“A wah do some boi man, we dem nuh go get a life?’ (what is wrong with some boys, why don’t they go get a life?) were the infamous and often echoed words by several others that rung out loudly for me when I stopped by a friend in Kingston recently for a lunch reunion; when we run into some of these gay so called thuggy thug hustlers who swear they are the cat’s pyjamas and more man than anybody else and as if we owe them something, ‘we’ here of course meaning lesser hyper-masculine types then somehow a hetero-normative social construct takes precedence in the liaison; as if to suggest lesser masculine men in the eyes of these hustlers must be as seen women in heterosexual relationships or passive in sexual/gender role play or in taking orders, acceding to demands.
The ‘woman a mine me’ [male financially supported by a woman] mantra as voiced in song many years ago frankly has set the trend for men to feel they must be catered to as then it changed the thinking and made women to now support men almost paying for dick (sugar mama culture in the ICI/higgler community). If one doesn’t meet the ‘thug’ demands whatever liaison type nowadays then you somehow deserve what comes your way, frankly I am getting a little perturbed by the numerous complaints on the grapevine or otherwise of alleged out of control so called gangsters who want the world while marketing essentially their naturally chiseled bodies & dicks. I do like many other colleagues find men of most types attractive and am enamoured by the thug types but I have since learnt how to box with them. It is about managing the arrangement. We all I imagine want that six pack, nicely hung dude to do the things to us and such but it comes with challenges.
My friend had met a man in a certain depressed community nearing the Boulevard at of all places a barbershop who kept eyeing him during his wait and subsequent sitting in the chair to get his grooming services delivered and as is customary barbershop chat ensued. The shirtless indeed gorgeous body type (usually the physical gifts held by ghetto types) man stood by the door occasionally swinging his shirt in his hand were talking about some event with the barber in question in duty to my friend about some event they had attended and the usual bravado about who dressed well and who had dances with the most girls and such. The evil eye swung my friend’s way every now and again and it was obvious this dude was up to something according to my friend relating this to me; his own gaydar sensed something as we more street savvy types are good at and it was when the barber had finished and collected his due that it was clear what was up. The barber also offered his card and openly also offered more in terms of friendship; words to the effect were said “boi bossy memba fi pass back enuh, mi de yah pon it everyday still but call me if yuh come and don’t see mi call me still” (the word ‘bossy’ is usually used to establish familiarity and a setup for either some sort of solicitation including sexual advances but one has to know how to sense it) with a all too friendly smirk on his face.
The shirtless thug on the front steps of the little makeshift shop was watching the dialogue and he too had a smile of his face but not the usual one of welcome to the spot or shop and come back again and it was very clear now that this shop is more than just for barbering. He too made his was over to my friend who was making his way out when he boldly stopped him and the same word ‘bossy’ came from him; he asked if the service was OK and said the barber is the best in the business but it was one of those conversations that one knows that is not the reason for it and there are ulterior motives beyond the icebreaker. The he got to it where he simply laid his cards on the table (a man like that I like lol .... just get to the point) he said he saw my friend from across the street that was why he arrived and stayed at the shop’s entrance effectively striking irrelevant conversation to observe my friend to confirm what he suspected. My friend said he was dumbstruck at first but decided to put up a defensive posture to test him but he laughed and said that types like him who play hard to get are the ones he likes.
Obviously this thug was very experienced and knows how to play the game; in my view my own encounters over the years it is a game to them, guess it has something to do with socialization and such tied in with gangsterism or anancyism that we have come to absorb so well and use almost daily. Fast forward to the parties getting involved sexually and occasional visits to my friend’s home as he leaves on a main road so that offers some ‘safety’ in a sense for usurers and double agent types who want to wade into ones trust then rob them afterwards but in this case it was that ever constant problem of entitlement some of these hustlers have; as explained in my introduction the ordered role play that attend to these matters mimicking the social constructs found in the ghetto perhaps where it is a romanticless or very low emotional relationship and just functional for sex and money or outright abuse and the complicated power differentials in such arrangements.
Familiarity can reveal hidden or dormant attitudes, feelings and intent and such was the case with this one especially when sex is used to consummate the liaison. All of a sudden according to my friend he changed, more and more demands especially for money were made, gifts and essentially eating my friend out of house and home. He arrives when he feels like it unannounced (albeit this was not a monogamous relationship although that doesn’t legitimise the behaviour) he eats, sleeps and even brought other friends over to have sex inviting my friend to join the triage or ménage-a-trios. A stop was put to that instantly. Then the thing I feared the most occurred in these types of arrangements or friendships where once the dynamics of the liaison changes or the seemingly aggrieved party decides to take matters in hand and shifts the power differentials that’s when all hell can break loose. Having an already marginalised man in a taboo downlow sexual liaison developing feelings of further loss of power or having his ego stroked can have disastrous indeed have had said outcomes; some so ghastly we have seen some of them play out in our print media; often paraded as homophobic incidents by some when they have no real world experience.
The reaction came some weeks ago when my friend who had arrived from work after doing double shifts and was tired; he received a phone call from the ‘thug’ that he was on his way over and ordered him to prepare a meal as he was hungry. My friend objected and explained he was tired, not accepting any visitors but he hung up and turned up none the less expecting his ordered meal; demands not met he fumed and it blew up into a fight, fortunately the other tenants downstairs the home were not in so exposure was avoided but it did not turn out well as some items were damaged including an android phone (BLU). Then came the threats and conditionalities; the so called bad man or don-man type rhetoric took up most of the exchange as he claimed he was being dissed by my friend and the also other usually reminder of who is the ‘man’ in the relationship line as if my friend was something else.
There is an old saying “customer like steady feel he has a right to findle the merchandise..” or words to such effect when applied here to me suggests if my friend is paying and gifting this ‘thug’ then he has a right to amend, adjust or end the power differential arrangements in that union; but then again market forces also cause problems, the cat’s pyjamas issue I mentioned in the introduction drives some of this entitlement phenomenon by hyper-masculine types as MSM sub culture promotes more middle class gay men as less masculine or semi of not fully effeminate while objectifying the thug types as God’s and rare breeds and when found must be kept as a prize. The opposite mantra can be applied as in if a product is in high demand even by the existing customer then the price will go up; these fellas are in the game to win it and will do all they can to milk what they can get from their male partners especially. Owing to the refusal in some cases of self identification as gay as that is too loaded a term and perception as it implies a passive role only serves to feed the power differential challenges. So we are bound to have this entitlement issue I guess until there is some change comes in gay subculture and by extension general culture too as that has some influence I feel in terms of the mimicking or gender roles.
With such ordered gender roles or sexual positioning comes the problematic issues of ‘tops’ and ‘bottoms’ which just further complicates things and men seem to forget that we are BOTH men in a sexual union of some kind and it really should be about what one enjoys or is comfortable with sexually versus who is the bitch in bed and who is the ‘man’; I think we need to unlearn some of these self imposed restrictions same sex attracted men place on themselves or I should say ourselves; I too used to be ordered about sex and roles and passive men judge the ‘strength’ or role of their partners by how they perform in bed and what they do in bed; it used to be considered an anathema if a ‘thug’ was said to have been penetrated and word gets out there; he may find himself the subject of ridicule and distancing as the conclusion drawn is persons do not want a woman role player to ‘top’ them in bed as it implies he may not be able to have the sexual prowess required to perform (power as exemplified in the use of the penis).
So ordered the sex can get that just drawing from my own experiences I have met men who are very restrictive as to where to touch and how even oral sex should be performed on him without any moans that sound too feminine (a feature of prison male to male substitutional sex); one guy I can remember told me not to touch his ass cheeks or another who asked me not to even go below his testicles, buttocks & crotch area which was a most uncomfortable experience; there has been a perception I have noticed where once one attempts to access anywhere near the anus or crotch then it is assumed one is slowly making his way to penetrate the subject hence warnings are issued prior to avoid even light probing or fondling. I guess psychological inference is he will be seen or treated as a woman and that is just too much to handle for some.
The relationship nowadays is at least frosty with my friend and the ‘thug’ but I am not surprised; when they cannot get to milk you anymore they become distant and only ring you up when they are really low on cash or want some quick sex. Men! can’t live with them but we can’t live without them as in the words of Gladys Knight 1991 minor hit song:
Also here are two podcasts on some of the issues I had done tying in crisis reporting and credibility on gay on gay sub cultural matters and violence versus genuine homophobic matters, power differentials and such:
Peace & tolerance