Summertime, and the Livin' is Sleazy

Gay Guy,

Probably not on your radar, but over the weekend, Slate reposted it's tongue-in-cheek essay, "A Dandy's Guide to Girl-Watching." [link]

Author Troy Patterson claims, "Despite all the many philosophical inquiries into beauty since the Greeks and into sidewalk scenes since Baudelaire, there is an acute shortage of discourse on the subject of checking out hot chicks, a silence all the more appalling because they are famously difficult to ignore."

He references a decade old (and famously lewd) NY Observer piece on the joys of summer skin and spandex. That article claims that men "are blithering dopes who find themselves in constant hummana-hummana mode all summer long. The women claim they're dressing for comfort and they seem perfectly oblivious to the intense effect they produce in the men, who fall instantly and hopelessly in love with every woman who approaches, only to pass out of their lives forever."

Wow. Hyperbole much?

That's overstating it a bit. Not all women are oblivious to their effect, and not all men are hopeless. Well, most of us aren't. There are still a few cavemen on the prowl. In a previous post, I agreed that catcalling is harassment -- and that it originates only from the most immature and insecure men.

Beauty is out there, but what's to be gained by making the beautiful uncomfortable?

A dandy, of course, is overly concerned about appearances and appropriateness, so crossing the line between noticing and ogling is strictly prohibited. Patterson says "the most correct girl-watcher apprehends passing loveliness in a sunny flutter -- as a series of little thrills to the soul."

Besides, it doesn't have to be demeaning -- to either side. "To be a gazer, some say, is to place oneself superior to the gazed, which works fine as a tenet of film theory and feels notably more dubious as a premise of girl-watching analysis. ... It is the nature of beauty that the girl-watcher is helpless before the wonders of nature."

Go for it, dude. Any thoughts on "JUICY" short-shorts, while you're waxing poetic?

Yes, the relationship between the subject and object of desire can be complicated by the rules of society. Thank goodness. Otherwise, the whole world becomes an episode of Jersey Shore.

I'll say no more than this: I'm glad that my internal dialog stays internal. My guess is that most of our readers (men and women) feel the same way.

--Straight Guy


Anonymous said...

Straight girl here. Everyone wants to feel attractive. I guess I don't mind knowing that guys think I look nice from time to time. If I catch them looking, that's fine. If I can hear them muttering, gross.

Straight Guy said...

Anon: Exactly. The article is right in that there are rules that need to be followed. We notice, we judge... that's human nature. We can say things in our relationships that we can't say to strangers. But, otherwise the most respectful thing to do is keep moving on.

There's a commercial about a guy who notices a hot girl on a train and uses his new phone to change his ticket and sit next to her. In the commercial their child goes on the be the president of the United states. Nice narrative, but in real life who really wants to be targeted on a train like that?

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Kind of flowery language-he could've gotten his point across without all the fluff.

Straight Guy said...

Oddy: I took that as the point of the exercise, trying to elevate something that's thought of as vulgar.

Michael said...

Nicely written. Speaking from the GG side of the fence, the other good thing about discretion in eyeballing is that you are less likely to end up with a knuckle sandwich. I guess SG rarely has to consider that aspect.

Gay Guy said...


Welcome to GG/SG. We hope you'll keep reading and commenting.

And, watch out for the knuckle sandwich.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive