Thursday, 24 November 2016

Gay Male Sexuality Is Under Attack From Without AND Within

There are racist gay men. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, given racism is pretty entrenched across the human species. I once had to call an ex-boyfriend to come "rescue" me from a date with a man ranting on about how awful black people are. They are out there.

Owen Jones has written a comment piece on racism among gay men. Needless to say it has conflated some actual racism with some personal sexual preferences. When you are on a "dating" app (or back in the days of Gaydar for oldsters like me) you are presenting what you are and what you want out into the world in the hopes of finding others who share, or mirror, your desires. Perhaps you only want intelligent men for a long term relationship. Maybe you desire men with big arms for a fling. It could be you find only white men attractive. These are not necessarily stating you hate stupid people, people with smaller arms or non-white people. But it is saying that for the purposes of a relationship (or just sex) you have certain desires in mind.

Sexuality is a beautifully complex thing. I'm very much broad-minded about what I find attractive. I find a lot of looks, attitudes and minds attractive for many different reasons. But I also have a couple of "types" of men that I find EXTREMELY attractive. And a few (leather wearers beware) I find extremely unattractive. I couldn't change those desires even if I wanted to. So demanding that people become open to finding things attractive that they don't is a bit much. Should gay men starting trying to find women attractive as to not do so would be misogynistic? I think not!!!!

Unfortunately this sort of ludicrous suggestion helps others pretend racism doesn't exist. Focus on the real stigmas and racism going on out there and stop policing sexuality.

He also finds objectifying certain races problematic. I objectify men with big arms. I can thus quite understand someone objectifying men for another facet of their personality or appearance. The idea it is racist to find a certain skin tone attractive but okay to find only a certain gender attractive is messy at best.

Owen Jones is wandering extremely close to "conversion therapy" territory and towards suggesting male homosexuality itself is problematic. Must we all be pansexuals? Is that where we are heading? Is there no value in individuality?

People with similar mindsets also oppose the "culture" of muscle worship among gay men. This culture is much overblown, and is mainly limited to "the scene". Unfortunately many gay men in prominent positions are part of that scene and forget that out here in the real world male homosexuality is a lot more diverse. Considering muscle worship to be unhealthy due to the body image problems it may cause is a bit much when we encourage bear/cub culture at the same time.

The real issue is this sort of criticism has been internalised by many gay men who nod along in shame when some progressive comes along to browbeat them back into line. It is long past time we stop cow-towing to these puritanical busy-bodies who not only want to get into our bedrooms but want to get into our fantasises.

I would say "we didn't beat conservative busy-bodies only to allow progressive ones to control our sexuality" but can't as we haven't beat the conservative busy-bodies. Oh we thought we had but they've been quietly beavering away... Our Government has many plans to block porn, from adults as well as children, of which this is just the latest example.

If you don't want Christians telling you who to fuck, you'd better start stopping everyone else making similar demands. Otherwise we'll be back to the 1980s in no time at all.

Don't just nod ashamedly in the corner. Fight for the right to love and fuck however you damn well want to. Resist the puritans at every turn!

1 comment:

Paul Brownsey said...

I agree with this but would add one qualification.

I suppose it could be the case that the reason you fancied or didn't fancy people of such-and-such a race was connected with certain views of people that are essentially racist: people of this race because you think of them as innocent and delicate, people of that race because you think of them as uncomplicated and 'always up for it'. You might think of this race as submissive, that as assertive. This could spill over into national stereotypes or at least certain associations: Australians are coarse and hearty (this is a stereotype), Brazilians uninhibited, Germans cold and efficient, whatever.

In the 1960s I shared a flat with a black radical in the US and he used to talk about how a black man might be imbued with such a sense of inferiority that his fancyings would focus on a white female blonde: it wasn't 'just' sex between them but something imbued with the history of black-white relations in the US.

So a stark contrast between fancyings and racism can't, I think, be sustained. Racism can colour our fancyings. That doesn't mean we can help them.