I Don’t Think Your Dad’s Ready (for the homoerotics of Arnie)

Posted: May 5, 2012 in androgyny, Desire, Fag Up!, Freud, Identity, Male Impersonators, Masculinities, metrosexuality, Uncategorized
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Someone on twitter this week was talking about how she tried to explain to her Dad the ‘homoerotic subtexts’ in the 1980s Hollywood film, The Lost Boys. But he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) see it, and thought it was just a movie about vampires.


But can the Dads of this world deal with the homoerotics of things they have relied on as being ‘manly’, ‘macho’, ‘safe’? Things like body building, hardcore violent war movies, and Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Even the young, gay, ‘masculinity expert’ Mark Mccormack finds the idea that Arnie might be homoerotic hard to er, swallow. He says:

‘Born in the 1980s, I grew up during a period where the most macho masculinities were esteemed. From Rambo to Rocky, Die Hard to Lethal Weapon, men were portrayed as all-action heroes whom neither bullets nor armies could vanquish. Professional wrestlers appeared almost understated in their gendered performances compared to the display of masculine bravado found in movies and revered in the wider culture.’



  1. Brilliant article! You’re right though, I don’t think my Dad is ready for Arnie. “The Masters of the Universe” paragraph – oh my! *rents film immediately*

    Going off the trail a little bit, I remember once discussing the phallic terror of the “Alien” films with my Dad (it’s amazing how these things pass him by). John Hurt’s character is raped and impregnated by what is essentially a penis on legs, then horrifically gives birth to… another, more snappy, penis! Most men I’ve met (including my old Pa) think that this is the ultimate scene of cinematic horror but don’t seem to understand why.

    I mean really, how can you deny this? http://www.happehtheory.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Alien02-GigerFaceHugger.jpg and http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kxn8tkMuBK1qak06uo1_500.jpg

    Don’t even get me started on “Troy” (for various reasons). I hoped the film might be brave enough to confront the Achilles and Patroclus relationship head on, or at least allude to something. But no. Let’s revert back to “manly men” with swords and stuff.

    One day I hope that mainstream cinema and the Dads of this world can cope.

    • I actually found Alien pretty horrifying too. I think it works on a few levels. There is the phallic fears in it, but also the ‘monstrous feminine’ – the giving birth (to an alien). I am quite a ‘masculine’ woman in some ways, not very in tune with my ‘womanliness’ and have not had kids. Birth is something I find scary as I am sure many men do!

  2. jaekay says:

    I’m not going to lie, Masters Of The Universe lead to my first crush (at the age of about 6!) on Dolph. And how people can’t see the homoerotics of Arnie, I don’t know! Those pecs, those arms, the way he flaunted it so readily during his “entrance” in Terminator. I didn’t think it neeeded spelling out for people.

    • HI JaeKay

      well. That is the thing. I too think the homoerotics are obvious in your face. So I believe straight men are in ‘denial’. They see but they won’t see.

      And it often takes women (as in this case with Laura and her dad) or gay/bi men (as in Simpson/you) to point it out.

      Often, with Simpson this is self defeating as people then retort ‘well you would say that wouldn’t you? You’re GAY!’

      • I agree with this. When I (again) pointed out about the homoerotics of something-I-can’t-remember, I was told by the boyfriend of a friend that I was a “fag hag” *sigh* and therefore see things that aren’t really there. They can see it, you’re right, but think that it would compromise their masculinity by acknowledging that it’s there and ruin their favourite films.

  3. one thing-I wonder what the health of allot of those guys are like now….

    the guys who got super buff were juicing up on steroids….

    ironically I heard one of the side effects is it shrinks the testes…

    • you’re right stoner there is a section on that in this chapter Ive quoted in Simpson’s book Male Impersonators. I will dig it out. His point is that this search for ‘manliness’ means some men risk LOSING some of their masculine attributes (and also grow big tits).

  4. “also grow big tits”

    The gym slang for this is BITCH TITS.

  5. this guy will probably give you a laugh…

  6. […] But Mcconaughey sent up this machismo, and played it for the camp performance that it is. Just as Arnold Schwarzenegger ’s action movie displays were before him, his budgie smuggling, groin rubbing routines were […]

  7. […] been made ever so clear by the popular ‘action figures’ played by men actors such as  Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator was a lethal killer – he also had great tits and had to show them off at any […]

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