Ottawa
3 min

How self-loathing is watching straight-boy porn?

Give me good gay-on-gay action any day

Not long ago, I was flipping through a gay publication when I came across an ad for one of those “amateur” porn sites. You know the kind — where they get “straight” college-age guys to jerk off for the camera, and then pay them to have sex with another guy? And how they’ve spread like locusts in the past couple of years? Yeah, one of those.

Normally, I would dismiss it and move on, but then something caught my eye. It proclaimed that said internet pornographer liked to “watch straight boys get dirty, work out, fix cars, [and] bang hot chicks.” That’s right — a gay porn site where you get to watch guys having sex with women. Oh be still, my beating heart.

But my curiosity was piqued, so I went to the site to see what that was all about. And lo and behold, they had a whole menu of guys having sex with porn starlets to chose from, but if you read about the site’s “mandate,” it claimed that while the guys may be having sex with women, the camera is focused on the guy. Wow, because that makes all the difference.

If there’s one thing that truly irritates me about the gay community, it’s this obsession we have with the false notions of masculinity that some of us have absorbed from society, and how that’s become so ritually fetishised in our sexual parlance. And from there, if there’s one description that pisses me off, it’s when guys label themselves as “straight acting.”

Femininity or perceived effeminate behaviour becomes the enemy, thanks to cultural misogyny. And in the end, a lot of us end up hating ourselves because gay is equated with the effeminate. And because that is undesirable, we feel as though we, too, are undesirable.

A lot of our porn preys into these kinds of feelings of inadequacy, and the fetishisation of the “masculine” ideal. And isn’t the fantasy of seducing a straight guy really the pinnacle of our collective desires? We have so fetishised this masculine ideal that these locust-like porn sites are the inevitable bastard children of our self-hate. We watch guys who identify as straight — and they let us know because they talk about their girlfriends — blow one another for a wad of cash, and we get off on it because we have this simultaneous straight-guy-equals-masculine-equals-hot signal that flashes in our brains, coupled with the fantasy notion that all it takes is a fist-full of dollars (or a six-pack of beer) to turn straight men gay.

But then this site takes it up that extra notch. Not only are these guys proclaiming their heterosexuality, they’re going to demonstrate it for you. That way, you can watch and reinforce that straight-guy-equals-masculine-equals-hot loop in your brain. Having these same models later “experiment” for that wad of cash similarly reinforces the notion that they’re easy enough to manipulate into gay sex, and therefore acceptable to desire.

Sure, there are counter-arguments — that this isn’t about masculinity, but some gay men get off watching straight porn, or that it’s really about exploring the fluidity of sexuality. But I don’t buy that. There is a whole straight porn industry out there already, so it’s not like gay men who get off on it have far to look. Creating a site that caters to that particular niche doesn’t seem like it would be a particularly profitable venture.

There is a definite attempt at marketing to the fantasy of making it with straight men, and I personally find it to be a rather cynical one. If anything, I think it’s a sign of just how self-loathing we can be when it comes to accepting our sexualities, and the degree to which we’ve internalised the various ways that mainstream society has portrayed us. Take a look at any gay dating site on the web, and you’ll find it replete with guys saying “straight acting seeking same.”

I think that we need to be careful about how we set up our own expectations about who or what is desirable. And this isn’t a rant about body fascism or gym-perfect bodies — I’m all for the gym. Rather, what I think we need to watch out for is the way that we keep escalating this fetishisation of straight men at our own expense. How do we expect to make a genuine connection with one another when we shun each other because we’re not “into the scene,” or we’re not “straight acting” enough to fit the moulds we’ve built? How self-loathing do we have to become before we realise that we’ve eaten our own for the sake of a well-marketed fantasy?