Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Geeky Male Meat? That's worth reconsidering!

I owe Theorgy a post for September 1.

For now, however, I feel compelled to answer a question posed by a reader in one of the forums where I cross-post announcements regarding this blog.  The question was, "Why don't you try adding more geeky male meat then?"

Is this Gamer Wood?  Well, not the kind I want to showcase.

Considering how I envisioned this blog to be one which tackles more about gay life without simply focusing on the hot guys who fill our lovely world, the question did raise a nice point.  While I have tried exploring the idea of  geek+gay topics before (such as in this earlier post on Being Straight/Gay in rpgs, and in this other one about Games every Gay Geek should know) maybe I should devote a regular feature on geeky hot guys in this blog.

Hmm... closer but not quite.
Although size queens would love the size of that thing!
Let the rest of the gay blogging world focus on the bears, the twinks, the gym bunnies and so forth.  I can give a home to the geeky hot guys and to the virtual characters who can inspire gamer wood.

Or at least geeky imagery that can bring a rainbow laugh out of you.

So with that in mind, allow me to leave you with this:

Born from the Miku Miku Dance and PMD Editor and the creative (drugged?) brain of Youtube user poeinoue comes a video that is sure to make your brain explode.  The 3D rendering engine is said to be so easy to use, I am tempted to start making my own machinima.

I'll try to post more serious geeky hunks in the future.

Yep, this guy definitely counts as one for me.
And being extra limber scores bonus points too!
If only Jakey was dressed like this in the movie instead.
For now, got to grab some sleep so I can properly write a post as I promised for Theorgy.
Later folks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Theorgy. And Why I Blog.

My partner alerted me to an upcoming gay blogger event called Theorgy which has definitely perked my interest.  The idea is to have numerous gay bloggers write on a specific topic on a specific day, with September one being devoted to the topic of Coming Out.

Could this be the start of a good thing?
I hope so.
The term Theorgy sounds like a play with words to me:  Theory being merged with Orgy.   The idea seems to do suggest that it is about a group of people doing a sharing of views and perhaps a study of beliefs and opinions.  The word play is quite quaint and it does grab attention.

I feel happy to see that there is movement in having gay blogs contain more than the usual mix of nearly naked men, sexual escapades, fashion, rumor or blind item controversies, or porn reviews.  While I will admit to having my own share of interests in such things, I will state a part of me really hopes to find more gay blogs that discuss topics beyond the usual nsfw variety.

Jakey agrees.  Can't always just be about his body, right?
Being gay, after all, is a much more colorful experience than just sex, naked men, and rumors of who is and isn't still in the closet.  While I have been blogging for many years, I only started blogging about my gay life after realizing that I did want to have one which reflected on such topics more freely.  My current blog is already overly cluttered with posts on role playing games, daily grind rants, geekgasms on upcoming movies and games, and the like.  Blame it on the rain, bro became my outlet to discuss things which definitely reflected more of my gay life and clearly that was more than just sex.
Yep.  Too many people ignoring their brains and using their dicks to do the thinking.
Others don't even bother trying to think.
I wonder though why many seem to limit their gay experience to be the sexual kind.  While I understand that it is sex, sexual interest, and gender identity that defines one to be gay, I would not like to think that everything else in the world then becomes default straight.  My partner cautioned me though in believing that there aren't any such blogs out there.  Many, he shared, did exist must most have gone inactive in as the years gone by.
Oh dead blogs.  I hardly knew you.
I wonder if others out there would like to try to help make the presence of such blogs more known.

I've tried reading some of the gay friendly local blogs that I have heard of and some didn't quite rub me the right way.  I wasn't too happy to see blogs that seemed to view the idea of infidelity or fooling around with married men as "an exciting moment" in one's life.  I didn't quite agree with other blogs that suggested wearing branded clothes was the standard which defined a gay man as having class or not.  I was literally turned off by  blogs that seemed devoted to spreading rumors, accusing others of being closeted and celebrating the (what I feel is an abusive) art of blind items.

Why not more gay blogs that talk about life beyond the waistband and lubricated anus?  Why not blogs that reflect we can love sports beyond the muscular guys who wear them tiny shorts?  Why not blogs that talk about how cooking became an icebreaker on how they reached out to their parents and regained acceptance?   Or how being HIV positive opened one's eyes to living a much more positive and appreciative life?   Lots of gay friends I know lead colorful, challenging, and over all interesting lives.  Why can we not celebrate these lives more in our blogs?

Maybe if Will and Grace did this more often, the show would have had a stronger
staying power for today's gay audience?
In many ways I feel the kind of blogs out there nicely reflect the kind of gay friendly shows we finally have access to as well.  Years back, beautifully written shows like Will and Grace showed us that a gay man can be very multifaceted.  Will stood out in contrast to his friend Jack, yet both got along campily well in many other ways.  But then came shows like Queer as Folk and Dante's Cove which seemed to focus more on the sexual energy and abusive relationships that also existed in gay couplings.  It doesn't come as a surprise that a lot of people love the shows, but it does make me worry how many still have the misconception that a gay lifestyle is limited to that kind of a life.   I am still hoping for more people to learn of shows like Torchwood and Modern Family to see that being gay can go much further than just being a guy who loves to sleep around and can't keep their dick in their pants.  Sadly, even a very well executed and written show like Glee still seems lacking in the gay =/= sex department.  I have yet to really see from Curt see more than his right to have feelings for Finn.  I would have liked Curt to be mature enough to understand that Finn does also deserve to have his own personal space.
Oh no, I dissed Curt.  I wonder if that's Hate Mail I hear coming?
Oh Curt can't wait to see me suffer for dissing him.
In a way, the feeling that the world needs to see more gay blogs that aren't obsessing over other's men's genitalia will be a huge source of momentum for me in keeping this blog going.  I wouldn't like people who aren't blessed with the joy of having gay friends to find nothing but meat, meat, meat, and more meat online when they chance upon a gay friendly site.  I think keeping this blog alive would be my part in helping show that the gay experience is far more than just a change of pussycats with roosters.

In can be a whole lot more colorful than they can ever dream.

Shouldn't we then do what we can to help them see that?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All About Paying Strangers to Touch Me

One of the few vices I have is the need to self-indulge and get a massage at least once a month.   Being both someone who can drive, and tends to use the computer for a larger part of each day, it is not uncommon for me to develop aches and pains along my back, leg, shoulder and neck areas.   Thankfully, in the Philippines there are many options available for one such as myself to find a great massage.  Each one of course has its own pros and cons.  One thing remains true however, the paid pampering is beautifully affordable especially when one considers how much such a service costs in North America and other countries.  The price for a full-body massage in Los Angeles costs the same amount of money for an extended three hour massage plus full day spa wet area services here.

Some people don't like massages because they're ticklish.  Thankfully, I'm not one of them.
Rather than elaborate on the health benefits and perceived medical therapeutic merits of a massage, I will leave that for you readers to just Google up.  Instead what I will talk about is how I feel about what makes a massage a good one, and how I feel about how the industry has been colored or affected by the gay peso.
It amazes me how many points in the body supposedly make another part of the body better.
But if this were the case, shouldn't martial arts thereby make someone healthier with each painful blow?
I am a sucker for being pampered big time.    After spending hours each day working at my laptop, or having to take long hourly drives to and from work, getting a massage is one of the many perks I look forward to having when the opportunity and budget permits.  I love having a strong, drawn out massage where the masseur takes time making sure every inch of me is properly and legally kneaded nicely.  I prefer my massages as hard and purposeful and appreciate those who really look for the areas where the knots and bumps have accumulated.   I hate masseurs who seem to be in a rush to finish the job, or are too preoccupied with other things rather than finding the right pressure points that need attention.  I recall this one spa I used to go to where the masseuses would be chatting away with each other about how much they've made or what new domestic problem has cropped up in their lives while we clients had our faces down against the bed hoping they'd shut up.

I also like it when the masseur stops trying too hard to either seem sensual or be too careful.  Some of them are too fixated at the misconception that all gay guys who get a massage are easily going to go for a cheap thrill that they try too hard to get you aroused.  I personally think its more embarrassing for the masseur than it is for me when I tell the guy, "Hindi yon ang pinunta ko dito." ("That's not what I came here for.")  Others, on the other hand, get too worried of making that kind of a signal that they do all these weird positions to keep from touching your leg, butt or back while maneuvering to find a comfortable position to work on your body.   I have told such masseurs before, "Just sit.  I don't mind.  Sit on my legs if it helps.  I rather you can focus on the massage then worry about where to rest your weight."
Thank God I found a spa where I can freely walk towel-free and just let it hang and relax.
And no, I'm not sharing what spa that is.
Nudity is a huge requirement for me when it comes to having a massage.  Most places seem to prefer that the client wear a pair of shorts (typically the kind held up with an elastic waistband which is provided by the spa) or that the client still wear underwear during the session.  In such cases, towels are then draped over the body and later on, curled up to be hooked against the shorts leg or padded over the buttocks when the underwear is brought lower for the buttocks and lower back portion of the massage.    I personally would rather be naked when I get my massage.  Being hairy, I've had times when the act of rolling the towel against the shorts ends up snagging some of my pubic or leg hair.  Painfully.  There have also been times when the masseur tries to pretend the shorts aren't there and continue the massage as normal, but all he accomplishes is having his fingers fumble against a cloth layer than greatly diffuses the impact of the massage.   

What I find a bit disheartening, however, is how there seems to be a misconception that massages have to be equated to something sensual or even sexual the moment the client is someone who is gay.  The moment a guy like me asks for a masseur instead of a masseuse, the sexual implications are quickly brought up one way or another.  The kind of massage shifts from shiatsu to something else with repeated accidental brushings of a hand or lingering finger against one's scrotum or ass.  Occasionally the oil bottle is innocently dropped between one's thighs for frequent frictionless contacts with the inner thighs.  On thankfully rarer occasions, you get everything from casual "readjusting your penis" from the area being massaged, to direct nipple stimulation, to downright suggestive requests.   I recall one masseur asking me after a particularly relaxing session lead to me getting a chubby (which was less due to him and more due to me having a tall glass water before the massage.), "Sir gusto mo ba ng hot tea o cold water?" ("Sir, do you want hot tea or cold water?)  The message seemed quite out of place considering I was practically falling asleep that moment and on hindsight must have been some kind of coded offer.  It seems he mistook my need to pee as an invitation to offer something extracurricular.   Even conversations among gay friends about getting good home-based massages quickly degenerate to rumors as to which masseur tends to do "certain things."  In many ways, this mindset was further popularized by recent indie movies that tackled the industry (although I sense the filmmakers would very easily make a case that they only made "visible" what has been going on all this time.)

Try looking for "The Masseur" or "Ang Masahista"  which despite having some scenes that seem to linger too much on the sexual nature of massages, is a really well written, beautifully shot movie.
And while I will admit that there can be some erotic level of flirty fun in the idea that a guy will run his hands all over another guy to make him feel good, I don't exactly find myself looking for the cheap thrills of wandering fingers whose touches against my body are more born from the desire to make more money.  

I do wish though that there were more interesting and yet legal massage options available.  A friend of mine once shared how he was able to get a massage while on a trip abroad which was accomplished by the masseuse using her mouth the whole time.  There was also the other massage a friend of mine indulged in where two women massaged him all over with the use of those scrubbing gloves.  It was like being licked by two gentle tigers, he called it.   Or maybe something as simple as having two masseurs rub you down at the same time.  However, I don't see how such massages would ever been deemed acceptable here in the Philippines.  Considering the Lingam massage issue that lead to the raiding of numerous massage establishments (some of which were admittedly not of the legal kind) in Cebu and Marinduque, and how there are groups already preparing to cry scandal over such a decent condom commercial such as this:

I highly doubt the country would ever be able to have anything more interesting than the standard offers any time soon.  Somehow I sense one would sooner see a legally protected group devoted to supporting discrimination than a greater open-minded viewpoint begin to exist in this country.  Oh wait, that already is happening.

Ultimately, I wish people were more aware that spas are not bath houses, and that massages are not automatically opportunities for cheap thrills or shallow sex.  I do find myself wondering though, would offering a prostate massage be a good next step in the evolution of a more socially acceptable massage place?

Pamper Package! Full body Shiatsu Massage + Body Wash + Prostate Massage for only...
uh, not gonna happen.  :-)
Currently, my partner and I have been looking into the possibility of home-based massage services.   Typically, I drive us to a nearby spa to get a massage, which tends to have me driving a sleepy boyfriend back home through heavy traffic.  A home-based option would allow me to get enough relaxation as well as reduce the horror of traversing Manila's traffic-laden streets.  Our first few attempts have been interesting with their own share of fun anecdotes, but that I will save for another blogpost in the future.  For now, I'm just gonna relax for a bit.    After all, when one get's a massage, being able to relax is the ultimate goal.  Or at least, it should be.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Does Being Gay (or Female) Matter in a RPG?

One of my biggest hobbies is role playing games.  Now I don't mean those kind of role playing couples get into while in bed doing the doggy dance.  I mean the kind one plays with the use of interestingly shaped dice, interactive storytelling, pencils, paper sheets and character concepts.  I have been a gamer for many years and I noticed that while some games totally ignore the relevance of having a male or female character, other games love utilizing it as an in-game mechanic.

Gamer partners are easy to please.  Just buy them a nice new set of dice
for a present when you run out of ideas. 
It led me to wonder, is it good or bad when role playing games ignore gender and sex in a game?
Role playing games have always allowed me to explore character concepts which I probably would never have the chance to (or in some cases, never morally or logically be inclined to doing) in real life.  My first actual proper rpg character was a female Paladin named Shel Downwind (I use such disclaimers because my very first game was some elven ranger on a volcano) who had a ring of regeneration and eventually was pivotal in saving the Realms from the Avatar Wars in our gaming group.   Later on, I would find myself playing  an insane Malkavian vampire named Gabriel who believed that if one stared at a dying man's eyes at the moment he expired, one would glimpse the soul and know true beauty.  Crazy scary stuff eh?  More concepts  came and went and ultimately, I've played characters who were male, female, alien, transsexual, straight, gay, closeted, homophobic, religious, insane, militaristic, compassionate, devoted, crazed and more.  The point was, role playing games allowed me to explore a lot of these things in the safety of my own home without ever  actually illegally performing such things.
My friend Mara is wondering when I last shaved as I try to explain to her in brief the system for
White Wolf Gaming Studios' Scion.
The role playing game community, years back, seemed neck deep in straight guys alone.  For me, it wasn't until the rise of popularity of Anne Rice novels and the emergence of White Wolf's World of Darkness that gay gamers as well as gay characters started to become more visible.  And while most gaming books still retain the straight-male-geek demographic as their target market, some like White Wolf have attempted to sound more gender savvy (like in White Wolf books, the pronoun "she" is used instead of "he").   Later companies tried to reflect an awareness of such a shift in their books by adding disclaimers that the pronoun "he" was merely used for simplicity sake and not intended to mean only males were expected to play the game.
They should have made this scene last for half an hour.
Clearly there was an attempt to be much more gender sensitive in some ways.  I wondered however, if this sensitivity extended as well to the actual game itself?  Did being straight, gay, male or female matter in a rpg?

Decided to post this rather than the expected Dragon Age image.
White Wolf Gaming Studios, creators of games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, Vampire: the Requiem, and Exalted, approached sex and gender as something vital only depending on the setting of the game.  For example, in their Dark Ages using their old World of Darkness line, playing a woman meant having the flaw (Second Class Citizen) which was to reflect how during the period, women were seen to have less rights and freedoms than men.  In their Exalted line, on the other hand, there are merits to reflect being fertile or not since in that game, certain character types can bear interesting children if mixed and matched.  A recent book even used numerous movie and tv tropes as the basis for outlandish (and possibly offensive) merits available only to those who are playing a woman.
Crazy = Straight Jacket.
Dungeons and Dragons on the other hand once tried to reflect the differences between men and women by setting different "ranges" for how a man or a woman's Strength can start at.  There were also differences in their typical "starting ages" as well as "maximum old ages".   So yes, there was a time in Dungeons and Dragons when all female characters could never be stronger than male characters, even if both rolled 18 for Strength in their initial character creation.

DC Heroes (and for those who are familiar with the many variations, here I am choosing to view the MEGS version) doesn't care if the character you create is male or female.  And thankfully, this nicely is reflected in how the comics do have characters of immense strength or ability, regardless of gender.
Alex Ross, you rule.

Houses of the Blooded nicely reflects the importance of romance and drama in a character concept but like DC Heroes seems to have little care of whether or not a character is male or female.  The game nicely shows you how the creative flow of a game isn't supposed to be in the hands of the game master/storyteller alone.
This book is barely $5 for the PDF.   Trust me, it is worth every single penny.
I'm just happy a friend found a copy of the physical book in a booksale here in Manila.
It was in Weapon of the Gods that I felt a nice balance of setting reflective systems with the freedom to play women who are or can be stronger than men.  Weapon of the Gods allowed one to purchase Lores that expanded one's background or ongoing destiny in the game, and among them were the options to purchase Homosexuality, being a woman and the like.  Such purchases then opened the options to buy other setting enhancing things such as how homosexual men can use a special martial art to shift their chi to masculine or feminine, or how women can have a Lore that allows them to carry a child to term and yet remain fit and capable of active martial arts combat.  The game nicely reflected the fact that role playing games might cater to players who will predominantly want to play male roles, but still had enough system crunch to interest players who wanted to explore gay and/or feminine roles.  Sadly, EOS press, which publishes the game, seems to no longer be online.
A pity it is no longer in print.
I wonder though if there are games out there that nicely cater to players who want to truly explore games where being male, female, homosexual or heterosexual, matter.  The irony however is the more you try to make such things "matter" the greater the chance you end up looking like you're being predisposed or biased towards one or the other.

Me running FIGHT! where non-gamers are invited to roll three green dice in hopes of besting my roll.  The hearts on my chest were reminiscent of the Life Meter in Zelda games.  I'd lose a heart for each dice roll lower than theirs.  Ultimately, this was me trying to make people have fun even without computers.
But since role playing games are all about exploring character concepts and creating stories, I would love to see or hear about gaming systems where players are encouraged to try concepts that might be very distant from who they are or what they typically play.    It might help people see role playing games as more than just the lonely straight sexless geek guy's hobby, and make them realize a lot of us gamers actually get much more sex than you average straight non-gamers than you think!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monkeys are Invading, Oh my. Or Should I say, my O?

I was at my favorite haunt earlier at my usual reserved table when a bunch of newcomers showed up and planted themselves beside my table.  At first I was considering being congenial when I realized they were new to the bar after one of them asked a friend, "Where's the rest room in this place?"  Newbies to my favorite haunt nowadays usually meant people who used to go to the currently closed "other" bar which had shut down to do renovations due to a very "timely" fire that happened recently to the place.

Things turned south, however, when two in the group looked at me and noticed that I was sitting and enjoying some mixed sausage dish with my beer rather than scouting for man-meat or dancing.  Two of the group, perhaps wrongly thinking I had less-than-adequate hearing skills, started a conversation about me:

Monkey One:  Pare, You'd think people would go to a bar to drink and dance.
Monkey Two:  Probably cause no one is minding him.  That's what happens when you're not hot.

I had half the mind to educate the monkeys on a few facts, when it dawned upon me any attempt to illuminate them on the truth would fall on brains that were unable to comprehend higher communication.  The facts were:

1) The bar was my favorite haunt.  One that had to a great extent recognized my presence as one they enjoyed having.  While most patrons enjoy a bar just to hunt for man-meat or get drunk, I was actually one of the few who gave back to the bar my own display of gratitude by supporting it in various means, from spreading news of the place to others to generate new customers, or by informing them of any problems that arise (e.g. drunken patrons who need to be shown out, abusively rude patrons who think anyone in the bar can be molested sexually, etc)  As such, I actually am reserved a table for the nights I show up.  I am given some extra space when I am there to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion.  And more.

2) While drinking and dancing was expected of such a place, they also pride themselves in having great food. And that was a service I was indulging in gratefully.  For them to think eating there was a "wrong thing to do" was clearly a show of how inept and ignorant they are of the place.

3) I am happily in a relationship.  I had no intention of hunting for meat.  I had no desire to be the target of people hunting for meat.  In fact, I had two guys trying to eye-volleyball me whom I ignored, and one guy who hit on me in the bathroom who I turned down, gently.   I don't recall any of them actually being approached the whole night.  Oh wait, the waiter did.  I guess that *should* count.  At least he was someone who wanted "something" from them.  Bwahahah!

4) They were monkeys.  For all their pomp, they were barely attractive or noteworthy.  Heck, I only noticed them because they chose to plant themselves near me and had the gall to mouth me off.  No sass.  No style.  No breeding.  Nuff said.
So rather than make an issue out of it, I enjoyed my food and drinks and shared more laughs with my friend, and quietly smiled as the show began and their drinks, which were littering the stage area, were gathered as they were shooed away to move to some other dark corner instead.

While I am given some level of special treatment, it is a bonus that I have been given having earned it.  I am a regular of the place and in more times than one have shown that I give back to the bar in many ways.    I only hope that the place those monkeys frequent reopens soon, just so that they stop polluting places I hang out at with their clearly misguided self-delusion of self-importance.

Monkeys, be warned.
I bark back when pushed.

Don't wait for the point I bite.

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