Sunday, April 27, 2008

Slim Friend is a Pain in the Butt

I have a friend who recently lost quite a bit of weight and I admit he looks great. He gets hit on more and is apparently getting laid a lot. The problem is he's become kind of haughty and is always talking about his exercise routine and chiding people for eating certain foods and has become just a little obnoxious about it all. I'm happy for him -- but I'm also happy the way I am even if I could stand to lose a few pounds. What do I do to let him know how annoying he's become? John in Chicago.

Tell him! It's understandable that he's proud of his new appearance and is happy that people find him attractive, but there's nothing worse than a newly slim person who talks about it endlessly and tells others to watch their weight. (Okay, there are worse things, but back to the subject.) It's like going out with someone who's stopped drinking and having them count your drinks. You don't need somebody else counting your calories for you. Tell this friend that you're happy he feels good about himself but that you also feel good about yourself, and you'll eat what you damn well please. Keep it friendly, but be firm. Hopefully he'll get the hint, and cut it out. When he's more used to his new appearance he may also stop harping about it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gay Comedy Teams?

Can you tell me if Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Martin and Lewis were essentially gay acts? Anon.

Are you asking if these guys were gay, or if they engaged in gay humor? On the burlesque circuit many decades ago, along with comics and show girls, there was a type of material known as "nance" material (possibly short for "nancy boy," British pejorative slang for homosexual.) When comics did nance material, it meant they acted like stereotypical homosexuals, made fun of them, for laughs. I don't know if Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello ever indulged in such humor, but Martin and Lewis, especially Lewis, certainly did in the early days. (Such material was considered unspeakably vulgar by many, and certainly not fit for children. When some vaudeville and burlesque comics made it to radio, Hollywood, or television, they had to clean up their acts, and nance material had to go.)

As for the private lives of the six gentlemen you mention -- Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis -- I have never even heard any rumors about any of them. Jerry Lewis has made no secret of the fact that he certainly loved Dean Martin in the platonic sense. In their early films it often seemed as if Lewis' character had a "crush" on Martin, but this was acting. In a more innocent and naive era, Laurel and Hardy were often shown sleeping in the same bed together (this rarely if ever happened with the other two comedy teams, who came later), but this wasn't meant to infer a sexual relationship between the two, although they may well have seemed like a pair of bungling gay lovers in some of their movies. Laurel frequently dressed up in drag (transvestism, not homosexuality) but this was done simply because he looked hilarious. There have been numerous biographies about these gentlemen, both in pairs and as individuals. If any of these guys had any gay relationships, they were certainly discreet.

Laurel and Hardy did one silent short in which they kept trying to change their trousers in an alleyway, but were always interrupted by people who presumably thought they were walking into the middle of a homosexual tryst. At least I've heard that's what it seems like. Whether or not this was the intention of the filmmakers -- or of Laurel and Hardy -- has been lost to history.

But, no, I wouldn't say that any of these famous comedy teams were "gay" acts.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pregnant Men Aren't Gay

Why do gay men want to have babies? Anon.

Are you asking if gay men want to have children or if they want to get pregnant? As far as the latter is concerned, gay men are men -- they can't get pregnant and have no desire to.

If you've been hearing in the news about pregnant men, these are not gay men but Trans Men, female-to-male transsexuals who were born biologically female, get a partial sex-change, but retain their female sexual organs, including ovaries. Therefore they are still able to get pregnant like women. Ironically, Thomas Beatie, a pregnant Trans Man who has recently been getting a lot of publicity, happens to be heterosexual, and has a wife.

Repeat: Gay Men are men who have no desire to get pregnant and couldn't do so even if they wanted to, which they don't.

Some gay men want to have children, either in the usual biological way or via adoption etc. the same reason other people want to have children, presumably the joy it brings to raise and teach a little person how to get along in the world or to exercise a paternal/maternal need.

There is some controversy in the gay community on this issue. Some gay couples see raising children as something that makes them seem more "normal," while other gays feel that those who feel that way are trying too hard to be conventional and "straight-acting." Still other gays feel that having/raising children is simply every person's inalienable right.

In truth, the desire to have and raise children is a very personal decision, often having little to do with sexual orientation. Many heterosexual couples have no children, and no desire for same.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on Peyronie's

Now long ago I posted about Peyronie's Disease and about, a site geared towards educating men, their partners, and their physicians about Peyronie’s disease.

I've been notified that Dr. Culley Carson will be hosting a live chat on the site on Wednesday, April 16th at 7 p.m. EST. The chat is geared towards both patients and physicians, and the site offers everyone the option to receive an email reminder about the chat or submit a question that they’d like answered. " is providing much-needed information for men with Peyronie’s." This is an opportunity for any of my readers to learn more about the disease, its symptoms, and treatment.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Why are gay people so intolerant of other minorities, such as transsexuals, and people who have their own gender-identities or no identities at all, or people who do not identify as human? Anon.

Huh? If a person doesn't identify as human, wouldn't you say they have a problem? If a friend of mine said he thought he was a ferret (and that's not a classification of gay bear) I think I would suggest he get professional counseling, wouldn't you? More on that below.

First of all, I don't think most gay people are intolerant of transsexuals. Yes, I've met a few gays who might have racist or anti-Semitic -- and transphobic -- feelings, people who would probably be homophobic if they weren't themselves gay (or who have issues with self-hatred) but most gays are very sympathetic to the transgendered. The "T" in GLBT stands for Transgendered, after all, and many gay people have worked with transsexuals to help them attain their rights and gain respect. They have always been included in the gay movement. Most gay groups insisted that they would not back the ENDA anti-discrimination bill unless it included transsexuals. This sparked a big debate in the gay community. But just because some gays felt that a bill covering transsexual rights should be separate and come later -- after the gay anti-discrimination bill passed -- didn't necessarily make them transphobic.

You're simply wrong that gays are intolerant of transsexuals. This doesn't mean gays identity with transsexuals to any great extent, as there is a big difference between being gay (attracted to your own sex) and being transsexual (feeling you are one sex mistakenly born into the body of the opposite sex). While some transsexuals are gay, many others are actually heterosexual, and some of them don't necessarily relate -- or even have tolerance for -- homosexuals. However, I believe most gays and transsexuals recognize that they are both viewed as "queers" by the intolerant, and may feel a certain kinship on that level, if nothing else. The gay experience is very different from the transgender experience, although they can be related in certain cases. In truth, the transsexual experience can be so foreign to gays and straights alike, that it's unfair to expect gay people to automatically understand it simply because they, too, are a minority.

Because we are discriminated against, many gay people bend over backwards to be progressive and tolerant toward everyone else -- but there's no unwritten rule that says we have to be, or that we have to accept every movement or fashionable notion, or think of every group as a misunderstood minority. Or that we don't have the right to cry foul if we spot homophobic attitudes among other minorities, including other sexual minorities.

As for gender-identification, I have mixed emotions about that. People have the right to present themselves or think of themselves as any gender they wish, or to be androgynous and gender-free if they choose. But sometimes the complete rejection of a gender role indicates that an individual may be deeply confused, unhappy with themselves, and full of self-loathing. In those cases, people should be encouraged to seek therapy from a therapist who has a positive attitude toward and knowledge of gay/transgender issues.

Lastly, if a person does not think of him or herself as even being human, that indicates a basic self-loathing that should definitely be addressed by a professional therapist.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Are Gay Men More Hated Than Lesbians?

It's my perception that gay men are more hated than lesbians, and are more likely to lie about their orientation? Is this true? H.

Interesting question, but it's hard to determine. Years ago a study (which both straight-identified men and women participated in) suggested that lesbians were more "admired" because they were seen as being "like men" while there was more contempt for gay men because they were supposedly "like women." But this was many years ago, and only one study, and hopefully women's rights has done away with this idea that men are superior to women (although this attitude persists in sexist and stupid individuals of both sexes).

Just because some straight guys find the idea of two women ("hot babes" only) making out or having sex with each other to be titillating, doesn't mean they are accepting of real lesbians or same-sex relationships between two women. There have been many cases of lesbians coming up against blatant discrimination, and I'm sure if you asked any of them if they there was less prejudice against lesbians than gay men they would, understandably, cry foul.

Is there a female equivalent of the "down low," where someone has a straight relationship but secretly has same-sex encounters on the side? Probably, but there hasn't been much research into it. Women may in general be more open about their bisexual habits than men.

Comedians often make stupid jokes about lesbians, although it does seem as if "fag" jokes -- as opposed to "dyke" jokes -- abound, but it has to be remembered that whether someone is putting down or making fun of a gay man or a lesbian, they are being homophobic in either case. Gay men are also being put down by "dyke" jokes because they are anti-gay -- and vice versa.

Somehow the notion of men having sex with each other (especially when it comes to sodomy) seems to disturb people more than the idea of two women together. But this doesn't mean that lesbianism is totally accepted in our society any more than male homosexuality.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Water Sports/HIV update

A reader took me to task for saying that messing around with urine (water sports) can lead to HIV infection. I checked with the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and here's what they had to say:

"Hi Bill,

Your anonymous reader was correct. Urine does not have enough sufficient quantities of HIV in it to pose a danger of HIV transmission. There are really only a few very select body fluids that actually transmit HIV from an infected person to another: Blood, semen (including pre-cum), vaginal fluids, and possibly rectal mucosa fluid (although this is still under research and has not been technically determined a fluid for HIV transmission but there has been enough research indicating high enough levels that the possibility for transmission exists). For more information concerning this issue, you may find these websites helpful:

Ø The Body

Also, a helpful resource on the West Coast is Project Inform HIV/AIDS Treatment and information Hotline. They can be reached at 800-822-7422
(M-F 9:00am-5:00pm, Sat: 10:00am-4:00pm PST) or on the web at

If you would like to talk about anything in this email or if you have any additional questions, please feel free to call us at GMHC Hotline. We can be reached toll free at 800-243-7692 Monday – Friday from 10am – 9pm and on Saturday 12pm – 3pm.

The GHMC Hotline"

Thanks guys. Readers, if you have any questions or concerns, use the above numbers and links.

And my apologies for the misinformation.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Organ Obsession

Are gay men more obsessed with penis size than straight women? JW.

I don't think so, and let me make it clear that not all gay men are "size kings." Some men and women think the bigger the better, but it certainly isn't universal. Some people are actually turned off by a massive schlong. Others prefer thick, stubby members to long, lean ones. Different strokes for different folks! (Couldn't resist it!) I've no doubt there are men and women who are turned on by a large penis more than anything else, but others admire a man's face, body, personality even more. For most, it's the total package that counts.

There are many other things to admire about the male form, and many other qualities in each man to be attracted to.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Private Message

Okay. I got a private message on a gay dating site from a guy who wants to f--k around. Although my photos are up-to-date and accurately represent me, he doesn't seem to realize that he and I have not only met at a local gay bar -- he's generally a little tight -- but have had numerous conversations over the past couple of years. I find this really awkward. I'm not interested in him that way but I'm afraid if I ignore him or send a flippant answer he'll either be hurt or nasty, and this may create tension in the bar. I can't believe he doesn't realize we know each other but in his message he makes no reference to it at all. GH.

Maybe he just wants to get to the nitty gritty, if you know what I mean. (And remember that some people look a little different in photos, even recent ones, than they do in real life.) If he's always a little drunk when he runs into you, he may not only not remember the conversations you've had, he may not even remember you. If you're concerned what he'll say the next time you run into him, he may not even make the connection between the real you and the guy on the web site, even if you obviously look the same. I would handle this the way you would handle any private message from a guy who wants to fool around with you when you're just not interested. Either ignore it (which some feel is rude), tell him he's not your type (which some think is even ruder) or send a friendly, non-committal response: "how ya doin, or how are things goin', or nice to hear from you," and leave it at that. Since the guy doesn't even seem to realize or remember that the two of you have already met, personally I would just ignore the message. Your call.

Porn Star?!?

Okay, Dr. Bill, fess up. You look like an older bald version of Billy Bigelow, the bisexual adult film star of the 1980's (I mean you appeared in both gay and straight adult films). Aren't you one and the same person? Anon.

I have to save something for my memoirs. But I can tell you that I'm not bisexual.