Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Surviving male but(t)s

Vartanama, Oct '13
By Pawan Dhall

As we continue exploring stories around intimate dreams and diversity in sex, gender, love, sexual attraction, friendship, family structures, personal identity and life aspirations through each issue of Varta, the question that arises every time is what theme to focus on. From the collection of articles in this issue, it may seem like one without any specific theme. If so, why talk about ‘male buts’ or ‘male butts’, and why think about ‘surviving’ them?

First, about male butts – there are many sorts and for different people they may evoke different reactions – admiration, desire or lust, envy, derision and even humour. True, that this also applies to female butts, but then female butts have probably been more talked about and commented on than male ones, and isn’t it important to even out this difference?

So let’s see. Those who enjoy observing the human form and how it moves, especially during walking, might agree with me that male butts can be a delight to stare at. The bio-mechanics of walking on different surfaces, body structure and weight, tummy shape, health status, socio-economic class, occupation, dressing style, weather, sense of urgency . . . all these factors together produce a bewildering variety of gaits and butt movements.

Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

Some male butts, well-proportioned but not very stocky ones, with each step taken have a pleasant sideways outward swing that reverses but not at one go, and settles only after a second shorter outward swing. These butts look quite ‘buttilicious’ in a pair of fitting blue jeans and a snug t-shirt of contrasting colour that accentuates their movement. Larger, well-endowed ones, whatever the type of clothes worn, can well lay claim to the budhvaar-veervaar (Wednesday-Thursday) Hindi jokes unfairly reserved mostly for women.

Then there are those unremarkable ones that don’t seem to have any obvious motion at all and yet others which seem to move simultaneously forward and downwards – almost vanishing from sight with each step, like the earth falling off itself in the English film 2012. Not to forget about the ones that seem lost and forlorn in an overall gym-buttressed muscular body where all the attention seems to have gone to the chest and biceps. No comments on them, and well, to each their own tastes (and butts)!

No observation is complete without thought associations. And so it may well be that smartly packaged male butts send a subliminal message that the man must be good looking too and smart in character to boot. Similarly, well-endowed butts may give the impression that the man must also be blessed with worldly endowments, say, financial ones. Or, humble butts mean a humble, unassuming personality.

But . . . and this is where buts about male butts begin . . . often there can be no bigger disappointment than to realize that there is no foolproof correlation whatsoever between butts and looks. Even if there is an accidental match, looks can mask a completely opposite character. So, smart butts and good looks but a wife-beater of a man? Or, well-endowed butts and well-endowed bank balance but a man miserly of thought when it comes to the woman also wanting to build a bank balance? Humble butts and a highly educated man who doesn’t mind women (wives, girl friends, sisters) also earning, but god forbid if they earn more than him or forget that cooking, washing, cleaning, looking good and inviting, and rearing children are still part of their portfolio. One more try – strong and agile butts, sexually adept man but impotent or with only the X sperms and the onus for a (boy) child is on the woman!

Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

No wonder survival stories are often spoken and written in the context of women. Because they are rather good at surviving male but(t)s. Not that other men, especially gay and bisexual men, and trans persons (male-to-female or female-to-male transgender persons) can’t be survivors. They are, and very often they too fall for and survive male but(t)s in their own contexts and in their own ways. This issue of Varta is also in some ways about survival – surviving in a world that puts a whole lot of premium on male domination and compulsory heterosexuality. A premium, that in the long run provides only diminishing returns for everyone.

As I sign off to give my tired butts (and hands) some rest from writing this butt-mania article, here’s sharing a personal story. Many moons ago, one evening I stepped out of office to meet someone over tea at a kiosk in a neighbouring market place. A couple of colleagues, who were to join me after the meeting, turned up rather late. As it turned out, they had seen me from a distance and yet failed to recognize me in the beginning. Though my clothes had seemed familiar, my back was turned towards them hiding my defining feature, a generous middle. Instead they could only see a lean back and a smart pair of butts, which they couldn’t associate with me as they hunted for me through the market! Imagine my disappointment, but such is life and I have survived to tell this tale.

Pawan Dhall aspires to be a rainbow journalist and believes in taking a stand, even if it’s on the fence – the view is better from there!


  1. The best editor's note i have ever read :D :D So enjoyable.. and with so many butts pf different kind :D

  2. Posted on behalf of reader Archan Mukherjee, Kolkata: Here are some butt theories I want to share ... the rear section (or butt) is always considered very seriously. Both for males and females. It may be the male point of view that is always louder in a patriarchal society, that brought female butts more into discussion. But the male rear portion has been equally adored and gazed at.

    In a survey it was found (cannot say the exact source) that the second most common body part in the male body after the face that women gazed at is that rear bulge. Though there is no such study with an LGBT perspective, but the result could be the same as it is a matter of human instinct.

    On the personal level I was always scolded by people around for being too skinny in my teenage, with special reference to my almost non-existent rear. That is one of the reasons I have always been particular about my core and leg exercises as that helps developing a good butt along with the main target body part.

    In my gym I came to know that maximum numbers are allocated for thighs (that includes the rear thighs & butts) in any body building scoring system. Along with this, the availability of several butt enhancing products also confirm our "butt mania".

    Science says that all these mania lie in the very purpose of human existence, the continuation of species. A good waist-hip ratio is always considered as an external sign of one's better ability to procreate. It means that he or she is blessed with stronger fertility.

    We often touch the rear bulge to transmit signals to another person that one wants to be intimate. In contrast, showing ones butt to someone is considered as an insult.

    So its unfair to put this rear part of human body in the rear corner. Thanks Varta for bringing out an amazing topic.

  3. Quite interesting observation. Nicely presented. Full of humors. The simple thing which is going on in our mind but we ignore to discuss!