Control Tower

When Straight Met Try to Be Sex Objects

Comments

1
This post was awesome! Definitely shows a great perspective that I've never heard (or considered myself) in my feminism classes.
And I would love to see my bf in something saucy :)
2
wow! we could go deeper into this by looking into why people treat other people bad just on looks .
3
There's no difference between women being devalued for being sexy and men being devalued for being sexy: the difference is that we expect men to get their worth from work, and women, who do not command respect, are punished for being sexy, for not being sexy and disrespected regardless of looks, intelligence and talent. So?
4
Erm - the lead singer of Right Said Fred is famously and indeed obviously not straight.
5
What I notice in all the media commentary about men, male sexuality, mens' identities and masculinity, etc., is that almost all of the commenters and writers and talkers are women.

What's more, what few men talking about these aspects are gay.

I have nothing against women or gay men, but while we are on the topic of giving men permission to express our sexualities, how about ...

... in the post-feminist world, giving men permission to have masculine identities?

In modern America, its not just men are not allowed to express our sexualities, its more that we aren't even allowed to have identities accept perhaps as "non-women".

American men are facing some serious problems. We're increasingly headfucked by a toxic culture that has been obsessed with advancing women for 40 years now.
6
Mob Barley, why don't other countries who have been 'advancing women for 40 years now' have the same problem? Perhaps it's not the 'advancing of women' but more the oppression of sexuality in general? I'd also argue that men who identify as non-masculine are punished by American society far more harshly than those that do.
7
@5 Check out Charlie Glickman. He's talked openly about how he doesn't see himself as a "manly man" but he certainly doesn't have a feminine gender identity either. And he's a straight dude who talks very thoughtfully about these issues.

8
Jeez, it's great that you're all gender-issues-aware and stuff, but could you be any whiter?

Over here, outside your dungeon-clique and on the streets of Actual America, we routinely encounter (or in some cases, are) straight, non-white American men being comfortably self-objectifying with their deliberate sexiness, and many Americans (outside of the whiteburbs and urban whitecool zones) are perfectly comfortable with those straight, self-sexualizing men, too.

And if you can tear your attention away from North America for a moment, you can even find straight white men of various ethnicities being overtly sexual in public, too.
9
Not only is the singer from Right Said Fred famously not straight, but actual straight guys have been pin up's for a very long time. Clark Gable has 8x10 glossies, for christs sake.
10
you forgot the important point that dicks are gross-looking
11
@10: Yeah, they really are, aren't they?
What really amazes me is the number of guys that don't take proper care of them when they're supposedly so proud of them.
12
@8 - I fail to see your sneering point on this one. It's like blaming a car for not being a plane (what? You can't fly a car? That's so exclusionary to people who need to cross large bodies of water!). The writer writes from their own perspective, and this gives us their focused epistemology - their own, special focus. We don't read this column for articles by Joe Bloggs, we read it for the viewpoint of Mistress Matisse - who happens to be a white(gasp!)female who is not transgendered, disabled, or otherwise different. No, she's not focusing on other areas than North America. Neither (IIRC) did Shere Hite, or Nancy Friday. MM is writing about a specific phenomenon she feels she has observed - not to say that she believes it doesn't exist in other places. If you have a specific rebuttal other than to observe that as the writer is white, she cannot understand the sexuality of other races and cultures, I suggest you head on back to school and look out works by Elliot Liebow.
13
The reason why so many straight men are mocked for being sex objects is because many of them do it very poorly and don't know how to give women what they want. Women are just not as visually stimulated as men. The usual stripper tactic of wearing a thong and prancing around a stage doesn't work on women as well as it does on men. You need to have "a story" or emotional angle. For example, while male strippers are mocked mercilessly, I have yet to see anyone criticize "sexy firefighter" calendars in the same way. A sweaty and half-naked man in firefighter gear is a lot sexier and looks less silly than a mostly-naked man in a thong.
14
@13: I agree!
15
Alright, if I'm going to throw my two cents in, just because I feel gender issues are fairly critical: Right off the bat, I'm a "straight-acting" gay white male, do with that what you will.

Sexuality as presented by straight males is indeed measurably more muted than what is expected and indeed encouraged in straight females, but taking a look at what straight males consider sexuality, it's clear that a straight male's idea of overt sexuality is more or less a doofus-filled parade of bimbo-acting guys who are taking cues from how women tend to present themselves sexually. Guys wanna see tits and ass (or cock, but that's a different story). In general, immediate sexual gratification for them is more or less the goal. As a psychology student, I should hope that I'm not being a totally misinformed douche in saying that in general, women are a little more subtle about it.

13 has the right idea here. Female strippers exude what is culturally thought of as female sexuality. Straight male strippers exude... well, something like a ridiculous parody of female sexuality, as though acting attractive is a one-size-fits-all set of actions and settings. It isn't. Notice that they do NOT exude what is culturally thought of as masculinity! A woman tends to want to see a guy who is more than just some dumb bimbo, I think a lot of guys are turned on by girls who aren't just dumb bimbos, either. Some might be, but those guys tend to be boorish dorks. So it isn't that straight males aren't allowed to be overtly sexual, it's that they are being mocked for being ridiculous.

It's like laughing at the douchebags on Jersey Shore, though of course, I have more contempt for the Jersey Shore douchebags. But the concepts are interconnected, for men the idea of masculinity and sex appeal are intertwined, a man who does not act properly is going to be laughed at by other men because they don't think he will be able to attract women, and depending on one's definition of what a "man" should act like, that may very well be true.
16
I've always thought that the reasons straight men don't express their sexuality is because: (1) Men have been expressing their sexuality in the past, but it has trodden all over the human rights of women (leading to "No means No" campaigns); and (2) Not infrequently, men expressing sexuality are perceived to gay. And then there's residual Puritanism.

So it's been a 1-2 punch: Previous expressions of masculinity are less and less acceptable, as they are perceived as overbearing and potentially dangerous; and the only other expressions of male sexuality are aimed towards same-sex relationships.

Female expression of sexuality remains the 'gold-standard' of sexual expression in many ways, with many repressed men wanting to wear panties and be perceived as sexually attractive while cross-dressing.

Just my 2 cents.
17
@10 . . . I certainly hope you're joking! Or I feel bad for your lovers. I'm lucky enough to be sleeping with someone who's confident enough in his sexuality to wear sexy male-stripper undies . . . which look darn fine with a giant hard-on. Darn fine, I say.
18
I find guys tend to be so grateful when a woman expresses appreciation for their beauty. It's so rare for them to hear it!
19
I feel like Daniel Craig's Bond is stepping closer to that "male sex object" realm... like that scene where he paid homage to Ursula Andress? Unf. He wasn't even killing anyone at the time; he was just hanging out in a speedo.