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The Talon House

Setting Things Straight


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When I was a teenager, there was a place in downtown Cleveland, Ohio known as the mall. This was not a shopping center but a spacious, isolated stretch of land situated around a water fountain. It was the center of homosexual activity in the city and was such a notorious cruising area that the very mention of the "mall" provoked laughter. If someone said they saw you there, they were calling you a fag.

Gay guys haunted the area in search of sex. Male hustlers eagerly unzipped for any queer willing to pay for the privilege of kneeling before them. Apart from having to pay for their pleasure, gay guys put themselves at considerable risk. Beatings and robberies were not out of the question, and, for closet queens, there was always the threat of blackmail and arrest.

The hustlers were generally straight: young men indulging the desires of homosexuals but only for the money. Gay liberation seemed likely to make such play for pay arrangements extinct, but every so often I'll read a personal ad placed by a gay guy that reads something like this: "Straight man wanted to receive oral pleasure. No reciprocation wanted. Nothing for you to do but sit back, relax, and enjoy."

It's a rare homosexual who hasn't had a crush on a straight guy. As a boy first becoming aware of his sexuality, the young queer is surrounded by heterosexuals. He may become infatuated with a straight guy, fantasize about him and even seek his favor. Flattered or maybe simply amused by this attention, the straight boy may agree to let his queer admirer perform oral sex on him. For the straight boy, the experience is of little consequence. For the gay boy, it is his first sexual experience, and, therefore, of monumental importance. But no matter how gratifying the experience, it can never be anything more than a one-sided arrangement.

Once the gay boy matures, becomes more accepting of, and open about, his sexual orientation, he has the opportunity to meet other gay guys including a man who can return his love as fully as he gives it, a man who will share his life, as well as his body.

But what of the gay guy who never stops wanting to cross his bow with a straight arrow?

In Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano's The Joy of Gay Sex, recently updated in a third edition, the authors state the belief that such gay men are victims of society's homophobia and I agree. Having accepted the view that homosexuals lack masculinity and are failed men, they shun their own kind and believe it is their destiny to debase themselves for the pleasure of real men. These real men undoubtedly share society's contempt for homosexuals and see their gay admirers as faggots deserving of humiliation. Somewhere along the line, the gay guy may even crave humiliation and find sex unfulfilling without it.

It's a vicious circle and a pattern that is difficult to break. The gay guy's life will consist of towering peaks - the erotic gratification from servicing straight men - and the lowest valleys - the shame that follows self-abasement and the loneliness that results when the straight stud returns to his girlfriend and the gay guy is abandoned, sexually satisfied but emotionally starving.

How does one break free from such a self-destructive course?

The first step is to recognize the problem and identify its origins. If you were frequently bullied in your youth, harassed and ridiculed as a faggot, you may still be feeling the sting of such treatment. But coming out of the closet and accepting yourself for who you are can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. If you're not out, come out. Then get involved in the gay community where you can meet other homosexuals, ones who have accepted their sexual orientation but not the shame and self-loathing that society insists is part of the package.

If you think that being homosexual makes you unmanly, meeting other gay men will surely correct that impression. Some gay guys are so butch that those who've only been exposed to the effeminate stereotype would be shocked to learn what really goes on in their bedrooms. But keep in mind that every gay man is a real man regardless of his mannerisms or dress. It could be argued that the effeminate homosexual is the manliest of all. Only a real man, secure in his own skin, can dare to reject the standards that society insists all boys meet to qualify for membership in the masculine fraternity.

Before you can accept love, you have to love yourself. Every gay man who chooses to debase himself for straight men should examine the motives for his behavior, and, if the homophobia charge is justified, work to correct it. No matter how fabulous the sex, it is but a shadow of the thrill that accompanies true love.


Staff writer for date.info a webzine of date.com

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