Saturday, October 01, 2011

Envying two of the three monkeys

T (my ex) and I often commiserate with each other about the things which piss us off, things which we obsessively tend to notice and which we wish we didn't. He is very sensitive to how people, including random strangers, look at him. And he has an eye for clothing that can make a walk down Market Street painful for him. I remain largely oblivious to both of those things.

For my part, I am unfortunately attuned to voice patterns* and to the gender presentation of males. When T walks down the street, he's mostly eye. When I do, I am largely ear. I have the Stan Mack syndrome, the man who made a comic strip out of overheard conversations on the streets of New York. For me, it's not just content (which is very often a form of whiny complaint and self-justification) but tone and timbre. The Gay Voice dominates. Awful stuff. Combines the worst aspects of the rising terminal interrogative and the raspy vocal fry. And it sounds as artificial and cartoonish to me as thugmale Black hiphop speak, or the harsh proudly middle-class accents of the current BBC.

Anyhow, we have had a rash of public nudity around here lately. There is a small long-standing group of somewhat furtive exhibitionists who've been walking around for years, mostly at night, with nothing but shoes on. While none of them are attractive IMHO, they go to the gym a lot, so at least you have to look at an in-shape naked man against your will. Our new parkette has attracted a second wave, men who should never take their clothes off. At all. Even when alone. Shame is included in the human psychological repertoire for good reasons. Libertarians support this oppositional-defiant narcissism. People with taste are offended.

Anyhow, I was walking home from the gym yesterday and about a half block away noticed two shirtless and muscular young men making out on the corner. If you do not live in the Castro ghetto, you might assume that to be a regular occurrence. It is not. You are far likelier to see heterosexual PDA's --a form of anxious defense, I suspect-- than a lot of male/male smooching or fooling around in public. Even male couples holding hands is not something you see all the time.

As I got closer, they seemed to have turned to face what appeared to be a stooped over old man, dark clothes, white hair, and were starting to make provocative gestures toward him. Odd. Were they playing with him? Were they taunting him? And I could see that there were three of them now.

After walking a bit more, I saw what was really happening. The stooped old man was in fact a cameraman backing up the street in front of three strapping guys with just loose gym pants on them. They were lipsyncing and dancing. It was a music video being shot on the sidewalk.

Yesterday was not a happy day for me. My grim ruminations and mood got the better of me. Work, love, my character, the Western world...none of them were looking viable. So this is how I reacted.

First, I thought, why the hell can't you three be naked instead of those mountain trolls back on the corner? And then I saw how they were moving: like women. Their idea of being sexy was apparently to mimic the moves of a cinematic seductress,


like TJ on The A-List.

Not enough Chippendales and way too much Marilyn Monroe. Damn, I thought. All that 5'9" muscle, tan, fur and ink gone to waste. Urnings.

It still puzzles me why gay men go to such lengths to masculinize the frame and then leave the insides untouched by the same drive? Do you wanna be more of a man or just look like one when you're stationary and silent?

As I say, I notice these things. I wish I didn't.

*It's a two-edged sword. I had a very brief but surprisingly affecting thing back in 2006 with a guy named Kevin. We wrote on line and by email. I liked his pix fine enough. But the first time he called me on the phone...he had a corduroy and gravel low baritone voice with a Texas-Oklahoma drawl...totally was like aural sex pouring into my ear. Unfortunately he wanted us to be exclusive. After one coffee date. I declined. He bolted.


PNWReader said...

Okay, I'll bite. What does nonfeminized homoerotic seductive behavior look like? If men tend to be more visually oriented, doesn't the "display" behavior of women also suit the seduction of a man by a man? And is there a generational difference? That is, do men closer to your age display less or lack entirely this feminized behavior?

USMaleSF said...

First off, feminized behavior is not lacking in any generation of gays. But these younger guys were probably aping the style of the female singers of their own generation, who are, in my older eyes, modeling their presentation styles on whores and strippers.

Display behavior to catch a male eye is one thing. But copying the affect and gestures of a nymphomaniac version of Monroe is another.

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