A same-sex attraction for soldiers and sailors spans the globe and predates the term “homosexual” by several thousand years. But these days “military chasers” are likely to be seen as doubly incorrect. Most are gay men who pursue straight men. And, many of them do it in public. What continues to motivate so many men to brave arrest, violence, and the scorn of gay leaders who condemn any non-gay homosexual desire as “internalized homophobia”?
In Military Trade (now updated to include an expanded photo insert!), Steven Zeeland, author of Sailors and Sexual Identity, The Masculine Marine, and Barrack Buddies and Soldier Lovers, brings together an edgy, enlightening, and richly entertaining collection of voices with a passion for servicemen, including:
- a TV talk-show host who pimped Marines to Hollywood stars
- a heavy metal superstar who dreams of being reincarnated as a Marine boot
- a women “trapped in a gay man’s body” who seduces Marines online then dominates them in person with strap-on dildos
- a former Force Recon Marine who complains of being chased by civilians but is now a Marine-chaser himself
By turns steamy, hilarious, appalling, and deeply moving, Military Trade challenges assumptions about both chaser and chased and poses pointed questions about the wisdom of those who seek to divide the world into “straight” and “gay.” The interviews and essays collected in this book suggest that, paradoxically, for many men the advances of the gay rights movement have actually made it more difficult to form affectional bonds with other men. Gay sex has never been more openly advertised. But the military love of comrades is something that gay life can’t offer. Military Trade offers groundbreaking insight into:
- the difference between “military chasers” and uniform fetishists
- why gay men prefer sailors and Marines over soldiers and airmen
- the surprising range of sexual, “buddy,” and even love relationships “chasers” form with servicemen
- the nuances of “trade” and civil-military male prostitution
- what has been overlooked in the “sex panic” debate about men who have sex in public places
For anyone interested in queer theory, the construction of masculinity, or sex between men outside of gay urban cultureand for anyone who has ever thrilled at the sight of a man in uniformMilitary Trade is must reading.