Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pussy.

I could write a book about gay men and how they feel about vaginas.

I have never had sex with a woman, but I think my experience is unusual among "gay" men. I don't think I have one gay friend who hasn't had some significant sexual experience with women. And not because they were closeted and oppressed and forced into it, but because they wanted to and enjoyed it. (A good friend of mine from years ago, we're not in touch any more, but he used to go on and on about cunnilingus, how much he loved it. He eventually fell in love with and married a woman.) Then, at some point in their lives, they veered toward same-sex relationships. I think, even in more open, urban communities, there's a great deal of pressure to pick one. Bisexuality is confusing, even to liberals.

So I think I might be an anomaly, a gay man who has never had any sexual attraction to a woman. I did make out once with a woman friend in a bar when we were both sloppy drunk. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't sexy.

My first roommate in New York was a woman, a fellow student at Parsons. She would get naked at the drop of a hat. She walked around the apartment naked all the time. She had big breasts and narrow hips. You might be chatting and she would get up, walk into the bathroom which was just off the kitchen, leave the door open, sit down on the toilet and pee, wipe herself, and get up, never missing a beat in the conversation.

I think she was the first woman I saw naked from the waist down. She had lots of blond hair on the inside of her thighs that I remember thinking she really should get rid of. (I was only 20. Where did I get such ideas about women's body hair?)

But we were in art school, so it wasn't long before I was seeing lots of naked women modeling for my drawing and painting classes. Mostly women models, I think because I had mostly male teachers. My painting teacher, who was a woman, had models of both sexes in her classes, but the rest of my teachers, all male, had only women models.

One time, in painting class, the model was in a pose that had her legs splayed and I noticed the little white string from her tampon dangling in her crotch. It took me a while to figure out what it was. I grew up in a family that didn't talk much about bodies and their natural processes.

My good friend M in San Francisco hates the word "pussy." I'm not sure if she finds that particular word offensive and she wouldn't mind if you called it something else, or if she'd rather one didn't bring up the subject at all. I think it's a funny word because it means "cat." Straight men say it a lot, mostly to each other, and without irony. Straight men get very serious about pussy. I myself can't say it without smiling (and probably blushing) a little. Just saying the word brings out my lisp.

I hate when gay men have that "Ew, yuck!" reaction to the mention of a vagina. It feels ugly and hateful. But I have to admit, though I'm fascinated, I have never wanted to get very close to one. It's partly a visceral reaction to something that is so "other." It's like contemplating the genitals of a giraffe. Interesting, but there's something deep within me that says, "no."

Perhaps vaginas make me feel inadequate. They want something I don't have to give.

For a long time, in my 20s, I was plagued by the notion that male homosexuality might be caused by fear of women. I still wonder sometimes. A big part of my sexual interaction with men is guided by my familiarity with their bodies, and I can't imagine what it must be like to have sex with someone whose body is so different.

1 comment:

m00nchild said...

Jesus Christ I love your blog.