Someone sent me this link to an opinion piece published in the New York Blade. The writer, a New York blogger, had just seen “Gay Sex in the ‘70’s” and felt moved to express some thoughts that clarify for those among us who ever gave him the benefit of a doubt the distressing way in which his mind turns.
I have stopped by his blog roughly a dozen times in the last couple of years. His writing always left me unsatisfied, but I returned perhaps because I am easily fascinated by men who are well educated but seem not to have fetched much truth or insight from their discipline.
I met him once, at a gathering of bloggers. We were introduced, and when he heard the words “farmboyz” and “Perge Modo”, he winced. He actually winced and grimaced, albeit briefly, and swiftly supplied a patronizing and pained smile in an attempt to cover his distaste for the introduction. It was the look I have seen on the faces of some archbishops when forced into contact with an unsifted and unwashed assemblage of laity.
I extended my hand, and he looked at it with horror as if I had just sneezed upon it all the contagious detritus of hell. To his credit, he did manage to shake my hand without fainting. He then avoided conversation by moving to another part of the room. Guess he had read a bit of my blog. Guess he didn’t much like it. Guess he had consigned me to hell.
I had never before had the experience of being judged in that way. Never had it since. It is not a good feeling. Throughout my entire life, I have never once felt judged in that way by God. Never once felt condemned or even disapproved of. There are church leaders who are swift to roll their eyes at what I write or do, but even they have never diminished their opinion of me an inch because of the choices I have made. They simply pray harder for me, but while praying, would never avoid visiting me, or calling me or consider cutting me out of their lives because of how I have lived my life.
Perhaps he would recall the moment of our introduction either differently or not at all. Perhaps the dissing was all in my head, imagined. It does not matter. In the New York Blade article, the excruciatingly odd thoughts he strings together about sex and disease and behavioral consequences seem to come from the provinces of childhood nightmares, or seem like lessons gleaned from a book of fairy tales intended for the small of mind.
It would be easy for me to list the possible reasons for his disliking anonymous sex, but I don’t know this man well enough to get it right. Were we to meet again, I would probably tell him that men who choose to spend their days perched on their sofas with their legs crossed tightly at the knees should not trash the Olympics just because they themselves choose to be unathletic.
I’ve been a runner all my life. I am sure this has done some damage to my knees and shins, but I am not about to start campaigning against marathons. I’ve tried not to run too much. To stay on forgiving paths. I don’t run drugged or drunk. These days, I keep to the right, letting the faster or younger have the inner track. But I would hate to think what life would be like without the exultation of the race, and I would never blame Nike for whatever aches and pains I’ve had along the way.
I could go on, but to what end? You can’t much reach men like that. They condemn the things they are afraid of. Things they might love too much. They cling to the safety of their convictions like mussels to rock in waves.
PS: - and perhaps a source of greater indignation – his characterization of the men of the ‘70’s as “unkempt” is simply ignorant. We spent most of our waking hours kempting ourselves into a look somewhere between Al Parker and Farrah Fawcett ( the opposite ends of the narrow bandwidth of beauty in those days). Would that we had had the luxury of the buzz cut, or clothes from the Gap and butch boots available at any mall. We might have had more time for sex.