Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Look Fabulous

How do you give a compliment?

Sounds simple enough in context but in the seemingly peaceful but desperately riddled minefield of straight guy relationship, it can be potentially disastrous. Stereotypically, girl-on-girl conversation deals with style, fashion, clothing etc and thankfully, that's true even for a giggly gaggle of diva doctors in the pantry. Always find it hilarious that the girls find it so simple to compliment each other while otherwise erudite boys can hardly find the words.

Gal A : Darling, that blouse looks great!
Gal B : It does? Where did you get that pashmina?
Gal A : Last week's sale at Prada, darling! God, where did you get those pants?

And they can go on. Sugary sweet compliments from the way they style their hair to even the amazingly supportive uplift their new bra gives ( I seriously kid you not ). For potentially hours judging by the low low low call rates they are charging these days.

In comparison, guys are different. Genuinely voiced compliments on pimped-up vehicles, bitchin' stereo equipment ( or other technogadget paraphernalia ) and insuperable athletic skills are all par for the course, and well accepted amongst straight boys wherever you go. Certainly almost guaranteed to get you in da house.

But comments on personal appearance are something else entirely. Seems almost like a masculine badge of pride for a heterosexual teenage boy to appear quite as filthy / unkempt as possible - or at least appear vaguely oblivious as if his good looks are naturally God-given, occurring from a genetic mischance rather than endless hours of preening and buffing in front of that toilet cabinet mirror.

Fredrik Ljungberg
Tell me, does this make me look fat?

In the proverbial male flock, no straight boy would wish to be mistaken as that vain prissy peacock. Lest he be misguidedly painted as the gay bird.

And even in this learned day and age, that particular schoolboy stigma still haunts. Which is why apart from that particular breed of metrosexuals popping up here and there, straight guys have a peculiar way of exchanging compliments on each other's appearance, usually cleverly disguised as a lukewarm compliment ( only offered after heavy prodding ) but heavily spiced with derision.

Straight Guy B : How do I look?
Straight Guy A : Yeah, you don't look puke-in-my-pants hideous today.
Straight Guy B : Fuck off.

Of course followed by the obligatory hearty pat on the back as an affirmation of undeniable machismo and fraternal camaraderie, possibly even by a disgusting hack and spit onto the ground.

Anything more than that bit of male bonding starts feeling a bit dodgy, possibly verging on unforgivable fagdom as homosexual panic invariably sets in.

Gay man : My God. That shirt looks fabulous on you. I'd fuck you in a New York minute.
Straight man : Grr....Mind if I tear out your spleen?

Seriously. Don't try this at home, or anywhere else - unless you have the uncanny mutant ability to run really really fast ( as most adolescent gay boys have learnt the hard way ). Even I - with my wholly outrageous mouth - would think twice before saying that. Short of a serious hearing disability - or some nascent gay gene, the aforesaid heterosexual hunk would probably feel irresistibly compelled to shed some blood to regain his impugned masculinity. Nothing like a nice bout of painful fisticuffs to resolve the issue of his maligned sexuality.

Not a good way to gain friends, I'm sure. Just take this comparison. Girls can talk about the fit of their jeans complimenting the curve of their butt but can you imagine a bunch of straight guys in the locker room talking about the merits of the Wonder Jock? Doubt even famed metrosexual David Beckham would go around complimenting Ronaldo's sculpted abs after a game. :)


c said...

that's one of the mystic wonders I've been trying to unravel - between what's appropriate to say to compliment (or not), or just admiring silently. i think i've done the latter more often than not. though I guess a compliment or two - "hey that shirt looks nice on you" - wouldn't hurt, no?

i've totally straight friends who openly compliment each other's bodies (well, only a few times) - even witnessed them touching each other's pecs to see the extent/results of their workout, and that DID turn me on to some extent.

though I no better than touching (read: caressing) theirs since I've not the body like them. :)

strapping.shane said...

Say everything but "I'd fuck you in a NY minute," and I think you've got it made.

I've complimented a lot of my straight friends before and I don't get beaten up. They all just go: "Oh really? Thanks. Didn't know it looks good on me."

How modest. :P

Sue said...

I guess this is where being a woman gives one power over men. I can compliment away with impunity, a wink and a smile. ;)

alliterative.allvin said...

Hmmm... and which line did you use to compliment your neighbour during the medical examination? :)

Was there a follow-up consultation?
If so, please do post an update!

jase said...

what's wrong with complementing how each other look in something?! I have no problems with that. well, except when something really looks dreadful... they know it when I give them the head shake and 'no no, for god's sake that that shit off' look. :p

William said...

From Old Klang Road. Head towards PJ. Take the Puchong junction into Jalan Puchong. Straight all the way past several traffic lights. Will reach a bridge. You will see a PROJET on your right. And also rows of shops. Ho Boh is on the same row as Maybank. Just turn right as the traffic light past the PROJET.

I've never complimented a guy more than saying "wah, so leng chai ar??". But there are exceptions of course.... :D

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy said...

It's amazing isn't it? I'm glad that most of my friends are cool about it. Complimenting them I mean. And they compliment in return. I think those who don't should just get their heads out of their arses and realise that "that's a really cool shirt. you look great in it" or "damn, your abs look good" doesn't equate to "I wanna jump your bones and fuck you till tomorrow." But having said that, there have been some straight boys who have been so "gaysted" they'd wake up the next morning wondering if they really did all that! ;-)

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy said...

Oh yeah, I meant STRAIGHT friends. And since the majority of our friends are straight, I guess that means most of them. ;-)

hrugaar said...

Yeah, shane is right, it's the delivery that can make or break. Most men are secretly incredibly vain about their appearance, and very insecure about it. So a gentle commen like 'nice shirt', 'great jeans', or even 'looks good on you' will give them that warm glow of complimented satisfaction. Whereas 'God, your arse looks sexy in that' is likely to hit the panic button if the guy isn't attracted to you. :oD

R*Y A N said...

david beckham and ronaldo... now that's a fantasy.

but just to turn things the other way...

what would you say if a straight bloke says to you, "i'd so go out with you if i was gay"???

bloody cock-tease.