#IfYouAreBehind — “Public Toilets, Private Affairs” / Science of Closeted Homophobes / Weight Loss & Better Sleep Through Sex
“The male sex organ isn’t at the heart of my work as a photographer — which not to say that it doesn’t matter. But the man himself: the ‘he’, is. To inhabit a male body is to harbour a host of enigmas, flaws, ambiguities, and contradictions.” -Marc Martin
Could you imagine the MTA of New York sponsoring a homo-erotic exhibit dedicated to gay sex in public toilets — the cruising scene of the past? Well, this past week NewNowNext shed light on Schwules Museum in Berlin, featuring Fenster zum Klo: Public Toilets, Private Affairs by Marc Martin, that has been officially sponsored by Berlin’s public transport service and takes the 🍰 on its preservation of history, all the while endorsing sexual progression. Martin, a well known French photographer, had even been granted access to closed subway stations, which house now extinct public porcelain 🚽 that were once the scene that reeked of homosexuality (no pun intended). In fact, some of “his earliest sexual experiences were in these thrilling urban spaces”.
“These places, where men were constantly coming and going, were instrumental in my sexuality, aroused my desires and quenched my curiosity,” Martin writes. “In there, I also had the most unlikely, unexpected encounters.” On his personal platform, he mentions being “inspired by a bygone era, a time before the fixation on performance became the driving force of everything; before the obsession with hygiene destroyed any appreciation of its absence; before cruising by numbers had begun to dehumanise all eroticism.” Pretty fucking powerful stuff and super important in the documentation of our culture 👏 👏 👏
“From poetry to pornography, his work bears witness to the generation of today, of a type of sexual interaction that has virtually disappeared,” reads a description of Martin’s exhibit. What I found ironic about this description is that “cruising” hasn’t “virtually disappeared”, but rather, it has just transformed into a virtual interaction, as has poetry (Tumblr or Instagram, anyone?) and pornography (a la Pornhub and OnlyFans). Though it’s utterly important to uncover the prior dangers that all gay men faced, the cruising scene has simply changed from public toilets culture to digital app culture via Grindr, Scruff, and Chappy and what’s critical is to understand that the past and present both bear a constant threat of risk. Some of these risks are the same and some have adapted as homo culture has changed with the times, and more importantly, with the increasing acceptability of homosexuality. I do hope to predict that we continue on this every important quest for complete inclusion, while not only highlighting the past, but also ASSessing the current state of engagement, and adapting in a way that mitigates future unpredictabilities.
The quote by Martin that started off this piece (“the male sex organ isn’t at the heart of my work as a photographer”), resonated strongly with me because my entire career — building Bespoke Surgical — has been predicated on a male sex orifice and indeed is at the “heart” of my work. But the key to not allowing the 🍑 to define our community is just as important to my work as it is for Martin to distance himself from the literal. However one approaches their impact on our history, the comparison lies within its context — the ever encompassing blurred lines of a complex culture. The key is the peripheral view and all of its components as it pertains to change.
“Glorious or shameful, our good old cottage toilet no longer needs to blush about its past.”
Science: The hypothesis is that the bigotry of anti-gay public figures doesn’t just make their sexual behavior hypocritical — it actually functions as a cover for it, consciously or otherwise.
This week, the Daily Beast tackles the theory of oppositional homophobia in public figures, like former Ohio State Rep. Wesley Goodman, who resigned late last week after it came out that he had had sex with a man in his office and also former Oklahoma State Sen. Ralph Shortey who resigned after being hit with child prostitution charges for allegedly soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy, who vehemently oppose all LGBTQ issues. Time and time again, this play on character, with its high level of predictability, continues to write itself, with the majority literally caught with either their pants down or someone’s dick in their ass 👉🏻👌🏻
“Christian. American. Conservative. Republican.” Need I say anymore?!
The Daily Beast cited a very interesting 2012 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that suggested some “self-avowed straight people who showed signs of same-sex desire were more likely to hold discriminatory attitudes.”
The specifics detailed asking 784 college students to rate their sexual orientation on a 10-point scale and then told them to sort “images and words indicative of hetero- and homosexuality” into categories. They attempted to enter their subconscious by placing subliminal flashes of the words “me” or “other” before each image, all theoretically identifying bias.
So what did they find?
The researchers isolated a “subgroup of participants” — more than “20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals” — who “indicated some level of same-sex attraction,” and who were “significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects.” In simple, their internalized issues with sexual identity are being taken out on other individuals, specifically the community they truly belong to.
But the fact of the matter and reason why I thought this article was so important was that this usual narrative of “overgeneralizing and joking” may actually come to bite us all in the ass. I couldn’t agree more with comedian Cameron Esposito, herself a lesbian, who has criticized the homophobic undertones calling out these homo-jokes as being more interested in the “homophobe caught having gay sex” headline story than in the mistreatment of LGBT people, specifically with their anti-agenda. Another queer writer who was cited, Lindsay King-Miller, wrote earlier this year, “Making fun of ‘closet cases’ only reinforces homophobia” because it “underscores the idea that being gay is shameful and should be hidden.”
Kudos to all for not taking the usual narrative, but rather choosing the high road in how we overcome such bigotry. The key to betterment lies with all of us, specifically understanding the classic cases of these individuals that harbor such hate and disdain for a community. So this highlighted point raises the question: how do we, as a society, with the continued knowledge and understanding of the social make-up of these closeted-hate mongering predators, start to chip away at the uneducated and judgmental facade, exposing their vulnerability — all with the intent on rehabilitation for betterment? Homophobia is real and years away, if ever, from extinction. But we, as humans, must continue to demand from everyone that something positive come of all this negativity. There is no difference in the reaction from the media to the recent sex scandals that continue to dominate daily headlines, pointing fingers with blame. These subtypes are easily identified and classified, but beyond the name calling and the ridiculous blame game, we need to create platforms and curriculums to attempt to unfold this old knowledge with the hopes of delivering social change across all disciplines.
The answer is simple, and what we at Bespoke Surgical subscribe to daily: educate and expose. With this, bias and judgment has to fall by the wayside. We, as a community, have the responsibility to alter destiny and we call on you — Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon and Tim Cook and Tom Ford and all who have the attention of their fans to come together and foster change, continuing the fight not only for our own equality, but for all who walk this earth.
Being gay is not an issue. Marginalizing is!
Sex: Did you know that having sex can cause both weight loss and better sleep patterns? Two interesting sex-related facts, that I came across this week, were disclosed in Medical News Today and The Sun. I mean, who wouldn’t love to fuck more and see the love handles fade, and then just sleep like a bear (even if you’re a twink!)? What did the findings reveal?
Weight loss — The more sex, the more weight loss. Before you start fucking like rabbits, lets take a deeper look. Professor Karelis worked with 21 heterosexual couples (a serious limitation for our gay world) aged between 18 and 35 (yet another limitation — hey, man, us older boys engage, too!). The couples had sex once per week for a period of 4 weeks, while wearing an activity tracker. The definition of a ‘sexual encounter’ had to include foreplay, intercourse, and at least one orgasm by either partner. What did they find? Men burned on average 101 calories and women 69 calories, when they had sex. The average duration of foreplay, intercourse, and orgasm was 24.7 minutes and the actual time the couples spent having sex ranged from 12.5 to 36.9 minutes. The average intensity fit into the category of comparable moderate-intensity exercise. This means that each time we have sex, it counts toward our 150 minutes of weekly exercise recommended by the HSS. Two factors that play into all calorie burning stem from either increasing intensity and/or length of engagement.
To be honest, I don’t necessarily think there is anything groundbreaking here that we haven’t already assumed (or known) about the use of intercourse for exercise tolerance, weight loss, and just the daily up-keep of our tight bodies. The article is indeed super limited, specifically in making any references to the LGBTQ+ community, but it does give a frame of reference on what we can do to maximize returns. It would be interesting to get some power bottoms or aggressive tops on the activity tracker for comparison. My assumption is that double the testosterone and our general sexual habits will lead to increased values, even before taking a look at fisting or group play.
Now, take this and combine it with the below study on improving sleep patterns and it’s all part and parcel to enhanced living.
Sleep — New research has found that “two thirds of people slept better after having sex, but only if it involved an orgasm for both parties.” The recent survey of more than 460 adults aged 18–70 found that sex could aid a sound sleep — but it needed to be mutually satisfying. The results statistically compared to enhanced sleep for only 50 per cent of respondents who’d orgasmed on their own, through masturbation. Sleep researcher Dr. Michele Lastella said a worsening problem for people’s sleep patterns was not being able to “switch off” and sex may also produce “a biochemical cocktail” — an increase in oxytocin and prolactin and a decrease in the production of stress hormone cortisol, which “can leave us feeling quite relaxed”.
Again, not a major revelation here on their outcomes, but the old adage of “rubbing one out” before bed rings true and can be even more gratifying on both a sexual and sleep front if it’s done with others. This mutual contact and orgasmic climax gives a whole new meaning to ‘bury one’s face in a pillow’. If we think about it with multiple partners, what happens if you wake up at 2 in morning and do it all over again. Does this have a compounding effect? Asking for a friend 🤔
Time and time again we see the values of weight loss, exercise, sleep, and good ol’ fashion fucking. And what an achievement if you can arrange to accomplish them all (in what order I will leave up to you). But the overarching theme continues to focus on positive living, surrounding or creating one’s destiny towards healthy practices. So why are you still reading this blog? Go get some 🍑 (or 🍆)!