Monday, January 12, 2009

The Death March to Sex Equality Continues

A few months back I talked a bit about viewing men as sexual objects and why it's okay, given that it isn't going to "objectify" us in the sense of reducing us -- socially speaking -- solely to the level of bodies whose worth is predicated only on the sexual pleasure we give to others.

In, I think, a similar vein, Belle Waring asks the following:
How much would straight men's homophobia have to die down to get to the point where hot guys would make out at parties and bars in an effort to attract chicks? Not before I am a dirty old woman, right? I mean, I have known guys to do this, but more because they were wasted and feeling experimental. I brought this up to John and he questioned whether women would think it was hot. My response was a deadpan, "I figure there's got to be room in there for me somewhere." More seriously, yes, women think gay guys getting together is hot.

Now, I always assumed women did not find gay guys getting together to be hot, evinced by the famous confusion women express over why guys find lesbian hook-ups hot. But I admit that I could be wrong, and the commenter who notes the appeal of yaoi fan-fic certainly has a point.

So then to answer Belle's question, I think we seem to be moving in that direction, at least if debate parties are any indicator. Faux-gay hookups, when I've observed them, seem to be less about signaling the surrounding women "look how hot I am", and more about "look how spontaneous, tolerant, and fun-loving I am" -- it's kind of part of the half-step being taking amongst today's youth wherein being gay isn't necessarily cool, but being tolerant of gay people is. You make out with another guy, you show you're not a homophobe. People who like non-homophobes are pleased.

Would be even better if we moved beyond that to straight guys hooking-up with gay men as a sexually arousing performance to pick up girls? Eh. The equality aspect appeals to me, but it feels a little low-brow. Then again, I guess I don't object when I'm the beneficiary. So, if it gets you off, I guess I have no objection.


Jack said...

Certainly part of the reason you don't see straight men making out is the homophobia of straight men (they fear making out with each other). But the problem is just as much the homophobia of straight people in general who confer social costs after the fact. Outside of really tolerant environments that aren't a lot of straight guys willing to risk the social cost of being ripped on for being gay on something that doesn't really sound like it will dramatically increase their chances of getting laid.

Which is to say if there are girls who really want to see this happen I'll bet all they have to do is be a lot more vocal about what they want to see and provide the right incentives (which is probably more than just attention, since gay homophobia is, at least in this context, more potent than lesbian homophobia.

Stentor said...

I think it would require more than just a lessening of homophobia to get more straight men to make out for women's benefit. My understanding is that the prevalence of straight women making out is a product of patriarchy as well -- both directly in the sense of the male spectators badgering them into it and being able to offer rewards greater than just the intrinsic pleasure of a hookup, and indirectly in the sense that the persistent objectification of women in our society teaches everyone, even straight women, to be able to look at other women sexually.

Jack said...

So Katie Perry: Victim or Culprit?