Sexuality Is all “FLUID”



“I made something for you,” I said as I brought down the soft, black fleece hoodie I

customized with gold embroidered theatrical masks on the back. I held it in front of

him, opening it up. “It has a large sleeve on the inside for a script,” I explained.

His face ran the gamut of emotions from surprise to speechless. He examined it

inside out and then slipped it on. “Holy Fuck! I don’t know what to say.” His voice

bubbled as he suddenly grabbed me for a hug. “This has got to be the most awesome

thing ever!” He felt the material, zipped and unzipped it, and then hugged me again.

This time around, it was one of those bear hugs that knock the breath out of you.

When he let me go, I pulled the bottom open to show him an additional feature.

“Your name is also embroidered down here, in case someone thinks it’s too cool and

wants to steal it.”

His laugh was spontaneous, but he sounded next to tears. “I don’t know how to

thank you,” he said.

It was strange to see his face twist in that way with emotions that I couldn’t imagine.

His usually strong, smooth chin was dotted like a strawberry with quivering nerves.

“You already did,” I said firmly. “Your little speech last time brought me back from

the wilderness. It brought me back home.”

His eyes did a one-eighty across the crowded contents of the room. “You’ve really

been going at it?”

“Every night after work, and a little bit while I’m having coffee for breakfast.”

We drank another bottle of wine as I showed him more of my handiwork. A simple

wedding gown in shimmering silk with sleek, clean lines, a formal shirt tailored with a

comfortable collar, a ballet costume for the character of Peter Pan which had been one

of my sketches from years ago. It was the most elaborate of all the pieces.

“They’re all so beautiful,” he said, going through the old pieces I’d stored in the

closet. “I mean, seriously beautiful. Like these dresses and coats. I know it’ll sound

weird, but it’s a shame that only women can wear clothes like these. It makes me


I found that to be not only an amusing statement, but revelatory of his personality. It

appeared we shared another commonality.

I sat down at my desk and pushed the stool out from the sewing machine so he

could join me. “You realize that you touched on one of the strictures of conventional

fashion that I believe really doesn’t apply? The idea that there should be men’s fashion

and women’s fashion and never the twain shall meet?”

“What do you mean?”

On my computer screen, I pulled up a drawing of what was supposed to be typical

ancient Greece. I pointed to the men and women basically wearing the same thing. “In

ancient cultures, at the beginning of civilization, we all wore dresses. They were called

tunics. Your college buddies will call them togas. There was nothing feminine about a

man wearing one or vice versa for women.” Next, I pulled up a drawing of ancient

Japanese dress. “All cultures were pretty much the same. The Japanese traditional

dress was called a kimono for both male and female. Other societies across the globe

pretty much reflected this style of dress. Only the warrior class wore what we would

eventually call pants, because it made it easier for them to ride horses. Over time,

because most males were warriors and wore pants, they became designated as maleonly

apparel. But before war… good God, men had some beautiful gowns and dresses


His eyes studied the screen. “Wow, I love those kimonos. I wouldn’t mind having

one of those myself.”

“There’s absolutely no reason that fashion shouldn’t be interchangeable between

the sexes. Soldiers now have very specific uniforms. We should all be able to wear

what we want without particular gender assignments. It’s the same issue with makeup.”

I pulled up some archival pictures of statues and paintings from ancient Egypt.

“Twelve thousand years ago, Egyptian men used cosmetics; eyeliner and other things

to enhance their look. It was very popular.” I clicked until I found portraits from the

reign of Elizabeth I with men clearly and proudly wearing makeup. “It was considered

a part of masculine tradition and aristocracy to wear makeup. The fashion of dainty

silk outfits and wigs, face pastes and paints only began to change after the Napoleonic

Wars when the generals and soldiers became iconic heroes to emulate; people who

looked and dressed more roughly. The reason it’s regaining popularity, with spray on

tans and such, is because we’ve became a more instinctively visual global community

due to the proliferation of cameras and selfies. Even men realize they need a little

color after a night of drinking or too many hours in the office.”

His face was close to mine as he studied the computer screen. I could observe his

near-perfect skin up close, and he didn’t look like anyone who would ever need makeup

to enhance his looks, but being a man of the theater, he’d have many experiences

with the use of cosmetics. He was fascinated.

“So it’s not a feminine thing at all?” His eyes turned to mine for confirmation.

“Our perception of what’s masculine and feminine has always been fluid through

the ages. It changes when we alter who it is we admire… like when men began trying

to look like their rugged soldier heroes in the Napoleonic War. You’ll see it change

with the Olympics and movies and media manipulation, but I believe as we eventually

become a more liberal and accepting society, there will be less genderfication in

fashion. There will be dresses for both men and women; we’ll use more and more

makeup. The idea that there’s simply one ideal standard for men and a different one

for women cannot sustain itself in a society of strong personalities.”

He took another large sip of wine and looked back at the gowns in the closet. “That

would actually be neat.”

“That’s the actor in you speaking, because acting is a form of cosmetic. Putting on

another face.” I pulled up pictures of famous male ballerinos. “Our perception of what

is supposed to be masculine is gradually being redefined by theater as well. The idea

that all men must be large, muscular brutes who grunt and intimidate with their

virility is being tested by fine arts like ballet. An increasing number of people,

especially men, are finding they prefer to have the lean lines and aesthetics of a

dancer. You find more actors studying ballet because of the expressive gestures and

body language of the dancer that, at one time, were considered to be feminine. What

this is saying is that we’re learning that there is very little delineation between genders

in our own heads. We all have a bit of both inside us. Strong women are just as

appealing as an expressive man.”

“Hell, yeah,” he agreed. “I thought Ripley was hot in the Alien movie because she

was one tough chick.”

I laughed, because I remembered thinking that and I was a gay male. “Exactly. And

I prefer the beauty of a ballet dancer to that of something like… say Arnold

Schwarzenegger.” I pointed back to the screen at a male dancer in his tights and

elaborate costume. “I can imagine myself kissing this man so much easier and

enjoying a night with him than say… any guy in the UFC. But that’s only my

preference, because the artistry of a dancer evokes a certain sensitive fantasy in me.” I

shrugged. “But there is beauty in every type: the nerd, the geek, the athlete, the guy

with the ‘dad’ body. Masculinity is becoming less defined by stereotypes for all of us,

and I think that’s not only going to affect our fashion, but it’s also going to change

how we perceive who and what types we’re attracted to.”

“Do you think someone’s intelligence can make them attractive?” he asked.

I could see the wine had stained his full lips as dark as a Merlot lipstick. “Of course,


He turned to face me straight on. His eyes traveled from my eyes to my mouth.

“Because you’ve given me a raging hard-on and I’d really like to have sex with you




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