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September 23, 2009

Porn turns you gay: the implications
Posted by Teresa at 12:12 PM * 121 comments

I know you’ve probably read this story, but it’s irresistibly dumb. Yesterday, from Eric Kleefeld, at Talking Points Memo:

Coburn Aide: If Boys Knew Porn Will Turn Them Gay, They Won’t Want Playboy

In an infamous moment at the Values Voter Summit over the weekend, captured on video by Dave Weigel, Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) chief of staff Michael Schwartz made the case against pornography. “All pornography is homosexual pornography,” said Schwartz, quoting an ex-gay friend of his,

Ex-gay ‘winger. Check.
“because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.”
I am astounded. Turning your sexual drive inward—that is, processing it internally, on your own—causes homosexuality! We’re going to have to rethink our attitudes to gays in religious orders and the clergy. Thanks to Michael Schwartz, we can now understand that they probably started out straight, and were turned gay by the requirements of continence and celibacy. We have to respect that. They’ve taken one for the team.

Onward. Since sexual energies have to go somewhere, and since heterosexuals continue to exist, it must follow that directing your sexual energies outward, in sociable fashion, ideally without doing a whole lot of thinking about it, must turn you straight. This has striking implications. If you’re a secular gay, your only responsible course of action is to have lots and lots and lots of sex. You’ll know you’ve reached an appropriate level when you suddenly turn heterosexual. Short of that point, you’ll just have to keep trying harder.

We should also recognize the threat posed by unrecognized pornography. If all porn is homosexual porn, that must include the kinds that appear to be all about feet, rope, rubber rain gear, spanking, bodily wastes, model train layouts, tentacles, or Roy Orbison wrapped in clingfilm. Some sneaky homosexual conspiracy could do a lot of damage by getting straight citizens to look at gayness-inducing porn they can’t recognize as having anything to do with sex.

Finally, note that Michael Schwartz’s revelation explains the well-documented taste that some men have for lesbian erotica, and that some women have for slash: If those two keep going at it like that, they’re secretly thinking, any minute now they’ll turn heterosexual—and hey! There I’ll be, in a fetching pose, with a rose in my teeth! I can’t lose.

Schwartz then explained the side benefit of this finding—that if boys know pornography will make them gay, they’ll never touch it, taking advantage of what Schwartz sees as a natural homophobia. “And if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to get a copy of Playboy?” he said. “I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants!”
Is he from this planet? If threatening kids with blindness, permanent physical debility, and death didn’t keep them away from pornography and masturbation, bizarre threats about turning gay aren’t going to do it either. And if what Schwartz is saying is that he was never tempted by het smut, I’m not going to take his word for it that this proves he’s straight.

Addendum: Jon Stewart was amazed too.

Comments on Porn turns you gay: the implications:
#1 ::: Lisa L. Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 12:40 PM:
If you’re a secular gay, your only responsible course of action is to have lots and lots and lots of sex. You’ll know you’ve reached an appropriate level when you suddenly turn heterosexual. Short of that point, you’ll just have to keep trying harder.

This explains so very much . . .

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 12:54 PM:

They'll just do it until they can coordinate stripes and plaids?

#3 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:01 PM:

Dear God, mocking these guys is like kicking puppies.

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:04 PM:

In the middle east, these are the kind of folks who required nanny goats to wear pants.

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:13 PM:

If a prawn makes me gay, and considering that I had some last night, I'd better go have some oysters, which have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, the closest cuisine outlet near here is a Wendy's.
("Serge, it's porn, not prawn.")
Oh.
Nevermind.

(The 21st Century really has been making it difficult to distinguish real news from an Onion spoof.)

#6 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:17 PM:

I remember a local football coach saying back in the late 60s (reported in the Palo Alto Times, but I don't have an exact reference) "God gave man short hair so he could dominate over women." This kind of logic has been around for a while.

#7 ::: Madeline Ashby ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:18 PM:

I just have to say that the ad which appeared in the right-hand bar on this entry was for a book called The Puppy Bomb, and read like this:


You know all about sex?
You know all about murder?
You know all about male-bonding?

Oh, Google. Your ability to make this situation even funnier is vast and infinite.

Also, I really want to know what's bonding those males together. Super glue? Tree sap? Cling film? The possibilities are endless.

#8 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:28 PM:

You rotters! You reminded me of the Awful Warnings in Folk Songs thread! Wasted at least an hour when I should have been doing something to some computer or other.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:29 PM:

Time to invoke a rule of thumb: "When someone makes a really weird general statement, consider the possibility that they're talking about themself."

It could be that what Michael Schwartz is saying is that whenever he gets introspective about sex, he finds himself thinking gay thoughts.

#10 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:30 PM:

Porn doesn't turn your sexual drive inward. It turns your sexual drive towards your wallet.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:31 PM:

Sorry, Ken. I don't know a more concise demonstration of the futility of Just Say No than traditional folk songs.

#12 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:33 PM:

If porn turns one gay, it only half-worked on me.

But, really, epic logic fail. As I recall, the majority of pornography available features women and is consumed by men. So unless pornography turns men into lesbians... (I'm sure there's a story idea in there somewhere.)

Serge @ 5:

Rocky Mountain oysters?

Tom Whitmore @ 6:

Boy in grocery store to me: Why do you have long hair?
Me (smiling): Why not?
Boy: But... you're a man.
Embarrassed mother is embarrassed.
#13 ::: Stan Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:36 PM:

@9 Erik: Are you implying that some people pay for porn? Wow.

#14 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:44 PM:

It could be that what Michael Schwartz is saying is that whenever he gets introspective about sex, he finds himself thinking gay thoughts.

Ya think?

If only the right wing believed in science, they could study psychology and stop being so damned transparent.

#15 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:44 PM:

I think the logic is that if you masturbate, you're getting sexual gratification from touching someone of the same sex. That makes you queer in the sense that anyone who has ever gotten such gratification in such a fashion is ipso facto queer, rather than in a transformative/process sense.

It's a joke long used by gays to tease straight guys with their own homophobia.

So what he's really saying is that virtually all men and most women are gay. I'd like to visit that world for about two weeks, I must say.

And anyone who thinks eliminating pornography will eliminate masturbation has never been a 14-year-old boy.

#16 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:46 PM:

KeithS, you should have told him "long hair makes you stronger. Didn't you know that? It's in the Bible."

#17 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:56 PM:

Xopher@16 FTW!

#18 ::: Zak Jarvis ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 01:57 PM:

My super power is to remain heterosexual after 16 years of using the internet! And strangely enough, many of the people I know who work in porn are pretty heterosexual as well (with exceptions, of course).

I can only conclude that there is an elite cadre of super-straight people working behind the scenes to corrupt the world into homosexuality. No doubt so they can be the only ones breeding and thus begin their thousand year misrule. The image is so vivid -- they stand in the falling condoms waving their flopping silicone scepters, capering in their merkins, lining the marbled halls of commerce with Real Dolls. Everywhere people are entranced by the blue glow of televisions showing images of naked parts and elaborate rope knots, lubricated traffic cones, animated characters inflating beyond all human proportions, macro-photographs of the ends of poles holding up street signs and the exhaust pipes of cars...

#19 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:02 PM:

I've been giggling helplessly over this story all day. But I just went and read the article that Teresa linked to, and I have been driven absolutely over the edge of hysteria by the beautiful missing antecedent problem in this sentence....

"if boys know pornography will make them gay, they'll never touch it"

#20 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:03 PM:

Xopher @ 15/16:

To be honest, I was more concerned about getting out of the madhouse grocery store than thinking up a good rejoinder, but I'll keep that in mind for next time.

And obviously keeping pornography away from teenagers won't stop masturbation. You have to keep pornography away and feed them Graham crackers.

Zak Jarvis @ 18:

So what you're saying is that there's a secret Straight Agenda running around? We must stop it now for the sake of our children!

#21 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:04 PM:

I'd rather have a paper doll to call my own
than a fickle-minded real live girl

#22 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:05 PM:

It's all so clear to me now. Michael Schwartz has been reading MacKinnon and Dworkin. Obviously.

#23 ::: Zak Jarvis ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:09 PM:

KeithS @ 20:

Being that I know people in the porno-industrial complex and assuming what Michael Schwartz says is true (and really, what evidence do we really have that he's wrong?), I feel safe in saying that yes -- there is a secret cabal of heterosexual conspirators with vasty powers of libidinous persuasion.

It's quite clear that straight people cannot be trusted.

#24 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:11 PM:

Sarah S. at #19:
It's a touchy subject.

#25 ::: Eirin ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:34 PM:

Erik Nelson @24

One that might blow up in your face.

#26 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:36 PM:

In some ways the guy has a point, even if it does lead to pretty much the opposite of what he's saying. As Orwell and so many others have remarked, satisfying sex does make you queer -- at least in the sense that you're no longer straight, aka wound up, anxious and willing to jump to the commands of authoritarian leaders.

On the other hand, mainstream porn isn't necessarily going to point red-state adolescents in the direction of the kind of sex that would queer them (hence the huge consumption of said porn in red states). But Schwartz can't take that chance.

I think this may be one of the relatively few cases where a wingnut, instead of using "liberal" as a code word for "homosexual and/or jewish", is using "homosexual" as code for "liberal".

#27 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:36 PM:

Let's not be jerks about this.

#28 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:37 PM:

Eirin and Erik @ 24 and 25

You guys have me awfully tempted to take a whack at a pun.

#29 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:39 PM:

If masturbation is an inward activity, what about nocturnal emissions? Those should make one twice as gay.

#30 ::: hap ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:40 PM:

I don't know, maybe I misunderstood when I heard this... but, it's not that it turns your desire inwards, it's that it makes you touch yourself. You're a boy, and you're touching... a boy's body! Ew! It's totally gay!

Obviously, it's wrong, but it does make a kind of crazy sense.

#31 ::: Eirin ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:45 PM:

Sarah S. @ 28

Well, you keep beating it.

#32 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:48 PM:

If I step in hewe with a twy at a pun, will it waise my wank as a punstew?

#33 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:55 PM:

You know, these puns take work. It's not like I just come in here and toss one off whenever I feel like it.

#34 ::: Eirin ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 02:58 PM:

Xopher, you'll be shooting off in no time.

I'm gonna go look for some sense now.

#35 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 03:00 PM:

Serge (#5), foolishly perhaps, I thought that was a Ben Hur reference.

Long ago and far away, I read that book once, but can't remember if the seafood preference scene was there, or only in the film.

Teresa (#9) Excellent rule of thumb. Often the only thing that makes any sense of some events.

Hmm. So, if The InterNet is for Porn, I guess that confirms it's a vital part of the International Homosexual/Liberal/Jewish Conspiracy. [Damn. Fire alarm. Probably false, but I'll have to shut this down.]

#36 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 03:00 PM:

hap 30: I agree.

#37 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 03:27 PM:

Mez @ 35:

We're too hot for you? (Also, I've never been part of a conspiracy before. Is it fun?)

A short quote from Bill Cosby on the subject of puberty:

And my old man didn't help things either when he kicked the door to my room open and said, "You know, if you keep that up, hair's going to grow on the palm of your hands." He didn't say nothing about the other thing, 'cause he wore glasses.
#38 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 03:27 PM:

"I don't want anybody else
When I think about you I --"

Oh.

OH.

So not making a full inquiry about one's own desires is the only way to keep one straight? Well this explains much why they call sexually-aware women dykes, regardless of any preferences shown.

The only straight women fit for marriage *would* be one barefoot and ignorant about pregnancy or birth control.

#39 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:00 PM:

mez @ 35... No reference intended, but in retrospect, I'll put one in, from Spartacus.

arcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat oysters?
Antoninus: When I have them, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat snails?
Antoninus: No, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral and the eating of snails to be immoral?
Antoninus: No, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Of course not. It is all a matter of taste, isn't it?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals.
Antoninus: It could be argued so, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: My robe, Antoninus. My taste includes both snails and oysters.

#40 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 04:29 PM:

KeithS, #37: Yes. ;-)

#41 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:19 PM:

I learned about this through someone else's blog on LiveJournal. I really don't get this guy's logic. Watching porn makes you gay? Even if it's straight porn?

Besides, I learned that I liked other guys without the help of porn.

#42 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:36 PM:

Steve C. @ 29:
If masturbation is an inward activity, what about nocturnal emissions? Those should make one twice as gay.

If you're emitting inward, you're doing it wrong.

#43 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:41 PM:

If you're emitting inward, you're doing it wrong.

Or practicing Tantra. No, you don't want to know, trust me.

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 05:44 PM:

I presume that the speaker is a low-wanking figure in the "values voter" movement.

#45 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:13 PM:

@29, 42, 43: we must preserve our precious bodily fluids!

#46 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:15 PM:

This is not logic. This is an arbitrary arrangement of assertions, based solely on a neurotic agenda, masquerading as logic.

#47 ::: Pedantka ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 07:47 PM:

David @46, I am sorely tempted to add that to my arsenal of comments for students' papers.

#48 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 08:16 PM:

Schwartz: "It's been a few years, but not that many, since I was closely associated with preadolescent boys..."

The wonder is that he'd start out by admitting that. I thought he was going in for a dramatic confession. Or maybe he was?

#49 ::: DanR ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 08:22 PM:

Am I missing something here, or is the most fascinating aspect of this post the idea of a whole genre of literature based on celebrities wrapped in clingfilm?

#50 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 08:41 PM:

Pedantka #47: My sympathies! ;-)

#51 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 09:03 PM:

DanR #49: See, this is why "I know all about sex" is on a par with "we are aware of all Internet traditions". Between Rule 34 and its Quantum Porn Corollary... well, every time I think I've seen it all, something new comes along.

#52 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 09:23 PM:

DanR @ 49:

Teresa has posted about that before. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, myself.

#53 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 09:57 PM:

Obligatory xkcd link for Rule 34 @51 – not the other Rule 34.

#54 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2009, 09:57 PM:

The thing that fascinated me the most was the whole "association with preadolescent boys" bit. I would have thought someone in that crowd would have jumped up and demanded an explanation!

#55 ::: hamletta ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:06 AM:

Sorta OT, but related to teh ghey: George Takei and his husband, Brad Altman, to be the first gay couple on The Newlywed Game.

I loved Patrick's interview with him a few years back, and I thought y'all would like to hear about it.

#56 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:06 AM:

DanR: and then there was the time Randy Milholland ran into a site where some guy in Japan had paid for one of those multi-thousand dollar masks that make you look like a female anime character and had included a video featuring the mask owner writhing in erotic ecstasy while wearing the mask and while wrapped in cling film. That's when I learned that whenever Randy posts a video YOU NEVER WATCH IT. EVER. And no, I am not giving the link since it's one of the few times I've longed for brain bleach.

#57 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:31 AM:

That's way cool, hamletta, and thanks! Off to share it elsewhere....

#58 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:47 AM:

TNH@9 These are the same people, remember, who frequently, when arguing against not stigmatizing, discriminating against, or making it government policy to "fix"/kill homosexuals, offer the argument that "if we don't forbid it, no one will be straight, because gay sex is so much better than heterosexual sex that if both are permitted everyone will go gay forever." Their self-image simply won't allow them to think that having homosexual feelings might mean that they have homosexual feelings. It's really quite insane and indicative of the total and complete lack of self-knowledge and self-examination (or desire for either) that typifies the movement.

Then of course, there's the scientific study that confirmed what many already thought.

#59 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:55 AM:

BSD @58

But nothing that happened when Clinton was President can be counted as right.

#60 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 07:21 AM:

Uh, what? I can't even grasp this argument well enough to mock it.

#61 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 08:04 AM:

I once had a boyfriend who had been told that touching his own penis was unmanly and that he should not, for instance, roll a condom on. I had kind of classified this as a weird phobia, I didn't realise it was a movement.

#62 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 09:09 AM:

Anecdotally, in the 1960s, the hard men in the Glasgow razor gangs would go to dance halls and dance with each other. They didn't dance with women, because they thought that was a bit gay.

#63 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 10:01 AM:

They didn't dance with women, because they thought that was a bit gay.

Yes, I think there's a certain level of upfuckedness where nothing can be gayer than appearing to enjoy the company of women.

#64 ::: mds ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 10:08 AM:
Schwartz: "It's been a few years, but not that many, since I was closely associated with preadolescent boys..."

Drebin: "I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!"

#65 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 10:31 AM:

They didn't dance with women, because they thought that was a bit gay.

On a certain level I think I understand that logic better.

Being straight means wanting to have sex with women. Ergo, if you enjoy doing anything else with women you must not want to have sex with them, and therefore you must be gay.

Of course maybe the reason I find that more logical is just that there are a lot more straight men who are willing to make it known that they don't think women have any redeeming qualities outside of the bed room, rather than straight (100% STRAIGHT! TOTALLY NOT GAY!!!!!) men who are willing to admit that when they think about sex, pictures of beautiful beautiful boys burst unbidden into their brains.

Which doesn't say much either for gender equality or acceptance of homosexuality in our society.

#66 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 10:58 AM:

Once again, I'm proud to be living in Oklahoma, where we strive to provide quality entertainment for the thinking world and succeed beyond our wildest dreams.

#67 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 11:42 AM:

this is just like that episode of star trek where Kirk and Spock had sex in front of the computer while claiming they were being heterosexual in order to cause it to go into a logical loop, breakdown, and thereby prevent its evil plans of conquest.

#68 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 11:47 AM:

They didn't dance with women, because they thought that was a bit gay.

Time for me to watch the dream sequence fron An American in Paris, especially the part where Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron are quite wrapped around each other, with a fountain's spurt frozen into a stiff ark.

#69 ::: oh well ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:24 PM:

everybody is gonna turn gay then. but that's not that bad.

#70 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 12:59 PM:

That means that the definitive documentary of the effect should be entitled "The Left Hairy Palm of Darkness", right?

#71 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:12 PM:

Jo @ 61: Was that "touching ... unmanly" only during sexual activity? Or was using a urinal also unmanly?

#72 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:34 PM:

Alan @71: I think the old rule of "if you shake it more than twice you're playing with yourself" comes in here.

#73 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:45 PM:
this is just like that episode of star trek where Kirk and Spock had sex in front of the computer while claiming they were being heterosexual in order to cause it to go into a logical loop, breakdown, and thereby prevent its evil plans of conquest.

That's a good one. I'm also reminded of the episode of Coupling where whatshisname explains that gay sex is so much easier because you already know how the machinery works.

#74 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 01:48 PM:

Alan Braggins @ 71:

Judging by some public restrooms I've been in, it was pretty clear that no touching was involved.

ObDancing:

I know that Jon Stewart is supposed to be funny, and most of the linked video was. But showing Tom DeLay looking like a complete prat while dancing, and portraying that as gay behavior from a moral values guy? No. Can we please get over our culture's recent and decidedly strange idea that dancing is unmanly?

#75 ::: V. Greene ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 03:29 PM:

KeithS @ 74:

I don't think it's that men will be unmanly if they dance; it's that they're of dubious masculinity if they dance _like that._ TDS didn't have to cherry-pick excerpts to get those clips. After a certain number of cliche-gay jazz-hand hip swivels, I started wondering if his choreographer was, unbeknownst to The Hammer, a liberal with a very wicked sense of humor. There were options which were not being fully explored.

(Hmm. That almost sounds like I'm joining in the punwar above.)

Either that or Delay was trying to turn his gay viewers straight. I shouldn't rule out the possibility.

#76 ::: cgeye ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 03:42 PM:

"Yes, I think there's a certain level of upfuckedness where nothing can be gayer than appearing to enjoy the company of women."

I think that's called patriarchal misogyny, where any sympathy/empathy with women takes away butchness points.

Ah, yes, this is the book I was recalling:
http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/T/theweleit_male.html

#77 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 04:23 PM:

V. Greene @ 75:

Sorry, I conflated two points in my post; the bit about perception of men dancing in general was tacked on as an annoyed afterthought.

That said, unmanly (which is a huge can of worms that I do not really want to touch in this particular post) and gay are often treated as synonyms.

Looking like an idiot → unmanly; possibly gay.

Dancing (excepting a few styles that may or may not be dancing depending on your definition) → unmanly; quite probably gay.

Looking like an idiot while dancing → looking unmanly and definitely acting gay. Whatever that's supposed to mean. And this is funny, because he's supposed to be a manly man moral values kind of guy.

Maybe I'm just not getting the joke. Maybe it's supposed to be funny in an ironic sort of way. You know, mock him for looking camp gay when, by their own rules, he should be ashamed of appearing that way. After all, all us on this side know that homophobia is bad and wrong, and, besides, we know that real gay people don't act that way anyway. I don't think that's why the audience was laughing, though.

#78 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 07:14 PM:

KeithS @ 77, sadly I think Stewart changed definitions of "gay" in midstream here. It bugs me when people use "gay" the same way they'd use "lame." *

* Yes, I am being ironic in my choice of example.

#79 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 07:38 PM:

Keith #77: No, I thought it was pretty shitty, too.

#80 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 08:48 PM:

Unexamined personal quirks make some of the best comedy! And they pop up in the weirdest places. I read a book about Victorian fashions years ago that included a chapter about what men thought about women's clothing. There was a lengthy quote from some fashion column about the wonderful classic fashions in women's nightgowns--lacy, filmy, designed to come apart after having been worn for a single night--followed by the editor's response, which was basically, "Er . . . okay then." Then there was the quote in one of Stephen Jay Gould's books--The Mismeasure of Man IIRC--from a writer who offered as proof that Northwestern Europeans were the pinnacle of the human species the superior charms of their breasts. Which he praised in great detail and at length.

I see it most often in bad fanfic and fanart. The stuff that gets passed around and laughed and/or shuddered over for years is packed with what TVTropes calls "What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome" and "Author Appeal."

#81 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 09:48 PM:

a writer who offered as proof that Northwestern Europeans were the pinnacle of the human species the superior charms of their breasts.

This is called the "I'm so glad I don't like onions because if I liked them I'd eat them and I hate onions" thought pattern.

#82 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 10:08 PM:

I thought it was the "Everybody must get an extra charge out of sex if they wear socks to bed--because it works for me" thought pattern.

#83 ::: DanR ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 11:23 PM:

Jenny @80, I am hesitant to admit this, but I think I just turned gay while reading your post.

#84 ::: DanR ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2009, 11:29 PM:

Oops, back to straight again, after reading some Orbison in Clingfilm.

#85 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 12:00 AM:

Robert Anton Wilson wrote a book called The Book of the Breast, published by Playboy Press.

#86 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 04:55 AM:

"...or Roy Orbison wrapped in clingfilm."

No.

#87 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 05:12 AM:

I'm sorry. Horror turned me brief.

In other responses:

"You mean, like the way they put a brassiere on the camel? And Lord knows what they've got in mind for the cow!"

"I think this is the XKCD you're looking for."

"Porn turns you gay. Hearing about porn turns you bi. I only ever heard about porn."

...In no particular order.

#88 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 05:14 AM:

I thought it was the "Everybody must get an extra charge out of sex if they wear socks to bed--because it works for me" thought pattern.

"And always wear something in bed. It keeps a man interested."
"You always wore your hat."
"Right."

--Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax

#89 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 05:26 AM:

"Everybody must get an extra charge out of sex if they wear socks to bed--because it works for me"

Many men have fallen through the sock gap...

#91 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 07:53 AM:

Tube socks?

#92 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 07:55 AM:

This reminds me I should mend some of my socks.

#93 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 09:11 AM:

Serge @ 92: Darn!

#94 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 09:57 AM:

Comments on the Roy Orbison in clingfilm thread appear to be closed. This is sad, as it ends on an unanswered question. Therefore:


Thomas Yager-Madden @ #15: of all the questions one could ask of these stories, this may be the least pertinent - but could possibly distinguish a well-groomed terrapin?

Unstinting use of turtle wax.

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 10:17 AM:

Ginger @ 93... Not just that. Men who can sew will in the Afterlife be condemned to Eternal Darnation.

#96 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 10:26 AM:

Men who can sew will in the Afterlife be condemned to Eternal Darnation

Fortunately, if you are an amateur cobbler, you will be able to intercede for their soles.

#97 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 11:18 AM:

Wasn't there someone else at that summit who claimed that young men would be drawn to conservatism because conservatism supposedly has the hotter women? I wonder what the oppertunities for mashups between these folks are.

#98 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 11:56 AM:

97: given that conservatives are still a minority, the logical conclusion is that this is because liberals have all the hot men, which means that both non-hot straight women* and gay men would be drawn to liberalism, giving us a working majority.
As a liberal bloke, I'm rather flattered.

*the hot ones are, ex hypothesi, mostly conservatives, remember.

#99 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 12:25 PM:
conservatism supposedly has the hotter women

But American conservatives are said to believe that Ann Coulter is a good example of what's hot. And since many people think she looks like a man in drag . . .

#100 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 01:11 PM:

But American conservatives are said to believe that Ann Coulter is a good example of what's hot. And since many people think she looks like a man in drag . . .

Well, that's because we know (fact!) that the red states watch much more porn on average than the blue states, so more of them have been turned gay or at least a bit gay, so naturally they would find a man in drag attractive, or a woman who looks like one.

See, the theory all holds together if you just keep smashing it with a rock until it fits.

#101 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 01:12 PM:

Anyone remember that Thomas Disch story about the gay man who has himself "conditioned" with electric shocks not to respond to homosexual cues, and then finds he can get the same intense sexual thrills he used to get from leather by dressing up as a right-winger and saying insanely right-wing things?

Maybe it was true. The GOP does seem to be full of them.

#102 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 01:13 PM:

LDR, #99: Leaving Ann Coulter* out of it, I would suggest that this is a clear case of YMMV. It would not surprise me at all to learn that conservatives and liberals have different standards for hotness, male and female both.

* And aren't we supposed to be the ones who have moved beyond equating a woman's value with her physical attractiveness? Coulter's value in the conservative movement (at least for the moment) is quite high, and that can and should be acknowledged without resorting to playground tactics.

#103 ::: LDR ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 02:19 PM:

Lee: I'm at a bit of a loss on how to respond.

Unlike yourself, I'm not generous enough to be able to defend Coulter. I will say that my mockery was primarily directed not at her, but at conservatives whose sexual tastes are perhaps not quite as normal as they would wish everyone to believe.

I suppose it would be appropriate either to stop discussing physical attractiveness altogether, or to start evaluating the hotness of all political celebrities, liberal/conservative, straight/gay, male/female, or other. But I'm not qualified to do that. So I'll stop talking about it now.

#104 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 02:23 PM:

Hmm.

Has anyone opened a pool on how many months it'll be until Michael Schwartz is found in bed with a couple of definitely-not-gay twelve year old boys?

The whole projection thing is creeping me out. This time round, I'd rather it was just wet suits.

#105 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 05:49 PM:

This whole Michael Schwartz thing reminds me of the term "absexuality." Absexuals include people whose sexual orientation is centered around lovingly and obsessively fulminating about the evils of pornography.

"... one of the roots from which I drew inspiration in developing the theory of absexuality, the idea that some anti-sex people actually are turned on by the porn, sodomy, and other wild and crazy stuff they purport to hate: that, in fact, this is their sexual orientation. Betty Dodson, my partner Robert, and I sat around trying to figure out what Dworkin and Jesse Helms had in common, and absexuality, in my view, is it. ("Ab" is a Latin prefix meaning "away from"; absexuals push sex away, but they stay in contact with it, always fulminating, unlike garden-variety folks who, when they see sex-related stuff that makes them uncomfortable, simply turn away.)"
- from Carol Queen's website at http://www.carolqueen.com/pages/interviews/Susie-Bright.htm

Serge @ 39: Oh, I am so glad you quoted the snails and oysters bit. I am one hundred percent sure that if Mike had still been here, he would have quoted it immediately.

#106 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 07:07 PM:

LDR, #103: Sorry, my annoyance wasn't directed at you personally -- but on re-reading, I didn't make that clear enough.

I'm not defending Coulter; I'm objecting to a societal practice that I find generally objectionable no matter at whom it's directed. Certainly there are enough substantive issues with which to denigrate Coulter -- why should we reinforce a particularly nasty sexual stereotype rather than using them?

If I give the "unattractive = worthless" meme credibility when it's directed at a woman I personally dislike, I lose my own credibility on the subject.

#107 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2009, 07:52 PM:

ajay @ 88:

Always remember that Randy Newman, who wrote "You Can Keep Your Hat On", has insisted the song was intended to be a bitingly satirical putdown of the sort of person who would have such a fetish. I never did understand why it bothered him so much.

#108 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2009, 02:05 AM:

Jenny Islander @82: But everyone *can* get an extra charge out of wearing socks to bed. The trick is to scuff your feet along the carpet on your way, and then lay your hand unflinchingly on the metal bedpost. Dry weather helps, of course.

#109 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2009, 02:58 AM:

There's all sorts of reasons not to go near Ann Coulter, but is she really ugly?

I think she has adequate looks to get space in the US media, and I suspect they would be worthless without her political views.

#110 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2009, 09:47 AM:

Alan: I never saw him in the bathroom, but he certainly believed he should put his underpants on (and off) without his hands touching his penis.

(Apart from this weird quirk he was relatively normal and a very nice person.)

#111 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2009, 01:43 PM:

Pondering socks, I'm tongue tied, so I'll just toe the line in silence over here.

#112 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2009, 03:07 PM:

Jo Walton #110:
If his usual protocol was to scuff socks on carpet prior (as described by Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little #108), then the non-touching behaviour is entirely sensible.

#113 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2009, 05:34 PM:

ajay @ 96... My metaphorical hat off to you.

#114 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2009, 06:31 PM:

Serge @ 113: That's "chapeau", not "capeau", right?

#115 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2009, 06:42 PM:

Huh. I'd always heard of that particular item as "une capote anglaise." (Not to be confused with a French letter, mind you.)

#116 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2009, 07:59 PM:

Joel Polowin... TexAnne... I definitely condom the use of that vestment.

#117 ::: Stephan Brun ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2009, 10:47 AM:

I originally thought: pnh remembers Roy Orbison in clingfilm? Then I checked, and it was tnh's post. Ah well.

Random thoughts:

ObGay: Porn pride!

Lee @17: Seconded.

Also: OMG I'm turning gay and I never knew! All those years of porn is corrupting me! Thank goodness that I now know! (I actually think along these lines about carbs; grrr)

#118 ::: Raphael sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2009, 07:55 AM:

What, just red hot? Not white hot, or x-ray hot?

#119 ::: robert ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2011, 06:19 AM:

I don't believe porns can turn you gay.i would been a gay ten years ago becouse i grew up watching porn and now i am old but still watching porn and i am straight.

#120 ::: great post to read ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2014, 05:09 AM:

There's noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain good factors in features also.

#121 ::: David Harmon sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2014, 07:44 AM:

generic praise type

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