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Straight is hot but gay is not?


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A common phrase on this and similar sites is "straight-acting." Escorts and others use it to signal that someone's masculinity is authentic or innate, not bogus or acquired. (Of course the phrase itself acknowledges that "straight-acting" is just that - acting - whether you're on the stage or in the audience.) Clients use it, too, as a tag for describing the kinds of men who arouse them. On the surface, "straight-acting" simply means something like "very manly;" but it also implies that gay-acting men are not very manly. I wonder if there isn't also a deeper and more insidious sense to the phrase, too, a sense that denigrates or devalues gay men in general and certain kinds of gay men in particular. For instance, I don't recall that I've ever seen an escort proudly advertise himself as "gay-acting." Nor can I remember a reviewer's including "gay-acting" in his litany of praises for a particular escort's erotic charms.

 

What, actually, might "gay-acting" mean if we were to use it? Might it connote that "straight" is hot but "gay" is not? Might it indicate that we can eroticize only those men who are or appear to be sexually unavailable to us? Might it imply that gay men in general do not crackle with some potent erotic charge that energizes all straight men, regardless of how they behave themselves?

 

Whatever "gay-acting" might mean, I'd be willing to bet that most of us would not guess it to be virtually synonymous with "sexy." Notice the irony, though. I imagine, perhaps wrongly, that the majority of men who visit this site are gay. Does that mean that some of us are saying things like: "I'm gay, but you'd never know it;" or, "The only hot men are the ones I can't have sex with unless I pay them;" or, "I'm not attracted to men like me;" or, "Nobody could be attracted to me if they think I'm gay"?

 

What does the popularity of the phrase "straight-acting" mean about the way we think of our gay selves? About other gay men? Is there any homophobia in this? If the answer is "yes," does it matter? If it matters, is there anything we can do about it?

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Guest JayMI

Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Will, for someone who has expressed such sensitivity about people making alleged patronizing remarks about you, I find the assumptions in your posting surprising. You seem to assume that people who like straight or "straight-acting" partners are secretly anti-gay or at least have internalized anti-gay feelings. I suspect the reality is far more complicated than that.

 

It is, of course, true that "gay" is generally used negatively in our society and no one growing up in our society can avoid internalizing a viciously anti-gay ideology. More blandly, "gay" is often equated with "sissy" or effete or "femme" or "queeny," even by people who know better. So I would think that people who advertise as or for "straight-acting" probably only mean that they are interested in masculine-appearing and -acting individuals. And, as you observe, by the use of the epithet "acting," the user acknowledges that masculinity and sexuality are constructions that do not necessarily reflect a reality within.

 

My own preference in escorts (though not, of course, in real life, where I have been happily wed to a gay man for many years) is for guys who identify as "straight." Now, this is a kind of mind game, for we all know that there really is nothing very "straight" about escorts who sleep with men. Or, really, about any of us: eventually, as someone said, we are all queer. Still, these labels have a powerful effect in all sorts of ways, many of them negative, but for me also erotic. In the escort situation, the allure for me in sleeping with a "straight" man is the attraction of difference. I also prefer that the escort be a "bad boy" (which I am not and never was), preferably from a disadvantaged background, intelligent but not well-educated or refined. That is, I seek someone very different from myself. Not, I should add, because I hate myself, but because difference is itself a powerful stimulation. I love the idea of homosexuality bringing together men of very different experiences, and I confess to enjoying the taste of the forbidden.

 

Now, I know that some people might see this preference for straight-identified "bad boys" as a manifestation of internalized anti-gay feeling, but I think that is simply not true in my case. I have been "out" forever, have lots of gay friends, and am outspokenly supportive of gay political initiatives. I am not ashamed of being gay and have no regrets about my homosexuality. Like everyone else who grows up on this homophobic society, I have no doubt internalized a great deal of homophobia, but I do think my erotic fetish for "straight" men is a manifestation of this internalization.

 

This is a good topic, Will, and I am grateful that you have raised it. But let's proceed in discussing it without the glib judgmentalism and political correctness that seemed to surface in your post. We, better than most people, know how complicated sexuality is.

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Jay, I find your post interesting in two ways you perhaps did not intend.

There was another thread where an escort had speculated that clients, or at least many of them, did not value intelligence in escorts. Noone but myself, so far as I remember, supported that idea. Now here you are saying that although you do feel you value intelligence, you don't want an escort who is educated or well mannered. As I concluded over there, perhaps what many clients want is to make sure that their escort is no smarter than their little brother, certainly not as smart as they themselves.

Also, in your litany of interesting differences, you omit race. Personally, my white Irish skin against another color is a turnon, but my lover disagrees. And many people have accused gay people of racism over the years. BTW, there is a wonderful full page cartoon adressing this question on the last inner page of Freshmen this issue.

A truely butch man is so confidant in his butchness that he has no need to flaunt it. Although, just like a nelly attack, he will be liable to occaisional butch attacks. Do we want the flash and pizzaz of on overtly butch person or the quieter real thing? Sometimes show, sometimes substance?

I have long agreed with what seems to me Will's major point. I wish that those who do want to say how butch they are would come up with something better than the old tired cliche, "straight acting."

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Thanks, Jay, for your long and interesting reply to my post. If you'll look at what I actually wrote, I hope you'll see two things in particular. First, I tried to include myself in the discussion; I do not have the right to judge anyone's erotic tastes. In any case, if I were to pass judgment on my own, I'd have to say that on occasion I have been glad that my sexual fantasies remain just that: locked inside my head. Furthermore, in this particular case, I myself would be liable to criticism of the kind you obviously think I'm leveling at you. It just so happens that most of the men to whom I have been powerfully attracted are very definitely on the "straight-acting" side, and so if you think that I was somehow patronizing you, I am also patronizing myself. That may not make you feel better, but it might at least amuse you.

 

The second thing I'd hoped that readers would notice is the fact that I put most of my post in the form of questions. I do not know the answers. Honestly, I do not. And as someone who came of age in the Deep South in the 1960s, I think it's probably fair to say that I've internalized as much homophobia as anyone else.

 

I am sorry that you might think yourself and others the objects of my contempt. That is just not so. However, at the same time I freely acknowledge that this thread was intended to stimulate response. And it has become very apparent that on this board the stimulation can feel pleasant or unpleasant, depending on one's tastes.

 

As for your notion that examining even our erotic imaginations for internalized or unconscious homophobia is "politically correct" (which I take you to be using in a pejorative sense), I respectfully disagree. To my mind, though perhaps not to yours or others', to overlook the obvious connections without examining them is simply turning an eye that's been blinded by Cupid's arrow. If there's nothing to it, there's nothing to it. But not to scrutinize the phenomenon is, I think, both foolish and even dangerous.

 

Thank you again for writing so eloquently and with such feeling. I very much appreciate it.

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Nicely put, Jay.

 

I think you correctly identify the problem when you note how complicated sexuality is. Like you, I, too, have been out "forever", support gay politics (usually), gay causes and gay organizations (having started two of them)and am fortunate enough to have a circle of good gay friends who are fun and supportive.

 

Having grown up in 1950's America, though, I received my own fair share of anti-gay indoctrination (who remembers fairy loops?). And there is no doubt that some of that was formative and lingers to this day in various nooks and crannies in my mind.

 

But I don't believe that I act on it much and I don't believe that it colors my judgments in substantive ways. I really do try to accept people for who they are rather than who I would like them to be.

 

However, I've never found feminine-acting men to be sexually attractive at all. Perhaps it comes from having seriously dated women for a number of years -- I find I am attracted to men who "act like" men in my eyes and women who "act like" women. In other words, I am attracted to masculine men and feminine women. Oddly enough, I find body-builders of both sexes to be reasonably unattractive and I would much rather be in the presence of someone with an attractive face and a nice smile than a built-up body.

 

And none of this seems to be much under my control. I am attracted to certain people, for reasons that are not very clear to me. By that I mean that I know what I am attracted to -- often even what it is about a particular person that catches my eye -- but I really don't have any idea why that is attractive to me. It just is.

 

When I was growing up, the young man next door was a couple of years older than me. He was blond and beautiful and used to play basketball in his driveway every afternoon. I knew I was attracted to him by the time I was ten or so and we were always casual friends. I sometimes wonder if that early attraction to "the boy next door" helped to shape my attraction to that kind of man. But of course I will never know.

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Guest JayMI

RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Thanks, Bilbo, Will, and Boston Guy for your responses to my posting. Bilbo, I am glad that you raised the issues of intelligence and race. For me, intelligence is absolutely essential in any erotic encounter and perhaps especially so in an encounter with an escort. Nothing can be duller than having sex with someone who is not bright. Now, by bright, I do not mean necessarily someone who has been to college and can discuss deconstuctionism. Rather, I mean someone who can "read" his partner and respond intelligently to his and his partner's needs. Admittedly, I do not hire escorts to discuss the latest intellectual trends, but I do expect a certain level of sophistication and understanding, especially in sexual matters.

 

As to race, I apologize for not including that in the list of "differences." I am, in fact, highly attracted to Blacks and Hispanics and Asians, though only if they also meet my other erotic prerequisites: especially "badboy" characteristics. I have several Black friends, whom I do not find erotic because I think of them as my peers in age, education, background, etc. However, I can think of few people who turn me on more than boys of the hood or the barrio.

 

Bilbo, you also ask the interesting question about whether we "want the flash and pizzazz of an overtly butch person or the quieter real thing?" Actually, I suspect we sometimes want both, but for me authenticity (or at least the illusion of authenticity) is very attractive. I am suspicious of people whose macho is exaggerated or seems inauthentic.

 

Will, you are certainly right that your post did not explicitly prejudge any answer to your questions. But implicit in such questions is the "politically correct" notion that people who are not attracted to overtly "gay-acting" peers are somehow suffering from self-hatred. I suppose I wanted to make a pre-emptive strike against such thinking. As I said, we all suffer from internalized homophobia to one degree or another. We can't help it and it surfaces in any number of ways. But I honestly don't think my erotic preference (which is, after all, not my only erotic preference--I used to enjoy sex with my partner immensely!) for self-identified heterosexual men is an expression of homophobia or of self-hatred.

 

Boston Guy, I absolutely agree with you that, whaterver the source, we really have very little control over our erotic responses. Our sexual attractions are mysterious, probably influenced by all sorts of factors, including our exposures to blond and beautiful basketball players who live next door to us in our pre-adolescence. My strongest erotic influence was probably my incredible attraction for a handsome, cocky, rough young man--a high-school senior when I was in the eighth grade--who was wonderfully kind and sweet to me. But clearly I was already gay before I fell for him. Yet he is in some sense still the template of all the young men I find attractive.

 

Well, back to my original point: all of this is very complicated and we need to avoid the tendency to devalue the experiences and responses of others in the name of whatever ideology is fashionable at the moment. Now, off the soapbox, I would love to hear more responses to Will's excellent questions.

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Guest paulnyc

RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

I have no problem with gays who prefer gay men who are "straight acting" or masculine. What puzzles me are the numbers of gay men on this site who are attracted to and then go to lenghts to defend "straight" escorts who abhor homosexuals (and make fun of them) at the same time that they are filling their pockets with gay dollars! If that isn't an indication of self-hatred on the part of these gay men or a big segment of the gay community, then I'm not sure what is. Most of the dancers, for example, who appear at the Gaiety claim to be straight and have very little use for gay men other than their money. Yet observe the gay men lining up in front of these "straight" dancers, vying to shell out $200 or more just to spend 10-15 minutes with a dancer in a hotel room where looking and maybe some light touching is usually all that the "straight" dancers allow! It's like a black man paying $200 to observe a klan member put on his sheet before the rally.

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Guest JayMI

RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

I don't want to monopolize this thread, but I have to respond to Paul's comment that he has no "problem" with gay men preferring straight-acting gay men, but is puzzled by gay men who like straight guys. Get over it. It's not your problem! Nobody appointed you the commisar in charge of policing other people's erotic preferences.

 

I, too, am puzzled that anyone would allow someone else to take advantage of them (whether the escort is straight or gay) and I certainly would not shell out $200 for 15 minutes of touching anyone whatever their sexual orientation. That would not satisfy me. If it does satisfy those johns, then I'm happy for them. In any case, the guys who allow themselves to be exploited by straight escorts seem foolish to me, but not necessarily self-hating. I have had some wonderful experiences with straight escorts; and in most cases, I have gotten my money's worth. In the best instances, I have felt truly exalted by the sharing of mutual need across a sexual divide.

 

In any case, we need to respect each other's tastes, however they may be different from our own.

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

I can appreciate the differences in our desires, Jay, especially since you are so honest about yours. Just as I am sure that could I afford to hire someone for a weekend and that it would include philosophical discussion and cultural enriching experiences it would be no skin off of your nose. Although Damascene could trace my preference back to the ancients with their predeliction for heterai who were much more intellectually interesting in a discussion than the men's wives were allowed to be, someone else could trace your preference back to certain French novelists, at least, and what they called (It translates as the Romance of the Gutter.) something like roman de la bouie. It's just that I do wish that as inventive as gay men on both sides of this particular are that your side can't come up with some nicer way to put it than "straight acting."

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Hmmm... I had my blond, basketball-playing, next door neighbor and you had your high school senior. I wonder if anyone else out there finds they are now attracted to a type represented by a seminal (interesting double entendre, huh? :-))figure from their youth?

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I think this is an interesting question that Will has posed and, the more I think about it, the more I find myself thinking that he's right -- it's conventional wisdom that "straight-acting" is better than "gay-acting". And I think that I often tend to buy into that.

 

However -- and this a big however -- I don't think that we take that the next step and say that "straight" is better than "gay."

 

Perhaps the problem is in the terminology. Given a hundred guys to classify, I suspect most of us could reasonably easily classify them as straight-acting or gay-acting. And I suspect our lists would all be fairly similar, with the exception of guys who fall in the middle somewhere.

 

But, if we were to then classify the same guys as gay and straight, I suspect our lists would diverge much more and our accuracy would go down quite a bit.

 

What referring to as "gay-acting" behavior here is often called by other names, such as nelly or femme. In extreme examples, we picture the very effeminate, lisping young man with no muscles. But, in real life, many straight guys look and act exactly like this.

 

One of the "gayest-acting" men I've ever known worked at a company I consulted for. For months I assumed he was a big old queen. One day, he took me aside and asked if I'd like to see pictures of his porch. When I said, yes, he showed the large porch and second-story addition he had just added to his house at the request of his wife so they would have another bedroom and more room for their new child -- their fifth!

 

So I think it's important to separate behavior and appearances from sexuality. When we judge certain types of behavior more positively than others, we are not necessarily making judgment at all about the sexuality of the players or the goodness of gay vs. straight.

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Last night I had dinner with a gay friend who is in his mid-forties, has published extensively on male same-sex culture in pre-modern Europe, and has lived abroad for two decades. I've just introduced him to this site; and, like me, he thinks it's the most astonishing thing on the web and that the regulars here are all worthy of Pulitzer Prizes -- and HooBoy of the Nobel.

 

At one point our conversation turned to the subject of this thread. We agreed that the raw material of our sexual fantasies arises unbidden, unplanned, and uncensored. In other words, we acknowledged that what turns us on, turns us on, and is not in itself the stuff of moral critique.

 

But we also talked about whether or not the conscious mind can influence or even alter the content of our sexual fantasies; and we agreed that in some instances it can. For example, from time to time I have -- consciously and deliberately -- "de-eroticized" my interest in another man because eros was getting in the way of other things that were more important in the context. I have also done the same thing in reverse, sometimes just to see if I could do it. Surely, the escorts who are, after all, this site's primary reason for being have learned how to CHOOSE to eroticize other men. I can't imagine how the really great and famous ones could be so great and famous otherwise. While I think I'm a reasonably attractive and even desireable man who has never in his life received a complaint from a bed-mate, you'll never see the look-alikes of me in a porn video or a boy mag. So how do these Sons of Venus whom I meet through these e-pages turn on to me, if not by their own choosing?

 

So far, the responses to this thread have exceeded my fondest hopes, and it's only twenty-four hours old. Thank you, one and all!

 

And, yes, I am certain beyond any doubt that the "Ur-man" in all of my sexual yearnings bears the image of someone I knew and longed for as a boy. Maybe that, too, could be the topic for a thread. Now that I think of it, there are actually two or three such archetypal men whom I see in all the major involvements of my adulthood. Hm. This is getting thick.

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

>>>Yet observe the gay men lining up in front of these "straight" dancers, vying to shell out $200 or more just to spend 10-15 minutes with a dancer in a hotel room where looking and maybe some light touching is usually all that the "straight" dancers allow! It's like a black man paying $200 to observe a klan member put on his sheet before the rally. <<<

 

That is the funniest thing I've seen here in in a long time. I am rolling in laughter.

 

And while I'm posting, I'd like to address BG's fantasy with the BB player. My first male sexual encounter was when I was 6. It was a red-haired boy, my age, who wanted to "show bugs." I've always been fascinated with the "bugs between the legs" since, however, I'm not attracted to red-heads....

 

I moved away but we met again just after High School and he asked me if I remembered what we used to do beneath his house and when I smiled and said yes, he turned beet red and married a fat girl.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

 

But I can't help but wonder if he's installed a porch somewhere for his five children to play beneath.

 

HooBoy

Email: [email protected]

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Guest JayMI

Thanks, Bilbo, for the historical annotation. My predilection for rough trade sounds a lot classier in French! I usually associate it with a long tradition of British aesthetes and poets who longed to be embraced by the manly arms of the gamekeeper.

 

I like very much Will's formulation that our erotic fantasies are not in themselves the stuff of moral critique. I have been thinking about the question of whether I could deliberately "de-eroticize" my interest in "straight" men. I have certainly been able to de-eroticize my interest in particular men, but I doubt that I could de-eroticize the larger fantasy itself. That is, I don't think I could will myself not to be attracted to rough trade types in general.

 

I suspect that good escorts--who are able to respond to a wide variety of individuals and types--have an ability to be turned on by the scene itself (i.e., by the fact that someone is willing to pay them) or by their own eroticism. That may be one reason why good escorts are relatively rare. Of course, most of us have more than a single type, even if we specialize in a particular fantasy. Escorts are especially lucky if they can find lots of situations and types erotic. Good escorts need vivid imaginations.

 

I agree with Boston Guy that to prefer "straight-actiing" is not the same thing as saying that straight is better than gay. Even though I prefer "straight" escorts, I certainly do not think that straight is better than gay. The problem, as BG points out, is largely one of terminology and stereotypes.

 

On a related matter, I have always been interested in guys who are into verbal abuse, which often includes the expression of contempt for gay people. I happen to find this a turn-on in written pornography, but I am not interested in it in real life. But what struck me about the phenomenon is that in one sense it is a deliberate eroticization of homophobia. I suspect that rather than indicating self-hatred, it indicates a kind of creativity, by which certain gay people translate the instrument of their oppression into a means of sexual gratification. Or maybe not. . . . But I know a friend who would be incensed if anyone made an anti-gay remark or told an anti-gay joke in the work-place, yet hires hustlers to call him dirty names. Though it is not my cup of tea, I love the perversity of it! I suppose the situation is analogous to Paul's scenario of a black man paying $200 to observe a klan member put on his sheet before the rally; but I suspect that even in that scenario the black man would be exorcising the racism of the larger society and it might have a beneficial, cathartic effect for him.

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Talking about Jean Genet, have you read his play, The Balcony? Very part of this discussion, in many ways.

Jay - Please be careful and eroticize some other kind of men before you muck around with deeroicizing a whole group. I'm not a shrink, but I would worry about you messing up your whole libido and not turning onto anything in the long run.

Yes, when I was an escort, the erotic situation and the money involved were a turn on. So was the fact that I love variety (in all things, not just in sex). And here I'm about to go all religious on you so quickly scan down if you want to avoid it - I often was attracted and made love with the other being's soul. It looked out through his eyes and touched with his tender sometimes shy fingertips, no matter how they were shaped or if they had age spots. The man within is often a lot more interesting than the man without and can express himself with anything the man without's got since they're the same man.

Sorry, having trouble talking about this without using my hands.

Love, Bilbo

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Guest Skeptic

RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Will, I'm sure we all carry around those archetypal images all life long. Some we're very well aware of, while others lurk in the unconscious, and we renew the libido-charge these originals once gave us with each successive 'copy' we meet along the way. When we're taken by someone with such archetptal resonance, we can often make the connection (he'll remind us of a remembered schoolmate, an uncle, a teacher, a camp counselor, etc.), but just as often we'll find it naggingly difficult to recall the old face behind the new face. It's not unusual to be turned like like crazy by someone you know others would find unremarkable (and even downright unattractive)--so much so that you avoid admitting your interest to anyone--and that's generally a tip-off that the erotic charge you're experiencing began with someone from long ago. This 'transference' can result in genuinely passionate feelings that have nothing whatever to do with the person in question, and a kind of bittersweet longing that's very difficult to describe.

 

Interestingly, we tend to have several of these archetypes rather than a single 'ideal,' and they're often highly varied.

 

I'm sure you'd enjoy Cyril Connolly's take on the subject (I can't remember if it's in 'Enemies of Promise' of 'The Unquiet Grave'): in one of his memoirs, he dwells his schooldays, and all the different classmates he was infatuated with. The types he names are evocative, perhaps universal--among them 'The Faun,' 'The Extreme Blond,' and 'The Dark Consoler' and so on. . .

 

It's a fascinating subject--as is this whole thread ('straight' as a gay man's fetish), which I intend to contribute to when I've thought it over some more. Glad you began it!

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Guest Skeptic

RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

Will, I'm sure we all carry around those archetypal images all life long. Some we're very well aware of, while others lurk in the unconscious, and we renew the libido-charge these originals once gave us with each successive 'copy' we meet along the way. When we're taken by someone with such archetptal resonance, we can often make the connection (he'll remind us of a remembered schoolmate, an uncle, a teacher, a camp counselor, etc.), but just as often we'll find it naggingly difficult to recall the old face behind the new face. It's not unusual to be turned like like crazy by someone you know others would find unremarkable (and even downright unattractive)--so much so that you avoid admitting your interest to anyone--and that's generally a tip-off that the erotic charge you're experiencing began with someone from long ago. This 'transference' can result in genuinely passionate feelings that have nothing whatever to do with the person in question, and a kind of bittersweet longing that's very difficult to describe.

 

Interestingly, we tend to have several of these archetypes rather than a single 'ideal,' and they're often highly varied.

 

I'm sure you'd enjoy Cyril Connolly's take on the subject (I can't remember if it's in 'Enemies of Promise' of 'The Unquiet Grave'): in one of his memoirs, he dwells his schooldays, and all the different classmates he was infatuated with. The types he names are evocative, perhaps universal--among them 'The Faun,' 'The Extreme Blond,' and 'The Dark Consoler' and so on. . .

 

It's a fascinating subject--as is this whole thread ('straight' as a gay man's fetish), which I intend to contribute to when I've thought it over some more. Glad you began it!

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RE: Straight; straight-acting; gay

 

When I started this thread, I had no intention of continuing to contribute to it. However, that turns out not to be possible. Thank you, Skeptic, for an exceedingly helpful post. When I was thirty I happened to meet a young man ten years younger and, despite everything I could do to prevent it, I fell maddeningly, hopelessly, obsessively in love with him. Even today, many years later, the thought of him sparks a tingle. He was straight and sweet, and it came to nothing but heartache for me. Perhaps not "nothing." Ten years later, I met another young man who was twenty years younger -- in other words, exactly the same age as #1 -- and for the first few months I couldn't separate my memories of each, not even when I was face-to-face with the second, whom I knew much, much better and far longer. Like the first YoungMan, he, too, was unavailable as the means for living out my erotic fantasies, although he was entirely present to me for every other kind of love there is. Indeed, he and his bride-to-be have just visited me for a week. Ten years ago there appeared the third avatar of this archetype, and this time it was mutual. (I might also add that this time he was also a poster-boy of what the diagnostic manual describes as someone suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, so -- once again -- nothing endured.) The incredible destruction that the dissolution of this last relationship caused in my life has taken years to recuperate. In fact, the first time I hired an escort, in the autumn of 1998, was a last-ditch effort to banish the succubus before it killed me.

 

And so I come, via the discourses of escorts, to the present. Until this instant, my overwhelming and ineluctable attraction to all three of these men -- the three great "loves" of my life -- has been a complete enigma. I have even carried a heavy burden of shame that I could know myself so poorly as not to be able to understand the three most powerful erotic involvements of my life, experiences that have in many ways guided me for years.

 

But now, and thanks to your contribution to this thread, suddenly some light breaks through these impenetrable clouds not of unknowing but of ignorance. You are absolutely right: F, S and M are incarnations of an archetype that I carry imprinted on my unconscious. I am almost certain that it is the archetype of a longed-for elder brother, virile but sensitive, athletic but artistic, that I as the eldest of three children never had. I remember asking my mother -- I couldn't have been more than six -- if she and my father would please adopt an orphaned boy so that I could have an older brother. My pleading was so sincere and so persistent that I think she actually considered doing it. All of a sudden, this morning I realize that for my whole life I may have been looking for that older brother (older, that is, than the little boy who's still searching), and falling in love with his likeness on the rare occasions when I encountered it. But because I was falling in love with the image and not with the model, I have been falling into and through a series of mirages, trompes-l'oeil of the heart, as it were.

 

By the way, please continue not to brook fools! Neither did Cyril Connolly. However, I'll bet that you're more attractive in every way than he was. I never thought I'd find wisdom for life in Cyril Connolly, but I'll be on the hunt as soon as the weekend is over.

 

With warmest thanks for an exquisite Easter gift, Will

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Guest JayMI

Bilbo, not to worry. I am not about to attempt to de-eroticize my fetish for rough trade. I like it! I was just responding to Will's question as to whether it would be possible to do something like that. I don't think so, though, as I said, I think one can exorcise one's attraction for a particular individual.

 

But, hey, I am fascinated by your comment about making love to your johns' souls! The best sexual experiences are both spiritual and carnal, so it ought not to be surprising that souls can be eroticized. I suspect your ability to tap into the spiritual in erotic encounters did contribute to your excellence as an escort, and it is probably the secret to Billyboy's success as well. Skeptic is no doubt skeptical of the very notion of "compassionate escorts," but I have to say that I have discovered a lot of compassion in unexpected places.

 

Love to you too!

 

And Happy Easter!

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Guest Dr. DG

I came across this thread only this morning while picking up my email. I am delighted to see the variety of opinions, ideas and thoughts concerning what society terms "gay" versus "straight".

 

My only contribution is that in this day and age of celebrating diversity, I do not believe that these labels hold any valid meaning. I choose to look at humanity not as a melting pot, but as a stew. Each spice of humanity (race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.) adds an additional flavor to this stew--making it all the more wonderful. Not all of the spices are acceptable to everyone, so choose another place in the pot to take your ladle. I do not know why I'm on a culinary metaphor here, but it must be the fact that I'm hungry!

 

As a practicing professional, I derive the greatest pleasure from seeing my patients recover and get back to their normal lives. That does not always happen, but when it does--it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I see the gay community recovering from centuries of derision, discrimination and disgust towards us into a news vibrancy. I hope this continues.

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To have an archetype when you don't remember anyone it is based on raises the interesting possibility that it might be based on someone you knew in a past life. It is even held by some that we can have soulmates that we strive to further our relationships with throughout several lifetimes.

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Jay and Bilbo, I agree 100%, whether it sounds metaphysical, transcendental, or downright religious. I am overjoyed to see two people on this website come right out -- I choose the idiom carefully! -- and talk about "souls." And I also agree with Dr. DG that the more ingredients and spices in the stew, the better it tastes AND the more nourishing it is.

 

He is also right -- and Easter Day is a good time to remember it -- that sites like these and topics like these are signs that the Gay population is coming into its own. So what if our terms aren't precise enough for us, yet? At least we can talk, and talk openly, about these things.

 

I really love you guys. I really do. And I hope there were some wonderful suprises in your Easter Baskets.

 

I'm on my way to New York this morning to spend a week at the Met being worked over by Wagner's RING cycle. So if I don't get a chance to post, that's why. I'll be back home a week from tomorrow.

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