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June 17, 2004

Too Sexy For My Shirt

One reason why the gulf between straight men and gay men will never be crossed--gay men think like women. Consider Andrew Sullivan's take on why straight men aren't the buff fashion plates that gay men are.

If women weren't so damn forgiving of slobbiness, if they weren't prepared to look for the diamond buried in the rough of a man's beer-belly, men might have to shape up a little. The only reason gay men are - on the whole - better turned out than straight men is because they have to appeal to other shallow, beauty-obsessed males to get laid, find a mate, etc. The corollary, of course, are lesbians. Now there are many glamorous lesbiterians, but even the most enthusiastic Sapphic-lover will have to concede that many are not exactly, shall we say, stylish. The reason? They don't have to be to attract other women; and since women find monogamy easier, they also slide into the I'm-married-so-what-the-hell-have-another-pretzel syndrome. When straight women really do insist on only dating hot guys, men will shape up.

His solution to the problem of straight men not being metrosexual enough is for women to become more like gay men. Once women start refusing to give it up to any man who isn't into tweezing his eyebrows, feng shui and hours at the gym, then tweezing, getting the position of the fainting couch just right and a love of ab crunches will magically appear in the straight male population.

Uh-huh. That's just what America needs--to become even more shallow and beauty obsessed.

It's bad enough that Andy buys into the cliché of gay men as pretty and shallow, though I suppose he has greater insight into that culture than I. What's worse is that his own experiences should teach him that not all gay men come straight from the set of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.

Speaking of QEFTSG, he should watch it with a group of straight men at some point, assuming he can get them to agree to watch it in the first place. Actual straight men, mind you, like the ones he's talking about above, not metrosexuals who've already bought into the Alan Aldaization of male physicality.

He might have to leave Provincetown entirely.

Here's how to do so yourself, should you be interested in the advancement of science. If you ask a man to watch "Queer Eye" with you and his initial answer is "Love to!", ask somebody else. If you have him read Kim Du Toit's essay on The Pussification Of The Western Male and he says "Hell, yea" at least once, that's a keeper.

Paying them to watch it would help. Handing out free beer and hot wings would also be a excellent choice. But, once they're assembled, the group's reaction to the typical "Woman brings in fab five to makeover her man" plot on QE might prove edifying, for it will be along the lines of "Bitch. He should f*cking dump her."

And he would too, if he wasn't so damn pussy-whipped.

The original post Andrew refers to comes from Eugene Volokh, publishing a female friends' rumination on sexiness. There's a clue there to the attitudes of straight men that Andrew misses.

But most men don't really want to be sexy; they want sexy to be them. I don't mean to man-bash, men are one of my favorite genders, but it's such a waste of resources. Like you, I know tons of great women. They're (list of all the good adjectives), and people want to be around them.

It's not that men want sexy to be them--they think sexy is them. Deep down, where it counts, your average straight man is Austin Powers. He just doesn't dress like him.

Clothes, teeth, physique and symmetrical features are part of what makes a person appealing, but by far the biggest asset when it comes to attracting the opposite sex is one's mental attitude. To the extent that they think about it all, and they don't think about it a lot--it's a woman's issue, like curtains and cellulite--most straight men are confident they're sexy. It doesn't matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. Blame testosterone, or willful blindness if you like, but that mental attitude is why women end up dating men one step up from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It doesn't matter whether gay men or even other women think he's sexy. What matters is whether he thinks he is--a quality that most straight men have in spades.

"You like my big hump, baby? I know you do. C'mere and gimme a little sugar."

Only one or two of the men in the group of friends I hung out with in my single days could charitably be described as sexy, and none of them were me--yet we all got 'tang like it was going out of style. We were hideous, and still are, but we were confident. We're all married now, and not a one of us would deny that we married up.

Much of the time we also ignored women in favor of....whatever the hell pointless bonding activities we happened to be involved with at the time, which got more or less the same reaction from women that waving a red towel at a bull does. Women can't stand being ignored. The more beautiful they are, the more shocking it is. It pulls them in like a tractor beam.

Men that don't have this innate confidence end up humiliating themselves eventually, either on something like Queer Eye, or in front of a parade of women who discover that they don't really care for men who twist themselves into knots trying to please them.

You know the cliché "Nice guys finish last?" That's where it comes from. Guys who change in order to please women will, 9 times out of 10, be cast aside in favor of those who are more comfortable in their own skin, no matter how much of it there is. So, for those men who, in the words of Volokh's female friend

...don't listen, and won't; they won't get a real job; they're boring but don't want to acknowledge it or do anything about it.

Keep on keeping on, fellas. Don't pay any attention to a woman who wants you to change before she will condescend to accompany you about town. For every female that demands that there are two or three just as pretty, just as smart and just as accomplished who'll take you, in the words of Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones, "Just as you are."

Posted by Bigwig at June 17, 2004 04:48 PM | TrackBack
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You reveal your Southern upbringing when you have your mythical confident man proclaim,"Gimmee a little sugar.". Confidence on top of confidence, that what that is.

Posted by: Rich at June 19, 2004 02:41 PM
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