Nov 22, 2014

10 Ethnic Groups on my Bucket List

On The Simpsons, Homer sings "I could love [e.g., have sex with] about a million girls."

A million?

Assuming a 50-year sexual life, that's 20,000 per year, or 384 per week.

That's a lot more than gay men could ever hope for.

If you spent every waking hour in the bath house, and if you were extremely attractive, you might get as many as 10 partners per day, or 70 per week.

But in real life, people have other interests and obligations, they don't have a superheroic physique, and they're usually involved in relationships that require monogamy or "sharing."  They might average 10 partners per year.

Or only one.

Homer goes on to list the various ethnic groups he is interested in: "I could love a Chinese girl, an Eskimo, a Finn. I could dig a Deutschland chick...."

That sounds more promising.  There are only about 6,000 ethnic groups in the world.  Could you "love" someone from each one?

For the purpose of this study, "loving" will be defined as "an event in which you see your partner naked in a private setting."  Clubs, bath houses, nude beaches, and dates that don't end with a bedroom won't count.

An "ethnic group" will be defined as a group identified by a distinct language and culture.  Generic white Americans and African-Americans don't count.

After careful calculation and checking my journals, I find that I've "loved" guys from 41 identifiable ethnic groups.

18 European
8 East or Southeast Asian
5 African
5 Latin American
2 Middle Eastern
2 Native American
1 South Asian

5,959 to go.

If I really want to sample the vast variety of  masculine beauty in the world, there are a few left on my bucket list:

1. Faeroese: from the Faeroe Islands far to the north of Britain (population 44,000).  Like the famous swimmer Pal Joensen (top photo).

2. Yakut: a Turkic-speaking people of Siberia.  There are 478,000 Yakut speakers, including 10,000 in the United States, so there's hope (second photo: a Yakut wrestler).

3.Ainu (left): the original inhabitants of Japan were not of Asian ethnicity, and their language was like no other in the world (there are only about 10 native speakers left).  They liked beards so much that the women got their chins tattooed to make it seem like they had beards, too.  Today there are an estimated 25,000-100,000 Ainu in northern Japan.  The most famous is Oki, who performs electro-pop versions of traditional songs with his Oki Dub Ainu Band.

4. Chukchi: from remote northeastern Siberia, near the Bering Sea.  The 16,000 Chukchi speak a Paleo-Siberian language.  Their shamans change from male to female when they travel to the spirit world.

 5. Hawaiian (left): 400,000 people claim to be part Hawaiian, but only 140,000 claim to be Hawaiian alone, and only about 2,000 speak the language.

6. Jivaro (left): about 20,000 of the former head-hunters, divided into several different tribes in the western Amazon region of South America, mostly in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.  I visited Colombia, but didn't meet any Jivaros.

7. Tuareg: there are about 1.2 million Tuaregs, a nomadic people of the Sahara, mostly in Niger and Chad. Formerly called "the blue people" because the blue dye in the men's turbans rubbed off onto their faces, they speak a Berber language.

8. The Mbuti (left): one of several "pygmy" tribes in the Congo, there are about 30,000 Mbuti, most still living as traditional hunter-gatherers.  The men have an average height of 4'9."  Sounds like my kind of guys.

9. Greenlander: The northernmost country on Earth, Greenland has a population of about 60,000, most of whom are Greenland Inuit.

10. Aboriginal Australians: The original inhabitants of Australia have the oldest cultural traditions in the world.  They have legends about walking to Australia over a land bridge that hasn't existed for 14,000 years!  There are about 600,000, divided into many different tribes with distinctive languages and customs.  Ritualized same-sex behavior is commonplace as an initiation rite.

I visited Australia 20 years ago, but didn't get a chance to meet -- or "love" -- any aboriginal guys.

But there's always next year.  Maybe these guys are on Facebook.

See also: In Quest of the Bushman Penis; 6000 Words for Penis

Nov 16, 2014

Turning a Straight Guy Gay in 10 Easy Steps

Ok, you can't turn an actual straight guy gay, or vice versa.  Sexual orientation can't be changed.  If he isn't into guys, he isn't into guys, period.

But there are plenty of men who think they are straight but are actually bisexual, attracted to women most of the time, but sometimes interested in men.

Or who think they are straight but actually gay, interested in men 100% of the time. They assume that being heterosexual means having cool, unsatisfying relationships with women and passionate, intense same-sex "buddies."

You can help him figure it out.  He -- and his family and friends -- will be a lot happier if he stops pretending.

Getting someone to acknowledge same-sex desire is not for the faint of heart.  It might be a better idea to stick to guys who have already figured it out, who know that they're gay, or bisexual, or straight but curved a little around the edges.

But if you're determined, here are 10 simple steps to success

1. Define your goal.  Why do you want him to figure it out? If your goal is sex or romance, be careful: after figuring it out, he  will want to try everything the gay community has to offer, mostly things that don't concern you.

2. Judge the strength of his same-sex interests.  Is he almost exclusively interested in men, or is his desire fleeting and trival?  That is, could he live happily in a heterosexual relationship?

3. Judge the strength of his homophobia.  Does he just have a few minor stereotypes about gay people, or is he seething with rage?   Does he make homophobic jokes, or does he say "live and live"?  If he's exceptionally homophobic, skip Step #4.

4. Come out to him.  Don't expect him to just figure it out by your lack of heterosexual interests and frequent discussions of hot guys.  Straight guys never figure it out.  You have to give him "the talk."

But assure him that you don't find him physically attractive.  Even if you do. Straight guys are under the impression that every gay man wants to have sex with them, and may refuse all future contact unless you make it clear that you don't intend to gawk at him in the shower or grope him in the subway.

5. Introduce him to gay people.  The biggest reason for not figuring it out is the belief that gay men in real life act like they do on tv: they squeal, flutter, gossip, leer, and discuss skin care products.  He likes football and beer, so he must be straight.  Introducing him to a variety of gay people, with a variety of behaviors and interests, will disconfirm him of that notion.

6. Introduce him to accepting heterosexuals.  The second reason for not figuring it out is the belief that family and friends will reject him.  Straight guys rarely read about or discuss gay rights, so they often believe that the world is far more homophobic than it really is.  Introducing him to some straight people who aren't screaming bigots will disconfirm him of that notion.

7. Know your Bible.  The third reason for not figuring it out is the belief that God hates gay people.  There are five Biblical passages that have been used to justify homophobic hatred.  Be ready to look them up and explain what they're really about.  If he's particularly religious, have a list of pro-gay churches and religious groups available.

8. Introduce him to physical contact.  The fourth reason for not figuring it out is the belief that masculine physical contact is creepy and icky.  You can disconfirm him of that notion quite easily. Tell him that gay guys always hug -- it doesn't mean anything.  Invite him to a party that's so crowded that you have to sit pressed together.  Once you get past the barrier of physical contact, he's almost there.

9. Invite him to a gay venue.  Like a Gay Men's Chorus concert or a gay restaurant, but not a Gay Pride festival (too noisy).  By this point, you're acting as if you assume that he's gay, and he's probably figured it out.  If he continues to protest that he's straight, ask "Aren't you about ready to stop pretending?"

Be prepared for some trauma some guys aren't thrilled by the news that they're gay.  They may experience guilt, shame, anger, and all of the other baggage they got growing up homophobic.  You may even have to point out some support groups for newly-out gay men.

10.  It make take awhile.  
But hang in there -- he's got nothing to lose, and quite a lot to gain.

See also: Yuri Comes Out; and The Homophobic Thad Becomes a Male Stripper
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