Just to Set the Record Straight…

The idea that heterosexual men should “not be ashamed of their sexuality” does not actually equal “I should be able to ogle (half) naked college girls/strippers/starlets/comic book characters without repercussion.”

10 thoughts on “Just to Set the Record Straight… Leave a comment

  1. If you mean ogling women in public, I can get on board with your statement.

    But if you also mean some guy reading a comic or Playboy or watching a smutty you-tube video all by himself in the privacy of his own home without anyone else knowing (and as long as it’s not illegal or a violation of another’s privacy), I can’t help but ask: “What repercussion?”

    (Not trying to troll or go “strawman” on you. Odds are that all you need to do is elaborate a tad further and I’ll probably respond with something like “I’m good” or “Fair enough” and say no more. Even saying something like “that’s an exception, you nimrod” will work for me.)

  2. The repercussion that people might find one “pervy”. I am definitely responding to a comment I saw elsewhere where someone stated that men should not be made to feel embarrassed about their sexuality. And that was their defense of looking at porn or buying T&A comics. And yeah, people have the right to do those things. But looking at porn or T&A comics is NOT the same thing as “not being embarrassed by our sexuality.” In fact if it were? Then companies are being discriminatory by firing employees caught looking at porn on the job.

  3. Fair enough. I always get overly fascinated by the “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound” conundrum.

  4. Oh, hey, if it’s in private…no problem. But if you tell people about it and get a negative response? People are not asking you to be ashamed of your sexuality. Hetero guys like women. Noone is saying they have to pretend otherwise or hide that. πŸ™‚

  5. We’re visual creatures. We can enjoy- even sexually- the way other people look without leering or panting or making a huge deal out of it. Cheesecake imagery in and of itself isn’t wrong… but in terms of comics, there’s an overabundance of it that it becomes overwhelming (and also frequently poorly drawn but that’s another rant). If x many covers in one month feature characters in bondage or in poses copied from “Maxim” magazine, people who see those will naturally develop the opinion that this is what comics are all about.

    It becomes even more ridiculous when this imagery- and I’m specifically thinking of Greg Land here- is traced from swimsuit pin-ups or porn frame grabs… and actually references absolutely nothing in the story found in the comic’s interior. Or is completely “out of character” for the character depicted.

    I’m not surprised there are ramifications from people outside comics fandom or the comics sphere of influence when people overindulge in sexual gazing. It’s not asking someone to be ashamed of their sexuality- it’s asking people to RESPECT SOCIAL BOUNDARIES. It’s also about having enough respect for people of either gender to relate to them in ways other than solely judging them by their sexual attractiveness or as potential sexual partners.

    You’d hope the people you meet have more on their mind than just that one particular thing. And in many settings- the office, a schoolroom, sitting across from someone on the subway- it’s really not appropriate to stare at someone to the point of making them self-conscious or uncomfortable. That has nothing to do with asking someone to be ashamed of their sexuality- it has to do with asking them not to be a rude creep.

  6. Part of the problem is the odd definition of sexuality. I am a heterosexual male. So, all that means is that my sexuality is “I am attracted sexually to women”. That is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Gawking at women? That’s expressing one’s said sexuality. Some acting out is pretty shameful. You should be embarrassed about trying to look down a woman’s shirt or up her skirt or dress.

  7. So, all that means is that my sexuality is β€œI am attracted sexually to women”.

    Does it, though? Is this all it means?

    Because the funny thing is, as a heterosexual female my sexuality is also usually defined as “men are attracted to me.” Or, rather, that I like that men are attracted to me. The common definition seems to be that “dressing sexy” = “expressing my sexuality.” But for men, “dressing sexy” = “being gay/being a player.” It’s a tool to bring heterosexual men closer to expressing their sexuality, but it’s not considered an expression of their sexuality per say. In fact, go too far, and society questions whether you are indeed, attracted to women.

    Not that I think this is what you meant, I just think that part of why a lot of people think that “[t]he idea that heterosexual men should β€œnot be ashamed of their sexuality” does equal β€œI should be able to ogle (half) naked college girls/strippers/starlets/comic book characters without repercussion.” ” is because of how we unevenly define female and male sexuality – both are often defined by male desire.

    It seems to me that one’s sexuality is a combination of one’s desire for sex/ability to find pleasure in another’s body and finding pleasure in the fact that other people desire you sexually. And yet we often divide these things up and act as if only men desire sex/bodies and as if only women can find pleasure in being desired.

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