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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SL Letter of the Day: The Electric Company You Keep

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I have to point out something. The speaker on behalf of Body Electric on this week's "Savage Lovecast" insisted that their program is "not just for gay men," but then went on to specifically describe some pretty damned homoerotic stuff. I don't understand why some people can't get the concept of "straight" through their heads. Straight men are, by definition, generally uninterested in being erotically touched by other men. If they are interested in being erotically touched by other men, then they've got, as you've called it, a touch of the bi (and they should just nut up and admit that instead of inventing a thousand euphemisms for it). The point is that a straight guy is just way less likely to volunteer for that experience, so Body Electric has created for itself a self-selecting group of participants. I'm very happy for the people who got something out of it, but the Body Electric people are fooling themselves if they think they're "open to straight men." That's a bit like a strip joint that features only female dancers saying that they "cater to the gay male crowd, too." It's just boneheaded.

Orion

P.S. I really appreciated your scepticism of his new-age explanation, by the way. Thanks for that.

My response after the jump...

••••••••••••••••••

When Body Electric's Bob Findle mentioned the mutual anal massage part of the program... well, I figured that was setting the bar pretty/impossibly high for straight guys. But there are lots of straight-identified men out there who have, as I've said, "a touch of the bi." And many of these mostly/nearly straight guys round themselves down to straight and that's I think that's legit—so long as the rounded down are being honest with themselves and others—and these guys might get something out of volunteering for a little mutual anal massage in a consciousness-raising workshop setting.

Or not.

And for the record: the Body Electric experience won't appeal to most straight guys, for obvious/straight reasons, but Body Electric's self-selection process transcends sexual orientation. While it may be true that most of men who would attend a workshop that required them to massage anuses/have their anuses massaged are gay, it doesn't follow that most gay men would go to that workshop. Given a choice between going to a workshop and having my naked anus massaged by a strange man and staying fully clothed at a strip club that features only female dancers, I'd pick the strip every time.

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