The delight of humanity is it's diversity in form, in thought, in action and in innovation. This of course extends over into categories of gender and sexuality and MSM. There comes a point though when preferences and fetishization are in the way of intimacy. A preference is something you would choose in optimum circumstances but it should be understood that this won't always be the reality. I might go to a restaurant and prefer to have lamb but they don't serve lamb so instead I choose to go with the veal. Not getting one's preference isn't settling, it's simply choosing something else and allowing that choice to shine and win you over. Flexibility of choice in one's life is where happiness and power lie.
Fetishization on the other hand is a very specific set of conditions or circumstances that have to exist for a person to feel satisfied. A fetish might be a preference to wearing leather when going out but I can't wear it everyday to work, so I'm pushing down my true desire for clothing that is more socially acceptable. I might even eventually shift my life to accommodate my fetish. Think of it this way your fetish doesn't allow (or tries not to) anything to get in it's way. A preference understands that it's a perfect storm choice.
Can you see where I'm going with this?
The obsession with perfect gym bodies and hyper masculinity has been fetishized though it's spoken of as a preference. The vast number of MSM who are alone fall into two distinct categories in my experiences around this.
- Men who want a perfect specimen and themselves are perfect specimens but lack emotional and manhood character skills and tools to to negotiate obtaining such a relationship.
- Men who have disregarded the information of mirrors and assumed their desire for perfect looking homosexual men is a preference and should be met.
Leftover are the rest of MSM who instead take a case by case basis and measure on the lines of character and understanding that people vary in their body types and sizes. Interestingly enough our human predilection for attraction and categorization for partners based on body type is really a reproductive section of healthy hunting ability and child production. I often have to remind men in workshops that just because their sexuality is not/not exclusively heterosexual it doesn't put them outside the realm of human biological and social forces/compulsions. Actually what I think is happening from relationship confusion all the way to men willingly infecting other men with HIV is the biological animal at war with the societal mismatch of sexual identity roles and place. That's a show/blog for another time to explore and unpack.
But on to men who like fat asses.
Suddenly two forces are confronting MSM that are somewhat biology based and society based. There are more men who are not slim, trim absolute natural weight men because of greater food storage and production capabilities introducing the ability to be obese. Or at least heavy. In order to de-mark the difference between heavy and obese, I'm going to have to give a general range. On the Body Mass Index scale, there's the approximate number of where a man's weight/height and BMI coincide. As you can see by the chart below red is obese, yellow overweight and white in the healthiest range.
We have to remember two factors both positive and negative. One this is general human male charting so it doesn't take into account how culture and ethnicity effect how one may've used one's body or is taught to sustain it. Two, being in the red range no matter how cute you feel or think you look is still more dangerous than not. What do I mean. Bluntly, the above chart was designed with White men in mind so for men of color the weight to height ranges might not jive with our body types and history and the way we consume food and exercise. We should also throw in that the construct of "gayness" and social homosexuality, what it looks like is largely a White centered construct. African and American and Latino men have historically had no choice but to follow along, it's only in the past twenty years or so that we've had the resources and out men to say "No, we're more like this because we are not that race."
But having birthed part of our sexual identity through a paradigm that may or may not fit us culturally, we've also adopted ideas that may or may not suit who we are. This thought has always been something I've known but in the realm of MSM and body type/image this came up as I was watching the Facebook news feed. As I'm sure everyone on Facebook does, you have "friends" who you're not particularly close to but there's a common friend or interest so you get their postings too. It's how the whole system works, it might even be how you got my blog or videos. That's not a bad thing. But what it also does is it allows and eye spy into more people and their thoughts/preferences then we might normally get. In a way that's what the internet does, it allows entry into another's thoughts and it demands that the other marshal the boundaries around their thoughts. It really is the 21st century technological telepathy. But on to my people point.
In the news feed of various individuals and groups, some men, MSM men post pictures of hyper masculine and pack, sweaty, 8 pack, semi to fully nude men not just regularly but constantly. Now like the previous examples this is both positive and negative. One, it's positive because it's men, who tend to be more visual in their sexual interest, following the biological drive for a percentage of men to see or look at or with technology have images of men, and sexualize it. Not negatively but oddly, that's being group shared. That group sharing I think is a level of fascinating that I can only speculate into. It only makes more sense when I give you the not positive, or possibly negative skew on this. None of the men, I'm think of a handful, they're Black and Latino, look like the perfect images they're posting (I once counted one guys posts about three dozen men a day.)
Let's really look at that. In simple terms, someone in the red, who's constantly in the BMI red and perhaps if we did a direct handsomeness facial measurement (there's actually a rating system for that that is simply biological---humans judge attractiveness by facial symmetry and the balance or imbalance. When we look at say a Brad Pitt or a Denzel Washington, part of what we're unconsciously measuring is how symmetrical their faces--It's called the Golden Triangle---are and using that knowledge to suggest how potent or fertile and healthy their genetic line/seed is. We're doing the same at Halle Berry and Charlize Theron. Remember we're biological humans before all of the social stuff is lain onto us. You can also see why there's an explosion in facial and body sculpting plastic surgery and why so many advertisements involving celebrities are face centered....and Photoshop is universally involved.) When you think someone is beautiful, not just overall attractive, but startling "perfect" we're looking for that symmetry or that person has done things to themselves to achieve that symmetry.
My mother ran a modelling agency for about a decade starting in my teenage years so there was a constant parade of really beautiful people in and out of the house. I was even charged with if I saw young people in my travels, who were really attractive, male or female, gay or straight to give them her card but she admonished me to trust my gut on it, not to be suckered in by thinking they were a "nice" person. Curiously while I even was prompted to do a photo shoot myself in swim trunks, suits and other things and I can now see the symmetry my mother and the photographer thought were camera friendly, I also learned to not be enamored with that symmetry. Even more ironically, have over the years because of this encouraged acceptance had lots of "beautiful friends and lovers mainly because I'm not as awestruck by them and we can have normal discourse.
Ah, are you starting to see where I'm going with the possibilities of no fats, no fems?
Back to the Facebook posters. I wonder and have considered directly asking them---what do you get out of posting men who you'll never meet, who in high probably might not even be homosexual or be attracted to you? Then I thought about what one of the levels of Facebook (yeah, after the Golden Triangle stuff---even the name is jumping off new suppositions, huh?) is about. A level of "see me" vanity or narcissism. Now some levels of narcissism can be healthy, it's a positive way of seeing our internal selves (confidence) and manifesting it outwardly *self esteem) but when we're not getting a steady diet of some of that social reinforcement to our inner selves we can often try and get it artificially. I would submit that the men who are constantly posting, not occasionally but I mean, that's what he DOES on Facebook pictures of hyper attractive men are trying to get some Gold Triangle....light.
Let's be honest, some people ain't Golden Triangle close in face symmetry, never were going to be and need to make sure their personality sparkles. That's good and cool. But some also learn the Mean Girls theory of cuteness. If you stand with lots of cute people constantly while it points out how less cute you are, it also tricks other humans into sometimes considering you more cute than you are. The guys doing the super posting---are truing to get some Golden Triangle side light cast onto them while also exampling their sexuality very publicly. It's a form of extreme vanity in a not so cute face.
Yeah, I said it!
I'll go even further out on a limb and suggest a level of internalized racial homo-superiority against themselves as the posters are Black and Latino, and I've watched their posts be of predominantly White men.
I said it!
But what about the FAT ASSES ?!
I know, a confusing mess right? Doing workshops on this topic is difficult because it crosses into narcissism, body image, social values, health, etc..
How do we reconcile all of the above to healthy self images and achieve our goals of sustained, good relationships. Do we check our dates on the BMI or by how worn out their New York Sports Club membership key-fob is? Do you get even more impractical and decide that you'll only date someone whose physicality and facial structure represent optimal health for offspring when try as they might, same gender have never procreated. Suddenly our biological imperative unconscious ability isn't of direct value. And even more scary as a man, how do you reconcile you're looking at a man for at the biological base, his reproductive capability which is also measured in hip, thigh and butt ratios,unconsciously? Are we then as MSM looking at perfect bodied men and denying that biological observation or are we looking to them as the only viable candidates?
And maybe if we take it to the deepest internalized extremes, maybe that's why there's such a judgment around fats and fems---they represent a biological urge that can't be fulfilled by design. Is the MSM community revulsion and judgment of them really self hatred at not being able to directly reproduce and therefore the obsession with perfect male beauty ideals the way we psychologically soothe ourselves from the deep unconscious sadness and rejection our biological desire being unfulfilled brings about?
So now you see (pun!) where this might leave you? Confused, relieved and hopefully a bit more open to your errors and your openness towards others of all shapes and sizes. I often tell groups of men that when they're together and bitching and moaning about there being no available or Good Men, what they're really revealing is how much of this construct, racial, societal, social, internal deficiency bullshit is on their windshields. Happy men who are dating and sexual and being flirted with and having fun keep their mental windshield wipers on so that their reality is internally consistent with the external one. They can therefore show their wonderful qualities no matter the Golden Triangle, 6 packed beauty of the car they're in. They can also spot other cars and see clearly not only the physical form but what's on the windshields and even more imperatively, what's inside.
Thank you for reading,
Thanks and enjoy! You can Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Channel 56 (Time Warner), 83 (RCN), 34 (Verizon) and the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast on http://kylephoenixsite.com/