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?
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