Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is “Heteroflexible” the New Gay?

Is “Heteroflexible” the New Gay?
by Brent HartingerJuly 21, 2009

This is a great article by Brent Hartinger in and illustrates the increasing awareness that straight men can have sexual relations with another male and still be straight!

Hartinger talks about a few entertainment projects in which straight men have sex with other men.

But it might also actually mean something – namely that America is finally
growing up somewhat when it comes to the topic of guy-guy sexual behavior, and
might even be taking a major step forward on the general understanding of the
fluid nature of human sexuality.


Anonymous said...

For any who are interested in the topic of male-male sexual behavior that can and does occur outside the context of a homosexual or bisexual orientation, there is a book that was written back in the early 1970s by a Scandinavian psychiatrist, Thorkil Vangaard, called "Phallos: A Symbol and Its Meaning." Here is a quote (p. 192)from that book that illustrates how it relates to the discussion occuring on this blog:

“I have given a number of examples showing how men, disturbed by nervous states and feeling powerless in some measure because of them, express these feelings by sexual symbolism whether their disturbances lie primarily within the sexual sphere or outside it….Consequently, a homosexual manifestation on the part of the patient, in a dream or in his emotional attitude, may be a signal of capitulation, to ward off an imagined danger or, on the contrary, may be an attempt on the part of the patient to assert himself towards the doctor. A manifestation of this kind may have its origins at a considerable distance from the erotic sphere in spite of its sexual form. It is important for any therapist to be aware of this during the treatment of male patients.”

I know that this quote is kind of clinical and not that easy to take in all at once (no pun intended), but in the book the author basically argues that the phallus (the symbol), not the penis itself(the organ), can be a very powerful object of attraction for some men who are feeling powerless or threatened psychologically.

The author also traces out how certain types of male-male sexual activity have occured throughout recorded Western history in various cultures, but were NOT necessarily considered indicative of a homosexual orientation (that word apparently wasn't even used until the 18th century). He argues that while Western cultures have (in the 1970s) become more tolerant of homosexuality, they have ironically become less open to male-male sexual activity that lies outside the realm of a homosexual orientation.

The book is a little dated, but there's some good stuff in it for anyone who's interested. There's also a good book called "Male to Male" written by Ed Tejirian, a psychologist in NYC, that covers similar ground using case studies. Just thought I'd share.

Joe Kort said...

Thanks Annonymous! This is great information.

Anonymous said...

Hmm..Apparantly the APA disagrees with the concept that sexual orientation is flexible. This quote is from the recent APA position abstract on Sexual Orientation Change efforts, "In terms of formulating the goals of treatment, we propose that, on the basis of research on sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity, what appears to shift and evolve in some individuals’ lives is sexual orientation identity, not sexual orientation."