Main | Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jockohomo Steps Up

Gentle readers, we've got some smart, smart people on this here website thingy. I only do an "opinion" piece every few weeks, but I am consistently floored by the thoughtful, challenging, and better-than-I-could-have-said-it responses. More times that I'd like to admit, I come away with an altered opinion. As a case in point, I have pulled the below comment out of the comments box so that more of you will read Jockohomo's take on our gay porn discussion. I thank Jim for his permission to do this.

Thanks for the link to this excellent post, very thought provoking! It's worth noting that the homo/hetero dichotomy dates from only a century ago, when doctors invented both terms, thereby recasting as a duality what had previously been regarded as a wide variety of sexual attitudes and appetites. We all know that sexuality and sexual preferences operate on a kind of complex spectrum, every individual has a unique sexuality that's different from those of their peers.

1. Most males really enjoy being male, having a penis is awesome! We all have certain physical features in common with other males. Depending on the individual, this pride of masculinity may cause a varying degree of arousal when a guy looks at another male. Even though we may have no desire for actual romantic or intimate contact with another male, it can still be an erotic image. We may wonder how a fellow male masturbates or how he has sex, because we find these things enjoyable when we do them ourselves. We may think about masturbating while looking at another guy who is doing it at the same time. However, basic admiration or 'looking at another guy' doesn't mean we want them. As all porn is voyeuristic in nature, I hope we could agree as gay men that there is more to being a homosexual than just the physical. Homosexuality is not the inverse of heterosexuality. Gay sexual acts that mirror heterosexual act, are dull, boring, predictable. If allegedly straight males are the holy grail in gay eroticism, that's a damn shame, and too rigid for me. Of course, when considering sexual preference one has to take into account the balance of desire for physical intimacy with the desire for emotional intimacy.

2. Rape is and always will be a form of violence and control no matter how one might glorify, sanitize, and aestheticize sexual violence. It's interesting to consider that what we see in gay porn might not be the modern definition of rape, as we rarely see the serious consequences of such rape. I often think that what we might be seeing in films is the more erotic raptus as defined by the ancient Romans i.e. the carrying off by force. During the Renaissance, a time when artists looked to ancient Greco-Roman civilization for enlightened inspiration sexual relations were portrayed like the hunt; that sex and rape were equal, that when seduction fails, violence may be employed, that aggression against an unwilling partner enhances eroticism, that in the end the rape victim will be happy with the assailant. It's frightening to examine the rape concept, yes, but interesting to consider. I have no answers as to why, 'rape scenes' appear so often in porn, they are demeaning and feed the myth of the gay man as sexually insatiable and a predator.

3. As gay men, we grow up holding the secret, holding the shadow side. It's interesting not having definitive role models, the ego has an enormous capacity not to know itself. Society forces us to hold down those so called unpleasant or unacceptable qualities, but inside those so called unpleasant or unacceptable qualities are a great deal of normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, and creative impulses. We grow knowing what to show and or not to show in order to survive in a male dominated society. In other words, the fear of being perceived as gay holds straight guys together. This is why boys in a playground police each other for signs of being a sissy, why male adolescents conjure up elaborate codes in which wearing a certain color on a certain day labels the unwitting offender as a fairy or homo. Sadly, the obsession with homosexual signs and the people who embody them is the key to an order that ranks men by their invulnerability to same-sex desire. The irony is that this heterosexual code of conduct has nothing to do with loving women, but it has everything to do with fear of femininity.

Fear of a queer new world? What would the world look like without homophobia and internalized homophobia at that! Why is it that ordinary masculinity depends not just on heterosexuality but on male-dominant heterosexuality? What would happen if all men would embrace passivity, receptivity, and vulnerability as part of their larger repertoire of emotions?


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