Sucks To Be A Straight Guy
November 8, 2011 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Sucks To Be A Straight Guy. Stepping away from the microphone, Jesse Thorn interviews Dan Savage, advice columnist of Savage Love.
posted by Green With You (121 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, to be a straight guy is not to be a woman and not to be a faggot and so it doesn’t really leave you much room to maneuver.

Depending on the circles you travel in, if you are a straight guy and gay-friendly and/or present yourself as...well, having homosexual experiences not beying outside the range of potential at least theoretically....

well, chicks dig that is what I'm saying.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on November 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think the rise of Geek Chic and the carious mutations of that have really helped put that "there is only one way to be straight" thing away, but yes it depends very much on what circles you're in/grow up in.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah. And I will say that based on my rather limited experience, that it's easier for a gay guy to get laid than a straight guy. In gay bars I've stared at and flirted with far more than in straight ones, but I think has more to do with gay men being men than their being gay.
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll say. I had a roommate once who would spend all day on craigslist and manhunt, get some guy to come over. They would disappear for a bit then come out of his room drink vodka, smoke then go out to a club. I would go to the bar down the street come back at like 3am and there would be like three or four totally different guys making out on my couch. Pretty much every night. That guy was living the dream.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:16 PM on November 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


But, typically, jonmc: he's right. The sides of the road are much higher & closer together for straight men.

Women can wear skirts, heels, jeans, suits, even fancy sweat pants to work for one short period. Flip flops were in this summer.

Gay guys can wear colorful suits, go in drag, or wear anything in my closet.

My range is much shorter, unless I'm willing to take constant sneers, questions, insults...

The list goes on for hobbies, entertainment choices, etc. It's not the worst form of societal prejudice in the world, by far, but I am constantly aware of the limitations. They're widening - American society is growing more accepting of gays, and with that, more tolerant of deviations in hetero- behavior. I guess you could say it's getting better.

Hmm... which means I also have a completely self-interested reason to support gay rights, in addition to all the other reasons.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:17 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Your last comment makes me wonder, jonmc: do lesbians find it easier to get laid (in general) than straight guys?
posted by IAmBroom at 5:18 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


But, typically, jonmc: he's right. The sides of the road are much higher & closer together for straight men.

But going to a gay bar and letting dude's flirt/come on to you can be instructive for straight guys. You will get a clear picture of where you stand on the attractiveness continuum, which can raise your confidence with the ladies.
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have had no less then two straight female friends complain to me recently that all the guys they meet wanna settle down and have babies when all they want is casual sex so I may not be the best representative sample of gender politics in america.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


jonmc: do lesbians find it easier to get laid (in general) than straight guys?

I dunno. Ask a lesbian.
posted by jonmc at 5:20 PM on November 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


I may not be the best representative sample of gender politics in america.

Bro, I watched you give a thank you speech at a performance while two topless babes made out behind you. Yes, my man, you are a fuckin' outlier.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on November 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


But going to a gay bar and letting dude's flirt/come on to you can be instructive for straight guys.

An irrelevant comment, jonmc. That has nothing to do with broadening what is acceptable in society for straight behavior. I don't need gay guys to tell me what I already know from women's reactions.

In fact, it just sounds like a hopeful flirt to talk straight guys into experimenting - kinda creepy.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:23 PM on November 8, 2011


Boy howdy do I disagree with his method of conflict management:

"It would be great if I could say your boyfriend is a bad person and shouldn’t look at porn and tell him I said so and that would fix it. It won’t. What you have to say is your boyfriend needs to lie to you and tell you that he won’t look at porn, continue to look at porn, do a better job of not getting caught, and when you catch him you need to give him some credit for the effort he went to fool you and turn a blind eye or you’re never going to have a relationship that’s going to succeed. You need to get a dog or a dyke, not a boyfriend, if you can’t handle the porn."

To me, this reads as "It's your problem if your boyfriend does something you don't like; guys can't control sex urges!" Maybe I'm delusional, but perhaps we can change things like objectification and give women a voice if we give women room to talk about their wants and needs instead of shooting them down with "It's male nature to fuck meat."

I guess it's worse because he's hiding behind the mask of "I don't give a shit, so you shouldn't give a shit about what I say." Maybe advice columns are silly, but Dan Savage has become a legitimate voice in romantic relations (if only due to exposure,) so he should have the humility to recognize that what he says matters, and that he can change the discourse of sex and relationships.

Ultimately, he sounds selfish and his opinions shallow. Livin' the dream, I guess.
posted by Turkey Glue at 5:23 PM on November 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


But going to a gay bar and letting dude's flirt/come on to you can be instructive for straight guys. You will get a clear picture of where you stand on the attractiveness continuum, which can raise your confidence with the ladies.

Oddly, as a young woman having mountains of relationship troubles, I always felt like going to gay bars was amazing for my self esteem too, and also instructive: I got to practice talking to guys about our respective and mutual interests without the high stakes of attraction, I got to learn to take an honest compliment without having to agonize over whether it was somehow loaded, and I got to dance my ass off, which is excellent for the complexion.
posted by padraigin at 5:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Basically, it sucks to belong to any group that constrains the "acceptable" things to do with your life. Fundamentalist religion, academia, straight guy... I could go on.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:27 PM on November 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Dude makes a lot of dopey assumptions and straw man arguments.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 5:27 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


An irrelevant comment, jonmc. That has nothing to do with broadening what is acceptable in society for straight behavior. I don't need gay guys to tell me what I already know from women's reactions.

I disagree. Gay guys, because they are men and (broag generalization) have a more aggressive sexuality will be more forthcoming with reactions than women, in my experience. And 'straight' and 'gay' are starting to have different cultural meanings beyound who people like to fuck. I've met homosexuals who like football, violent movies and rock and roll and heterosexuals who like poetry and musicals.

What's it all mean, dude?
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


jonmc: do lesbians find it easier to get laid (in general) than straight guys?

Wrong question.
posted by Chuffy at 5:30 PM on November 8, 2011


jonmc: In gay bars I've stared at and flirted with far more than in straight ones, but I think has more to do with gay men being men than their being gay.

IAmBroom: jonmc: do lesbians find it easier to get laid (in general) than straight guys?

Chuffy: Wrong question.

No, it's not. It would help answer the question: "Do gay men find it easier to flirt/hook up than straight men because their targets are men?" Maybe the context wasn't clear.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:37 PM on November 8, 2011


I wish it had been a bit longer and included a wider background -- was it originally intended for audio I wonder? (and I have never understood the point of pull-quotes in internet articles -- no-one is flipping through your website at the dentist)

But it's nice to get a breezy insight behind the scenes of something I might not really think too hard about. The comment about barstool conversation suggests he doesn't seem to treat the advice he gives as loftily as I might have thought, which is probably a good attitude to take.
posted by rollick at 5:38 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]



But, typically, jonmc: he's right. The sides of the road are much higher & closer together for straight men.

Women can wear skirts, heels, jeans, suits, even fancy sweat pants to work for one short period. Flip flops were in this summer.

Gay guys can wear colorful suits, go in drag, or wear anything in my closet.

My range is much shorter, unless I'm willing to take constant sneers, questions, insults...


I guess you're forgetting that women's bodies are a constant source of others' commentary and that gay guys are, in many places, called faggots in public?
posted by liketitanic at 5:41 PM on November 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


Kind of a thin interview.

The thing about straight guys having to live in fear that their guyness will be revoked by some cosmic phallus authority is something I can actually empathize with. I may be queer, but I've never been able to fully reject gender roles, even if intellectually I acknowledge that they're dumb.

Turkey, I don't think he did his own relatively nuanced point of view any favors with that answer. On the other hand, nor do you do many favors for your point of view. To say that many men, even ones in relationships, could very wall want to look it porn is not at all to say that all men "just want to fuck meat."

Here's my anecdata:

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years now. I occasionally look at porn, as does he.

We both acknowledge that the other's porn consumption - however occasional it may be - will ping our insecurity centers. So we just don't really check for it and make sure we don't get other caught looking for it.

I am personally hyper-monagamous. The guy ad hom describes would never in a million years be me. I actually tried a CL hookup once, because I had fifteen days leave from Afghanistan and wanted to get laid before going back. And the guy I tried it with was actually, to my eyes, pretty hot. A lot of my desire to actually have sex with someone resides in my emotional connection with them. So even if one of the guys from the porn I look at came to life and appeared naked and erect in the very midst of my masturbation and said "let's fuck," I wouldn't, for a whole raft of reasons.

Ok? This is just me. I'm clearly not a representative for my gender. What I'm saying, though, is that if you're someone in a relationship with me and you value that relationship very highly, it's probably worth it for you to overlook the porn. And for my part, knowing that you don't like me looking at porn, I should be doing things like using InPrivate or incognito so "chaosmen.com" doesn't pop up when you start to type in "chinchilladorable.com"

Does that seem more ok?

liketitanic - did you read the link?
posted by kavasa at 5:47 PM on November 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


To me, this reads as "It's your problem if your boyfriend does something you don't like; guys can't control sex urges!" Maybe I'm delusional, but perhaps we can change things like objectification and give women a voice if we give women room to talk about their wants and needs instead of shooting them down with "It's male nature to fuck meat."

It's an advise column and his advise is that she's making an unreasonable demand. If she wanted detailed advise on how to sexually oppress her boyfriend there's probably some sex shaming advise column out there, but the guy in LA Weekly is unlikely to be it.
posted by Winnemac at 5:49 PM on November 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


"It's male nature to fuck meat."
posted by Turkey Glue


Worst. Eponystericality. Ever.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:54 PM on November 8, 2011 [50 favorites]


But it's nice to get a breezy insight behind the scenes of something I might not really think too hard about. The comment about barstool conversation suggests he doesn't seem to treat the advice he gives as loftily as I might have thought, which is probably a good attitude to take.
Yeah, while Savage has publicized many ideas I believe strongly in (regarding porn, It get's better, GGG, DTMFA, if you hate gay people based on their being gay you can go to hell, etc) the first thing that entertained me while reading Savage in the Stranger back in 2002 was how freely he gave horrible advice. Telling someone who thinks their boob problem is the end of the world hilariously unhelpful advice was awfully subversive, and makes you realize if you got real problems, go to a therapist, otherwise, take a newspaperman with a grain of salt.
I guess you're forgetting that women's bodies are a constant source of others' commentary and that gay guys are, in many places, called faggots in public?
The idea was comparing men, women and gay men in the context of being out among supportive friends. I'm out as a straight male and my friends support my straightness have many more preconceptions of what that looks like than a gay man out among a peer group that supports his sexual identity. Of course this limited context is kinda the only area where straight men have it bad, I don't think anyone was arguing being male, white, straight is like, waaaaaaay better than all the other options. That being said, man I wish guys could were dresses in 109 degree Oklahoma summers.
Oddly, as a young woman having mountains of relationship troubles, I always felt like going to gay bars was amazing for my self esteem too, and also instructive: I got to practice talking to guys about our respective and mutual interests without the high stakes of attraction, I got to learn to take an honest compliment without having to agonize over whether it was somehow loaded, and I got to dance my ass off, which is excellent for the complexion.
Oddly, in my current city, every gay person I know would like to express their strong desire that straight people stay the hell out of their bars. Oddly, they feel they are not put on earth to provide self esteem to dweeby straight guys and "hey girl" support to straight women who "just want to dance!"

Not saying that applies to you jonmc or padra, it's just something I've heard repeatedly in Columbus. Maybe its because its the midwest and the gay community is a little bit more insular and less secure than Chicago or San Fransisco, but yeah, feel free to skip Havana Club next time you're in Ohio.
posted by midmarch snowman at 6:12 PM on November 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Oddly, in my current city, every gay person I know would like to express their strong desire that straight people stay the hell out of their bars. Oddly, they feel they are not put on earth to provide self esteem to dweeby straight guys and "hey girl" support to straight women who "just want to dance!"

I can dig that. The times where I had the experinces that taught me these things, I was there with gay friends. Plus I've worked in some pretty gay heavy neighborhoods and learned some things taht way, too. and yes, I'll stipulate that NYC is somewhat different than Ohio. Nothing against Ohio.
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on November 8, 2011


I just came here to say --

Anilingus: Taste is subjective.
posted by hippybear at 6:24 PM on November 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know, Anil Dash seems nice, but I don't really know him that well.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


(warning: horribly dirty old joke)

How is eating pussy like being in the Mafia?

One slip of the tongue and you're in deep shit.

sorry
posted by jonmc at 6:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like Dan Savage and I love Metafilter and I never thought I would be agreeing with 'thin post'. Dan Savage is quite hilarious and interesting and has a lot to say but that's not presented here. And....I'm not quite ready to sympathize with the hardships of being a straight male yet....they've still got the upper hand here in NYC.
posted by bquarters at 6:33 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can absolutely dig that too, midmarch snowman, but the mid-90s were a different time and Phoenix, where I lived then, was a different place, and as jonmc says about his experience, you meet up with a friend at the club and then it turns out to be a really enlightening and empowering experience, not something you necessarily went looking for. I suspect that in a post-"Sex And The City" world, suspicions would run higher.

Also, the big gay dance club for a while where I lived then was in the back of a steakhouse. I don't think this is really relevant, but I always thought it was kind of classic Arizona.
posted by padraigin at 6:37 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the big gay dance club for a while where I lived then was in the back of a steakhouse.

Damn. Talk about one stop shopping.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


i think the two issues he brings up about the difficulties of being a straight man should be separated:

1. constrained behavior

2. desire for sex >> opportunity for sex

changes based on cultural context, but 2. is much less fluid. 2. is what distinguishes straight men from straight women, gay men, and lesbian(gay) women.

I hope this thread doesn't get deleted b/c the "desire for sex >> opportunity for sex" for straight men miss-match is a topic that i don't think gets as much attention as it deserves, and when it does get attention, it's not thought of seriously. think Judd Appatow movies.

maybe when i collect my thoughts i'll post again.
posted by cupcake1337 at 6:41 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


+1 to midmarch snowman. Gay bars do not exist so that straight people can validate themselves. Feel free to drop by, but please recognize that it's not about you.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:47 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to go ahead and say that I would totally make out with another guy at a bar to make the ladies I am with happy.

There, I'm glad I said it. Bunny Ultramod is a party lesbian.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:49 PM on November 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm going to go ahead and say that I would totally make out with another guy at a bar to make the ladies I am with happy.

I made out with another guy at a bar just to see what it was like. It was fun, but I like girls much better.
posted by jonmc at 6:50 PM on November 8, 2011


Also, the big gay dance club for a while where I lived then was in the back of a steakhouse.

Oh my god the double entendres! Won't somebody please think of the double entendres!
posted by midmarch snowman at 6:58 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


and the mashed potatoes.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on November 8, 2011


I know we're talking about societal expectations here, but seriously y'all: you can do whatever you want! No matter what your sex or sexual orientation! It's your life! And within the next one to eighty years you are all but guaranteed to be completely dead!
posted by threeants at 6:59 PM on November 8, 2011


It was fun, but I like girls much better.

Me too. But next time we get a drink, I suspect we'll have a better time.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:59 PM on November 8, 2011


i think the two issues he brings up about the difficulties of being a straight man should be separated:

1. constrained behavior

2. desire for sex >> opportunity for sex


I guess maybe I live in a big city, but I'm not really seeing 1). "Constrained behavior" meaning as a straight man I'm expected to watch football and say "bro" and smoke Marlboros or whatever? I don't know, I kind of feel like that problem is just related to living somewhere backwards and lacking in artistic people, more than heterosexuality. Also maybe this why I moved away from Baltimore.

Not so sure about 2) either. Life is not an "American Pie" movie after age 25 or so. I was a huge dork growing up, there's nothing special about me looks-wise today. But I'm in my 30s, I'm a grown-up. I'm not sitting home with a huge boner feeling all frustrated. If I really wanted to get laid, I'm sure I could work something out somehow, given time. It's just that at some point you develop something- standards? maturity? laziness? that makes you realize getting laid isn't the be-all end-all of life if it's with someone you don't actually like very much. "Unce unce unce" club life stereotypes aside, I'm sure most gay guys get to the point where they feel the same way.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:11 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think I'd do a good trade in hiring out Bunny Ultramod Dude Party Lesbians, cause sometimes, you really need to a party to end with a non-committal make out session with a "straight" guy. It's like the mint on your pillow or the sorbet after the meal. it just finishes the experience.
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 PM on November 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


And again, on review I think my original comment was a little abrasive, I wanna stress it wasn't directed at anyone.

I know getting hit on in a Chicago gay bar after seeing a co-workers stand-up at an open-mike night there changed how I talk to women. Short Recap: I was shy, new to the city, didn't have many friends, spent some time talking to a cool dude who knew my friend for like 30 minutes, turns out we both rowed on crew teams before moving to the city, he was chill, liked cool music, laid back then at the end of the conversation he laid "Hey, sorry to change the subject, but, you're not gay, are you." on me. And when I confirmed, he abruptly moved on to another dude. To which, I say, hey fuck you pal, I was having a nice time talking, sorry it felt like a waste of time if I wasn't going to suck your cock.

Anyways, I'm more polite after women drop the "I'm with someone else/otherwise not interested" bomb on me now. The more you know.
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:14 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Suck to be a straight guy

Eponysterical
posted by pianomover at 7:15 PM on November 8, 2011


Yeah, I guess, maybe some things do suck. I'm also shorter than 6 feet tall and don't spend 2 hours in the gym every morning, so I probably can't go to a bar and pick up women. The likelihood of me having sex with a supermodel is probably as close to 0 as it can possibly be.

However, as a straight, white male in the United States, I'll probably never be discriminated against in any meaningful sense for the way I was born. I also basically have every other privilege possible afforded to me without me having done anything to earn it.

So, luckily, there's more to life than romantic relationships.
posted by King Bee at 7:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


*slowly adds to to hypothetical Mefite Make out List*
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 PM on November 8, 2011


Welp, now we all gotta know who else is on the list.
posted by midmarch snowman at 7:17 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: jonmc's opening comment- I, a female, once (okay, three times) had sex with a guy almost entirely because he was really nice to gay dudes who were trying to pick him up.

To explain: I had recently gotten a new job. The bartender was a lesbian, just out of a committed relationship, and rounded up a few of us from work to go with her to the bar. It was more of a lesbian bar than a gay bar, but still, at least half the men there were gay.

So, me, my good friend, the bartender, and this random dude from work -we'll call him Bryan- go the bar. Bryan wasn't really my type. He'd recently gotten out of the Marines, still had the jarhead haircut happening, and was just super clean cut. He was also about 5'8" and kinda wiry. I am generally attracted to very big men- over 6' with deep chests and broad shoulders, and I like facial hair and am not very into shaved/bald guys. So, yeah, Bryan was nice looking and all, but just not my type in any way.

The observation that night was that Bryan took very good care of himself for a straight man. Three times that I saw, some dude not only chatted him up but openly tried to kiss him, asked him to come back home, etc. He smiled each time, and said something in the vein of, "I'm flattered, but I think you are mistaken. I'm straight."

He was just totally calm about it, understood that he generally messed up people's radar, and took it as a compliment.

I cannot explain how crazy sexy I found this. Just so hot. So, yeah, if this is equivalent of being a party lesbian, it works, at least on me.
posted by Leta at 7:17 PM on November 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


The one reason I really love Dan and his advice is that he totally gets the "spectrum". A handful of folks are totally straight and a handful are totally gay and everyone else falls in somewhere along the spectrum.
posted by snsranch at 7:22 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


spent some time talking to a cool dude who knew my friend for like 30 minutes, turns out we both rowed on crew teams before moving to the city, he was chill, liked cool music, laid back then at the end of the conversation he laid "Hey, sorry to change the subject, but, you're not gay, are you." on me. And when I confirmed, he abruptly moved on to another dude.

Maybe he was just in a bad place at the time because his awesome idea for a social networking website had recently been stolen.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


The thing of it is: I think Dan Savage might be the exact opposite of me on the Kinsey Scale. I'd rate about a 9 for heterosexuality, making allowances for David Bowie, and I reckon he'd be about a 9 for homosexuality.

Increasingly, I get get the feeling that people are a lot more flexible than that, especially when beer is involved. John Waters interviewed a filmmaker who videotaped himself having sex with something like 1,000 marines. When asked how he did it, the guy explained that the two things marines love are beer and blow jobs.

I think he's probably right. I was with an air force fellow once who was propositioned by a gay friend of mine, and accepted, saying he was willing to try anything once, which surprised me. David Bowie and party lesbianism aside, I'm not really up for anything, and I assumed the same was true of other straight men.

It's got me thinking that there may be something to those Fundamentalists' screeds. Maybe if it weren't for extreme social constraints, everybody would be a hell of a lot more heterofelixble. In fact, I think they already are, but just don't admit it.

The difference, I suppose, between me and the right wingers is that I say: go for it. As long as you practice safe sex, all you have to lose is your boredom.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I guess you're forgetting that women's bodies are a constant source of others' commentary and that gay guys are, in many places, called faggots in public?

liketitanic: Nope, not forgetting that at all. I even made a point of addressing this concept, when I stated this wasn't the biggest tragedy out there in prejudice-land. I knew it wasn't possible to phrase it in a way that some Mefites wouldn't jump on, gleefuly crying "SEE! You're so insensitive! YOU aren't allowed to feel oppressed!" But I tried. And failed, because you just can't get words through heads that are filled with their own agendas.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:31 PM on November 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is going a lot better than I expected.
I'm mostly hetero and although I'm fully aware of how much easier my life is that I have never really had to hide my nature in order to thrive in society I often wonder if I'd be happier if I was attracted to more men (because hookups with guys are much less complicated than with women) or if I were a queer girl and the kinds of women I often find myself into were more attracted to me.

But on the other hand, I haven't been called a faggot since I was 12, so I'm probably not properly accounting for that.
posted by modernserf at 7:57 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


fray.com has its first entries on the wayback machine in october 1996. Fray has been around a looooong-ass time. Just sayin'. Having remembered them from way back then, I was unaware they now did printed issues and stuff.
posted by marble at 8:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Gay guys can wear colorful suits, go in drag, or wear anything in my closet.
My range is much shorter, unless I'm willing to take constant sneers, questions, insults


In what universe are gay guys in drag somehow not subject to those exact sneers, questions or insults? If this is an honest example of how you think my or your range of personal expression is more limited because we're not genderqueer, you might want to revisit it, because I'm pretty sure the fact that we can wear what feels 'normal' to us without harassment is an example of the exact opposite.
posted by churl at 8:33 PM on November 8, 2011


Metafilter: The equivalent of being a party lesbian.
posted by Danf at 8:43 PM on November 8, 2011


I think the X factor here in pansexual experience, is that every time someone came out with a experimental experience (including a gay guy who was like, fuck it, lets try Ladies, see if that does anything)the response from the social circle was "yay! It's fun to try new things!"

Straight female friend of mine does not like to her call herself bisexual, despite the many same-sex experiences in her past, cause she says she's never been romantic attracted to another woman and she's never developed crushes or real emotional attachments, lust is one thing and "making out with pretty people while drunk is just good ape socialization habits."
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty pro flexibility in all its forms, so yeah....
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 PM on November 8, 2011


I love Dan Savage's colum, but yeah, some of the advice is really really BAD!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:59 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't stand hummus but I've eaten it to make our gay party hosts feel better about the hors d'ouerves.
I think we all have a little party Lebanese in us.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:14 PM on November 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Sadtrombone.midi
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect that Chuffy was referring to lesbian bed death, IAmBroom.

I'd agree that gay men are better off, even ignoring how much more sex they'll enjoy during their lifetime. I suspect gay men have more and better choice in long term partners as well : You might recall that homosexuals represent roughly one tenth of the population, ignoring population center effects and iffy bisexuals, which sounds like a problem. Is it though? As a rule, gay men 'evaluate' a significantly larger fragment of the dating pool than any other group. Similarly, gay men should also have vastly more information upon which to make informed decisions regarding long term partners.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:22 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I prefer to self-identify as "non-judgmental." If I dig someone, I dig someone. Everything else is just logistics and geometry.

Trust you me, I would be more than happy to have some guy on guy action if I ever met a guy I found attractive enough.

And, yes, before you ask, I do look.
posted by Samizdata at 9:37 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oddly, in my current city, every gay person I know would like to express their strong desire that straight people stay the hell out of their bars. Oddly, they feel they are not put on earth to provide self esteem to dweeby straight guys and "hey girl" support to straight women who "just want to dance!"

That's fairly interesting. Here in Seattle there is (or seems to be to me and my friends anyway) a fairly clear distinction between the bars where you might find straight girls and guys there to dance and party, and bars where straights aren't exactly unwelcome just unexpected.

Mind you, karaoke nights screw that radar right out of alignment.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:38 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dan Savage has leveraged some of his privilege as a gay man (to be able to joyfully and playfully talk about sex from an angle outside of the "war of the sexes" dynamic) to selflessly help lessen some of the burdens on people who are comparatively more privileged as a group and I think that is kind of awesome and I am thankful for it.

Some backgrounds are more burdensome than others, that's clearly true. But maybe the secret is that each of use have a little key in each of our own backpacks of privilege that can be used to open up the lock chained around someone else's neck.
posted by Skwirl at 9:41 PM on November 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


It seems to me that the reason straight dudes are "hemmed-in" is because of homophobia.

As a straight guy myself, I don't have a lot of experience with being on the wrong side of someone else's view of gender roles, but I can't imagine that someone who would give a straight dude crap about doing something "unmanly" would not also do that exact same thing to a gay person. It's not like a bigot is going to say, "Oh, you actually are gay? My mistake, my intent was to limit the expression of straight men only while allowing gay men to act as they please without harassment."
posted by jcreigh at 9:43 PM on November 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Life is not an "American Pie" movie after age 25 or so. ... But I'm in my 30s, I'm a grown-up. I'm not sitting home with a huge boner feeling all frustrated. If I really wanted to get laid, I'm sure I could work something out somehow, given time.

that's what i meant when i said "it's not thought of seriously. think Judd Appatow movies."

i'm not interested in getting into a "who has it worse" fight.

the middle class, white, straight guy does have things easier than the working class brown straight guy. but the difference doesn't wash away that particular issue i was getting at above, and that dan talked about.

while romantic relationships aren't everything in life, neither is making money, being a brilliant artist, etc., being successful at whatever you do. on the other side of the coin, you could be relatively unsuccessful in conventional measurements of success, but with a few intimate connections, some of them romantic/sexual, a person could go through life relatively happy.

... and sex IS important. it's pretty fundamental to being human, right? kind of like with money, it's only when you don't have it that it becomes really important.

for some men i suspect there is no problem. but i'd guess for a large proportion of men they are less than satisfied. i also think that to admit as much is difficult b/c to say you(straight guy)'re not getting enough sex is to say you're not successful with women which is to say you're not an authentic straight man. another reason for under reporting could be cognitive dissonance: if you're not getting as much sex as you want just redefine how much sex you want.

it's like unemployment, being unwanted.
posted by cupcake1337 at 9:46 PM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


straight men wanting sex > opportunities for sex

Homosexual sex does not carry the risk of pregnancy, which has the opportunity to be life-changing no matter how much you've thought it through before-hand, and accordingly makes potential female partners cautious. And aside from specialty kinks, straight sex features physically mismatched participants, where fear of coercion or injury is a not unreasonable starting point for a woman encountering an unknown man.

Add in a long, ugly history of women being possessions or playthings, how many men even to this day view women in that light, etc., it's not at all surprising that it can be difficult to find an opportunity to get laid on short notice unless you are an extremely prime specimen.
posted by maxwelton at 9:57 PM on November 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I always felt like going to gay bars was amazing for my self esteem too

That's so funny to me! The first thousand or so times that I went to a gay bar my reaction was more like "boy, 1:50 am already, I guess I'll get my coat and beat the rush." Ha ha ha sob
posted by en forme de poire at 10:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


1. constrained behavior

I am terrified, these days, of the messages men receive about what it means to be masculine. The recent ads for that Dr. Pepper Ten (or whatever it's called) made me want to throw up -- the ads for beer where a beer can falls on a man who's soooooo un-masculine that he (gasp!) holds his purse for his wife make me want to throw up -- the ads where men rebel against salads in order to eat hamburgers, the ads where men sit and stare at liquid spilled on the floor without understanding they should get a paper towel, the ads where men want snack foods but have to sneak behind their disapproving wives' backs.... And those are only a few. Over and over and over again, even while society becomes more accepting of non-masculine modes of presentation, there is an ever constricting message about what masculinity involves.

I've recently learned the term, "toxic masculinity," and I don't know much about it. Other people can probably say more about it than I can. But the basic idea (as I understand it) is that our culture is, more and more, defining masculinity by what it's not, rather than giving boys a positive message about what they can be. So, what's it mean to be a man? It means you're not a woman. It means you're not gay. So, you're a young boy, and you're not yet sure about your identity, but you're taught by a thousand little cultural forces that, to be a man, you must be neither feminine nor gay. Now, how can you show you're a man? The only method available for you to express your identity is to vociferously prove you're not feminine nor gay. Say awful things about women and gay men. Loudly (and perhaps physically) express the message, "I am not like these other, non-masculine people." Attack them. Hate them. That's the only way to prove you're a man, when being a man is defined in terms of not being those other things.

Again, I don't know so much about this, but I am terrified by the idea. My best friend has a little baby boy, and I am sickened by some of the messages that society gives him about the extremely narrow identity that is masculinity. I am sad that anyone in society is told that there are certain things they can't do, just because of their gender.

This is a feminist issue, and it's a very serious one.

(I didn't mean to imply up there that gay men aren't actually men, or aren't masculine. Only that, in our society, there is this strong undercurrent that being a man requires heterosexuality. That this is implied by our society's understanding of masculinity is a big part of the problem.)
posted by meese at 10:26 PM on November 8, 2011 [136 favorites]


meese, that was brilliant.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 PM on November 8, 2011


meese, a lot of what you say is to be found on TV commercials. If the boy has access to video games and the internet sooner than he has access to a TV, his outlook on life may be more diversified and enriching.
posted by knz at 10:50 PM on November 8, 2011


meese, yeah I've seen stuff along those lines, like a TV ad for some fast food chain where a 'hen pecked' guy is asked by his mates "nice sweater mate, do they make them in men's sizes". It's pretty fucked up.

On the other hand, I think the growing acceptance of homosexuality and more broadly the argument that sexuality isn't necessary an either/or proposition is a positive development that has worked against these kinds of discourses, I know it has helped me and some of my friends to feel comfortable in our 'more-or-less straight but not comfortable with mainstream depictions of masculinity' skins. I think (hope) that the increasing toxicity of the representations you mention is a kind of rear-guard action in a way.

Also, I'm not sure I entirely understood what is involved in being a party lesbian, but I do know that I want that on my business card.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:06 PM on November 8, 2011


Straight men could figure this all out for themselves very early if they actually applied thought and study to their straight maleness. You know, in college we have basic women's studies and queer studies courses, etc. because we want to understand the imbalances in our society and how they affect us, and what we are. Meanwhile, straight guys coast through young adulthood being straight male young adults, and while they may end up absorbing some ideas about gender and sexuality (usually from friends who took those classes) it's much harder to find a curriculum that educates them about themselves -- what they are, and why.

People are often motivated to study this stuff when they find themselves suddenly marginalized or realize they're missing out on some fundamental human experience. So with straight guys, there just isn't typically the same curiosity, or at least not until much later.
posted by hermitosis at 11:08 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the boy has access to video games and the internet sooner than he has access to a TV, his outlook on life may be more diversified and enriching.

I think the hypothesis that video games have less toxic masculinity on display than TV could be pretty easily falsified after about thirty seconds on XBox Live.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:10 PM on November 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was just about to say the same thing, en forme de poire.

Video games are more shamelessly pandering to adolescent boys notions of both masculinity and sexuality than just about any medium out there, save superhero comics.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 11:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about the "playing" part of video games, not the social part. Social interactions are definitely a challenge, a lot of kids together are usually not the reliable kind of source on gender roles indeed.
posted by knz at 11:18 PM on November 8, 2011


Straight men could figure this all out for themselves very early if they actually applied thought and study to their straight maleness. You know, in college we have basic women's studies and queer studies courses, etc. because we want to understand the imbalances in our society and how they affect us, and what we are.

Speaking as a man who went to university and took these courses, I'm sorry to report that most straight, white men would almost certainly see such "thought and study" as saying YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU MAKE THINGS WORSE.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe a gradual tickle-down (?) sort of education of how negatively the patriarchy affects individual men or boys? Maybe traditionally male figures speaking out critically on sexist behavior in men? Tighter controls on advertising? This is different from identity politics regarding homosexuality or race because the change being sought is not so much reactive on the part of straight men but proactive. That's harder to define and it's certainly harder to accomplish, as an any 'enlightened' straight man can attest.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:22 PM on November 8, 2011


Huh, I was unaware of the drought in hetero sex.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 PM on November 8, 2011


"It's male nature to fuck meat."

Given the context, yes, our hands are indeed made of meat.
posted by unigolyn at 11:31 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, luckily, there's more to life than romantic relationships.

This is true. And so is the observation many you have made that straight guys have it pretty easy in general. But while there's more to life than romantic relationships, there's not much more than romantic and sexual relationships in Savage Love, which is the context of that pull quote. Dan Savage is not saying that straight guys have a rough time in life in general, he's saying it's hard for a lot of them to cut loose and be themselves because they're repressed.

I'm sorry to report that most straight, white men would almost certainly see such "thought and study" as saying YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU MAKE THINGS WORSE.

That's kind of how a lot of the discussion in the 100-level courses went at my university TBH. A lot of 100-level courses are dominated by some fairly dumb conversations, I remember we had a militant vegetarian in a moral philosophy course who would somehow sidetrack every single class into something about animals. It gets better at the 200+ levels later on when people are a little more familiar with the material.

My university actually incorporated a "feminist perspective" unit into every course, which in many cases was interesting, but sometimes got a little weird. We discussed a post-modern feminist critique of mutually assured destruction in a foreign policy course one week. The author argued that missiles are shaped like penises and all this talk about "penetration" of the missile defense shield is naughty or something. I don't think many people were convinced of anything that week; it quickly turned into a discussion of whether or not it would be possible to make a viably aerodynamic projectile with a design that more closely resembled a vagina.
posted by Hoopo at 11:41 PM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Huh, I was unaware of the drought in hetero sex.

It sure comes to my attention whenever it hits the snowman household... usually within the first week.
posted by midmarch snowman at 11:46 PM on November 8, 2011


I worry a little that people are assuming that as compared to straight men, gay men don't engage in the same rigorous self-policing of gender roles. Unfortunately, I definitely haven't found gay men to be significantly more relaxed about their masculinity than their straight brothers. If anything, I feel like gay men with a masculine presentation are even less secure: people are far more skeptical of gay masculinity and place it under more scrutiny, so policing oneself and others for gender violations becomes even more necessary.

There's also the added pressure from being treated as an ambassador of your sexuality. Like that xkcd goes, if a straight man can't throw a football people might think he's effeminate, but if a gay man can't throw a football then they might think that gay men are effeminate. It raises the stakes.

(Patriarchy, man, what doesn't it fuck up?)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:19 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh, I was unaware of the drought in hetero sex.

The official Red Thoughts ladyfriend is deep in masters degree assignment hell.

Scholarship is the enemy of romance.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:26 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


meese, a lot of what you say is to be found on TV commercials. If the boy has access to video games and the internet sooner than he has access to a TV, his outlook on life may be more diversified and enriching.

Yeah, I'm sure video games will help. I mean, Battlefield 3 being promoted with the refrain "99 problems but a bitch ain't one" here in New Zealand, I can see how that's going to help people gain a broader and more nuanced understanding of masculinity.

Again, I don't know so much about this, but I am terrified by the idea. My best friend has a little baby boy, and I am sickened by some of the messages that society gives him about the extremely narrow identity that is masculinity. I am sad that anyone in society is told that there are certain things they can't do, just because of their gender.

It doesn't exactly help when, the modern cultural norm is retrospectively claim anything that falls outside a 1950s definition of masculinity as proof of homosexuality, often under the rubric of reclamation. "Victorian men living together in London? Gay." And so on. It's a vicious circle.
posted by rodgerd at 12:27 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah. And I will say that based on my rather limited experience, that it's easier for a gay guy to get laid than a straight guy. [...] being men than [...]
i have no experience to attest toward or against but i am questioning it because it seems like it has perilous implications, like the whole "jailhouse" thing. ok, there, i questioned it.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:28 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone's interested, you can listen to a somewhat extended version of this interview here. Dan Savage is a class act.
posted by YoungAmerican at 2:30 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boy howdy do I disagree with his method of conflict management:
"It would be great if I could say your boyfriend is a bad person and shouldn’t look at porn and tell him I said so and that would fix it. It won’t. What you have to say is your boyfriend needs to lie to you. . .
To me, this reads as "It's your problem if your boyfriend does something you don't like; guys can't control sex urges!"


Well... yes and no. "Yes" in the sense that the advice leaves absolutely no room for the idea that men can and should make progress towards mastering their sexual urges rather than being mastered by them. I think wherever one falls on the spectrum of sexual ethics, the idea that individuals, as moral agents, should make moral choices about their sexuality is pretty universal. So in the sense that Savage is sort of giving guys a free pass here, that's bad.

But I think the reason he gives the advice that he does is that he's actually on to something, namely that for most men, looking at porn has absolutely nothing to do with the way they feel about their partners at the time. Which is maybe part of the problem, but I think what he's trying to say is "Look, this isn't about you, so while maybe he shouldn't be doing that, you shouldn't be interpreting this as some kind of statement about his love or desire for you, because it isn't."

It may seem a tangent, but I think that the concept of modesty, of all things, is a useful analog here. A lot of conservative types think that the point of modesty is to control lust in other people. This, as it turns out, is completely wrong. First of all, if that's really the goal of modesty, the only logical endpoint is the burka, so stopping short of that is basically giving up the game entirely. But second, I mean, Rule 34. People are going to be titillated by the risque,* and more-or-less arbitrary standards for what constitutes modest dress are really only shifting the boundary for what constitutes "risque". All of which makes sense when one conceives of the point of modesty as being a curb for vanity in one's self rather than lust in other people.

Similarly, people watch porn because they're horny. Not because they feel a certain way--or don't--about their partner at the time. Just like dressing a certain way has less to do with the relationship between one person's appearance and another person's urges than it does with managing one's own vanity, watching porn has less to do with one's sexual relationship with a particular person than it does with the control one exerts over one's own sexual urges on an individual level. The degree of said control is clearly a moral discussion to be had, but I think the basic point still stands regardless of where one wishes to set that standard. Even the most sex-positive, heteroflexible perspective will still say that there are appropriate limits for sexual expression--consent, anyone?--at least in terms of context.

So while I think Savage's ultimate advice, i.e. "Just deal with it, even if it means asking him to lie to you" ultimately falls short,** I think he has hit on something important, namely that interpreting one's partner watching porn as some kind of referendum on the relationship largely misses the point. Not everything is about you, and acting like it is just adds weird levels of potential for hurt that wouldn't otherwise be there.

*Or even the non-risque. There are people who have a fetish for petticoats and full-on Victorian period dress. The sexiness of a given outfit is not entirely a factor of the amount of skin it exposes.

**Can't we strive for moral improvement in each other? Isn't the knowledge that one's behavior is troubling one's partner cause for some concern in and of itself?
posted by valkyryn at 3:02 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


**Can't we strive for moral improvement in each other?
sure, what's your rubric for moral improvement
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:16 AM on November 9, 2011


I get that Savage is reclaiming, or perhaps has already reclaimed, the words "fag" and "faggot," but seeing them used so many times in such a short piece was a little weird.
posted by Aizkolari at 4:26 AM on November 9, 2011


Advice is not something that’s dispensed by shrinks for $300 an hour and the stakes really aren’t that high. When you think about advice, it’s usually a situation where you go to you friends, often in bars, often when people are impaired and you lay out your problem and the very first thing they do is they make fun of you for 20 minutes about the stupid thing you did or the stupid situation you’re in, and then they whip a little advice on you.

God, I love Dan Savage. Here we see a distillation of the British attitude to "therapy", perfectly summed up. By a gay American. I tell you I love that guy. In a very masculine, straight way, of course.

But going to a gay bar and letting dude's flirt/come on to you can be instructive for straight guys. You will get a clear picture of where you stand on the attractiveness continuum, which can raise your confidence with the ladies.

Except when you do this and don't get hit on at all. I mean, it certainly lets you know that on the "attractiveness continuum" you stand precisely where you suspected you did, but it doesn't exactly raise your confidence with the ladies.
posted by Decani at 4:52 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is one of those times I wish Metafilter had downvoting.
posted by Yakuman at 5:00 AM on November 9, 2011


sure, what's your rubric for moral improvement

Doesn't matter for my purposes here. Savage doesn't seem to leave room for any rubric.
posted by valkyryn at 5:41 AM on November 9, 2011


And I answered a letter and then three months later I accidentally answered the same letter again and gave the opposite advice. Which just goes to show you that it depends on how much I’ve had to drink that day and you shouldn’t put too much stock in anything I say.
I wish this was emblazoned at the top of his advice column.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 AM on November 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Uh. I'm pretty (totally, 100%) sure that Dan's argument is that masturbation and pornography are not immoral at all.
posted by Skwirl at 6:40 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some backgrounds are more burdensome than others, that's clearly true. But maybe the secret is that each of use have a little key in each of our own backpacks of privilege that can be used to open up the lock chained around someone else's neck.

This deserves repeating. Congratulations, Skwirl, you are now the author of the best thing I've read on MetaFilter.
posted by Leta at 7:09 AM on November 9, 2011


**Can't we strive for moral improvement in each other? Isn't the knowledge that one's behavior is troubling one's partner cause for some concern in and of itself?

Not if there's nothing wrong with the activity itself. A person wishing to restrict someone's actions probably isn't a good partner for that person.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:11 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dan Savage has actually made a far more subtle statement, Turkey Glue, namely : It isn't your business who your spouse thinks about or what images they look at when they masturbate, but you have the right not to be told such things if they bother you.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:39 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I disagree with the gay bar metric - what gay men find attractive isn't necessarily what a straight woman would find attractive. Most women I know find the stereotypical gay man "cute" but not necessarily sexually attractive. A guy can be too well-groomed and well-dressed. It's kind of an uncanny valley effect.
posted by desjardins at 7:44 AM on November 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Leta, to be fair I picked up that idea while using the "two ears > one mouth, so listen more than you talk" rule while listening to a conversation between a gay friend and a person of color. It just seemed like the perfect antedote to my own experience of how discussions of privilege always become a comparison contest.
posted by Skwirl at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Some backgrounds are more burdensome than others, that's clearly true. But maybe the secret is that each of use have a little key in each of our own backpacks of privilege that can be used to open up the lock chained around someone else's neck."

Thank you Skwirl, this is so respectful and beautifully articulated. If it's okay with you, I would like to borrow it.

I so wish more people out there arguing many points of view and this goes for gender politics, politics-politics, class warfare struggles, and even your garden-variety harmless nerdy little LOL YR FAVRUT BAND SUX AMIRITE slapfights on [$Internet Forum] really understood that in general folks often aren't TRYING to argue a polar dichotomy, so y'know, dissent doesn't necessarily invalidate your position either, and getting all insecure / defensive and/or fighty about it doesn't really do much to win support to your cause.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:58 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first time I ever saw gay porn, I saw a guy being penetrated from behind while at the same time receiving and giving fellatio. I thought, you know what, these guys are probably experiencing more sexual pleasure than I am capable of as a straight man.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:00 AM on November 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I suspect that Chuffy was referring to lesbian bed death, IAmBroom.

Could be, jeffburdges, but with a reply that short, Chuffy could have meant damned near anything.

--

In what universe are gay guys in drag somehow not subject to those exact sneers, questions or insults?

OK, good point, churl - except that we both made the mistake of conflating "drag" with "gay". CDs aren't subject to those exact sneers in certain drag-friendly environs, but admittedly that's a small portion of the world at large.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2011


This isn't the first time Dan Savage has said this. When I first heard him talking about it, I damn well listened.

Because I felt it. I, being a person who tries to be "good", always struggled against the "stereotype" of what I thought your average straight man was. That is to say, a womanizing, athletic, selfish asshole. I tried not to be those things. I didn't want to be that way and I still don't.

Basically, though, this meant I was acting asexual. I couldn't actually do anything about being interested in women, because it would mean I was one of "them". The bad guys. The patriarchy. Etc.

Only recently have I been able to realize that there are other ways of expressing interest, and that these aren't bad. They are just me.

It doesn't have to be like beer commercials. In fact, the only thing that is like a beer commercial is a beer commercial.

So, anyway, I attribute my increasing comfort in my own skin to Dan Savage.
posted by kpmcguire at 8:19 AM on November 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


these guys are probably experiencing more sexual pleasure than I am capable of as a straight man.

I dunno..eating a cupcake while simultaneously waterskiing and getting a scalp massage may be better than any of these activities alone, but I kinda doubt it.
posted by chronkite at 8:27 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


these guys are probably experiencing more sexual pleasure than I am capable of as a straight man.
I'm surprised nobody has posted "try sex with a dude!" in IRL yet. Or does that go in Projects?
posted by modernserf at 8:33 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


liketitanic - did you read the link?

Yeah, I did, and I don't agree.
posted by liketitanic at 8:40 AM on November 9, 2011


I decided that I would make it my life’s mission to explain to them exactly where the clit was.

If you ask a woman nicely, she will usually tell you or show you.

I do agree it can feel like it sucks to be a straight guy and Savage's sympathy for us is one of the reasons I've always liked him, regardless if he occasionally goes off the rails.

I've always taken his "advice" as humor and with a huge grain of salt.

You will get a clear picture of where you stand on the attractiveness continuum, which can raise your confidence with the ladies.

Not so true. I am much more attractive to gay men than I am to "the ladies." But yes, going to a gay bar certainly raises my confidence in my attractiveness.

I like Dan Savage and I love Metafilter and I never thought I would be agreeing with 'thin post'.

Yeah, I'm all for a light moderation hand, but I have no idea what it takes to get a post deleted these days. Almost anything goes as far as trivial links.

The first time I ever saw gay porn, I saw a guy being penetrated from behind while at the same time receiving and giving fellatio. I thought, you know what, these guys are probably experiencing more sexual pleasure than I am capable of as a straight man.

Really not true. You (we?) could do the same thing with a couple of women.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The first time I ever saw gay porn, I saw a guy being penetrated from behind while at the same time receiving and giving fellatio. I thought, you know what, these guys are probably experiencing more sexual pleasure than I am capable of as a straight man.

Gross sensory overload =! sexual pleasure
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:24 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny stuff here ... I use to read Dan Savage when I was younger because I sort of thought it was cool, but now that I'm older...I don't know if I really care to read about other peoples sex problems.
posted by johntarantino1 at 9:52 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I chart out an odd route through queerness and masculinity, and while I run in circles dominated by women, I'm often a huge disappointment as a mascot, being this lumpen, loudmouthed teller of gross tales, badly dressed and not particularly interested in cute gay things because they're just so...familiar. Give me a nice pair of properly filthy overalls any day. I'm also more than a bit ambiguous, which pisses off my straight male coworkers to no end.

"Joe, you're not sexually nonthreatening anymore," a beautiful coworker once told me, with a pout, and it happened that I was in one of my straight-curious stretches, when I periodically confront my inner boob-looker and think, well, would it be so wrong if...

Thing was, I was caught in this by another coworker, who'd been working the first for some time, and he rather loudly took exception.

"Wait, you can't do that! You can't get into girls! We'll be fucking doomed if gay guys start fucking around with girls! That's not fair!"

I just shrugged, smiled a very, very dangerous smile, and went back to gently kneading coworker #1's rather nicely laid-out shoulders.

"Dude, that is fucking cold. That's just not right," he said, and folded his arms.

"Pay attention, then."
posted by sonascope at 12:18 PM on November 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm all for a light moderation hand, but I have no idea what it takes to get a post deleted these days. Almost anything goes as far as trivial links.
I prefer longer posts with multiple embedded links that give background and avoid topics mentioned on MeFi before, but its clear many people also like single link FPPs, and increasingly I have to be aware that discussion created by a post in the comments impacts the likelihood of a post going bye-bye, often just as much as the original post's content. This is a thin FPP to me as well, but I've commented on it 4 times now, so... yeah.
I am much more attractive to gay men than I am to "the ladies." But yes, going to a gay bar certainly raises my confidence in my attractiveness.
The main thing being friends with gay people has taught me about being good looking is that men really are attractive in ways that are different from women. A goofy looking guy (say, Man A) can get attention from more classically attractive man, call him Man B. but then I ask someone why Man B isn't getting hit on by people I know, a guy tells me... oh, Man B isn't our type... or Man B is short and his face doesn't go well with being short...or Man B carries himself poorly. Or there may be a guy who I find endlessly attractive, but women I'm around have no interest in him.

These are considerations that don't enter my head when I'm thinking about girl's attractiveness. Maybe it is for some people, maybe more men have "a type" but feel uncomfortable expressing it, and really this just illustrates the unfair pressure on women to achieve an arbitrarily declared uniform standard of beauty. Anyways, maybe you actually are as attractive to "the ladies" as you are to gay men, you're just asking ladies who aren't into the Mr Grimm type. I certainly know I'm not attractive to most ladies, but somehow, thankfully, there are enough girls into lanky pale faces that I can trick a couple of them into dating me every few years or so.
posted by midmarch snowman at 1:10 PM on November 9, 2011


Because I felt it. I, being a person who tries to be "good", always struggled against the "stereotype" of what I thought your average straight man was. That is to say, a womanizing, athletic, selfish asshole. I tried not to be those things. I didn't want to be that way and I still don't.

Basically, though, this meant I was acting asexual. I couldn't actually do anything about being interested in women, because it would mean I was one of "them". The bad guys. The patriarchy. Etc.


You've pointed out an odd little fear that has reared its ugly head in most decent straight men I know: that the mass stereotype of straight men as selfish assholes, or at best hopelessly immature, means that we think we can't show interest in women we want sexually because we think that interest alone will get us lumped in with "them," and we do not want to be "them."

Of course, most women aren't quite so harsh, and have seen enough jerks to know the difference. But yeah, this ridiculous idea held me back for a long time, and it still does, sometimes.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:12 PM on November 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'm all for a light moderation hand, but I have no idea what it takes to get a post deleted these days. Almost anything goes as far as trivial links.
the "post better stuff yourself" route never seems to get gone down, it's always "complain 'til shit gets harsh". i wonder why this is
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:25 PM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most women I know find the stereotypical gay man "cute" but not necessarily sexually attractive.

It's really funny that you say this, because I feel like if anything the women I know are the ones who are particularly into the pretty, androgynous boys...
posted by en forme de poire at 6:01 PM on November 9, 2011


Well, I am lost then. I am neither pretty nor androgynous.
posted by Samizdata at 6:53 AM on November 10, 2011


Yeah, my larger point with posting that was that I don't think the tastes of women or gay men are monolithic, and that what you'll see depends on who you know and which bars or whatever you're going to. I know plenty of gay guys who aren't into the "stereotypical gay man" type -- it's not that surprising, since the stereotype is itself a specific type of gay man, not an average over gay men. And of course I know that there are lots of women who like their men to be shaped like a Kenmore fridge. In the aggregate, I suspect male and female tastes in men are probably not that different from each other, but it's easy to get that impression from a small sample size.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:24 AM on November 10, 2011


Yeah, I certainly wasn't implying that all women prefer linebackers or something, or that most gay men were the sort you find in Bel Ami videos. I think there are some generational differences; the twenty-something women I know tend to prefer and date more androgynous types than the 30- and 40-somethings. I think that will be more common as gender roles become more and more fluid. It's been years since straight guys with earrings were shocking.
posted by desjardins at 7:32 AM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: "I decided that I would make it my life’s mission to explain to them exactly where the clit was.

If you ask a woman nicely, she will usually tell you or show you.
"

So, I guess I was the only prepubescent with a copy of Gray's Anatomy then?

Well, they do say being a dork is from birth, not a lifestyle choice...
posted by Samizdata at 10:58 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, I guess I was the only prepubescent with a copy of Gray's Anatomy then?

the map is not the territory
posted by mrgrimm at 12:54 PM on November 11, 2011


mrgrimm: "So, I guess I was the only prepubescent with a copy of Gray's Anatomy then?

the map is not the territory
"

Understood.

OTOH, I sure as hell knew where the clit was...
posted by Samizdata at 7:32 PM on November 12, 2011


If you ask a woman nicely, she will usually tell you or show you.

i call bullshit: what are the exact words you'd use?
posted by cupcake1337 at 3:40 PM on November 16, 2011


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