James W. Hicks, M.D.

Macho

In Sexual Types on September 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The macho sexual type refers only to men and is a sexual category commonly seen among Latinos and men from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. But it can emerge in any culture or sub-culture (for example, in the military, in jails and prisons, in athletic circles, or in urban neighborhoods) where maintaining ones position in a hierarchy of power is particularly important. And many men, regardless of their cultural background, may consider sex an arena where ones masculinity is contested, proven, or compromised.

If you are macho, you consider yourself straight, and would never say otherwise, but you may also think of yourself as a “top” or, simply, a “man,” regardless of whether you are having sex with a man or a woman. The important thing is to be the active or insertive partner in the sexual act. If another man gives you head or lets you screw him, then it says something about his sexuality, not yours. Your ability to penetrate another man makes you more, not less, of a man. (At an extreme, this can make the rape of another man possible, for example by soldiers, police, or prisoners.) You may prefer or seek out younger, pretty, or effeminate men, or transvestites or transsexuals, or you may prefer masculine men, so long as your role in the relationship is not in doubt. You do not discuss these sexual encounters with your family or female partners, though you may joke in public or brag about them with like-minded friends, who perceive your exploits as enhancing your masculinity.

I can think of several un-exemplary examples of the macho type, for example: notorious cops who sexually abused their prisoners or the character played by Aaron Eckhart in In the Company of Men, whose most memorable sexual experience was the gang-rape of a fellow male student. There is also plenty of scientific and anecdotal literature about men in Latin, Muslim, and Mediterranean cultures who screw other men while considering themselves straight. But I can’t think of any famous individual whose sexual behaviors are acknowledged who might fit the macho type, aside from some gay Latino adult film stars, like Tiger Tyson, who exclusively top. One of the young Mexican characters in the book and movie of Mala Noche might also qualify.

  1. what % of this macho category do you think appleis to the general population

  2. Wow, I wish I had an answer to that. The macho attitude can only be inferred from interviews and patterns of behavior, because the men themselves will still tell surveyors that they are straight. There are some good studies from Latin American countries that reveal widespread use of male or transsexual prostitutes by straight men, and everyone in the community knows it is going on, but no one talks about it.

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