What It's Like To Be Gay And Single In The 21st Century

What It's Like To Be Gay And Single In The 21st Century

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There’s a joke about gay dating that encapsulates the difference between how men and women approach romance. It goes like this: What do lesbians bring on a second date? A U-Haul. What do gay men bring on a second date — What second date.

In the difficult journey that is the search for a boyfriend, it’s generally easier to find a man who wants to be tied up, and humiliated for sexual pleasure than it is to find someone to cook at home with and watch “Scandal” together. As gay men, we have a surplus of opportunities to fulfill our sexual urges in a variety of new and exciting ways, making the thought of settling for one person hardly enticing for many in the community.

But should you wish to trade meaningless sex for his and his towel sets, actually finding someone who wants the same comes with more obstacles than Lindsay Lohan’s path to sobriety.

First, there is the claustrophobically small dating pool. Let’s begin with the fact that only 5% of the population is gay (or at least will admit to it). Half of them aren’t thinking past their next hookup, half of that won’t be sexually compatible, and maybe a tenth of what’s left are people you wouldn’t mind getting to know over coffee. That leaves approximately seven people in your city as potential mates.

Now the question is how to find these seven gentlemen suitors. Likely your friends don’t have anyone for you or you wouldn’t be single. There is the chance that you could meet someone at work, and this is probably still the best and most organic way to meet.

That leaves two main options: meeting someone at a bar or online. Personally, I’ve been going out to gay bars since I was 18 and I’ve never met anyone in that setting that wasn’t more than a hookup. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but more likely you’re on some combination of Grindr, OKCupid, and my new favorite, Tinder.

At first blush, you might think you’ve discovered the island of lost men – so this is where they keep all the handsome single guys. But soon one discovers this is really the disenchanted forest of beasts. Because gay men have been finding hookup buddies online since the internet was invented via chatrooms and Craigslist, there is a prevailing stigma against taking anyone seriously encountered in the virtual world.

This means that even when you think you’ve find the perfect guy – you both like Beyonce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Karaoke Singing – there is a slim possibility that it will ever go further than a swipe to the right.

Welcome to the world of online dating, which I’m told is just as awful for straight people as it is for gays. On these virtual meeting grounds, we’re judged to varying degrees on superficial criteria. The picture(s) you choose to represent yourself, a brief blurb with Shakespearean copy such as “Masc4Masc,” “No Asians,” and “No Fat or Femme”.

Among many gay men, “hung?”, “looking?”, and “bottom?” are all considered charming conversation starters with a complete stranger. These apps are a microcosm of the demoralizing experience that is men dating men.

In real life, most gay men are just as superficial as their online personality. We’re a minority obsessed with subset categorizations: top/bottom/bear/otter/twink/jock/daddy/platypus (I made only the last one up). Granted, everyone straight or gay has a “type,” but finding a normal guy who is not predominately defined by his sexuality is the most rare of all.

So let’s say against the odds you find someone that tickles your Tinder, you arrange for that momentous first date, and they actually show up instead of standing you up an hour before. Within the first 0.5 seconds of seeing the person, you’ll each know whether there exists the remotest possibility of this going anywhere. If there so happens to be that mutual magic spark, the journey has only just begun. Will they kiss you at the end of the night? Will they call again? Who should call? An agonizing devotion of self-doubt prevails.

One would think dating between two men should be, for lack of a better phrase, straight-forward. There are no gender barriers that confuse conversation, no destabilizing monthly hormonal mood swings, or disagreement when one person wants to watch “Looking” on HBO and the other ESPN, just two guys who probably both want to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. But there are also no rules, no applicable dating wisdom passed down from parents. Instead, we’re alone in traversing a wild, and sometime treacherous terrain filled with bears, pigs, otters, and silver foxes. Oh my….

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!

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We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness

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What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst

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It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen

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Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad

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Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin

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Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate

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Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny

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More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body

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Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 

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Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.

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I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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12 Not-So-Boujee Must Haves For Your First Home/Apartment, If You Want To Actually Survive

Broom > Swiffer. Trust me.

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Whether a college student or just moving into your first home or apartment, here is a list of things you probably didn't know you needed.

1. Shower Curtain Rod. 

In my furnished apartment, I was thinking the past tenant would have left this item. WRONG. Walmart is going to be your best bet for getting this, I went to at least three other stores first, and none of them had it so save yourself time and just go to Walmart.

2. Organizers. 

I was lucky enough to already have one. However, drawer organizers are so important. Not only do they save space for me in my apartment and on my desk, but it acts as my nightstand. Living on the fourth floor of my apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was haul a wooden nightstand up to my room. So get an organizer that has wheels, they usually have colored drawers so they can follow whatever color scheme you have going on.

3. Wall Decorations. 

I'm usually not one worried about decorating, but the walls will feel empty without even a cheap poster from Walmart or family photos. Something about decorating just really makes it feel more like home, than if you had just an empty room.

4. Oil Diffuser.

This was new to me. However, not only does my oil diffuser give a little extra light when it's on, but my room always smells amazing now, even if the rest of the house smells like food. Scentsy pots work too, but with the oil diffusers there's less mess and you can use oils similar to DoTerra for health and mood benefits.

5. Tinfoil. 

We all eat food. And let's be honest, college students are lazy and life is so much easier when you can just throw tinfoil on top of your dish and toss it in the fridge. Especially when you're in a hurry. Yes, that's also what Tupperware is for but you also can use it for cooking in the oven.

6. Rugs. 

Most kitchens are hardwood or tile of some sort, having a rug in front of the entrance and in front of the sink are essential to creating less mess to clean. We have a lot of guests in our apartment and since we don't have carpet anywhere but our rooms, it is tough to ask for shoes off so having a rug at the front door can cut down the amount of dirt tracked in.

7. Lamps. 

Lighting can be limited in rooms so it's nice to bring some sort of extra lighting. Either a stand up lamp or just a desk lamp can make a huge difference in the lighting of your room.

8. Dry Shampoo. 

This is less of a need for your home and more of a need for you. I have recently jumped on the dry shampoo trend and it's a life-saver. If you have a long night of studying or wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair, it's a great fix and easy way to keep from looking like you are losing your mind.

9. Extension Cords. 

If you didn't figure this out in a dorm, you are now. Outlets can be in inconvenient places, and as a college student, you have to have space to plug in a laptop, printer, phone, lamps, and anything else that you need to plug in. Extension cords and power strips will solve that problem.

10. Broom. 

Yes, a broom. Not a swiffer. Sadly, if you have more dirt than dust, a swiffer will do you no good. You can get a cheap broom at just about any store that carries any cleaning supplies.

11. Paper Towel Holder. 

I mean you could go without but it does make things more convenient. Also looks nicer than just having a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter.

12. Cooking Oil. 

Super easy to forget, but used more often than you think. Cooking oil is used for so many things, and if you have a kitchen, make sure you have it. Nothing is worse than having a meal planned and finding out you don't have cooking oil.

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