Wednesday, December 21, 2016

3 Things Gay Guys Need to Stop Doing

So I've noticed something, when I was reintegrating into gay society, and I'm sure that a lot of straight women will agree with me. Boys suck. The sheer depth and breadth of the self-serving, narcissistic nature of men makes me want to be a hermit in the mountains. Now, I should clarify. I'm sure that not all gay men are stupid, but it surely seems that the lion's share of them are. This post isn't going to be about bottom shaming or any of that stuff that my social justice warrior colleagues peddle. I just want to give three ideas that may help gay guys be less... stupid. If that's possible.

1. Learn how to be friends with other gay guys you are attracted to.

OK, You've just met someone who is just way too attractive to not talk to. However, they're recently out of a relationship, new to the gay scene, coming to terms with their sexuality, insert reason here. They've told you their not ready for a relationship and only want friends, and you do pretty good at the "just friends" thing for a minute, but then the little innuendos work their way back into the conversation, the joking flirts start building sexual tension, and before you know it, you're full on hitting on them again. I've noticed that single gay men seem to gather around them other gay men who they aren't interested in boning. Yea, they have a great personality (*insert hardcore eye roll here), but you don't like their hair, they're fat, they're stupid, or you're just not attracted to them for whatever banal reason. That's fine, it's OK not to be attracted to someone, but being forced to surround yourself with people you're not attracted to because you keep chasing off the attractive ones because they don't want to bone or have a relationship is just bad form. Now, this is coming from a place of deep frustration, because I thought that I had made some good friends during my reintegration into the community, but they couldn't seem to understand that I just wanted friends. I didn't want friendship with the added emotional, romantic tension of, "I'm fine being friends right now, but I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for you to be ready to date again. So while I'm waiting, why don't we cuddle?" So yea, I'm frustrated right now because I thought that I had set down clear boundaries, but these were swept aside, and I've had to distance myself from people I thought could be my friend. I don't want to be unfair here, so I will say that when the flirty innuendos start again, it's super easy for the person who's not ready for a romantic entanglement to flirt back, thereby sending the wrong signals. So it's not all on you to observe and enforce the boundaries. The person who set them should also be cognizant of them, because it's super easy to send the wrong message to the person who is interested, and at the end of the day, all there are is a lot of hurt feelings. So learn how to just be friends. Those relationships will be a lot more rewarding if they're cultivated with care and patience.

2. Observe boundaries.

So to piggy back off of that, talk to your friends and/or/ your romantic interests. Ask them how they feel about things, ask for clear cut boundaries. I'm going to complicate it a little bit by saying that in my mind, there are hard boundaries and soft boundaries (calm down SJW's. Let me explain). First off, I'm a mega-busy person. I spend three days out of the week doing 16 hour days, homework on weekends, competitions out of State, etc. I won't say I'm introverted, but I do know that I'm just tired a lot of the time. So with friendships and my relationship, I want to be able to just say that I'm tired, I want to go home and go to bed early. That's a soft boundary, because if my boyfriend says, "I know you're tired, but I'm feeling neglected." of course I'm going to go cuddle him and tell him how important he is to me. Hard boundaries generally seem to involve sexy rumpus, so in regards to that, observe the hard boundaries in the bedroom. No means no. Don't infer that they're OK with what you're about to do with that zucchini. There are hard boundaries outside of the bedroom too though. If they're a sexual assault survivor, find out what their triggers are, or if they are dealing with internalized homophobia, ASK what makes them comfortable or uncomfortable. Learn each other's boundaries, live each other's boundaries, love each other's boundaries. Now, it's important to note that boundaries will change over time. No one lives in a homeostatic universe where their personality will remain the same for years and decades to come. You will change, just as your partner will change, so communicate openly and honestly. Don't let your late night conversations be all about pop culture and clothes (or whatever pods of gay men talk about), actually try to learn something about your boyfriend/love interest/partner. Finding out what their boundaries are will make your life a hell of a lot easier and the relationship a lot more rewarding.

3. Stop being so damn catty.

HYPOCRISY ALERT: I am an extremely sarcastic asshole. It's my second language. But I also know when to rein it in and be serious, compassionate, etc. Being sassy all the time is not cute or endearing. I hate it when I'm trying to tell a story and I get interrupted by some baby gay who has a killer one-liner. And it's not limited to the baby gays (those who are just barely coming out of the closet). I've watched many gay men be unnecessarily sassy or catty, and it's just irritating. I understand that you have a sharp wit, but there is a time and a place for everything, so learn when it's appropriate. I know that being the bigger, adultier person is not fun, but we need a community of mature men that can interface with the powers that be. If all the outside world sees is a bunch of guys being sassy bitches to each other, it decreases our standing in the world at large. Have some maturity for once. Control your impulses to cut down or denigrate someone else. Complement them instead and see your life get better. Like I've said, I'm an offender on this point, because I fell in love with that little bump of adrenaline that I get when I'm sassy. I love the face the person makes and I love that I can render someone speechless. But, that's also a great way to end up alone because it ultimately pushes people away. "Yea, James is a good guy, but I just can't stand how sarcastic he is." It's something I still struggle with, but telling someone how nice their hair looks or that you're glad to see them really makes the day brighter. This world is dark enough without us being bitches to each other.

So that's my list of things that really have been grating on me lately. Take it for what you will, it's not a sure and fast way to have a happy life, indeed it seems that these actually take more time and effort than just giving in to my baser instincts. I suppose that's probably because gay men look at each other like we're disposable. Don't like your boyfriend? Get a new one! Want sex? Have a hookup! Intimacy is hard, but I've found that when I actually apply myself, observing these three things, along with a few others, makes me a better person, and because I'm a better person, improves the quality of my friends and friendships. Last, but certainly not least, have a merry christmas. Go spend time with those you love. Be humble, don't stumble, and I'll see you again soon.

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