. The sagas of redemption through love in all its forms still unfold, but at the expense of the homosexualist by virtue of systematic exclusion. Culture continues to shut out gay men from the eternally powerful paradigm. Denied as stakeholders in what’s taken for granted by everybody else, we’re left with a void, and that void is often filled with movie actresses and more recently “divas”. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Butch Makeover Planned For Queer Jesus





It becomes clear when researching masculinities studies that the most famous (and arguably most influential) man in Western history is being essentially ignored, as study after study re-treads familiar ground while acknowledging other men of mythology. Further digging reveals that some American Christians are most concerned with his image. “Real men” apparently are staying away from churches in droves, and “queer Jesus” is stated as a significant reason. The sonofabitch just isn’t as brash, brave, bold and bullying as an attractive messiah should be, and recruiters are concerned.

While I’m certain their definition of Queer Jesus departs radically from mine by virtue of more than a captitalized "Q", the general idea has been kicking around for ages. Comedians remind us that a Leftie Jewish boy of 32 who’s still single and at home with his mother should ring some bells. A gay sensibility of course reads “disciples and Mary Magdalene” as “fuck-buddies and a hooker for a fag hag”...perspective being everything after all: as it is in Topeka, so it must have been in Israel.

Religious theorists-cum-academics have traditionally been most comfortable with a neutered Jesus. While superficially queer-positive, the idea is actually there to reinforce the sex-negative propaganda it promotes. It’s deservedly losing currency, as some female colleagues attempt to insert “recently discovered" and highly suspect "evidence” supportive of female inclusion in a new but nonetheless heterosexist scenario.  It may not be such a tough sell either, because in effect it’s fundamentally homophobic: a carnal Jesus who is most definitely not a queer Jesus is one recruitment strategy that might just fly.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bruce Jenner Ain’t No Homo!




 Now officially name-changed to “Caitlyn”, the former Olympian is currently teasing us with his/her “dating secrets”. Since we’re probably bored shitless with gender and sex debates as they relate to men who are transitioning, it’s always refreshing when the topic of actual sexuality comes up. Desires and dicks (and where they get put) is a neglected part of the public discourse in terms of both ideology and P.R. Radical feminists only touch upon it, while the most media-hungry transitionees stay remarkably coy on the subject. One man's "courageous authenticity" is another man's commitment to  deeply-held conservative religious values: god forbid ladylike normalcy should become tainted by the odor of sodomy and other deviant sexual practices.

 To the great disappointment of chicks-with-dicks aficionados, Jenner won’t be having sex with a man until the transitioning is complete i.e. installation of something approximating a vagina. For now, it’s just coffee…not unlike an online 30ish-claiming gay who’s just got serious about husband-hunting whilst convinced he’s sitting on a still-desirable commodity. However, unlike many “real women” – or real gays for that matter - Jenner won’t be taking it up the ass anytime soon. Not even a girly nibble on a knob in the front seat to say “Thanks for coffee and dropping me home.” It’s 1960 all over again.

 Presumably market research for a first-time sex tape hasn’t turned up the kind of dollars Jenner Inc could jump-start negotiations with. Anyhow they’re probably holding out for the big (and respectably ladylike) bucks that  “Cait's Surgery Journey” will attract.  

 And hopefully at that point Germaine Greer will again weigh in with advice as to whether or not it’s worth getting ovaries and a womb at 66...for the sake of completeness over cosmetics, if nothing else.

Sounding Gay: Not As Lite As You May Think



The GLBT documentary genre isn’t really compelling viewing unless your tastes are drawn to a predictable tableau of ideology within a freak show: a GLAAD-ly blessed pity-fest of dubious intent and questionable pedigree. Usually short on challenging points-of-view but long on the assumption that there's a generic LGBT person, you're left wondering just how many more “journeys” are there to be undertaken across a well-trod landscape.

With “Do I Sound Gay?” David Thorpe takes on the cringe-worthy topic with all the panache of an excellent journalist: here the tabloidish “both sides of the story” is eschewed in favor of pursuing the more truthful “all sides of the story”. And that’s exactly why the documentary is so thought-provoking, and just so damned good.  It’s to our great benefit that Thorpe as protagonist doesn’t egotistically presume to know himself very well: quite clearly he doesn’t, nor does he let personal vanity get in the way of letting others who clearly love him rat him out.  (Subsequent to the film’s release, his more stridently bitchy gay critics have helped him out with a “diagnosis” of self-loathing - that reliable old form of personal attack which often screams more about the user’s under-threat malice than anything else.)

“Do I Sound Gay?” works well because of its subversive elements, and they are many. Ultimately of course it’s not about David Thorpe at all, or whether or not he’s lovable as he presents himself. Undue weight isn’t given to gender issues, but you must have slept through the show if you didn’t leave asking yourself about the very broad implications of sounding gay in a world of entrenched sexual and gender binaries. Closer to the bone, the viewer may very well wonder how and what gay men communicate with each other (and to the world at large) beyond “Yes I have Histrionic Personality Disorder but it’s you who’ll suffer from it”.

 “Just be who you are!” may be a likely or satisfactory response to an apparently silly question (no spoilers!), but Thorpe isn’t asking a silly question. Unless you live by slogans alone you’ll be asking a lot more questions than the documentarian presumes to answer…this time around, at least.