Mesosexual Ideal

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Also on this website:

Toby Johnson's books:

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness

GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe

SECRET MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE: A romance novel set in the 1980s and the 1890s.

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil

TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams

CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story


About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series

  Articles and Excerpts:

Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"

The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

 The cause of homosexuality

The origins of homophobia

Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness

What is homosexuality?

What is Gay Spirituality?

My three messages

What Jesus said about Gay Rights

Queering religion

Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men

Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?

The purpose of homosexuality

The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter

The Gay Succession

Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality

Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men

Varieties of Gay Spirituality

Waves of Gay Liberation Activity

Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium

Easton Mountain Retreat Center

Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism

The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the  "Statement of Spirituality"

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

You're Not A Wave

What is Enlightenment?

What is reincarnation?

How many lifetimes in an ego?

Emptiness & Religious Ideas

Experiencing experiencing experiencing

Going into the Light

Meditations for a Funeral

Meditation Practice

The way to get to heaven

Buddha's father was right

Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal

The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika

Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva

John Boswell was Immanuel Kant

The Two Loves

Curious Bodies

What Toby Johnson Believes

The Joseph Campbell Connection

Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy

The Nature of Religion

What's true about Religion

Being Gay is a Blessing

Drawing Long Straws

Freedom of Religion

The Gay Agenda

Gay Saintliness

Gay Spiritual Functions

The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.

The Sinfulness of Homosexuality

Proposal for a study of gay nondualism

Priestly Sexuality

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

"St. John of the Cross &
the Dark Night of the Soul."

 Eckhart's Eye

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Religious Articulations of the Secret

The Collective Unconscious

Driving as Spiritual Practice


Historicity as Myth


No Stealing

Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil

Allah Hu: "God is present here"
Adam and Steve

The Life is in the Blood

Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"

Seeing with Different Eyes

The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside

The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis

The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
Part 2:
The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Part 3:
Jesus and the Resurrection
Part 4:
A Course in Miracles

The Secret of the Clear Light

Understanding the Clear Light

Mobius Strip

Finding Your Tiger Face

How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

About Alien Abduction

What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?

The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance

More about Gay Mental Health

Psych Tech Training

The Rainbow Flag

Ideas for gay mythic stories

Kip and Toby, Activists

Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.

Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement

About Hay and The New Myth

About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"

About Michael Talbot, gay mystic

About Fr. Bernard Lynch

About Richard Baltzell

About Guy Mannheimer

About David Weyrauch

About Dennis Paddie

About Ask the Fire

About Arthur Evans

About Christopher Larkin

About Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

Book Reviews

Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook

Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer

The Way Out by Christopher L  Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson

Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry

Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr

Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois

Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson

Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low

Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman

The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman

Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor

Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine

The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada

The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook

The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther

The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel

Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak

Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez

Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr

Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman

Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano

The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo

The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar

Occam’s Razor by David Duncan

Grace and Demion by Mel White

Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso

The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery

The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass


I'd like to suggest a new term: "mesosexual," meaning "in the middle."
That is, in the middle of the continuum between heterosexual and homosexual.

I'm sure this idea applies to women as well as men, but let me stick to discussing it as a male phenomenon (like the "metrosexual" phenomenon).

Most men are going to be heterosexual; they're going to fall in love with women, desire sex with women, understand sexuality to be about reproduction, look forward to fatherhood, and consider the male virtues of strength and productiveness, ambition and success as important values.

But being heterosexual doesn't have to mean rejecting all that is even vaguely related to homosexuality.

A straight man who is comfortable with his sexuality doesn't have to defend his heterosexuality by opposing homosexuality or the gay virtues of sensitivity, gentleness, love of beauty, and noncompetitiveness.

Indeed, a straight man comfortable with being straight ought to be able to embrace his gay friend if the friend is sad and needs a hug; indeed, he ought to be able to enjoy a little sexplay with his gay friend, understanding this isn't about "love and attraction to females" as about the playfulness of being embodied and interest in what other human beings find important.

Such a straight man might be called "mesosexual."

I think that's a good goal for masculinity in modern urbanized society. All men should be interested in their appearance, motivated to keep their bodies in shape, educated in what kind of clothes to wear, how to cook for themselves, and how to keep their surroundings attractive and pleasing. All men should be tender and sensitive and compassionate. All men should be happy for other people--other men--who follow their bliss and discover their deepest feelings, even when those feelings are homosexually-oriented.

The "metrosexual" term is a little too close to the silliness and hype of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy TV show and too focused on big city living, and maybe too limited to style and appearance (based mainly in size of expenditure of money).

But the idea is a good one.

There is absolutely no reason why homosexuality and heterosexuality should seem at odds, any more than chocolate and vanilla are at odds with each other.

I think the general "gayification of culture" has had the very positive effect of making it ok for straight men to relax and allow their so-called feminine side to exist along with their masculine side.

Making gay men "heroes" of the culture as style setters and arbiters of taste changes the role models for all men, making sensitivity and tenderness in men acceptable virtues--as they should be.

As we enter the truly modern -- and post modern and post post-modern -- world, it's time we get over belligerence and violence and injurious competitiveness.

AND making sex playful--rather than always so seriously involved with reproduction--helps mental health and offers adventure. This is an important contribution of gay culture: that sex need not be so serious.

Regarding Joseph Campbell, I don't think any of these terms particularly apply because he lived, flourishied, and died before any of these terms had any meaning. BUT he was certainly a man of culture and dignity and kindness and compassion. Those really were old time virtues.

The "macho man" and the warrior and fierce competitor get attention in the movies, but those have never really been proper roles in polite society.


Certainly one of the real contributions of the gay rights struggle is to demonstrate that human beings can live full lives without having children. AND maybe also to help "regular guys" be less uptight about affection and feelings.

 Let me share this positive comment I received about this posting from a straight--mesosexual?--man

Dr. Johnson
    I just finished reading your post about metrosexuality and I must say it hits the nail on the head.
    I am heterosexual,  I have several homosexual friends around whom I feel totally comfortable. 
    I feel we (men) need to drop some of our defenses and just enjoy each other as people without all the hang ups about how our actions are perceived.
    How ridiculous is this?  My brother in law (heterosexual--our wives are biological sisters) just started feeling comfortable recently hugging me after almost 20 years of knowing each other.  Hey maybe some day we'll actually give each other a kiss!
    I am blessed in that I have many heterosexual friends who do not faint at being intimate with me.  Let me share one.  I have a friend, Scott, who is happily married with two children and is completely "straight" sexually.  Recently my wife and I spent an evening at his home, dinner, conversation, an adult's night out if you will.  We were saying out good night's.  Scott and I did the man thing, shaking hands.  Then we gave each other an intimate hug (which we've done before), following by a passionate but not sexual kiss on the lips.  My first thought was, "Oh my God, we are doing this in front of our wives.  What must they be thinking?"  My wife said nothing about it, so I felt safe.
    The next time the four of us got together, I was alone with Scott's wife, helping with serving some refreshments.  Her comment to me was "I wish you and Scott would feel free to display your love (friendship) for each other more often.  I know how deeply you care for each other.."  I almost dropped after hearing her remark, but it made a lot of sense.

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Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.

Johnson's Lammy Award winning book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated book  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are available now from Lethe Press.

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