Straight Guy Gift Guide, Day 4: Cheeseburger Mini

Hello Straight Gals,

Are you hungry for some attention from your straight guy, while he's often just plain hungry? Here's a great idea for meeting halfway.

[Insert lame "nice buns," "special sauce," or "hold the pickle" joke here.]

Original artist's site. Instructables has a simplified how-to here.

--Straight Guy

Fear and Loathing in Las Locker Room

Gay Guy,

To follow-up on your last post, I've minimized the locker room issue in my life. I hate them. It's not that I never visit a gym, though it is rare, but I never go before or during work, when I'd have to shower and get right on to the next thing.

I'm not ultra-private, or a homophobe, or even a germaphobe for that matter (though I thought that might be your undoing, GG). Like our commenter, Tig, I wish that we could relax a little about non-sexual nudity (props to Watchman Dr. Manhattan).

And look, even if someone WAS on the make, the locker room is not the best runway to strut your stuff. Florescent lighting, aerosol deodorant, old men wheezing (and worse) from the next bench, the awkward way we dress without ever sitting down... not doing it for me, sorry. I have no idea how you're getting thrown off-kilter.

I wish it wasn't a big deal. But my locker-room-phobia is easy to diagnose: I attended public school.

By all outward appearances it was fairly idyllic. Our classrooms were well appointed and conducive to learning, including the gymnasium. Somehow, none of these standards applied to the boys' locker room. To put it in pop culture terms, it had the shadowy, steely, wet aesthetic of an Aliens movie and its transient population lived, like the Road Warrior, in a constant state of anarchy and mayhem. Supervision was badly needed and completely non-existent. Even the bonds of our social cliques offered no protection as the niceties of society faded into a more primal mode of survival.

Though we all felt physically vulnerable in our various states of undress, much of the damage was emotional, as no detail was off-limits to commentary. Bad hair, bad skin? Your day is ruined. Developing early, developing late? You are now filled with self-doubt. God forbid that there was anything at all notable about your junk... you will be called on it, so just keep a therapist on standby.

This is why pubescent boys can be so hurtful. They are hormonally off-balance and always posturing for the herd. They think: If I can say or do something that hurts you and strengthens me, then I'm moving in the right direction. Sure, these urges are repressed or forgotten by most mature men. Polite society is far more rewarding than the primal scramble. But tween and teen boys don't have all the filters in place yet and some will never develop them at all.

Not that there wasn't real physical danger there, too. I was once a victim of the "1,000 tiny cuts" metaphor as I was cornered in my undies and gang-scraped by many fast moving ACE pocket combs. Bizarre but true, and quite painful, actually. Others were more traditionally beaten and left behind, and only when the in/out headcount didn't match, did supervision ever appear. Maybe the teachers didn't want to seem skeevy by hanging out when the kids got showered and changed, but we paid a price for their absence. And I've never fully recovered from the trauma.

TMI? I don't know. But, I admit that I'm damaged goods on this topic.

I've never bought the argument that gays who are out can't succeed in the military because straight guys will be uncomfortably ogled when spaces for grooming might need to be shared. The (gasp!) horror of being silently noted as attractive by a maybe-gay guy is not what keeps me away. I completely understand that almost everyone is on their best behavior in the locker rooms I see today. But I also understand an apprehension that is amplified by feeling both vulnerable and uncomfortable.

But I'm functional. When I have to use a locker room, I move quickly, keep my head down, and never carry a comb. And like you, I don't bring friends along for the fun.

Final thought: Maybe things are different in Boystown, but out here in Straightsville the gyms and locker rooms are not exactly "Pulchritude on Parade." Most folks are at the gym because they are trying to get somewhere with their bodies, not because they've already arrived. If you want to feel better about yourself and simply look better in comparison, join a gym out here.

--Straight Guy

Showered. With Attention.

Straight Guy,
I have a gay guy/straight guy litmus test for you: Are straight guys, just by the nature of their sexual identity, more comfortable being naked around each other in the locker room?

The back story: A new friend invited me to work out with him at his gym. Not a pick up line, just a nice offer. Working out with him would have been unusual for me but fun. . . until it dawned on me that logistics of getting to the movie or wherever we were going after meant there'd only be enough time to shower and change at the gym. No time to go home in between. Even with a large locker room, that pretty much meant we'd be naked at the same time and place. I declined. I just prefer to avoid seeing my friends while either of us is naked.

I confessed my neuroses to another friend, and he wasn't surprised that I had tip-toed to avoid the locker room. He doesn't like seeing friends naked either; he thinks that most gay men avoid it.

In a short and entirely unscientific study, I scanned the contacts in my cell phone. I've only seen two of the men naked -- just two out of 18. One, I'd seen in locker room, the other I'd dated for a few weeks. I've know guys for more than a decade, even lived with for three years with one of them, and couldn't tell you a thing about their dick and ass shots.

My dinner companion said something to the effect that, "Straight men don't care about being naked with each other. They are completely comfortable with it."

So, SG, that's my question to you. But, before you tell me if straight men indeed are comfortable hanging out sans clothes in the locker room, I want to jump in to say that I don't think you guys are.

My survey of the naked-locker-room-gay-guy-experience is that there are guys who like to look, and guys who don't mind being looked at; slow-dressing yackers; and the rest of us. As long as those who look and show find each other, that's fine. The endless talkers probably talk with oblivion through and over any and all of life's experiences. The rest of us are neither really comfortable nor uncomfortable, just drawing some kind of imaginary curtain and trying to get done.

I'm not hobbled by the locker room. I just keep it efficient. My equilibrium is in place until I see someone I know or someone I think is attractive. Then I become a spaz. This happens out on the gym floor, so it's not totally a function of towels.


--Gay Guy

Straight Guy Gift Guide, Day 3: Sex Doll Raincoat

Horny and shameless, but also want to express your commitment recycling? Let everyone know with this fully-functional hooded jacket. Now including extra functions!

More options on the dutch designer's site, some more explicit than others. I don't know if I could bring myself to use some of the "pockets" for keys or spare change.

--Straight Guy

Couch Potato. Plus a Couch Lamb Chop With a Side of Green Beans.

Straight Guy,

Your post today (see below) about the bibs for adult men prompts a confession from me: I eat dinner on the sofa. While watching TV.

I swore I would never eat dinner on the sofa. There was something I just didn't like about it. It wasn't just the potential for stains, it said single to me.

You can tell where this story is going.

I used to be good at eating at the dining table only. My sofa looked like it had been just delivered. Nice firm cushions. Then I got a TV . . . more accurately YOU got me a TV. Little by little, I started eating all my dinners on the sofa while watching TV.

So far, I've managed to avoid any stain disasters, but I know it's just a matter of time. Plus, I watch a lot of TV now. My sofa cushions are starting to pooch in where I sit. The evidence is clear.

So, I am really trying to eat dinner at the dining table only. And, with no TV on. Only with music and the New Yorker.

I know that the habit of eating on the sofa is neither gay, nor straight, but I would be interested in getting some feedback.

Readers: Do you eat on the sofa? Leave a comment and let me know.

--Gay Guy

Straight Guy Gift Guide, Day 2: Dress for Dinner Napkins

No need to hire an attractive model, it's for straight men! We're lazy, dirty, and have no style... plus food just keeps falling right out of our mouths. Ha. Ha. You got us. He's probably "adjusting" himself just out of frame, too. Thanks for representing, bro.

Buy them here. They also sell a keychain with the charming slogan: "OBEY YOUR WIFE!"

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy Here:

Straight Guy, you sound angry here. How do you know that this spoof is about straight men? Just because you are 90 percent or so of the male population? Was it the key chain?

I know I take a bunch of shots at you and your straight bros based solely on stereotypes. Okay, so I think there's a trend, but that doesn't mean that it's a lock. I know a few a gay men who fit the bib-wearing straight male stereotype.

Okay, that's a lie. I don't. But, I am sure they are out there. I've seen them. I just don't know any.

Look, you know me: I am a priss. A guy --straight or gay--who is, as you wrote, "lazy, dirty, with no style" plus table manner issues, would be a barrier for me. At the bare minimum I wouldn't be able to eat with him.

--Gay Guy

Just snarky, not angry.

No, not sure at all that the hairy model is straight. He is a model, after all. I just didn't think the joke was advanced by presenting a schlub in need of a makeover.

The online catalog filed this gift under "Men." But I think old ladies and little kids would love these things! Everyone I've shown has gotten a giggle out of them. Enjoy.

More stocking stuffers tomorrow. GG is very excited about an item that is marginally NSFW.


Straight Guy Gift Guide: Chopsticks Aid

If anyone has any idea where you can actually buy these, let me know. I'm not above using the gripper tool (joins chopsticks into crude tongs) which is sometimes provided gratis at better establishments.

I have plenty of dexterity when it comes to other tasks and tools. But I've just about given up on chopsticks. Gay Guy has mad skills, though. I blame genetics. I don't have the chopstick gene. Our co-workers love sushi, so I am publicly shamed on a regular basis. Now I have hope.

--Straight Guy

I have a few more gift ideas in my files. Indulge me over the next few days...

Lame Straight Stereotype Proves True: Hot Cars = Hot Ladies

From the Wired magazine archives...
David Moxon subjected 40 men and women to the sounds of a Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari, then measured the amount of testosterone in their saliva. He found everyone had higher levels of the stuff -- a measure of their arousal -- after hearing the revving exotics, but the amount the women had was off the charts.

The econobox, however, left everyone colder than a January day in Nome.

The study was commissioned by the ultra-exclusive British insurer Hiscox (we swear we're not making this up), which was curious to know how people respond to high-end luxury cars. "We knew owners of luxury cars felt a connection with the sound of their vehicles," says Steve Langan, managing director of the insurance company. "We have now scientifically proven the physical attraction people feel when it comes to cars."

Well, this solves one important mystery. I can now lay complete blame on my family's Pontiac Parisienne station wagon for the fact that I got no action on prom night, 1985. It had nothing to do with me... or my Miami Vice (TM) tuxedo rental. How could it?

--Straight Guy

Hair Styles That Are a Cut Above: Where Gay Men and Straight Men Part?

Straight Guy

I loved your March 21 post about hair cuts. I thought I had uncoiled you from that low-rent version of the Hair Butchery, but clearly old habits die hard for you. At least you've given up the Flowbee, right? Right?

The results so far from your poll of how much gay men/straight men are willing to spend on caring for their tresses are interesting but not surprising: Placing a value on a good hair cut --assuming a direct correlation between style and dollars spent--falls down on predictable lines. Readers: There's still time to take the poll -- just scroll down to March 21.

The results so far indicate that 88 percent of the gay respondents spend between $15 to $60 on a haircut (evenly split between $15 to $30 and $30 to $60), compared to 50 percent of straight men spending $15 dollars or less.

I am not terribly surprised that straight men don't care about hair or maybe that that gay men just care more. (Is a bad hair cut one of the ways straight men recognize each other?) But, I am surprised that anyone can find a haircut, good or bad, for less than $15. How many Mayberry Pete the Barbers are left out there? Do straight men have a homing instinct for the few remaining blue and red striped poles?

The barber shop was never fun for me as a child or even as an adolescent. Back then, seems like the whole point of a hair cut was to make you look bad. A trip to the barber always ended up with me in tears, my dad mortified, and crooked bangs.

I didn't really get a good haircut until I moved to a city. I found a great stylist but, as SG notes, after a while he no longer was convenient to my office or my home, resulting in some desperate and expensive cabs riders across town. I felt like a hair adulterer leaving him.

On the recommendation of some of women at work I decided to try this guy down the street named Ricardo. Why not? These women had good cuts, he was near the office, and they went on about how good looking he was. To cut to the point, I made an appointment and was speechless. I would have paid him the $40 just to stand next to me for half an hour. Bonus points, he had a French accent. He gave a great cut, too. (P.S., I fall into the $30 to $60 zone.)

Ricardo, who by the way is straight, eventually moved on, so I ended up at a new salon. It's sleek. Italian sleek. Metal and leather sleek. Not one extra anything in the whole place. It's like show room in there, complete with a flat screen TV playing nothing but a loop of models angrily sulking down a catwalk.

The guy gives a really good haircut, plus he use a regular razor, small razor, scissors, then finishes my neck with a straight razor so I feel like I am getting my $35 worth.

A friend of mine once noticed an inverse relationship between how much you pay for a hair cut and how much they take off: You pay Pete the Barber $10 bucks, he gives you a Marine recruit haircut. Pay a fancy stylist $100 and their goal is to make it look like you barely had a cut. Guess straight men are more likely to survive this global financial crisis.

Nothing makes me feel better than a good hair cut. Nothing. There's a lot that I'd give up before a good cut. The Washington Post had an article on what people relinquish last in times of financial crisis and why. Turns out it's lipstick -- symbolic of a sense of a former self.

Tempting . . and portable. . . as lipstick is, I'll be showing up on the unemployment line with a fresh haircut, invincible.

--Gay Guy

Don't Get Fresh With Me

I laughed at this. Twice.

Two low points of 90s pop culture recycled and fit together perfectly.

--Straight Guy

Gays, Straights, and Our Exes: Do We Really Need To Be Friends?

Straight Guy,
I need some straight male perspective here: Do straight men try to stay friends with the women they break up with? My guess is that they don't.

This afternoon I saw a guy across a busy street who looked just like someone I dated a while back. It wasn't him, but the sighting reminded me that I'd not seen or talked to said ex-boyfriend in a long time. Which got me thinking that I tend not to stay in touch with my exes; I think that this puts me in the minority over here in gay world.

Generally, I'd say that gay men go for civil breakups with the intent to "stay friends." As in, "We were a couple yesterday. Today we're not. But we're still friends."

I'm not very good at being friends with a BF after the break up, but a lot of gay men put a lot of effort into it. Is it what we're supposed to do? Why? Is this somehow more evolved? Some higher standard of perfection and maturity? Are gay guys just supposed to be more nurturing or just try harder?

I'm not talking about couples with children; that's an entirely different story and I appreciate those painful efforts to get along. Nor am I talking about having a few dates and discovering that the romantic chemistry just isn't there, but he's a perfectly nice guy. I've made a few friends that way.

I don't wish ill upon any of the men I've seriously dated or been in relationships with. I just don't need to hang out with them. Or exchange Christmas cards. I don't cross the street when I see them, but I don't need a lot of conversation/contact either.

About a year ago, I attended a charity event and who is the first person I see but a guy I'd been in a serious relationship with. Four years serious. We had a surprisingly nice time talking; it didn't hurt that neither of us knew anyone else in the room. Also attending the event was an acquaintance who I met post-break up. Knowing nothing about the past, he said, "You two really got on. Why don't you ask him on a date?" Well. . . because while it was a nice time and he did look sexy, something about our conversation had begun taking the frustrating turn of reminding me why we broke up. I didn't feel sad -- I felt reassured.

What is it?: That there's a difference between being friendly and being friends? That there's enough gay men in my world that ex-boyfriends don't need to be in my cell phone contacts? That I don't need to prove that my relationships were serious by saying, "Look, here's proof. . . we're still friends."

Straight Folks: Do you take post-breakup friendships as the higher ground? Gay Folks: Am I just imagining this?

--Gay Guy

Gay / Straight Haircuts: Dues for your "Do"

Gay Guy,

The economy is crazy. I know we don't often get into economic issues on the blog. But I have to speak my mind. Yes, those AIG bonuses are maddening to rest of us in the workaday world, but to add insult to injury, my $10 haircut has just jumped in price to $14! Who do these fat cats think they are?

I don't expect you to share my pain, GG. I am aware that you regularly visit establishments which are classified as "salons" and have paid much higher prices for a simple cut that can be best described as the "Matt Lauer." I also know that you disappear for hours when you get this done, partly because your stylist's shop is across town, also requiring hefty cab fare. Plus, you get yours cut about twice as often as I do. You've refused to divulge the net costs of your haircuts.

For many years, I've been a regular patron of a 6-chair neighborhood shop. The staff are an ever-changing roster of very kind but tough-as-nails Asian women. I don't think they take appointments, because there is a severe language barrier between staff and most patrons. This problem is addressed by the posting of about 100 front and back sample haircut photos. I have probably never used more than 20 different words in my 10-plus years as a customer.

[Sidebar: Their ire was raised once many years ago when I asked Mrs. Straight Guy to buzz my head with a hair-trimmer. The thing conked out about halfway through and I had to go to them for help. They reviewed my scalp as a team, and I was firmly scolded by their leader/translator. "Why do you do this? This is job for professional!" Since this a place where they still finish a session by shaving the back of your neck with a 6-inch swing-blade straight razor, I have never crossed them again.]

Readers, I've posted polls below. It's completely anonymous, so let us know...

--Straight Guy

Swing and a Miss: Getting Hit On by the Wrong Team

Straight Guy,
Thanks a lot for all the blogging. Work's been a bite, so not much energy here. Not much of a social life for me either.

Frequent commenter and fellow blogger John asked a question a few weeks ago: When we have gone out together "has SG ever been hit on by any gays or GG ever been hit on any straight women?"

No men have ever asked me about Straight Guy's availability or hit on him. I must say that I resist the urge to take him to a gay bar -- the field trip of a lifetime -- because I know he'd get hit on and I wouldn't. I'd never forgive him. Sometimes women have told me that SG is nice looking; maybe they were fishing for more. There's not much info for me to give out. For the entire time I've known SG he's either been dating, engaged to, or married to Mrs. Straight Guy.

Have straight women hit on me in Straight Guy's presence? Only a few times. I put my outness out there, so I don't get hit on much by straight women. Sober straight women that is.

A few years ago, SG, some friends, and I were traveling for work. We were to meet at a bar. I forget why, but SG and I arrived separately. I arrived first and caught a seat at the bar to wait. A woman at the bar slid toward me, bar stool by bar stool, until she was almost on top of me. Literally. I made some polite conversation, mostly just answering her questions. I kept thinking, '"Do I have to spell it out?" She was starting to slide her hand up my jacket sleeve, when I made a break for the men's room. Turn around and there was SG and our friends laughing. Apparently the scene was hilarious.

--Gay Guy

Readers, What about you? Have you ever been hit on by someone of the incompatible sexual preference? Leave a comment to let us know.

Gay or Straight: Strut Your Stuff. But Only If You Can Strut.

Gay Guy,

Here's a shocker. Recent research shows that many straight men often fail to impress women when we take to the dance floor. Check out the story and video here.
Researchers studied the freestyle dancing techniques commonly deployed by hapless men in nightclubs, to determine which were most likely to impress female onlookers.

Among their findings they concluded that exaggerated "dad" dancing...was the least attractive.

Another style unlikely to win a woman's heart was "the shuffle", where self-conscious males shift from foot to foot accompanied with the occasional uncomfortable hand-wring.

Highly-co-ordinated and complex dance moves, such as the point-and-shake moves employed by Travolta's character Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, were deemed the most attractive.

I started to give these guys credit for at least being thorough, and then I read the following paragraph:
Dr Lovatt, who was a professional dancer before he went into academia, filmed 15 short video clips of himself performing different dance moves and blurred out his physical features so that only his movements were visible. He showed the videos to 55 women and asked them to rate how masculine, dominant and attractive each dance move was.

Woop! Woop! Credibility Alert! Talk about a vanity project!

I can just imagine this guy screening his dance clips like an optometrist tests lens combinations. 55 poor women strapped to an exam chair as he asks, "sexier now?... or sexier now?... OK... sexier now... or sexier now?... that may or may not be me, by the way... but it's sexy, right?"

Just because the Travolta-point-and-shake got one middle-aged Brit high marks in a rigged experiment does not make that move a guaranteed success, however. I'm not sure 20-year-old girls of any nationality are buying what he's selling.

Forget the research, this is a no-brainer. Of course women (and gay men) are attracted to guys who can dance in a capable and controlled way. Because (duh!) those skills are probably directly correlated to other, ahem, skills which may be necessary as the evening progresses. It's primal.

A few of us are completely hopeless, of course. But maybe straight guys have been too cautious and reserved in this regard. We might have better luck, as a team, if we loosened up a little. But let's not let gay guys off the hook here either. Have you seen all the "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" YouTube videos out there? Let's all try capable AND controlled for a while, shall we?

--Straight Guy

Great Moments in Straight Guy Fashion: Members Only

Forgive me, fashion, for I have sinned. My last confession was in 1983...

GG, what color was yours? Ever worn sans shirt and mostly unzipped?

Mine was actually a knock-off but I'll take the hit anyway.

Anyone else?

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Bad Idea Award: Fireshaving

Gay Guy,
Fire shaving can be used on all the same areas as regular shaving. Faces, legs, and manscape are all fair game for fire shaving, and while the exact prep work and procedure may change slightly for the different areas, the basic technique is the same. Start off by modifying the lighter to give around a 2" flame. A flame of this length is large enough to burn off a good area of hair at once, while still being easy to control...

If you don't know about, it's a site where everyone can share their bits of expertise on a wide range of topics: crafts, home improvement, technology, recycling, whatever. Just write it up, step by step, upload some photos, and voila, you are now the premier authority.

This kid, however, is a nut job.
I have no problem with shaving like a normal person, there are many things I do like a normal person. It is just sometimes I want a quick way to eradicate all the little hairs on my face without all the ceremonious procedures of a regular shaving.

Ummm, OK. And protectively wrapping your head in painter's tape is not a ceremonious procedure?

Honestly, I would rank flame-powered, below-the-belt, manscaping right up there with waterboarding as an effective way to get people to talk. But I have plenty of blue painter's tape, and you're welcome to have a roll if you're feeling adventurous, GG.

--Straight Guy

Straight Guys: Predictable, But Not Hopeless

Gay Guy,

The results are in.
AOL's men's lifestyle site,, recently asked what celebrity most guys wish to party with. Of the more than 83,000 respondents, 40 percent named Megan Fox, while 31 percent chose Tina Fey. Trailing the Transformers sex symbol and the 30 Rock life force, respectively Рand by quite a distance Рwere Paris Hilton, Pen̩lope Cruz, Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan.

No surprise to me. I noticed Tina Fey a long time ago when she transitioned from head writer at SNL to anchoring the Weekend Update skit. Smart, sassy, self-deprecating. She's got it going on.

Fox is just the latest ce-web-rity whose internet fame far exceeds her current accomplishments. How could you possibly know if you'd enjoy the company of someone, even given the fact they they bent over rather attractively in a "Transformers" movie... which I have probably never seen.

I guess the word "party" is open to interpretation, and I'll admit that straight guys get this wrong quite often. Just because you crack a can of Michelob in the 7-11 parking lot and scream "part-eee!" at the top of your lungs does not magically make it so, dude. But if I was single and given the choice, I'd probably find myself in the back of the room snarking on the idiotic shenanigans, and Fey would be welcome company.

So give us a little credit. Even though if you dig through the results a little deeper, you'll find out the Asylum readers' ultimate party involves beer-pong at the Playboy Mansion.

George Clooney and Owen Wislon topped the list for male party companions.

Readers, GG, who are your party picks?

-Straight Guy

How Do YOU Roll? Gay/Straight Car Survey

Straight Guy,

Sorry to be quiet over here in Gayland. Work's been a drain.

Speaking of silence, you still haven't told me how you new mini-van is working out. But now you can. Amazing, non? wants to know what straights and gays drive. Yes, straight people, too. In fact, the survey is "actively recruiting non-LGBT respondents." We gays love to recruit. And, cruise, with or without cars.

Since I don't drive, someone be sure to tell me what happens after question one. That's right, readers: GG does not drive. How gay is that?

SG, while you and our car-driving readers are filling out the survey, I'll come up with some posts.

--Gay Guy

Straight, But Gay on Craigslist. Thanks, Honey!

Angry ex-girlfriend gets her revenge by posing online as her boyfriend, only gay...
The ad, which was posted in Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" section, included several photos of the 24-year-old..., including one explicit image, and his business phone number.

There are worse things that can happen. But this is only half the story. He must have done something. Thank goodness Glenn Close didn't have these options in Fatal Attraction. "You will not be ignored!"

Now I know that when Gay Guy does me wrong, I will punish him by posting an "encounters" entry describing him as a Dockers-wearing, NASCAR-loving, Applebee's-eating, straight guy. But I won't give out his work number. That's just mean.

--Straight Guy

Mainstreaming MILFs and Cougars

Last fall, I mentioned the term "MILF" to Gay Guy, and he puzzled for a few moments before it clicked. I understand that GG has no use for the term in a literal sense. And I admit that I've aged out of the demographic of applicable and ironic use myself. (If anyone is still in the dark on this: "Mom I'd Like to..." First made popular, I believe, in regards to the character known only as Stiffler's Mom in "American Pie").

Yes, it's course and just another form of male objectification. But who uses the F word literally except porn stars and Dick Cheyney? Even if it is taken at face value, there's a compliment in there somewhere, right? It's certainly less offensive than the other circulating alternative, "Yummy Mommy" which seems childish and gross. "Cougars" are the flip-side of the coin, older women on the prowl for young guys.

Obviously sexy women who have kids are not a new phenomenon. But the classification is becoming mainstream. Don't doubt it: Will and Jada Smith are developing a sitcom called "MILF and Cookies," Courtney Cox will soon premier "Cougar Town."

The term MILF implies maturity –– if not sophistication –– and nothing about the woman's morality. "Cougar" seems to imply the opposite, no? One is passive, while the other is predatory. It's a matter of perspective, right?

If youth-based pop-culture is finding mature women to be sexier than before, that's healthy, I assume. And if new cougar Madonna (at 50+) wants to start dating 20 something models, it's the same thing that rich men have been doing (and getting grief for) for years.

Readers, let me know. MILF: crude but complimentary? Cougar: less raw, but more insulting, right?

Also, can this have possibly gone any worse for the ultra-serious Moro Islamic Liberation Front? Good luck with your web domains, dudes.

I'll leave you with a recent SNL skit featuring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin as a "Cougay." (Still doubt that this stuff is mainstream? Note that Baldwin also plays the executive on 30 Rock who champions the show-within-a-show: "MILF Island.")

--Straight Guy

Men in Tights...

Gay Guy,

Maybe we can meet in the middle...

U2 and Julie Taymor team up for a Spider-Man musical on Broadway

According to the press release, “Spider-Man’s battles will hurtle the audience through an origin story both recognizable and unexpected — yielding new characters as well as familiar faces — until a final surprising confrontation casts a startling new light on this hero’s journey.”

--Straight Guy

Circumcision: Slice of (Boy's) Life

Straight Guy,

Thanks for your February 24 piece, no pun intended, on circumcision. You chopped off the detail that you are likely kissing the ground with joy for having daughters only.

This post might not be for everyone, so skim and skip if necessary. But, SG asked, so I answer.

Don't know if I have anything special to say on the topic of circumcision, but because, as a gay man, I am both an owner/operator and consumer of penile products, here goes.

Much as I like thinking about men and their little buddies, I don't like thinking about the mechanics of how the hood in what's under the hood becomes obsolete. In fact, as I sit on the sofa writing this I've noticed that I've subconsciously pulled a pillow between my thighs.

Consistent with the vast majority of post-World War II, hospital-born, middle-class American men, I'm cut. I doubt my parents spent ten seconds thinking about what to do with my newborn junk. Nor did my friends' parents. I can count on exactly two fingers the number of uncut boys I saw my entire K-12 locker room career. They were brothers who moved to our town when we were in about the sixth grade. I was trying not to look at their stuff despite how fascinating it was, but someone in the locker pointed and asked, in essence, "What the hell you got going on down there?"

Circumcision was so common that I never thought about it either. Looking back on it, I see now that it was one of the few ways I wasn't different than other guys. In fact, when I learned that there was cut and uncut, I didn't really understand it and agonized trying to figure out which one I was. This is where pictures can really help in the learning process.

My personal penile Consumer Reports is that this is all about aesthetics not utility. As long as you like the look, either brand is fine and provides the same amount of customer satisfaction. But, this is something that men can really get hung up on. I have friends with strong preferences.

My educated guess is that guys who prefer uncut are probably cut and turned on by the difference. The guys who are cut-only consumers are probably cut and just want to stick with their own kind. Personally, I don't care if the little guy sports a crew neck or a turtle neck, though I must admit that the foreskin version feels like it should have a foreign accent attached.

Men use cut and uncut in their online profiles to describe either what they want/don't want or what they have to offer. It's usually written as 'c' and 'u/c'. Avid cook that I am, the first time I saw this I thought that 'c' was like something in a recipe. . . a cup of what I wondered?

The creepy part of the circumcision debate is the father/son identification issue. As the author of the article you found writes:

"That's when I realized my quest to keep my son uncircumcised was at least partially ego-borne. I wanted him to resemble me -- and I don't mean I just wanted strangers to tell me he had my eyes."

I've read and been told that pediatricians advise parents to have a son shall we say coifed to match the father to facilitate father/son bonding. If I were to compare scars with my dad, I hope it would stop with a vaccination mark. Who bonds over something like this? What ever happened to chess? I'm just as happy to know that I resemble my dad because we have matching noses and are insufferably moody and leave the rest to the imagination.

There has to be a better way. If the surgical vanguard can fix a cleft palate and invent a new face for Joan Rivers, you think they could come up with a baby boy demi-cut. Sort of a half and half. Just a trim, please. It'd soothe the guilt factor and split the decision making like Solomon's sword. Figuratively only, I mean.

--Gay Guy

Gay Weddings, Straight Weddings: Does it (Gift) Register With Me?

Straight Guy,

I found this link
in my mailbox today to a New York Times article about gay engagements and weddings that ran on Valentine's Day. Sorry I missed it when it ran, but I am behind in the never-ending task of attacking the stack of newspapers in my apartment. (My manically tidy mother started to comment about it; I distracted her by telling her that it was an avant-garde art installation. I must say that I am beginning to worry that it will fall on me in the night and cause me to suffocate in my sleep.)

Anyway, back to here comes the bride and bride.

The nut of this very sweet article is that gays and lesbians imitate heterosexual traditions --sentimental proposals, rings, trips down the aisle, inviting guests for an over-the-top dinner. Shocking!
Everybody, including gays, covets what they see. We all grew up attending and imagining straight weddings so that's what we know.

None of this seems very newsworthy to me --but the more straight people know about the wonderfully ordinary dreams and longings of gay people, the better.

Any thoughts of a wedding for me are purely academic: My dating career of late. . . well, let's just say that the economy is not the only drastic recession affecting me. But, when I imagine myself sailing over the line between being single and officially no longer single, I am not sure how I would want to acknowledge or celebrate it. A ring, yes. A bended knee proposal? I don't think so. I think the "proposal" as it were would be much more of a quiet acknowledgment of what had already occurred. Maybe going down on a bended knee while filling in the 'next of kin' line with my boyfriend's name is more like it. A wedding reception. . . probably not.

A few years ago, a gay couple who are dear friends invited friends and family to join them for a celebration of ten years as a couple. Their reasoning was that anyone can start a relationship, but being together --and still happy-- after a decade deserved a party. I think that's the approach that rings truest to me.

Don't get me wrong, I love being invited to weddings. . . straight or gay, church or harbor cruise. I feel honored and always mist up being part the special and sacred moment. I really enjoyed myself when you and Mrs. Straight Guy got married. Until then, I had no idea what a good dancer you are, SG!

But, should I ever get married in some traditional way, I promise you two things, Straight Guy. One, you'll be there. Two, in a place of honor, just behind the high-end catered food, there will be a tray of cheese doodles and Hostess Ho Hos and a bowl of Milk Duds just for you. I'd hate to see you go home hungry from my big day.

--Gay Guy

"Share a Taste?": Gay/Straight Fork in the Road?

Straight Guy,

Will straight guys share a “taste” of dinner?

Last evening a friend and I had a fun dinner out. “How’s your food?” I asked. “Great,” she replied. “Do you want a taste?” she asked while easing her plate a few inches across the table toward me. I traded a fork of my tuna steak for a taste of her lamb.

“This is why eating with gay men is nice,” she said. “Straight men will never take a taste of any one else’s food.”

Straight Guy, does her observation ring true?

I’ve been thinking over my friend’s comment. I usually take a taste if offered. If I don’t remember to offer a taste, it’s usually because I am selfishly hogging my choice. I know I share “tastes” with female friends. And, last week I had dinner with a straight male friend and we traded a forkful each. But, I know that if I asked my dad if he wanted to try a taste of something I ordered, he’d look uncomfortable and decline. You and I don’t eat together much so that's not much help there. So, I’m stumped.

Readers, straight and gay. . . what’s your take on taking a taste? Leave a comment below and help me solve this savory question.

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive