More and more men are sexy, and why that’s OK

It’s hard to feel sorry for Kit Harington. He’s beautiful, he’s good at his job, and he gets to wear a jacket made from crow feathers to work. Here he is as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones:

Kit-Harington-as-Jon-Snow

I called Harington beautiful, but he might not like that. He recently said that being labelled a hunk is demeaning. Poor lad. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I don’t think that a few people saying he’s a hunk strips him of his dignity and respect. He’s not objectified like a woman on Page 3 is objectified. (Kit got me thinking about objectification and my own body and my experience with desire—see this post.)

When it comes to men, what we have is not objectification. Not in a systematic way anyway. What we have is this: some men play characters on TV and bring joy to some people who find those men attractive. The men we’re talking about, like Harington or Aidan Turner who plays Poldark, are in fact rarely naked or sexualised in the way they’re presented. I can only think of once in four whole years that Harington has been playing Jon Snow when he actually got his top off, and that was in a murky pool in a cave. (You didn’t get to see much, even if you paused your DVD.) Continue reading

Cucumber and the salad of male emotions

Henry and Cucumber: life is hard
Henry and Cucumber: life is hard

I’m supposed to like Cucumber, this new TV show made for and by queer people. Some viewers have found it distasteful. They say the writers rely on stereotypes of gay people: promiscuous queens, the middle-aged queen who can’t settle down for want of one last danger-fuck, the ashamed ‘straight’ guy who’s all mouth and no trousers.

Whatever.

I bloody love it. Yes there are stereotypes but actually the characters are written and played so authentically that you realise that they came first, before the stereotype. Continue reading

Cucumber: a salad made of work and sex

SPOILER ALERT: look away now if you haven’t seen Cucumber or don’t what know to a few things that happen.

I was far too immature to get into Queer as Folk when it played on TV. I must have been about 15 and all I wanted was the sex and kissing scenes. So I recorded each episode on the VCR in my bedroom and then I’d fast forward through the programme until two guys started to snog, and I’d just watch those bits. I even transferred these clips onto another tape to cut out the drama. The best scenes were in the first episode, when Stuart brings Nathan home from the nightclub. I watched these clips over and over again. I wore the tape out. I can still remember the dialogue. “And the whole football team is there, naked and in shorts, and the coach is going yes, yes, yes…”

Continue reading