It literally is scientifically driven due to the fact that we have testosterone pumping through our bodies. Add to the fact that our culture is obsessed with imagery and sex, and it becomes almost impossible to escape thoughts of sex. As gay men the testosterone levels are doubled in the dating world, and we are constantly playing with fire as we try to think with our brains and not our dicks.
Going one step deeper into the conversation about gay men and sex, we have to acknowledge how easy it is to find sex. Add to the fact that when we go to gay bars, almost everyone in that room is a possible partner in some way, and our chances are doubled. Additionally, many of us grew up insecure and full of shame, so part of coming out is feeling sexually liberated. However, we often mistake the ease and casualness of the sex we can, and do have, as something other than what it really is. Sex is great, but sex with substance is harder and harder to come by the more casual we are about this physical act.
Continuing the conversation from the last point, we often are beyond indecisive about what it is that we really want. Being gay is confusing. Once we break the norm, and find comfortability within our own sexuality, everything else is up for debate. Who do we want to be? Who do we want to date?
Do we want to get married? Do we want kids? Do we want to be monogamous? Who, if we do meet, we most likely end up sleeping with, and confusing the relationship further. Revert back to points 1 and 2. As gay men we grow up hiding parts of ourselves because gay still is considered different, and in a lot of places, bad. We feel like we have to hide a part of ourselves everyday for many formative years, which means we are neglecting other parts of ourselves that should be receiving precious energy. So when we finally do come out, we often confuse this as dealing with our issues, when in fact, this is just the beginning to dealing with what our issues really are.
Because we held back from being authentically ourselves for most of our adolescence and the beginning of our adult lives, we get a chance to do it all over when we come out. The cherry on top of all of this, is that this usually happens in a big city, or at least some place bigger than the hometown we grew up in, where excess is welcomed. The question is, when is enough enough? Gay men are beyond picky, and we feel like we can be because with social media the pool of possibilities feels endless.
We are men with egos, and we strive to be the best at everything we do because it was something we learned as closeted children. However, this tends to lead to us having crazy expectations for ourselves, and therefore our mates as well. Everyone is supposed to look like a model, have an Adonis body, be super successful, like everything we like, and fit the molds we've created that no one can ever actually live up to. Dreamboat is ready. His ego is hurt. Add to the fact that gays often date with the seasons, and half the year is either thought of as warm single, and often slutty season, or as a cold cuddling more relationship based time of the year.
We forget that we are still animals, and like our furry friends, our bodies change with the tides and seasons in a very natural way. However, gay men are quick to use the seasons as an excuse to why we are "allowed" to behave in certain ways. We aren't definitely going to have kids, which is why most heterosexual people start to couple up and settle down. And even today straight couples are waiting longer and longer to have children.
However, even when we do couple up, the way in which we operate as couples is quite different than straight couples. Add to the fact that a lot of our friends are single, and it becomes almost more normal to be single in the gay world than in a healthy relationship. We even joke that gay years are like dog years for relationships. And for better or worse, the second something starts to go sour, we have reminders that there are men everywhere.
Study: 4 Ways Gay Men Worry About Dating | EliteSingles
Our social circles are full of these perpetual bachelors, who appear to enjoy their singledom, and constantly question why we are looking to settle down. We all have a friend or two, who claims to love being single, but through candid conversations it become apparent he isn't addressing his deeper wounds from past loves and life. These single gay friends come with their own baggage, and will often project that we too need to sow our wild oats.
Getting married wasn't an option for our community until very recently, so commitment from a legal standpoint was actually far from a lot of our minds. This in some subconscious way made us less serious when it came to dating. It's easier to just keep reverting back to all the other points that making dating hard than it is to try and work on something with someone we thought we really liked.
It can be mentally and emotionally exhausting to keep the person you love a secret. It can also be just as exhausting for your partner, who must help you maintain a double life in order for your relationship to continue. For this reason, many closeted individuals are turned away on the dating scene.
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Communication is key. But you must be fair, and understand that the mental toll of being kept a secret can have drastic effects on your partner. In a way, this fear is helpful because it drives us to practice safe sex. But those who live with HIV positive statuses are shunned from the dating scene because of this same fear, and the misconceptions many of us have of HIV. Modern medicine has come a long way over the past few decades, and HIV is no longer a death sentence.
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Even with all these preventative measures, dating can be rough for HIV positive individuals. Many people with HIV are turned down or dumped after disclosing their status due to fear of contraction. HIV, while it is still important to take safety measures, is an obstacle that can be overcome by couples. While it is true that dating apps like Tinder have introduced a variety of new gender options, allowing them to proudly display their identities, trans and non-binary individuals still receive a great deal of harassment in regards to their gender, sex and appearance.
Trans and non-binary people also have the added stress of deciding if and when to disclose their identity to dates and partners. Many trans people who are simply looking to get to know someone often find themselves fetishized. Sometimes, this fetishization finds its way into relationships. In a recent interview for Attitude magazine, trans advocate Laverne Cox discusses her experience dating a cisgendered man and the shame and insecurity he displayed while dating her. Just remember, problems are only hurdles that can be jumped over.
The first step to solving these problems is awareness. The LGTBQ community and its supporters have the ability to shed light on these issues so that they can be met with love and acceptance. So what do you think?
Let us know! Are there any items on this list that you feel need their own articles? We at Psych2Go want to hear from you. Leave a comment below! Gates, Gary J. Jones, Owen.
Owen Jones. Marshall, Carrie. Sheets, Cathy. Racism in Gay Online Dating.
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This is very helpful and insightful. However, I do have to take a slight disagreement with 6. Yes, preserving personal safety is one of the major reasons why men and women choose to stay in plain sight with out anyone knowing that, but it also enables them to submerge themselves in fear, turmoil and depression as well. Their partners can be hurt in various ways with allowing them to keep up the double lifestyle staying closeted which to degrees create more sadness, resentment and anger.
No one should be able to accept living in fear and darkness. Love and fear cannot mingle in the same space. From my personal experiences, I have been with two men in my life one who I recently was dumped by who was petrified by his guilt due to religious upbringing in the South and terrified by what his family would think of him despite two of them knowing and supporting him wholeheartedly.