Male to Male : Sexual Feeling Across the Boundaries of Identity book cover
1st Edition

Male to Male
Sexual Feeling Across the Boundaries of Identity

ISBN 9781560239765
Published October 2, 2000 by Routledge
404 Pages

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Book Description

Explore the feelings of men toward other men without the pigeonholing found in terms like “gay” and “straight”!

Male to Male: Sexual Feeling Across the Boundaries of Identity starts with the evidence that most studies on male sexuality have ignored--the same-sex feelings of men whose identities are heterosexual. Of the more than fifty men in this book, almost half were aware of some degree of same-sex feeling. But beyond percentages, the primary focus of Male to Male is the exploration--through their own words--of how these men experienced same-sex feelings, what these feelings meant to them, the fears surrounding them, and the consequences of the collision between their heterosexual identities and their same-sex feelings.

In addition to comparative data on women's same-sex feelings, as well as on what men say in regard to their feelings about women, Male to Male includes material from two in-depth case studies. The first is on Clark, an African-American man who moved into sex with men in prison. His story shows that the need to see gay men as feminine is really a cultural defense against the powerful pull toward the male-to-male bond, and points to the movement to fulfill that bond when this defense is dropped. The second is on Zack, a gay police officer. His story explores the different dimensions and meanings of the male-to-male bond as these unfolded in his own life, while telling about the heterosexually identified men who “came out” to him about their own same-sex feelings.

Male to Male will help you explore:

  • same-sex feelings in heterosexual men and women
  • same-sex feelings in the military
  • prison culture and the “heterosexual role”
  • the fear of domination
  • the aesthetics of fear and power
  • the dynamics of rape
  • compassionate relationships between heterosexual-identified men . . . and much more!
Male to Male provides evidence showing that the identity that really counts--constituting the deepest source from which men's sexual feelings for each other spring--is not specifically a gay or heterosexual identity. That source is, rather, a male identity, and--beyond that--a human identity.

Table of Contents


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Biological Essentialism, Social Constructionism, and the Individual
  • The Individual in Psychological Research
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I: Ordinary People
  • Chapter 1: The Inner Boundary
  • Same-Sex Feeling in Heterosexual Men and Women
  • The Truth Is Out There
  • Comparisons with Women
  • The Institutional Culture
  • Same-Sex Feeling and “Gender Atypicality”
  • Chapter 2: Women at the Boundary
  • Sexual Attraction As an Emotional Response
  • Avenues of the Mind
  • Image and Emotion
  • Your Brain Is an Active Explorer
  • Emotion As Change in the Body's “Landscape”
  • Sexual Attraction As “Moving Toward”
  • The Invitation
  • Adolescence
  • Chapter 3: “Moving Toward” and Resistance
  • Seth
  • Will
  • Same-Sex Feeling and the Military
  • Chapter 4: Men on Men: Image, Emotion, and Meaning
  • The Image of the Male Body
  • Men's Fears
  • Adolescence and Identity
  • Culture--Internalization and “Disidentification”
  • Identity and the Divided Self
  • Moving Toward Friends
  • Bisexual Identity
  • The Class Subculture
  • The Emotional Fabric
  • New Movement
  • Spiritual Connections and the Sense of the Sacred
  • Chapter 5: “Heterosexuality” versus “Moving Toward” Women
  • Nick
  • Tony
  • Russ
  • Oneness
  • Chapter 6: Emotional Paths
  • Colin
  • Alex
  • The One-to-One Bond
  • Comparisons with Gay Men
  • Psychological Rock Bottom
  • Chapter 7: Identity Crises
  • Johnny
  • Carl
  • Michael
  • Part II: Clark
  • Chapter 8: “A Man Like Myself”
  • Sexual Identity
  • Prison Culture and the Heterosexual Role
  • The Fear of Domination
  • The Image of the Male Body
  • Movement Through Stages
  • Relating to a Man--As a Man
  • “I See Myself”
  • The Aesthetics of Fear and Power
  • Male Bonding and Sexual Love
  • An Emotional Milestone
  • Stepping Over the Cultural Barrier
  • Chapter 9: Movement into a New Territory
  • The Rape dynamics
  • Sex As Dominance and Performance
  • The Top of the Line
  • The Two Emotions in the Rape
  • The Rape
  • Rejection in Rape
  • Rejecting the Rapist Mentality
  • “I Have a Choice”
  • An Expression of Love
  • Change in Fantasy Life and Identity
  • Making Love with a Masculine Man
  • Comparisons with Women
  • Male to Male
  • Rape Dynamics--Dissolution
  • Twinning--Male Self, Male Other
  • Part III: Zack
  • Chapter 10: Cultural Confrontations and Identity
  • The Institutional Culture: Early Encounters
  • Early Movement
  • Early Adolescent Explorations
  • The Guide Dream
  • Dream and Myth
  • The Role of the “Carrier”
  • Rites of Passage
  • Joining the Police Force
  • Suicide and the False Self
  • The Turning Point
  • Self-Disclosure--Family
  • Self-Disclosure--Work
  • Chapter 11: The Color Green
  • Early Directions
  • The Color Green
  • The Dream of the Color Green
  • The Image of the Double
  • The Double in Conrad's The Secret Sharer (ital)
  • Love in the Flesh
  • Two Masculinities
  • The Dream of the Young Man in the Cellar
  • The God of Love
  • The Third Meaning of the Dream of the Young Man in the Cellar and the Dream of the Cave
  • Chapter 12: Boundary Crossings
  • Zack As the Double
  • “I Felt I Was Jewish”
  • Fighting with Destiny
  • Compassionate Relationships
  • Boundary Crossings
  • Conclusion: Identity and Beyond
  • Appendix: David and Jonathan
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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