Below the Belt

Not gay. Not straight. Just some classic "pants magic" from me to you, GG.

--Straight Guy

Growing Up on Teen Comedies

Gay Guy,

Saw this recent article on John Hughes. My teenage angst came flooding back as I read it. I think demographically I was the perfect target for the genre he created. When "Sixteen Candles" came out, I was (1) sixteen, and (2) an emotional outsider seeking some validation.

As the article points out, Hughes switched the game and told all of his stories from the outsider's perspective. In fact, Hughes' best known film (though not my favorite) is "The Breakfast Club" where Hughes implies that we are ALL outsiders, no matter how we classify ourselves. My public school was similarly governed by cliques... divided into athletes, stage performers, brainiacs, and those who inhabited the smoking lounge (how was this ever an approved and authorized option for 14 year olds?). There were many options for self-segregation...

I didn't know anyone who was gay and "out" (though some of my suspicions have since been confirmed -- more surprising are the ones that weren't). But my high school would not have been the most accommodating environment for the first one to try. We certainly used homophobic insults with little discretion.

In not a small way, I'm sure that these films made me a more accepting and tolerant person. You've met some of my high school friends, GG, and must know that if I am open-minded, it's not due to engaging in enlightening discourse with them.

I don't deserve any extra credit for being your friend, Gay Guy. Well, I do... for so many reasons, but not because you're gay, I should say. But if it took some growing up on my part to see value in people that I don't totally understand, I have to give some credit to Hughes and his films.

He made 6 "outsider" films from 84 to 87, some better than others, but all arriving between my 16th and 19th birthdays. And I'm sure I didn't miss a single one.
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • Weird Science (1985)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Pretty in Pink (1986)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Anyway, many of today's filmmakers cite Hughes as a crucial influence, and have sought him out to no avail. He hasn't worked in many years (though I hear that the idea for the recent Owen Wilson flop "Drillbit Taylor" is an old one of his).

You mentioned that you identified with the outcast Rudolph from the holiday special, just wondering if these or any other mainstream films has a similar impact on you.

--Straight Guy

What films changed your perspective? Join the discussion here.

I thought it was in his kiss

Straight Guy,

Do I sway my hips slightly? Do I? You can tell me.

A little on the "science" of spotting a gay man.

--Gay Guy

I can't say that I've ever noticed any extra sway in your walk, GG.

But, I've seen you stumble and fall a few times and you momentarily turned into Rip Taylor... or maybe Elizabeth Taylor.

--Straight Guy

Cold, SG, cold. Of course I was arms-akimbo, I was on ice skates. I thought I was rather sporty to be out there. My sashaying arms were helping me avoid having an Ass Capades moment on my tail.

-- Gay Guy

Have gaydar? Join the discussion here.


Dear Straight Guy,

Uhmm... I didn't know you were gay when I was having sex with you....

I'm loving last week's revelations that Teddy Pedersen, the aide/driver for former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, had engaged in two years of regular sexual threesomes with McGreevey and his wife, Dina, before McGreevey was governor. "Friday Night Specials." The "I am a Gay American" gov. admits it, the former Mrs. McG. denies it. Read more. And for more about McGreevey 's 2004 resignation as governor read on.

First, the high in porn value of the story. Better, the delusion of 'sex without sex.' Pedersen said he had contact only with Mrs. McGreevey during the trysts and wasn't sure whether McGreevey was gay. In fact, Pedersen says, it "didn't seem like he was gay." Let's get this straight--you have regular threesomes that include another guy and you don't consider that you're having sex with him. Even if Pedersen didn't have any kind of full-on penetration with McGreevy, surely they rubbed up against each other. Some parts touched. Shared some sweat. If not, where were they? In separate rooms? Wouldn't make much of a threesome.

Oh yeah, and the Friday Night special followed dinner at TGIFriday's. That's my favorite part.

I know we want our blog to be classier than this story, but this was too good to resist.

--Gay Guy

New Poll: For Better or the Worst

Did you see Elliot Spitzer's resignation speech the other day? He's not the first dishonored politician to face the press with a loyal spouse at his side.

FYI, Mrs. Straight Guy promises to throw rotten tomatoes (and perhaps a brick or two) from the back of the room if a mea culpa of this magnitude is ever necessary.

[Update: see her clarification in the comments below]

Let us know who you think had the hardest time standing by her man as he made a public statement detailing his infidelities. Here's a link to a Reuters rehash of the now standard "good wife" scenario.

Vote in the column to the right. Here are your choices:
• Silda Spitzer (Gov./Lawman husband hires expensi
ve prostitutes)
• Suzanne Craig (Senator hubby admits to wacko
restroom behavior, but denies he is gay)
• Dina McGreevy (Governor comes out of closet, admits to gay affair)

[UPDATE: Polls closed. Here are the results.]

Would you provide comfort and support? Or quickly appear on Oprah to give your side of the story? Join the discussion here.

It's Funny Because It's NOT True

Maybe there's nothing more to this, GG, and I'm glad that you don't take offense. But the latest viral vid out there (an SNL Digital Short) is running on the same fuel.

The Kimmel/Affleck video reminded me of a much older skit with David Letterman and Steve Martin. Same deal...

All very different, and to me, all funny. Kimmel's is over-the-top, Letterman's is very restrained and non-sexual, and I'll give the SNL clip a little extra credit for emotional complexity and fearlessness in the makeout scene.

I know that dissecting any joke immediately robs it of humor. But, the question for me is still "why?". The laughs are about more than the broken taboo and sight gags.

The question for you, GG, is whether this all a bit juvenile, or are these skits signs of progress and acceptance? Are we laughing "at" or "with"? Aren't these samples very different from the "Men On Films" clips I mentioned earlier?

From this straight guy's perspective, I think the surface humor (will they?, won't they?, OMG, they just did!) is just an overlay on the deeper joke... that straight guys have no clue about intimacy of any kind.

--Straight Guy

Is Batman Missing a T-Shirt?

Straight Guy,

Thanks for the link to Jimmy Kimmel's "I'm F@cking Ben Affleck" and for asking whether I found the stereotypes offensive as a gay man. I don't. I think the vid's fairly funny, if long. (The one stereotype I scratch my head about painting toenails while they are in fluffy bathrobes. I'm just not sure that men paint their toenails.) I don't feel put down by anything in the vid. The stereotypes -- the Batman molded chest in lycra , the poolside hotties, the puca shells (loved the puca shells, hilarious -- well, I've actually seen them in play.

I use stereotypes about your peeps, Straight Guy. Like your bottomless love of Dockers.

--Gay Guy

--Gay Guy

Something is up....

Yes, Gay Guy and Straight Guy have been swamped at our respective jobs for a few weeks. And, now we are on some deep undercover work figuring out the gay/straight divide elsewhere. Updates on our mystery tour are forthcoming.

It promises to be juicy news as Straight Guy was sighted buying new clothes .. including hot, sexy shoes.

--Gay Guy


GG and SG are out of the country for a few days. We'll post if we can and get things back up to speed as soon as we can.

Comments and questions are still very welcome.

We havn't missed Jimmy Kimmel's viral vid, "I'm F@+#ing Ben Affleck." We'll have commentary on that soon. (Youtube search if you haven't seen, obviously NSFW)

--Straight Guy