When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Friday, July 8, 2011

Who's The Man

In case you haven't heard, my state recently made it legal for gay people to marry within it's borders. I've been so busy just trying to identify myself as one of them that I hadn't thought about what it meant to me personally. But now, I've been getting a real idea. And as a man, I don't know what to do with all these thoughts.

First off, I'm a singleton in this Big Apple. This means that I live off one income. My income is from the mental health field, which also means that it is LOW. It could be higher if I worked more cases per day, translating roughly, in both my jobs, to about $30 an hour. If I worked 40 of those kind of hours per week, I'd be set. But there's no way to work 40 full hours of one-on-one focused, emotion-driven, full-brain work per week. Any given 40 hr work week is interspersed with daydreaming, web surfing, smoke breaks, eating at the desk, chatter with a cubicle neighbor, reading a newspaper, bathroom oasises, water cooler gossip, phone calls to friends, smartphone games, ad infinitus. I daresay no one works more than 4 solid, 100%-ly dedicated hours per day. And that's about what I can do at max. That's $600 a week before taxes. So I survive, but I'm not rich. I live in a room in a dude's apartment. My name is not on the lease. I had a car but after one too many towaways, I realized I couldn't afford it in NYC. I never picked it up from the tow pound. It's been 7 months now. Add to this that my jobs are contract. I have no healthcare.

And many a day I wondered how would I continue living here successfully? At THIS level? How can I be 46 when everything about my life says I'm only half that age? I put those thoughts on the backburner because they were uncomfortable and undermined my sense of safety. I didn't want to confront something that seemed hopeless.

Until they said a week or so ago that I could marry a dude.

So here now is the problem. If I can get married to a guy, and get health benefits through his insurance, and have tax breaks due to my legal status, and that whole nine--then does that make me the woman of the relationship?

Women have been storming the gates forever against that very idea. Depending on a man for their safety and livelihood?? RIDICULOUS!!! And yet, here I am practically in that boat. I want a relationship with someone that turns me on, makes me want to mount them and have them call out my name. I want to do every saucy thing to my guy that women all over the world wants to do to, say, Sean Connery or ... Barack Obama. But I also don't want to have to become his live-in servile sex slave. I want equal footing. I want to be a man.

It feels insane to even think this way, but the discrepancy between male & female roles are so ingrained that I actually feel threatened by the suggestion that I would not get to enjoy my male position in a relationship if I came into a marriage as I am right now.

Ah. I think I'm just thrown off by the gender thing. If I were to marry a six-figure earning woman, what would be the difference? Ah ha...but I think I know. If the woman were the breadwinner, I'd still be the one with the penis.

Wait, WHAT???

No, yeah, seriously. Having a penis is AWESOME. It really is. But then again, I'm gay so I guess I WOULD think that. But it's been my experience that the use of said instrument turns my whole body into a machine. Something of industry. Of strength and ability and function and drive and accomplishment and power. Orgasm is an eruption of life-affirming masculinity. At least it is TO ME. Which is why I love men so much. I LOVE that ideal of the John Henrys of the world vs. The Locomotives. The Tarzans against the lions. This is why I love muscle and hard, masculine, MEN men. It's an endorphin high for me. It's a sexual fantasy. It's an inspiration. It's a motivating force. It's a mission statement. I both love men and I want to be a man. Nothing more. Nothing detracting from women, nor meant to devalue women in any way. I'm only expressing what floats MY boat.

And so having said all that -- where would I fit into a marriage with a man?

I want him to be a Man. But I want to be a Man too.

Maybe gay marriage DOES threaten heterosexual marriage because ... Well maybe because it forces everyone to re-examine the roles of each partner based on gender.

But hell, maybe that should've happened a long time ago anyway.

Meanwhile, all this talk is specious because I don't even have a boyfriend, let alone a fiancée.

I'm just blogging it out.

Blame NaBloPoMo. :-D


GrizzBabe said...

"So here now is the problem. If I can get married to a guy, and get health benefits through his insurance, and have tax breaks due to my legal status, and that whole nine--then does that make me the woman of the relationship?"

Gender roles do us ALL a disservice -- women AND men. In a perfect, non-patriarchal world, if you were to marry a gay man and get all the health and financial benefits associated with said marriage then you would be just a man who married another man and are reaping the benefits. Nothing more, nothing less.

The liberation of men (even gay men) is intrinsically tied to the liberation of women. As women progress and continue to buck and transform the traditional negative ideas associated with being a woman, then men will reap the benefits of that liberation. It will no longer be considered a bad thing to be "the woman" in a relationship. We, men and women alike, can just be.

Ok, off my soapbox now . . .

Me said...

Preach it!!