Article Thumbnail

Boob Guys Are Not the Enemy

Politicizing tits isn’t good for anyone — just be happy they exist

Not that you asked, but as a heterosexual male, there are lots of things I find immediately attractive about women. Their voices, their laughter. All the things they say with their eyes. Legs, hair, hips, lips. I love — no secret here — their feet and armpits. I don’t compartmentalize these different sites of interest, because I don’t have to, and I don’t think that’s how sexual chemistry works: If you’re into someone, you’re into all of them. It’s a holistic experience.

With that preface, I will stake a claim that has turned surprisingly controversial in recent years. Cancel me if you must, but it is the truth, and I’m not afraid to say it: Boobs are great. Fantastic, even. A blessing upon humanity, and glorious in their variation. Yep, gotta give it up for tits. 

Except some people are bent on politicizing breasts. An insidious genre of post has gripped the internet, threatening to forever spoil the mere sight of them. It has been duplicated and restated any number of times, but the notion is always the same: Boob guys are right-wing by definition. 

As a lefty guy who appreciates tits, you’d be well-advised to shrug off these jokes and go about your boob-loving life. Nobody can dictate your individual blend of lusts and beliefs. For a long while, this was my operating principle: The steady flow of Boob-Guys-Are-Republicans content isn’t worthy of serious attention, and it’s probably harmless. The worry, however, is that this idea will keep recurring until it becomes a subconsciously accepted fact — conventional wisdom, in other words. That must never happen. And the more you encounter the lie presented as truth, however facetiously, the more its total wrongness grates on the mind. So, fine, I’ve been provoked. The boob guy slander is annoying, and now I have to dig deeper to understand why. 

The obvious answer is that I like tits, but also want to defund the police and implement Medicare for All. Therefore, I resent being lumped in with conservatives. But that’s just scratching the surface. Assigning an ideology to fans of a body part requires other leaps of reasoning that don’t hold up to scrutiny. At the most basic level, you have to accept that “boob guy” is even a legitimate category of person — but, as discussed above, this denies the reality of straight men dating and having sex with entire women, not disembodied appendages.

Boobs v. Butt is a false dichotomy insofar as it maintains that every dude explicitly values one above the other in his choice of partners; more likely, he derives pleasure from both. Then there is the problem of implicit blame for women, based solely on figure. Are we saying a woman who shows cleavage is signaling to Republican males, or advancing a reactionary worldview? Seems a tad harsh.

If you were to countenance the existence of “boob guy” as an archetype (acknowledging, of course, the lesbian and queer erasure here), we still don’t have a solid rubric for him. Often he is presumed to favor large tits, although it’s conceivable that a boob guy might prefer them smaller, or to be a certain shape or proportion, or to meet some idealized aesthetic he carries around in his head. There’s evidence that symmetry is the desirable trait, in which case all you can assert about the boob guy is that he appreciates breasts that look nice, and, well, who doesn’t?

Another line of thinking may hold that by fixating on mammaries, a man automatically casts a woman in the maternal role — the subservient 1950s housewife of the Bible-thumping GOP’s wet dreams. Yet a penchant for curvy ass is at least as retrograde, since it recalls a distant point in our evolution “before face-to-face sex became standard  —  back when our female ancestors’ sexual signaling was optimized for rear mounting.” Not exactly progressive. 

How, then, did we get here? Trump may have tarnished boobs’ reputation by having a tryst with the ample-chested Stormy Daniels, but that alone wouldn’t explain it. A larger, tectonic shift in the culture began in 2013-2014, when ass-eating suddenly made the leap to the heterosexual mainstream. Twerking, pioneered in the 1980s, had its massive comeback, and adventurous assplay turned into a staple subject of music, movies and TV.

The final Obama years also gave us the rise of the New Online Left, an irony-saturated progressive movement weary of neoliberalism, seeking revolution; they embraced butt stuff along with everything else that registered as next-wave cool. The ass is egalitarian and inclusive — everyone has one — and its excretory function adds a punk element to its erotic appeal. To be a young socialist is, for many, to reject the centrism of Democrat parents, and ass worship is a pivot from the middle-class domestic values they grew up with. Breasts, meanwhile, outrageously augmented in the Clinton 1990s, came to represent backwards priorities. They were, quite simply, passé.

Those who lived through the turn of the millennium and the aughts cannot help but remember a contrary zeitgeist: In that era, for straight society, the butt was no radical leftist symbol, and instead the focus of degenerate frat boys who viewed anal sex as a holy grail, to be achieved by any nefarious means. The 2006 bestseller I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, by Tucker Max, is a primary document of how boorish white-collar men fantasized on women’s asses as ripe for conquest — and “getting ass” in general as a primary mode of domination. But fashion (including bedroom habits) is cyclical, and here in 2020, the ass has been rebranded as a zone of liberation, rule-breaking and heroic hedonism. That’s well and good for the fundament, but it doesn’t mean boobs acquire the opposite character. For all their temptation, tits are innocent.    

Let us remember that before we cast stones at men who would dare to admire them — or, god forbid, anyone who has them. It is symptomatic of this polarized moment that we would elevate the sophomoric debate of Butts v. Boobs to the theater of toxic politics. Is nothing sacred? Must we succumb to a forced tribalism in every aspect of our being?

I won’t stand for it, and neither should you. Boob guys are not the enemy. Before you know it, the script will flip again, and it might be ass guys who are vilified. Tale as old as time, my friend. Yet if we put these arguments aside, and aim for solidarity, there’s no telling how bright and horny the future will be. 

Do Not Sell My Personal Information