Saturday, January 24, 2009

Metrosexuals R us.

You've all heard about the phenomenon known as "Metrosexuals." These are the guys that, while remaining heterosexual, adopt many feminizing practices like getting pierced ears, using skin moisturizer, shopping (without a girlfriend on your arm, and enjoying it), and--let's face it--being a fag without being a fag.

"Fag" is a loaded term, too. This is probably a good point to say that in college, for a couple of quarters, I was the roommate of a homosexual guy. And he made it plain that he was attracted to me. I made it plain that I was VERY straight. We worked it out. The man fell off my radar many years ago (his choice, not mine) but suffice it to say that I'm not "homophobic."

But there was a summer in my youth (1987) when I was in love. I needed to be noticed and, eventually, loved by a 16-year-old. Clearly, I needed to be less like a guy. So I went from 215 pounds to 160 pounds in 2 months and 6 days. I was very meticulous in those measurements. I weighed 215 pounds almost EXACTLY when I started this experiment in self-denial, and 2 months and 6 days later, I weighed in (on the same scale) at 160 pounds. In between, I had lost my virginity, went through many ups and downs, and later I had many other stories to tell about that whole mess, but I still remember that as "the summer where I subsisted on iceberg lettuce and tuna." That's not far from the truth, either, as my family can tell you.

In that time, I not only went from a heavyish guy to a petite guy, but my tastes changed. When the time came to go to a REO Speedwagon concert (which I went to with the woman who would become my wife) I actually considered finding some way to make my hair sparkle. I went to that concert with several strands of my hair braided. Ugh.

In 1984, Prince burst onto the scene. He was a "metrosexual." The guy was clearly a heterosexual, as any viewing of the movie "Purple Rain" can tell you, but if you pay attention to his appearance, well, as one personal friend from South Africa said it, "I'm not with that faggoty mission, Mate." I loved that guy, and while we didn't agree on Prince's artistic output, I have to give him points for honesty as he saw it. Prince WAS "faggoty." But he, along with Michael Jackson (because let's face it, his later persona requires that we include him) made it "cool" to be "metrosexual."

So am I a metrosexual? No. My wife can attest to that. Do I look down on metrosexuals? No. It may be a way to Get That Girl, it may be a way to Find Out Who I Am, or it may be just a way to mess with the rest of us. For Governor Dean, it was political leverage for a time (and may God Damn him for that, because it's a real phenomenon.)

But I was one, at one point. Whatever it took to get what I most wanted at that point. That's the difference between homosexuals and metrosexuals, as I see it. Homosexuals are attracted to members of the same sex. Metrosexuals are (usually men) who are trying to make members of the opposite sex comfortable with them, so that they can get lucky.

Sorry if I blew anybody's cover here, but there it is.

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