Gay/Straight Update: You Prob'ly Think This Blog Is About You

Gay Guy,

Big news (CNN). Carly Simon has revealed that the subject of her anti-guy tirade "You're So Vain," was not one of the high-profile straight lotharios who have crossed her path (James Taylor, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson).

If you play the new version of the song backwards, she identifies David as the man in question. So speculatively, it turns out the arrogant object of her wrath was more likely her producer, David Geffen, who, although gay, was perhaps too focused on the career of another rival songstress, Joni Mitchell.

I only point this out because the circumstance of straight women finding GAY guys to be comparatively insensitive is so effing rare. It's good to be out of that spotlight for a change. Deal with it, GG.

C'mon, the lyrics rhymed his "scarf was apricot" with a line about dancing the "gavotte," and even in 1972, that must have been a tipoff. Or was gaydar still in the R&D phase?

--Straight Guy

"You're Wearing That?" Gay Guy Olympic Outfit Guide

Straight Guy,

I'm still tuned in to the Olympics, though the skiing is starting to bore me. More speed skating!

Anyway, here's a fun slide show on the ridiculous array of this year's figure skating costumes.

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Slave for Cigs

Translation: "To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco."

Here's the latest from the French anti-smoking lobby Droits des Non-fumeurs (Nonsmokers’ Rights). Many people are shocked at the metaphor, but I get it. Break through by showing teens that what they view as an independent, rebellious act is really just being used as a tool by The Man... errr... L'Homme. But geez, that's harsh.

President of the nonsmokers group: "Using sex is a way to get their attention. And if it’s necessary to shock, let’s shock."

One criticism: "The campaign trivializes sexual abuse — worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused." I get that, too.

Links: NYTimes & HuffPost


--Straight Guy

Devil in the Details: Are These Eggs Gay, or Just Over-Accessorized?

Straight Guy,

Loyal reader and frequent commenter Straight in Upstate sent us a story that's perfect for the blog. In his own words, here it is:

We had a Super Bowl party for friends and Gay Co-Worker Dave and his boyfriend, Rick, came. (Rick loves football, and Dave loves Rick.) Dave doesn't believe in putting mustard in his deviled eggs - I disagree but I can respect it. But he does use (and I may be forgetting some things) sour cream, capers, scallions, and onion juice. And there wasn't even any paprika on them. Straight deviled eggs in our part of the world = egg yolks, French's yellow mustard, Miracle Whip (or mayo - we're not tyrants), and paprika on top (preferably from a tin that's been in the cupboard since Mom got married in '56). You can use a frosting bag and pipe in the filling, but don't get too swirly.

Gay Guy has his own vision of the perfect deviled egg. Egg yolk, chopped but not pureed; I like the filling with some texture to it. Just mayo, no mustard. I prefer to spoon mine with a teaspoon into the cooked egg white. I don't have a frosting bag and pipe, and I like the more rustic look that the spoon ladling leaves. Then a fine dusting of antique paprika on top.

I avoid any addition of onion, pickle, sour cream, capers, etc., in egg or tuna salads. The stronger taste makes me fear that the cook is trying to put one over on me -- trying to cover up ingredients that have gone bad.

But on the gay deviled egg saga: As a general rule, I think that gay men can over-accessorize food. We have this urge to over-transform it. One of the early bits of gay social coaching that I got soon after college: No food at a social gathering can be served in its original container. No hummus in the plastic tub that it was born in, no cheese on a plate without a sprig of grapes. I admit, it does look nicer. But, sometimes, I just don't have that extra few minutes. As a gay man, I've already transformed myself and others' expectations of me. More transformation feels exhausting.

So, if you are company (especially a first date), you'll get the hummus in a fancy dish, with a sprinkling of paprika or a grating of orange peel on it. Or, if I know you well, I might just plop the plastic tub down on the coffee table. If I do, don't be offended. It means you're family, at least chosen family.

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Feed the Diva

From the team that brought us the "you're playing like Betty White" Superbowl ad...

This straight guy needs a little help. Can someone explain Liza's eyebrow situation to me? Are those stickers? Tattoos of some kind? Rewind, pause, and let me know.

--Straight Guy

Why is Dick Button Wearing a Flannel Shirt and Trucker Cap?

This report is almost a year old, but this seems to be the right time for GG/SG to put it out there.

The quick clip of the dude dropping the lady on her face is not funny. But it is odd that ABC news used it to emphasize how dangerous the sport is for men.

I didn't see all of the male skaters last night, mostly because there were way too many. Can't we cut this list to the 10 front runners -- you know, the ones that can actually perform the required jumps? But I guess NBC knows where their ratings are.

I did see Johnny Weir, and he gives you no choice but to love him or hate him. Props for that level of confidence, AND for completing his jumps, but you still can't count me as a fan.

Does a campaign to toughen up the sport stand a chance? From what I saw last night (rococo costumes and finger flourishes galore -- ooh, did I just type that?), it certainly hasn't caught on yet. Though I'm not sure that seeing sweatpanted ex-hockey players pump their fists after a successful lutz is the answer either. There's got to be some room in the middle.

--Straight Guy

It's Gonna Be OK, Just D-D-D-Dance

Gay Guy,

I put up a quick tweet about this a few weeks ago, but it's worth noting that the trend continues. Here was my tweet:

Good news: Still the best video game player in this house. Bad news: Just crushed my girls in a Wii dance off to Spice Girls "Wannabe."

So, yeah, I'm having a hard time turning off my competitive side when we play Just Dance. I'm not at all edgy -- and am happy to see them win -- when we play UNO or any of their board games. And I don't throw snowballs in their faces, no matter how hard they try to take me down. But when it comes to video games, I just don't know how to phone it in. It's a fun game, not at all serious. We laugh our way through the songs, and they giggle at the sight of me syncopating to whatever pop ditty they choose. Not my most manly moment, but it's quality time.

I'm not a horrible dancer (GG, please vouch for me here). But during this game, inside my head, I'm not really dancing. Scoring is based on matching the movement of your game controller to the dancer on screen. That's all I care about, not how I look, but how I score. If I'm thinking about angles, acceleration, and elevation changes, is that even considered dancing? Well, according to those watching this herkyjerk from the sidelines, it's definitely not. They are mystified by my continued high scores when it's the little girls who have obviously put on the better performance.

My dad and I didn't share too many interests when I was a kid. But we'd shoot hoops and play a lot of 1 on 1. He didn't let me win just to boost my ego and I can clearly remember the day when I finally beat his A game. It was a big deal and I think we were both proud. I can only hope that my kids derive the same satisfaction from the moment when they outperform my "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" routine.

But, for now, that's all they really wa-aa-aa-nt. Just fu-uu-uu-un. I'll try to get there, too.

Readers: Dance to play? Play to win? Or, have the folks at Ubisoft built Just Dance to bridge the gay/straight divide? It's the number one game in the US and Europe right now, so they did something right. Anyone else playing?

--Straight Guy

Trojan Condoms: Clip, Save, and Power Up

Straight Guy,

Did you catch this page in your recent Sunday coupons section? Just in time for Valentine's Day, condom coupons. I had no idea that condoms had gone so deeply mainstream. You know something has arrived when it has its own coupon. And, $5 off ain't bad.

Over my (sexual) lifetime, condoms have mostly been associated with gay men and their safer sex practices. I know that straight men rely on condoms, too, but I think this is gay turf. Now I have to re-evaluate. What could be more straight than the Sunday coupon section. I think this ad is aimed at straight women.

Help me, Straight Guy. Look at the top right corner of the ad, at the $2 off coupon. It's for "any Trojan vibrating product." How the hell do condoms vibrate. You people really know how to get your freak on. Guess I should read the fine print.

Vibrating, eh? I barely understood when condoms advertised, "Ribbed for her pleasure." Kinda get the idea, but I'm still not sure that it's a product breakthrough. I'm pretty straightforward on my condoms. I've never needed to buy them -- between bars and Gay Pride parades, I get a free annual supply. TMI, I know.

Going out of town for a few days. I hope you and Mrs. Straight Guy have a nice Valentine's Day.

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Superbowl Wrap-up

Gay Guy,

Don't know if you caught the Superbowl this year. Great game, but the ads didn't measure up. There was some standard babe-jectification (1,2) but it seemed like less than usual, and there were a few witty spots, too. (1,2). I promise I'll soon put up another post about the recurring theme of non-svelte men and their tighty whitey briefs. You'll just have to wait, GG.

But there were also many clunkers on the topic of modern manhood... how we've been beaten down by our responsibilities and whipped by our relationships. Oh brother. I'm not going to say that life is easy for guys who choose to settle down with women (gasp!) and family (eek!), but I certainly wouldn't equate those choices to punishment... that's just shallow at best and misogynistic at worst. Yes, I'd say these new ads are harsher on women than the traditional beer/bikini concept ever was. Did Jim Nantz really suggest that we "change out of that skirt?" Did Dodge just compare the compromises of marriage to Custer's situation at Little Bighorn?


Dudes, if you ever feel that you've lost your mojo and/or cajones, please don't make the mistake of thinking that a pocket TV (nerd alert!), muscle car (compensate much?), and scented soaps (um, what?), are going to get you back on track... even if you try all three at once.

Is it surprising that the one ad that struck a hopeful note about relationships came from Google?

Oh, and in case you missed the news, here's the ad CBS declined to air. It promotes a dating site for gay men. Just so you know, Mad TV did a similar skit many years ago. What do you make of it, GG?

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy Has Straight Guy Bathoom Envy?

Straight Guy,

I know that you will protest, but I've been presented with yet another instance where straight men seem to have all the odds in their favor.

A friend and I went for a drink, and we stayed to watch some of the Super Bowl. Before you are overcome with surprise, it was a wine bar, we had a few Pinot Noirs, and the other folks there were quietly watching the game or chatting. No whooping.

Next to use were a trio of women, late 20s/early 30s. It was hard not to eavesdrop on their conversation; in fact, impossible. The most animated of the three went on in glowing terms about a guy she'd started to date. Her enthusiasm was contagious, so I leaned in.

"He . . he," she stammered earnestly enthusiastic. "He puts the seat down."

Wow, bathroom manners. Stunning.

I know my gay lens is an urban lens, but to be accomplished in the gay world, you need to look good, dress well, demonstrate that you get to the gym, and vacation well. So, in the straight world being toilet trained is all that it takes to sweep a girl off her feet?

Okay, being sarcastic. Sort of.

I guess two men don't have to squabble over seat up or down. After spending a summer sharing a house with six women, I put both the seat and the lid down, the gender neutral position.

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy Turns His Nose at Stinky Trend?

Straight Guy,

You are very observant of cultural trends, so I'm here for your wisdom.

Did I miss the announcement that cigars are back?

I saw/smelled two or three guys this week smoking cigars, then at least three just today. One, or two sightings is interesting; getting close to half a dozen is a trend. The only common thread I could discern is that the guys today were shoveling snow off their cars and sidewalks. Does cigar stench make the shoveling go faster?

If cigar smoking is back, then it certainly falls into the straight guy domain. Sure, gay men still smoke, but I don't recall any of my gay brethren doing it for more than a few seconds of dramatic affect.

Readers, any stogies in your daily travels lately, or is this just another Gay Guy fluke?

And, readers, forgive SG and me for being light on posts recently. Work has been fast and furious for the dynamic duo of GG/SG. We're whipped. But, we are working on recharging ourselves. Keep in touch!

--Gay Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive