Monday, April 27, 2009
I have been seeing a lot of previews lately for this new potboiler movie coming out called Obsessed. Aside from my first novel sharing the same title, these previews always make me sit up and take notice. Not so much because I want to see the movie (but I do, sex and suspense are like eating and breathing to me), but because I get to see Ali Larter. Man, she is so beautiful, so hot, I just can't take my eyes off her. Everything about her just mesmerizes me, making me almost tongue-tied. I just want to stare.
Reality check: is this a gay man, talking about a sexy blonde woman? What's wrong with this picture? I thought a lot about that and I realized something: over the years I have had a lot of crushes on women. When I was a little boy, it was Natalie Wood and I watched everything of hers I could, Sex and the Single Girl, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, Inside Daisy Clover, Gypsy, and more. Those big brown eyes and that smile simply sent me.
Wait a minute, dude. Are you sure you're queer? Shouldn't you be rhapsodizing about, say, Clive Owen or David Beckham?
Well, sure, I guess. But I realized something about myself and perhaps about many other gay men as well: we can and do have crushes on women, physical crushes where we are just ga-ga over the beauty (come on, would a straight man use the term "ga-ga?") of certain women. Think about Marilyn Monroe. Statistics show roughly half the men whose hearts beat faster and pulses rise at a simple image of her are gay.
So what's this all about? It's about the gay crush. And the gay crush, to my mind, is more of tribute to a woman than a straight man's crush. Why? Because a gay man's crush is not all mixed in with physical desire. It's appreciation in its purest form: reverence for female beauty unencumbered by lust. A gay crush is what I have for Ali Larter, whom I can stare at and feel just wonderful, for Natalie Wood, who preoccupied my boyhood dreams and fantasies (but never sexual ones) and even for Lara Parker, the gorgeous witch from Dark Shadows, my grade school obsession.
Which makes me wonder: do other gay men have crushes on women? If so, who are they? And you lesbians out there...what hunky men knock your socks off? Leave a comment below and let me know. And if any of you straight folks out there (especially straight men) are brave enough to admit it: who are your same-sex crushes? Because the same principle of pure aesthetic appreciation minus physical desire applies here as well.
I look forward to hearing what you think.