Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkins Are Never SFW

I was in an intermittently pissy mood for much of last week. People would stop by my office, and I would scowl. I am famous around the office for being laid back (My boss once dinged me on an evaluation for being too even tempered: I chuckled and shrugged when he told me. I am who I am. And what I am. I hear that life's not worth a damn if you can't say "I am what I am," but I can't be bothered to figure out whether I believe that.), so people were starting to talk about my being unhappy, resulting in a call from my boss asking why I was unhappy. I explained to him that the shift in time zones from Italy to hear had resulted in me waking up at 3:30 am every morning and that I had further spent considerable amounts of time sitting in traffic. I then explained to him, yet again, that if I were unhappy about something going on at the office, I would be sure to let him know. I don't know what I have done to engender such paranoia, but every time I take a sick day, my boss is convinced that I'm out interviewing. As if I could be bothered to take a suit to the dry cleaner.

Anyway, since I've been in this pissy mood, I would be remiss if I didn't take advantage of it to vent about something that bothers me. I am sick to death of American puritanism. It's hypocritical, arbitrary, and suffocating. We all know that I can get away with the picture at the head of this entry. Nowadays, there's even a good chance that I can get away with this:

But it's pretty clear that I can't get away with this:

And even if I could, by some wild stretch of the imagination, get away with this:

I'd still never be able to get away with this:

By the way, I don't feel like changing the title of this entry, so below is a gratuitous pic of the pumpkins I carved yesterday afternoon. I'll probably write more about the weekend another time.

I understand a lot of the objections to sexual freedom generally and pornography in particular, but I don't sympathize with them. A lot of those objections seem to come down to religion-based morality. If your religion makes you happy, then go for it, but don't expect me to be swayed by your insistence that God is saying what I'm doing is wrong. If God's so convinced that my having butt sex or looking at pictures of guys having butt sex (or whatever) is wrong, then he can come tell me so himself. If he has to take the form of a burning bush or a pillar of cloud, then fine, but tell him to speak audibly and in standard English, please. And I should let you know in advance that I'm going to have some questions for God. If he wants me to stop having sex with men, he should be willing to explain why he's made them so attractive to me. You're going to tell me that I shouldn't be kissing guys because God told somebody that and that person wrote it down in a book that your Mama told you was God's law. No sir. God needs to come and talk to me personally and then he needs to make it so that I find the girl boobies more attractive and exciting than the guy chests. Because I gotta tell you: right now, my appreciation for the female bosom, while not insignificant, is purely aesthetic.

I'll admit to a bit of sexism here. I have a tendency to think of straight porn as, well, icky, and it's largely because I assume that there's been some sort of power imbalance. When I see (not that I actually look at such things, mind you, because: ewwwww) pornographic images of a woman, I tend to think that you're looking at someone who was abused by her father and then exploited by a male-dominated industry. When I see pornographic images of a man, I tend to think that you're looking at someone who maybe isn't all that bright but who has nonetheless figured out the best way to generate a revenue stream from his most valuable assets. I realize that analysis likely drastically oversimplifies the facts on the ground, but I still think that it's pretty easy to find male pornography where the actors/models were willing, informed, and compensated participants. In other words, when I look at porn, I'm not exploiting anybody. And the same is true when I enter into any consensual sex act.

The simple fact is that my voracious love of the male nether regions, in and of itself, doesn't hurt anyone. There are lots of potentially harmful ways in which that voracious love could find expression, but unless and until I'm doing something harmful, then everyone should just back off. If you don't like gay sex, then don't have it.

I realize that I am largely preaching to the choir here. Certainly there is puritanism within the gay community, but I don't reckon most of those people would bother reading this blog. I know there are readers of mine who are in monogamous relationships, and, really, more power to you. Unlike others, I believe that it's possible for some gay men to be happier and more fulfilled within the context of an exclusive sexual relationship. I'm just not one of those gay men. But hopefully those for whom monogamy works will be grateful that it works for them and not judge the others for whom it's not entirely satisfactory.

And if not, well, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to worry about my commute, and if I get too anxious, then I'm going to contemplate this:

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