I'm a 22-year-old gay male, out since age 16. I'm tall, thin and "traditionally" good-looking enough to have done some modelling.
So what's the problem? I like bears. Big, hairy guys. Football player types. Big men with beards. With each passing year I find myself more and more exclusively attracted to this type of guy. I can't get off to twink porn any more. I live in New York, and this city is full of cute, skinny, boyish guys, but there are places to meet bears. The thing is, I don't really fit in, and I've been told just that. A lot of bears seem to be primarily into other bears. And I'm not really one of them.
I'm familiar enough with your writing to know that you're not a huge devotee of the bear scene, but do you have any suggestions for me?
Wants Into The Den
A lot of fags work hard at being the type they're into - and why not? It's often a successful strategy. A guy into muscular guys puts on some muscle and starts pulling muscle guys; a guy into tattooed punks gets some tattoos and starts pulling punks; a guy into bears grows himself a gut and a beard and starts pulling bears.
But not every gay man can be the type he finds attractive, WITD. No matter how hard they work out, some guys can't put on muscle; some guys are too angelic to pull off punk; and some wannabe bears can't keep the weight on or are cursed with naturally hairless backs. Luckily for these guys, WITD, not all gay men are attracted to their body doubles. A lot of guys are into their polar opposites: some muscular guys are into heavy guys, some punk fags dig corporate types and some bears live to maul twinks.
On my recent book tour I met one of these guys: Mark, a skinny, tattooed punk-rocker type. He's been with William, a clean-cut corporate-lawyer type, for four years. Opposites attracted, but at the beginning Mark's punk friends gave him grief about his being with a clean-cut guy like William. "What could be more punk," Mark told his friends, "then a guy like me making a guy like him lick my come up off the floor?" Only one thing, Mark: sending a guy like me some videotape.
So if some bears are into skinny guys, WITD, how come you've been made to feel unwelcome at bear venues? Because bear culture - a phrase I'm using under duress - has shown itself to be just as susceptible to the body-image fascism that its earliest adherents claimed to be rebelling against. Bear culture quickly moved from rejecting the notion that there should be one standard of gay male beauty - hairless, flat-tummied twinks - to enforcing its own monolithic standard of gay male beauty - fat-bellied, hair-covered bears. At best, the bears who go out of their way to make you feel unwelcome are mildly hypocritical; at worst, they're so insecure that they feel threatened by your skinny, hairless presence.
So what do you do? You go to bear bars anyway, WITD, and shrug off whatever grief you get. Then you remind yourself that until bear bars came along, the big, hairy guys you like got tons of grief from the twink crowd that dominates most gay bars.
I'd like to nominate Stockwell Day for the "santorumization" you promised a Canadian politician. He's idiotic, anti-sex, anti-gay and certainly anti-Canadian. This is the man now in charge, as minister, of the "public safety" of Canadians! If we can't yet end the madness of the Conservative regime, at least let us chuckle to ourselves every time we see Stockwell's face on TV!
Conservatives Are Creepy
Didn't Day already get the public drubbing he deserved? Rick Mercer succeeded in making Day a laughingstock by changing his first name to Doris, did he not? I think we should save santorumization for a Canadian politician who has yet to be turned into a laughingstock....
Looking for a homophobic Canadian politician, eh? Check out Elsie Wayne, Saint John, New Brunswick's "beloved" Conservative MP (now retired). I've often heard my hometown referred to as "The John," probably because the dumb shit that comes out of Elsie's mouth can be smelled from as far away as Vancouver.
The Friendly Johner
Wayne also comes up short, TFJ. This sort of mockery can only be directed at someone who has power, which Wayne doesn't really have now that she's retired and therefore only a danger to herself these days. So we'll have to keep looking....
The Canadian politician who deserves his name made mud is Ralph Klein. He solidified his infamy when a drunken Klein went to a soup kitchen and insulted people in line. What is a ralphklein? How about the bits of shit that stick to the hairs of people's asses? "Yeah, he was hot but I couldn't get to his asshole because of all those ralphkleins in the way."
Sorry LM, but the word "dingleberry" already covers that. Moving on...
Vic Toews is our brand new justice minister. He's also a religious conservative who promised a new ("free") vote on gay marriage, one he has no intention of losing. Seems like a wonderful potential candidate to be associated with an unsavoury sex-related term.
Asleep In Ottawa
You promised to "santorumize" a Canadian politician, Dan. It has to be David Emerson, the newly elected Liberal MP from Vancouver who crossed the floor and became a Tory in order to grab a plum cabinet job. Emerson - who campaigned vigorously against the Tories - happily screwed the voters who elected him when the opportunity to satisfy himself was presented. Therefore, I nominate "emerson" as the Canadian "santorum," and propose this meaning: a friend who, while comforting you about your breakup, is screwing your ex behind your back. Or if that isn't gross enough, an "emerson" could be an inner-rectal boil that makes it especially painful to be fucked.
Michael In Toronto
We may have a contender in Emerson - he got more nominations than anyone else - although I do have some reservations.
While his actions merit the santorum treatment, neither of your suggested definitions quite work, MIT. Unlike santorum the substance - something every buttfucker, gay or straight, occasionally encounters - few people are betrayed by their friends in quite the manner you describe and fewer still have inner-rectal boils. Unless people have cause to use the new definition of emerson, MIT, it wouldn't stick. Also, MIT, unlike santorum, which sounds like a medical/Latin name for a substance, "emerson" only sounds like, well, someone's name. That doesn't mean it would be impossible to santorumize his name, just a bit harder.
Folks should feel free to send in other definitions for emerson - and any that pop into your heads for victoews or harper.
Meanwhile down south: Canadians who hate George W. Bush just as passionately as they hate Dave Emerson are invited to check out www.impeachthemotherfuckeralready.com, where you can find info about ordering ITMFA buttons, tasteful lapel pins and other gear, letters about ITMFA and pictures of people wearing ITMFA merch.
Guess what? Some folks felt my advice for The Good Son, the man whose mother fucked him when he was 15 years old, was, like, complete and utter crap. Lots of responses are up at www.thestranger.com/savage/TGS.
Send your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org