Bro-jobs in Salon

She told us, “They stop each other from killing each other by rub rub rubbing, until they come come come. And then have a banana together or something,” adding, “I think there’s a very positive and certainly very natural aspect to this.”

Despite this slightly offputting ending paragraph about rubbing-to-coming monkeys, I appreciated Salon’s broaching a risqué rather than sensationalized topic of real human behaviors that few, if any, in our still-so-homophobic culture here in the U.S. mention.

Of course, I’m a sucker for all things relationship-exploding. Not destructive eruptions, but exploding sedimented behaviors and expectations based on normativity, wether applicable to marital or sexual definitions, the kinds that clear the path to allowing a little reality to seep through.

Salon’s The “Bro Job”: Why “straight” men have sex with each other explores in an anthropology-light sort of way, the underpinnings of self-identifying heterosexual male sex with other men, reasons–if there need be–for its natural occurrence in what is for some, even many, an unnatural social order of human intimate relationships based on heterosexual monogamy.

Pointing out the diversity of male sexual appetite for meaningless as well as meaningful sex, the author explains how men sometimes want sex that is just…well, sex, not love-making or performance, just men enjoying what men do, for fun, release, something less demanding, I suppose, a more automatic, instinctual and non-committal release.

It makes sense to me. Men–and women–suffer under the continual obligation to try and understand another; sometimes the relief lies in just being what they are without apology.

Though the author is quick to point out that sexual politics and labeling are part of the problem too: so is a man who has sex with men and women automatically bisexual? Quickly jumping to labels is what others do to others to make themselves feel comfortable. But the label does not necessarily fit the identity of the labeled.

Fuck labels.

I recommend this quick and tactful read.

 

For Your Viewing Pleasure on a Gender Bender Thursday…

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Thanks, Jim, for sending this link my way: illustrations that kill two birds with one stone, to be perfectly cliche. They continue the conversation about the human labeling gene, particularly regarding gender, and expose my old nemesis, Disney. We have history.

Raising two daughters, I always felt it was me versus Disney. I did not want them to be sold into the slavery of gender typification and message moralizing packages Disney style, so I swore they would not see any Disney movies when they were little. They were to be raised on a steady diet of wholesome, no commercial educational programming that public broadcasting had to offer. And this in the middle of a cul de sac in a Southern California suburban neighborhood. Yeah, right.

When I could no longer sequester them and Mattel as well as Disney princesses kicked the crap out of PBS and Amy Tan’s Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, I had to choose the first Disney video I would play for my nearly three year old. Having long, long ago viewed it, I chose Bambi for the nature theme and the great animation I remembered, not the cheesy fewer-celled productions that later emerged or even the digitalized stuff now.

So, on the appointed day of induction or indoctrination, my little one and I were perched in our favorite viewing receptacles, her in a furry, pink (her choice, yes) toddler-sized soft armchair and me on the psychedelic flower power play room couch, enjoying the lisping Thumper and the adorable Bambi, when that scene emerged. The one that starts out benignly in the field…Bambi…his mother…then the dark figure…

And then I remembered, but just a half second too late. Oh right! The mom gets….BOOM! Shit! My heretofore innocent little blue-eyed, tow headed girl slowly turned to me with the look of shock characteristic of someone who just learned that he was accidentally switched in the hospital at birth and his parents were not really his parents–except worse.

“What happened to the mommy?” She asked at first rather calmly. “What happened to the mommy?! What happened to the mommy???!!!!!” she repeated with increasingly feverish pitch.

Yeah, Disney, you owe me one. That was the day I decided to put a dollar a day in the therapy jar for my kids so that when they were 18 they could go off and pay their therapists for such bad mommy moments. I still blame Disney for the sadism of that movie.

So here’s to you, Disney: undermining the world of Disney for art’s sake.