Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Chacun A Son Gout

[Dick filter.]

Putting things into words holds a great deal of significance to me, so it felt like something akin to a revelation to internally voice the sentence, "Dicks per se do not make my dick hard." Which is the flip side of the conclusion one might draw from much of what one hears from gay men and sees in gay porn, which is that "For gay men, dicks per se make their own dicks hard."

When I started to think about the topic of dick obsession in gay men, and my lack thereof, I realized that I couldn't talk about this honestly without calling this out explicitly. Calling this out also helps me understand the viewpoint of others here, even if it can, on occasion, make me feel more isolated than ever.

I say that I never voiced the words about dicks themselves being the source of sexual excitement for gay men, but I always knew, for example, that standard gay male porn was not optimized for me. If I'm looking at a porn video, I have to fast-forward past all the actual dick shots and fuck shots and most of the oral sex shots (depending on the camera angle) because those scenes are just so tedious to me I can't even watch them. "Go back to caressing the body with the camera, please," I tell my screen. "Can't you spend a little more time doing that and not rush so fast to putting his dick in your mouth?" I request of the actors. Somehow neither the cameramen nor the actors ever listen to me, I can't imagine why.

In printed porn I find myself significantly more interested in pre-1969 work than post-1969 work, which is about the time it became legal to show an actual penis. For the first ten years or so after they could show dick, the producers of porn considered the very sight of an erect dick to be enough to sell magazines and all other considerations became irrelevant. (And as a side issue: By the time the producers of porn again began to take up what I would consider artistic considerations, the standard porn ideal had become highly muscled fat-free exaggeratedly-proportioned rock hard, so they never did get my business.)

Ah, and then there's the Internet discussion groups themselves. Show us dick! JPGs! GIFs! Let's see your basket! Anybody got any nude photos of [random male celebrity]? Dick dick dick. See? We're back to the dick-obsession theme.

Is it any wonder that at some level I have come to believe that there's something wrong with me here?

Ok, here's a key memory that could explain that feeling as well. My big enormous highschool hope and fantasy was that when I got off to college I would meet other gay people and find camaraderie and community. Which I did, and some of that was wonderful, particularly at my first college, but then I transferred to Brown where things got icky. There was one particular meeting, a discussion-oriented meeting, to talk about gay issues in general, where some of the guys were talking about their visits to the Providence bathhouse. This is 1976. Somebody made a gossipy mean comment about a person not present whom he'd seen there, and when asked what he meant he held out the pinky of his hand and said, flippantly, "teeny-peeny". I felt as if I had been kicked, and my heart sank three levels below the basement. I wish I could say this comment was isolated, dismissed, or otherwise criticized, but nope. This was the culture, the gay culture I had been hoping and wishing and praying for, and I felt even more alienated than I did in the straight overculture -- and it was all about that dick-obsession thing. It took me another ten years to lose that feeling of alienation, if I ever really did (I think so).

And yet: it all worked out for me personally in wonderful and surprising ways. That meeting was at the very beginning of my time at Brown, and I realized that whatever companionship and community I would find there would not be among the members of the gay organization. Which freed me in a way to find it in the Brown Band, perhaps the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life (and that's saying a lot).

And which, in the long run, hooked me up with the national lesbian and gay band association where I finally found that gay (and lesbian) companionship and community. Is that irony or just life working out as a literary theme?
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