A new breed of man has emerged. Gone are the days of overly masculine men, who defined their sexuality with the women they bed, the muscles they flex, and the guns they tote. Also gone are the metrosexuals and dandies, those men who picked moisturizers instead of fights, and had a growing appreciation of clothes. Today, the new man is…. undefinable.
The new man is hard to describe. They’re in touch with their feminine sides, much like metrosexuals, but they are a little too in touch with it, almost bordering on gay. They freely use gay language, actually know who Alexander Wang is, and isn’t afraid to shout to the world that he’s a Gleek. He’s still very much into fashion, but his tastes have evolved: he now wears leopard-print loafers.
The already blurry line between heterosexuality and homosexuality has seemingly faded. Jeans are skinnier, shirts are tighter, and the only thing sure about them is their constricted breathing. Case in point: I have a friend, who shall remain nameless and genderless. Nameless because I am afraid he might sue me in light of the new Cybercrime law, and genderless because I have no idea what his sexual orientation is. He says he’s straight, but he is unusually affectionate towards me, has an obsession with girl-oriented shows like America’s Next Top Model, and has this habit of sprinkling his sentences with baklese. Once, while we were gleefully talking about Twitter, he mentioned following a gay porn star, and admitted to watching gay porn. And in the same conversation, he told me about his undying love for this one girl.
Apparently, today’s straight man watches gay porn and keeps the girl.
To be fair, gay men and women have also fifty shades of variations, from the mini-skirt wearing to the overly muscular, which we Filipinos call (and pursue) borta. I was in Cubao X last Saturday for the Bloom Arts Festival, and I saw many of my online friends appreciating the hard rock music playing amidst the fine pieces of local art. The thing is, a lot of them are gay.
Now, I’m a firm believer in the sexual revolution. I believe that a man’s sexuality shouldn’t be based on anything other than his preference. I long to live in a world where a heterosexual man can wear a dress without being called anything but beautiful. After all, one’s sexuality shouldn’t be based on the type of clothes he wears or the way he flips his hair. I don’t even like to put a label on myself because I feel it limits me. Frankly, the only label I’d feel comfortable putting around myself is Comme des Garçons.
However, this liberation has come at the price of confusion. With everyone bending their genders, one can’t easily tell if one is gay or just effeminate. Perhaps it’s just me, but I miss those times when men were men and women were women. I miss the icons of masculinity and femininity – James Dean and Audrey Hepburn. If they were alive today, Dean would probably be telling me I look fierce and Hepburn would be a muay thai fighter. I agree that life shouldn’t be monochromatic and we shouldn’t live in black-and-white. But the expansive choice of color is dizzying, and call me sexist, but I’d appreciate a little stability in the sexual arena.
Another reason why we need real men: so I know which one to hit on.
Photo is of Andrej Pejic, the male model who was voted as FHM‘s 98th sexiest woman in 2011.