The Unbearable Straightness of Gayness

I’d like to talk about male sexuality, straightness, and gayness. I won’t be addressing female sexuality in any detail as I’m a straight cisgendered white guy. Gonna write what I know.

Anyway, ever notice how there’s something very . . . gay about aggressively straight guys?

You know what I’m talking about. Guys being manly with guys about guys doing guy things. The bros that seem to be so into bros you wonder why they aren’t deeper into bros if you know what I mean. The guys so big on guyness your gaydar melts down because there’s so much guy you wonder if you got a vowel wrong . . .

And you’re speculating someone’s closet is used for more than socks.

There’s something very gay about guys being really, aggressively straight. I call this The Tom Of Finland Phenomena, after the artist who drew very gay scenes of super-masculinity.

And I’ve got a Theory On That.

Signals And Actions

So let’s talk humans and signals. Humans are social creatures, creatures of communication, even moreso than other creatures. With words and glances and actions and tone we’re constantly communicating. We’re often not aware of it (which explains many a social faux pas), but we do it.

Sex is all about communication.  If you think about it, life and reproduction is transmission of information, so sex and communication are impossible to disentangle.  Sex involves a lot of forms of communication.

When it comes to sexuality, we need to send signals to attract a mate. What makes us desirable? What do we offer? What’s good about us? What are you doing Friday?

Sex is about communication with mates. But that’s not the only form of communication.

We also warn off rivals. We show how great we are. We show we got there first. We ward someone off with a glance or a snarky comment. We have a talk with our best friend that maybe he should back off.

So we’ve got to warn off people, be it by an aggressive display or making them realize who’s with who. There’s a “warding” aspect to sexuality.

We also bond with people over sex. Not the people we have sex with, but the people we relate to – our friends, our group, our mentors. We learn from them or teach them about finding mates (or one-night stands). We share war stories and funny tales or brag or ask where we can get that rash looked at.

Sex is about finding someone, about warding off rivals, and something we bond over.  At no point does this seem to matter if you’r gay, straight bisexual, or whatever. These are basic human traits.

For that matter “sexual preference” and “sexual identity” can be pretty damn fluid. I’m straight, but let’s talk Chris Evans for a moment.

Because Woof.

Because Woof.

But at some point straight behaviors, as noted, seems . . . kinda gay.

And when you break down the different ways people communicate, I know why.

Let’s Talk Bros Before Knows

Let’s take a look at stereotypical hyper-masculine behavior. The stuff that is so straight male that we’re thinking it’s gotten a bit gay. Or a lot of gay, no matter how many claims of “no Homo” are made.

Stereotypical hyper-masculine (and indeed toxicly masculine behavior) is aggressive. It’s posturing. It’s often angry. It’s bragging. It’s a constant kind of showing off.

(It is also, to judge by many straight women I know a turnoff if that’s all there is).

We know people like this. We’ve known them in real life, and see it in Internet Tough guys and forum-bragging. And we wonder about them because there’s just something . . .  off here.

Let’s unpack this.

These are guys bragging and showing off. Their behavior is macho posturing. They’re either warding off rivals or forming social bonds with others who act like them.

What’s not in there is mate-seeking. Oh sure they talk about it, they talk about it a lot, but there’s a lot of talk and very little long-term growth. It’s talking scores like a video game – it’s bragging.  Talk of mate-seeking is really about showing off how great you are or warding off rivals to look tough.

These are people engaging in two of the three social behaviors, but not actual mate seeking or fitness for mates.  It’s a bit hard to believe from the average macho posturer that women really want a self-centered “alpha male stud” whatever who’s managed to take the worst parts of metrosexuality and retrograde behavior to create an unholy fusion of annoyance.

Also, when you look closer at hyper-masculinism, the female is often excluded. One is to avoid femminine behavior. One is to be “a man.” In some further spheres of pick-up artistry and political extremism, women are downright degraded (by the people who want to sleep with them, whichseems weird).

An extreme posture or position inevitably leads to exclusion. Hyper-masculinity excludes the feminine.

When it’s guys being guys around guys to get the interest of guys, while excluding women and female traits, it seems pretty damn gay.  It’s so about men that it becomes kind of a mobius strip of suspected closeted behavior.

Looking A Bit Further

So in a nutshell I think that hypermasculinity seems gay as it’s all aggressive performances for other men in a way that is so exclusive of women you wonder. When you’re showig off for your bros, we wonder if that’s really where your mate-seeking behavior is directed.

I’ve also wondered if part of this is the appropriation of macho steretypes by gay culture (again, Tom of Finland). Gay people in cultures with hypermasculine elmenets could adopt them out of mockery, parody, or commentary – certainly I’ve seen that in gay culture over the decades, from the village people to macho-themed bars out here in the Bay Area. Much as history is replete with sexually ambituous mystics like the Berdache, maybe you can play Holy Fool in order to kill some Sacred Cows.

This explanation helps me finally grasp what I was getting to. Straight men who are obsessed with other men, showing off for other men, and excluding the femminine are going to give people the impression they’re kind of closeted or confused.  Maybe they are.  Even more ironic because most “hypermasculine” types I meet are homophobes, since they’re so big on being manly.

Maybe the best way to be manly, whatever that really is, is to remember women.
Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 3/30/2015

Hello gang, not too much to say today. I’m coming down from a pretty busy time, recovering, and finishing undone chores.

First of all, I’m doing an Undead Generator over at Seventh Sanctum, so stay tuned.

Working on some new writing plans for MuseHack.  I’m focusing on culture for awhile -and I HAVE to revive Civic Geek somehow.

I AM now planning my next books, so stay tuned.

I’m also probably going to do more here – but turn the newsletter into a blog feed to make it easier.

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

A Few Dollars Makes The Difference

In the Bay Area, rent and housing prices are an important topic of discussion since that’s where no small amount of your paycheck goes.  I was out recently with friends, when the subject came up, and someone mentioned a person they knew who took an insane commute so they could avoid insane rents.  They had few options.

In The Bay Area, there seem to be these weird cutoff points in rental options.  Make X amount of money and you can live in this area, but X plus even a few hundred more a month opens up new options.  As one gets more and more options, you end up almost being able to save money – because you can, say, afford an expensive apartment on public transport and ditch a car.  Or one can live near work and cut commute time – and use that to do a part-time job or run a startup.

It’s not just that you have to spend money to make money.  When you have money, sometimes you can save time and money or make more time and money.

A boss of mine once ditched her car, lived in a small studio near public transport in the expensive area of San Francisco – and came out ahead financially.  She had all of San Francisco as her playground, a great job, and plenty of options.  But ironically, to save that money she needed to make enough to live in a place where she needed less.

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

 

Build Your Own Jim Jones

This article on how ISIS and the LRA maintain their cultic hold over their followers is fascinating. It’s well worth reading on many levels, and concludes with the fact that we can break cults by getting inforrmation to followers. Cults after all control information, build whole worlds for people to inhabit in their own minds.

However what happens when people create their own echo chambers?

I’ve been contemplating lately how the internet lets us build echo chambers. How we can find narrow communities to tell us just what we want to hear. How we can use a tool to learn anything to experience more of nothing.

I’ve no doubt many of us have encountered people well down the internet echo-chamber. I’ve seen it among game geeks and anti-vaxxers, and of course among many political spheres. The world is at their fingertips and they want to wear gloves.

As we face various terrorist groups that are cultic, we may want to ask how we’re going to deal with people who have decided to become cultic. People with options. People without a gun to their head. People who have a choice?

They just chose to find their own guru or empower one.

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 3/23/2015

Hello everyone and I hope you’re doing well!  Busy here as always, but I’m hoping for some sanity.

I started a new job so that’s kept me busy, though as it’s a contract it’s not going to involve as much overtime.  I’m just adjusting to a somewhat different schedule.

As for what I’m doing next, I’m getting my plans in order after the last few crazy weeks.  More cooking, writing at Muse Hack and Seventh Sanctum, and hopefully new generators!

I also want to try to do more writing.  At Muse Hack I’m also going to explore some social issues of geeks to branch out a bit.

Also I really need to update CivicGeek – it’s been awhile.

So let’s see how the weeks to come go!
Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 3/9/2014

Apologies again for the limited updates. A lot’s been going on.

I’ve been working on a job change, and my stepfather just passed away, on top of the usual business. At this rate I’d like to discuss a lot of things in detail, but I’m actually too tired. Well, jet lagged – I got caught in all that mess due to the weather.  Oh and it’s daylight savings time.

My stepfather’s funeral was respectful and positive The guy was full of stories and everyone had a story about him – the man is his own memorial. He’s someone to emulate.

I’m hoping now to actually be doing more here, so stay tuned. I just now have a wedding (not my own) coming up . . .

I am now discussing my next books (yes, books) with people, as I’ve now got enough ideas and mojo going to get going. Well, post-wedding.

Yeah.  I need a break.
Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Rooster Sauce: Take 2

My second go at making Sriracha.  This version is now almost too hot, but has a far more complex and satisfying taste than the all jalapeño version.  Using multiple forms of pepper, and probably more garlic, really added a lot to the dish.  Really all I think I have to do now is adjust the heat, which probably means halving the habanero and adding one more red pepper.

Note when the mash ferments, the scent changes radically over time – initially it had a sharp and rather unappealing scent, but it mellowed and matured into something far more unified in scent and, obviously, taste.

Please note when chopping peppers – wear gloves and goggles.  Yes, goggles – I keep a pair of goggles for when I cook with irritating foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs red chili peppers; Fresno, jalapeño, or Serrano
  • 4 habanero peppers
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 8 Tbsp crushed garlic cloves garlic (24 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  1. Remove stems and split jalapeño and habanero peppers. Dice the red pepper.
  2. Puree all ingredients but red wine vinegar and soy sauce in blender/food processor into a coarse mix.
  3. Place mix in airtight jar. Leave for seven days, stirring once a day with a wooden spoon.
  4. Place mixture into pan with vinegar, bring to boil, simmer 5 minutes, let cool. Stir.
  5. Place mixture into a strainer over a bowl. Press mixture with wooden spoon repeatedly to drain all the liquid.
  6. Add soy sauce to drained liquid. Pour liquid into bottle via a funnel.
  7. Store in refrigerator. It should keep for three months, maybe as long as six.

 

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 5/22/2015

Certainly not a lot of these lately?  That’s because of a lot of crazy:

  • Work changes, though I expect to have that clear up soon.
  • Some health crises in the family.  That keeps things on edge, needless to say.

I’m managing to extract myself, but to be fair I’ve seriously underestimated my workload in and out of life.  Which is a good lesson, but  . . . damn.

Now on the plus side as I extract myself I’m getting back to my projects and hope to have more soon.

 

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 2/2/2015

Been awhile everyone!

So what’s been up?

First, busy at work, which is why so few updates.  I mean really busy with work and work-related tasks.  I’ve had to even reign in some social activities, so you can guess my other projects are similarly limited.

I did present at AODSF and it went awesome.  I focus on my Networking event at Muse Hack, and this is one that should probably go into my permanent inventory of things I do.

Haven’t done much at Seventh Sanctum beyond doing Way With Worlds due to being busy.  I still want to do the Magic Power Generator, but may do a few more “recreational” generators just to get the mojo going.

There’s a few things on hold that I’ll go into when I am actually going to start them so stay tuned.

Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 1/3/2015

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!

Not too much to report right now.  Let’s see where I am:

I’m considering my next generator plans at Seventh Sanctum.  I want to do the Plot Twist generator, but admit the Writing Prompt Generator gave me pause as I have to think how I can do it right.  Still, i want to do it, because it was requested and after seeing how the Writing Prompt Generator went over, I see it as very useful.

Beyond that generator I have the Magical Power Generator and a few more ideas.  In the year to come I have a few non-generator ideas I hope to work on.

Writing-wise, the redone MuseHack has really got some good stuff coming.  I’ll be speaking on geek health in the coming week, and plenty more to come in the future.

If you’re in the SF Bay Area, be sure to come by AODSF, I’m going to be doing some great presentations there!

How’s your New Year’s looking so far?
Respectfully,

- Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/.

He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.