My esteemed colleague – who, whilst married to a woman, has tattoos and suchlike – used messagerie instananée to ask me what sort of lads I fancied.

I don’t like talking about this with straight people. My other esteemed colleague, invariably found in a suit despite being under 30, queried me on what “gay guys” notice first in a man (“Girls seem to go eyes, hands, shoes, watch”). I project this question onto the expectation that inverts all get along just famously with girls. We get along so famously that we go out together, let our eyes wander, and feel oh-so-free to blurt out whatever we want about whatever hunk o’ meat lumbers by. After all, we both like guys!

The problem is: You aren’t one!

Some of us are a big zero when it comes to girls. We’re not sexist; we just don’t care. You think we’re a –1, but we’re not; we’re a big zero, and as far as we’re concerned, so are you. We can’t relate. I quite hope you can understand that; four decades of liberal feminism have misled women that any man who doesn’t immediately cut his balls off on request is sexist. We like our balls, thank you very much. We just don’t want to talk about them with you.

Our kind don’t get any press, because girls are in no rush to accept that they simply don’t matter to some people. But that’s understandable; fags are equally surprised to learn that some straight people – including the straight guys they so fervently wish they were like – don’t give a shit about them, either. Nobody likes to be ignored. But really, girls, you have to get used to it, and to the implication that we aren’t really interested in discussing our intimate details with you. It’s nothing personal; we just don’t want to think about what you’d be doing with the guys we like. We don’t want to have to deal with female sexuality and in particular with female genitalia. We leave that to the flamers, who, quite possibly until this very moment, you thought were the only kind of gay men in the entire world.

For the group I discuss here, the most excruciating television program in history was Sex and the City, and praise God it’s finally over. (At this point in the narrative, you remain convinced this way of life is functionally equivalent to sexism. You need to meet a few real sexists. In the meantime, we will overlook your reflex slander.)

The straight guys who actually take an interest in us are great. We love them. But we can’t really talk about our sexualism with them because they’re implicated in it by being male. Just as years of TV shows about child abuse have made adults jittery about touching children in any way whatsoever, the fact that homosexual panic ever even entered the collective imagination makes us worry about giving the wrong impression. We like our balls, thank you very much, but we don’t want to talk about them lest someone think we’re really talking about yours.

Interestingly, the tendency of the Web to expand and collapse distance all at once makes it easy for us to write about our sexual natures. But, for the love of God, don’t make us talk about it face to face. How mortifying.

For ’04, as has previously been adduced here, the answer to my first esteemed colleague’s question is “compact and æsthetically appealing.” One need not have red hair or be black, for example, though these categories are overrepresented in my History. I will provide the seemingly inconsequential addendum that proportions trump everything, as they have from time immemorial.

There’s a reason ancient statuary looks the way it does. Broad, square shoulders, a narrow waist, and something resembling muscle tone will light up the room. If you’re even slightly too tall or have arms that are even trivially too short or if you’re simply a stick insect, you won’t thread the needle and your key won’t fit the lock. You won’t even rate.

But if your slots turn up cherries, I’ll spot you from around the corner and I’ll want to fight off your accompanying flock of acolytes to get at you. You, however, will not even glance my way unless we’re in the shower at the Y and you happen to be a fetishist of some kind. This, you see, is my tragedy.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.05.01 21:12. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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