Sex & Relationships

Relatively Masculine

Everyone has a different idea of what masculinity is. How does this play out in the gay dating scene?
Poking around in Gay.com personals, I keep seeing guys' profiles listing them as "masculine." This confuses me because everyone's idea of masculinity differs. Sometimes it means that they are, "Yo, dude!'s" on the street, and "pansy boi's" in the bedroom, and sometimes it means they just aren't comfortable with anything feminine.

I once had a date with a "masculine, laid-back guy" who played butch in his emails, but in person had blender wrists set on frappé. I didn't have a problem with it, but the second mine approached stir, he rolled his eyes and swished for the exit.

I used to think I was just gay. Now I'm wondering, what's my sub-label? I don't regularly dress in women's garments, but I'll throw on some rockin' drag for Halloween, and we're talking six-inch stilettos. How many femme points does that get me, and what's the quota to win a free wig? I don't consider myself "affected," but my queeny friend Tigger seems to think I'm "worse" than him. I don't get it. I like to do things like backpacking, and home renovation with power tools and shit, but God forbid us fags should act like ... umm ... fags!

I also love to be silly, but many "straight acting" gays find this a turn off. What's with "straight acting" anyway? If we don't "pass" as thespians, are we then "lispians"? Are there Faggot Equity dues I should pay to join the union, and if I burn my free wig in front of Der Reichtag, do I get a discount?

Oddly, I, too, find "straight acting" guys attractive in that in-denial kind of way. However, growing up in San Francisco, home of the faggotty free, I was raised to be as gay as I pleased. My rating on the Kinsey scale was never an issue until I moved to New York. Is it mostly environmental, I wonder -- or is a current trend to blend?

In many circles of New York, it's sexually unappealing to be queeny. I call it the city that never sleeps ... with drag queens. This is not to say there aren't a million dancers and prancers, ho-mongers and vixens, but when on the prowl, we put on the scowl.

"Oh my GOD, did you see her shoes? They were FIERCE!" said the cute Latin boy to his friends. Then, noticing my gaze, his posture slackened, his voice lowered three octaves and "Wassup, dude?" came spilling out. "Honey, I already saw your purse fall out," I said. "There's no need to suck on that army boot." This didn't get me into his bed -- however, it did get me a girlfriendly acknowledgement. Like New York, London also boasts of social acceptability, but is it true? Morrissey sang, "Here in London, home of the brash outrageously free, you are repressed but you're remarkably dressed, is it real?" The answer is no. London is one of the most uptight cities I've lived in. In actuality, both London and our brazen Big Apple are both very conservative towns.

"That's bullshit!" one New Yorker said to me over infused vodka at Vlada Bar. "You see drag queens at every good party in New York."

"But who fucks them?" I asked. "Do you?"

"I only fuck boys who look like boys," he said. Then he added, with a flirtatious raised brow, "You look like a boy."

"Careful Larry Craig," I said. "I might be hiding Victoria's Secret under my Abercrombie & Fitch."
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