What surfer or surf writer would you take to bed, men? But only hypothetically (wink!)
A few days ago, BeachGrit ran a story called the Five Best Interviews in Surfing (click here!). In response, the surf historian Matt Warshaw from San Francisco wrote about his own five best interviews (click here!).
Obvs, Warshaw’s dance all over mine, a result of his superior intelligence gathering.
But one interview I took exception to was that with the big-waver Fred Van Dyke and his claim that most big-wave surfers are “latent homosexuals.” He actually said that in a Life magazine interview in 1967, but it wasn’t until Warshaw spoke to him in 1992 that he clarified it. In the lamest way.
“What everyone missed was that I said latent homosexuals,” Van Dyke told Warshaw. “I didn’t say we were all lovers. I meant that we all came to the North Shore, and it was Boys Town USA. One guy would rent a house, 10 other guys would move in, all these macho big-wave surfers, and it turned into a classic case of arrested development. Freud describes different levels of development, and one of them, for males, comes at around 10 to 12 years of age. That’s when you band together as guys, and don’t let girls into your lives. It doesn’t mean you’re gay. It means that the only thing that matters is your status among male friends—and that was everything for us. Everything! But instead of being 10 years old, we were 18, 20, 22, even older. We were still like kids. We were stuck”
Lame, right? Latent means hidden. Homosexuality is a beautiful dance. It ain’t for me, but not much is besides a gal’s ass that is as precious as bone china and titties that sway and sway and sway across my lips.
Anyway, I got Warshaw into a little exchange, below.
DR: Fred’s explanation regarding latent homosexuality has always bothered me. “Latent” means hidden. And latent homosexuality is that wonderful erotic zing toward your brothers that you keep hidden, not a desire for bonding. So I want to know, was there a genuine latent homosexuality between all those early big-wavers, you think, holed up together on the Shore? All those strong men! All those stiff cocks!
MW: Fred I think messed up the Freudian definition of “latent homosexuality.” Although who knows, like everybody else I haven’t actually read Freud. But yeah, Van Dyke’s take, like he says, is that North Shore big-wave guys were all about the guys. Just like my five-year-old is all about the guys. All that matters is what your buddies think. Girls aren’t in the picture.
DR: But man-on-man action? You think?
MW: Fuck, who knows.
DR: Secret gay feelings?
MW: Between big-wave surfers? Sure! One of 10 of those guys is probably gay. Just like the rest of the male world.
DR: The one in ten figure is thrown around a lot. Which gives us four fabulous fruits on the tour! I wonder who?
MW: All I know about all those guys is what I see on ASP webstream. I certainly like the cut of Michel Bourez’ jib, though.
DR: Who doesn’t?
MW: What about you?
DR: I’m besotted by the sheer ordinariness of Bede Durbidge.
MW: You’d want to set up house with a guy like Bede?
DR: On the contrary, it’s house-setting I’d like. Sundays in bed with espressos and newspapers and… flashback… amyl.
MW: Okay how about this. Rielly, Warshaw, Doherty, Samuels, Sam George, Chas Smith, Kampion, Jarratt, Carroll, Baker. Pick one.
DR: Whom I’m attracted to? Or who swings?
DR: I can only mention those I’ve met. Sam George I would describe as a classic Californian beauty, so maybe. Nick would be rough and his tongue would have absolutely no subtlety. So, no. Jarratt is too old, maybe slow to arouse. Tim Baker has a chocolate brown bosom that I’d always longed to tug at with my mouth, again, maybe. Brisick you didn’t mention. I’d fly to Bangkok with Briz and one of us would be gender reassigned in the interests of long-term happo. You?
MW: Lewis is first choice, except the waxing costs would break me. Kampion I’ve maybe got a daddy thing for. I could be Chas’ daddy. Chas actually might be my #1, not Lewis. Chas talks a big game, perversion-wise, but family life suits him. I’d trust him to raise my son.
DR: Yeah, well, I don’t get the Lewis fixation. The last time I saw him he wore a red-checked shirt, baggy stonewash jeans, New Balance sneakers, tortoise-shell seeing glasses (the sort preferred by middle-aged women) and a fist of hair climbed out of the neck of his undershirt. Is Kampion attractive? And tell me what rough trade you’d have with Nick Carroll.
MW: Kampion was once the spitting image of Bob Dylan, from the Freewheelin’ days. Fine looking man. Nick’s working what we in San Francisco call the Bear angle, which never appealed to me. But honestly, at 54, I’m looking for romance of the mind. I left my libido somewhere in my mid-40s.
DR: No libido? Let’s bust some myths about Miki Dora, tomoz! You ain’t even a sexual being!