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#454490 - 11/19/13 07:59 PM Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism
lostinmt Offline


Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 13

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#454496 - 11/19/13 08:41 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 358
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi lostinmt,

My experience is that usually it is not the world that needs to change, but me in the world. I dropped out of gay culture 20 years ago. Once I quit drinking, the world as I knew it stopped. I have never regretted leaving materialism and superficiality behind. It took me a few years to finish detoxing from it all, but I feel really good about how I am living my life, without needing to criticize how anyone else lives. As long as I pointed a finger, I stayed connected to the energy I was uncomfortable with. It has taken me a long time to learn not to point fingers. I still struggle with it. But now, for me, at least when I point my finger it is a red flag that I need to redirect the direction of my finger. The only person I can change is me. That has actually been quite liberating for me. Just my experience.

Don

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#454517 - 11/19/13 10:53 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
Cthulhu Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 125
Loc: Cascadia
I don't really get why so many people equate hook-up culture with gay culture. Hooking up is explicitly a meat market - but for even those people using it hooking up isn't the sum of their person. Furthermore, gay culture isn't really a cohesive thing. At least not in my experience. Maybe it once was, but as oppression wains gay culture is dissolving itself into the greater culture as gay people feel welcome everywhere. It is becoming separated into as many parts as the whole.

Basically I disagree with what the analysis is being run on. Its too brute force of a method.


Edited by Cthulhu (01/03/14 08:47 PM)
_________________________
"Well, I'll be damned
A calf is easy to brand"
-Cass McCombs, Memory's Stain

my story context

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#454561 - 11/20/13 03:20 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 358
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Vote,

I agree with your post on so many levels. For me, acrimony comes from a belief that different is bad. It seems to be a prevalent belief on the planet. It seems to me just not true that different is bad. But, as long as that is an underlying belief, how do we learn tolerance of differences, much less acceptance of differences?

Don

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#454617 - 11/21/13 04:40 AM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: don64]
Cthulhu Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 125
Loc: Cascadia
Don,

I think I follow your reasoning and think I can expand. Our society is obsessed with some sort of scientific perfection - seeking out the best. We therefore compulsively rank differences in a hierarchy. If two practices are different then we try to measure and weigh them to achieve some "objective" comparison, and be a step further towards our perfection. I don't think this process came about with the scientific revolution, but I think in its current permutation it is at least tacitly justified using allusions to some sort of scientific mindset.

Sometimes two things just are - and sometimes they are just okay laugh
_________________________
"Well, I'll be damned
A calf is easy to brand"
-Cass McCombs, Memory's Stain

my story context

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#454620 - 11/21/13 06:58 AM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 358
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Vote,

What you say makes sense to me. It seems to me that scientific perfection and "objective" comparisons may leave out an important part of who I am as a human: that I am unique and that I feel. When I am objectified I am tossed into a big mixer and some energy or group of energies makes decisions as to what I am supposed to be, think, act, dress based on some big average. And, then an advertising machine goes full force to convince all the me(s) in some identified population that a specific interpretation of me is the way to being loved, having sex, being popular, achieving financial independence...being a worthwhile human who can be valued by others. In other words, the only way to being valued is to suppress my uniqueness, who I am. This teaching, in my opinion, helps persuade all the me(s) in the world that being different is not the way to go, that being different is not ok. I don't believe that, but I do believe it is a powerful influence in teaching people that being different is not a good thing. I do consistently see groups with different beliefs attacking each other and each claiming some moral high ground.

I really love your last statement. "Sometimes two things just are-and sometimes they are just okay."

Thanks for participating with me.

Don

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#457983 - 01/04/14 03:00 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 725
Loc: United States
I've read some of the posts on this blog and I don't buy much of what the author is selling here. He diagnoses the entire gay community's problem as "narcissism" but in all but a minority of gay men I think he's missed the mark by a wide margin. Here's what "narcissism" is supposed to mean:

Quote:
nar·cis·sism (närsəˌsizəm)
noun
noun: narcissism

1. excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.
synonyms: vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, self-centeredness, self-regard, egotism, egoism More
antonyms: modesty

PSYCHOLOGY
extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

PSYCHOANALYSIS
self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

True narcissists who are in love with themselves and for whom hooking up with a hot guy is just a way of them validating their own self-love certainly exist in our community, but they are a small fraction of it and it does a disservice to paint the entire community with their pathology.

There is an image focused gay culture, one that is breaking down over time, and there are a set of body ideals that are very difficult if not impossible for many of us to achieve (chiseled bodybuilder hunk, frat-boy jock, DILF, muscle bear, Leather man, etc.), but the majority diagnosis I'd make of the culture would be one of inferiority and insecurity.

It is overwhelmingly the feeling that we don't measure up to these body ideals that makes us feel so insecure about our bodies. Some of us will take extreme steps to try to measure up, some will find a bearable middle ground, while some will opt out of the mainstream community to avoid the judgement.

Most of the men I've talked to over the last two decades are yearning for connection and a relationship and not just "meaningless sex" (although I think that's a very sex negative way to approach it). Today the price of getting that is often being "hot enough" to be noticed out of the gate and make the connection happen.

I don't fit any of the body ideals and I'm not considered a conventionally attractive guy, so I understand how it feels to be overlooked and invisible to other gay men. Like most things we have limited control over it's something I've had to make peace with. I get a sense that the author has an axe to grind and that makes me look more critically to understand how his motivation is affecting his analysis.

tl;dr - I think the author is looking at the gay community and mistaking the symptom for the disease.

-efm
_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#458057 - 01/05/14 09:13 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 550
Kind of old, but this has long been my favorite take on gay culture:

www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/the-end-gay-culture
_________________________
"As long as the child within is not allowed to become aware of what happened to him or her, a part of his or her emotional life will remain frozen . . . all appeals to love, solidarity, and compassion will be useless."
-- Alice Miller

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#458356 - 01/09/14 04:28 PM Re: Gay Men and Culture(s) of Narcissism [Re: lostinmt]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 06:58 PM)

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