Cowboys, Sex, and Violence

Many gay men will readily admit that they find the American cowboy to be the most prominent icon of masculinity and machismo. Cowboys look sexy, per se, to us gay men.

This commentary explores in detail the gay male attraction to cowboys from my own personal perspective.

And yes, I have to admit that I have depicted cowboys a huge number of times in my works. I believe that there can never be too many depictions of macho cowboys. As Bruce Willis so wisely taught us, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!”

My attraction to cowboys was fueled by what I saw on television when I was young. As a kid, I had my choice of several black and white Warner Bros. westerns, which depicted young, handsome, and highly masculine icons of the American West.
 

Ty Hardin BroncoTy Hardin shirtless

 
Cowboys and the cowboy culture–at least as represented by Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s–were an essential part of my youth. Pictured here is Ty Hardin, who played Bronco Layne, a former military officer who fought in Civil War. I had a hard-on for Hardin and others who portrayed cowboys on the unforgettable Warner Bros. westerns.

 

My Upbringing

 
My grandparents immigrated to the United States from the Azores Islands of Portugal. As a second generation US citizen with deep roots in very Mediterranean sensibilities from the Old Country, the local culture and my upbringing influenced the man I became. There was a strong influence that I definitely felt from my Portuguese heritage from the Old Country. Even though I grew up in the US, I became socialized to accept the very Mediterranean view that I had to be a masculine male when I grew up. That was my destiny.

I was raised in the western part of the US during the middle of the 20th century. In those days it was very routine for me to see my male relatives wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots, and faded blue jeans. That kind of “cowboy clothing”, so to speak, was an everyday kind of thing when I was a kid. Dressing like cowboys was very common in those days for these men who worked the land for a living.

 
I never thought of my relatives as cowboys, per se, but that was more or less the role that they had. They raised cattle for dairy and beef products. But, I grew up to want to be like them and to look like they looked. I have pictures of myself as a kid dressed up as a cowboy. When I had sexual fantasies about cowboys that started during my teenage years, I always envisioned strong and masculine cowboys there with me completely naked just like I was.

 

Sexual Awareness

 
When I learned about sexual behaviors during my teenage years, I do not recall that I ever was aware of the fact that one man could fuck another man doggy style. I did know as a teenage boy, however, that one man could suck another man’s cock and bring him to orgasm by doing so. Big and Hard CowboyI did not attempt such things in my teenage years because I had been raised to be a good Roman Catholic.

Even though I had sexual fantasies as a teenager about cowboys and their masculine bodies, I did not dream of growing up to be a cowboy. I was smart enough as a boy to realize that a life as a cowboy would not be easy, nor would it be a path to financial stability.

But, I always found that I liked wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots, blue jeans and all that.

Of course, as a teenager, I fantasized about getting a blow job from a cowboy, and I started to associate my feelings of being masculine with being like a cowboy.

 

Violence

 
Meanwhile, in real life, my paternal grandfather used guns as part of his work. So, for me, it was not just make-believe like on the westerns on television. I was very young–maybe age 10 or 12–when I was allowed to watch the slaughter of a cow with a gunshot to the animal’s head. Then, the animal was hoisted up on ropes and cut open to begin the process of preparing beef products. Very graphic memory for me!

cowboy with his gunWhen I was a boy, I remember being shown by my father the proper way to hold a rifle and shoot it. I can remember learning how to aim and fire a pistol as well thanks to one of my male relatives. So, guns were just there in my culture like all that was normal. A gun also played a terribly sad role in my family history. A family argument when I was very young got fueled by anger and alcohol. The outcome was two deaths from shotgun blasts.

I have met others whose families also had similar experiences with gun violence like in my family. I figured out early on that violence is just part of who we are as a species. We all like to think we’re so civilized, especially now that we’re living in the 21st century. But, the reality is that humanity can be very violent so naturally. we are a very violent I am not someone who is violent, however.

When I lived in Arizona during the 1990s, I went with a couple of male friends who were former Marines to an indoor shooting range where I got to fire a semiautomatic pistol. That was unlike any experience I’d had with guns when I was young. I understand the attraction to semiautomatic weapons that we males have. Guns like that wield such unbelievable lethal power!

I have since depicted cowboys with guns. I guess I keep going back to my childhood memories of gun violence. Perhaps I am trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense at all. During my early teens, however, it wasn’t guns that fascinated me. It was cowboy hangings.

Thank you for your interest in my work. I ask that you please pass along word of my website to other gay adult men.  –Madeira Desouza

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