The first time I leaned over you and looked into your eyes
I said to myself this is what it must be like
to have everything you'd ever want . . .
~ Jane Siberry, Sweet Incarnadine
My attraction to Brian Kinney defies everyday logic. On the surface he is a manipulative, self-centred and arrogant prick. By his own admission, he doesn't believe in love -- he believes in fucking. He's pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get, right? Maybe so... yet I can excuse almost every miserable, obnoxious thing he says or does to those closest to him. Why? Because there is more to Brian Kinney than meets the eye. Gale Harold describes his character as both 'a real asshole' and a 'pretty good guy.' Besides which ... Brian is not a real person, he is a television character, and this gives me a certain license and rationale for my feelings about him.
"There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey."
~ Buttercup, The Princess Bride
Brian is MALE. He is at once primal, virile and predatory. His libido is a potent, often threatening force. Of course, anyone who wants a wellspring of tenderness, sensitivity and politically correct behavior probably shouldn't be tuning in to Queer As Folk in the first place. Yet Brian doesn't measure his masculinity by the ability to subordinate others. It's not that he isn't capable of tenderness; we've seen him demonstrate sensitivity with Michael, Lindsay, Gus and Justin. He is not generally, however, a tender and compassionate guy. That's why it is so thrilling when the writing allows us to see the side of Brian that he generally represses; when his aggressive spirit backs off ever so slightly to reveal a shimmer of his soul.
"Gale is, he's just gorgeous, you know! What can I say? He's a gorgeous man, inside and out. I always look forward to working with him on my scenes, because there is a receptivity to him that is so complete, and wholesome. He has a real wholesome nature about life. He's very down to earth, and that's what I think makes him so attractive, because he just really stands on his own two feet, and lets the world come to him, and he will give back to the world. He has a real sort of give and take philosophy about life, and I think that makes him a terrific and deep actor."
~ Thea Gill (Lindsay)
Brian is in COMMAND. He not only creates his own sexual space -- he occupies every square inch of it. Like early Brando or James Dean, he is electrically charged even in repose. Sensuality is not about a striptease. For me, a fully dressed Brian is more sexually alluring than any half-naked hunk flexing his pecs on the Babylon dance floor, because Brian's particular sensuality is about ATTITUDE, and the subtle and scary grace of suppressed aggressiveness. Brian is aware of his body and comfortable in his own skin even when he finds himself in an uncomfortable spot. Brian walks into a room and commands attention with the simple lift of an eyebrow. He OWNS the place. When he leaves, he takes all of the oxygen with him.
"Men are shameless. If you're not thinking with your weiner, you're acting directly on its behalf."
~ Skylar, Good Will Hunting
Brian is SEX. It isn't just about his lips or his eyes, despite the feelings of eroticism they evoke. It's not just about the way he moves, or speaks, or how he makes you weak in the knees when he cocks his head a certain way. It's about being a heartbeat away from the sheer intensity of his next action or reaction, whether it's right or wrong. I'd even go so far as to speculate that the reason some of Brian's own friends sometimes respond negatively to him is because they feel threatened on a very basic level; it's about pack hierarchy -- male sexual jockeying.
Michael: Whats wrong with here?
Brian: I've had everyone in here.
Brian is FANTASY. Gale Harold has no problem portraying what some might call a sexual predator; however, there are viewers who cannot relate to this type of story or character in a psychologically healthy way. Eroticizing promiscuous behaviour is dangerous business because of our modern sensibilties . . . but those notions are also hardwired into our brains. It is also what this kind of fantasy is about. We don't necessarily want it to be in our real lives, but it IS a part of our primitive sex drive. As a heterosexual female, I look to my ancestors in the early cradle tribal societies who mated mostly with ruthless alpha-level males. Nice guys didn't cut it. Nice guys didn't pass on their genes as frequently because they didn't 'fit' into the ongoing battle for survival in a very brutal and dangerous world. The way I see it, it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight; I recognize and appreciate that these instincts were (and still are) a part of basic human nature. Through Brian, I can vicariously AND SAFELY experience 'The Call of the Wild.'
Give yourself over to absolute pleasure.
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh.
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure.
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever.
~ Rocky Horror Picture Show