Hi Will & RJ,
I have been out for almost a year now but I am facing difficulties when it comes to meeting other guys. I constantly hear stories from gay friends on their dates and how they usually always, with lack of a better word, get really “intimate” really fast and sometimes literally within minutes of meeting a new guy. This scares me as I would hate to be in that position. Due to this, I’m starting to wonder if it is that unusual for a guy to not want anything sexual until I am ready to commit? Am I really that different from most other gay guys? I have also contemplated just saying no to a guy’s sexual advancements, but what if he does not take no for an answer? It could very well lead to an ugly or even life-threatening confrontation in the worst of cases.
Well Andy, as we’ve discussed before, gay men as a whole tend to get stereotyped as a particularly shallow and sexual bunch. Is there some truth to this stereotype? Sure. Go to any gay bar or go on the right website or download the right smartphone app and you’ll see tons of guys playing into the hyper-sexualized gay male stereotype. However, I feel like this sort of behavior says more about men in general, as opposed to just gay men. Go into any straight club and you’ll find plenty of guys preening and strutting and chasing female tail. Straight guys can be just as vain and shallow and slutty as us gays, so don’t think that what you’re experiencing is a problem that’s exclusive to the gay community. I feel like, since sex is a main thing that sets us apart from the rest, people tend to focus on it more. But that’s beside the point.
No, I don’t think that your desire to take things slow is abnormal. Even if it was, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s people who jump at every chance to have sex, there’s people who want to wait, and there are people who have no interest in it at all. As long as all of these people are healthy, safe, and happy with their lives, then there’s nothing wrong with any of them. I feel like your “difficulties” say more about your friends and your methods for meeting guys than it does about you as a person. That is, you feel like your situation is unusual because everyone else around you is doing something different. If they all felt the same way that you do, then you would likely feel different about the situation. I’m not saying that you need to ditch your friends, but you do need to recognize that there’s a difference, and you need to make it clear to them that there’s nothing wrong with you wanting to wait.
As far as meeting other guys is concerned, if all you’re encountering are shallow queens who are only interested in rumping the pumpy, then it might be necessary to revise your methods a little bit. First, you have to make sure you’re looking in the right places. If you’re trying to find a boyfriend at bars and clubs or Adam 4 Adam or Grindr, then chances are that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Generally, gay guys don’t head to those places looking for anything long term. They’re not looking for “Mr. Right”, so much as looking for “Mr. Right Now”. But even if you were to head to one of these places just to socialize, you’d be hard pressed to find any guy there who would be so hell-bent on taking you home that they refuse to be told “no”. Sure, some guys can be rather persistent, but a vast majority will respect you if you tell them you’re not interested (or simply “fuck off”). So long as you keep your wits about you, you shouldn’t run into any life-threatening situations. But still, if you’re looking for commitment, you’d be better of looking elsewhere. Unfortunately, there really is no go-to place to find a nice guy, which is again a problem you’ll find in the straight world too. It’s always easy to find a quick lay, but it’s much more challenging to find someone you can hold a genuine conversation with. I’m not saying that nice guys don’t get on Grindr or go to bars. I’m saying that, if and when they do, they tend to have a certain priority in mind.
You may think, at times, that you’re the only gay guy out there who doesn’t want to get his rocks off as early and often as possible. I guarantee you that there’s plenty of men out there who feel the same way. The only challenge is finding them, since these guys tend to prefer flyinig below the radar. Will and I just ran into each other one day by chance, and if he hadn’t asked me out shortly thereafter, I probably would have forgotten all about him. I suggest you take Will’s approach, and keep your eyes peeled wherever you go. If you spot a guy who piques your interest, then strike up a conversation. If he shows interest, ask him out. The worst he can say is no. Meanwhile, you could have a Will or an RJ going to class with you or shopping at your supermarket or sharing a mutual friend. Most relationships I know (gay or straight) tend to start in places like that. You just can’t be bashful about rejection. Just remember that you have nothing to lose in that situation, and absolutely everything to gain.