Trick or Treat

Straight Guy,

Happy Halloween.

Gay men love Halloween or as it is often called Gay Christmas or the Gay High Holy Days. We identify with it. That's the myth at least.

It's hard for me to objective on this topic. Halloween is not really my holiday. First, it's not a holiday. And when did it get to be for adults? Don't get me wrong: I love seeing kids in their costumes and I am happy to eat the Fun Size version of anything.

If you're going to do Halloween, do it well. Tossing on a wig, some lipstick, and a stuffed bra does not make a costume. You better work it. Like my friends who host a Halloween party every year. They plan, execute, and spend money and time for months. One year, they transformed their entire house into the Titanic, including having guests 'come a board' on a gang plank to the second-floor deck.

That's the appeal of Halloween: To transform. To be something you are not. To make something different than it was. I like that part. For a lot of guys, Halloween is permission to slip into a pair of heels and venture out in drag -- and that's some straight guys, too. Drag is just a fraction of Halloween, but no matter what you wear or make or how you decorate your house, Halloween makes it easy to be creative and to feel free from criticism while doing it.

--Gay Guy

Happy Halloween

Gay Guy and I were discussing favorite movies (which only highlights the many gaps in GG's pop culture knowledge... "Who is Chewbacca, again?")

I think we agreed on favorite non-romantic comedy...

--Straight Guy

Hey, Straight Guy,

Don't know what your people's favorite lines from Young Frankenstein are, but the movie is loaded with amazing witty material that gay men love. Knowing the script ought to be part of the cultural education of a gay man. Just two of the greatest quips:

Dr. Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.
Inga: His veins, his hands, his organs vould all have to increase in size?
Dr. Frankenstein: Exactly.
Inga: He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker.
Dr. Frankenstein: That goes without saying.
Inga: Voof.
Igor: He's going to be very popular.

And. . .
[After sex with the Monster]
Elizabeth: Oh, where are you going?. . . Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and then you're out with the boys to boast and brag. YOU BETTER KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Oh. . . I think I love him.

Oh, let's go for a third, and perhaps the best and gayest of all.

[Dr. Frankenstein leans in for a kiss]
Elizabeth: Taffeta, darling.
Dr. Frankenstein: Taffeta, sweetheart.
Elzabeth [pulling away]: No, the dress is taffeta. It wrinkles so easily.

Poor Cloris Leachman, who played Frau Blucher in the film, found her 82-year-old self rumba'd off her run on Dancing with the Stars this past week.

SG, the miracle that is Young Frankenstein. At last we agree upon something.

--Gay Guy

Another Unconvincing Performance

Straight Guy,

Yesterday, I found out that any hope that I created a buzz among the gay men at that party last week has come to an amusing end.

To recap: Last week, my friend Bee took me (to the point of dragging me) with her to a friend's party. She sold the party hard. Hosted by a guy she knows who is cute, bright, appealing, and gay with cute, bright, appealing, and gay friends. (He has a boyfriend, so he's not an object of intrigue.)

After some stalling, I started to look forward to the party. (I'm feeling pretty out-of-sorts romantically these days and am reacting by being a hermit.) Bee's helping by encouraging me to get out and met interesting people.

Anyway, I thought the party went well. I talked to some interesting people, had fun, exchanged smiles with a few attractive guys. Bee assured me that guys were checking me out (I can never tell). A success all around, right?

Here's yesterday's e-mail from Bee: "Bad news. The gay party didn't know you were gay. Next time, I am introducing you, leaving you, and making you wear a t-shirt that says 'Out of the Closet.'"

ays not convinced I'm gay? Are you kidding me? Was there a gaydar power outage? It's not Bee and I introduced ourselves as more than good friends. I just assumed that it was all out there to folks.

Funny, eh? Like all gay men, I have spent more than a little time wondering what passing for straight might be like. This can be a crippler for some guys. It's a real struggle, this question of being sufficiently masculine or at least not being "too gay." I don't stress so much any more. I'm no manly man, so I've just learned to minimize the liquor intake and keep my wrists in my pockets.

So, ironies of ironies, I need to try harder to convince my people that I am one of their people.

--Gay Guy

Bearded Ladies

Still an odd interest in our facial hair font post. Folks still searching for "gay" and "beard."

I've just learned that "beard" can refer to a woman who (knowingly or not) serves to disguise a gay guy's sexuality.

Here's a link to urban dictionary's take (UD is a great resource for any straight guy who needs to decode gay slang... or for anyone to crack slang of any kind).

GG, did you know this and leave me in the dark? Readers, have you used or been used as a "beard?"

--Straight Guy

Move Over Ernie and Bert

Gay Guy,

You may have noticed the new blog banner. All thanks to the new Muppet Whatnot Workshop where anyone can order a custom muppet.

Choices are limited. No specific gay/straight options (though some of the costume options are kind of "fabulous!" -- if you put a showgirl outfit on a bald puppet, people are going to talk).

Still functioning and fun is the system to create your own Simpsons character here. With more options, you can get frighteningly close to rendering your true self.

--Straight Guy

Living Virally

Straight Guy,

Sorry to have been offline for a while, but I’ve been struggling with a cold. It’s my annual first cold of the season. Starts with a sneeze, a little sore throat, then my nose is off and running. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

(Readers: To give you some sense of proportion, today I was hanging out with Straight Guy and constantly blowing my nose. I kept apologizing; he graciously replied with an upscale adult version of “No worries, dude.” By the time I had finished my rhino business, he’d fled the room claiming “too much information.” Probably in too close of proximity, too.)

Enough gross adolescent boy talk.

Colds are not cool. Not sexy. James Bond never had a cold. He’s never taken a handkerchief out of his suit breast pocket, has he? James Dean wasn't holding a hanky on that left thigh, was he?

This cold could not have come at a worse time. I went to a slick party over the weekend. My friend Bee invited me. She’s very cool and so are her friends. Gorgeous house, funky color scheme, and art –photos taken by the host—in every room. A lot of beautiful people. Each of them as sleek as a cat. There were a lot of gay men there, most of them really nice looking and sexy. Bee said some of them were checking me out, but I don’t know.

I was trying to look as sexy as I could. Dark jeans, black jacket. I wish I had been feeling nice looking and sexy, but it’s hard when you are packing a travel pack of Kleenex. Who knows: Maybe the best part of my look was the bulge of Kleenex down my front pocket.

--Gay Guy

A Wolf in Creep's Clothing

Gay Guy,

I like animals. I enjoy outdoor activities.

"Wolfman" Shaun Ellis regurgitates venison to feed wolf cubs and communicates via strategic urinations. He lives with a wolf pack. He's filthy. He's divorced. Shocker.

His new show, "Living with the Wolfman," premiers on Animal Planet tonight.

He's another activist who equates his regression to primal behavior as a grand scientific experiment. Of course, I'm reminded of "Grizzly Man" Timothy Treadwell, who lived with and advocated for grizzly bears. In the end, he got too close and was mauled and eaten by the ones he loved.

I don't predict a similar fate for Ellis. But I know a poser when I see one. I also know that the wolves, like the bears, are not fooled by these antics.

"Grizzly Man" was not so much a study of bear behavior, but of Treadwell's out-of-control ego. No surprise that he also found clarity living as an animal after failing in relationships with people.

Werner Herzog, director of Grizzly Man, didn't share Treadwell's optimism. He came to the conclusion that
"the common character of the universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility, and murder."

Sounds like your neighborhood, GG.

Readers: Ellis and Treadwell: scientists or egomaniacs?

--Straight Guy

Interest in Hair Spiked

Gay Guy,

You noticed that our blog readership spiked last Friday. Thanks for the heads-up. I checked it out...

The rest of the blog was normal, but interest in this post (on the facial hair font) went from zilch to 25 hits on one day (see that page's numbers graphed above). Our older posts don't usually generate much traffic, but folks stayed on that post for an average of 24 seconds, meaning many found what they were looking for.

I tracked the search terms that were successful in finding our blog and "gay beard" and "gay guy with beard" searches were definitely the source

GG, readers, any idea what the spike was about? I have no idea. Was there a hot news item?

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Don't Say "That's So Gay," Okay?

Gay Guy,

A new Ad Council PSA features teen star Hillary Duff. Good message, mediocre delivery.

I think it's great to try to change the lexicon on this. But kids will always tease about sexuality until they get a handle on their own. That can't always be rushed. Hello, Senator Craig.

I'm guilty, too. Homophobic taunts (many harsher than "that's gay") we're a regular part of my school experience. I gave as much as I got, I'm sure.

I don't know, GG. Times have changed. Do you think today's kids will take this to heart?

--Straight Guy

Happy Trails to You, Straight Guy


Straight Guy just quizzed me about whether I knew what a "happy trail" is.

I gave him the stone cold stare I only use when I see people inside of costumes handing out flyers or free samples on the street. A combination of sorrow and disbelief.

Yes, I know what a happy trail is. In fact, I wouldn't have guessed that straight people used the expression.

What do you say, readers. . . Happy trail: gay or straight anatomy chart?

P.S.: I never try the samples from the person in the costume. It's just wrong. Unless it's cookies.

--Gay Guy

Hate to break it to you, GG. It's not gay code.

I first heard of the happy trail in rural (near-Amish) Pennsylvania back in the early 80s. The context was sexually naive but definitely straight.

Now that I'm much older, I'm searching for a similar term for the new random grouping of active follicles near my left shoulder blade.

--Straight Guy

Wow, this is truly a revelation. I thought my people were singularly advanced in this linguistic territory of happy, treasure, garden trails.


My First Nude Scene. . . Errr, Seeing One, Of Course

Straight Guy,

Now it all makes sense! I have hazy memories of seeing Planet of the Apes as a child. . . and remember the film as an inexplicable turn on. An early source of the tinglies. I've worried to this day that I was turned on by the apes. What kind of sick perv am I? Now I see from the Entertainment Weekly Unforgettable Nude Scenes list that my tinglies surely must have been caused by a stripped down Charlton Heston. I'd complete forgotten -- or blocked out -- Charlton. Phew! Finally to know that Zira and/or Cornelius was not my first sexual sonar blip.

Absent from EW's list: Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Like a million American high school students, I watched the film in my 9th grade English class. The 1968 film was already ancient and scratchy by the time we got to see it. But underneath those scratches was the first nude scene -- the briefest, most fleeting nude scene, but the first that I had ever seen. For those who don't remember, R+J, played by Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, themselves still teens, are wakened from their one night together by the lark's song. They jump out of bed and supply a flash of her breasts and his bare stuff. Mild for a 9th grader now, but wild then.

How could EW leave out American Gigolo? Richard Gere in all his 1980 firm glory. Do the hustle! My eyes bulged. Call me!

My favorite on the EW list is A Room with a View, which wins hands down for the most joyful, most "bouncing but behaving" film nude frolic. If I remember correctly, one male character is introduced to another and basically says, "Hello, nice to meet you. I am going to take a bathe in the pond now, care to join?" But all straight and harmless and buttoned up Edwardian.

So, readers, what was the first or best nude scene for you?

--Gay Guy

Full Frontal Dudity

Entertainment Weekly has just posted it's list of most unforgettable nude scenes. Not sexiest, not most artistic, just most unforgettable.

Here's the link.

By my count, the list is about 2 to 1 in favor of male nakedness on screen. Nude dudes include Daniel Craig, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Wahlberg, and Russell Crow, while the ladies list includes RECENT nudity from Hellen Mirren, Diane Keaton, and Kathy Bates.


Who vetted this list? I must say that as a straight male, I feel marginalized. Where is Halle Berry? Bo Derek? The silhouetted hotties from the Bond intro montages? Most importantly, where is Phoebe Cates emerging from the pool in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High?" (Unforgettable, perhaps because it was the first, sexy, R-rated film I ever saw. I'm not sure my mom knew what it was when I rented it. I do remember the on-screen flutter from the wear on the video tape as that scene began, it had been rewound to that point so often.)

Generally, flashes of nudity in mainstream films are created to get and keep men in their seats. Even "Jaws" begins with a gratuitous strip down as a prelude to the bloody chomping. The poster is a designed as a loaded visual metaphor (orcus phallus) and the entire marketing campaign was built around that suggestive image. "Look at that giant shark!... wait, is that lady wearing anything?"

Immature? Yes. Successful business model? It was the first blockbuster.

The first entry on EW's list is from the recent hit "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." The lengthy, schlubby, male-only nude scene makes the audience uncomfortable, and is played for big laughs. Here's a quote from director Judd Apatow:

"I'm gonna get a penis in every movie I do from now on... It really makes me laugh in this day and age, with how psychotic our world is, that anyone is troubled by seeing any part of the human body."

If the director of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Superbad" is calling me immature, I guess it's time to grow up. But it's not just me. Male nudity still has it's shock value, and I'll admit there's a double standard. But I can't blame the whole thing on knee-jerk homophobia. Which leads me to...

Another generalization on mainstream films: female nudity = seduction, male nudity = harassment. Many of EW's male nude scenes are not sensual, but manipulated to intimidate or keep the audience off guard. Craig's nude torture scene is unbearable, as is Mortensen's bathhouse murder. Not to mention the Laurel-and-Hardy-esque nude rumble from "Borat" which spills from a hotel room, through the halls and lobby, ending in a ballroom spectacle. Under these circumstances, I'm supposed to wince and look away, right?

--Straight Guy

P.S. To provide a little balance, I'll also link to EW's "Most Memorable Swimsuits" list, which is more on target for straight guys. Hello, Phoebe...

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