The Man Meat Market

The other day I was sitting in traffic with one of my best friends. I tell her, “I’m over dating you know.” She says, “You expect too much from too little.” I’m like, “What?” She says, “Well look at the guys in West Hollywood. They are all Ken Dolls, so plastic and looking for the next best thing.” Mind you that we are in her red Mercedes Benz. I said, “Everyone here is like that.” She says, “Not true! We live like that because we mold ourselves to fit in, but we are not all like that.” She goes on to say, “You love to look nice and go out but I know that you have a good heart. You would climb mountains for your friends and you’re always there for us. Now those Ken Dolls out there are not like you.” I felt so good at that moment, because I realized my friends really see me for me. They know I would give them my liver if it came to that point.

After a very long conversation I tell her, “I’m going to sign up to one of those gay dating sites.” I mean they say when in Rome do like the Romans, so I might as well follow the crowd for once in my life. She says, “Go ahead! What can you really lose?” “My dignity,” I replied. We sat there laughing for a minute. We get home, I sign up, and the hunt begins. Unfortunately a profile on the site I signed up for takes like a couple of hours to approve so we had to wait till the next day.

The next day she comes over to my house and we log on to what she likes to call, “My dick catalog.” As we skim through the cyber pages of this infamous “dick catalog” I start to realize that a whole lot of people have a profile on there. Friends, acquaintances, people I see out at the clubs, and even guys who I didn’t think would have one because they have a boyfriend. Luckily she has an opened mind because the pictures on some of these profiles are a bit intense. I mean some of them look like they should be on a porn magazine; actually some look like they shouldn’t be online period. As we continue to look around and read profiles we realize that these guys are looking for a quick fix. Although the site is intended to meet guys – the gays have turned it into a quick fix hook up arena, which is not uncommon seeing that testosterone runs in our veins.

My friend who is absolutely intelligent (a law student I must add) says, “This is crap!” I’m like, “What?” “This is all crap! You don’t go to Nordstroms to buy your tomatoes.” I looked at her with a puzzled face. How can she compare with the “dick catalog,” it wasn’t making any sense. “All these guys are on here with crazy descriptions like, ‘meet, cum, go,’ yet they want a relationship in real life. Then other ones say, ‘here to find fun and maybe a boyfriend,’ like seriously? You don’t sign up for this website to find a boyfriend – just like you don’t go to Nordstroms to buy your tomatoes.”

Although I understood her argument and her points, I wasn’t totally convinced because several of my guy friends have met a boyfriend through these sites. I mean… it’s one of those one in a million sort of deals, but at the same time if several of my friends found “love,” why can’t I?

I sat there thinking of the many points she brought up and I had no way to convince myself that she was wrong. I’ve gone out on several dates with guys who want a relationship yet I found their profiles on this site stating that they are looking for “quick fun.” So are they really looking to date or are they looking for a hook up? I understand that for a quick fix the Internet is the place to go, but what about intimacy and substance?

In an effort to find a decent online dating site I signed up for like 5 and they were all literally hook up sites. I mean everything the gays touch has become sexually driven, which is not a bad thing, but man does it get frustrating.

So in conclusion most of these gay sites are man meat markets. You log on, meet up, and get off. Or as that one person had it, “Meet, cum, and go.” There is NOTHING wrong with man meat markets and there is nothing wrong with a little “she bang she bang” here and there, but if you’re looking for a site that has substance you need to browse around. As a gay man I can say that gay men use sex liberally. It is like showering or shopping to “us”. I have tons of girlfriends and they always talk about sex like it is sacred and special. Some of them only have sex after several dates and some have sex with guys after several drinks. In the gay culture I’ve notice that “we” have sex with other guys after several online messages which usually consist of, “Hi, how are you?, where are you, penis size?, let’s meet.”

So here is a question: What are guys who are trying to date suppose to do? If all the guys we see out at the clubs/bars are on these hook up sites, then what? Can a guy really go from hooking up and having options to being just monogamous?

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Too FAG-ity To Befriend!

For more than 2-weeks I have been friends with this one guy online who is attractive and smart. Well actually, not so smart after today’s conversation. He is a med student in his mid 20’s. His profile says he is white American and he has a predilection for Latinos/Hispanics.

When I initially started talking to him 2-weeks ago I was interested in him as a possible “boyfriend.” He has this rugged yet refined look about him that really piqued my interest. I always felt that he would not be interested in me because like many white guys in Los Angeles, he has a liking for the Hispanic type. You know, the tan skin, dark features, and “Rico suave” personality. Although I am Hispanic I don’t quite fit that “stereotype” look. So at any rate… For some time we have carried on intelligent conversations, but tonight was different.

So I logged-on and ran across his profile tonight. Like always we had a good conversation about different subjects. Then at one point in the conversation I said, “Why don’t we meet for Starbucks or go to dinner.” He replied along the lines of, “I’m online looking for friends who can possibly become boyfriends. I look for masculinity in my friends.” I was like, “Ok, well if you’re calling me effeminate I am totally fine with that, but what does it have to do with being my friend?” That started a whole back and forth conversation about masculinity and femininity and so forth.

He ended up saying, “I have friends who are feminine and I don’t have a problem with that.” I said, “So then if it is not a problem then why don’t we go do something friendly together.” He said, “I am not using this site to make friends. I am using this site to make boyfriends.” I replied, “A minute ago you said you wanted to make friends who will possibly become your boyfriend.” He said, “Right, in other words, I am trying to just find a boyfriend on this site and it all starts with friendship.” At this point I was over him. 2-weeks of conversation with a man who appeared to be smart and attractive became 2-weeks of wasting my time. He then goes on to say, “I am doing just fine in the friends department so I don’t need any new ones. Although talking with you is always very engaging.”

Since I didn’t care about this guy’s opinion anymore I replied with, “Listen… your point is flawed. Friends are not to be measured by their masculinity they are to be defined by their character, actions, and heart. You obviously must have some sort of convoluted definition of what a friend is. To be honest with you even if you wanted to meet me now I wouldn’t meet you because you have turned me off on a ‘friendly’ level.” 

Befriending someone because of how masculine or feminine they are is absolutely absurd. I totally understand that maybe you don’t want to surround yourself with all feminine guys or all masculine guys, but you should have a balance. Actually, I am no one to say you should have a balance, but it only makes sense that you would. Just because a guy is too feminine doesn’t mean you can’t have them in your group of friends. Maybe that super fag will one day give you the helping hand you need. I just don’t comprehend why someone would exclude being someone’s friend because of how gay they are. It only makes me believe that these individuals have some sort of sexual identity issue. Maybe they don’t want to be around gayer men because they don’t want to be seen as super gay or even worst, fags.

This whole experience gives birth to a new question, “Why is being effeminate such a bad thing?” As a gay guy I sometimes see myself saying, “Whoa, he is too gay.” But where did this internal dislike for guys who are girly come from? My mom never told me to hate boys who were girly. The closest thing my mom said to hate boys who are girly is, “Boys don’t cry.” So I can only point my finger at one other person, YOU! Yes, you reading these words. You’re a part of society aren’t you? Well society is to blame for this view of effeminate guys. We see men as having the upper hand. They are the bread winners, the butch, the tough, the know it all, and if they were effeminate they would be less than a man. That is probably why my mom said, “Boys don’t cry.”

What really bothers me is that this view comes between friendships. If you don’t want to date a guy who is more masculine than you or more feminine than you then don’t, but don’t reject a friendship. Going for a cup of coffee with a girly guy is not going to make you girly. Going shooting with a guy is not going to make you any butcher. At the end of the day we are who we are no matter what we do; no matter what activities we take part of we are still going to be the person we are meant to be. If you’re scared of what others think of you then you seriously have a problem. The only opinion that should matter is that of your inner circle of friends and family. People in the exterior shouldn’t matter.

As humans living in an ever-changing society we need to broaden our horizons. We need to accept others for the qualities they have and stop trying to define them. If you pick and chose your friends based on masculinity or femininity then you’re closing yourself off to some great people and friendships. Asides, what is too feminine or too masculine? We all have different definitions for levels of femininity and masculinity. We all have something different to offer – then again that is why god only made one of me and one of you. I personally know that I value my group of friends. I love all of my guy friends, my girlfriends, and girly guy friends. I don’t have a problem with befriending a super fag or a butch jock type. I welcome everyone with open arms as they do me because they see my loyal and genuine character as I see theirs. So, if you don’t want to be my friend because I am “in your eyes” effeminate or “too pretty,” then go ahead, don’t be my friend. I wouldn’t want to be yours.

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Why Do We constantly Define?

The other day I was lying in bed with a friend discussing several topics about life in general. Somehow we ended up talking about the attitude of gay men towards each other, and how the simplest of things can make a guy want to date you or hate you.  Then we started talking about how many “butch” gay men are kind of brutal towards “feminine” guys. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why a guy would want to date a guy who is masculine and not a total queen diva, but is the labeling really necessary?

My friend went on to explain that he feels that we always want to define things. We always want to be detailed when it comes to the character of people, and I totally agree with him. For example: I recently heard someone talking about a fashion designer and they couldn’t remember the person’s name so they told me, “that gay designer.” Like seriously? Most designers are gay, but that’s not the point. Why is it necessary to disclose or state the designers’ sexual orientation? We have to give the individual credit for his talents not for whom he is sleeping with. At any rate… it ended up being Tom Ford who we were discussing. 

So why do we do this? Why do we have to bring up a person’s race, religion, gender, HIV status (if we know it), etc. when speaking about them? I mean we all know Justin Timberlake is straight, but we don’t say, “That straight singer Justin Timberlake.” But if the person belongs to a minority group or had different religious belief, which we found different like Hinduism, we would include it. We don’t see people as individuals instead we see them as part of a collective. I personally don’t see why we do this, but I catch myself doing it every now and then – and don’t think I don’t slap myself a little for it too.

As humans we try to define, categorize, and compartmentalize everything around us. I don’t know the reason but I can only conclude that it makes us feel better. From an early age we are taught girls play with Barbies and boys with soldiers. That simple lesson that our parents teach us to familiarize ourselves with our sexuality and who we are suppose to grow up to be initiates the desire to define. So how does defining mold us as gay men? Well it hurts us as gay men, that’s for one. We always want to define other gay men as queeny, fem, butch, jock, bears, etc. But is that really necessary? Why cant’ we see past the makeup “queeny” men like to wear? Why can’t we see past the muscles the “jock” gay guy has? Why can’t we just see past the whole “gay” title and call gay men, MEN! 

We are all individuals with different beliefs. We are all different in our own special way and we need to see past that. It is our individuality that makes life interesting and fun. If we would just stop using race, religion, sex, and titles to categorize us we would be taking a bigger step forward towards equality. It would help us open our minds and understand each person for whom they are and not what they are defined to be.

We may all look different in front of the mirror, but we are all still humans under the sun.

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