The following comment was dropped into the thread of a long forgotten post on LISBETH'S SITE, earlier today.

I have a question (and it's a serious one and not meant as a wind up).

Do women really believe that men don't have to put up with exactly the same as women? That men don't think that women are only interested in Coke advert men and george Clooney lookalikes? Do women really think that men don't look at their fat guts in the mirror and wish they never had to go out in public again? Do they think men don't notice how geeky looking and unattractive men are used as stereotypes in film and on television programmes? Do they think men don't have their self-confidence knocked by the constant idolising of the jock body in the media and the "girls together" jokes about screwing blokes who "work out" in pretty much every American TV programme nowadays?

Okay, I admit, we don't talk about it as much as women talk about their sexual objectification. But that's probably only because we are men and we think that women think that whinging is unmanly and, therefore, would lead to us having even less chance of getting laid - even by a fat girl.



  1. As an overweight, middle aged man I will report that my looks seem to matter far less in gay bars with other men than they did in str8 bars around women. But since I didn’t really want to be approached by women, even with I was a “so-called straight” I’m not sure my testimony is that all that valid.

  2. No so much about men as about media — I would vote for a requirement that newspapers (esp the Sunday NYTimes) and magazines (esp Vogue) be required to subtitle all their model photos/ads with the ages of the models both male and female — average about 12 or 13?

    Might deal with nutso expectations as well as the sexualization of children.

  3. I think MP has a valid point, though my experience is that the shallower variety of women seem to be far more interested in a man’s wealth and how much “power” he has in the world than strictly in his looks alone.

    So the particulars differ, but it seems to me that women are as likely to be subject to unrealistic expectations about men as the other way around. Some people can get past that and form genuine relationships with real people, and some can’t.

    But all men aren’t bastards, just as all women aren’t, well… you know.

  4. To answer your serious question with a serious answer.. No.. I had no idea, not an inkling.. but somehow it makes me pleased, which sounds bad, but it feels a relief to be in the same insecure slurry together.

    On a personal note, I couldn’t care less if a bloke has a big tummy, so long as he is kind.

  5. I suspect women may feel it a bit more because of the norm that we males do the initial selecting. If you are waiting to be asked to the dance, it is harder to think the reason you were turned down was she did not like your approach. {not sure that was clear?}


  6. I have to disagree with Wade.

    I frequently tell people, “I’m 42, which, in gay years, is 12 years past dead.” They think I’m joking. I’m not.

    Granted, I’m pretty shallow and so embrace the virtue-of-necessity that constitutes my celibacy, but unless you’re a gym rat and/or have exceptionally good luck genetically, 30 is about the cut off point for attractive, to gay men, in general. It’s one of the reasons that, though I will fight for gay rights, I want nothing to do with a “gay community” and Pride Parades and all that.

  7. It seems to me that women are women’s harshest critics. Not many men notice when you lose some weight or gain some, have a hair cut, try new make-up or commit a fashion faux-pas, but boy, do other women notice.
    The pressure my girls are under from their girlfriends is worse than anything a boy could inflict on them.

    Is that the same among men?

  8. is that the same among men.”

    No. Not among straight men. Men pretty much shut up about the appearance of other males when they get passed adolescence.

    And the secret of being a successful male is to notice that she has lost weight even when she hasn’t 🙂

  9. Mark, just wait until it’s 27 “years past dead” and young gay guys ignore you or start referring to you as an “old queer”. That’s when you’ll really start to feel pissed with life and love. It’s also when your own strength of character and resiliance kicks in.

  10. The “old-and-unattractive-and-might-as-well-be-dead-after-age-25” is not my experience.

    Yes, our culture is pathologically fixated on youth, but not everyone is. I had a very rich sex life after age 35, probably richer and more fun than the one I had before 25. I had a great time dating all kinds of men at all ages from 24 to 50. I met Michael when I was 44. I didn’t have any wealth or power to share with him or anyone. He was 29 at the time. He’s the one who proposed marriage and cohabitation. Thank God I said yes.

    You’re not dead until you’re dead. Embrace your daddyhood. Act and dress your age, and show off the goods. Follow the motto of Cole Porter, be yourself and “never apologize and never explain.” There’s someone for everyone out there in this world. You never really know what people will find attractive.

    As for the twinkies who exclaim “troll!” when you walk through the door, keep in mind that twinkies are junk food with no nutritional value and will find themselves to be the real old trolls soon enough.

    And folks, if you really feel bad about the gut, then get some exercise. Even if you never get that fabled male “six-pack,” your heart and arteries will thank you.

  11. Oh, I expect Michael was just impressed by your celebrity status, Doug. As OCICBW…’s honourary “most famous visitor” you must be quite a catch for any young man with stars in his eyes 🙂

  12. MarkBrunson said…
    I have to disagree with Wade.

    Well Mark, all I can go by is my own experience and it’s been nothing like what you describe, rather more like Countelights. And I’m certainly never going to make the cover of GQ.

    For what it’s worth I’d not give up. I expect there is somebody just right out there if you can find him.



  13. “It seems to me that women are women’s harshest critics.”

    Erika’s certainly right on the money there. I know my wife never gets unkind comments from me about her appearance (heck, I think she’s a real cutie!). But I certainly hear a lot of unkind remarks and unrealistic opinions about weight, etc… from women aimed at other women.

    Can’t fathom that, myself. Why complain bitterly about the oppression of such standards and then turn around and be the oppressor ?! ::shakes head sadly::

    “On a personal note, I couldn’t care less if a bloke has a big tummy, so long as he is kind.”

    You know ? I find myself quite liking Lesley 😉

  14. LOL almost a single priest and still human.. I am the same Myers-Briggs as you btw..

    ANyway – how about the MP talking about getting laid?

  15. Mark, come to México, los chicos will adore you. We do not have the age hangups here. Things are much more intergenerational. In fact you would probably be a little better off with a younger man because he is more likely to totally out of the closet than one your age.

    The five or six times a years I allow Alex y su novio to drag me out, I have to beat the young ones off with a stick. If you ask why they are attracted to someone older than they, they will tell you it is for the maturity and experience with life.

  16. OK, can I ask a serious question?

    {JCF prepares for abuse!}

    Can we—male, female, Mecontrol what we find attractive?

    And if not, has anyone had any luck w/ “act as if” (e.g., “I don’t find her attractive, but I’ll act as if I do, and maybe things will change”?)

    [JCF, wishing myself was not as SHALLOW about looks, as I am. Kyrie eleison.]

  17. Maturity and experience? I don’t think so. It’s the famous spotty bum. They all want to find out if it’s true 🙂

  18. “Can we—male, female, Me—control what we find attractive?”

    Of course, dear heart! I think the point is that emotionally mature people simply assign attractiveness its proper place in the hierarchy of “things important to a good relationship.”

    And I’m sure almost all of us have experienced that “he/she was really gorgeous until I got to know him/her” feeling (and vice-versa) as well. Sane, perceptive people learn to pay attention to this 😉

  19. emotionally mature people simply assign attractiveness its proper place in the hierarchy of “things important to a good relationship.”

    No offence intended, David, but let’s face it. That’s anything in a skirt (as we say round these parts) in your case 🙂

  20. And I’m sure almost all of us have experienced that “he/she was really gorgeous until I got to know him/her” feeling (and vice-versa) as well. Sane, perceptive people learn to pay attention to this 😉

    But that’s still not control over attraction, just a change in attraction.

    I don’t buy the concept of making yourself attracted to someone you don’t find physically attractive, and I only ever hear it advanced by people who’ve never had to settle for what they found unattractive.

  21. Mark, Of course. I don’t think I said anything different. It’s all a matter of putting attractiveness in its proper place and of being open to the Spirit (as we Anglican types tend to go on about 😉

  22. But you did say something different.

    The question was “Can we control attraction” you said “Of course.”

    We can’t.


    “Love!” Feh. You humans.