What’s Happened to Male Intimacy?

From Ishmael to Joey and Ross: Whither American Manhood?

An Article from Arcade By Gregory Jusdanis

Two American classics, two notorious scenes, two different ends. So what happened to American masculinity in the decades between bitcoin mining gpu memory Moby Dick and “Friends?”

Let’s start with that episode from “Friends” entitled “The One with the Nap Partners.”

Joey and Ross wake up from their blissful slumber to realize that Ross is snuggling with Joey, his hand on his buddy’s chest. They recoil in horror. “We fell asleep, that is all,” Ross shouts. Joey rushes out of the apartment, reaching out to shake his friend’s hand. “No touch,” Ross cries out.

Meeting afterwards, Ross complains of their “weird” experience but Joey confesses that it was the best nap he had ever had. When pushed, Ross agrees. So the “best” nap of their lives has been with each other, with another man.

In a later scene Joey says with a wink that he is going upstairs to take a nap, to be followed by Ross. The episode ends with Ross lying in Joey’s arms again, both very content and peaceful. “It was a great nap,” they mumble to each other in half-sleep. But as the camera pans out, we see the rest of the gang staring at them, baffled and displeased. Joey jumps up, hollering, “Dude, what the hell are you doing?” It is all over. The chorus passes judgment without saying a word.

Let’s compare this incident with a similar one in Moby Dick. Ishmael wakes up one morning in a hotel in the whaling town of New Bedford to discover an “affectionate arm” around him. He and the stranger, whose name is Queequeg, are sleeping “socially,” having become “bosom buddies.” As he gradually opens his eyes he realizes that “you had almost thought I had been his wife.” Try as Ishmael might, he can’t unlock Queequeg’s “bridegroom clasp,” hugging him so “tightly.” The following evening Ishmael waits impatiently for Queegueg’s embrace. Continue reading

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The Grand Design

When you think about it, you realize the male body could have had a much more practical design. All the drama could have been eliminated. The testicles for example: they could just as easily been on the inside instead of hanging down between our legs. Certainly men would have been far less vulnerable. Why add a body part that so many say makes a man look indecent when he’s naked.

Pubic hair isn’t necessary either. It certainly doesn’t help keep you warm and it doesn’t assist reproduction (though many believe that two hairy pubic mounds grinding together makes for some rather pleasant sensations). So why do we have it calling attention to that part of the body, adding to the concept of indecency, collecting pheromones and such, sometimes even getting stuck between our teeth. Plus, without it, you wouldn’t have to shave to get that smooth look … you would have been born with it.

The penis itself could have been designed with far less character. Why all the different sizes, shapes and colors? Why is it always protruding from our body, just hanging there as if it has nothing better to do? Why all that loose skin that slides up and down; why the walnut-shaped glans on the end, or the veiny skin, or the foreskin so many of us have to suffer being trimmed off? It could have been designed to retract into our body, only to appear in perhaps a plain pencil-like state when it’s time to procreate. Fish have something like this. And there would be many bitcoin wallet slow to sync advantages: we wouldn’t look naughty when we’re naked, it wouldn’t be creating unsightly bulges in our jeans, we wouldn’t be thinking about it all the time, teenagers would never get caught playing with themselves.

Even the anus doesn’t have to be so dramatic, hidden as it is within those fleshy globes, always damp and dewy, igniting the lurid imaginations of so many adventurous lovers. It could have been nothing more than a nondescript orifice barely perceptible to the casual observer, sans the pucker, the creases, the surrounding darker colors, the endless variety of hair patterns, and even that characteristic smell. In it’s current representation, you never quite know what to expect when your thumbs pry open those fleshy cheeks.

And consider the brain, our largest sex organ. It could have been programmed differently. Had it been, it would never occur to any of us that nudity is indecent. We wouldn’t be thinking about sex nineteen times a day. No masturbation or long nights of sweaty passion. No inferiority complexes over penis size. No wondering what someone looks like naked (you wouldn’t care). You would’ve never heard of oral sex, nor would it occur to you to stick your finger in or lick someones anus. There would be no such thing as a porn industry, or a suggestive swimsuit, or a condom. When a man and a woman decided to have a baby, he would simply press against her, his pencil-like penis would protract, then enter her and immediately deposit the required amount of semen. No extraordinary sensations, no holding each other late into the night, no earthy body smells or bed sheets to change in the morning. In thinking about it, I believe I have created a new fantasy for the Religious Right.


Women could have the same practical design. All the compelling nuances would be gone, the dramatic curves (which are now obviously part of her sexual allure), the divided plump folds between her legs, currently unique as snowflakes in their colorful variety of shapes and configurations, the enticing inner lips that can swell so delightfully with passion, the mysterious creases and crevices that are so engaging to explore, the mysteries we know she’s hiding when she crosses her legs. Instead she would have a barely perceptible aperture somewhere below her navel, just large enough to receive one of those pencil-like penises when she decides to get pregnant, yet quite capable of yawing open when it’s time to get a baby out. We could dispense with those feminine fragrances that steep between her legs and zing through every fiber in our bodies like a mind-altering drug.

Forget the breasts. The functioning glands would be inside her chest. Her nipples would be no puffier, larger, or sensitive than a man’s. Other than the muscular structure, just as it would be between our legs, there would be no difference between the male and female chest. At the beach everyone would be topless, and women would save a small fortune on swimsuits. The nipples would, however, swell just a bit when it comes time to accommodate a baby’s hungry lips. I guess she would have to cover them then.

Her anus, much like a man’s as it already is, would still be like a man’s, sans character. Nothing tempting about it. No drama, no potential for naughty sex. No tempted fingers or tongues, no squeals of delight, no secrets that lovers keep. Compliments of Mother Nature’s lack of inventiveness, it would be a Utopian world where humanity no longer had anything to feel modest or confused about, or ashamed of unless they’ve been eating too many Twinkies and French fries.

It all makes you think, doesn’t it. We aren’t born with a practical design. There is a compelling purpose, a purpose beyond procreation and misguided mores that so many of us have failed to recognize. I’m glad we are the way we are. Otherwise, what’s the point of living?

©Martin Brant, April 24, 2012

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I Think I’m Gay

I’m wasting my life . . .

Hello martin i just found your site/blog and read the sexuality section and wondered if you could help??

Im a 19 year old male virgin and think I’m gay! The only problem is I’m only attracted to older men! 30-50 years old! Any younger and it puts me off! Women just do not turn me on no matter what! I’m getting really depressed and I’m wasting my life :( I’m scared to do anything but know i need to. What do you think i should do?? Should i date a girl if i get on with her!? Thanks

My reply:

Nineteen is a wonderful age that goes by quickly, but it is also a difficult age for most young men. There are so many paths in front of you, it can be difficult to choose the one to try. You think you might be gay, and then there is the possibility you may be bisexual instead. At nineteen there is no hurry to label yourself. If you know or meet a girl you like, and if you’re thinking a traditional future building a family sounds appealing, by all means date her. It may take a while, but time will tell if you chose the right path. If you become involved with a girl, I recommend being honest with her about your sexuality at some point in time. Up front would be best for both of you, but certainly before the two of you become committed.

If you feel you are more comfortable with men, that’s the path you should be on. You might start with dating a man, give it time and see how things develop. See how you feel watching male/female couples walking hand-in-hand down the street. Either way, whether you start a relationship with a man or a woman, you will identify your true sexuality over a reasonable period of time; and time is what you have plenty of. You might try a Google search that will point you toward social sites or dating services to connect with someone you’d like to get to know.

As for preferring older guys, that’s perfectly natural. Men between thirty and fifty are quite sexually attractive. They’ve had years of experience and know how to appreciate a man in ways younger guys have yet to learn. You would want to be psychologically in sync with him, have important things in common, and you would want to think twice if he is considerably older than you, unless you would want to be involved with a 70 year-old-man when you are 40. Coming from where you’re at, it might be best to approach a potential relationship as having a special friend, a friendship in which you share time together and intimacy, but maybe not the future.

Right now time is on your side. Many people don’t get into committed relationships until they are 25 or 30, often older. The important thing is to be sure about your sexuality and the person you are involved with.


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