This post is sort of an out-growth of these two discussions:
2. The Perfect Phallus
In the first discussion the user named "love2showoff" identifies himself as straight, and in his avatar there is a picture of a gun.
This got me thinking about a few things.
1. Lately, it is common to hear the penis referred to as "a gun." (Example, I'm listening to an album by the rock group Sublime as I type this. In two songs Bradley Nowell refers to his "gun." In one song he sings, "If I make you cry all night, be your daddy at the end of the light, take a load from my big gun.")
2. Lately, it is common to hear a man with a big penis referred to as "packing." This is the same term often used to refer to a man who is carrying a gun. A man with a gun is often referred to as "packing" or "packing heat."
3. There are many euphamisms for ejaculation, such as "come." But one of the most common euphamisms is "shoot." I myself often refer to when I "shoot."
4. Just as the gun represents power, so does the penis.
Obviously, the point I'm making here is that in the male mind guns and the penis often intersect. The penis is often an metaphor for the penis, and vice versa. From a certain perspective, it could be said that "love2showoff" has a picture of a penis in his avatar. I don't remember who said it, but I read a while back that some psychologist said that phallus worship is no longer allowed, so men find other ways to worship the phallus, such as by carrying guns.
When I take this into account, it's perhaps not that surprising that straight men may join this group and look at the penises of other men, and even feel empowered to do so. Let's go back to the gun comparison. Say there is a group of men who collect guns. Wouldn't it be natural for them to get together and talk about their guns and compare them and even hold them, trade each other's, and even fire them off at a target? On some level, I think that this is what goes on here on this forum. On this forum there are a lot of straight guys looking at each other's penises, talking about them, complimenting them, and saying how much they'd like to "borrow" the other guy's penis for a while. A guy could say the same thing about another guy's gun, and no one would question his sexuality. But because this society is so sexuall repressed (US society) it's taboo to say that about the penis.
Frankly, I'd much rather hear straight men compliment each other's penises and say they'd like to trade for a while, because the penis is much more beneficial. The penis brings life, whereas the gun takes it. I wish that young guys with guns would replace them with their penises, and just be proud of their penises ... then the guns wouldn't be necessary.
I'm not sure how this fits into this, but something else just occurred to me. Bottom line, men are men. We make up 80% of the pornography consumption. Women, on the other hand, often prefer to read romance novels. The reason we make up 80% of the pornography industry is because we are visual. We like to SEE things, which may partly explain the straight male presence on this site. And at one basic level there's something both straight porn and gay porn have in common: a big penis (or gun) "shooting" its sperm. Straight porn may not specifically make men the focus of the entertainment, but the men are usually well endowed. Why? Because the men in the movies are often stand-ins for the straight male viewer, and that straight male viewer would like to imagine himself as being like the porno actor: well endowed.
As for me, I don't consider myself gay. (I put 1% gay because as Kinsey said, few people are 100% anything. I chose the name "Ganymede" because of my interest in Greek mythology and my longing for my own youth, which Ganymede represented to Zues. The older I get the more I long for the innocense of my youth. I suppose I'm both Zues and Ganymede within myself.) But when I see another man's erect penis, as the article "Heterosexual Men and the Other Phallus" says, I am reminded of the pleasure my own erect penis has brought me, and that's obviously a positive thing. When I see the erect penis of another man, I don't want to touch it or put it in my mouth or anything. Deep in my heart, I think, "Good for you, bro. I hope you experience a lot of pleasure with that. You're lucky to be blessed." And I feel empowered to know that I am not alone in what I experience. I am a member of a team.
I think that deep in the male heart is a desire to form a team with others of our own gender, which is why most straight men's lives revolve around sports (which is all about teams). And, yes, at some level there is also a great sense of jealousy that another guy has a bigger penis than me. But perhaps on the deepest, deepest level there is this sense among men that at some level our penises, our maleness, is actually connected ... and so if one man is big and strong and powerful, and I am a member of his team, then I am big and strong and powerful by association.