More than a...

text. estefanía vela       photo. bryan rodríguez        cover photo. emci photo

I do believe that we owe the erotization of the masculine body to gay men. It's not that heterosexual men are not desirable. It's simply that the reasons that make them desirable have little to do with their bodies. Power, intellect, humor, kindness (this one less frequently) are what make heterosexual women go "nuts" to the point where they see their men with lust.If their physiques are beautiful or not, strong or not, grabbable or not, it doesn't matter. When it comes to women being the objects of desire the opposite tends to occur: stereotypically, it is always about the body when it comes to lust.

But this is exactly what fascinates me about gay culture (allow me now to call it so). The male body is celebrated. And it is celebrated in all its forms. Not just in the over-worked, over-pumped, perfectly sculpted, Tom of Finland body type. Yes, there are many who spend their days at the gym, obsessed with building their pecs to perfection, of having the perfect ass, the perfect jawline, the perfect arms. The emphasis on clothing (and what clothing indeed!) and accessories are key for many gays. But there are also the bears: plump, stocky, hirsute. Out of context: an ordinary heterosexual. A trashy, wife-beating wearing, tough guy. But in this world: the bear's a sex symbol. The gut, the excess body hair, the giant arms, everything becomes a fetish. It is the body –besides the attitude, obviously– that makes some guys drool over them.

It is that love for the male body... Each and every inch and corner. Each cavity. Limb. Organ. Contour. What stands out most about gay porn, for instance, is that there is no limit for the desire of the body. In straight porn, everything revolves around the penis. In gay porn, you have armpits, nipples, testicles, anus, the back, the lips... everything is a playing field. The male body is desirable in itself... in all its glory. It is not just about what it can do (fuck), but about what one can do to it (fuck it).

This is where I see traditional heterosexuals with sadness. All I can see is everything that they are missing out on. Freedom is not only about letting women "take command" and be on top. It is not just about women fucking men with their pussies. It is about women taking possession of men in their entirety. It is about men's entire bodies becoming women's playgrounds. Men could experience more than what their penises feel. They could feel more than what their mouths feel. Their skins are tapestries and their bodies sultry crannies.

It is not just heterosexual women but heterosexual men that suffer from degradation in mainstream porn (and mainstream sex). Just like women are nothing but a body, men are not even an entire body. They are nothing more than a penis. An over-excited penis that gets aroused too quickly and tired after just a couple of bangs. What a pity.

But heterosexual men are not the only ones that need to change. Their women must also change. They need to be willing to explore new territories. Learn to see them in a different light. To use their fingers and tongues and hands and feet and eyes and nose in (until now) unimaginable ways. Something which is not always easy.

It's not only about denouncing women's reduction to holes. One must also denounce the reduction of men to phalluses. And one must learn from the men and women who have transcended these simplistic forms of erotization. Today, the gay community can offer a glimpse into what it is to desire, in all senses, a man. Which is why I find it fascinating. Although, it must be said: a liberation –or is it queering?– is occurring in the heterosexual realm. Hopefully, this will become more and more evident everywhere. How men dress, how women approach them, the pornography they produce, the sex they actually have. It would be beautiful. An egalitarian sexuality, in which both of them are everything the body can be. Objects of desire and subjects that desire, subjects of desire and objects that desire and play back. Yumm.

P.S. In case one wonders: I know there are heterosexual men who demand to be pleasured beyond their penises. And I know that there are women who happily do so. And I know that not all homosexual men explore their entire bodies –or their partners'– for that matter. In this sense, although I allow myself to speak in generalizations, I know that there are many exceptions to these stereotypes. I hope everyday there are more, up to the point in which these differentiations become irrelevant. Until then, I believe these categories to be useful to shed some light over certain behaviors and trends.

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