After praising me for my writing, a reader chided me as “just another gay guy obsessed with his appearance, abs and age and I am consistently disappointed.”
I’ll admit that I’m an egocentric being – my egocentricity rooted in the deep seated inferiority of my adolescence – and that, yes, I have a strong sexual bent and write a lot about sexual matters. But most of the time, at least I think, it’s from a jaded, sardonic perspective where I try to show how ridiculous our obsession – my obsession – in sex for sex’ sake can be. I’ve also pontificated about many other issues affecting us as gay men or as members of the larger American society that having nothing to do with sex. But, when you strip away the political, health and societal realities that face any minority group, as a community, brotherhood, whatever label you want to attach to a bunch of guys who want guys, we place way too much emphasis on the superficial and the fleeting.
A few Saturday nights ago, I was prancing around shirtless at the Pig Dance at my favorite watering hole, the Ramrod in Lauderdale, where the median age is 43, watching all those fellow aging leather men, some hot, some just delusional, shake their steroided bods like they were 20, while the physically less blessed ogled. Wondering when we were all going to finally grow up, and wondering, in light of all the current political rhetoric, whether these creatures were among our culture’s one percent. The guys who some, or maybe many of us revere or place on a pedestal at the very pinnacle of our gay sub-culture:
The incredibly handsome who forget they got their looks by a roll of the genes dice.
The incredibly wealthy, some earned, others born into it, who make sure everyone knows they’ve got it, from their quarterly visits to the cosmetic surgeon they boast about, to their beachfront condos in Lauderdale and Puerto Vallarta, and, oh, yea, the young hottie (a new one each season) by their side.
The massive muscle men who spend four hours a day in the gym or every discretionary dollar on steroids because they either have mindless jobs or no job at all and live on the dole – disability check, 74 year old lover – take your pick.
The cute guys with the fifty dollar haircuts, 22 inch waists, washboard abs they were born with and, when they aren’t prancing around near naked on the beach, sport the latest overpriced GQ outfit – all on a Macy’s clerk salary.
Humpy porn stars, responsible for thousands of dirty cum rags every day, but who can’t or won’t work at much of anything else and whose nine inch dicks are worth selling replicas of – to use as paperweights of course.
The hot numbers cruising in those hot sports car convertibles, courtesy of Daddy.
The guys who live, breathe and shit The Life from RSVP cruises to the latest Leather Fest, but don’t know or care where this country is headed.
Look, I’m not saying that it’s bad to look your best, take care of your body, or have some fun. But after awhile, doesn’t ego for ego’s sake and deifying male perfection become just a little tired?
I mean, shouldn’t our one percent include or even be dominated by:
Couples who lead quiet, unassuming lives, work hard, spend sensibly, with the only difference between them and the rest of the world is that they’re two men?
The white middle class gay man who adopts a black 17 year foster kid with autism because he wants to?
The guy who has nothing to monetarily gain from caring for a dying parent or partner but knowing he did right?
The guys who don’t make much in education or health care but do it because they want to actually help somebody else – people they don’t even know?
The lovers who grow old together without caring about their crows feet or other men?
So who’s your one percent?
I know who mine are.