On a casual warm day like today you’re probably out and about, walking around enjoying the rays of sunlight that have been absent as a result of the exceptionally long cold winter. Observing all of the regular sites you venue on days like this, you tend to notice someone you haven’t seen or met before. You notice his stance and the way he walks confidently but relaxed. He has your interests immediately because of how his body moves to show off the physique you find irresistible.
So automatically your senses hone in for more details to take in as much info as you possibly can. You take special notice of the inflection in his voice and how his mouth moves when he speaks to his companions. From the short time that you’ve been doing all you can to observe without being noticed you pick up on how interactive and engaged into the conversation; he appears to be able to keep the attention of his companions and you notice his beautiful smile and twinkle in his emerald eyes. From what bits of conversation you hear, he loves music and is discussing how he’d love to see Kylie Minogue in concert this year.
It all goes perfect with his put together attire but appears effortless. As you’ve finished surveying every bit of info you decide it’s time to move on with the rest of the day only a short time later, by some luck you’ve bumped into each other (literally). He reassures you by an earnest pat on the shoulder and a smile. Then as you make eye contact he looks down as he shuffles his feet with an even more incredibly sexy smile and you are smitten.
Caught off guard as you’ve let the earlier detective work of the day to slip your mind. And to now be presented with a new opportunity to interact by almost walking into each other you both apologize for the harmless confrontation and are reminded of why you were so attracted to this man. You work up the courage to finally ask more about this man so you can ask him out, an almost paralyzing sensation is brought on the fact that you don’t know if this man plays on the same team you’re on. Is he gay?
This was a situation that I had recently where I was presented with questions on whether the gut that I was immensely attracted to and was not quite sure if the interaction we had was simple banter or flirting. This guy could have just been a courteous polite straight man. I could have been forward and just asked him out like I wanted to or invoked 20 questions to see if he was gay but would that gesture been rude or was I just being too shy with my own advances?
We’ve all played this guessing game before and this discussion is not about condemning the practice. At some point every gay man has encountered a situation like this where you’re attracted to a guy and seems to be everything you’re looking for, whether that’s for just a few but worthwhile nights of heated passionate sex or for a loving long term relationship. There’s attraction and intrigue but you aren’t completely sure if he’s gay. It can happen like the scenario described or the some variant or not at all. Just say that your curiosity and attraction wants you to know if it’s possible. So what do you do? Do you trust your instincts? Do you just ask him if he’s gay and if you do should you be direct or apply some well-rehearsed wit?
It’s not always as easy when you meet men outside the world of gay social dating apps like Grindr or Scruff (or OKCupid, Adam4Adam, etc.,.). Most of us don’t reside in gay oases like New York’s Chelsea or West Hollywood because our world is much bigger than we believe. Remember that I’m from the south, where nearly everyone greets you with a smile and chivalry is still very much alive. Everyone has a little saunter to their step and sweetness in their voice. So how do we approach this without turning this into an embarrassing situation?
Even with all the debate, our concept as a society of what is masculinity has changed. Of course some in the gay community place this attributes at the highest of hierarchy it isn’t always so apparent in the rest society. Some would argue that these social constructs on gender roles are much more layered and less rigid than say even ten years ago. It is becoming more and more acceptable for men to be more expressive in their mannerisms that would’ve been seen as feminine a few years ago. Men can have playful banter and physical contact that are not necessarily due to sports or any other male display of strength. We can’t always go by what we see.
What other ways can we sense when someone is gay? What do we use to tell in order to make an advance or cool it off. Is it right to just go off of what they look like? Cause unless the verbally confirm or deny their sexuality or are wearing t-shirts that say it you can’t be certain. Remember that we live in a day and age where a well groomed man in tailored clothes is not an indication of sexual orientation but rather a metropolitan in the know of the latest trends. Maybe a scientific approach would provide more sound methods with better reliability.
There are actually studies that suggest we are drawn and attracted to others of the same sexual orientation by the pheromones that our bodies release chemically. Researchers are basing this off a theory that gay men respond to the actual sweat from men the same way women do. The findings also revealed that gay men tend to prefer the smell of other gay men rather than straight men. Based on this research, is it possible for us as gay men to actually sense each other by smell?
When we are in the same proximity of another gay men do we release a sent on some unconscious level tells us that our instincts about the guy we are interested in may also be interested in us? I wouldn’t be surprised if further research suggests that as a result of our pheromones we can decipher who is gay or not, simply by the way they smell. Naturally I’m not suggesting that every man that smells good means that he’s gay. But I do think it’s interesting to examine how our own biological makeup can possibly tell us more things about people our surroundings than we ever believed possible.
Why not as we already have similar research that suggests we can detect who’s gay by the proportions of the eyes as well as our own hands. Maybe in time more sophisticated approaches will be able to discern as homosexuality as a science has been at best subjective in their findings and at worse grossly inaccurate assumptions that are at times insulting. So maybe we shouldn’t use those methods in the scenario I experienced. Because we know how unfair it is to assume things as experience has taught us that assumptions are most likely due to what we want to see in an individual rather than who that person is in reality. So if we can’t always rely on nature or science or even direct approach, what else is left?
Lots of questions with unclear answers is what we are often left with when we truly take a moment to examine our ways of categorization. This discussion was not created to detour anyone from meeting other men in environments where these answers are not as clear cut as we’d like them. Far from it. But we should question how we base some of our actions on the conclusions we arrive at because they are not always accurate.
Here’s my thing; the concept of having gaydar in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing or barbaric in how we identify others like us. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all as we all have a natural ability to observe characteristics that are similar to us, regardless of sexuality. Problems could arise however when we rely on only those innate measures of deduction that creates issues. So while using all these methods we employ to remember to not those methods be the only thing we use. Sometimes its worth it to let them confirm it for us like the gentlemen in the earlier scenario finally did for me.
Whatever the case, it’s always important to remember that whatever way a guy presents himself to not just openly assume his sexuality is one way or another. And in whatever way he presents his sexuality to you or anyone else, accept that. No matter the hunches or years of expertise you have in detecting who’s gay or not, respect that whatever he says, as you’d be want to be treated and respected the same way. The whole point of this was to show how much effort, either consciously or unconsciously we observe who among us are like us. Instincts are great but aren’t always reliable.