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Jack and I go way back, he has commented on this blog under more names than I can count. I was thrilled when he started his own sex blog recently because I always knew he had this sort of thing in him. I was even more thrilled when he wanted to answer my questions on masculinity because I knew his responses would be insightful.
Like others, Jack cites male family members as clear role models but I was also interested in the images of masculinity he drew from popular culture. This is an aspect of masculinity that is discussed infrequently and deserves attention. His influences, in particular, are eclectic and not the first things that many people would associate with the word “masculine”.
When was the first time you remember being aware of masculinity? How old were you? What was the cultural climate or influence?
I guess like a lot of men my image of masculinity is very much rooted in my father. I actually grew up in a house full of women. I was raised by my mother and I had an aunt and two female cousins in the same house as us for most of my childhood.
I think playing sports with my father was when I realized “hey, this what men are supposed to be like.” My was (and still is) a brilliant man who is also athletic and very emotionally detached. I remember playing catch with him, I must have been about nine, and he threw the ball to me and he would throw these pop ups that would basically disappear into the sky and then come down like a meteor.
At home the women were emotional, moody, scattered. When I visited my father I saw someone rational, cold and very disciplined. Masculinity comes with an air of being in control. Being in control of yourself and being in control of others.
It was the mid eighties, New York, upper middle class. I also very much associated wealth and financial security with masculinity I think. My father was a business man, he wore a suit everyday and
carried a brief case and made a lot of money. He drove a BMW and owned two houses and made a point of telling me how he put himself through college.
In my late 20′s, when I finally had some financial freedom and security I remember feeling like a man more than any other time in my life.
Do you think of yourself as masculine? Why or why not?
I think of myself as pretty masculine. I’ve actually grown into masculinity. I was a lot less masculine as a kid. Or at least I felt less masculine. I was a nerd, reading too many books, fascinated by
everything. I wasn’t good at sports, I was soft. I was emotional, I cried, I lashed out, I built up all kinds of defenses. If masculinity meant being in control, I was out of control most of my life.
How does your masculinity relate to your sexuality (be it your orientation, preferences, or expressions)?
My sexual tastes are not that focused, but I would certainly say I am mostly straight. I like girls, though I occasionally am intrigued by men it is usually not a sexual kind of feeling. That being said I have been very attracted to women who dress like men and act like men in the past. Thus my old habit of falling for lesbians. Drag kings are hot, but it’s not the masculinity that turns me on as much as the masculine front with the feminine peeking out. A chubby girl in a suit and tie with a drawn on mustache is only hot if the curve of her breasts is still unable to be hidden and the smoothness of her cheeks too perfect.
That being said I am mostly attracted to feminine girls. Curves and pouting lips, large breasts and asses. My tastes shift and grow as I get older and more than anything physical intelligence and creativity are my main attractors and those things are not inherently masculine or feminine to me.
As for me I think I put off a pretty manly vibe. I certainly look and dress like a man. I am often obsessed by women and femininity. A lot of my idols are women, though. Anais Nin being the person I have read most about in life and have drawn so much from.
My idea of masculinity is rooted in my father, Indiana Jones, Batman, Dr Peter Venkman and Henry Miller. Smart, strong, creative, bawdy, hairy and dominant.
Some people have asked me if they can answer the questions. Absolutely! I look forward to hearing from as many people about this as possible. You can answer the questions and email your response to lumpesse AT gmail DOT com or you can post them on your own weblog. There is no need to link back to me (although I certainly don’t mind) but I would love if you sent me a link so that I could link to your responses here. The only thing I ask is that the comments of each post be left to discuss that particular post, so don’t post your answers in the comments.