Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Click click...

The internet is run rampant with sex and porn.

That statement is pretty much an oxymoron, but it’s worth bearing that pretty much anywhere you look, from dating sites to hooking up on Craigslist to all-out porn shoots, there are hundreds of photos of hundreds of guys showing off their bodies.

What I’ve been discovering more and more lately, as I venture guardedly back into the single world, is the staggering number of people who don’t hesitate to post their own pictures of themselves in ‘indiscreet’ situations. Most ‘dating’ (read: hook up) sites profiles have more pictures of a guy’s member or ass than they do of his smiling face.

Hell, half the time the mouth is too busy to smile for the camera.

Sex sells, and if you want to get laid, you better put the goods on display. A few flattering shots of yourself in the raw does wonders for the inbox, or so I’m told.

There are no existing nude photos of me, as far as I know. This is for two reasons:

1. Because I’m wayyy to self-conscious to put my body out there for all to see.

2. I don’t really know there will be no ‘long term’ effects of some candid shots sitting somewhere in the depths of the internet.

When it comes down to it, I don’t have a problem with guys showing off. It’s sexy to see ‘real’ people, couples, whoever, making their own little sex tapes. It offers something that porn – no matter how amateurish it’s production – cannot offer, that glimpse into the ‘uninhibited’ sex lives of real people.

Guys are not only putting up thousands of photos for free that the world is allowed to see, they’re joining ‘Cam’ sites and jerking off for an anonymous customer on the other end of their internet connection.

And again, while it can be all in good fun, what happens in, say, 15 years. How many people have copies of profile photos seen on Dudesnude, Adam4Adam, Manhunt and the like? Will anyone even care by then? Would anyone ever find out?

See, I’m still on the fence about how damaging these ‘pictures/videos’ are. Granted, your political career may suffer if voters see you getting down and dirty with some guy...but are these more scandalous because these politicians have families and are ‘straight’ or because it’s two guys having gay sex?

Add to that the probability that, outside the gay world, people who aren’t looking for gay porn aren’t going to come across your dirty laundry. That’s the theory, anyway. I mean, it’s not like the Times runs a ‘Reader Cock of the Week’ shot in the Sunday insert.

Still, I can’t help but hold off snapping a few cock shots of my own. I have no quibbles about regarding my sexuality, so I don’t necessarily disagree with making some home-made porn. I just can’t help but wonder how many bad things could happen because of those few photos.

I’ll open the floor to comments, because I’m genuinely curious how many of you either have posted or just taken pictures of yourself for the world’s collective enjoyment.

The one sure thing is that younger people, especially younger hyper-sexual gay guys, are not taking a moment to ask the same questions that I have. The number of white, auburn haired Midwestern American teens who make their privates available online is unquestionable. The evidence is all there online, for the world to digest at its leisure.

I just doubt I’ll be joining their ranks anytime soon, even if it means getting passed over for someone else because my profile doesn’t disclose every one of my assets.

EDIT: I've added a poll that I'd love for you to vote on, if the colour is a little hard to read I apologize, my Blogger skills are less than adept...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The small gestures...

Have random acts of kindness really died in 21st century society?

A long while ago, when I was moving from my old place, I had to drop my washing machine pay card by the property manager’s office and sign a few things. The office wasn’t very busy, and the grandmotherly Bavarian woman who runs the place was happy to see me and get me sorted.
While signing on the dotted line, a young guy wandered into the office and took his place in line behind me.

As I was finishing, he asked the landlady for a laundry card; he had just moved in the day before and it wasn’t given to him then.

I casually asked the landlady if he could just take my old card, since there was still around 13 dollars left on it that I had no hope of using up.

“But, are you sure,” the landlady gasped at me, like I had just handed over a million dollars. “You can get your money back if you fill out another form and wait a few months, you know. You don’t have to give it away.”

She seemed so genuinely taken back by my ‘generosity’ an made a big fuss over how that’s never happened before and how I must be such a nice guy.

For his part, the other tenant who had just accepted my laundry card shook my hand and thanked me profusely. He’d just moved in the day before and was clearly young, probably getting ready to start university.

In a small way I felt like I was giving a hand to someone in a situation pretty much like my own just a few years ago. It made me feel kind of warm and fuzzy (as goofy as that sounds) to see the circle of life, as it were, revolve once more.

But the big deal over 13 dollars still blows my mind. It was as if I had just given them a grant for a million dollars. I tried to be as modest as possible , shrug it off and just say the whole ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ thing.

“Nobody does that kind of thing though! “ she said matter-of-factly. “It doesn’t happen!”

I know the world can be a pretty cold, lonely, crappy place. I get the whole feeling down, fighting back against life’s hardships, etc. I guess you could call it the ‘human experience’. But jeez, I gave up like 10 bucks on a laundry card. I didn’t think my small random act of kindness would be taken so out of the blue.

I try to live my life as best I can and be a positive and giving person. What I did wasn’t the least bit out of character for me, but the response was certainly a surprise.

In this cold city, I guess I’m one of the few nice ones left after all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is and what it used to be...

If 50 is the new 40, and 40 is the new 30, and 30 is the new 20...then I'm a 14 year old?

Culture is in constant flux, but one of the more changed facets of our lives is the interpretation of age. Sure, it's 'just a number' after all, but most people agree that each decade has skipped back a few years on the 'traditional' scale of existence.

People who were marrying and having children in their 20's now have them well into their 30's or beyond. Women in their mid-40's-to-50's are now considered attractive cougars, flush with the money from their divorces and fueled by raging menopausal hormones.

It all sounds very attractive for someone in the later years of their life, like a chance card in a board game, almost the permission for a do-over of a decade or so of their lives. We crave eternal youth, and society has now deemed it acceptable that the activities and decisions made at an older age are given as much credence as those of teenagers.

But what does it mean, exactly, for someone just starting out their life? If 30 is indeed the new 20, than being 24 makes puts me solidly back in adolescence. Am I then allowed the freedom of being a teenager, absolved of responsibility for my actions and safeguarded by my parents?

It never really crossed my mind, but I do have several friends that fit that description. They've finished university, gotten jobs, started living their own 'adult' lives...but still behave like teenagers. Everything is about the next party, the next weekend, ditching work early and shagging anything in sight. What's scary is they now have the somewhat-disposable income to do just that.

Of course, there's no real planning for the future...but that seems to be what your 30's are for now.

Even my friends who have successfully navigated life out of their 20's are, in a sense, just getting strong footholds in their professions. That came with around 10 years of hard work, mind you, but what used to be the jobs and occupations of freshly-graduated students are now the positions 30-somethings find themselves in.

I just don't get what this all really means for me. Am I allowed to live the life of a teenager? Does society now expect so little from me that I'll not only have less responsibility but less opportunity to get my life started?

And what will it mean for me once I'm in my 60's? I really don't want to feel the burden of being forced to work into my 70's, but at the rate we're going both societally and economically, it's a distinct possibility.

While there are less stressors surrounding age, like 'settling down and starting a family' or just plain settling, I still feel more lost in an age-limbo than embracing my newfound adolescence.

I guess I'm just not old enough to understand.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

These dreams...

I'm such a loser that Even the guys I dream about are complicated and unattainable.

Sweeping statement, I know, but having just had a very vivid, lengthy dream about some fictitious guy that I was apparently totally in love with but in a beyond-complicated situation.

I say this dream was 'long' because it literally chronicled a relationship from beginning to end. Not every second, but enough for the 'viewer' (myself) to get the picture. I say this dream was vivid because I actually had that chest-swelling, stomach-fluttering feeling of love as I dreamed I was lying in bed, cuddling my anonymous boyfriend.

I never did catch his name...

Of course, it couldn't just be a happy dream. It couldn't have been a fun and easy distraction made up by my subconscious to ebb the flow of loneliness I've been feeling. Nope, it had to be as complicated and fucked up as my real-life relationships are.

The general plot dealt with me being introduced to a guy by my apparent best friend, some girl from high-school who I barely hung out with. We subsequently fell madly, passionately in love. I can't remember if the sex was any good, but there was a lot of cuddling.

So everything seems cheery in the quasi-futuristic world that my dream took place in. Except for the fact that my mystery man happened to be the son of two devout Mormons, his mother having her Masters in Mormon Theology and his father having a PhD in the subject.

Where the fuck did my subconscious come up with that?

Anyway, long story short, I agonizingly realized that there's no way for us to be together, given his background and the fact that he could not break away from his family and church. It ended touchingly with my 'best friend' and I sitting on her balcony on a summer evening lamenting lost love.

Alas, even in my dreams, the place of blissful escape, I still manage to meet a complicated man and find myself in a doomed relationship.

Yay me.

Shout out No. 3...

Hola to a reader from Los Cristianos, Spain. Looks like a lovely place to take a mini-break! Just looking at a few photos helps take away the sting of our freezing cold winter!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Natural beauty...

I have to say, I'm a sucker for natural beauty.

I don't mean beauty post-plastic surgery, colonic weight loss cleanse and professional grooming. I'm talking about just truly stunning features people have.

Be they the hallowed high cheek bones, or startlingly insightful eyes, or the perfect curvature at the corner of a smile, I'm always an admirer of someone that makes me look twice. Chalk it up to insecurity, or whatever, but I genuinely can be stupefied by a guy with the most charming curl of hair that lazily spills across his forehead.

Hell, what are we all kicking about the planet for if not to embrace that which brings us happiness. (I realize this makes me sound like a sociopath who abducts and murders pretty boys because he likes the way they look. Not the case, but it makes me sound a little nuts, I agree...)

But what I find most difficult when dealing with these specimens of beauty is the most basic of interactions with them.

Take for instance one of the most striking guy's I've ever come face-to-face with. He works at Holt Renfrew (aka Selfridges Canada) in the men's department, must be around 25, has the lightest tint of golden brown on his skin, black, lanky hair and an angular face. I'd tell you the colour of his eyes, but I've never been close enough to see.

Because I'm too intimidated to even speak to him.

I'll casually shift clothes on their racks, thumbing through for sizes or whatnot, stealing the occasional glance at the shopboy. In some ways it feels dirty, like I'm somehow a lecherous old molester scouting his next grope. Far from it actually, but it still feels funny.

On his part, he has never spoken to me (bad customer service!). I highly doubt he is even aware of my existence. And while I'm not really stunned or silenced by celebrity, this gorgeous man leaves me at a loss for words.

I have no designs to ask him out, or much of anything really. I just find it fascinating that as a grown-up, mature guy, I get lost for words when confronted with natural beauty.  It's stupid. It's frustrating. And it always leaves me with that flutter of insecurity, that voice inside telling me I'll never look that way, nor wind up with someone that damn beautiful.

All in all, a total waste of time. But it is a pleasure to behold a guy, walking down the street or sitting in a cubicle, that hit the genetic lottery and stands head and shoulders above the rest of us. I get annoyed that confronting one illicits such a stupid response from me.

I just need to remind myself that perhaps there's someone out there thinking the very same about me.