Macho Fags

This post is from Quiet Riot Girl, an inspirational figure I first met on twitter. A pro sex work feminist, always thoughtful and hugely talented, several of us at Year Zero had the privilege of working with her on the great project, Objectified. As befits someone inspired by and who has worked with Mark Simpson, forever associated with the term metrosexual, QRG is intrigued by the fluidity and diversity of sexualities, and this piece illustrates that perfectly.

Ah, machismo. It is such a pretty word, for such an ugly thing. Imagine it, spoken softly in a lilting Italian brogue, with a sigh, by a devestatingly beautiful, pensive woman. Look at her sat, frowning on the steps of her villa, surrounded by the most picturesque countryside in the world, pondering the sadness of her life. Consider all the men that have come and gone through her body, that have looked in her eyes and not seen her, that have fucked her, over and over and over, but never fucked her, not really. That have drunk all her wine, talked and talked and talked at her, sometimes rasing their hands to her perfect porcelain face. And then fucked off into the Tuscan night. Ah, machismo mi amore.

I have been seduced by macho men before. Not the stereotypical ones, the giveaways with builders bums and stella burps. The ones that call me ‘darlin’ and shout about ‘that bitch’ the wife. And not the suave ones either, the ones that know how to make their moves on women, that wear thick silver watches and talk about business in loud voices. Who spend their evenings on the prowl looking for whores. Or worse. They are too obvious. But I have been seduced all the same.

And I never realise till it is too late.

Once he said it was like ‘fucking a corpse’.

Once or more than once, the ego of a man nearly toppled me over flat onto my face.

Once, once when his foot was in my back and I was on the floor, that’s when I got it, finally.

Once, once I was sucking his cock and he was calling me his whore and for a moment I didn’t know if it was real or a game.

Once, or more than once, a man has looked at me with such contempt that I have wanted  to kill him.

Once, sat in my parents’ living room, the policeman taking the statement asked, ‘how do you spell misogyny?’

Once, or more than once, a man has groped me right in the cunt, hard. And laughed.

Once, the room went black. I had to go to hospital.

 And I never realise till it is too late.

So maybe I have turned to gay men as a way of escaping machismo. Especially those aesthetic, philosophical, sensitive gay types.   Think of a gay intellectual and what kind of picture springs to mind? Even now, knowing what I know, I imagine  a beautiful, slightly effete man, tall and svelte, well dressed, a relaxed but fragile air. I think of Isherwood, strolling round Berlin, or E.M. Forster sat in his study. Or Foucault, gesticulating frantically that electric wildness lighting up his eyes. (Though sometimes I can’t help but imagine someone like this) There are some beautiful, bright, sensitive queer thinkers, still, hiding in the shadows. But there are also macho fags. You don’t think of gay men as macho do you, not even the big, butch, hunks of manlove. Especially not them really, for butch is nearly always drag, or an over-compensation for a lack. Macho fags exist. I have felt their hatred.

Academia is full of machismo (and, in some corridors, gay men). The peer review process is a form of  macho posturing, the cockerels, the bulls  in the ring, fighting for glory. Have you ever been to an academic conference? It’s not unlike a boxing match. But without the sex and violence, just the stale smell of alcohol, tired cliches and heavyweight egos, fighting it out in front of a dozing crowd. Deleuze calls his appropriation and interpretation of other philosophers’ work ‘buggery: enculage’. He fucks his heroes up the arse. Just to make a point, to overpower them. Poor Derrida, Poor Baudrillard, they don’t look like they want to be taken from behind so mercilessly by this young upstart. He’s sat there in his ivory tower, waving his French, rhizomatic gay cock in our faces.

And I never realise till it is too late.

That bastard, that fucker who buggered my boy and his friends, he was an academic and an intellectual. He wouldn’t let anyone call him ‘fag’ (or turn him into one, you know how). He didn’t identify as gay. But he made sure he was surrounded by young, handsome, adoring acolytes, that he could impress with his archaeology of knowledge, as he dug and dug and plundered their arses for his pleasure and his power.

I used to look up to Mr Fuck Theory. He is another gay man of letters. Why do I always fall for them? An American college lecturer, he uses a blog to deconstruct philosophy with a wave of his magic wand, producing post-modern aphorisms on sex and gender: a Foucault for the internet generation. History of Sexuality, Dude. I couldn’t get enough. But he was just one more macho fag, waving his cock around, ‘philosophising with a hammer’ as he calls it, hammering home the metaphor. He took every opportunity to remind everyone he was a ‘top’, and he didn’t enjoy being challenged by a little woman.  He likes to fuck theory, you see, not to get fucked intellectually (is it, according to these gay thinkers, physiologically impossible to be a bottom (or a girl) and to have a brain?). It’s his way of dominating, a form of control.  

And I never realise till it is too late.

Men have always had trouble accepting homosexuality, especially their own. The  historical perception was that men who buggered other men were free from accusations of being homosexual, whilst those who got buggered were branded as queer, homo, fags. This macho myth is shown to persist, not just among many straight people, but also in ‘other places’, such as within Latino culture  or the Balkan States as depicted in Suck My Nation . But here in the New Gay World where gay men are free to be who they are, to drink in their own bars, to shop at Waitrose, to get hitched, they are all supposed to be equal, no matter whose ass is getting pounded.  But I have a hunch that the hierarchical gendered dichotomy between top and bottom, fucker and sucker, Man and Bitch, is also still alive and well, even in the condos of Canal Street, the bistros of Williamsburgh, the Oyster stalls of Borough Market. Some of my Gay brothers are starting to look worryingly straight round the edges.

We all play power games in sex. Everyone needs something to push against. Sexual inequality is as inevitable and reassuring as Newton’s Third Law.  But standing here, facing forwards, my back to the wall, I want to take these fuckers on. (Are you with me, bitches?) I don’t like these hard men who, no matter how ‘gay’ they may admit to being,  think, deep down, even when their dick is in your mouth,or you are bending over like a good piece of fuckmeat,  that the worst thing a person could be in this world is a cock sucker, an arse-giver, or, even worse than that, a woman.  They are the macho fags of this world.

And I never realise till it is too late.

I am the matador, brandishing the red rag to the bull, and then trying to duck at the last minute; I am the nail that thinks it will be the one clever enough to avoid the hammer’s blow; I am that senorita, sitting, sighing on the steps of her villa.  Ah, machismo, mi amore. I want you dead.

~ by yearzerowriters on October 2, 2010.

17 Responses to “Macho Fags”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Dan! You’re a star. I smile at myself when I read my essays back, as I see the poems, the stories, the REAL writing trying to get out! 🙂

  2. 🙂 This is a fantastic, highly thought-provoking piece. Strange isn’t it how we sometimes see one form clamouring to escape form another – I get that feeling with Marc’s writing and typography – that there’s an observational artist in there saying “look, for heaven’s sake listen to me!”

  3. …and maybe, also, a performance artist, saying, for heaven’s sake LOOK at me! 🙂

  4. QRG, this is awesome! Thanks to @Heikki for sharing the link on his FB or I wouldn’t have seen this–and I need, desperately, to see this at this precise point in my life.

    I’m writing a romance novel–for the mainstream hetero market but the Hero is bisexual and a former street whore. The male whore, I can definitely wrap my brain around. I’ve known one or two, just as I’ve had a lot of gay male friends (more than I’ve had gay female friends anyway) I was once briefly acquainted with a bisexual woman, but not close and I’m still not quite getting the bisexual male mind. I’ve never known one. I’ve never laid on a pillow interrogating a spent bisexual man on what’s happening in his brain RIGHT NOW, the way I have so many other people of various sexual flavors. I kind of freak out my lovers, I think interviewing them for story fodder right after 😉 But that’s me. I freak people out in every aspect of life–and I love to do it!

    So I’m frustrated because even being 2/3 through the Lacey/Rainey Story, I’m struggling to wrap my hetero brain around Rainey’s sexuality because I’m tripping over his BIsexuality.

    My hetero female mind keeps wanting to make him too macho–and he LOATHES macho the way you do, the way I do, and since I have a fancy for the Alpha Male, boy oh boy have I *ever* run in to asshole macho types! I’ve never been a willing submissive, though. It was never in my psyche to be a Bottom, always a Top, though I have tried. I’m not very good at it. I usually tell them to go fuck themselves and illustrate with phsyical persuasion. Ah, the Domme comes out everytime, what can I say?

    I love this piece. It so precisely matches my personal feelings, thoughts–experiences–and helps me really think through all the different aspects of male sexuality and how males view themselves, as sexual creatures, WITHOUT, for once, having just fucked the male in question 🙂 Thank you, ma’am, may I have another?

  5. HI sarah I am glad to be of service!

    That you interview people after fucking them is very delightful. I would be the kind of lover who would respond to such interrogations!

    Mark simpson writes very well about men and sexuality

    as does his friend steven zeeland steve also interviews his lovers!

    I have written a post about men and bisexuality called
    The Bottom Line if you search the masculinity section on my blog you will find it.

    Good luck with your book!


  6. Incredible, sublime writing. Starts a whole train of thought about girl-fags (women who identify with gay men), and men who submit to dominant women with strap-ons. Can we subvert gender roles? Is there anywhere to read more from Quiet Riot Girl?

  7. hi Larry I only just came across the term ‘girl-fags’ myself I kind of like it, but am a bit concerned it has been attached to a very ‘medicalised’ model of a certain form of ‘transgender’ person. I kind of like the chance to play with gender identity without it becoming a fixed, innate ‘type’.

    But yes, my blog goes on and on and on about gender and sexuality! Come and say hi…

    • Agree with you about medicalisation, though there are some using the term to denote a choice of identity, which is when things become really interesting.

      Great to have your blog – I’ll be there!

  8. Love it QRG. I think what you say about academia prompts several strains of thought – that the way knowledge/epistemology/philosophy call it what you will is mined, is a very MALE/phallic mechanism, so that the fact that some of its practitioners are gay makes no odds, since they are still there at the coalface, carving their initials (& academic letters) with their fleshy chisels. Going back to the origins of Rationalism, the Enlightenment thinkers were illumined and illuminated by an idea STRIKING them like a lightning bolt (God by any other name, but of course they would not acknowledge this). Always this notion of sparking, of transformation of matter and solid states. Never the more organic (and democratic) systems of something like how genes build structures

    The more academia and tenure is tied into market forces, the more this tendency will likely be reinforced. I hated and loathed my experience in academia, that’s why I emerged from it desperate to do something creative. Part of my novel looks at the miserable role of an academic’s wife. Okay, I’m now frothing at the mouth and no doubt making little sense at this point, so I’ll just end by saying thank you for your great post.

    marc nash

  9. thanks Marc. I hated academia too. But I like the sound of fleshy chisels…

  10. More…please.

  11. here are a oouple more of my posts on sexuality. Thanks for all the comments folks!

    • Thanks for posting these links. I find your work fascinating for the way it addresses questions of equality and sexual politics. Dan, with his unrivalled knowledge of bloggers and blogging, always selects people who have the most to say!

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