Saturday, July 28, 2007

On Male Bonding

I never wished to live in a man’s body in order to have gay sex. Anything a gay bottom could do physically I could do just as well in my female form. I’ve had more gay sex than most gay men I know. Even my relationship with David, though physiologically heterosexual, was spiritually homosexual (with S&M as the bridge linking the two). What I desired – and that which I could never attain as a biological female – was male bonding. To be seamlessly stitched into the fabric of the gay male community, the brotherhood I saw my reflection in, would forever be beyond my reach. Susan Sontag went from longing to be Greta Garbo to wanting to “possess” her. She related these feelings to her lesbianism, but her uncommon desires just as easily could have spoken to my gay manhood. I always longed “to be” and “to possess” men in equal proportions.

So when gay men “lust” after straight guys maybe they’re not after sex, but the male bonding freed from the complications of sex (inherent in gay-gay relationships like in hetero female-hetero male relationships). Growing up, gay adolescents are deprived of the innocent, nonsexual camaraderie of the football team, i.e., of necessary male bonding. Even if they play sports, the interaction takes on a different meaning for them than that of their straight counterparts. Perhaps the fetish for butch bodybuilders, manly military men is really a desire to know what it’s like to be a fully integrated part of that heterosexual male world – a holy grail never to be achieved by the inevitable sexualizing of the relationship by the gay man’s genes. (In fact, for me the thrill of being part of the testosterone-driven, hardcore punk scene in the eighties was the access it allowed to the “boys locker room.” It was the first time I’d ever experienced the pleasure of male bonding, being treated as just one of the guys even as I pined for those very same guys.)

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