Do These Upstanding Young Men Look Like Gay Homosexual Butt Chuggers?

No, this one isn’t the work of The Onion. Not only would the large cast of suited and booted fra­tern­ity boys with sol­emn faces and clasped hands stand­ing behind the com­edy attor­ney who can’t stop say­ing ‘butt chug­ging’ break their pro­duc­tion budget, it’s just far too chug­ging crazy. If this uniquely American spec­tacle had been presen­ted as sur­real satire no one would buy it.

Look out for the two frat bros who emerge hast­ily from the bushes at 4.47 and sheep­ishly join their serious-looking broth­ers at the back. ‘Butt’ if you think they might have been enga­ging in a quick spot of that abso­lutely ree-puls-ive prac­tise of butt-chugging, then SHAME. ONYOU.

Tip: Stephane T

Touching Another Dude Dudely

I’m not sure I entirely believe the pre­amble from the overly dudey — if very easy on the eye — presenter and star of this ‘exper­i­ment’ in ‘touch­ing dudes softly’. Particularly the bit about ‘noth­ing makes me uncomfortable!’

But it is inter­est­ing to watch the responses of the men he decides to mon­ster with ‘inap­pro­pri­ate’ ten­der­ness — or ‘touch­ing another dude softly’.

I’m also per­son­ally inter­ested in why I found it very uncom­fort­able to watch. Is it because I’m wor­ry­ing the men will freak out? Or is it just because I’m very uptight about phys­ical ten­der­ness myself? Or is it simply because of the pain­ful self-consciousness of the setup?

I’ve watched drunken straight lads do much ‘worse’ things to one another and not felt in the least bit uncom­fort­able about it. And nor did they, apparently.

I atten­ded a gay rugby tour­na­ment some years ago and was struck by the way that there was on the whole rather less in the way of phys­ical affec­tion and ten­der­ness between men than you’ll find at ‘straight’ rugby matches. I still remem­ber watch­ing a sozzled young chap at the Army & Navy match bat­ting his mate’s gilfriend’s hand away from his chum so HE could hold his hand as they left Twickenham.

In fact, many of the play­ers I spoke to at the gay ruby tour­na­ment seemed to be dis­ap­poin­ted that the gay rugby teams were miss­ing one vital rugby ritual: post-match homo­erotic horseplay.

Sometimes being straight means that you can get away with much more. Because it’s all ‘a laugh’. Dude.

Tip: Pug Bear

Homoerotic Horseplay — Not Gay Just Guy

afghanistan embassy guards 2 300x245 Homoerotic Horseplay   Not Gay Just Guy

A column of mine on Out.com, ‘Men At Play in Afgrabistan’, gal­lantly defends the free­dom of the derided (and now dis­missed) secur­ity guards at the US embassy to get naked with one another and eat potato chips from each other’s butts in their spare time — even if they’re out of shape.  I also point out how every­day and ‘nor­mal’ homo­erot­ics is for many if not most men — but we don’t want to see it, and when we can’t ignore it because it’s thrust in our face by digital cam­eras and the Interweb we patho­lo­gize or crim­in­al­ize it:

…the furor is another reminder that we live in a cul­ture where female bi-curiousness is routinely regarded as nat­ural and almost uni­ver­sal while male bi-curiousness is seen as non-existent — or else it is just “sexu­ally con­fused” (i.e. they’re really gay, but laugh­ably repressed), or it is “devi­ant haz­ing” con­duc­ted by “sexual pred­at­ors” that needs to be eradicated.

In real­ity, to any­one who opens their eyes on a Saturday night on either side of the Atlantic, there’s scads of evid­ence that plenty of “nor­mal” young men who aren’t par­tic­u­larly “sexu­ally con­fused” — espe­cially the most, er, phys­ical types — have a healthy appet­ite for highly homo­erotic beha­vior after a keg or two. It’s what beer seems to have been inven­ted for. In the Middle Ages they thought the cause of sod­omy was drunk­en­ness — they weren’t wrong. By con­trast, I’ve hardly ever seen such homo­erotic horse­play amongst straight women, even des­pite the inven­tion of alco­pops (though admit­tedly I per­haps wasn’t look­ing as closely.)

Some people have a more viol­ently neg­at­ive response to the every­day evid­ence of male homo­erot­ics, lit­er­ally try­ing to stamp it out.  In the UK a straight female Canadian mar­tial arts expert attacked and knocked out a couple of drunken British sol­diers at a disco for kiss­ing and ‘pre­tend­ing to be gay’, scream­ing ‘THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE BRITISH ARMY!!’.

Living in a gar­rison town I’ve seen plenty of sim­il­ary steamy beha­viour from drunken squad­dies in pubs and on dance-floors, snog­ging and hump­ing and grop­ing one another, so I can under­stand her frus­tra­tion — I’ve wanted to get phys­ical too, but not in quite the same way she did.

Sometimes the response is more gen­teel, but just as vehe­ment.  During the last Rugby World Cup a couple of years ago I was invited on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio Four to talk about homo­erot­ics and rugby.  I thought it a bit odd that Woman’s Hour wanted to cover this sub­ject, but the pro­du­cer enthused: ‘The presenter Jane is really keen to talk about it’.  It turned out that neither the presenter, a former female sports journ­al­ist, or her guest, another female sports journ­al­ist, wanted to talk about it at all. 

Both of them refused point blank to coun­ten­ance the pos­sib­il­ity that a game that involves men with large thighs wrest­ling in the mud over odd-shaped balls, or tak­ing com­munal baths, or kinky nude drink­ing games that would shock the guards at the American Embassy in Afghanistan, could be in any way homo­erotic.  Only a homo would say such a thing.

Of course you would say that Mark,’ she said at one point, ‘because you’re gay.’

I paused.  Several things occured to me to say to that.  I could have said that droves of gay men were prob­ably rush­ing at that very moment to dis­so­ci­ate them­selves from what I was say­ing (they usu­ally do).  Or I could have said, ‘Well, of course you would say that Jane, as an uptight middle class woman’ (and I wished I had).

Instead I said, ‘It seems that some people have a prob­lem with the word “homo­erotic”.  They think that it means some­thing ‘for gays’.  Perhaps some people would be hap­pier with the word “male bonding”.’

Yes!’ they chor­used, ‘it’s male bonding!’

But,’ I con­tin­ued, ‘it’s male bond­ing with an erotic com­pon­ent so we’re back where we came in.’

They didn’t like that. 

And this just a few weeks after this show had gone out on national UK TV, in which a team of north­ern rugby play­ers had been filmed get­ting drunk and naked with one another, snog­ging, lick­ing each other’s nipples - and play­ing with their captain’s ‘don­key dick’.  Of course, I couldn’t even men­tion it, as on radio — espe­cially Radio Four — you’re not allowed to acknow­ledge that TV exists.

Again, being radio, and posh radio at that, a nice voice whispered in my head­phone just before we went on air. ‘Remember Mark, this is a fam­ily show so please try not to be too rude!.’   This did hamper my case some­what, as rugby homo­erot­ics are meant to be rude.  Though it didn’t stop me from leav­ing some­thing tan­tal­ising hanging in the air: ”The soggy bis­cuit game, for example, isn’t entirely a myth.…’.

I think we’d bet­ter move on,’ said Jane rather quickly.  Apparently the Radio Four switch­board was jammed with retired lady callers demand­ing to know what the soggy bis­cuit game was. 

 

(This fea­ture of mine from a couple of years back, ‘Assume the pos­i­tion’, offers a more in-depth invest­ig­a­tion of the culture’s crack­down on haz­ing and male horse­play in general.)