Hello Dr. Dick! I have a serious question for you. I’m relatively new at this, so here goes. In trying to meet and make gay friends, I find that none want a friend. The only interest I find is for sex. Is this typical and is it a waste of time seeking gay friends?
Thanks for your message and question.
I’ve been hearing a lot of similar complaints from guys all over the country lately. Some are just coming out; others are just weary of the constant sexual competitiveness among gay men.
Let me begin by saying, yes, what you report is pretty typical. And, no, you’re not wasting your time looking for gay friends. That being said, you should also know that making friends in the gay community is often very different than making friends in the straight community. For the most part, the “getting-to-know-you” phase among gay men almost always has a sexual component to it. Is this a good thing? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
Personally, this does not put me off, but that’s only because I understand the ground rules. If you’re approaching gay friendships with a heterosexual mindset, you’ll no doubt encounter some frustration. If, on the other hand, you accept the fact that casual sex is, at least for some, a legitimate means of getting to know someone, and is as good a reason as any for making friends, there will be less disappointment.
This can be very challenging for those whose sexual mores are not that open-ended. On the other hand, this can be an opportunity to open oneself up sexually and to learn to appreciate a wider range of sexual expression from the very casual to the deeply committed.
I really do appreciate your taking the time to respond. Yes, I am finding it difficult to navigate the gay waters. I’m not completely out and the primary reason (one could argue other reasons) has to do with what I see in the gay community. I don’t see the warmth or open friendliness I see in the Black community for example.
I recently moved to a new city in Indiana and joined a local predominately Black church. Even though I didn’t know anyone I was welcomed with open arms. The people there often invite me to events and gatherings. I have done the same in the gay community and it seems so cold and icy. I have attended a predominately gay church, joined a gay support group, etc. In none of these gay environments did I ever feel welcome. Few, if any, made any attempt to say hello let alone invite me to anything.
Without fail, each time I try to make a gay friend it’s unsuccessful because either they aren’t attracted to me or they are attracted to me but I’m not sexually attracted to them. But I have always welcomed the friendship.
Of course the most insulting thing happens when they ask for a face picture of me (those I meet on the Internet), even though I make it clear I’m only interested in friendship. Though they claim they are only interested in the same, in most instances once they see my face PIC they lose interest. Now, please explain to me why what I look like has anything to do with becoming a friend? Now, I may not be attracted to that person physically, but I would never not want to be a friend because of someone’s looks.
So, it seems I have few choices. I can sleep with someone I have absolutely no sexual interest in just in hopes of having a gay friend. Or, I can forget the gay friendship thing all together and accept the fact that having straight friends is the best way to go.
One more thing, it never fails that if there is someone I find very attractive, they are never interested in me. Never fails. I always attract guys that are 5 feet tall or 300 lbs and out of shape or 70 years old. Just once I would like someone around my age, my height and in relatively good shape. LOL! It seems the easiest thing is simply to find a gay male prostitute and pay him. Keep it all clear, business like and to the point. No games or issues. If I were rich that would be a great option.
I won’t even go into racism within the gay community…it’s just a mess. Most white guys won’t give a Black guy the time of day. <G>
Now I know what straight women go through. Gay men are even more superficial, so small wonder that relationships just don’t last and the ones that do are always, “open”
Okay, I’ve vented enough. LOL! Again, thanks for giving me some of your time.
I kinda figured you were still in the closet. And, yes, that does have a lot to do with how other gay men perceive you. I mean, how would you respond to a fellow black man who was trying to pass himself off as white?
I’m glad you brought up the warm reception you are receiving in your black church. You are welcomed there because they recognize you; you are familiar to them. No big stretch for either them or you, huh? I wonder though, would they be as welcoming and inclusive if they knew you were a big ol’ gay homosexual? Probably not! Sexual bigotry can and does trump even the strongest bonds that shared race and ethnicity engender.
Your reception in the gay community is similarly determined. Ambivalence about one’s sexuality, like ambivalence about one’s race, sends a strong message to the community at large. It declares to the group that the individual is not to be trusted, at least not until he proves himself worthy of that trust. Seems to me, you’re expecting more of a stretch from your gay sisters and brothers then you’re asking of your black church. And that double standard adds to your alienation.
Despite your protestations to the contrary, you do discriminate for superficial reasons, just like most of your gay (and non-gay) peers. Check it out, your words betray you. Apparently there is no room in your circle of friends for effeminate men, guys who are much older than you, or, god forbid, anyone who is out of shape.
Ahhh the heartland, beautiful Indiana! There’s another big part of your problem right there. Even I know that Indiana is not a hot bed of big ol’ gay homosexual-ism. Most of the guys you’re trying to relate to, there in the Hoosier State, are probably closeted or semi-closeted just like you. That kind of stultifying atmosphere breeds fear and mistrust. It also militates against intimacy and openness. But don’t underestimate the resilience and adaptability of us gay folk. Even in deepest darkest Indiana there are gay couples successfully living out their lives together with pride and love in very long-term relationships.
You conclude that you now know what straight women go through. How very insightful! Solidarity with women and others who have been sexually oppressed or objectified does us men a world of good. It should help keep us humble.
So bro, high marks for your critique of the gay community. (Although, how difficult is it to point out the obvious?) Lucky for you, I have a sure-fire way to immediately improve the status quo. Get off your pity pot and jettison all those bogus reasons for remaining closeted. Nowadays, coming out is not optional; it’s a fundamental developmental task that each of us must face, even those who live in god’s country. Failure to address this basic responsibility to yourself will stunt your growth as a human being, because you’ll never be able to live an authentic life. You, and most of those around you, will always know you’re living a lie. Coming out will make you a better person, improve your local gay community and make the world a better place to live…because one more person — YOU — are being true to yourself.
And while you’re working on the task at hand, don’t be so hard on yourself or your gay brothers. None of this is easy. Each of us is fighting our own demons, and sometimes that battle is so fierce that we don’t immediately recognize the folks around us who could and would be our natural allies.