(Men’s bodies and sex between men, sometimes in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest)

Back in July, I started a piece that combined the celebrations of the Fourth of July in my country and a personal celebration on having an award for LGBTQ+ linguists named after me. The two parts of the piece take off from the same introductory material, a Falcon Big Bang 2021 sale ad (reproduced below).

Alas, the rigors of these pandemic times and of the twilight of my life being what they are, I wasn’t able to finish the first part of this posting, the Arnold Zwicky Award part, until 9/21. Now comes the second, the vulgar slang bang ‘to have sex’, part.

What came before. From my 9/22/21 posting “Fireworks! Bang!”:

The other thing about holidays, the Fourth of July notably among them, is that they are occasions for elaborate advertising campaigns hawking homoware: men’s premium underwear (including oh my, jockstraps), steamily presented, and gay porn videos (not to mention sex toys for gay men), all of these items that I view both as sources of deep personal satisfaction (which I am happy to talk about in detail, in the plainest of street language) and as objects of academic analysis, on several levels.

And then I have contrived to make a more than accidental connection between celebrating my recognition as an LGBTQ+ linguist and celebrating the Fourth of July, by selecting a holiday porn ad that turns on the ambiguity of N and V bang, as referring to noise-making or as referring to sexual intercourse: consider this exemplary text, the Falcon Big Bang 2021 sale ad (for gay porn) that came in my e-mail on July 2nd:

(#1) [caption:] On the lexical front, heavily working the sexual (bigbangrocket, and blow ‘explode’ / explosive territory. Also of interest in its presentation of male bodies as objects of desire; in the subtle cock tease by the man on the right; and in its choice of particular facial expressions as cruise faces (designed to engage male partners for brief sexual liaisons) (the overstuffed American-flag briefs on the man on the left are just a holiday bonus)

The syntax and semantics of the sexual verb bang. The GDoS entry, which will need considerable discussion:

verb bang-1: 1 to hit, to thump … 2 in context of sex (a) to copulate with; like many sl. terms involving sex, this implies an aggression irrespective of any affection; usu. of men, but occas. of women [AZ: many 18th – 20th century quotes from bawdy songs and verse; 1st other cite 1950 from Neal Cassady letter I got her to bang Hal Chase; 1963 Ben Hecht found Mr. Bolger … banging a naked lady on his couch] (b) to have sexual intercourse; intransitive use compared to transitive sense 1a above [AZ: 1st cite 1925; many early cites with female subjects … she insists on banging] (c) (US) to masturbate; one of many terms for the verb that relate to hitting [one cite, from 1947]

I’ll set aside sense / use c, to concentrate on transitive (sense a) and intransitive (sense b) bang ‘fuck’.

Then: the lexical neighborhood of bang in everyday English slang consists of the primary slang term fuck and a small collection of transitive action verbs of movement or contact — hump (mainly BrE), lay, screw, prong, bonk (mainly BrE), shtup (Yinglish < Yiddish ‘push, jostle, bump into; fuck’) — plus shag (mainly BrE, of obscure etymology).

Aggression. The GDoS assertion that bang “implies an aggression irrespective of any affection” strikes me as far too strong. Not an implication, but perhaps a suggestion, or a connotation. And  not actual aggression — real violence — but something more like vigor or energy. Meanwhile, bang (unsurprisingly) brings with it a suggestion of noisiness absent in the other verbs in its lexical neighborhood.

Intransitivity. GDoS’s use of the technical terms transitive and intransitive is strictly a matter of (surface) syntax: an occurrence of a verb is transitive if it has a direct object (not an oblique object) in its sentence, intransitive otherwise. So I banged three guys last night has a transitive verb banged, but I banged for hours last night has an intransitive one, even though it’s “understood transitively” (as ‘I banged people for hours last night’; the sentence exemplifies the Indefinite Object Omission construction).

However, a verb is transitive even if its direct object is displaced, as in Him I would never bang and How many guys did they say I banged last night?

But a verb is intransitive if its object is oblique (marked with a preposition) rather than direct, as in I copulated with three guys last night.

The sex of the grammatical subject’s referent. According to GDoS, this referent is usually male, but occasionally female. This description fits the facts, but fails to get at what is actually going on: there’s a generalization about when the subject’s referent is male and when it’s female:

with female-referent subjects (transitive Sally bangs Max; intransitive Sally bangs), that referent plays the (non-default) receptive  (R) role in an act of (vaginal or anal) intercourse — she gets fucked

in intransitives with subjects referring to gay males (Simon Sissyboy bangs), that referent plays the R role in the act of anal intercourse — he gets fucked

in transitives with subjects referring to straight males (Steven Straightboy bangs Sally / Simon), that referent plays the default insertive (I) role in the act (which can again be vaginal or anal) — someone, female or male, gets fucked by him

in transitives with subjects referring to gay males (Simon Sissyboy bangs Phil Fagolicious), the examples are ambiguous, between the referent playing the I and R role in the act of anal intercourse — either I Simon penetrates Phil or R Simon gets penetrated by Phil

(The complexity is the result of the anatomical complexity that women have two penetrable sexcavities, while men have only one.)

See the discussion in two postings on this blog, with, instead of  act-specific participant roles like I and R (specific to sexual penetration), generalized participant roles like agent (Agt) and patient (Pat); and with these associated with syntactic functions like subject (SU), direct object (DO), and oblique object (OO):

— in my 7/9/13 posting “Sexual-lexical semantics”

— in my 10/3/19 posting “Pat-SU fuck: new visions”

Sexual rocket. In #1: “Arm Your Rockets: We’re About to Blow!” From my 8/27/21 posting “Annals of phallicity: the Bezos rocket”:

The symbolic resonance, of a rocket launch to active phallicity, to a penis rapidly tumescing and ejaculating, has been around ever since there have been rockets

So here it, um, comes again.

Meanwhile, in the world of gay porn, there’s my 2/16/13 posting “Crotch Rocket”, which is:

… the title of a Titan Men “best of” compendium of scenes with pornstar Trenton Ducati (posted about on AZBlogX, with photos of Ducati in action). Phallic word play, but there’s more, since a crotch rocket is also a type of motorcycle.

(The porn actor, a motorcycle enthusiast, chose his stage name to incorporate the motorcycle name Ducati.)

The AZBlogX photos are not at all WordPressable, but #3 there is a scene of the pornstar Dean Phoenix rimming Ducati (which manages to show both men’s balls and hard dicks, plus Ducati’s asshole with Phoenix’s tongue entering it), which will serve as the lead in to the next section of this posting.

More gay porn on sale for the Fourth of July. Away from the armaments and into the fundament: the GameLink (porn video supplier) 4th of July sale mailing “Celebrate the Freedom to Cum with 25% OFF”:

(#2) Ah, the skirmishes that were fought to gain and protect our precious freedom to cum / come!

On this blog, a 9/28/13 posting “X job”, on anilingus / analingusrim jobblow jobhand job, synonyms for these, and some other X job sexual terms

In real life, rimming is one thing (your tongue in someone’s asshole, even a carefully douched one, is a bit too close to shit for many people), getting rimmed another (if you’re at all open to anal pleasure, it feels wonderful). Meanwhile, the act can be emotionally experienced either as penetrative — a kind of tongue-fucking by a man getting a bottom (in two senses) prepared to get fucked by him — or as submissive servicing.

But it’s become one of the routine components of the standard script for gay porn episodes of coupling, which begin with kissing and end with fucking, climaxing in cumshots by both men. It’s a convention of the genre.

Note on celebrating the freedom to come / cum. Not usually associated with the Fourth of July — but when else? When might we officially celebrate orgasm, ejaculation, and semen, separately or together?

There are apparently movements to just declare 9/24 (which is already National Punctuation Day) to be National Cum Day (it’s not clear whether this is supposed to be a verb or a noun), and 7/31 (which is already National Avocado Day) to be be National Orgasm Day. On the first, there is this (verb) counterproposal on Urban Dictionary:

December 17th is national cum day, either cum in someone or get cummed in by someone. (by wizzro on 12/17/20)

And of course the field is wide open for more specialized ejaculatory holidays: National Come in Your Pants Day, National Cum Facial Day, National Pre-cum Day, National Ejaculated Tom Swift Day, National O-Face Day, National Seminal Idea Day, just to throw out a few suggestions.

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