I was recently confronted with a very subtle homophobic situation. His reaction shocked me because he was an intelligent, well-read, well-educated man. Yet it wasn’t the knee-jerk homophobic reaction. His was a far more subtle kind and it made me wonder.

See, I like bisexual men. Love them. I have a huge sexual appetite and a desire for adventure. Bisexual men tend to be willing to try things and they don’t get uncomfortable with another naked man in the room. I’ve always wanted a male-female-male (mfm) threesome and it’s best if everyone’s comfortable. Not all men want to participate in bisexual sex. That’s fine. Heck, not all men want to participate in a mfm (male-female-male) situation. All right, that’s fine. However, I met a man who said he didn’t even want to be in the same room as another naked man.

What??

When I questioned him about this homophobic statement he began to go on about how he was comfortable with homosexuality but didn’t want to be in a mfm situation. That didn’t answer my question. Was this homophobia or socialization?

Human beings, as social as they are, love to compete. We compete in all areas of life from strength to procreating abilities to our ability to provide. Men compete more openly than women but we all compete. Our modern media does not smooth the path in this competition. Modern images of beauty, wealth and strength are all idolized while they mock those who fall short of perfection. Don’t believe me? Watch “The Biggest Loser” sometime.

In this media driven competition, straight males are more virile, more potent, more powerful than their gay brothers. This, of course, is a fallacy, but it is there nonetheless. So, sometimes men are socialized to remove themselves from the gay society so that they can be seen as strong and virile. This is not the problem I have. It’s a little weird that men want to compare themselves sexually to gay men, but whatever floats your boat.

So, the question came up, if a man is afraid to be in a room with another naked man, is he homophobic? I’m not sure. What does he think can happen? He’ll see a penis and suddenly turn gay? Or maybe the other penis shoots invisible rays that’ll take away his free will. I’m not sure.

I don’t have an answer. When is someone homophobic? When is it just socialization? I’m not sure.

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