Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Members Only, Episode 1

Gay Guy,

Today I begin a series of posts on ads which are, ummm, let's say, inspired by the male anatomy.

Let's start with this one, though not a favorite of mine, it fits well into our gay/straight advertising collection. Yeah, it's homophobic and mean. You might argue that the joke is really on us straight guys, but I don't think the intended audience of beer drinkers will look that deep. They'll stop at the obvious punchline: gay is gross.

You know what? I kind of hope Bill really enjoyed himself at this idiot's expense. Obviously, he was obsessed with Bill's anatomy both before and after the deed, so...


--Straight Guy

Lilly Willy: Cialis Not Lost, Declares Guy Guy

Straight Guy,

Gay Guy was a domestic animal this past weekend. The Rites of Spring . . . Spring Cleaning, that is. The weekend's mission was to send the woolly winter wear to the dry cleaners and take out the spring clothes, bed linen, bedspread, etc.

The fresh outlook makes me feel like a new and happy person, but the amount of laundry to be done over one weekend is intense. Dirty stuff needs to be clean; musty clothes from the recesses of the closet need a wash to smell clean, and it all needs to be put away by the end of the weekend.

While I was in the midst of these labors, a Cialis commercial landed straight into my agitator. Cialis is for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It's made my Lilly Pharmaceuticals. Call it the Lilly Willy, if you will. Unlike its cousin, Viagra, Cialis is for daily use so "you can be ready anytime the moment is right." I guess it's like electricity--always floating around but nothing happens until you plug something in and turn it on. Sorry, infantile, I know.

Disclaimer: I do not need to know anything about Cialis. I am ignorant of using it.

Back to the commercial. The theme is "anytime can be the right time." A guy comes into the laundry room, toting a full laundry basket. He hands the basket to his wife. Hands touch. Eyes meet. Knowing glances exchanged. Music swells. Cialis lurches. He's filling up one basket while he empties out the other. Wow!

In the midst of folding polo shirts and mating and folding a centipede's worth of black socks . . . well, all I can say is if that --or any guy--had showed up in my place ready to help me do the laundry, I would be the one springing a hard on.

This is the road that Gay Guy has traveled: I used to want a guy to rip off my clothes and throw me onto the washing machine. Now, if I could get one to empty a hamper, I'd be moist.

Please tell me it's better in Straight Town.

--Gay Guy

Men's Intuition: Trouble Straight Ahead

Gay Guy,

I appreciate the support from you and our readers in response to last week's post on the current media cycle's indictment of straight guys. I realize that I don't need to apologize for the behavior of others... especially the cheating celebrities who create and exploit more opportunities for trouble than I could possible imagine in my own life.

Still, I was shocked that no one commented on what I thought was the most thought-provoking bit of info: The link to research that indicates that men have a strong ability to identify ovulating strippers based solely on visual cues. It's not that we consciously diagnose their reproductive status. But, whether we know it or not, we do tip them a hell of a lot more when they are at their most fertile. That's some primal magic at work, and I'm sure it was a valuable skill to a cro-magnon man on the prowl. But in the modern world, an instinctive attraction to the most impregnatable lap dancers is trouble... with a capital T.

No minds blown by that? Really?

Why is it that "women's intuition" is generally regarded as the ability sense danger and avoid it, while, apparently, "men's intuition" is the ability is to find trouble, walk right in, and pay a little extra for the privilege?

GG, you can never say that straight guys don't appreciate the subtleties of dance as an art form. We've taken it to whole new level.

Let me clarify a bit. When I say "we," I don't mean to imply that I'm a regular at the local Kitty Cat Club. Actually, in my limited experience in this area, I can say that I found the dancers pretty intimidating, actually, and that my strongest urge was often wanting to wash my hands.

Still, I am slightly jealous that the experiments I volunteered for back in college involved sensors attached to my head while I solved tough math problems. Did I miss the sign-up sheet to be a bankrolled stripper tipper?

Rock on, University of New Mexico and the McNair Scholars Program! Keep makin' your mommas proud!

P.S. I'd also like to see the tax returns where all of this research was deducted as a business expense.

--Straight Guy

Able to Leap Tall, Dark and Handsome in a Single Bound!: Another Gay Take on Super Heroes

Straight Guy,

Over the past two days, I've been thinking about gays and super heroes. Uhmm . . . remember the last post? I don't normally daydream about super heroes. Much.

Besides a well-earned . . . shall we say . . . fascination with fit men in skin-tight, muscle-revealing, lycra-enhanced body suits with built-in pecs and washboard abs, plused up with -- my personal favorite -- go-go boots . . . Oh, Lordy, what's not to love here . . . there's a meaningful connection between with my peeps and super heroes.

Gays and super heroes grow up knowing to not reveal their true selves. Don't show the very thing that makes you essentially different . . . and wonderful. Am I over-thinking this?

My super hero alter ego is probably Superman. Yep, me and Clark Kent: Born on a fabulous other planet then raised by Midwestern-style parents droning on and on about morality, morality, morality. Yep. Separated at birth.

Here's my real inner super hero, Catty Man, courtesy of a sassy gay magazine quiz.

Catty Man:
"Invulnerable to criticism, this master of the scathing remark unleashes his withering glare and super-sharp tongue only to defend those attacked by bigots and other intolerant blowhards."
Weakness: Loses his powers if someone calls him "Mary"
Archenemy: Rightwing

Straight Guy, do you have a super hero alter ego?

--Gay Guy

Up . . . Up . . . . and a Gay

Straight Guy,

Did you read this article on gay comic book fans that ran in the New York Times last week? It shows gay and lesbian comic books fans who are channeling
their identification with Super Heroes and other comics characters into a way of expressing themselves and their sexual identities.

There's Skin Tight USA, a club party in New York where guys come garbed in costumes that range "from the familiar (like Spider-Man) to ones that only a comics geek would recognize (like the 1993 version of Superboy)." As the article points out, "it wasn’t that long ago that the [comic book] environment was less than welcoming for those who wanted to make the two seemingly disparate worlds [gay and comics fans] one."

Why the fascination with comics? The beautifully expressed nut of the story: "In interviews with several gay fans, the reasons given for gravitating toward comics were as varied as the heroes' costumes: everything from escapism to 'hot men in tights' to embodying the X-Men's message, 'seeking acceptance from a world that hates and fears them purely for who they are.'"

I never caught the comic book bug, but I sure did pick up a tingly vibe from watching Batman on TV. I was pre-sexual, but even as a tot I could tell that there was something hidden going on at the Bat Cave . . . and it wasn't just the entrance. Batman and Robin both were hot. Then again, so was Cat Woman . . . both Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar. The capes, the tights, the latex! Phew!

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Viral Video: Sneaky Gays

Straight Guy,

You know I'm a Gleek -- a geek who loves Glee. This clip shows you why.

Glee resurfaces the utter awfulness that is high school everywhere, including or especially, my own high school. It puts every kind of different (gay, disabled, neurotic, just plain messy) front and center. It even has great music and dance. What more could TV offer?

Back to the clip. Jane Lynch plays Sue Sylvester, vainglorious coach of the cheerleading squad -- deliciously named the Cheerios. Sue has a regular spot on local TV. She cluelessly takes on the wrong side of every politically correct issue in the book. Here she is on "sneaky gays."

I laughed so hard watching this segment. Now I gotta go "swish it up a bit."

Lynch is brilliant and she somehow plays Sue Sylvester with a straight face. If you go to the Glee site, be sure to click on her remake of Madonna's "Vogue," with a few Glee-specific references.

--Gay Guy

Sometimes, when I watch American Idol (or Glee), I turn into a Sneaky Straight. You can hardly tell...

--Straight Guy

Straight Guy Gift Guide: Bacon Bouquet

Nothing says "I love you" like hand-crafted pork products. I haven't seen them for sale, but FastCompany published a how-to on their website. They call it a "broquet."

In the story, the creator admits that she was a vegan until bacon became her "gateway meat." Later, she came up with the bouquet concept as a way to seduce her hunky neighbor. It worked. For a while at least.

Side Note: I think Gay Guy knows that I briefly worked for a small-town slaughterhouse when I was in high school. One of my jobs was to take samples and a hotplate to local supermarkets to try and drum up business. I was paralyzed with stage-fright about making the pre-scripted pitch. I shouldn't have been. Nothing breaks the ice like hot fried pork. I was the life of the party. The only problem was the demographics. Very few teenage girls buy breakfast meats.

--Straight Guy

Straight Guy State of the Union: Not Strong

Gay Guy,

See what they did there?

"Straight Pride" t-shirts have been popping up at Tea Party rallies around the country.

I know. Lame, right? They're not really proud, anyway. They're just petty whiners. Or worse, angry homophobes.

As a white, middle class, middle aged, suburban, straight guy, I have no credibility in lecturing on civil rights, I know. But I respect that minority groups need to celebrate their differences and proudly acknowledge their past struggles and future goals. I'm a Cleveland Indians fan, I get it. ... Wait. That makes me BOTH a racist and an oppressed minority. I can't win.

Back on topic...

No. There's no need to be ashamed of your sexual orientation, but the whole straight pride concept is a non-starter. "If possible, and under the right circumstances, are you interested in pursuing romantic and/or carnal relations with the opposite sex? You are! Wow. Come on in. Welcome to the least exclusive club in the universe! Have a seat, if you can find one."

Reminder: "Straight" is the default position, it represents absolute mediocrity. Here, take these "Cereal Eater" and "I Sleep at Night! In a Bed!" t-shirts while you're at it. You've accomplished nothing of note with your interest in the other sex. Sure, it's sometimes tough to get laid, or sustain a relationship, but that won't keep you from being straight (or gay). If you are incredible in the sack, and have a notable list of conquests, celebrate that. But I'll wager a guess that most of the folks wearing these shirts aren't exactly oozing the sexual charisma of Brad or Angelina.

Besides, this isn't the right time for a Straight Guy Pride Parade, anyway.

Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Jesse James, Tiki Barber, and [space reserved for male skank to be named shortly]... I won't wallow in the details, but the recent news cycle has gotten all straight guys in hot water. Guilt by Y chromoso-ciation.

Are we all pigs who want honorable wives but need to bang baby sitters and porn stars on the side?

No. Seriously, no. But the data ain't helpful.

Statistically guys are are MUCH more likely, like 10 times more likely, to stray from (or leave) our spouses when they are terminally ill. Can't defend that. Won't try.

• It was also recently proven that men intuitively tip ovulating strippers at a much higher rate than others. God help us, the research seems thorough and real. Is there any less redeeming skill than the innate ability to identify the most fertile exotic dancers? Are we that primal, self-destructive, and hopeless?

Straight Pride, indeed. Howzbout we just lay low for a while and settle for not calling so much attention to ourselves?

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Gift Guide: Handerpants

"...combines the sweat absorption and chafing protection of underwear with form fitting gloves..."

You absolutely can't have too much chafing protection in your life. If you're self conscious, stuff a tiny sock in them.

They're for reals, yo. Purchase at neatoshop.

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Brownie Husband

"The perfect blend of rich fudge and emotional intimacy..."

Straight guys, our days are numbered.

--Straight Guy

Wait, Wait . . . It's the Village People! Gay Guy in Retro Ecstasy

Straight Guy,

I love NPR's weekly news quiz show, "Wait, Wait. . . Don't Tell Me." Listening is addictive--my Saturday morning is incomplete without listening to it.

A segment of each show is "Not My Job," in which famous people are asked three questions about something they know absolutely nothing about. It's great fun. To give you an idea of how it words, one of the gem interviews of all time is Southern food celebrity chef and yummarific goddess Paula Deen trying to answer questions about tofu.

Today's special guests were two of the original members of the Village People--the Indian and the Construction Worker. Yes, the Village People live and in person, not just on vinyl. Listen to the Village People on today's Wait, Wait on NPR.

Ah . . . the Village People. So camp--but where would a wedding reception, high school reunion, or bat mitzvah be without a DJ and some Village People.

One of my favorite Gay Guy/Straight Guy stories from our 15+ year friendship is attending your wedding, SG. A total blast. Met lots of your friends at the reception. We chatted away until the DJ put on the Village People's "YMCA." I'm told that my head popped up like a Merkat. YMCA = My people are somewhere in the house! I think I pegged the only other other gay man there. If he wasn't, no matter. Everyone danced like mad. I can still see SG hopping up and down, making the "Y."

Good times, SG, good times.

SG, because I know you love the them so much, here's a bonus. Watch the Muppet's rendition of another Village People classic, "In the Navy."

--Gay Guy

P.S.: Another bonus track: Listen to Paula Deen take on tofu on her "Not My Job" segment.

Pecs Marky-Mark's the Spot

Straight Guy,

Call me shallow, but put Date Night on my must-see movie list.

It's laden with heavage, the male chest's version of cleavage. Marky Mark's heavage. Sounds like he is shirtless for the entire movie.

Co-stars Steve Carrell and Tina Fey were not immune to Mark Wahlberg's . . shall we say . . . talent. Carrell's quote at the NYC premiere of the movie: "Looking at Mark Wahlgren's chest is like looking at the sun. If you stare too long, you go blind."

Read on.

--Gay Guy

Gay/Straight Viral Video: Second City's Sassy Gay Friend

What, what, what are you doin', Straight Guy?

Whatever it is, here's Sassy Gay Friend to the rescue. Well, not really, because you're not a woman, and this is a blog and not a play by Shakespeare. But otherwise, he's here for you.

Take a look at these three vids from Second City. Basic nibbet: Sassy Gay Friend inserts himself into one of Shakespeare's works (he's up to three so far) to keep heroines from doing something very stupid, even if that's her literary destiny. (She's not self destructive, she's just written that way.)

There's so much that's wrong
with the Sassy Gay Friend concept. It hits so many gay stereotypes. The sass, the scarf, the finger waving. Let me tell you, SG, it's a burden to be so witty and fabulous all the time. To be the only one to see the truth? Stereotype? Sure. Doesn't keep the vids from being funny.

Gay guys make a girl's best friend for lots of reasons. Top of the list is shouting out when a guy is a dud.

"Look at your life! Look at your choices!" You don't need to be one of Shakespeare's heroines to benefit.

See Sassy Gay Friend rescue Ophelia in Hamlet and Desdemona in Othello.

--Gay Guy


Just want to add my warning that the phrase "stupid bitch" is for satirical gay use only. Don't be tempted, straight guys, you can't pull it off.

--Straight Guy

Straight Guy Hall of Shame: Brendaaaaaa!

You can't question his commitment. This better work out. If not, his only option will be to switch teams and hook up with Brendan.
: Now featuring a graphic skin-art rendering of the Kennedy assassination sponsored by the Disney World "coronation of your little princess" ad campaign. Oh, you crazy interweb!

--Straight Guy

So, No One is Flying Under the Gaydar?

Straight Guy,

I didn't want to clutter the site with "news" coverage of Ricky Martin's coming out. Mostly because I'm happy for him and that Martin's going public doesn't qualify as news.

Still, here's a Chicago Tribune news clip from earlier this week that's worth reading.

The article points to research demonstrating that people have a "staggeringly good ability to judge sexual orientation." That includes closeted celebs. (And you, too, Uncle Len.)

A study at Northwestern researched people's ability to guess sexual orientation. Turns out, everyone's pretty good at it, at least in this small study. Is it a little proof that Gaydar might be real?

Back to Ricky Martin. I can't get too worked up about celebrities and their sexual orientation; if they aren't sleeping with me, why do I care. But hiding sexual orientation is somewhat different. Is that a double standard from me? It's just that more people in the world need to hear well-known folks say what Ricky Martin said this week: "I am very blessed to be who I am."

That quote was, hands down, his best recording ever.

--Gay Guy

Too Many Easter Treats?

Happy Easter.

In their heyday, Jim Henson's Muppets were often sentimental. But they were also sometimes edgy and abstract. This clip is new, but has an old-school feel. The comments run the gamut from "disturbing" to "hilarious." Why can't it be both?

Anyway, Muppet stock is finally rising again. Another -- supposedly offbeat -- movie is in the works. And their YouTube channel of new content gets a ton of traffic. Like 13 million views for their take on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

--Straight Guy

Meet Kratos, God of War! (and Gay Icon?!?)

Gay Guy,

You know I'm a gamer, and right now I'm playing the most anticipated game of the year, God of War III. It just came out a couple of weeks ago and I'm currently batting my way through the pantheon (literally!) of Greek Gods and Titans. Almost done. I hope.

"This title has been rated Mature for: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content." I know, that's just an average weekend downtown for you, GG. But we don't get that much action out here in straight suburbia. Plus, there's an onscreen medical warning to scare away the weak-hearted and overly excitable. OK, I'm sold.

I can verify that rating, by the way
. Murder and mayhem everywhere. If you need the head of Helios (god of the sun) to light your way through the underworld, well, you'll just have to take it from him. But how do you defeat Aphrodite (goddess of everything freaky deaky)? You guessed it, though most of that action happens just offscreen.

So please, put the kids to bed before your fire up this game. And just to be safe, keep it out of the hands of any sullen and rage-prone teens with poor social skills. That's just common sense.

But, believe me, there's art in those pixels, too. Here's a YouTube trailer if you're not convinced.
Nobody enunciates "I will have my vengeance!" like Kratos (or as often, ugh!)

Check it off as a guilty (shameful?) pleasure. Here's Onion AV's take:
On the PlayStation2, the God Of War games established an unlikely blend of nearly pornographic violence and architectural fetishism. In each chapter, the damned anti-hero Kratos, driven well around the bend by killing his own family, explores ever-larger classical edifices while systematically slaughtering nearly everything found within. God Of War III ups the ante in both departments. Opening right where the second game left off, as Kratos assaults Olympus in a bid to kill Zeus, this concluding chapter is more technically grand and gorily excessive than ever.

Given the carnage and the "game's deep embrace of virulent rage," I figured that this fell into stereotypical straight guy behavior. But guess what? According to a GayGamer reporter named Fruit Brute, Kratos is some serious man candy. That was news to lead game designer, Todd Papy. Here's a snippet:

FB: So, one of the things I find interesting is the sexualization of video game characters. Because despite what some people would have you believe, it really happens all the time.
TP: Right.
FB: But mostly it's female characters who are highly sexualized.
TP: Absolutely.
FB: So I was wondering, when the character of Kratos was being designed, was there was any thought put to the fact that he's kind of a gay icon?
TP: Wow! (Laughs)
FB: Yeah, I mean I could show you any number of photos of gay porn actors featuring these totally ripped, shirtless bald guys with little goatees. I mean, I'm sure that's not something you really thought about.
TP: No, no it wasn't. What we were going for was really more of an animal. So basically when they first started designing him he had armor and all these other accoutrements and so we started taking that stuff off and that feeling of rage started coming across....
FB: Well, he's definitely a very hyper masculine character.
TP: Yes, definitely.
FB: I just think it's funny because so many of these male characters are designed this way, very hyper sexualized, and I don't think a group of heterosexual guys sitting around working on these things really realize that there's this whole other subsection of people who are going to see it that way.
TP: Right.
FB: Kratos has been on our list of hottest male characters voted by readers for the last couple of years.
TP: (Laughs) Wow, really? Even with the big scar and everything?
FB: (Laughs) Absolutely!

I don't know how I could have missed all the clues. Why would I assume that a bodysculpted, well-groomed, Greek guy in full-body makeup and a sparkly, accessorized leather costume was gay?

When I get to the final showdown with Zeus, recently revealed to be Kratos' father (gasp!), there's going to be a lot more subtext to our cheesy dialogue.

Readers, is Kratos boyfriend (or bootycall) material? Or, just another creep on the subway?

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive