Guest blog: Homophobia and guy-touching
Today’s entry is a guest blog by my partner, Ben.
Physical contact is an innate human need, and a great source of pleasure. Whether it’s familial, romantic, or friendly, touching is an important part of human interaction. But, unfortunately, men in our society tend to short themselves on this deep-seated need, particularly when it comes to interactions with other men.
A few days ago, Ruth posted a link to a short article called “7 Reasons Why it Sucks to be a Male Porn Star” (site NSFW). Reading this, I was particularly struck by Reason number six: “You’re Expected To Have Zero Hang-ups: Maybe the scene is a threesome – with another guy and one girl! Or it’s a double penetration scene where it’s guaranteed your dick will at least touch another dude.” This is not the first time I’ve seen such an attitude about threesomes with two straight men. A “Guide to Threesomes” on Man of Exception mentions that you have to be not homophobic to participate in a two-man threesome, but later on backtracks on this point by stating that “As long as you keep your mind open and your male genitals away from other male genitals, you’ll have a memory that’ll last forever.”
So, let’s get one thing out of the way: I am not trying to convince every man in the world to be bisexual or even to give so-called heteroflexibility a try. What I am asking is that we take a closer look at what exactly are we, as men, so afraid of here? What is it about possible, casual skin-on-skin contact with another man that is so absolutely horrifying? I should hope that we’re comfortable enough in who we are and what we’re attracted to that possibly brushing against another man–yes, even there–needs to cause anything more than a possible “Oops, sorry!” No doubt a large portion of this fear can be traced back to a fear of being perceived as (and/or actually being) anything other than 100% heterosexual. If we don’t protest enough about male contact, we might be giving the impression that we’re okay with or even like it! Better to overemphasize our distaste than that alternative. I mean, what does it hurt if we’re a little over-dramatic about the whole thing, right?
Let’s stick with this threesome example brought up by the links above for now. Say we have a two-man, one-woman threesome where everyone involved is heterosexual. How awkward it must be to not only try to position three people in a way that everyone is enjoying some sexy pleasure, but also to make sure that two of the three people are far enough away that they couldn’t possibly touch! This limits positioning options and overall reduces any chances for experimentation and intimate exploration. What this over-emphasis on distance between men does is, bluntly, damage our pleasure experience!
Back it up further. Men have been hurting themselves in this way far outside of the bedroom. Even man-man hugs fit such a rigid ritual that they can be perfectly stereotyped and summed up as in the “instructional video” above. They need to contain just the right amount of camaraderie and rough-housing or, at the very least, crotch-from-crotch distance in order to be a ‘normal,’ masculine hug. Where’s the pleasure in physical isolation, in carefully monitoring how we touch other men?
Again, I want to reiterate: this is not about having fun sexy times with another man if that’s not your thing. I am not recommending you go out and booty-dance on the next fella at the bar if he’s not your type. What I am saying is that I think men are depriving ourselves of some of the pleasure of human contact and life when we place such fierce restrictions upon ourselves and other men on how we physically interact. This shows especially in sexual atmospheres. A little bit of accidental peen on peen is not going to cause instant homosexuality, nor should it cause us to run screaming from the room. We need to step back and look at ourselves and ask: What are we so afraid of? And is that fear worth the cost?