“Despite lacking any pressing reason to do so, men are still manufacturing reasons to touch each…
“Despite lacking any pressing reason to do so, men are still manufacturing reasons to touch each other’s anuses.”
This interview with Jane Ward, the author of Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, is fantastically good. For one thing, she’s so carefully spoken about not invalidating bisexuality, but also, she nails so much of the “I’m so straight that I can do gay stuff” identity that so many man have. She’s also terrific on all the tropes about how women’s sexuality is like malleable and soft and “fluid” and all that garbage. And on why she wrote a book about white men!
But for white men, no one ever asks what’s going on in white culture or what it is about white masculinity that is making this kind of sex practice possible. But that’s really precisely the question we should be asking, because white men have engaged in — straight-identified white men have engaged in — intimate or sexual encounters with one another since the very invention of heterosexuality and homosexuality as medical terms in the late 19th-century, and yet very little attention has been paid to it. So yes, I would argue that because white men have been understood as the idealized, most normal, sort of exemplars of normal human sexuality, there’s a lot of work and attention that goes into excusing anything they do or rationalizing anything they do that might disrupt that view, and that’s not the case for women or for men of color.
Straightness as a constructed identity is having a really big year! Mazel tov.