Somehow I Think the New York Times Would Be Deeply Disappointed In This Conversation

Me: Hey, it looks like the New York Times has discovered that straight men and gay men can actually be friends!

My Gay Friend™: Amazing.

Me: I know! But they do say that there might be some Harry-Met-Sally sexual worry that the gay friend might like the straight friend.

MGF: Uh-huh.

Me: You don’t see that.

MGF: Not really.

Me: So, no sexual tension between us.

MGF: No.

Me: Ever.

MGF: No.

Me: What about that one time —

MGF: No.

Me: When we were —

MGF: No.

Me: And that thing —

MGF: No.

Me: And I was naked then.

MGF: Please stop.

Me: Huh. I’m vaguely disappointed.

MGF: I’m not.

So remember, straight men: Just because your friend is gay, doesn’t mean there’s that OMG sexual tension there. New York Times hand-flappery about the same notwithstanding.

79 Comments on “Somehow I Think the New York Times Would Be Deeply Disappointed In This Conversation”

  1. I have had several gay friends and none hit on me, ever. No tension, nothing. They were just my friends.

  2. Some people have trouble accepting the fact that most others are not attracted to them. Shocking, but true.

    I am reminded of a comic I saw recently, the jist of which was “If you think I’m a lesbian because I won’t go out with you that explains why there are so many lesbians around.”

  3. As a balding, pudgy, middle-aged guy, I’d be flattered if anyone finds me sexually attractive–male or female.

    On a more serious note, this is yet another one of those NYT that I read and subsequently think: God, I really hate the NYT for most things other than hard news.

  4. As a balding, pudgy, middle-aged guy, I’d be flattered if anyone finds me sexually attractive–male or female.

    Or in other words, I get where you’re coming from, Mr. Scalzi.

  5. As a straight man who appreciates all human figures, but, you know, just for looking, I really don’t understand the problem of getting hit on. It means someone likes you, likes the look of you, is interested enough to get over the human condition of shyness and make a break in the face of a possible rejection. Be human, don’t be a dick.

  6. This is too funny :P. I’ve known some homophobes in my time who are afraid of this *tension,* and have always marvelled at how conceited they are.

    Honestly… you think that ALL gay men are attracted to you? All of them? Are you George Clooney?

    Then let the dream die, dude.

  7. Same worry women have about their men having women friends….. Men and women can be friends, too. It doesn’t have to be all weird. Not every relationship is about sex.

  8. A gay friend once told me I was his “straight crush.” I’ve rarely felt more complimented.

  9. What I find fascinating about this OMG WHAT IF HE LOOKS stuff is that it almost always comes from boorish douchenozzles who are terrified of gay men treating them in the same rudely objectifying way they themselves treat women.

    Hi, projection much?

  10. I think the problem with a gay guy hitting on a straight guy is that the straight guy is afraid his friends will find out, and tease him relentlessly about it. (Or think that being hitting on a gay guy will make them gay. And this this would be inherently bad somehow.)

    This isn’t a problem with being hit on by a gay guy, of course, but rather a problem with having stupid assholes for friends.

  11. I have a lesbian friend* whom I think has a crush on me. Would this be kinda like a man crush, like maybe she’d want a bro-mance with me? Not sure how to interpret that.

    And if you’re a married man having a bro-mance with a lesbian, is it cheating?

    This must be evil since I would have no idea what to tell my stepson. And as we all know, if you can’t figure out what to tell your children, it’s evil. It’s the American way: Absolve yourself** of parental responsibility by simply calling it evil and forcing society to contort to your view so you don’t have to have any in-depth conversations with your children.

    Boy, that was rambling, wasn’t it?***

    *Actually, I have two or three lesbian friends, but I’m only talking about one in particular.
    **By you, your, and yourself, I don’t mean John specifically. I mean humans in general.
    ***No footnote. Made you look!

  12. What if you’re bisexual? Prefer males on weekdays; females on weekends. You’re at the supermarket with Billy, when Billie from last weekend crashes your (gay) parade . . .

  13. I get skeeved out by some women friends who’ve had a crush on me.
    I’d hate to see what I’d do if a guy friend did the same.

  14. #11: dingdingdingdingding! We have a winnah!

    I went to college in a quirky New England town that in the mid-1990s was briefly nationally famous for its lesbian population (it was on 20/20, and in Newsweek). Suddenly people who’d never heard of the place were asking me all about it, and if women ever hit on me, and what did I do about it.

    Say thanks but no thanks, actually. This is not hard.

  15. I’d hate to think what the Times would think of straight men having friendships with (GASP) women.

  16. As we all know, there’s only two types of men, gay and straight. Right, NY Times?

  17. Back a few years ago, there were some times when I had free tickets to various movies, ones that my wife wasn’t intersted in seeing. So I’d usually go see them with one of our lesbian friends.

    Those “dates” were a lot of fun. You knew from the git-go that there wouldn’t be any sexual tension or awkwardness involved. You could just relax and enjoy the movie and the conversation.

    So… for a good time, date a lesbian.

  18. So, it’s less When Harry Met Sally and more He’s Just Not That Into You, eh?

  19. This whole notion that a straight man’s friendship with a gay man must necessarily be complicated by sexual tension rather reminds me of an old Jeremy Hardy routine about the disappointment straight men express upon discovering that attractive woman celebrities they have no chance of ever meeting happen to be lesbians, as if that development made any bit of difference to their prospects with those women whatsoever (the example in the routine was the then-topical public revelation regarding Jodie Foster’s personal inclinations, if that helps to date it).

  20. Annnnnd, the NYT needs to get over itself and actually find news to report about. This goes straight into the “this is not news” waste can as far as I’m concerned. it explains why print newpapers are having trouble these days. ;)

  21. Well, here’s one I haven’t heard before. Via Pandagon, according to David Klinghoffer…if men were allowed to marry other men and have teh gey secks whenever they want to (as if they can’t already do that, now) then they would NEVER want to have sex with women and then all of humanity would die off due to lack of reproduction…or something.

    Gay Friends = too much temptation. (And I think Klinghoffer outed himself to everyone except himself, there.)

  22. Jeff S – I have a mild disagreement about that. I’m fine with opinion or human interest stories, as long as they’re informed opinions, even if I disagree with them. And I don’t think it fully explains why “print” newspapers are having trouble. Every publication, no matter how good the work they do is having trouble. Some publications may be doing worse because they publish crap, but even the top magazines and newspapers are suffering.

  23. I really don’t understand the problem of getting hit on.

    Well, as Tal points out at @11, we’re talking about people who think of sex as something they “do” to women, a power game where the orgasm is really secondary to scoring points (generally in the eye of your buddies) by having sex with a woman and, therefore, degrading and defeating her. So the only possible role they can imagine themselves in is…..

  24. I have to say, as a lesbian woman, I have tons of straight female friends (poor, poor women) and that there is nadda, nothing, zilch, between us other than wonderful friendship.

    Although, if I might make a comment towards straight women in general … please, enough with the drunk flirting with us lesbians … I mean, honestly, some really drop-dead cute chick is hitting on you, and you know it’s just because she’s had one apple-tini too many because of said straight-ness … meanwhile you’re ready to put your head through the table in frustration.


    In all seriousness though, I’m not going to say that lesbians don’t get crushes-on/fall-in-love-with straight women, because every lesbian and bisexual woman on the planet has been there at some point, and it virtually always ends up in disaster, heart-ache/break, and some combination of beer and ice-cream which is never pretty (I have sooo been there).

    But just as us queer women don’t get attracted to the majority of other queer women, we similarly don’t with straight women. I have loads of friends of both varieties, and they’re just that; friends. Bloody awesome friends that I wouldn’t trade at all.

    I can’t imagine it would be that different for guys.

  25. It’s not just the “being done to” aspect. It’s also that, often enough, it makes people feel uncomfortable getting hit on. So it doesn’t *matter* if you don’t get why ti makes people uncomfortable. It does, so unless you’re pretty sure the person has a comfortable “out”, and won’t be annoyed, upset or creeped out, *don’t hit on them*. Not understanding the problem fails to make it go away.

    I never hit on my straight male friends. I don’t hit on my lesbian friends either. I don’t hit on straight women, bi women, gay men or bi men unless the I’m fairly sure that they won’t be offended or upset if I do so.

    This is because, rather than trying to impose my view of how things should or shouldn’t be “taken”, I’d rather not be an asshole.

  26. Sarah in Chicago @26: I’ve heard of root beer floats, but not beer beer floats.

    Josh Jasper @27: Oh, come on now. If you hit on someone and they immediately think “asshole” you must not be doing it right. There is nothing wrong with flirtation, whether it goes somewhere or not…

  27. I can’t wait for the next article, about whether men and women can share an apartment without sleeping together, or having comical misadventures because the guy has to pretend he’s gay to fool Mr. Roper.

  28. I mean, honestly, some really drop-dead cute chick is hitting on you, and you know it’s just because she’s had one apple-tini too many because of said straight-ness … meanwhile you’re ready to put your head through the table in frustration.

    *nodding in recognition*

    Dear clueless straight girls:

    No, I would not be delighted to a) Be the subject of your “kinky experiment” or b) Make out with you for the entertainment of your male partner.

    No love,
    Tal the bi-serious

  29. John – Oh, come on now. If you hit on someone and they immediately think “asshole” you must not be doing it right.

    That’s sort of my point. You can’t read people’s minds, and often enough people think “asshole” to themselves and don’t tell the world. So it’s best to be considerate.

  30. I had a friend I only found out was a lesbian after hitting on her. That was twenty years ago and we’re still friends.

  31. Heh. That must be wrong, because you know if someone is gay, the only attribute they have is their sexual preference. Being gay not only means you prefer men, but also that you do nothing but *ahem* “prefer men”, or attempt to “prefer men”.

    And honestly, I’ve had more uncomfortable moments with my straight male friends than otherwise.

  32. Way back when I was putting myself through fashion design school, I augmented my income by making custom dresses/gowns for private clients. I did an awful lot of bridesmaid’s gowns in those years, but there was one bridesmaid I remember very well. She was the sister of the bride, and had come to my home, along with the other 2 bridesmaids in the wedding party, for me to take measurements. Now, in order for me to take accurate measurements, it is necessary for the person being measured to wear nothing more than their underwear. This particular bridesmaid had to make sure that I was not a lesbian before she was willing to undress. Even though I had already measured one of the other bridesmaids in front of her (my home was quite small then). My initial reaction was to be offended by the suggestion that I would be so unprofessional as use my work as an opportunity to see mostly naked women (if I were a lesbian, which I’m not). But then the idea that I would even find her attractive was so ridiculous, I had to laugh.

  33. I’ve had some seriously tense moments with gay friends but that mostly had to do with feeling left out because they wouldn’t shut up about pro sports and I didn’t give a rat’s ass.

  34. a lifetime (well, ok, minus the first eleven years or so) of being hit on, by men, in unwelcome manners that often devolved into anything from pouting passive-aggressiveness to full-on sexual assault, left me *terrified* to hit on any woman i wasn’t absolutely certain liked me back in that way. i would never want to be that asshole, or even create the fear of that asshole for another human being.

    i get the most intense crushes on people i’ve had a chance to get to know first, & i’d never ever ever want a girl to think that i’d let my attraction to her get in the way of our friendship if/when she’s turned me down.

    but of course, the fact that we’re usually friends already & my poor self esteem (also that i’m bi & most people assume i’m straight) means that my most torrid crushes never guess i like them. i know that i played it way too safe at least one time, when a friend & i confessed our true lust for each other…. a year after she had moved back to europe.

    so there’s gotta be a balance, but i ain’t found it.

  35. @ Josh Jasper and John S

    Newspapers failing is more than just what they are publishing. One of the big reasons newspapers are failing is the debt load most are caring. So many papers have been sold at inflated values over the past decade and loaded with debt by the purchasers they could only survive if their industry was in it’s prime. Of course, it’s at the bottom. The sellers knew what they were doing.

    Oh, and to comment on the actual topic of the post…isn’t the NYT article a little beyond the NYT or any of the papers in the big coastal urban centers in this country? I could see this maybe appearing in a Dallas or St. Louis paper, but NYC? Just seems strange.

  36. Josh Jasper et al

    Sorry all, it doesn’t explain newspaper/print problems, I’m just a bit frustrated with the NYT in general.
    On topic, which I should have been all along, I have never understood the gender/sexuality vs having a friend issue anyway.
    You have a friend, anything else is superfluous and not part of that or shouldn’t be.
    I’m saying it badly but even though I grew up in the rural midwest, I’ve just not been too interested in making friendship decisions based on side issues. Sexuality is a side issue in this regard. I just like having friends, I guess this attitude allows me to have a larger pool of friends.

    I’m OK with that.

  37. See, I was slightly hurt when my bi roomie told me she wouldn’t hit on me even while drunk because I “wasn’t her type”. Foolishly I asked what her type was, only to discover she liked pixie girls, and I was too big for her tastes. She’s trying to reassure me and I end up feeling gigantic and ugly. Le sigh.

  38. Dude, I don’t get my horn on for most other gay men. Some straights (male and female), however, really need to get the frak over themselves. You’re not all that, bitches. :)

    Perhaps I’m just an old cuss, but the non-dick population is small and pretty evenly distributed between genders and sexual orientations, so am hardly in a position to be over picky.

  39. Well, if people need to be disabused of silly notions, the New York Times is a pretty public place? Dunno…

  40. Lexie@23:

    Oh yeah, that was weird — but doesn’t it play off the tired old bullshit that because teh gayz don’t want to have sex with women we’re all misogynistic arses with Mummy issues? And, naturally, homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle” while straight people have lives, which is so damn offensive on so many levels (and divorced from objective reality) I can’t be bothered spelling it out anymore.

  41. Many years ago (early ’70’s) I was the new hippie chick in a Southern college town, hanging with a new crowd. Had a lot in common with a couple of folks, including one of the other women in the group.

    Within a very short time some of the others thought they should warn me that my new friend was “queer”, to which I replied “So, what? That means I’m not supposed to be friends with her?” “Um, no, we wanted you to know in case she was interested in you.” “Sorry to disappoint you, but we’ve already had that discussion, know which way the other swings AND besides, I’m dating a couple of the guys we hang out with.” I remember thinking they needed to get real. End of discussion.

    Actually, for that time period she was very open & out about it, which was pretty cool. Went and served in the military long before don’t ask don’t tell.

    And oh, wouldn’t they be shocked…I still have an eclectic mix of friends from all walks of life, including two chicks that just got hitched about a month ago!

  42. Whenever straight women aquaintances express a concern that I might become accidentally aroused by them, I usually say “Oh, no worries, I am not attracted to you.” which usually leads to a disppointed or shocked look and “Why not?”

    Which I follow up with “Make up your mind, do you want me to be attracted or not?”

  43. So some people feel “uncomfortable” being hit on. It seems that straight men who are good-looking enough to occasionally be hit on by a gay man get the most upset about this. But I wonder if they ever spend so much as a millisecond wondering if women they hit on feel uncomfortable about it. Most likely not. They can not only hit on a woman, but when she says “no” argue about it, and tell her, “Come on, baby, you know you want it” and other wonderful clever lines. But if a gay man mistakenly so much as asks “Can I buy you a drink” then all gay men are predators that must be “put in their place,” by violence if necessary.

    Just learn to say, “Thanks, but no thanks” as @16 suggested.

  44. Womyn2me@51:

    It’s probably a more effective use of your time to just acknowledge that there are occasions where you’re just wrong, no matter what. :)

    So some people feel “uncomfortable” being hit on.

    And fair enough, but I like a good flirt when its good-natured, not too heavy and you know where the limits are. I’m getting to the age where gravity is no longer my friend, the grey hair is multiplying faster than the undead in a Romero movie and I can’t see my toes while vertical. If some straight woman thinks I’ve still got a nice can, wants to share the joy, and leave it there bring it on!

    Oh, and I just LOVE straight people (male and female) who go to gay bars and clubs, then get all fraking bent out of shape when they’re flirted with or even propositioned! Reality check: The only reliable ‘gaydar’ I’ve got is real live sexual intercourse. And even then, its a bit iffy if the gentleman concerned is of the ‘it doesn’t count when you’re drunk’ persuasion. And what demographic did you think a place called The Ramrod was catering to anyway? :)

  45. Craig @ 53: The one and only time that I was cognizant of being ‘hit on’ by a gay woman, I was not at a gay bar, but at my own ‘local hang-out’ bar, with my boyfriend at the time. Yes, we’d been there for a couple of hours, I’d had a couple (or so) cocktails, and had struck up a conversation with the young lady who ended up sitting next to me at the bar. Back in those days, this particular bar had a fairly equal mix of regulars and non-regulars on a weekend night. After about an hour (as well as I can remember) of chatting with this lady, she ‘hit on’ me. I admit I was quite taken aback, NOT because I had any aversion to her, but because it never occurred to me that a gay woman would ever consider me attractive enough to do so, AND be so inconsiderate of my very obvious relationship with another person (bf). I admit that I may not have reacted in the best way possible, but to this day, I believe that my less-than-sensitive reaction was a product of an utter failure to think of myself as attractive to lesbians, and being offended by the lack of respect to my existing relationship at the time. And as to that second part, I consider it no different than a guy trying to pick me up fully knowing that I’m with someone else (another guy).

    Anyway, just offering a different perspective here.

  46. What’s annoying about all this is that it came out of Lambert being asked a dumb interview question re his being gay: did you find any of the other male contestants attractive? Lambert was clearly being cute jokey in his response, saying he found his roommate attractive. I’m sure he did, but I’m also sure he had no urge to try to french kiss the man. It wasn’t “awkward” at all. But the media makes a huge deal about this, acting as if Lambert had admitted that he was in love with Allen or something. At least the NYTimes went sort of positive with it.

  47. Hey, Americans! You were a puritanical society like . . . a lesillion years ago, back in the day when you occasionally burned women with alternative lifestyles at the stake. Well, congratulations! Good to see things haven’t changed in the colonies since the late 1690s. Tss. Tss. Sociocultural evolution isn’t a passing fad, like your charming hula hoop. Grow up already!

  48. Cyan:

    Fair enough — I’ve been in a committed and happily exclusive relationship for fourteen years, so I’m certainly not comfortable with being “hit on” by anyone. Especially if they’re drunk and/or obnoxiously persistant about it.

    As for the second part of my comment, that totally was not directed at you. I was thinking of a very good (straight) friend of mine who got very pissy about being flirted with — not even a “want to go the men’s room and frak?” come-one — at a notoriously GAY dance party in a gay club. Naturally, I did the least sensitive thing possible: Said “would be all be so lucky” then started laughing. :)


    Indeed. And its not even as if he was being sleazy about it — “cute and a really nice guy”. Yeah, that’s gay-speak for “I’d like to plug that USB port till my dongle falls off.” Hell, I’d our gracious host is visually inoffensive and a true gentleman but my interest in tapping that is non-existent.

  49. I’m not gay, well, except in college and that one time last week, but I think the NYT assumes that since straight men cannot look at a woman without imagining themselves having sex with her, the same holds true of gay men.

    Is it true? I have no clue. I do have female friends and i have no problem maintaining friendly relationships with attractive women so I imagine the same would be true of gay men and male friends. However, I will confess to occasionally thinking about having sex with my female friends so….

    On the plus side, if any gay man told me he found me attractive, I’d be really flattered. So hey, if you see me in some bar, feel free to hit on me. The worst that will happen is that I’ll tell you to come back in three beers.

  50. The one time I was weirded out by being hit on by a gay guy happened to be 1) the first time I realized I was being hit on by a gay guy 2) blatant to the point of sexual harassment 3) in a country in which homosexuality was a crime and 4) by a native of said country.

  51. yes, but MGF still checked out the other’s package… “you have been measured and found short!”

  52. This totally reminded me of my friend who is very homo-phobic, not in the “I hate gays” way, but in the “you are still totally awesome if you are gay, but don’t touch me, straight or gay, because if I am seen in public touching you, people might think I am gay, and I am totally straight”. I sent him the link to remind him that our mutual best friend will not be hitting on him any time soon…

    By far the funniest post of the month… June and July… :)

  53. I grew up in San Francisco. Have many gay friends and have never once been hit on. Since I am so ugly that babies cry when I am near I am going to have to assume their straightadar is better than my gaydar.

  54. Stephanie B @ 62: Does your friend really not see the disconnect between saying someone is “still totally awesome if you are gay” and so emphatically not wanting to risk other people thinking he might be gay?

    On the other hand, I use to know someone who was homophobic but to his credit flatly admitted that it was a totally irrational reaction on his part, and he did a pretty fair job of disregarding that reaction.

    Humans are endlessly interesting.

  55. Stephanie B @ 62: Does your friend really not see the disconnect between saying someone is “still totally awesome if you are gay” and so emphatically not wanting to risk other people thinking he might be gay?

    On the other hand, I use to know someone who was homophobic but to his credit flatly admitted that it was a totally irrational reaction on his part, and he did a pretty fair job of disregarding that reaction.

    Humans are endlessly interesting.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  56. I think some of the ones who get so freaked out by the hitting on thing are only afraid they might say yes.

  57. The one time I was weirded out by being hit on by a gay guy happened to be 1) the first time I realized I was being hit on by a gay guy 2) blatant to the point of sexual harassment 3) in a country in which homosexuality was a crime and 4) by a native of said country.

    I’m gay, and I think I’d be weirded out by being blatantly hit on by another guy in a country where homosexual activity was a crime.

  58. I was in a couple of classes with a guy. We were in the same study group, got along great. At some point he told me he had a crush on me. no big deal. We kept studying together in the group. got along fine.

    As far as I can figure it, someone has to do the asking out if people are ever going to get into a relationship. I figure no point in making it personal just because someone asks me out that I happen to be not interested in.

  59. Yeah, well, it’s been said enough times, but, I think it bears repeating…
    I’m a middle-aged, professional computer geek who’s started to gain a little weight and lose a little hair, so I’d be pretty damn flattered if *anyone* hit on me these days. Hell, I think twice before I shoo a dog off me.

    I have a couple of gay friends who I tell more and understand me better than my ex-wife ever did or heard. They know I’m straight and if they’re attracted to me at all, they’ve never let on.

  60. Men hit on women, and “have to” be obnoxious and cavalier about it, for the same reasons market research operators (maybe more accurately telemarketing operators) have to – it’s a numbers game, and most of the numbers are labelled “no.” At least, that’s the common way of looking at it, and a lot of the guys that are uncomfortable with the idea of being around gays operate that way.

    In that worldview, women – and only women – get hit on. Which is good, because they’re pretty obnoxious about it. They don’t mind the thought of women giving them the same treatment, mostly because in their mind it wouldn’t get to the obnoxious point, because they’ll say “Yes” (for some reason, in their fantasies, only women they’d be attracted to (to be fair, that would be a large majority) would do that). But a guy…

    And oh yeah, these are probably the sort of men who can work with women and sleep with women. But any other kind of relationship doesn’t make sense to them, except as it could lead into the latter. So, of course, all guys are like that.

    Ask one of theis sort if they would enjoy being in a communal co-ed shower; whether they would look at the women; stare; ask for dates; whatever. Now realize that they think all of that *does* apply whenever Teh Gay shows up, and maybe, just maybe, what’s good for the goose is a little different when the gander is being gandered…

    Of course, as one of those people who needs to be more selfish and more assertive in my sexual world to get up to “unobnoxiously normal – you probably can’t push hard enough to be selfish or obnoxious” (as all my partners, and other women I have as friends, have said) I don’t get it. But I did come to a bridge game with my (<5', terminally cute, blonde, female) partner one day, and said "I think I get it better now. I don't mind getting hit on – in fact I quite like it. It should happen more often, really. I don't mind getting hit on by guys; I'll probably say no, but you never know. Slime, on the other hand? Ew."

    So. Projection. Yeah. My answer? "if someone propositions you and you don't feel like it, say 'no.' Straight, gay, ugly, married, looking for a kink you don't do, whatever." Yeah, gay guys are going to hit on you, per capita, more than straight women. It's the way society works, and the fear factor of getting it wrong with a violent backlash is more than balanced by "guys make passes, women receive them." But what does that have to do with anything?

  61. Nothing personal, but you’re not devastatingly handsome. It’s not a bad thing mind you, I’m straight and for about twenty years of my life I got hit on by gay men a lot.

    Apparently, I have a nice butt.

  62. Greg: i regularly develop crushes on my coworkers and classmates. But … I’m married, so those crushes can’t go anywhere. Which means I rarely disclose them, because … what’s the point?

  63. Tal 11: Yes, yes! Many of us have noticed the correlation between homophobia and misogyny. This is one pretty good theory. Another is that a deep commitment to rigid sex/gender roles gives rise to both.

    Warren 21: the disappointment straight men express upon discovering that attractive woman celebrities they have no chance of ever meeting happen to be lesbians, as if that development made any bit of difference to their prospects with those women whatsoever

    The lack of men in general to grok the concept that people they find attractive are radically unavailable also explains why there’s a gay rumor about every attractive male celebrity—even Eminem, whose homophobia is so extreme that it’s become a joke. Tom Cruise is the best-known example, though he pretty well destroyed himself with his Scientology wackiness. It doesn’t matter who the guy is, if he’s hot (either physically OR professionally, but especially both), some silly queen will conclude that he HAS to be gay, because all the best people are, you know.

    I’ve had the experience of admiring the looks of some young man, to have a friend say “he’s straight!” as if that made some difference. Honestly, if I think something’s on the Moon and you tell me no, it’s on Mars, that doesn’t make a whole lot of difference: I’m not going to attempt to visit it, either way. I don’t find it tremendously more likely that a hot young gay man will find me attractive than that a hot young straight man will, actually. I can tell the straight ones because they’ll talk to me, whereas I’m invisible to the gay ones.

    My point is that gay men are no better about this than straight men. And when it comes to the feeling part, I’m no better than anyone else: I remember how I felt, watching Demetri Martin for the first time, when he got to the part where he said “but I’m not gay.” Since Demetri Martin is just exactly my favorite kind of guy (his humor is exactly, precisely the kind I find funniest (except for his fart jokes)), and his physical appearance is far from repellent too, that wacky y-chromosome part of me was going “OH DAMMIT.” Silly, huh?

    And clever name, btw.

    Salem1692 56: What color is the sky on your planet? And what do they call people with IQs over 80…when they visit?

    Glen 70: Pics or it didn’t happen.

  64. I was hit on by a gay friend once. It took me weeks to figure out that that is what had happened. “Oh, that’s what he meant by that…”

    Turns out I was apparently getting hit on by a lot of straight women at the time as well, with similar results, though it took years instead of weeks to realize it. Seems I was convinced that I wasn’t attractive, so I discounted the possibility of flirting before it even made its way to the conscious part of my brain.

    Now that I know that I am hot screaming sex on a stick, I have to chalk up people not hitting on me to either shyness or a feeling on their part that they could never measure up to me, though I think they should not sell themselves so short. But since I’m married, it could never go anywhere anyway, so I just have to make sure to let them down easily and gently.

  65. salem1692@56: Get your facts straight. It was the English who burned witches. No one has, to my knowledge, ever been burned at the stake by a North American government.

  66. Steve, I’m guessing Salem1692’s comment was just a drive-by trolling, which is why I didn’t bother answering him* seriously. Note that 1692 somehow counts as “the late 1690s.” Ur doin it rong, Salem.

    *almost certainly

  67. The last time I got hit on at a gay bar, I got weirded out, but only because I am a straight woman and the person hitting on me was a dude. It was all very confusing… for a few seconds I seriously thought I had gone to the wrong bar.

  68. Stever Burnap@76: the English, like North Americans, normally hanged witches. The Scots burned them, as did many continental Europeans.

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