Has Gay Male Culture Become Anti-Masculine?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by B_bxmuscle, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. B_bxmuscle

    B_bxmuscle New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NYC
    I took a buddy of mine to my gym up in the south Bronx in NYC, a spot I dig cause of its good-looking, seriously built friendly working-class guys- cops, construction workers, parcel delivery guys - who workout hard and exude a masculinity that I find sexy as hell.

    My buddy HATED the place cause it was "too straight" and prefers gyms in Chelsea or mid-town Manhattan where many of the gay guys workout in the latest athletic fashions, can be flamboyant if so inclined, sometime call each other "girl" and can cruise the locker room or showers for dick. That's fine for those who like this. I never found guys like that attractive or wanted to be part of their social environment. My friend's reaction got me thinking.

    I went to my first gay bar at age 16. Now in my 40s I've seen how urban gay culture has gone from a campy masculinity (the Village People, the Marlboro Man, etc) to campy feminized stereotypes (RuPaul's show, gay icons like Christina A, or Beyonce who are always women, never men; everything on Bravo). I've met plenty of conventionally masculine guys who like guys over the years, but very few have ever been much involved with the urban gay culture you find in most big cities. Has the public face of gay male culture turned against masculinity altogether??
     
  2. azladd

    azladd Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    202
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    122
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I wouldn't say that gay male culture has turned against masculinity altogether, but there has been a noticeable shift in recent years. I don't know the reasons for this but I have noticed that the younger generation tends to be less masculine. Alot of guys are coming out at a much younger age, many grew up in father-less households, and what we see in gay media tends to favor young "bois" of "twinks" who come across as more fem or unisex rather than masculine. Twenty years ago a man in his 30's or 40's was desirable because of the perceived masculine aspect. Nowadays, anyone over 30 is considered old, and anyone over 40 seems to be a minority in today's clubs and bars.Gay porn mostly features barely legal boys or men with pubescent bodies. Go figure. But that's just my take on it all.
     
  3. bigheadben

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    58
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    531
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New Orleans (LA, US)
    Verified:
    Photo
    there is more than one male gay culture. find yours.
     
  4. NumberTwentySix

    NumberTwentySix New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    You are definitely right about the anti-masculne streak. I like watching shows on Bravo and HGTV because I am a foodie and a DIY-er, but I can't stand the campy/catty guys they get to host or act in many of their programs. I feel like they're playing up to a certain stereotype that says gays have to be fabulous, as though your sexuality makes any impact on how you hang drywall or cook a roast, (or design a dress for that matter, not that I care for the fashion shows.)

    Edit: addressing the gym point, I think there has been a cultural shift toward making men sex objects in a way they weren't pre- 1980's. I don't know whether the "abercrombie effect" is really to blame or not, but it's hard to deny there is more focus on body-image among men, young men especially, than there has been in the past. Maybe the perception azladd has of twinks "taking over" has something to do with that.

    On the other hand, more guys may now be coming out while they're still young because it is more socially acceptable to do so, resulting in a younger looking gay male population, whereas before it was not uncommon for guys who struggled with coming out to wait until well into their 40's, if they did so at all.
     
    #4 NumberTwentySix, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  5. erratic

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,410
    Likes Received:
    287
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    I couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  6. Charles Finn

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,538
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toledo Ohio
    yes I prefer hairy masculine guys
    I can be friends with campy fem guys but I too love camping and being outdoors
    I was lucky I grew up with a bunch of dads
    lol
     
  7. curioustitan

    curioustitan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I tend to agree. The media does by and large have a finger or two in this social phenomenon of a pie. We're constantly fed imagery and ideas of clothing, of what to wear, what to say, how to behave, which lame-ass pick up lines to use and how to "give your girl the best orgasm of her life" all whilst being 'fabulous' and 'fierce'... but it's all kinda campy-femme stylisings... and people are subscribing to these ideas.
    Campy femme seems most definitely to be the behaviour du jour or the zeitgeist of its time. Previously negative stereotypes about the behaviour of feminine gay men is something of the past and we now aggrandise this sub-culture and -dare i say-encourage it.
    Personally, i have no problem with a 'naturally' feminine gay man. I mean, would i jump on the "i wanna have a four-way with Douglas Booth, Luke Worral and Tom Strurridge" train?...Hell yeah!! However as soon as a previously John Wayne type puts on his manolo 'pumps' and starts channeling Julie Andrews, my spider sense starts tingling...
     
    #7 curioustitan, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  8. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    Honestly, having been part of various "gay scenes" since I was 16 (in 1976), there is nothing new about anything I've read in the OP whatsoever. There have never been any fewer nor any more numerous effeminate fags now than there are right now. I worked in a younger-guy oriented disco in Boston in 1979, and I can assure you that both staff and clientele ranged from "clone" (short hair, mustache, tight jeans: think Freddie Mercury) to fashion victim to "chicken" (now called twinks, but the same thing) to "regular guys" in all shades of traditional macho deportment, from ultra-nelly to hyper-butch.

    I can also recall expressing admiration for Blondie a short time after that, only to be reminded that Debbie Harry was "old" (she was 35 in 1980 :rolleyes:). I honestly never remember a time when the common gay culture wasn't obsessed with youth, clothing, good looks, money and cruising for sex.

    What is different now, and in direct contradiction to the OP (whose mind I happen to admire a great deal: this is not a criticism) is the rather new reverence for overweight, middle-aged, balding hairy guys that's called "the Bear culture". I can assure anyone too young to not remember that it simply did not exist 20 years ago. Neither did that much-overused expression "woof", which, like it or not, is considered an appropriately "masculine" response of appreciation of someone's appearance.

    The great thing about "gay culture" is its incredible diversity. If you don't like showtunes, stay out of piano bars; if you can't stand nelly queers don't go to dance clubs where they congregate, etc. A place as large as NYC really does have something for everyone.

    As to gyms: I never gave it any consideration until I lived in France in the early 90s, when I started working out just about every day. Returning to Boston several years later, I had three options: The Metropolitan, Mike's and the YMCA. My only visit to the Metropolitan confirmed my worst suspicions, when the first thing I saw was a fey, skinny man in his early 20s clad in spandex and carrying a Louis Vuitton "gym bag" (it looked like a purse to me), so I tried Mike's, which had a reputation as a "real guy" gym. Though hardly swish or flamboyant, it was, in reality, no less gay than your average gay bar. Workouts took forever because everyone there wanted to chat, and the showers were notoriously cruisy. I stopped going after about two months.

    My brief experiences with the gyms in Ft Lauderdale in 2005-06 proved to me that nothing had changed at all, except that the gyms had gotten bigger: that's all.
     
  9. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    I think the OP is referring to the urban gay culture found in places like Chelsea, Provincetown, and the Castro.

    The urban gay culture that revolves around bars, dance clubs, youth, fashion and looks holds little appeal to many gay men contrary to what you might think. I would guess the vast majority of gay men don't live in gay ghettos and are not part of that culture, including me.
     
  10. B_bi_mmf

    B_bi_mmf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,059
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    U.S.
    No, there has always be strong interest in youthful hairless men.
     
  11. heist

    heist New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    131
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    At the beach. : )
    I definitely agree with bigheadben and erratic that there are many, many gay subcultures, so saying something like "gay male culture has become anti-masculine" is a vast overgeneralization.

    That said, it does seem the visibility of less-stereotypically-masculine gay males is increasing, probably because it's increasingly less taboo to fall outside the gender/sexuality norms. People are more less uncomfortable with others who are different, so people aren't afraid to show their secret feminine side (or whatever else).

    Finally, I would say that, to a lot of the out younger gays, straight guys aren't as sexually attractive anymore. It isn't because a cultural shift favoring flamboyancy, but rather because you know they aren't going to be attracted to you, so it's stupid to want anything. Straight guys can still be very attractive, but just not sexually attractive. Why waste time wondering "are they gay or not?" when you could just go to a gay bar filled with guys who are definitively gay?
     
  12. B_RedDude

    B_RedDude New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    But what else has there ever been? :biggrin1:
     
    #12 B_RedDude, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  13. NY4Curious

    NY4Curious New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York City
    I'm with those who have seen styles go around at least a couple of times. Styles, unlike taste keep changing (so we'll keep buying the latest fashions?)
    Taste pretty much remains. I'm very turned on by the "real working class man" such as are found at the South Bronx gym. I'm slightly uncomfortable around the Urban Style of the moment queens (and I've lived through the Castro Clones, the Power Gays who were tough and masculine in very different ways) I've been told during World War II the tough gay leather neck was considered the hottest, the nelly drag queen the dregs of society. In the 1950s Rae Bourbon and T C Jones led the parade in high drag. The hippies came in and rugged bearded gay men in velvet with long hair was all the rage followed by the Castro Clone. That led to a more specific construction worker look but then Hedda Lettuce and Jackie Beat muscled their way center stage, then butch twinks took over the locker room and now nelly twinks and queens are all the rage.
    Whats next? It seems it's time for the tough guy to make a comeback. Hard times always turn the tough guy into a hero.
    Always my advice (to myself and others) is follow your own taste, it's all you have. Develope your self confidence not your subscription list to consumer magazines. In the end interesting people take the day, not shallow types.
    Aside: On the guilty pleasure, Logo's "The A List" one of the characters threw himself a birthday party and announced "Every power gay in town in here, this is the party of the week."
    "Poor dear," I said to my friend, "Don't they know if they call someone a "power gay" they've just lost all their power, if they call their party "Party of the Week", it just became the party to avoid. Ultimately, class will win.
    See you all, working out with the working class.
     
  14. arthur

    arthur New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    618
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London, UK
    ...personally I think this again relates to the 'lets put all the fags in their respective boxes' syndrome. He likes Judy Garland...stick him in the "Old Queen Box, he likes No. 2 haircuts and Timberland boots...must be 'a bear'... he likes old John 'Cougar' Mellencamp albums and rolls the occasional spliff...burn him at the stake and remove his 'gay card' immediately...
     
  15. earllogjam

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    5,027
    Likes Received:
    21
    LMAO
     
  16. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Here's an idea about urban "gay" culture and it comes from my mom who is a big-time feminist. She thinks that city gay guys are in the position of being able to confront and mimic all masculine stereo-types. So they feel comfortable play-acting and making fun of gender roles and attitudes. I obviously agree with her.
     
  17. NCbear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Back in NC
    Also, gay culture is where you are, if you're gay.

    Some people feel most comfortable among others who are obviously of their kind. However, if you're single and looking for (ahem!) companionship, don't rule out the fact that gay (and bi) people are everywhere. Being approachable and even flirtatious anywhere you find an interesting possible companion (ahem!) means you could find compatibility in any venue.

    And it would help if you'd express your interest in the moment, instead of relying on Craigslist's "missed connections" postings. :rolleyes::biggrin1:

    Anti-masculine? Perhaps more accurately, much of openly gay male culture has become focused on a particular kind of masculinity that you may not appreciate or that may not turn you on sexually. But as an earlier poster said, in tough times--which we're about to enter--the tough man becomes more valued, so a different kind of masculinity may come to be the center of attention in a few short months.

    NCbear (who is often mistaken for straight because I act like a human being first and a gay man second--but my fondness for show tunes and opera sets off others' gaydar in the end, anyway, so I'm just an average guy--sometimes outdoorsy, sometimes an urban quasi-sophisticate--who has chosen to be openly gay :wink:)
     
  18. cocktaste

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,414
    Likes Received:
    13
    Oh, brother. This reminds me of all the gay want ads who specify that they're "straight-acting", and are only seeking "straight-acting" mates. It's bullshit. People should be allowed to be who they are. What exactly is your definition of "masculinity"? Is it a knuckle-dragging idiot? Men come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Yes, there are flamboyant queens out there, but so what? I wouldn't say that the gay community is anti-masculine. You act as if gay people are conspiring in the de-masculinization of men. I get sick and tired of people pushing stereotypes onto everyone. You must play with trucks and not with dolls. That's not manly. You mustn't cry, you're a man. And so on, and so forth.

    In relation to OP's story about his friend, a lot of gay people don't like to be in an uber-straight environment because they've been bullied and harassed by uber-straight men. It's that simple.
     
  19. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    3,029
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    WA
    American media is anti-masculine*, so it is no surprise they trot out the more femme type of men.
    Of course, in television and movies, characteristics as well as drama are overstated, and because you can't see gay like you can black or Mexican, it has to be mentioned or made obvious. But because televisions and movies have a very limited amount of time to get a story or message out, mentioning a non-flaming guy was gay, when it has nothing to do with the storyline, would be a waste of time.
    So either you get a flaming gay guy, where it is never mentioned he is gay, but it is obvious so female viewers can empathize with the character and relate it to their own gay friend(s), or you get a story focused gay guy, where his sexuality is part of the story.
    The story focused gay guy could be more "masculine", but movies and television are made to appeal to demographics. It's funny, but you will rarely see a gay asshole, or a gay *husky voice* "cop that doesn't play by the rules" . Instead, you will see the caring, shoulder to cry on, wonderful gay man, that women will love. As a demographic, straight men are less likely to empathize or be interested in the story of a gay man, unless he is flaming, in which case it is great sitcom material. :rolleyes:


    *besides in extreme drama situations, then it is hypermasculine. I mean war/action etc. But even then, many of these shows have hypermasculinity during action scenes, but emasculation during the "but their personal life is also falling apart" cliche parts.
     
    #19 B_New End, Nov 13, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  20. Who_Dun_It

    Who_Dun_It New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sometimes I wonder if they're anti-"mature" in general. I've noticed it with both men and women that the ones that look like they're barely 18 seem to be put in front of a camera the more and more. Don't know if I'm imagining that or what though..............
     
Draft saved Draft deleted