Monday, March 15, 2010

Okay, I'll admit it. I think I have a fetish. It's hard to tell, because there's a fine line between a quality you look for in a partner and a fetish, and it's not like there are Fetish Police who will tell you which side of the line you're on. But there's this one little quality that means the difference between me lusting after a dude and totally ignoring him, and that makes me think I give it a little more power than most people do.

I like facial hair.

Actually, I don't understand why all gay men don't fixate on facial hair. After all, we like men, so shouldn't we like everything manly? We pretty much agrees on penises, right? Well, what about the other outward signs of masculinity? We should like muscles, Barry White voices, cowboy hats and chaps. We should like stocky, blue collar, gruff.

We should like facial hair.

There's exactly one reason I haven't mentioned this before: I've always thought people with fetishes are perverted. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking they don't have sex the right way. See, when you fixate on a certain body part or attribute, you're ignoring the person's inner beauty. You stray from the Sexual Ideal, which sounds a little like this:

CHET: Oh, baby, the way you kiss the back of my neck sends sweet waves of passion down my spine.

STAN: Darling, I never knew what bliss was until I met you.

But with, say, a foot fetishist, you're more likely to hear dialogue like this:

DARREN: Sweetie, is something wrong? You've been lying on the ground for thirty-eight minutes now.

RAOUL: Take a chill pill, buddy, and smack me in the kisser with that hot club toe.

People who have regular sexual desires don't usually end up on the news. Fetishists, on the other hand, are always running from the police, usually in women's lingerie or black vinyl shorts, or they're stealing pink socks from some cheerleader's clothesline.

Until we hire ourselves a PR firm, it's not a group you'd want to join.

After years of harboring this predilection, though, I've decided there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I don't steal men's shaving cream. I don't send thirty saucy texts a day to Hugh Laurie. I don't go up to attractive strangers and tell them there's a bit of food in their muttonchops that I'd be happy to extricate with my dick.

And I still have standards. Just like regular dudes who distinguish between attractive men and unattractive men, I distinguish between attractive facial hair and unattractive facial hair. Attractive? Dense, nicely shaped, color somewhere between black and brown or salt and pepper. Unatractive? Wispy, thin, splotchy.

It's only when I realize I'd do Wilford Brimley before Matt Damon that I start to suspect something is off.

Still, in the end I'm content with my fetish. I could do better, and could do worse. On the plus side, facial hair is relatively common. I'm not trawling the bars for skinny Samoans, or rabbinical amputees. On the minus side, my relationships will always be precarious, doomed to a short life span even compared to men with stranger fetishes, causing me a lifetime of serial heartbreak. Because a guy with a yen for Japanese men, for instance, won't wake up one morning and discover his paramour has, on a whim, shaved his Asian off.

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