gay guys + women = contested territory (and, um, still more shoes)

As days go by, I find myself accumulating many links to websites that kind and thoughtful people, ever attentive to the voracious needs of the information-hungry sex geek, bring to my attention. Often enough these links inspire me to heights of intellectual ecstasy and result in me posting rants, I mean essays, on the topics they raise. Sometimes, though, they just kinda sit in my “things to read” list in my favourites, and wait, hoping against hope that they’ll become relevant to something I’m writing. Poor, depressed little websites.

(I can’t believe I just anthropomorphized a list of hyperlinks. Jeezis.)

Anyway, so today, with a grand flourish and even grander intentions, I bring to you a random collection of interesting things floating on the vast sea that is the Internet. Please, indulge me in my joyful haphazardry.

Most recently, and most amusingly in many ways, we have A Memo to Straight Women Seeking a Gay Male Friend. It’s bloody hilarious, and all the more so that it’s posted on Craigslist. Basically, there’s an LA-based fag, I mean gay man, who cut loose and ranted against all the women who are simply seeking the latest “hot urban accessory of the gay male friend.” He begins by stating, “I have noticed that we’ve crossed over into a place where some women are just a little too comfortable with homosexuality. ‘Too much tolerance’ you say? I’ll explain.” And he continues from there. He covers it all: Will & Grace, codependency, masturbation, misguided matchmaking and more… and he does it in barely one page of brilliantly written text. In fact, I’m going to keep this short so my laudatory comments don’t end up longer than their subject. Just go read it.

Next, we have the sensible shoes for work that become killer heels at night. It’s like the Transformers in drag. Who knew? I’m partly convinced that the entire article is just an excuse to show a picture of Nicole Kidman in a fabulous costume (and no, I don’t think she’s wearing the sensible/killer shoes), but really, the concept is pretty interesting. If a bit gimmicky. I was fully expecting to see a bunch of boring office-girl pumps that happen to be convertible, but the little ad actually shows some surprisingly fun designs. That said, I don’t know if I’m going to be running out to buy a pair; I walk like a trucker as it is, four-inchers or no, and this usually entails frequent trips to the cordonnier for repairs to my existing collection. (Seriously folks, if you know of someone who’d get their jollies maintaining a gal’s gender-variant shoe closet, send ’em my way. S’long as they’re not creepy.) Anyway, so a heel with a joint in the middle is a recipe for some broken Sex Geek neck. But for those of you with a softer step, try a pair and let me know how they work for ya.

Ensuite, we have the news that Ottawa – a town so hip it hurts (cough) – is actually home to a brand-new roller derby league. And ya know why? Because someone from there came to Montreal to learn how to do it right, that’s why. If ever there were proof that Montreal out-cools the Land of the Civil Servant, this is it. Don’t get me wrong, folks; I was born in the nation’s capital, and I have much-loved friends and brothers there, not to mention the wonderful sex toy store cum bookshop that is Venus Envy. But I just love making fun of the town. What’s that saying again… the best thing about Ottawa is that it’s two hours from Montreal? Yeah, something like that.

That being said, I’m not above turning my critical eye on the city I call home. Especially with another article that was brought to my attention recently… apparently, our Gay Village likes penis so much they turn away the ladies at the door. This is nothing new – I have the fond memory of a friendly man who, after seeing me in a (gasp!) halter top at a leather bar on girls-welcome day, called into the newspaper to say “I don’t go to my bar to see tits!” or something equally charming. What’s new, this time around, is that instead of inspiring an exchange of public rants (the ladies were defended in print by the gallant, and business-savvy, owner of the now-defunct Northbound Leather), the situation has inspired a human rights complaint. Fascinating! I wonder how this will turn out.

It’s funny… I’m all for the existence of exclusive spaces in some circumstances, but my personal jury is still out when it comes to gay male space. The boys do such a great job of taking up space whether it’s officially exclusive or not that it’s hard to see what threat some inclusivity could pose – not to mention there’s often more than a whiff of sexism in the air when that space is taken up. Ladies, raise your hand if you’ve been shouldered aside by a couple of clones on the Village sidewalk… ignored at a bar as slick muscleboys take turns getting served as soon as they step up… or, as many have, given up on the Village entirely in favour of other, more estrogen-friendly haunts. 

At the same time, I enjoy women-only space – not all the time, but occasionally – and I would resent someone telling me that its existence is oppressive when bloody hell, all we want is a bit of privacy now and again. Girl-only gatherings are hardly a boys’ club where all kind of off-the-books decisions are made about how the world should be run. And thre are times when I wanna get my freak on with ladies and only ladies; I spend the majority of my time in mixed company, so when I want to enjoy an evening with my she-pronouned pals, I want the men to butt the fuck out and be gracious about it. So if a bunch of cock-loving men want to spend time admiring (etc.) other cock-loving men in the privacy of an exclusively cock-loving-male space, who am I to poke my nose in there and say it’s not cool? Besides, the bar in question has women-welcome days; they’re not entirely penicentric. (Ooh, I made up a word.)

Ah, the complexity of power relations between groups of relative minority status.

Anyway, I must go. Dinner and a bowl of fresh strawberries awaits. Further randomness will surely wait too.

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