HOMOSEXUALITY (Male)

Male homosexuality, like female homosexuality, takes a number of forms: the latent type, in which there is an attraction to men but no overt sexual activity; incidental and transient contacts; a mixture of homosexual and heterosexual relationships; and a completely homosexual life in which all sexual gratification is achieved with men.Overt homosexual behavior generally begins—and often ends—in mutual masturbation, which is widespread among children and adolescents. In some cases it starts with seduction by an older homosexual (pedophilia), in the form of oro-genital or ano-genital intercourse in which the boy is the passive partner. Kinsey and his colleagues (1948) reported that 37 per cent of males admitted having some kind of homosexual experience to the point of orgasm after the onset of adolescence, and 8 percent had been engaged exclusively in homosexual activity for at least three years after the age of sixteen. These figures were largely the same in cities, towns, and rural areas throughout the country.The sex roles of male homosexuals are less fixed than is commonly believed. Although some men play the male or female role exclusively, most of them have been found to alternate from time to time. Similarly, some homosexuals fit the common picture of a “swish” who walks, talks, and gestures in a feminine manner, and confines himself to interests and occupations that are supposed to be female—but contrary to popular opinion, the great majority (some say 85 per cent) cannot be recognized as homosexual either by their appearance, their behavior, or their interest patterns. A few, however, are transvestites—that is, they derive sexual pleasure from wearing feminine clothes and make-up—yet even these men may look and act completely masculine in their ordinary attire. Some male homosexuals do appear more effeminate than others, but contrary to popular expectation these men often play the active role in their sexual relationships while ruggedly masculine homosexuals often prefer the passive role. Actual anatomical differences in secondary sex characteristics—broad hips, narrow shoulders—are found in only a small minority of cases, but even when this occurs there is no difference in the primary sex organs, nor do these individuals always play the feminine role.Practically all male homosexuals are beset with acute personal problems. They may appear to accept their pattern of behavior quite blandly, and may even flaunt their relationships before the public—nevertheless they are constantly aware that they are outside the pale and keenly feel disapproval of others, even when it is not openly expressed. Many of them agree with the common attitude that they are “queer,” and wage a continual but losing battle against their impulses. Such men are in a constant state of internal conflict. Others hotly defend their way of life and their right to behave as they choose. But despite their bravado, these individuals are likely to be insecure and apprehensive, since they live in constant fear of detection, humiliation, or loss of employment.Homosexuals, then, have a special need for emotional support and reassurance. Many of them become dissatisfied with five-minute contacts with total strangers in washrooms, or one- night stands with casual acquaintances. As a result, they seek a deeper relationship as well as a greater sense of security by living with one other man. But this monogamist arrangement rarely lasts, since one or the other partner is almost bound to stray—and it would be hard to find more intense displays of jealousy or more violent quarrels than the kind that occurs between two homosexuals. If one of these “marriages” fails, the partners usually set up another, and their lives become a continuous series of short-term affairs.Most male homosexuals, however, live alone and become involved in small cliques which hold “parties” in one or another apartment. These gatherings provide them with social life, sexual gratification, and a change of partners.Today’s homosexuals probably derive their greatest sense of security from the feeling that they belong to a society of their own—a subculture with its own standards, customs, and even language. In large cities, male homosexuals may have their own shops and beaches; but their basic social institution is the “gay” bar where they can meet friends, exchange news about their world, find acceptable partners, learn about the latest police activities, and receive invitations to parties. A homosexual who plans to visit another city usually in quires in advance about these meeting places.Even though male homosexuals desire relationships that have some degree of security, most of them shy away from emotional involvement and long-term commitments. The following definition of the word “gay,” as given by a homosexual, is quite typical. It is followed by a description of the initiation of a new recruit:

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