Are you man enough to get wet? Man enough to wear War Paint, look tough and never recycle?
Are you man enough to get wet? Man enough to wear War Paint, look tough and never recycle? Do you like it when it hurts? An exasperated look at all things MAN-related, from the stupid to the deadly, and why it's time we all just relaxed a bit. And maybe sucked some dick, because life is short.
Stories of queer life and even queer-er sex.
Always interesting, definitely amusing, Probably True - the repeatedly-award-winning, slightly filthy storytelling project tackling LGBTQ issues in a fun and engaging way.
Much like its creator, it is a smutty-but-charming collection of personal misadventures working to make the world a better place, one silly, sexy story at a time.
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I was sat at home the other day, watching the summer rain through the window. Pasty white skin gleaming in the light. And I got deep into some online forum thing about packing. This is the exciting life I lead. Because I’m one of those people who packs extremely light. I pride myself on never needing more than one bag’s worth of stuff for any trip. And even then, there tends to be at least one top or one pair of pants that I never get around to wearing, because wandering around naked in an AirBnB or hotel room is always a big part of my plans. It I can’t scare the neighbours at least once on any trip, then what’s the point?
When packing, I used to go completely the other way, and take EVERYTHING. I’d be chucking stuff into several suitcases saying “I THINK that’s everything, but what if I get invited to the Ambassador’s Reception? I should take some formal dress, JUST IN CASE. And I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Manchester for a mate’s birthday weekend, but there’s not generally a lot of need for a tuxedo on Canal Street.
After exhausting myself dragging around a huge bag full of clothes I’d never wear, I started thinking more analytically about what actually I needed, what I would wear, and stuff like that. I narrowed it down to a few stylish yet practical pieces, a jockstrap and my phone charger. The basics. I’m joking, of course. Why bother with underwear at all? Swing free, enjoy the odd draught up a trouser leg, etc.
Anyway, there were lots of discussions about what are the basics of packing, essentials, etc. and one guy mentioned that he always packs an umbrella. To which someone said, “What kind of a man carries an umbrella?” Those of us that aren’t waterproof, I would think. As if there’s some weird subset of men who can somehow stop the rain from landing on them with nothing but THE POWER OF DICK.
So, yeah, REAL MEN don’t carry umbrellas. You can presumably tell who the REAL MEN are, as they’ll be the ones dripping all over the floor.
Let’s turn that round for a second. What kind of man cares what anyone else thinks? An insecure one. The kind that thinks there’s some kind of stereotype he has to live up to.
It reminds me of that guy I was dating who was a photographer, and had an exhibition of his work coming up. There was a photo of him on the poster with his work, looking all broody and scowling, arms crossed showing off his biceps. He looked pretty sexy, in a serious and moody sort of a way, which was kind of his thing. He was the strong silent type. I complimented him on the photo and he grunted that he didn’t like it, adding “I don’t look tough enough”. I tried to remind him that this was an exhibition, not a fight club, but he was having none of it. But then I think he could have looked like the bastard offspring of The Rock and Hulk Hogan and still not thought he looked ‘tough’ enough...
A great example of this was WAR PAINT which was some stuff, right, that men could put on their face to cover up blemishes and dark circles it’s make up. Makeup for men. But they couldn’t call it makeup, because that’s FAR too girly. No, if MEN want to wear stuff on their face, it has to be WAR PAINT. And it’s special. According to the website, it’s specifially formulated for MEN’s skin, which is 25% tougher than women’s skin. Except it isn’t, because it’s not. Skin is just skin. It’s just crap makeup marketed at insecure men. How do I know that? Because I know a lot of drag queens who have let me into their secrets AND BECAUSE I HAVE EYES FOR FUK’S SAKE. And by the way, let’s get rid of the idea that no-one should wear makeup because making women paint their skin to appear younger and more pleasing to men is offensive and belittling, instead let’s put the same shit in a different package and start selling it to insecure men. Sweet Jesus.
Or, another recent one, that headline that said men don’t recycle because they think it makes them look gay.
Recycling. Makes you look gay. And I just NNNNNGH. I mean AAAAAAAA fucking what? You utter fucking… bahahahaha. Ohhh god that’s amazing. Yeahhhh…
You can just imagine the neighbours. Oooh, you want to look out for him at number 32. I saw ‘im, the other day, putting a plastic bottle in the recycling bin. You wouldn’t think it, would you He seemed such a manly man...
REAL MEN don’t recycle. REAL MEN eat their fucking rubbish, drink petrol and then crap it all out as nunchucks and shurikens. It’s just…. Argh.
This, my little loves, is what we call “toxic masculinity”. It’s fucking stupid, and it’s something that a lot of people struggle with, because there’s the pressure for MEN to act a cetain way, than MEN need to be strong, and silent, and not have feelings, unless the feeling is ‘my first hurts from punching so many other people’. This is why boy’s toys are guns and action men, and girls get Barbies and kitchens. Because society pushes this idea that MEN have to find a woman, marry her, and pump her full of babies, and be the breadwinner for the family. So many people struggle trying to live up to this nasty, stupid image where a man is a block of muscle with no emotions. It is damaging, and it is deadly. More than three quarters of all suicides are men, because a MAN doesn’t talk about his feelings. A MAN should bottle it up and hide it away until it literally kills him.
You’d think that, just this once, the gays would be ahead of the curve on this, since we are already outside these particular pressures from society, in that we’ve no interest in pumping our babies into a woman when we could instead be squirting them on the face of a stranger we met at a bus stop, but no.
Toxic masculinity is very definitely a thing for the gays, too. Aside from all that masc 4 masc shit that just screams being gay is somehow girly, or not masculine. “I’m not gay, I just have sex with men. And what could be more manly than two men shoving their manhood into one another? I’m so manly I don’t even fancy women…” I’ve talked about this before and will do again, because it’s a big subject and a truly stupid one. SO big, in fact, that there’s a lot of different flavours of toxic masculinity-based self-hatred knocking around the LGBTQ community. One that I’ve seen popping it’s head up like a cockroach that will not stay dead no matter how many times you hit it with a shoe, is bottom shaming. As if there’s something wrong or less than about being the bottom, that is, the one who gets penetrated, rather than the one doing the penetrating. Like, I’m a big blokey tough guy, i stick my dick in things, I don’t get dicks stuck in me! That’s girly! Which is truly stupid. Whether you take a dick or not has absolutely no bearing on how much of a MAN you are.
I remember once I was sexting with a guy, because the meeting I was in was boring. It was a hearing or an intervention, or something. Anyway. It was boring, so I was sexting away with this dude I’d found on Grindr. We were talking about some of the things we wanted to do to each other, and I told him, in quite a bit of detail, how I was going to suck his dick so hard that his kneecaps would end up in his thighs. I’m the romantic type, me. Anyway. I said I’m gonna suck your dick, and you’re going to like it because I’m very good. He replied “You’re gonna suck my dick? I thought you were a top. Get some self respect!” Which is when I had to block the poor little fuckstick. Because anyone who thinks that ‘only bottoms suck dick’ is not the kind of person I want to spend any amount of time around. And also because he equates sucking dick with somehow being below him. Which, spoiler alert, it’s not. I quite enjoy having a dick in my mouth, which ha nothing to do with the amount of respect I have for myself.
In fact, while we’re at it, an impressed and impressionable young man once told me that I suck dick “like a bottom”, which I think was meant to mean “enthusiastically and skillfully” again as if only certain people should ever do that thing and I’m sick of this sort of thinking. Life is short, suck some dick. It’s not beneth you, or girly or anything like that. And neither is taking one up the bum. It boggles my mind to think that having a nob shoved through your catflap is somehow someehting only soft and girly boys do. Because it hurts. And MEN are supposed to be the ones who enjoy pain and violence and stuff like that. What would be more MAN-like than “That hurts, do it again, it hurts so good”. If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you do. Because, what kind of MAN would pass up an opportunity to show that he’s ok with pain and that it doesn’t hurt that much really blah blah.
Well, it does. It bloody hurts. And that’s a sentence I considered very carefully. Because yeah, we’re going there. Vigorous bumsex can make the inside of your bum bleed. It turns out there’s more ways to ruin the sheets than you thought. What kind of man is tough enough to enjoy something that hurts until he bleeds?
Oh, you just want it to feel nice and not hurt at all? Go back to sex with girls and leave us REAL MEN to the kind of sex that hurts even while it’s feeling good.
Ya big softie.
So, yeah. Let go of all this MAN stuff. Just relax. Do whatever you want, with whomever you want. Focus less on trying to be a REAL MAN, whatever that might be, and more on being true to yourself, which is easier, and doesn’t involve buying crap makeup that can deflect bullets, or whatever.