Wednesday, May 25, 2011

beautiful male bodies

Rachel Rabbit White's recent post about the gross male body got me thinking about how much I love male bodies. The slim yet fit body of my husband, the shape of his hands, the firm feel of his abdomen, the way his buttocks casually strut when he walks, the curve of his collar bone, his arms, his deep blue eyes and thick blond hair.

Of course, I'm biased towards my husband, but I love looking at men in porn too. -- In new porn by women, that is. I'm not so fond of the porn studs in mainstream porn. But I do adore the man who performs as the "TV Idol" on Candida Royalle's Femme; his kind and handsome appearance, his head covered by dark blond wavy hair, his body naturally fit. And the pizza deliverer in Erika Lust's "The Good Girl" (Five Hot Stories for Her) with his dark, almost Italian-like look, in a charming, unthreatening, and kind sort of way. The dreamy appearance of the young guitar-playing man in Lust's "Love" (Life, Love, Lust). And Tucker with his dark curls down to his shoulders in Audacia Ray's The Bi Apple.

And I love not only the look of Dax in Peggy and Tony Comstock's pornumentary Xana and Dax; I love the way Xana describes his body as well; the compelling love and kindness in her voice, filled with desire and admiration, smiles and warmth.

White's thoughts on how women come to think of the male body as gross--"that men are creepy"--are interesting, however, for how they touch on the way women still struggle to own their desire; "it’s become okay, post Sex and The City, for women to use vibrators–but jacking it to hot dude porn? “Ew.” That gives masturbation a desire."

This reminds me of what a new generation of sex-positive feminists have been arguing in my native Norway recently when they speak about how it's now cool and expected for women to be sexually experienced and adventuresome but not to express being horny; having desire.

Raw horny desire is unruly. And women are supposed to keep it together. "Women are culturally taught to repress desire," writes White.

On the other hand, modern women are also at risk of being dismissed as prudes if they don't display sufficient sexual openness. A certain level of sexual competence seems expected from both women and men today.

And it's not just that taboos linger around the concept of the horny woman; they do around horny men too. As White writes, "if a guy is vocal about sex, it’s icky. Predator-like."

The problem then doesn't seem to be the male body or male sexuality; the culprit is desire.

Both women and men are denied the free expression of desire, but in our culture, men have been known to do so and women have been taught to be revolted by it.

I appreciate White's vow to challenge herself to own her lust. But men too deserve this message. We all should feel good about being horny and lustful for the people we adore, and just fine expressing it.
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