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Gay Men Who Annoy Me

By Lavender August 14, 2008

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I think of myself as an agreeable, easygoing man who takes things as they come, goes with the flow, etc. But I confess that some things about gay men—or at least some gay men, predominantly, but not exclusively, younger gay men—annoy me.

Men Who Make a Big Deal Out of Being in Recovery

From crystal meth, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, heroin, whatever. My first reaction is: “Let me know when you’ve recovered.” My more truculent reaction is: “So, you’re really telling me that you were stupid enough to make yourself addicted in the first place, huh?”

We hear constant warnings about how addictive many drugs are. But they were the only person on earth who never heard any of those warnings? Or, they thought they were so special that they wouldn’t addict themselves? Then, too, an intense involvement in the process of “being in recovery” is pretty close to another form of addiction.

After all, despite the propaganda of the powerful Addiction Industry that drugs are almost impossible to quit, I figure most people will stop using a drug when the costs of using it—to health, to career, to friendships—outweigh the costs—in forgone pleasure—of not using it.


Men Who Wear Perfumes (Alias “Fragrances”)

I’m sure I’ve written about this before, or maybe just intended to, but if I am at a bar, and some guy walks past reeking of the perfume of the season, my lip curls in disgust. Louis XIV wore perfumes because he didn’t take baths, and was trying to cover up the inevitable result. Presumably, no one in the modern age has that excuse.

Why men douse themselves with some overpriced chemical concoction, I’ll never understand. Do they think it marks them as sophisticated? I’d say it marks them as gullible men who are way too influenced by advertising and image marketing. Perfume is in the same category as cigarette smoke. Enjoy it in the privacy of your own home, not when you are going to be in a closely confined space with others. Don’t pollute my air.

Then too, if the people who promote the pheromone theory of sexual attraction are right (although I don’t think they are), men shouldn’t want to overwhelm any subtle effects of their own pheromones.

Gay Men Who Talk Like Girls

By which I don’t mean voice pitch—most men’s voices deepen with age—but intonation. Primarily, this is in the form of ending a statement with a rising inflection as if it were a question. I have read that some young girls talk this way because they are socialized not to be too assertive.

Speech patterns are learned, so I doubt if it is some natural gay quality. Maybe young gay men pick it up from hanging around with girls when they are in school. For most, the speech pattern tends to drop away eventually, marking it as just another gender performance, and one of decreasing utility as they age.

And don’t get me started on the exaggerated verbal emphases in midsentence that some men fall into: “Cher was just sooo great when sang my favorite song, and wasn’t her costume simply to die for.” I suspect this is mostly a stereotype, but as with most stereotypes, this one has an element of reality behind it. Luckily, it seems to be dying out.


Diva Worshippers

I always have been suspicious of “diva worship,” because there seems to be an element of exaggerated enthusiasm in it, looking an awful lot like a camp response. Often, it attaches to aging divas, one-hit wonders, divas on the way down, or singers with well-known personal problems, but all of them still carrying on as if all were well.

To put it in a very condensed form, gay men are for obvious reasons largely immune to the diva’s sexuality or sensuality, but can be attracted to or fascinated by the performance of that sensuality, her effort to generate it for the audience. Gay men certainly know all about the performance of an image, and the distance between that and reality.

In a way, gay men use the distance they perceive between the performance of the diva’s program and the “performance” of sensuality the diva intends—the performance of her image—as a way of entertaining themselves and their friends.

At bottom, it feels exploitative and derisive.

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2 Responses to Gay Men Who Annoy Me

  1. Mike Janarch says:

    Regarding gay men and addiction:

    To some extent the victim should be blamed.

    I would guess many addictions begin with the urge to live in above average reality. Lots of gay guys (and straights as well) have very high expectations of what life will deliver. They must be a financial success, a physical success (i.e., the 6-pack hard body, etc.) a social success, a sexual success, an all-round Type A top performer, and more. Some recreational drugs give users that double extra kick that allows them to at least imagine they are surpassing previous experience. Ordinary sex just isn’t exciting enough. What is good for 20 minutes should be FANTASTIC for days. So, meth is chosen for its desired effects. Addiction isn’t an accident.

    We choose to drink – a lot or a little – depending on the effect we desire to have. Want to relax one’s inhibitions a little? Then one drinks with caution. Want Oblivion? Just keep drinking until you get there. Uppers, downers, hallucinogens–whatever it takes. Future addicts gravitate to the drug that will produce the desired effect.

    On the recovery side of addiction the addict finds another pot of gold: the instant community of everyone who is in the same recovering boat.

    To some extent cultural norms are also to blame (and most of us buy into these norms whether we are addicted or not). Being driven to achieve is a socially approved characteristic. Lots and lots of people who will never touch a recreational drug are in mad pursuit of goals which are just as irrational as using meth.

    Mike Janarch

  2. Damien Franklin says:

    Okay,
    I don’t know who The Lavender allows to write for them these days, and I realize that people are entitled to their own opinions, but this guy is obviously suffering from low self esteem, most likely because all the types of guys that he’s mentioned have either turned him down or called him a fat ass at some point. This article “reeks” of internalized homophobia and blatant ignorance, especially in regards to recovering addicts. Whether you planned on it or not, this magazine represents our community here in Minneapolis in a way that most organizations can not and when one ignorant, obviously rejected, fat ass gay man downs others in his own community for whatever reasons, then that sends a message that we’re not acceptable, even within our own communities. And just so you know, you’re little SPlash Bash this year sucked ass.

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