Straight Except for One Guy

Straight Guy,

You know I'm a big Dan Savage fan. Now that's a writer! Much as I like Savage, I don't remember to read his column every week.

But the Thanksgiving holiday gave me more reading time. I loved the first post in this week's column, called Crossing Over. Read his advice to SEFOG.

Savage is gay, so there's some expertise in part of his response to SEFOG:

"I'm going to share a little secret with you about gay men: We're men, real men, just like straight men. We're good at having sex without getting emotionally attached—some of us are a little too good at it—and a single gay man, like a single straight man, rarely passes up a chance to get with someone he's attracted to, even if he wants more than that person can give."

I don't really agree with Savage; I think there comes a point in a gay man's life where you just can't bang (pun intended) your head against the wall fighting the imbalance between what you get and what you want.

--Gay Guy

More Pilgrims' Progress

Straight Guy,

More on our Thanksgiving theme:

From my many visits to Provincetown, Mass., AKA, Gay Summer Mecca, I knew that the Pilgrims originally came ashore at P-town, not Plymouth. Listen to today's NPR Thanksgiving story about the Pilgrim's original landing at Provincetown. After about a month, the Pilgrim Fathers, and probably the Pilgrim Mothers, too, decided to pull up their P-town stakes and try a take 2 at Plymouth. Early homophobes? Doubtful. Ptown was 300 years away from gay mecca status. They were just looking for a slightly easier life.

What's important in the big gay scheme of things is that P-town harbor is the site of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. Okay, so the Compact is nowhere near as famous as say the Declaration of Independence, but it's an important first step toward creating the American expectation of freedom. As the NPR story says: "Freedom and the chance to make just and equal laws is what signing the Mayflower Compact was all about."

Bring it on. Freedom, just and equal laws, and the sense that we are all in it together. That's the American DNA. And it all began in P-town. I'm a very proud gay pilgrim.

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy Mayflower Madness

Straight Guy,

Hope you're enjoying your trip to the Grand Old Opry and Graceland.

I've been saving this story from the Boston Globe about gay Pilgrims at Plimouth for two months. Now the perfect day to share has arrived.

This is a cool story. Plimouth Plantation, home of ye olde historic Pilgrims, is in its second year of targeted outreach to gays and lesbians. Would I go? Heck, yeah. I'd jump at the opportunity to tromp around in heavy heeled buckled shoes, locking folks into the stocks, and hiding out in the corn fields with Squanto.

The Globe created a great window into the article with the story of two men caught in a gay relationship in 1637 Plymouth. They could have met death as a punishment. One was banished after being branded with a hot iron. The other was allowed to stay in Plymouth, but was forbidden to own property or participate in the political process, thus becoming the first in a proud heritage of gay men tucked into studio apartments thumbing their suspicious noses at politicians.

Much as I romanticize the past, I'm thankful for being here today with my freedoms, unlike the two gents in Plymouth. It's not a perfect world, but no branding irons either. Plus I have central heat and air, toilets, hot running water, and Bravo.

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy/Straight Guy Furniture Tastes Clash

Straight Guy,

Stayed home today, a little sick, a lot tired.

Guess I had too much time on my hands this afternoon, 'cuz I found this Valley Lodge video flitting around the blogosphere. Nothing graphic going on, but I'd call it NSFW.

Despite the titillation, this isn't "furniture" I need around my place. I'd prefer having someone to pick up my clothes over someone to hold them up. Though I got quite the chuckle from the ironing board bit. And the floor lamp . . . I silently said, "Oh, no, he wouldn't. He's going to try an earlobe, right . . . Oh, he didn't." Hilarious.

I give the furniture its due: This is athletic work. But, it's like an Ikea catalog. All sleek, blond minimalist wood. Where's the mahogany? Where's the overstuffed upholstery?

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Update: Saturday & Sunday Night Live

Gay Guy,

Video and linked photos slightly NSFW.

Saturday Night Live : Another SNL Digital Short featuring Andy Samburg in his rap/raunch persona. This time, he's fallen for Reba McEntire, or something to that effect. It's absurd on every level. Flavored with a sprinkle of homophobia. And yes, it's funny to me. Not proud that they find me there, but not going to lie about it either. The joke's really on us, anyway. It's only missing a cameo from the real Reba to make it even better.

Sunday Night Raw: Adam Lambert leaves no questions unanswered about his sexuality or how much it will flavor his performances (full-on guy/guy make out sessions and oral sex simulations on a Dick Clark awards show, in case you missed it). And he was getting criticized for taking it slow by Out magazine just last week? The performance vids keep getting pulled off YouTube, so here's a link to the Rolling Stone recap with photos. How much is too much?

Interested in our readers' takes...

--Straight Guy

Modelling Behavior?

Straight Guy,

Remember my Nov. 5 post about my gym and its new Calvin Klein underwear ads on the men's locker room wall?

It's gotten worse. They've gone from small and black and white to large and in color.

Love the eye candy, but it also reminds me how impossible that physical ideal is to attain. It's not making me want to work out harder.

Question: Would anyone buy underwear if the man or woman modeling it looked like a fairly normal recognizable human being?

--Gay Guy

Oh, Crepe!

Gay Guy,

I'm a little under the weather, so spent yesterday at home and was able to devote more time than usual to the newspapers. I even made a quick trip through the food section. Guess what I found?

Man Crepes.

Here's the link to the recipe, which is a variation stuffed with turkey and cheddar. Perfect for leftovers.

It was crafted by the author of "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys." The author works for Martha Stewart, but the book focuses on lessons learned from feeding her husband, brothers, and three sons.

From the publisher:
Scala Quinn—chef, television personality, and Martha Stewart Omnimedia's resident food guru—shares winning strategies for how to sate the seemingly insatiable, trade food for talk, and get men to manage in the kitchen.

Read into that what you will. Trading food for talk sounds manipulative at best, but I wonder if my mom ever worked that game on me...

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: What a Bum!

Gay Guy, Readers,

I'm sure many of you have seen this ad for Reebok Easytone sneakers. It tries it's hardest to come off as informal, but it's actually precisely crafted. And it insults just about everyone.

From the opening moment, when we see the makeup artist dash offstage, Reebok wants us to buy into the whole "Oops, we're rolling!" motif, but the setup only serves to create several moments where the under-rehearsed cameraman zooms in on the spokesmodel's derriere. "Dude!," she complains. Later, as she extolls the rump-lifting capabilities of these sneakers, the cameraman slips south again... who hired this perv?!

"A better butt with every step." That's the slogan. And, wow, does she over-annunciate "butt" at every opportunity. So, Reebok, if you want to objectify any/all women's glutes, that's your call. I'm sure women everywhere are wondering what a "28% more toned" backside actually looks like. How many critical assessments (snicker) did Reebok need to arrive at a number so specific? A lot.

Own it, Reebok for Ladies. You are totally obsessed with the tush.

Speaking for straight guys, we're not judging... or complaining. But do you really need to redirect the blame for all of your superficiality onto a fake booty-hound cameraman? Not cool.

Reebok's other Easytone commercials (link, link) are even more gratuitous (talking breasts, erotic lighting, and yes, women bending over). They seem to be targeting women through straight men (88% of whom will be speechless when you debut your new posterior, according to one ad).

But as they've presented it, I can't imagine a more insulting gift for a woman to receive from her guy. Putting these under the Christmas tree this year is tantamount to saying "You've got a lot of work to do. Back there. Now get moving."

I'm surprised there's not more backlash. Or have I just missed it?

OK, I've run out of synonyms, and need to stop before I use "haunches."

--Straight Guy

Beer Test

Straight Guy,

Interesting report this morning: Four of our female friends went to a posh restaurant last evening. They are a mix of married and single women. They spied a handsome, pulled together gent a few tables over. Perhaps a connection for a single woman?

If I had been there, I would have applied my gaydar, but I was long home. They had a bit of back and forth on their conclusion about -- no gay vibe, then he was joined by a buff dude (gay). So, then what?

Their conclusion: straight. The evidence: He and his pal ordered beer with their dessert.

I agree with their conclusion and their detective work. Beer with dinner, sure. Beer with dessert, never.

--Gay Guy

GG/SG: Now in Our Third Year

Hello all,

Just a quick note of thanks to all of our readers. We celebrated the second anniversary of this gay/straight blog experiment over the weekend. (Straight Guy: "Did you know we've been blogging for two years?" Gay Guy: mumbles something through a mouthful of crepes, but sounded positive...)

Our numbers are great and still headed in the right direction, but more importantly, we're thrilled to have your readership and support. Regular readers, thoughtful commenters, and silent lurkers included. Thanks again to all of you. The format is flexible, so feel free to send us an e-mail or post a comment below with any ideas or suggestions.

Look for more of our regular features (including our advice, ad watch, and quadrant graphs) as well as some new stuff in the coming months.

--Gay Guy & Straight Guy

Feeling Like Crepe?

Straight Guy,

I fear that you think crepes are among the gay foods. Is it their soft side? That they read fancy? That you can't order them through a drive-through window?

Hold on to your napkin, SG. Not one, but two crepes places are coming to my neighborhood. In fact, they'll be across the street from each other. Is this a weird restaurant blip or are crepes a new food trend? Crepe nation?

I'll sometimes have a crepe at the little Belgian restaurant down the street. I like them with warm savory fillings for dinner best. The cold dessert ones show off the weird rubbery texture that crepes have. I guess that makes me crepe ambivalent.

Any thoughts on the crepe commotion?

--Gay Guy

What is Marriage?

Straight Guy,

This Sesame Street clip is a gem.

As the fight marriage rights for gays goes on, it gets meaner. Read what's going on with Washington, D.C.'s same sex marriage measure. More people should watch this clip.

The more I watch this clip, the more I like children. And monsters.

Readers, Give this short clip a view, leave a comment, and let's start a discussion.

--Gay Guy

Meat Markets...

Here's the perfect quiz for the readers of GG/SG.

Steak House or Gay Bar?

Based on the name of the establishment, make your best guess. Looks easy. But once I started second-guessing, I got way off track and ended up under 50% correct.

Fire and Spice? Triple George? Tenderloins?!?!

Readers, how did you do?

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Hall of Shame: (Rated) X-Men

Gay Guy,

Apparently, news of this went viral earlier this year, but we missed it. It was first assumed to be a photoshop prank, but has since been verified (and quickly sold out). It's an inflatable Wolverine "squeaky hammer," and the blow-up nozzle has been placed just so. The design department was either (a) asleep at the wheel or (b) laughing their asses off.

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: WTF, FAO?


Classy, Mr. Schwarz, very classy.

Took me a few moments to get this campaign... See, the kid in the red shirt has an official FAO teddy bear, so all of his rambunctious urges (even the hormonal ones) have been suppressed. Hmmm...

"Better rewards, better kid." That's the slogan. Why not just go with "everyone has their price," or, more succinctly, "rich kids are better than poor kids"? Sure. Because all the evidence proves that kids who have been rewarded/spoiled with toys are always the most enjoyable to be around, as are the parents who try hardest to buy their child's love with material things.

We'd never stand for a "Better rewards, better wives" campaign... so how is this OK? (Though I admit that those holiday-themed diamond ads which hint that buying the right bracelet just might get you laid are not the feminist ideal either.)

Obviously they are going for an old-school Goofus/Gallant vibe (including a "Highlights" reference). But does anyone else catch a whiff of a straight/gay dynamic here, or am I reaching? Bad, straight boys, bad!

--Straight Guy

Out of the Woods, Into a Show

Straight Guy,

This post has nothing to do with being gay or straight, I'm just reporting one of those small wonders we all stumble across.

Gorgeous weather yesterday, and so I took to the woods for what might be the last hike of the year for wearing just shorts and a t-shirt. I was coming off the trail with a purposeful pace as the light was beginning to fade. I made it to the edge of the woods just as twilight was starting.

Under a tree stood a guy with four or five Indian clubs, which he proceeded to juggle. And juggle quite well. He must have kept them in the air for 30 seconds or more. Maybe not circus-ready, but impressive.

I complimented him on his performance. Behind him were a young man and woman, the man slowly, shakily walking on a tight rope, a broad rubber band that they had strung a few feet off the ground between two trees.

I felt like I had stumbled out of a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Woods and a mini-circus.

As you know, I don't like the circus. I always see that clowns are sad and desperate. That it's dirty and broken from all that travel. And that the animals are doped. In my elementary school, the 6th grade annual tradition was a field trip to the nearest real city for the circus. From the 4th grade, my classmates were excited; I was planning how to fake being sick that day. I don't remember anything about the circus, so I must have indeed gotten sick. (My mother can spot fake maladies a mile away, and would have shoved me onto the bus.)

Straight Guy and Readers, have you ever stumbled on to something a little other-wordly?

--Gay Guy

New Trunks for Your Junk

Gay Guy,

As a follow-up to your CK underwear post, let me inform you of the latest advance in male underwear technology. Taking genital support to a new level, the folks at Saxx (classy, dudes) have added a mesh containment unit -- a "hammock," if you will -- to their boxer style briefs. Imagine wearing a bra INSIDE your tighty-whities....

Sophisticated slogan: "Balls and legs need some time apart."

From their marketing copy: "Never restrictive... they offer support when needed and keep men cool..." Wow. Are they selling underwear, or the perfect girlfriend?

Saxx executives, if you're listening, we're willing to do a more detailed test and review, but at $25-$50 a pair, they better be good. This straight guy is pretty happy with his current $3-$5 product. Not sure what's going on elsewhere, but my thighs and my man-business are getting along just fine. No need to put either in a separate "time-out" right now.


(Note to GG: Their 3D underwear videos will not be what you're hoping for. Sorry.)

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy/Straight Guy Dilemna: Underwear Ads Where You Least Expect 'Em

Straight Guy,

I want some straight guy perspective, so you're my first call.

My question is, how do straight men react to depictions of male sexuality?

Let me give you the specific example that sparks my question. I made it to the gym last night, and found that the locker room had been appointed with three or four posters. Ads, really. Calvin Klein underwear ads.

Apparently, Calvin Klein has a underwear celebrity super-model tighty-whitey packer named Jamie Dornan. I've gotten behind in my fashion news -- Where is my copy of "W magazine," dammit? He's modeled for Klein for a while, and Dornan also was part of an international search for a new man to "don the legendary Calvins" for ads. Talk about the Battle of the Bulge.

So, I walk into the locker room and there's three or four of these posters. Same images and more as in the links above. The posters
aren't overwhelming, about 9" x 11." No jokes, please. But inescapable.

My first reaction was to shut my eyes with a wince, like I was in pain. I think my reaction was just from surprise, that the posters were so out of place and unexpected. This is a neighborhood gym, pretty low drama. Not gay unfriendly, but not in boystown. The gym's idea of locker room decor is a swine flu FAQ. So, I think my blink was from disbelief.

The gym must be making a little revenue from this. Or, maybe they think it's motivating, that it will inspire a great work out. If it's inspiration it's supposed to create, then, yes, I'm inspired, just not to hit the treadmill.

As I discreetly inspected a poster a close range -- I am a HUGE fan of black and white photography -- I started to wonder how the straight guys in the locker room react. I don't know how to survey one of them, so I'm asking you.

How would you react? It's not like it's porn, there's no sex, but it's all about male sexuality. And it's pretty in your face.

Would these ads, especially if you can't just turn the page, bug you? Do you just look past it without seeing it? Do you turn away? Does it inspire a check out the competition impulse? Is it annoying? Embarrassing? Do you look at it and say -- apologies to Wanda Sykes --That's so gay?

Let me know, SG. Readers, what about you?

--Gay Guy

OK, Adam Lambert, We Get It!

Gay Guy,

I was rooting for Adam Lambert on American Idol (past posts here and here). But is this really the cover of his new album, or one of those Elizabeth Taylor perfume ads?

He admits it's intentionally ridiculous. Well, duh. He's good at getting noticed, but I'm not sure "ridiculous" is the right direction for a debut album. No second chances, so he better bring it with the music.

Hey, what does one middle-aged, suburban, straight guy know about launching an androgynous pop/rock star? I'm iTunes savvy, but I haven't bought an actual album in years, except for Prince's latest... well, this argument is going nowhere...

Readers: Campy and interesting? Or, indulgent and awful?

--Straight Guy

Ad Watch: Gay and/or Straight Ads and Commercials


Our Ad Watch posts have been generating a lot of traffic (well, by our standards, anyway... but if you search "gay straight ad," we're number one!). I've pulled a bunch of them together, and even updated all of the youtube links to the old videos...

And just so this whole post isn't recycled from old material, I'll give you the Wanda Sykes version of the "Don't Say 'That's So Gay'" public service announcement (see below). Her new show premiers Saturday Night on Fox.

Feel free to comment on any of the old posts (we still see them), or let us know here if there's anything we missed.

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive