Bisexual Men Exist! But Does Scientific Sex Research?

Those kinky penile plethysmo­graph fet­ish­ists at Northwestern University just can’t get enough cock.

Dr JM Bailey and his chums have been strap­ping a fresh batch of pen­ises into their sex-lie detector machines again, show­ing them porn and fever­ishly twid­dling their knobs. But this time – hold the front page! – their ‘sci­entific’ find­ings very kindly allow men who like cock and pussy to actu­ally exist.

Which might not in the real world seem such a major find­ing – but it rep­res­ents a major flip flop for this out­fit. Six years ago, using the same cranky equip­ment, they claimed they had demon­strated that male bisexu­al­ity didn’t exist. That their data sug­ges­ted that bisexual men were in fact ‘really’ homosexual.

A ‘find­ing’ that was trum­peted around the world. Because of course it told people, straight and gay, what they wanted to hear, and what com­mon sense tells them to be the case. Gays have always wanted bisexual men to join ‘their’ team. While straights don’t want the dirty dogs on theirs. However lib­eral they might be. Especially in the devoutly mono­sexual USA. ‘Straight, Gay or Lying?’ was the infam­ous, shame­ful head­line in the New York Times which greeted the 2005 paper from Bailey ‘prov­ing’ male bisexu­al­ity doesn’t exist.

Just as all women are ‘really bisexual’, no men really are. Since vir­il­ity is dir­ectly related to a man’s abil­ity to per­form com­puls­ory het­ero­sexu­al­ity, any man who is aroused by cock can’t be virile. He is, by defin­i­tion, emas­cu­lated. Impotent. A fag. Or ‘gay’ if you’re lib­eral. No won­der the vast major­ity of men attrac­ted to other men don’t advert­ise the fact.

All this des­pite of course the way hard­core ‘straight’ porn watched by most men when they’re not strapped to a plethysmo­graph in Northwestern University fea­tures pussies AND cock. Usually lots and lots of ENORMOUS cocks – and a sorely-tested pussy or two. By way of con­trast, I’d point out that I’ve never seen a single pussy in gay porn. (Except once in the art-house porn of Bruce La Bruce – who was any­way only doing it to wind up The Gays.)

In my own private ‘researches’ I’ve come across – and over – scores of straight/bi-curious/bisexual men who want to re-enact the straight hard­core porn they’ve been watch­ing. With them as the ‘greedy slut’. They tell me they decided that it looked like fun. And besides, they thought they could do a bet­ter job. (Probably cor­rectly, since the ‘slut’ fantasy of straight porn is of course a largely male construction.)

But Bailey’s yen to strap pen­ises into sex-lie detect­ors is much more respect­able than my private per­ving. The jaw-droppingly dread­ful recent C4 doc­u­ment­ary series The Sex Researchers presen­ted Bailey as some kind of sexual seer, rather than the highly con­tro­ver­sial and frankly rather dodgy fig­ure he is. Worse, it gave his favour­ite sex toy, the penile plethysmo­graph, a star­ring role in the first and last epis­ode, present­ing a con­trap­tion which is prob­ably even less reli­able than a non-kinky ordin­ary lie detector, as a pure, object­ive and accur­ate way of meas­ur­ing and study­ing sexu­al­ity, in con­trast to all that sub­ject­ive tosh and ‘dirty data’ that Kinsey and Freud came out with. By listen­ing to people.

Likewise, the series began and ended with the ludicrous but appar­ently highly reas­sur­ing asser­tion, based on this object­ive and sci­entific research, that most women are bisexual and hardly any men are.

In keep­ing with this ‘Loaded’ ideo­logy – and it really is an ideo­logy, make no mis­take – the entire series on sex research, lav­ishly illus­trated with ‘ironic’ vin­tage soft porn foot­age of naked ladies play­ing with them­selves and jig­gling their boobies, the penis and the male body was almost com­pletely absent – except when under­go­ing grue­some ‘cor­rect­ive sur­gery’ or being sub­jec­ted to ‘test­ing’ in the plethysmo­graph. We were repeatedly told that female sexu­al­ity is ‘com­plic­ated’ but men’s sexu­al­ity is… mech­an­ical.

The denial of male bisexu­al­ity and bi-curiousness has its roots in a sex­ism that keeps men in their place even more than women.

Sex’ for the C4 doc­u­ment­ary makers meant (a very par­tic­u­lar kind of) ‘female body’. It was as if the doc­u­ment­ary had been dir­ec­ted by Benny Hill, but without the laughs. The com­mer­cial breaks, fea­tur­ing tarty half-naked men selling break­fast cer­eals and mois­tur­iser were much more enlightened and real­istic than any­thing in this series based on an already highly dated het­ero­norm­ativ­ity (which incid­ent­ally is the sub­ject of an offi­cial com­plaint to Channel 4 about its inac­cur­ate and mis­lead­ing nature by sev­eral of the sex research­ers inter­viewed for it).

So why the turn­around by Bailey? Well, it seems the loud and angry protests from bisexual organ­isa­tions that Bailey’s 2005 find­ings under­stand­ably aroused has taken its toll -– and indeed one bisexual organ­isa­tion even fun­ded this recent research.

They got the res­ult they wanted, but I fear they’re wast­ing their money and merely encour­aging more bad sci­ence. Some of course will hold these find­ings up as proof that this Heath Robinson kind of bio-mechanical sex research can cor­rect itself. But they would have to be true believ­ers to see it that way. All that has been proven is that meas­ur­ing penile blood-flow in a labor­at­ory is a highly reduct­ive and highly abnor­mal meas­ure of male sexu­al­ity. Men are not just pen­ises. They are also pro­state glands. Perineums. Earlobes. Inner thighs. Brains. Nipples.

It also shows that you get the res­ult you’re look­ing for. In 2005 Bailey wanted to prove that male bisexu­al­ity didn’t exist. In 2011 he didn’t. QED.

Perhaps the worst thing about this new find­ing is that Bailey et al will now try to turn male bisexu­als into a ‘spe­cies’ to be stud­ied and dis­sec­ted. Bisexual men may quickly come to the con­clu­sion that they were much bet­ter off when they didn’t exist.

Unless of course they them­selves have a bit of a fet­ish for penile plethysmo­graph play.

photoplethysmographpenis blog Bisexual Men Exist! But Does Scientific Sex Research?

 

The End of Heterosexuality (As We’ve Known It)

By Mark Simpson

A bullet-pointed column in the NYT by Charles M. Blow exam­ines a sea-change in atti­tudes towards homo­sexu­al­ity sug­ges­ted by a recent Gallup poll which found that, for the first time, the per­cent­age of Americans who per­ceive “gay and les­bian rela­tions” as “mor­ally accept­able” has crossed the sym­bol­ic­ally import­ant 50 per­cent mark.

Also for the first time, and even more sig­ni­fic­antly, more men than women hold that view. While women’s atti­tudes have stayed about the same over the past four years, the per­cent­age of men over 50 who con­sider homo­sexu­al­ity mor­ally accept­able rose by a by an eyebrow-raising 26% –and for those aged 18–49 by an eye­pop­ping 48%.

What on earth has happened in the US since 2006? How did the American male lose his world-famous Christian sphincter-cramp and right­eous loath­ing of sod­omy? Have the gays been secretly put­ting pop­pers in the locker-room vent­il­a­tion shaft?

Alas, Gallup doesn’t say.  So Mr Blow does what you do at the NYT when you’re stumped: ask some aca­dem­ics.  They came up with three theories:

    1. As more gay people come out more straight people get to per­son­ally know gay people which makes it more dif­fi­cult to discriminate.
    2. Men may be becom­ing more ‘egal­it­arian’ in gen­eral, partly thanks to feminism.
    3. Virulent homo­phobes are increas­ingly being exposed for enga­ging in homosexuality”.

Now, the first two of these the­or­ies seem to me fairly plaus­ible explan­a­tions for increased accept­ance of homo­sexu­al­ity at any time, but not espe­cially in the last few years – let alone that whop­ping 48% rise for 18–49 year olds. But the third the­ory about pub­lic homo­phobes being exposed as secretly gay per­haps goes too far in the oppos­ite dir­ec­tion and is too current-news spe­cific. As if the dis­cov­ery that fam­ous homo­phobe George Rekkers hired a rent boy to give him ‘spe­cial’ mas­sages could trans­form atti­tudes towards man-love overnight – rather than just change atti­tudes towards George Rekkers.

So I give them all just a C minus.

And, as Blow points out, none of these the­or­ies address the main find­ing – that men now are more accept­ing than women, revers­ing the gender split on this sub­ject that has held since poll­sters star­ted bug­ging people with ques­tions about ‘homo­sexual relations’.

In my own spec­u­lat­ive opin­ion, none of these the­or­ies can see the rain­forest for the trees. Of course young men in the US are much more accept­ing of homo­sexu­al­ity – because so many of them are now way gay them­selves. It’s not really an issue of ‘tol­er­ance’ or ‘accept­ance’ of ‘oth­er­ness’ at all. It’s about self-interest – quite lit­er­ally. About men being less down on the gays because they’re less hard on them­selves now – in fact, rather sweet on them­selves instead.

It’s about men in gen­eral not being so quick to renounce and con­demn their own ‘unmanly’ desires or nar­ciss­ism – or pro­ject it into ‘faggots’.

Which from the point of view of today’s sen­su­ally greedy male would be a ter­rible waste of a pro­state gland. Probably most young men are now doing pretty much everything that freaky gay men were once abhorred for doing – from anal play (both ways) to no-strings fuck-buddies, to cry­ing over Glee, and using buff-puffs in the shower while demand­ing as their male birth­right ‘com­fort­able skin’ (as the recent massive ad cam­paign for Dove for Men puts it).

And the tim­ing fits almost as snugly as a fin­ger or three where the sun don’t shine. It was after all only in 2003 that the Supreme Court finally struck down the anti sod­omy laws still on the stat­ute books of some US states as uncon­sti­tu­tional. It was also in the early Noughties that met­ro­sexu­al­ity really took off in the US.

Despite a mid-Noughties anti-metro, anti-gay mar­riage back­lash that helped re-elect Bush, in the Tweenies the male desire to be desired, and his eager­ness to use product – and body parts and prac­tises – once deemed ‘gay’ or ‘fem­in­ine’ or just ‘wrong’ to achieve this, seems to have become pretty much accep­ted amongst most American males under 45. It’s con­sumer­ism and advert­ising of course not the gays that has been put­ting the pop­pers in the men’s locker room.

Along the way, many young men have twigged that in a post-feminist world of com­mod­i­fied bod­ies and online tarti­ness there is decidedly no advant­age to them any more in an essen­tially Victorian sexual divi­sion of labour in the bed­room and bath­room that insists only women are looked at and men do the look­ing, that women are always pass­ive and men are always act­ive – or in the homo­pho­bia that was used to enforce it. Men now want it all.  Both ends.

And per­haps American women aren’t keep­ing up with men’s chan­ging atti­tudes because some are real­ising how ‘gay’ their boy­friends and hus­bands are already and won­der­ing where this is all leading.

There’s plenty to won­der about.  After all, it’s the end of the road for that holi­est American insti­tu­tion of all: Heterosexuality. Not cross-sex attrac­tion, of course, or repro­duc­tion – but that sys­tem of com­puls­ory, full-time, always-asserted straight­ness for men which stray­ing from moment­ar­ily, or even just fail­ing to show suf­fi­cient respect towards in the past could cost you your cojones. What, you a FAG??

If met­ro­sexu­al­ity is based on van­ity, ret­ro­sexu­al­ity, it needs to be poin­ted out, was based partly on self-loathing. ‘Real men’ were sup­posed to be repulsed by their own bod­ies at least as much as they were repulsed by other men’s. (If they were really lucky they might get away with pas­sion­ate indifference.)

After a dec­ade or so of met­ro­sexu­al­ity a tip­ping point seems to have been reached. Men’s self-loving bi-sensuality and appre­ci­ation of male beauty, awakened and increas­ingly nor­m­al­ised by our medi­ated world, seems to be here to stay. Even in the God-fearing USA. And might now, if it’s in the mood and treated right, choose to be con­sum­mated rather than just deflec­ted into con­sumer­ism again.

When I first wrote about how the future of men was met­ro­sexual, back in 1994, it was clear to me that met­ro­sexu­al­ity was to some degree the flip­side of the then emer­ging fash­ion for female bi-curiousness. I didn’t talk about this much at the time because I knew no one would listen if I did.  (I needn’t have wor­ried – they didn’t anyway.)

In this regard, one of the aca­dem­ics in the NYT piece was (finally) quoted as say­ing some­thing inter­est­ing, right at the end:

Professor Savin-Williams says that his cur­rent research reveals that the fastest-growing group along the sexu­al­ity con­tinuüm are men who self-identify as “mostly straight” as opposed to labels like “straight,” “gay” or “bisexual.”  They acknow­ledge some level of attrac­tion to other men even as they say that they prob­ably wouldn’t act on it, but … the right guy, the right day, a few beers and who knows. As the pro­fessor points out, you would never have heard that in years past.’

An A ++ to Dr Savin-Williams. Not so long ago, when Heterosexuality was a proper belief sys­tem that com­manded round-the-clock obeis­ance, ‘mostly straight’ would have been a heretical con­tra­dic­tion in terms – like half preg­nant. But in this Brave New World of male need­i­ness it’s just a state­ment of where we’re at.

For today’s young men the fear of fag­gotry is fast being replaced by the fear of miss­ing out.

Tip: Dermod Moore

MM4W — No Dudes! Not Gay!! We Don’t Touch Each Other!!!

Some amus­ing — and pos­sibly dis­turb­ing — MM4W Craiglist per­sonal ads spot­ted on the rather fas­cin­at­ing NattySoltesz.com (not entirely office safe).

My per­sonal favour­ite is the one head­lined: ‘Probably the 2 Best Looking Men You’ll Find On Here’, which insists:

No tran­nies, no dudes, none of that creepy stuff — we’re straight!’

The pic­tures attached of the two buffed, preen­ing male tarts are indeed a test­a­ment to where straight men are at these days. The state of straight.

Now, there’s noth­ing wrong with some bud­dies want­ing to re-enacct the gang-bang, several-outsized-penises-pester-one-pussy porn that is so pop­u­lar with straight men these days.  And if they’re buffed — even bet­ter. It doesn’t mean they’re gay. It doesn’t even mean that they’re par­tic­u­larly bisexual. It just means that, like most men, they’re rather keen on cocks.

But the hys­ter­ical lengths men still feel they have to go to to refute any of ‘that creepy stuff’ — even as they spit-roast or DP an obli­ging lady together, admir­ing each other’s sweat­ing, flex­ing muscles and per­haps enjoy­ing the sen­sa­tion of their buddy’s erect penis ham­mer­ing away on the other side of the pel­vic area — or per­haps in the same ori­fice — is a bit sad. If under­stand­able. Because of course, if you’re male and ‘touch one another’, even just once, then you are GAY!!!!! Forever. Whereas if you’re female and touch one another you’re… HOT!!!!!

The slightly, how shall I put it, impen­et­rable French Freudian fem­in­ist Luce Irigary (impen­et­rable even by the stand­ards of French fem­in­ism) wrote back in the 1980s about the ‘mas­cu­line homo­sexual eco­nomy’ (of het­ero­sexu­als) in which women are merely objects and tokens to be exchanged between men — men in pat­ri­arch­ical sys­tems being sup­posedly far more inter­ested in other men than in women.

In the 21st Century we have moved on from that, of course. Now men appear to be using women as double-ended Fleshlites.

Banana-Curious: Why Men Throat Curved Fruit on YouTube

banana 284x300 Banana Curious: Why Men Throat Curved Fruit on YouTube

Male bi-curiousness may not be as ‘cool’ as The Daily Beast thinks, but banana-curiousity is clearly all the rage.

There has been a bit of a vogue for young men video­ing them­selves greed­ily down­load­ing curved phal­lic fruit and upload­ing the some­times messy, some­times awe-inspiring res­ults to YouTube. I’ve col­lec­ted a few examples which may put you off your packed lunch. Or make you want to get to know it a whole lot better.

Because it’s a fruit that looks like a penis and is not an actual penis, fruit fel­la­tio is some­thing you can per­form for your help­lessly snig­ger­ing male bud­dies on buses, in bar­racks and canteens and post on YouTube for the world to see without age restric­tions or, appar­ently, any embarrassment.

Nor does it tell us any­thing about your sexu­al­ity — save that you’re prob­ably ridicu­lously het­ero­sexual. Though it may sug­gest that, like most straight men nowadays, you spend rather a lot of time mas­turb­at­ing furi­ously over porn fea­tur­ing gar­gan­tuan pen­ises more animal or veget­able than human while won­der­ing — just before you shoot all over the mon­itor again — whether or not you could do a bet­ter job of swal­low­ing it than the ladies.

It’s a shame that male bi-curiousness couldn’t be treated the way banana-curiousness is by most people: just an eye-watering laugh that doesn’t mean any­thing, still less reveal­ing some ‘inner truth’ about who or what you really are — or aren’t.  In other words, a bit like female bi-curiousness.

In fact, let’s just scrub the word ‘bi-curious’ for men, since it is appar­ently such a charged term, and replace it with ‘banana-curious’. Banana-curious guys could dis­cretely flag up their interest to other banana-curious males by includ­ing a pic­ture of them eat­ing a banana on their online profiles.

Sadly though, such is the stigma still attached to men’s interest in other men and their bits that even banana-curiousness will some­times get you flamed as… FAGGOT!!!!!  And even lads who like to throat twelve-inch ‘cock bana­nas’ on cam­era will fall over to prove them­selves fag-haters because that of course proves their heterosexuality.

There’s a furi­ous exchange on YouTube between the young chap above, who man­fully attempts what he describes as ‘a cock banana’ (of Holmesian pro­por­tions that would have me hid­ing under the bed, quak­ing like a wet chi­hua­hua) and a clearly envi­ous if some­what con­flic­ted com­menter who starts off by screaming:

GAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY !!!!!!!! ’

The banana-throater responds wittily:

your the gay one fuck head ’

Which leads inev­it­ably to the riposte:

your gay for makin’ this video ’

Fascinating epi­stem­o­lo­gical ques­tion, that. Who is gayer? The uptight straight boy throat­ing a twelve inch ‘cock banana’ on YouTube or the straight boy watch­ing it and work­ing him­self into a homo­phobic froth about it?

your the fag­got who searched for it ‚if you like men you­tube aint the place’

you’re gay for makin’ the video for us to search for,and I never searched for it. It came up when I was look­ingh for some­thing of a com­pletely dif­fer­ent category.’

Yes! That’s exactly how I came across this clip too!

Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I come across this kind of exchange between young males it always seems clear as day that such pas­sion­ate denun­ci­ations of one another as ‘fag­gots’ is only pos­sible — in fact only makes any kind of sense — if ‘fag­got’ thoughts are extremely com­mon amongst young males and they are forever fret­ting that they’ll be found out. (This is also very prob­ably the reason why male bisexu­al­ity is much more prob­lem­atic than the female vari­ety: because they’re so com­mon the repu­di­ation of ‘fag­got’ thoughts is a more deeply ingrained aspect of mas­culin­ity — almost its defin­i­tion, in fact.)

The banana-throater’s girl­friend makes a some­what con­veni­ent appear­ance to prove he’s not gay — which of course in itself proves he couldn’t pos­sibly be inter­ested in pen­ises — and to shoo away the gays that are circ­ling around her tal­en­ted boy­friend in lan­guage sus­pi­ciously sim­ilar to that used by him:

sorry gay boy its only a banana if you want to see cock why dont you go buy a poofs magazine’

Mind you, dear, as one of the posters points out, your boy­friend did title his charm­ing video ‘cock banana’, so you can hardly blame the gay boy poofs can you? Your boy­friend, like you, does appear to have ‘issues’. Here’s the banana-cock-throating boy’s own response to another poster’s offer to let him try out his skills on the real thing:

no thanks gay boy, women are sup­pose to do that kind of thing. its adam and eve not adam and steve.’

Whereas deep-throating bana­nas is of course entirely nat­ural and nor­mal and as God intended.

But the really import­ant, urgent ques­tion, er, ‘thrown up’ by these clips is of course: who has the best tech­nique? No.2 looks to have the most capa­cious throat, but I’m tickled by No.5’s enthu­si­asm, while No.6 has a very cheeky fin­ish.  Please post your reviews.…

And to all you banana-curious lads out there won­der­ing how to sup­press that tricky gag-reflex: try tak­ing a deep breath before swal­low­ing. Poppers, relax­ing music and a hand around the back of the head helps too.

Health and Safety Notice: if you really are going to try this at home I should prob­ably point out that an actual penis or proper plastic dildo is prob­ably less dan­ger­ous down your throat than a banana as they’re both some­what less likely to break in two and choke you to death.

3.

I hurt my throat!” (Yeah, right.)

4.

It’s a big dick!” Not really, dear.…

5.

Lots of eye-contact here.

6.

A cheeky finish.

 

UPDATE 1/4/12

A few years on and it seems one or two of the banana-throaters pos­ted above have become a tad shy about their tal­ents and pulled their clips. So I had a quick look on YouTube and found a new banana star — a cute blond jar­head who deep throats curved fruit in the bar­racks for a dol­lar. “Will you go out with me?” jokes his clearly impressed bunk buddy.

Meanwhile someone has kindly col­lec­ted a ‘bunch’ of Youtube banana-throating vids and spliced them together:

 

Bisexuals Musto Be Gay

Michael Musto, a very gay man, had this to say in The Village Voice recently about those per­fi­di­ous, untrust­worthy bisexuals:

Everyone always says they’re bisexual, blab­bing on and on about how “sexu­al­ity is fluid, and I don’t really like labels”–but usu­ally I find these are just gay men who are afraid to come out. I know there are real bisexu­als out there–mainly because I’ve heard that there are–and I do think it’s a lovely idea to actu­ally crave sex with people regard­less of gender. I’m just won­der­ing how real a phe­nomenon this is, as opposed to a smoke-and-mirrors coverup designed to keep antsy gays in the closet.

Most of the guys I know who say they’re bisexual end up doing Bette Davis imper­son­a­tions after a few drinks, and when you invite them to an all-girl bar, they get excited, think­ing you mean Splash. But do you know any­one who REALLY is equally attrac­ted to both men and women and effort­lessly glides between those two dat­ing pools without a second’s thought or self-consciousness? If so, do you ever sus­pect they’re full of shit?

Musto was per­haps being delib­er­ately crass, but he should prob­ably be thanked for voicing what prob­ably most gay men think about bisexual men (and note that he starts talk­ing about ‘bisexu­al­ity’ but it quickly becomes clear that, like me, he’s only inter­ested in bisexual men).

Stripped down and lubed up, here’s what Musto was really say­ing about those flakey bi guys:

  1. They’re lying
  2. They really want to be Michael Musto
  3. Real bisexu­al­ity is about ‘crav­ing’ men and women because bisexu­als are greedy
  4. If they’re not greedy and equally attrac­ted to both men and women — and of course Musto gets to decide whether they are or not — then we’re back to where we came in.
  5. Will Musto get to suck his cock?

Funny how many gay men appear to want to exterm­in­ate male bisexu­al­ity as a cat­egory even though they often find the idea of bisexual men a big turn on. Each man kills the thing he loves….

Of course, for some men declar­ing them­selves ‘bi’ is a way of edging out of het­ero­sexu­al­ity into full-time all-singing, all-dancing homo­sexu­al­ity and even­ings out with Michael Musto. But that’s not why gay men are often so hos­tile to male bisexu­al­ity. The real reason is that, like most straight people, they want every man who touches another man’s pee-pee to have to join the gay team. They want to own man­sex. And they want all those who have man­sex to be just like them. Which, if they look like Musto is, I’d ven­ture, a slightly dysto­pian dream.

Sorry, but I’m going to quote myself again, this time from three years ago when the NYT ran a much worse art­icle than Musto’s mus­ings called ‘Gay, Straight Or Lying?’:

Fear and loath­ing of male bisexu­al­ity is some­thing that tends to bring het­ero­sexu­als and homo­sexu­als together. Instead of pon­der­ing the pos­sib­il­ity that pub­lic atti­tudes towards male bisexu­al­ity are a truer, less cen­sored indic­a­tion of what many people actu­ally feel about male homo­sexu­al­ity in gen­eral and its enforced incom­pat­ib­il­ity with mas­culin­ity, gay men too often rush to con­demn bisexual men and reas­sure het­ero­sexu­als: Don’t worry! You’re not being homo­phobic when mouth­ing off about bisexual men! Coz we hate them too!!

Male Bisexuality: Is it Cool?

Rachel Kramer Bussel at The Daily Beast thinks that male bisexu­al­ity has become ‘cool’.

…whereas bisexual women had their fling with pop cul­ture in the 1990s-when every­one from Drew Barrymore to Madonna messed around with women, not to men­tion the fam­ous Vanity Fair cover show­ing Cindy Crawford shav­ing k.d. lang-“bromances” are now the driv­ing force behind Hollywood com­ed­ies and Style sec­tion fea­tures, as men find more ways to play for both teams, or at least act like they do.

Examples are every­where. In John Hamburg’s recent movie, I Love You, Man, the gay guy who unwit­tingly goes on a date with Paul Rudd isn’t just played for laughs, but to some degree, sym­pathy. This sum­mer will also see Lynn Shelton’s buzzed-about Humpday, in which two straight male friends decide to make a homemade porn video. And Brody Jenner’s real­ity show Bromance blurs the line sep­ar­at­ing friend­ship and attrac­tion in what Videogum’s Gabe Delahaye calls “basic­ally the gay­est thing ever, made more gay by everyone’s des­per­ate attempts to provide chest-bumping proof of their heterosexuality.“‘

For my part how­ever, I’m not entirely con­vinced that male bisexu­al­ity has become ‘cool’, not least because most of the bisexual guys I meet are still ter­ri­fied any­one will find out — and I still can’t name off the top of my head a single out male bisexual celeb in the UK (aside from my friend the nov­el­ist Jake Arnott — but as a self-described ‘gay bisexual’ he is rather excep­tional). Whereas almost any female star under the age of 40 has to pre­tend to be bi–crazed or else risk that Nuts/FHM cover.

And the recent trend for ‘bromance,’ far from prov­ing the hip­ness of male swinging is, as the name sug­gests, almost defined by its incest-taboo-driven need to purge the male love affair of the pos­sib­il­ity of any­thing phys­ical, any trace of erot­ics what­so­ever, to a degree which male buddy flicks in the past didn’t, and in fact often went out of their way to inject: e.g. Top Gun, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thunder & Lightfoot, Midnight Cowboy. By con­trast these mod­ern buddy flicks make me think ‘bromance’ is just another word for ‘brom­ide’.  Or les­bian bed-death for straight men without the hon­ey­moon. (The art­house movie ‘Humpday’ seems to be another story — and pre­cisely because it is another story, it is highly unlikely to be a hit.)

But we are cer­tainly liv­ing in inter­est­ing times, and the cul­ture is slowly — and frantic­ally — try­ing to nego­ti­ate, how­ever ineptly, how­ever decept­ively, the thing star­ing them in the face like the out­size erec­tions in the mandigo gang-bang porn so pop­u­lar with straight guys these days: male bi-responsiveness is prob­ably very com­mon, rather than the devi­ant, bizarre, incred­u­lous excep­tion (it cer­tainly was at my board­ing school).

The met­ro­sexual is also, of course, part of this jour­ney — and also some­times per­haps part of the attempt to deflect it.

But there’s a long, long way to go before male bisexu­al­ity is even approach­ing the same level of accept­ab­il­ity let alone cool­ness as female bisexu­al­ity.  A recent study pub­lished in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality found that the fam­ous ‘sexual double stand­ard’ has now reversed polar­ity and shif­ted in the dir­ec­tion of inhib­it­ing men’s sexual adven­tur­ous­ness while encour­aging women’s.  According to The National Post men are:

…more lim­ited by what is con­sidered taboo in the bed­room; hit by a new double stand­ard that expects men to be highly sexual, and yet expects them to be less exper­i­mental — while the oppos­ite is true for women.

The study, pub­lished in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, found that soci­ety accords men less “sexual lat­it­ude” than women, deem­ing it abnor­mal for a man to be dis­in­ter­ested in sex, to engage in homo­sexual fantasy, and to engage in sub­missive sexual acts.

The double stand­ard used to give men more sexual free­dom than women, but these find­ings indic­ate that the dynamic is chan­ging” said Alex McKay, research coördin­ator for the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada. “Men are forced to abide by a cer­tain gender role, while women are today more free to be them­selves. In this sense, the stand­ard actu­ally works against the man.“‘

I came to the same con­clu­sion three years ago in a piece pos­ted on here called ‘Curiouser and curi­ouser’ — based on my own very private ‘research’:

That women are being encour­aged to talk about their bisexu­al­ity as an enhance­ment of their fem­in­in­ity and sexu­al­ity is rather mar­vel­lous — but it also height­ens the double stand­ard about male bisexu­al­ity, one as pro­nounced than the double stand­ard about promis­cu­ity used to be (men were ‘studs’ and women were ‘slags’), and makes it more inev­it­able that male bisexu­al­ity — by which I simply mean ‘straight’ male sexu­al­ity that doesn’t fit into het­ero­sexu­al­ity, and boy, there’s a lot of that — will have to be addressed can­didly sooner or later.

The tidy-minded inhib­i­tions which keep male bi-curiousness under wraps are still power­ful, but have largely lost their social value, their attach­ment to any­thing real; they are mostly rem­nants from a Judeo-Christian (re)productive, world that doesn’t exist any more, except per­haps in Utah, every other Sunday.… When enough young men real­ise this — or maybe just the des­per­ate pre­pos­ter­ous­ness of the pre­ju­dice and ‘sci­ence’ deployed against male bi-curiousness — the change in atti­tudes will occur very quickly and dra­mat­ic­ally indeed.’

As the Canadian report sug­gests — and Canada is about as lib­eral and relaxed a coun­try as you could con­ceive — that day is not yet here.  However, the fact that such a study exists at all is per­haps a sign that that it’s com­ing closer.

Either way, more research is needed.  And I need a grant to con­duct some more ‘interviews’.…

Sexual Outlaws: ‘Gay For Pay’ Paratroopers

ad1 Sexual Outlaws: Gay For Pay Paratroopers

This month’s Details magazine car­ries a let­ter (which Details strangely neg­lected to show to me) by vet­eran gay writer John Rechy, author of the cult 60s hust­ler nov­els ‘City of Night’ and ‘Numbers’, and the 70s plea for homo tol­er­ance ‘The Sexual Outlaw’ (books I enjoyed as teen­ager in the 80s). He takes issue with my recent story on the gay porn scan­dal involving the 82nd Airborne.

After agree­ing that it was wrong for the young enlis­ted para­troop­ers to be pun­ished so severely by the mighty US Army for what they did in their own time and with their own bod­ies – lit­er­ally out of uni­form – he gets to the main busi­ness of his letter:

…Simpson is entirely naïve when he upholds the absurdity that “straight” men who per­form – for pay or oth­er­wise – con­sen­sual gay sex are still straight, des­pite being aroused to the point of orgasm. This is strictly a lure by the cun­ning oper­at­ors of these sites to their gull­ible cli­ents who want to believe the fantasy. Those seven para­troop­ers should not have been pro­sec­uted, but they should not claim to be “straight” either. By doing so, they com­pound the dis­hon­esty of the whole situation.’

In other words, they shouldn’t be pun­ished for appear­ing in a gay video – but they deserve to be horse­whipped in the let­ters pages for their ‘dishonesty’.

I’m grate­ful to Rechy for cla­ri­fy­ing mat­ters. For years I’ve laboured under the naïve and absurd delu­sion that I was homo because I pre­ferred males. Now I real­ise my dis­hon­esty: how can I be homo? I’ve had sex with women! ‘To the point of orgasm’. And I wasn’t filmed. Or even paid.

It is per­haps too easy to make fun of his argu­ment. Lots of people have dif­fi­culty today accept­ing the idea that when two males have sex with another this does not neces­sar­ily mean that, before the spilled semen has even had time to cool, they have to book their own float at Pride. Once upon a Kinseyian time, prob­ably most male-on-male sex involved men who were oth­er­wise het­ero­sexual. In the 1940s Dr Sex fam­ously found that 37% of his inter­viewees admit­ted to sex ‘to orgasm’ with other males. (Though he was of course attacked for this find­ing by those who claimed he was entirely naïve and hadn’t inter­viewed enough ‘nor­mal’ men.)

As recently as the 1960s, a pan­icked British Navy called off an invest­ig­a­tion into homo­sexu­al­ity on Her Majesty’s ships because it was found that at least ’50% of the fleet have sinned homo­sexu­ally.’ Understandably, the author­it­ies hast­ily decided they would rather have a fleet than kick out every man who had ever engaged in spot of sod­omy, with or without the lash.

Though some gays seem unwill­ing to be as prag­matic or tol­er­ant as the 1960s Royal Navy. They seem, like Rechy, to want to press-gang any man who touches another man’s penis into the gay iden­tity. Or, as a fall­back pos­i­tion: ‘bisexual’ — in the sense of ‘nearly-gay’.

Obviously a pro­por­tion of Dink’s ActiveDuty mod­els must be gay or bisexual. After all, I appeared in an ActiveDuty video — and in fact not all of them are presen­ted as straight. And of course a cer­tain amount of scep­ti­cism is under­stand­able, advis­able even. And Dink him­self told me that he thought that quite a few of his mod­els were prob­ably ‘bi-curious’, and that iron­ic­ally, appear­ing in his videos for cash was for them a ‘safe’ way of explor­ing this.

But what is remark­able is just how reli­giously cer­tain Rechy et al are that these chaps can’t be straight. None of them.

My sense how­ever, as someone who has actu­ally met some of them — and per­formed with them — is that many if not most of them are prob­ably oth­er­wise het­ero­sexual. I can’t of course prove this, and per­haps it really is my gull­ible fantasy – but then neither can Rechy prove they’re not. And the onus of proof is with the pro­sec­u­tion. Besides, if you really do think that hav­ing sex with another male means you de facto can’t be straight, then you are effect­ively say­ing that any and all male-on-male sex auto­mat­ic­ally con­signs you into a sep­ar­ate, abnor­mal spe­cies of male.

Alas, male-on-male sex is not some magical, irres­ist­ible juju that robs hetero men of their pref­er­ence for pussy should they ever exper­i­ence it. Even when it’s me they have sex with (I like to think my dick is magical, but non­ethe­less…). For quite a few straight men, espe­cially those who aren’t schooled in bour­geois niceties, like the coun­try boys who become para­troop­ers, ‘cock fun’ is much less of a deal than it is for many gays. It’s just a naughty giggle. Or a quick way of earn­ing some cash. Something Rechy should know from his hust­ler nov­els — though as I recall they were usu­ally about hust­lers who thought they were straight but even­tu­ally real­ised that they were actu­ally John Rechy.

I sus­pect that part of the reason so many homos want to see straight guys hav­ing sex with one another — and will pay good money for it — is the para­dox­ical appeal of see­ing inno­cence ‘cor­rup­ted’, and cor­rup­tion rendered ‘inno­cent’. Straight gay porn, when it’s done right (and Dink seems to know exactly how), looks like a ful­fil­ment of the fantasy of much of gay porn: a care­free, smil­ing, laugh­ing, ras­cal­ish dis­cov­ery of mas­cu­line erotic pleas­ure — free of shame and pride, free in fact of ‘sexu­al­ity’. Tom of Finland draw­ings, pre 1970s, brought to life. Ironically, straight guys are some­times bet­ter able to embody the gay ideal than gays.

Speculation aside, the ‘bot­tom’, slightly coun­ter­intutive line here is that the fact that someone appeared in a gay porn video, even with an out­sized mem­brum virile in one or both of his ori­fices, doesn’t tell you what his sexual pref­er­ence is. All it tells you is that he appeared in a gay porn video. And per­haps that he can take it like a trooper.

As one of the para­trooper mod­els replied when con­fron­ted by a shell-shocked Fayetteville woman who’d recog­nised him on the ActiveDuty site demand­ing to know how he could have done such a thing:

It was no big deal,’ he replied lac­on­ic­ally. ‘And besides, I got paid.’

A per­fect response to the mil­it­ary, to offended/confused straights and gays alike. And to explan­a­tions in gen­eral. Foucault would have approved — even if it does some­what under­mine the need for three volumes of ‘A History of Sexuality’.
———

Salon vs Details: James Collard of The London Times speaks to Salon.com editor Kerry Lauerman about his decision to spike Simpson’s ori­ginal piece because it was deemed ‘too risqué’ for Salon — two years before the Active Duty scan­dal became a major inter­na­tional story — and a major fea­ture in Details magazine. [link removed as page no longer active.]