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November 24th, 2018

Even Gay Boys Get The Blues

A classmate embarked long ago on a career as a blues keyboardist and singer. These days he goes by the stage name Reverend Billy C. Wirtz and last night I got to catch his act live for the first time, along with another classmate I hadn’t seen in ages. First of all, the Reverend is Amazing. He does a great blues keyboard with a side of comedy and servings of blues history. I would definitely go see him again when he’s in town, and I think you should too.

The spot I saw him at was a small restaurant bar venue in Bowie Maryland, and it turned out that Reverend Billy was the between sets act for the main event which was an almost big band blues group named The Rick Jones Music Emporium. I would definitely go see them again too, but with a set of earplugs because their sound guy likes it LOUD. They played a set of blues songs, some of which were pretty risque to an older and obviously heterosexual crowd that just ate it all up. They were having a good time. Meanwhile I did what I always do in those situations, mentally swapping out a pronoun here and there to make it something I could relate to.

There was one song in particular that gave me some ideas for sexy drawing, along the lines of the one I did following California Rep Ted Hickman’s crack about skin tight short-shorts and go-go boots…

I was going to get down to it today, but first I wanted to read the lyrics again. What I discovered was it was a Randy Newman song. I came to know and appreciate Randy Newman through his wonderful movie scores for Avalon and Pleasantville, but I knew he also did pop songs. I would not have recognized this one as one of his, but then it was hard to hear the lyrics in that venue because the room was small and their sound guy just blasted us with it.

When I read the lyrics I saw a passage that spoke to me as a gay man and I didn’t expect that. So I re-read the lyrics again as if they were speaking directly to me. Well…not Me specifically since I have no boyfriend and never have. But to something I actually thought I might have someday when I was a younger man. And yes…actually reading the lyrics you could see it was a Randy Newman song. And it could just as easily have spoken to a heterosexual who’d found their other half despite what the rest of the would thought of it. Or anyone in a variety of sexual and romantic spectrum. Which I think is what really made it a Randy Newman song. He isn’t about shutting people out of life’s joys. People who got pissed at “Short People” weren’t paying attention.

I’m not going to name that song just yet…if you already know which one I’m talking about, fine, but for those of you that don’t I’d rather let you discover it just the way I did. I thought I was just going to do a one-off sexy riff on this song, mostly on its title. But now I have to do another one-off multi-panel cartoon on it. Probably can’t post it to my Facebook page when I’d done because as I said the song was kinda risque. But that’s why I still maintain my own website. And I’ve been wanting to do more of this sexy guy anyway. I’m thinking it along the lines of a page Robert Crumb did, that so I’m told he hates now because it’s been copied and misunderstood for decades…that Keep On Trucking one. Each panel of it is captioned with a single line from a song by Blind Boy Fuller. Something along those lines. Not the entire song, just maybe four panels with a line or two from the song and a drawing above it that says how the song made me feel about the joy of love and sex and life that lots of us of my generation might have had in a better world that never was. You can loose yourself in a song, in the world it spins for you, and believe for a moment that it was real.

This may take a few weeks. Let you know when it’s done and posted. I might even post some of the pencils while I work, like I did for that retort I made to Ted Hickman.

 

by Bruce | Link | React!

April 6th, 2018

Not DTF, But DTL

This came across my Twitter feed just a few moments ago. I think he meant “only” there and just fat fingered the keystroke…

Every single time I’ve been lectured about how sex is overrated, it’s been someone trying to convince me that my sexual orientation is more of an addiction than a just a simple uncomplicated variation on human sexual desire. And it comes from that dehumanizing stereotype about gay males that says Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex. The activist and author Vito Russo put it succinctly when he wrote in The Celluloid Closet that “It is an old stereotype, that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multifaceted and embraces love and romance.” Everyone who ever talked at me as I’ve defended the normalcy of my sexual orientation about how sex is overrated has been coming from the perspective of that ignorant prejudice. The only time it’s ever stung was when I heard it from my high school crush, by way of defending his own life choices.

GQ Magazine has an article this month that I encourage you to read. Luckily it’s online…

Not Every Gay Man Is DTF

The idea that all gay men fuck like rabbits? That’s a myth.

In part, as the article suggests, a lot of this overlaps with stereotypes about male sexuality in general. And it damages both gay and straight men. We hold ourselves to unrealistic standards and when we don’t measure up we stress that there is something wrong with us. The running gag in A Coming Out Story is how the imaginary character representing my libido is always wearing a fig leaf and a slightly apologetic look on his face while he keeps making me notice that how nice a certain classmate looks…


A Coming Out Story, Episode 1 “Meet Your Libido”

For years I thought of myself as a sexual milquetoast because I Just Wasn’t All That. Then one day on a gay BBS System I frequented, a fellow user posted anonymously to its health forum asking the doctor who ran it if there was something physically wrong with him because he wasn’t as interested in sex as the other guys and needed lots of foreplay to get started. He provided the doctor with details I won’t go into here, and the doctor wrote back, reassuring him that his level of sexual interest was actually more typical of adult males than the popular notions would have him believe, and closed by saying he should enjoy all the foreplay. The exchange was a revelation because that user’s experience with his own libido could have been my own. Since then I’ve read other men’s health articles that have had similar things to say about the male libido. But the GQ article I linked to above is the first one that I’ve seen to make the same point about the gay male libido. We Are Not All That

We get doubly hit by the stereotype. One tune I hear regularly in the kook pews is the reason gay males are so sex driven is we have rejected the moderating influence of females…which applies a different sexual stereotype, that of the matronly sexually chaste women…to the stereotype of the wanton gay man to the homophobe’s trope that men and women naturally complement each other. But it is not so simple. The complement in sex is the what your libido says it is. For most of us that’s the opposite sex, but for some of us it isn’t. The complement in love and romance is the person. Or to put it another way, in the marriage vows it’s not do you take a man, but do you take This man.

At the end of what was a long conversation about why he was not right for me and never would be, after assuring me that sex was overrated, and that it was like farting (“It stinks for a little while, and then it’s gone…”) my high school crush, the one who made me realize, never again to doubt, that being a homosexual was not anything to be ashamed of, and that love and desire were wonderful things, he tried to end the discussion by telling me that when I’m on my deathbed it won’t be all the people I’ve had sex with that I’ll be remembering, but those I’ve loved, and who loved me. As if they were mutually exclusive things. And there you see the second, and most destructive thing the stereotype does to gay men. 

It’s a deliberate knife to the heart. What the haters have been telling gay people for ages is that our sexual nature is actually corrosive to love. If we embrace our sexual selves so they tell us, then we can never love. But the human status isn’t a whiteboard anyone can erase and scribble their hatreds over. We embody the living history of hundreds of millions of years of life on earth within us every moment of our day, and those ancient tides will pull and tug at us whether we acknowledge them or not. When you believe deep down in your gut that your homosexuality is the enemy of your need to love and be loved than your sexual desires, when they eventually force their way out of you because you can’t deny an instinct that is older than the fish, let alone the mammals, let alone the primates, let alone us, will usually have their way with you in highly self destructive forms. It splits you in half, body from soul, and leaves you little more than a shell, desire and the human need to love and be loved ricocheting around inside, wearing you down from within, when they could have made you strong and whole.

That only serves the interests of bigots and hate. Which is exactly why they work so hard to make us believe we are broken. But we are not broken. They are. Anyone who would poison within a person the joy of sex and their human capacity to love and be loved is deeply, profoundly broken.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Not DTF, But DTL

October 4th, 2013

Belief In Soulmates

@Sherman_Alexie: “#2 reason for divorce: Belief in “soulmates.” #1: shagging someone else’s “soulmate.””

I guess he hasn’t seen very many long lived couples.  I have.  Soulmates is a real thing.  But not everyone has that temperament for monogamy.  People who don’t should leave people who do alone, and vice-versa.  I would submit that a big cause of divorce is our culture places too much emphasis on monogamy and not enough on trustworthiness.  But before you can be honest with others you need to be honest with yourself.  You need to cultivate that habit of truth telling internally.  The culture that discourages that is cutting its own throat.  Not everyone is heterosexual. Not everyone is innately monogamous.

Some of us are.  And we who are and those who are not seem always to be staring at each other in disbelief and fussing with each other about all the wrong things.  Belief in soulmates isn’t a problem…soulmates are a real thing…belief that only monogamy is moral is a problem.  Cheating is immoral.  Lying just to get inside someone’s pants is immoral.  Sex for its own sake is not in and of itself immoral.  You live long enough and you will see lots of long lived happy couples and lots of thoroughly decent moral trustworthy people who’ve had lots and lots of lovers.  Monogamy is a temperament, not an ideal.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Belief In Soulmates

August 20th, 2013

Chopsticks

In friendship you want your reflection, but in love you want your complement.  This came across my Facebook stream the other day…

When arguing for the legitimacy of homosexual relationships and same-sex marriage you hear a lot of talk from the other side about the complementary nature of the sexes.  But there’s the gender you’re attracted to sexually and the one you are emotionally comfortable with and in the best of all possible worlds those two are the same, because that is where the soulmate and wholeness are.

It isn’t always precise, lots of people are completely comfortable in the company of both men and women, and some people fit more in the middle of the Kinsey scale than at its extremes. But sometimes there is a disjointedness.  You see the heterosexual male who is sexually attracted to women but dislikes them emotionally, prefers the company of his buds and treats women as nothing more than sex objects.  And I’ve encountered gay males who are more emotionally secure in the company of women and do the same thing to other gay men.

I feel sorry for those.  Life is so much sweeter when your emotional needs can be met by your attractive sex too.  There is wholeness.  And because heterosexuals mate to their opposite sex, it’s very easy for them to mistake the complementary nature of their relationships for gender.  But the complement isn’t gender.  The complement is the person.

So sometimes you see a same-sex couple and one seems very masculine and the other very feminine and you think ‘a-ha…this one’s the man and that one’s the woman..’ But then you see a pair and you can’t rightly tell and it’s confusing.

Forget about gender.  See how they, as individual people, complement each other.  That is how it always works.

[Edited a tad for clarity…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Chopsticks

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