*Note* This blog may, nay, WILL contain words like "queer" and "faggy" and reduce people of all orientations to stereotypes, but with no ill will intended, I hope you can get over it.
I write to you after waking up in horror at 4am. I awoke from a dream in which I was hanging out at my parents' house with my mum and and my sister only to have my sister announce that she is going to call "Rakesh" (name invented as actual name from dream is not remembered) her male stripper and all her friends for some evening entertainment. A playful fight ensues with me detailing why a male stripper is so horrible and why she has let me down, after allowing me to believe for some time that she did not find this kind of entertainment enjoyable, but in fact gross. She giggles endlessly and tells me to get over it. I retort that I would be sitting in the other room while it went on and said it would be like sitting in a room knowing a molestation was going on and not doing anything about it. As the debate rages on, furniture is being pushed aside to pave the way for Rakesh's impending arrival. While he never actually makes it, amid all the discussion, vivid pictures are painted. Apparently he is of east Indian descent and ripped like nobody's business. My otherwise prudish mother is on the fence about this whole thing, seeing all my points, but not thinking it's so bad for a "bit of fun". Again I feel betrayed. On and on it goes, ad nauseum, until I wake up disturbed and ready to blog.
For the record, I would like to state that in reality, my sister does NOT like strippers and at last discussion was known to abhor them. When planning her hen's/bachelorette party this past January, her other bridesmaids and I were pleased that we were not required to seek out a stripper. No doubt, I'd have washed my hands of the whole affair should she have wanted one.
The heterosexual woman's love of the male stripper is something that has long baffled me. In times where there is, sadly, a movement against gays and their fight for equal rights, the popularity of the male stripper, usually among the suburban female, the type more shielded for the flamboyant gay culture and more likely to oppose it, are the very ones summoning the supposed man-gods to shake their wangs at them for titillation.
As a heterosexual woman, I have never been able to understand why a straight woman would find a male stripper appealing. For lack of any better explanation, why do I want to see a gay man, more interested in himself than me, literally PRANCE before me? Male strippers are downright faggy, the very thing that so many of these woman are afraid of. I see this conflict regularly as I work for a company which sells some very queer fabric.
I give you Tom of Finland. Tom of Finland, for those who do not know, was a Finnish artist who in his career did over 3500 illustrations of gay scenes of men on various states of undress showing heavily accentuated torsos and over sized penises either bulging in pants or unleashed altogether. Whether or not the men are clothed or engaged with each other in a scene, a Tom of Finland scene is quite distinct and its ultra gay intent is never in question.
Of the design named "Heavy Equipment", a description by one of our customers reads, "With a cheeky title to boot, these cut construction workers don hardhats, tool belts, and little else as they strike some racy poses atop a ground inked with blueprints. Hmmm...perhaps it's time for a remodel at my house!" Keep in mind that many of our customers are quilters from all over the country, many from America's heartland, aka, Bible belt, aka queer hating country. It delights me no end to have an apparently conservative quilter tell me she wouldn't mind having him (pointing to one of our 'hunks') leave his slippers under her bed. Poor thing hasn't a clue that he would not want to leave his slippers under her bed. Not because she's old, overweight and wearing a cat sweater, no, he would not even want to leave his slippers under the bed of her hot, barely legal grand daughter. This man is a homosexual and prefers the company of men.
Back to the male strippers, my confusion persists. The male stripper type, when he physically exists in the heterosexual world is almost always a self absorbed, too concerned with his own appearance to pay the necessary attention to a woman. One common gender difference is that females instinctively need to preen and make a good presentation for males. Males can be slobby and even stinky and be attractive to females. So when men start adopting the female role of preening and obsessing about their bodies, there seems to be some gender role reversal going on. Might I call this behaviour...gay? As a preened man goes against the natural order of things, I am baffled as to why a straight woman finds this man attractive. Gay or straight, he's not into you!
Finally, the dancing. Looks aside, when it happens on a mardi gras float, this kind of display is nothing short of queer. No question that this to the homophobe is the second grossest display of an abomination, the first of course being the old rogering to the rear. But take out the balloons and the multitudes of surrounding gays, and this man can now be brought into your living room for some almost-innocent fun.
If there are any women reading this who are attracted to gay men, I'd love to hear from you. I get the idea that accentuated muscles show signs of strength, useful for protection, but when that strength is used only for lifting weights and reaching for the bottle of Nivea for Men Revitalising Body Lotion, I cease to find how this can be reassuring or attractive.