Coming soon from NYU Press...

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A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight—her boyfriend may even encourage her. But can straight white guys experience the same easy sexual fluidity, or would kissing a guy just mean that they are really gay? Not Gay thrusts deep into a world where straight guy-on-guy action is not a myth but a reality: there’s fraternity and military hazing rituals, where new recruits are made to grab each other’s penises and stick fingers up their fellow members’ anuses; online personal ads, where straight men seek other straight men to masturbate with; and, last but not least, the long and clandestine history of straight men frequenting public restrooms for sexual encounters with other men. For Jane Ward, these sexual practices reveal a unique social space where straight white men can—and do—have sex with other straight white men; in fact, she argues, to do so reaffirms rather than challenges their gender and racial identity. Ward illustrates that sex between straight white men allows them to leverage whiteness and masculinity to authenticate their heterosexuality in the context of sex with men. By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways. These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity. Instead, Ward argues, they reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterizes all human sexual desire.

I've argued for years that straight guys are entitled to the same latitude—or entitled to the same fluidity—as other self-identified monosexuals. A straight girl can mess around with another girl without the whole world insisting she couldn't have done that if she weren't really a lesbian; a lesbian can mess around with a dude now and then and still identify as a dyke; and a gay guy can fuck one or two women over the course of his gay life without having to turn in his gay card. But if a straight guy sucks one cock and gets caught—just that one cock, just that one time—no one will take him seriously when he says he's straight.

Like the joke goes...

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Male heterosexuality, in this way, is a lot more fragile than female heterosexuality or male/female homosexuality. But with that said... a lot of the white guys (and a lot of the not-white guys) out there cruising public restrooms, fingering each other's anuses in frat house basements, and seeking other guys to jack off with (for starters) in the M4M sections of Craigslist are closeted gay or possibly/probably closeted bi men. I kept waiting for the word "bisexual" to pop up in the press release for Not Gay but I didn't see it in there. The men Jane Ward studied might not be gay—gayness could be ruled out in some cases—but straight-identified, married-to-women guys who have sex with other men are likelier to be bisexual, closeted or not, than they are to be straight, fluidity or otherwise.

I'm going to get the book and read it with an open mind, of course, but the summary pushed out by NYU Press doesn't inspire confidence.