What Macho Means to Gay Men
The word macho is part of the name of this website so let’s get right to what that means. Here you will find erotic fiction and 3D digital illustrations for gay adult males depicting highly masculine, macho men in situations of danger, violence, and horror. By the way, if you have a short attention span you will be happier elsewhere.
I’ve been told that some straight females are attracted to erotic fiction and depictions of man-on-man sexuality. Women do not want macho men. That’s good because this website is intended for adult persons who have a penis and testicles–not those who don’t have a penis or testicles but want to look at images of those who do. Now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s get to the good stuff.
I have unashamed and uncensored opinions about what it means as a gay man to be macho, or, to be highly masculine. Since I am a self-described openly gay male, and, since I perceive of myself as being masculine versus feminine, I feel that I am qualified to comment on this controversial subject of gay men’s masculinity or the absence of it.
I cannot separate being a gay male from being a storyteller and an illustrator of highly masculine images. While I do not “think” about storytelling or creating illustrations of highly masculine males all day and all night, I am constantly aware during my awakened state of mind that I am someone who is a storyteller and who creates illustrations of highly masculine males.
Because the illustrations are a visual craft that I am involved in, I find that my day-to-day mind set is that of seeing men in the real world around me and making assessments or judgments about whether I find them attractive in the visual sense. I see all males around me as potential inspiration for some future illustration of a highly masculine male that I may create. It’s really that simple and uncomplicated.
The Gay Male Image
Question random people (male or female, gay or straight) about what image they get in their minds when they hear the phrase gay male. You probably will get responses from most people that indicate a non-threatening kind of male–perhaps an effeminate male with gentle features and a playful fashion sense. Or, you might get responses about well-known drag performers such as Ru Paul.
My creative efforts are guided or driven by what I see as a cultural preference for most people (male or female, gay or straight) to view the gay male as a guy who is not masculine. I see things differently:
I tell stories and create illustrations about masculine men involved with one another to provoke the viewer. I have seen all my life how straight people do not like to see masculine men showing affection towards one another. Straight people will accept drag shows and comedies about effeminate gay men. And why not? Those are non-threatening. But, if masculine men are depicted in a story or images showing sexual interest in one another, oh boy, that suddenly becomes very threatening to straight people! Some gay men I have encountered also find it uncomfortable to witness masculine men showing sexual interest in one another. Gays relegate such masculine men to the pejorative category of being “too butch.” For all of these reasons, I choose to provoke the viewer in my stories and illustrations.
Dramatic Tension and Storytelling
As an illustrator and storyteller, I choose to produce depictions in text and images that include themes of masculine men in peril. My depictions of masculine vulnerable men in peril have a high level of dramatic tension and energy. I receive emails from guys who write about how stunned they are to be moved emotionally (or sexually) by my works.
To me, depicting love expressed between one man and another man in images or stories is not sufficiently dramatic in the storytelling sense.
Affectionate, caring and respectful relationships between two men are comforting and bring joy to both men. I feel exactly the same way about depictions of relationships between a man and woman.
I was formally educated in the art and craft of storytelling, photography, news reporting, etc. when I worked towards earning my undergraduate degree in journalism. In the professional context, I learned that telling a story is an essential ingredient if one wants to connect with an audience.
Stories that are told about affection, caring and respectful love may make the audience feel warm and fuzzy. If all the stories told in this world were all or mostly happy love stories, the stories would blend together for their predictability and sameness.
In contrast, stories about breaking up or suffering the loss of a love contain far more dramatic energy for the audience.
The man-meets-man-and-falls-in-love-and-then-they-live-happily-ever-after story is not for me as a steady diet. Such storytelling (in text or visual form) emphasizes the powerful but false belief that life turns out happily and positive for everyone.
There are, of course, moments of happiness and positivity. But, I need dramatic tension as a catalyst for my works because I find optimistic and upbeat depictions lack sufficient energy to carry a story from beginning to end (in text or visual form). Here is a recent illustration of mind entitled “Welcoming Our New Roommate” that contains the kind of dramatic and sexual tension that I often find works well in my storytelling.
Influences Upon Me
I am following traditions established by others (some are dead and some are living) whose works inform my works in illustrations and storytelling.
When I look at the works of Dom “Etienne” Orejudos, Tom of Finland, Sadao Hasegawa, Gengoroh Tagame, The Hun, Greasetank, Ulf Raynor, and Bondageskin, I readily find that they have incorporated a high dramatic tension.
I have been greatly influenced by them as I explain in the Traditions section of this website, and I don’t see how any of those men would have connected with their audiences as they did had they chosen to depict warm and fuzzy scenes of romance between men.
Desouza’s Sliding Scale
You gotta have a decent sliding scale to “get” my perspective on gay male masculinity, so here goes: On one side of my sliding scale is femininity and behaving womanly or womanish. On the opposite side is masculinity and behaving manly or mannish such as this guy in blue jeans.
You may want or need some examples to help clarify the extremes of my sliding scale, so let me offer some examples that are available from the world of cinema (and you can rent these on DVD). The 1978 film La Cage aux Folles (in French with English subtitles), and the Americanized version in English, 1996′s The Birdcage, directed by Mike Nichols, are two films that will explain everything to you that you need to know about this subject quite vividly and with much humor. Rent them both and watch them back-to-back in a single evening with someone of the same sexual orientation as you starting with the French film. Open and consume at least one bottle of a very young Alsatian gewurtztraminer chilled to a soothing temperature of no higher than 50 degree Fahrenheit.
Here’s what you will learn from these two films:
On the feminine side of the scale (in the two films and in real life), you can find gay males who choose to behave in an overt, demonstrative yet passive manner using soft, higher pitched voices with the occasional lisp or sibilance (hissing sounds when using the English letter “S”) or other exaggeration of consonants and vowels. That side of the scale features behaviors that rely upon sweeping arm gestures, limp wrists and touching one’s own face to draw attention to emotions and emotional intensity.
On the masculine side of the scale (in the two films and in real life) one can find gay males who choose to behave in comparatively more aggressive ways than the other side of the sliding scale, particularly in ways that emphasize strength, muscles and dominance.
That side of the scale features the choice of using gruff voices in a lower pitch with no lisping and no sibilance. Instead of touching one’s own face, the touching usually is to one’s own crotch or chest or forearms to draw attention to physique and physical strength.
Using this sliding scale, I think that it is very easy to place every gay male that you happen to meet at one point or another between the extreme feminine side and the extreme masculine side. While some of you may consider this cultural stereotyping (a “good” or “bad” thing, depending on whether you are being stereotyped), at least this sliding scale offers you a way to pinpoint gay male behaviors and outward appearances in a specific and easy-to-understand way.
I have one additional recommended DVD for you for another evening: Shockheaded is an independent film that features a main character who is both highly masculine yet highly vulnerable. I’m guess that you will love this combination! Learn more in my review of Shockheaded entitled “Brutal Destiny of a Ruggendly Vulnerable Hunk” that appears elsewhere at this website.
As you already know if you have been paying attention to my commentaries here and becoming aware of the kind of men depicted in my illustrations, my own preferences are for the masculine side of the sliding scale (like the sword and loincloth warrior character I created on the right) for how I am and how I behave and what turns me on as a gay male.
But, your own tastes certainly may be different from mine. After many years of observation, I have come to believe that a gay or straight man can choose how he behaves in terms of his outward appearances-–the high or low pitch of his voice, the submissive or dominant physicality, the clothing that emphasizes his body, the self-touching that emphasizes emotional intensity or physical intensity, and, whether he elongates vowels and favors the hissing sound of the English letter “S”.
The question as to why some gay men choose the feminine rather than the masculine side is open for a lot of discussion. I have no answer for you because I have no answer for myself. You can choose to use the sliding scale to begin to understand gay men’s outward appearances and discuss these traits with others.
There are, of course, many points along the axis of this scale from one side of the other:
I have seen drag performers (men who dress and behave in a show as if they are women) who are not necessarily homosexual; but, they use makeup, wigs and women’s clothing as part of their act to entertain audiences.
I have also seen gay males who are not drag performers, but who where facial makeup (eye lashes and eye liner and lip color) along with fingernail and toenail coloring like women do.
I have also seen gay males who look muscular and athletic and based upon all outward appearances, they could be drafted this week into the National Football League.
As a gay man, whatever type of man you find emotionally and/or sexually attractive is an individual trait that I believe is not subject to our willful choice.
I believe that being gay brings with it many turn-ons and turn-offs that we must eventually admit if we are honest with ourselves.
The way psychology and sexuality work together in us humans, I really don’t see how any of us can make willful changes to what turns us on or what turns us off.
We can try new or different things on a short-term basis, of course, We also may learn to tolerate things that we don’t like too much–like finishing our broccoli because we know that green vegetables help bolster our nutritional health.
But, if we truly are turned off by the taste of broccoli, well, there’s probably little that we can do except smother the dreaded green vegetables with a lot of cheese and just keep eating.
Thank you for your interest in my work.
I ask that you to please pass along word of Machozone.com to other gay adult men. –Madeira Desouza