Dec 6, 2014

The Drew Carey Show: All About the Beefcake?

When I was living in New York, my favorite tv program was The Drew Carey Show (1995-2004).  I'm still not sure why.

Not because of the beefcake: Diedrich Bader (left) rarely disrobed on screen, and the other male characters were not particularly attractive.

It starred dumpy, nerd-eyeglassed comedian Drew Carey as a human resources drone at the Winfred-Louder Department Store in Cleveland.

His work life is bedeviled by a series of horrible bosses and his worst enemy, the over-made up, abrasive Mimi (Kathy Kinney).

At home, he has three friends: Kate (Christa Miller), with whom he has the obligatory "will they or won't they?" quasi-romance; and slackers Oswald and Lewis (Ryan Styles, Diedrich Bader).

Heterosexism was everywhere:

1. One of the theme songs, "Five O'Clock World," was about how all of the little miseries of the workday get better when the man goes home to his wife.

2. Drew was supremely attractive to women.  His show, his rules.

3. Oswald and Lewis had been living together for 20 years, yet no one ever treated them as a couple. In one episode Mom showed up and tried to fix them up with women, explaining, "I don't want you to be alone,"  Um...they weren't alone.

4. Drew's brother Steve (John Carroll Lynch) was probably the only heterosexual crossdresser on tv at the time.  But when he arrives for a date with Mimi in drag, she is upset: a date is a boy-girl activity, and she's the girl, so he should dress as a boy, right?

Hey, Mimi, gay people go on dates, too!

When the romance with Mimi blossoms, the drag is summarily abandoned, and never mentioned again.

5. Gay characters appeared only in the standard 1990s sitcom plotlines:

Oswald dates a guy for two weeks without realizing it (come on, two weeks without any physical attention?)

Drew is mistaken for gay.

The guys pretend to be gay to get some of the wonderful "privileges" that gay people enjoy.

So why did I like The Drew Carey Show so much?

Maybe because I was homesick for West Hollywood, and Drew Carey was all about finding a home.

Or because it was set in Cleveland, one of my favorite cities.

Maybe it was Mimi and Drew's pleasantly weird sparring enemy-ship.

Or the cool musical numbers.  Here a duel between the "old drag" of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the "new drag" of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Or maybe it because of the beefcake after all.

See also: Frasier. A Beefcake Tour of Cleveland.

Dec 2, 2014

15 Simple Rules of Gay Dating

Dating is not cruising, and a date is not a hook-up.

Both activities are interesting and pleasurable, but cruising has one goal: to find a physically-attractive partner for immediate erotic intimacy.

Dating has several goals -- to engage in entertaining activities, to have interesting conversations, to be seen with someone attractive, and ultimately to find a long-term romantic partner.

But it's not as simple as sending a text to an attractive guy asking him to dinner next Friday night.  Gay dating has its own rules, procedures, and protocols that differ considerably from cruising.

And, for that matter, from heterosexual dating.

Here are 15 simple rules of gay dating.

(I am assuming that you are the one who suggested the date, and that it has the traditional five segments: Meeting, Entertainment, Dinner, Dancing, and Return.)

The Meeting
How and where do you meet for the events?

1. If you suggested the date, you must call for him at his home.  It is uncommon and in rather bad taste to meet at the Entertainment Venue, so only suggest it if there is an excellent reason, like you live right next door and he lives 50 miles away.

2. You must also pay for the activities, although it is polite for him to offer to pay his share. If the activities are very expensive, you can ask in advance if he would mind chipping in, but, again, that is in bad taste.

3. Sometimes gay men aren't clear on whether you expect friendship or romance, so a kiss before leaving his home will alleviate his concerns.

The Entertainment Venue
Traditionally a movie, but live theater or a sporting event work as well, anything which allows you to be together for a couple of hours without having to make conversation.

4. Heterosexual couples have no qualms about holding hands, hugging, or kissing in the midst of any entertainment venue, but gay couples must be careful.  If he rejects your physical gestures, it doesn't mean that he is not interested -- he may just be being cautious.

5. Even without physical contact, you will get stared at, as most heterosexual buddies who attend entertainment venues together try to sit with a seat between them, lest they accidentally brush knees.

The Dinner
Dinner occurs after the entertainment, to give you something to talk about.

6. If the restaurant is not in a gay neighborhood, you will be asked "How many in your party?" and "are you together or separate?" repeatedly.  The host and servers are unaware of the existence of gay people, and assume that you are two buddies hanging out together.

7. If the restaurant contains a bar, half-drunk ladies will also assume that you are two buddies hanging out together, and thus up for grabs.  They will send you drinks or ask to join you.  Reject them tactfully.

8. Dinner conversation should not include coming out stories, analyses of the faults of ex-boyfriends, or discussions of favored sexual positions.

The fourth segment of the date is dancing or some other physical activity, such as ice skating, to work off the stupor of dinner and prepare you for an energetic good-night kiss.

9. Only dance in a gay club.  If you try it in an establishment that is for heterosexuals, you will get stared at and joked about, and you may be assaulted in the parking lot.  

10. When you are not on the dance floor, both you and your date will be hit on.  You can lessen the number of interlopers by physically touching him at all times, signaling "This one is off limits."  But that won't deter the most oblivious.

The Return
The date is not over until you escort him back to his home and say "Goodnight."

11. For heterosexuals, the invitation to come inside is optional, but for gay couples, it is mandatory, primarily because it is too risky to attempt a kiss on the doorstep.  If he does not invite you into his home, or if you do not accept, there will be no second date.

12. Once you are inside, a kiss followed by physical intimacy is expected, but not mandatory.  If you are not in the mood, just say "I want to take things slow," and you can postpone the bedroom to the second or third date, no questions asked.

13. If you decide not to "take things slow," you must spend the night.  If you get dressed and go home when the bedroom activities are over, the evening has become a hook-up, not a date.

14. And bring condoms, in case he doesn't have any of his own.

15. Serial dating is frowned upon in gay communities: if the first date was satisfactory, then you date only that person until the relationship ends or becomes a friendship.  Therefore, you should call or email him within 24 hours, either to plan your next date or to explain that you are no longer interested.

See also: 15 Rules of Gay Cruising.

Dec 1, 2014

Cruising Preachers, Priests, Monks, and Rabbis

I have always been attracted to clergy.  There's something about a devotion to the spiritual world that makes your presence in the physical world especially erotic.  Maybe the paradoxical juxtaposition of muscles and Bibles, penises and prayer.

When I was a kid, I watched the preacher up on his podium three times a week, pacing and pounding his Bible and screaming until his brown business suit was soaked with sweat and you could glimpse his tight, hairy chest underneath.

At Nazarene summer camp, I saw my Sunday school teacher, Brother Dino, naked in the shower, and got a nice view of of the Gospel-singing Sanderson Brothers peeing in the woods.

My first real boyfriend was a student preacher.

My goal is to date, hook up with, or at least see a religious leader in each of the major religious groups.

1. Roman Catholic.  I dated a Traditional Catholic monk, and I might have hooked up with a priest in New York, but I'm not sure. He was vague about it.

2. Eastern Orthodox.  No Romanian Orthodox monks, such as pose for those erotic-religious calendars, but I dated a former Greek Orthodox priest with a pushy mom.

3. Evangelical Christian.  Lots of ex-evangelicals.  Alan, the first guy I dated seriously in West Hollywood, was a Pentecostal minister.  But no practicing ones, unless you count glimpses of a Baptist boy in the act.

4. Mormon.  Who wouldn't want to invite those pairs of missionaries into your house to discuss the Angel Moroni, the Golden Plates, and sacred underwear?  I dated a Mormon guy, but never a missionary.

5. Hindu.  Does a a follower of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi count?

6. Buddhist.  There are no professional clergy in Buddhism, but a hot orange-robed monk would be a good substitute.

7. Pagan.  They don't really have professional clergy, but I've dated Wiccans.

8. Sikh.  A Sikh guy used to work out at Barney's gym in Florida, and I managed to get a sausage sighting.

9. Jewish.  I had a Jewish partner for 10 years, and hooked up with several other Jewish guys, but no rabbis.  Not even any rabbinic students.

10. Muslim.   The holy grail of clergy-cruising.  Not only is Islam notoriously homophobic, but there aren't many Muslims in the U.S., and even fewer imams (you can have a congregation without one).  I've been with Muslim guys, but I never even came close to cruising an imam, not even during my semester in Turkey.

See also: Brother Dino in the Shower; The Sanderson Boys Get Naked; and The Top 10 Public Penises of Islam


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...