Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Not that D.C. McAllister of The Federalist had ever written anything that made sense to me before (Sample: "If we’re going to warn people of the perils of Big Gulps and French fries, shouldn’t we warn them of the dangers of sex?"), but when she started talking about how some people, particularly children and butch dudes, have problems with sexuality and friendship I thought she was in the ballpark at least of rational discourse:
Just this morning I was watching Fox NFL Sunday, and Terry Bradshaw was talking about how he was excited by Howie Long the first time he saw him play. The eruption of uncomfortable laughter was expected. But he kept on, saying how Long “took his breath away”—which incited even more snickers. 
While I grinned, having seen this same scenario played out over and over again, I was also saddened, because I saw it as just one more knock on a kind of love we desperately need in our lives—passionate, nonsexual love. But we’re so uncomfortable with the expression of intimate, familiar feelings among men that we’ve given it its own name—bromance. 
I should have known when she started quoting C.S. Lewis that things would go badly wrong (quoting Chesterton is also a useful warning sign). Ditto when she started ranking on Romanticism and The Sexual Revolution. Then:
Let me illustrate this point with two men—let’s call them Steve and Paul—who are both very expressive in their feelings. This is an important distinction because it’s no accident that the top personality types by a large margin for people who identity as homosexual are “feeling types” —INFP and INFJ for women, and ESFJ and ENFJ for men.
Steve and Paul—two highly extroverted-feeling men—meet one another and they have an immediate connection and common interests. The effect of a Puritanical attitude still pervasive in our culture says “Don’t show affection, be controlled with your feelings.” But that’s not who they are. They’re passionate... 
Maybe, if they lived in times past, when men had places where they could really connect as men, they could express themselves in some way. But that’s not the case in modern culture with fluid interaction between the sexes and lack of “man-only space.” So what do they do with their feelings now? Suppress them or show them? 
Not sure what's wrong with "fluid interaction between the sexes" (I could go for some right now!), nor why guys who need a "man-only space" can't just join the Man Scouts and go hang out under a bridge, but okay.
One would hope they can simply show them, but because of the impact of sexualization, they interpret that expression in a sexual way. As a result, the two men either don’t want to be thought of as gay (because they’re not, not because they necessarily think homosexuality is wrong), and they withdraw.
That does sound sad. But there are alternatives to submitting to this kind of social pressure. Changing you support system, for example --
Or, they begin to doubt and wonder, Am I gay?
Oh fuck me.
“I get excited when I’m with Paul,” Steve says to himself. “He puts a spring in my step just talking to him. I’m stimulated by his intellect and insight. He makes me feel more alive after talking to him than I did before. Those feelings are so strong they must be sexual. I must be gay.” Paul feels the same. But they’re not gay at all. They don’t want to have sex with each other. They’re simply men who feel and express deep passions and feelings, and they want to connect with someone with common interests.
Ya gotta wonder how McAllister knows they're not gay. Maybe she decided while staring into Steve's dreamy eyes during one of his long talks about how Paul puts a spring in his step.

Anyway, it turns out the big problem is not that jocks will be awkward among their fellow bros, but that "the more friendship is misunderstood and ignored, the more people will identify as homosexual and bisexual." Out of pure confusion of eros and phileo, men wind up sucking cock and women wind up eating pussy. Not to mention the polyamory! "What you need are friends," McAllister tells one poor soul who has been seduced into multisex, "real, loving friends -- not more sexual relationships." She explains that eros is "a throaty passion that can end badly and lead to tragedy," but that probably just got them more turned on.

Me, I'm all for nonsexual love, including the demonstrative kind, but if my friends are getting laid I'm usually happy for them, not convinced they've made a throaty mistake (unless they've picked up a thrush). Why is sex such a puzzle for these people?

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