Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bill's Media Watch: 306

I have to say I really hated a movie called "306", written, produced and directed by [to my surprise] an Out filmmaker named Elliot London.What's even more disturbing is that it's being called a "gay" movie.

The film, which runs about ten minutes, has no dialogue. It shows a young man, who lives with his lover, receiving a text message to take over a shift. It's not bartending, but hustling, as the young man arrives at a hotel room where an older man gives him a drink, a blowjob, and then sodomizes him, apparently without using a condom. The young man, looking disgusted and disheartened, goes home and climbs into bed with his lover, to whom he mouths the words "I love you so much" as he hugs -- her

The ending isn't really a surprise. What's surprising is that a young Out filmmaker would make such a regressive movie. Yes, one could argue that it looks at all of those sad men out there who are gay but who can't and won't identity as such (don't get me started on "gay for pay") -- call boys with girlfriends, married men who screw hustlers in hotel rooms -- but there have already been so many books and movies and plays about those men who live in the shadows of gay life, do we really need another one in the 21st century that adds nothing to the discussion? And what are we to think of the "hero?" He has unsafe sex for money, then goes home to sleep, literally and figuratively, with his presumably unsuspecting girlfriend.[Bet she'll be contacting Dr. Bill any day now.]

Frankly, most male prostitutes tend to be self-hating losers. The guy in this movie, who is attractive and seems intelligent and upwardly mobile, would probably not be a hustler in a million years, especially if he's so full of internalized homophobia that he thinks of himself as straight. There may be other reasons why he's "acting out" -- insecurity, an attraction to men, certainly -- but the movie doesn't go into them.

"306" presents the outdated image of homosexuality as being something negative, dirty, something to be ashamed of, while the hero's hetero relationship is almost presented as if it were pure and perfect [until she finds out he's given her HIV, of course]. And if the character is supposed to be "bisexual," the contrast between his straight long-term relationship and his comparatively sleazy, casual gay "encounters" is so homophobic as to be mind-boggling! On the odd chance that London meant his film as a cautionary tale for women -- ladies, do you know what your boyfriend is really up to when he's somewhere else? -- it backfires badly; it just doesn't come off. 

What was London thinking? Or was he even thinking? So many things could have been said and done with this little movie and its small cast and settings. 

A muffed opportunity and a complete waste of ten minutes.

Husband into Transsexual Porn

Hello Dr. Bill. I wanted to ask your opinion on this. For background my husband was molested when he was a child for several years by a man. He said he used to dress up like a girl to try and make it stop. He slept with a man about  a year before we met. He said he had just moved and was lonely and drunk. He was able to finish but vomited right after. When he talked about it he said the guy was so weak. Now we have been married for several years. I was also molested as a child. In dealing with that it caused me to do some sexual experimentation. My husband expressed to me he would like to be with a transsexual. I agreed as long as we were both involved. He contacted someone on his own and l found out. Then he said that he did not really want to be with one. He said that he has been looking at transsexual porn for a long time, although he says he does not find them attractive in real life. He said regular porn does not do it for him and that he likes that they are ultra feminine and that its dirty. Its always just the sex part and always male on trans. He hates it when its reversed. He also does not like gay porn. I am very open to everyone and have gay friends and family members. But this entire thing makes me feel like he is not satisfied with me and I am holding him back. He swears that he loves me and that it just gets him off. So my question is do you think he is gay and suppressing it? Or does it have to do with the molestation?  We talk about it quite a bit. I am driving him crazy and making him feel less of a man. I don't know what the truth is.  I understand attraction to a man or women. But a man that dresses up? I don't. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. 

First of all, "a man that dresses up" is not a transsexual but a cross-dresser or transvestite [or "drag queen."] A transsexual is a man or woman who is born into the wrong biological body and has a sex-change to turn them into the right sex. 

Some men who are attracted to males and can't accept it become fixated on cross-dressers because they look like women and act like women but are male with male genitalia. Similarly, transsexuals have become women but biologically they were born male, which some men find homo-erotically titillating. Some Trans Women have not fully transitioned -- had a full sex change -- and still have male genitalia. Men who are attracted to these pre-operative transsexuals may be as interested in the penis as in anything else. To their way of thinking, it's one way of sort of having sex with men while safely feeling that you're really with a woman [and Trans Women are women]. 

Most people have certain fetishes or "kinks" that they find sexually stimulating, and while these may be unpleasant or uninteresting to their mates, they are generally harmless. If your husband limits his extra-curricular activities to looking at transsexual porn than there's probably nothing to worry about.

The fact that your husband was molested as a child by a man might have contributed to his own confusion over his sexual orientation, which sometimes happens to men who have been molested by males when they were boys. On the other hand, his reaction to having sex with a man -- he did it because he was "drunk and lonely," got sick later on, and thought the guy was "weak," could indicate a serious case of what we call "internalized homophobia" or gay self-hatred.

There is no easy answer.  You understand that there are so many issues here that only an analyst could get to the bottom of everything and only after repeated visits. If all of this bothers either of you, you might -- with tact-- suggest that your husband see an open-minded therapist who can take him through all these sexual highways and best determine the right road for him to travel on. But don't suggest that there's something wrong with him, as there isn't.