[NSFW] Men of Courage – Men of Colors
Dealing with the internal emotive pain we men bear.
So my Human Sexuality class at school kicked me squarely in the rubber parts. I sorta love it when that happens. Not cause it causes emotive pain on my part – I am just not into S/M (not that there’s anything wrong with it – I get the whole endorphin release shit that comes out of the pleasure/pain dichotomy).
So a couple of blog posts ago I entered a small section regarding the (young) men in that class that went a little bit like this…
… the young men tried to project that they were über cool with it. They had it down. They were bonafied stud material.
Some of those young men walked in with no small degree of swagger – all tatted up and seemingly confident in their skins. Their body language professing their assumed comfortability with the topic and their prowess in the bedroom (or whatever room is at hand).
Yeah, normally I am trying really hard in a new situation to be a bit more open minded and accommodating as everyone in a new class room scenario gets acquainted. It’s how I was brought up. Be warm and welcoming as you can be or as comfortable as they’ll let you. No need to be pushy about it. right? I mean, we’re all going to be spending quite a bit of time talking about (whisper mode):
And for me, of course, that meant I was focusing on the man on man S-E-X.
Not so for most of the guys in that class. But here’s the rub: I got a little surprise from a guy in class – all tatted up with full sleeves and across the torso, up the neck to his jawline – complete leg ink work too. I didn’t think there was much of him that wasn’t covered in color. From his walk and demeanor he looked like he’d seen and experienced a helluva lot for his young years. He was decidedly young – except for the eyes. His eyes were weary already with a hard life. My heart sort of went out to him without realizing it.
He was the one I had commented before leading the straight male brigade in the classroom. A guy he buddied up with sat one aisle over from him in the next seat and they already started to form a bond. I always like watching two guys do that. Men can do this rather easily. We have to. That brotherhood thing is really something fierce. If we can find common ground and it clicks – it’s pretty fucking intense. I’ve written about this before, and there’s plenty scientific evidence to support this trait amongst males in general.
A part of me felt excluded but I came to realize I was the one doing the excluding. That became apparent when the professor broke us up into smaller groups and the two guys turned to me and asked if I wanted to be in their group. We gathered two other men and a single woman into our little discussion group.
While I won’t go into the details of what was revealed (because we had an agreement in class that we wouldn’t) what I will say is that these young people truly astounded me with their candor. I’d like to think I engendered some of that as I made it clear about my family life and how my parents raised me that whatever topic was at hand at the dinner table – we talked about it. No subject too sacred. I think these guys got that. They liked the camaraderie.
But here’s the rub, here’s where my tatted new found friend (at least I’d like him to be for the duration of the class) kicked me square in the teeth (mentally, that is). In the course of our conversation he relayed how he discovered what sex was about, the abrupt way it was foisted on him at a very young age. The neglect and abandonment he clearly felt to be thrown into that heady adult world well before his teen aged years and mind could wrap his head around it. As if that weren’t enough to lay bare what he’d gone through in those very early years, he expressed how something traumatic had happened to him that relates to the course work (something we’ll study later on) and how his mother, rather than being supportive at a time when her son probably desperately needed it – she laughed at him.
Fuck. Me. Running…
I couldn’t imagine that sort of response to a child (even if by this time he was 13). For fuck sake he’s still struggling at that age to sort shit out – laughing is not going to give him what he needs to feel like he’s safe to sort it out. The pain from that moment was evident in his eyes.
Gone was the impression I had of cockiness and swagger. I mean he could definitely put that essence out there. He had it in spades, but for that one moment, he laid it bare. The pain clearly there. Fuck me, that was courage, that was. I knew he’d done some time, even before he said it. I can usually tell those things. Incarceration does something to men that hardens them in a way that only serves to point out how fucked up our “rehabilitation” system is and how epically we’ve failed as a society to see to our own.
Yes, there are some truly bad seeds out there – chemically imbalanced from some sort of birth defect. But those are very, very rare. I think that a great deal of the men (and women) who have had to deal with that harsh aspect of life were put there by forces that were much bigger than themselves, and they were just trying to get along as best they knew how, and with what little support they had to do so.
But here, this young man, reset my every impression about him in those few brief moments. And in that he rose. He said everything very quietly, very intently, with focus. Laser like focus. He said he had a little boy on his way. He and his girlfriend (or wife – we never did clarify) were expecting. Those bright eyes focused and darkened a bit, and he said very pointedly that he was going to make sure he did right by his boy and that he’d never feel that way or that he would ensure that the boy would grow up know how to treat women right. Not make the mistakes that he himself had made (and clearly regretted).
Powerful. Potent. A part of me was humbled by his journey.
And let’s be clear – While I don’t have a single tattoo on my body, I admire those who do. These men of words and images. They fascinate me in ways that I can’t begin to describe. And it’s not the whole bad boy thing that used to accompany it. No, it’s more that they have the courage and fortitude to emblazon their thoughts and desires that are so deeply felt onto the fabric of their skin. They are emotively expressing what it means to be male in their lives with the single canvas they’ve been naturally gifted with – themselves. That’s bang on brilliant in my book. It’s not about the pain they endured to get inked up as much as my classmate did. It was that there was care or thought behind what they expressed and had etched into themselves. It’s a very beautiful thing.
I’ve had it far easier than he. Sure I had trials and tribulations to deal with on my own path to bring me to that moment in that class, but nothing quite like the path that this young man had endured.
I am gonna write about a character like that at some point. It might be skewed to fit into the worlds I write, but he impressed me greatly. His courage and fortitude to rise above what life had handed him, this man of colors, emblazoned on his skin, was awesome. And it was decidedly male. As a writer, nothing is headier than that to me.
In addition to this whole thing, my teacher has asked for assistance from a technical sort of level, and given that is my area of expertise, I offered to assist. Hey, I got out of an exam for my troubles – so what the hell, right?
One problem, the survey is a series of open ended questions on sexual experiences. Now, given that most scientific oriented surveys are stipulated and built upon common answer questions (Gender: M/F – that sort of thing), this one seems to present a problem that could skew (at best) the results or (at worst) be nearly impossible to draw any real tangible evidence with which to adequately report. So yeah, while I think the idea of gathering other’s experiences is rather a treasure trove of ideas to mine from, obviously I will keep my eye to the task and our original agreement of non-disclosure of specifics.
But all of this got me to thinking about sex – and in particular – sex of the M/M variety.
In my stories, the men have already moved past the am I gay or not. That quest, while each journey can be rather interesting doesn’t always inspire me to write. I’d much rather come from the standpoint of – They’re together (already) – so then what happens?
Of course there’s gonna have to be forces that conspire to draw them apart. We humans love our drama (even when it devolves into melodrama) – no one comes to a happy Opera, right? What would be the point? We respond to strife. We respond to rising above adversity.
And part of me is just tired of all the straight pairings going on. I want a much more queer world. Jeezus, I’d like it to be come so common place that the social construct would just become inured to it like most straight couplings. See people for being people rather than the sex they’re having, ya know, sex with.
But sadly, my new friend in class is not the only one to bear pain. Despite how much we’ve progressed – we still have instances like this:
[NOTE: This video exhibits extreme violence against a gay person by HIS PARENTS – it is as horrid as it is reprehensible. BE WARNED!]
A gofundme.com fund has been set up to support this unfortunate young man (Daniel) and he has responded to those generous and caring people. If it truly takes a village to raise a child, then this village rose up and met that challenge. Daniel’s response to what has happened to him from the greater global community follows the horrific exchange between him and his parents:
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Please give what you can to this young man as he is truly alone at this point from what I can tell. Let him know that there are others in this world who will embrace him and give him the respect and love he deserves.
We must truly stamp out this abhorrent and reprehensible form of parenting and child rearing. If the village must rise to meet the challenge, then rise we must. I truly hope that Daniel (and so many others like him) find a helping hand in this world.
It is what has been burning within me – what has been pressing at my insides to help people like Daniel who are forced out of the only home they’ve known.
I truly want to find a way to contribute to that cause on a very personal level. I just feel this desire to let them know – I see you, I feel for you and I want to help.
While Daniel might be coming out of the worst part of his life over this, it won’t be the last time we hear of such a story.
It’s those poor souls I am terrified for. Those poor kids who don’t deserve what’s coming. It’s to them that I think about often.
I know it may sound cliche, that it might even sound trite, but if I won the lottery, I know I’d put a good chunk of it aside to do something about this. I’d want my legacy to be that I rose up and provided a path for others as unfortunate as Daniel.
For their sake, I’d like to think I’m up for the challenge.
Until next time…
Author’s Note: This is a converted blog entry. It was originally published on 04.18.14 @ 10:15pm, US Pacific.
[NSFW] Not Safe For Work entry! Fair Warning…
So today I’ve been thinking. Thinking about my first novel. It’s dark, it’s messy, it’s balls to the wall, in your face covered in man-spooge aggressive. And I really can’t find it within me to make any apologies for that. It is what it is…
This is all over the map – I make no apologies for that. I’m in a mood…you’ve been warned.
So here’s the deal: Men are messy.
Even when we’re neat and tidy and orderly like a soldier straight outta the military, we’re messy. I’m talking about sex. Man sex. Men being the big boys that we are, and being thoroughly unapologetic about it. The only reason there is anything that remotely resembles going all sappily romantic and flowery (as it seems to permeate every facet of the M/M romance genre as of late) is that women are involved. Not that gay men don’t get romantic – there’s just a line in the sand where it gets too damned girly. ‘Sides, inside we still are… messy.
Boys like mess. It’s what we do best. Gay/straight – it don’t make a bit of difference. Don’t get me wrong. We can be orderly when called for. Men like rules. It’s how we like to run our lives. Responsibilities are born out of the rules that were handed to us, rules we follow or consciously choose not to follow. And somewhere along the line it gets messy.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Take real M/M sex.
Euphoric bliss much?
From what I’ve read in the genre (which is primarily marketed towards women – as a gay man I find that really astounding) – the m/m sex in it (often written by women who, I suppose, are trying to eke out what goes on in the male psyche in their burgeoning relationships as they come together, meander apart for whatever reason, only to ensure they have a big fat HEA (Happily Ever After) in the end). And if it’s anything I rail against, it’s formulaic writing structures. It may sell books but it sure as hell ain’t literature.
And before anyone in the genre starts to cackle like a hen being chased by a hungry fox – I ain’t saying my shit is high flying literature or that we have to aspire as such. But why couldn’t we? For me there is something transcendent in how two men who come together willingly in a clash of muscle, mouths and bones, so to speak. But what it is, for me at any rate, is honest to goodness male thinking about things that erotically charge my juices (along with a few of my gay male friends about all things – well, uh, male).
Yeah, I know that sounds exclusionary. Look, as a community we’ve been hounded from all sides – ‘too much gay shit on TV, too many songs about gays, too many… whereas I am saying – why isn’t there MORE of it? That’s my reality. That’s the world I move in. You know what it is: It’s all very tiring.
My latest gripe across ALL MEDIA – print or otherwise – is how much in our faces the “success” of a man in any advertisement/movie/tv show, is measured on whether he has some chick tagging along in his wake or trailing behind him in some skimpy getup (and let’s be fair to the ladies, I also don’t like it because not only on account of the guy who seems to need her to establish his studly qualities, but I think it demeans the woman/women in the scene as well). I don’t want my granddaughter thinking this is how her success is measured – by some guy she has to catch. Nuh uh, brother. We need to shit can that crap now.
Another thing I am so tired of? Having to translate the fucking straight world to my own experiences. Substituting the girl for me when I am NOT a fucking girl! If anything I think I might just being going gay militant (at least insofar as my writings go – maybe even beyond by the timbre of my rant here) in my literary worlds.
Way I figure it, somewhere someone else may want to read it. But really I’ve decided I am gonna write my shit my own way. Just get it out there one way or another and not translate or succumb to some marketing ploy/trend in order to appease some quick selling formula that seems to be all the rage at the moment.
This fucking industry needs a shake up. I’m going all gay beat generation on this whole writing endeavor of mine.
This isn’t new for me, not really. It’s a contrarian streak I have – definitely. Which I guess being gay is akin to being a contrarian when it comes to human relationships, I suppose. Then again, I am sure that since gays starting to permeate all facets of life (finally, thank the stars above), that there’s probably now “men who love buildings” or “statues” that will have us gays beat in the off-kilter (hey, they might even steal our ‘queer’ term for their more masonry inclined relationships) relationships arena. But as I said, this way of thinking isn’t new for me.
When I was in my English classes in college having to write academic papers I can’t tell you how often I pushed back on the whole topic sentence with supporting evidence bullshit that academia thrives upon. I wasn’t some kid fresh outta high school that needed that formula to make my report case. If it’s one thing I know how to do is make a strong argument and back my shit up. I know how to write a compelling narrative so let me get down and do my bidness…dammit!
So yeah, formulas and formulaic writing drive me bat-shit cray-cray.
So back to the sex… I am an erotica writer after all.
First off I have two words that epitomizes gay sex for me (aside from the hubby): Antonio Biaggi.
A fucking cock god if there ever was one… and not just because he’s got a rockin look and bone, either. For a guy in the porn business he’s seems to have his head screwed on straight (pardon the pun). And a very centered outlook on life (well, at least the way he expresses his views on things, at any rate.) Confident, without cockiness. Sexy as all fuck and brimming with passion (even when he might have to fake it). He’s intense. That’s what makes great sex – gay or not. Passion. Biaggi’s got it in spades. He’s my definite go to when it comes to visualizing my guys in full on rutting mode no matter the story.
Sometimes I am not even sure that the women who write in this genre are involved in gay men’s lives at all (aside from the simple mechanics involved) where they have a no holds barred open door policy on what they think and feel (provided to them by GAY men – and I don’t mean the stereotype nelly gays either) when they are intimate with another man. There is so much within the genre that I’ve run into (not all of it, mind you – I’ve found a few authors in the genre who actually have a clue – so refreshing to find them when I do) that the majority of them are really nothing more than chicks with dicks.
I love a good circus style fuck, don’t you?
I realize that might not win me readers in this genre as the market stands now. But I’ve come to a realization: like a proud black woman, I am a proud gay man.
And as a gay man, I wouldn’t take it upon me to write about the black experience in this world. I’m not black. I simply have no real context (and this is coming from someone whose parents were in a (nearly) all black gospel choir (my parents being the sole exception) – so I was knee deep in the community and the church at the very least. Grew up with it all around me). Still – I am not black, so therefore I can’t speak with any authority in that genre. It just wouldn’t ring true. Not as a focal point to my stories. Write what you know – isn’t that the old saying? I’d be a big time pretender and trying to make money on it if I did. I just can’t go there. Sure I’ll have multi-cultural characters in my story – that’s a part of life. I am not being exclusionary or ‘gated’ in who I will write about, but what I won’t do is center my story around a culture or a people that I don’t have any real context for. No life experience.
Now the kicker? I am a trained classical singer – been not the stage since I was a kid. So I get the whole – let’s pretend and role play thing. I get it, I do. But even when I read some books written by men where women were the central character I never really quite go all the way with the – yeah, that was truthful emotive core. And I am a big Joss Whedon fan, so yeah, I can give props that he gets awfully close. But even so, it still has that maleness about the strong women characters within his stories that I sorta go – meh inside just a lil’ bit. I can’t help it. He’s a dude trying to write a strong female character that comes off a bit too – male.
I guess I should be happy that there’s a market at all for things that are even remotely speaking to my life experiences. I get that. I do, I swear. Yeah, I know it’s a mass of contradictions. It’s a straight up mess.
…and like my man on man sex, I like it just like that.
I am soooo going to use this position in one of my books at some point…
So in my stories, my boys/men will be messy. Covered in man-milk both in and out. Gay guys are all about that (yeah, ladies, I get it that you know our straight counterparts are all about the cumming as well – we’re dudes, it’s all the same shit no matter which sex you are inclined to bed) but you just don’t get the whole need to seed that goes on every 8 fucking seconds in our heads from the time we pop our first boner til the time we draw our last breath. It’s RELENTLESS… even when we aren’t ‘thinking’ about it, we are. And believe me – it’s messy.
Let’s face it, men are built to breed. We’re built to seed. While I may write about Natives battling a menace from another universe (Cove Chronicles), or the ancient Feigr (Fae Wars), or my gay bashed artistic gay boy and his athletic quarterback boyfriend (Angels of Mercy), you can bet on one thing from me. No translations. No apologies. No fucking safety’s applied just because it might offend someone who can’t take the mess men make of their lives. My guys will be balls to the wall bonafide stud muffins that give into their baser needs whenever the moment arises. I’m cool with that. And I’ll make sure to wrap it all up in a good story too. I swear I will. I don’t write porn (though I know I could), I write erotica. So the story is what’s important. But it will be VERY male.
It’s what makes us fucking interesting. It’s why I love surrounding myself with men. Not just because they are the object of my desires. But because I emotively connect with them (there are so many straight guys in my life that don’t have a fucking clue about what I am all about – the private sexual conversations we’ve had about their wives, girlfriends or office temptations), I understand men. Why? Because I am one. A gay one, to be sure – unabashedly so.
And I’ll make no translations to anyone for who my male characters are in the world’s I create. The stories are what they are. I may have to self-pub and just hope I find an audience. It may not be a big time seller in the M/M genre out there or maybe, just maybe, I might shake things up a bit. Make a mess.
…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.