Tag Archives: dating

Gay College Student Equates “No Blacks, No Asians” In Sex Ads To “Segregation Era America”

Recently Graham Gremore of Queerty.com reported on college student Gregory Ragaza who wrote an op-ed for his college newspaper, saying that  “gay people can be pretty damn racist.” Which is surprising, he says, given the bigotry they themselves have had to suffer over the years.

Ragaza wrote and Gremore agreed:

The biggest problem about this issue is that they are either oblivious to their racism or in denial of it. In both cases, they tend to hide behind the guise of it’s a matter of “preference” and not racism. Putting phrases like “no Blacks, no Asians, only White” on your dating profile are pretty bold statements that mirror the signs that were posted in front of stores during the segregation era America once lived through.

Ragaza continued that while it is understandable to not be attracted to individual guys,” Ragaza says,  “saying a certain ethnicity, essentially excluding a whole group of people, isn’t your type is drastically different from picking particular details from individuals.”

He continues:

As a gay man of color living in the Bay Area, which is arguably one of the most diverse and accepting cities in the U.S. I, too, have experienced my fair share of racism within the gay community, not only on dating apps but also at bars and nightclubs. Personally, it feels like a double whammy. Not only do we deal with homophobia but we get the added racism as a cherry on top of being part of the “white” culture.

He concludes: “Only the individual who feels the need to announce to the world that they don’t date Asians, Blacks or Latinos can answer the mystery that’s deep within their shallow hearts. Let’s just hope they learn to open their minds and realize the difference between preference and racism.”

The definition of racism means: “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” Is not  finding a particular feature to be sexually attractive, whether it be skin color, race, hair color, body type, or degree of femininity?  Or does it mean that you are trying  to oppress them, antagonize them, or proclaim superiority?

The answer is no. 

While Ragza targets white gay males as the “oppressors”? There are many people of color who prefer to date people of color and according to the theory explained above that would make them equally as racist as any white person declaring preference.

While seeing “No Blacks, No Asians” might hurt a QPOC feelings its just that.  Its insensitive.  Not racism.  Feelings are not facts and these feelings of insecurity should not be used to create a racial division in our community. Especially because some vapid white twink doesn’t want to sleep with you. We have much bigger problems at hand.

There is no shortage of homophobes who argue that gay men are misogynists because they don’t have sex with women, and that lesbians are man-haters because they don’t have sex with men.

In the end its all bullshit.  And harmful bullshit at that.

 

 

Brokenhearts Clubs and Vulnerabilities Show, These Are Our Valentine’s Day Woes

vday

We are officially in the season of love. A time we know will soon be perfumed with flowers that bloom and sweeten the air. The days become longer now and the sun greets us after a long hard day’s work. Our urges to hibernate from the cold ebb away and our mood is lighter with each passing day. We are more likely to seek out new people and places to go and endlessly imagine all we want to do when summer arrives. By nature, we as gay men are more expressive in how we show love and just become so much more livelier during this time of year. We begin to listen to more songs that speak to the beginning of love to welcome new possibilities…but this time is not all rosy.

Even though we love all aspects of love this is also the time of year when we measure our entire worth based on whether or not we have a relationship. The subject of love is always looming to the point that it feels like it’s taunting us because we are examining what love or lack there of, we have in our own lives. And we begin to dread the international day of love. A day that is penned as the day of expressing our love turns into a diatribe about shattered hearts from inflated egos of our exes. We being to relive betrayal from infidelities and show apathy towards love that did not last. We lament on missed opportunities that we fear may never grace us again, Love consumes us in every aspect of our lives around Valentine’s Day.

If we’re single, we incessantly examine if it is the men we’ve been pursuing in the past calendar year. So we begin this at first objective list of what we are looking for in our potential soulmate, with trepidation and fear. It starts off innocently enough. First we may wonder are we looking for the wrong attributes in a man, how that can be tough.  We ask if our standards too hard to obtain. Should we settle for the guy that completely lacks ambition but looks great naked, or should we abstain?  Is the city I live in just lacking in worthy men or can we never win at love again? And then we turn this one day into the biggest self-deprecating examination into our looks and personality.

Are we too fat? Too skinny? Too tall? Too short even in top hats? Too much or not enough muscle? Too little ambition with not enough hustle?  We will go on dissecting every single inch of our bodies with great care, to find a flaw that is not there.  Then we examine our faces as aging in the gay community is hardly granted any graces. We’ll ask if our eyes are too close/far apart, and if our noses are too big/small by just an ounce.

Are our brows too pronounced or are our ears too big by just an ounce. Do we allow our scruff to sprout or just all hair out. Should our clothes mismatch or is there another reason we can’t find the ultimate catch. We’ll pull at our lips to see if they’re gigantic or in desperate need of snips.  Is it our voice or a bad accessories choice, our walk our smile too wild, our laughs, our dancing has too much prancing… It all begins to sound like a bad rhyme in our heads.

We’ll ask ourselves if we’re too needy or too detached. We’ll begin to wonder if we’re not affectionate enough or if we flirt too much with other guys. Are we too political or not worldly enough. Maybe we’re just boring/bland or too adventurous and spontaneous. Ponder extensively if we don’t communicate enough or know when to leave well enough alone. Could it be we’re too dry or never takes anything seriously. Are we too trusting or should we have trusted our instincts. Maybe we’re too cocky or too insecure. Constantly questioning how our past is affecting our present.

No matter how much friends and loved ones convince us otherwise. Their words are hallow to us now and facetious to boot. We feel patronized because we want to see what the guys we pursue don’t like about us. We’ll listen to sad songs, write sad, dark poetry and darker clothes. We get angry at even the slightest mention of love, the one thing we crave with our entire being. All we crave is to feel anything other than this constant drive to fill this void placed in our hearts.

Single people aren’t the only ones that do this. If we’re in a relationship we are constantly evaluating if that relationship measures up to not only our standards but the standards of everyone else. Wondering how to spice things up and try new things. Speculating at how truthful those relationships that make everything seem easy when you have to put so much work into your own. Wondering why the passion has left your relationship. Maybe even if only for a minute wondering if the love has ended and you both settled for comfort.  Also, you’re wondering if he feels the same way. So the day of love becomes a critique of both yours and his performance up until this point.

I have been through all of these stages just like everyone else, especially when I first came out. So often we critique ourselves to our communities standards whether we blindly follow them or not. It resulted in bad hair experiments and excruciating muscle building regimes. Attempted a really bad clothing makeover. Stared at myself in the mirror off and on for hours readying myself for discovering something heinous that was preventing me from finding “the one”. Made a list and called my exes to see what I could’ve done differently. Secretly studying other happy couples seething at how effortlessly they made their relationship seem and comparing how my interactions with past loves measured up. Hey, I’m human just like everyone else.

I was examining what I’ve done right or did wrong in all aspects of my life for the pursuit of love. Wondering what other measures I could take to make myself more desirable both inside and out. Inspecting my body and my behavior to see what I thought others would see, through their eyes. I did this regardless of whether or not I was in a relationship or not. Constant speculation of failed relationships and lack of consistency when I had a boyfriend. All these negative thoughts about myself going round and round like a bad rhyme.

Then I remembered what love really was. How the beginning wraps you up in euphoria. How when he mentions your name you get week in the knees. How hearing his name can make your day infinitely better. The little things like small notes or buying your favorite brand of cereal to show you he cares. How kisses are electric and holding hands makes you feel immortal. How love gives you the strength you never thought you had. How you are more focused than ever on your dreams and making them come true for the both of you.

Or when after a long very difficult end to a relationship you are able to look at yourself in the mirror and smile. That even though you want love, your life is what you worked hard to make of it. That loved ones are there for you to make you laugh and smile. And even when you are not alone you are not lonely. All those moments came from confidence  They come not just from the fact that someone loves you, but also the belief that you are in fact worthy of love. And that you love yourself.

Both of those moments of strength came from self love. And as the depth of how I loved myself  grew so did the love I gave and received from others. The point of this is first to not let this day be a measurement of how successful you are in the arena of love. Too often, in the season of love, we forget to love ourselves because we are too busy evaluating what love is given to us. What constantly ask what kind of love we want in relationships, whether we’re looking for one or attempting to reinvent the one we’re currently in. Being single is not a weakness and being unhappy about some aspects of your relationships is not the end of love. And we should also remember to give the same kind of love we are seeking to ourselves.

 

Texas Teenager Arrested for Murder After Using GRINDR To Lure Victims

Where The Rules Of Grindr Need Not Apply

grindr

You finally arrive home after a hectic day and what better way to get rid of some tension than the accompaniment of a gentleman caller. Then you open the app, letting those within a designated area know that you’re available to have some fun. Time passes as you’ve blocked those you have no interest in or the profiles that creep you out. After going through some preliminary participants you later reject you finally come across a profile that adequately meets your requirements as they haven’t grossed you out. Then there’s conversation via a series of text messages to verify profile claims and likelihood of sexual compatibility. An agreement is struck to the location of where to meet. Then there’s sex. And then most often, unless it’s someone who literally blows your socks off, you never hear from each other again.

It definitely isn’t the only dating ritual of gay men but it by far is the most popular. Today’s technology offers social interaction on such a convenient level than ever before. It allows us to be able to not even bother with the hassle of hearing from people whose looks, personality, or conversation that we do not like. It is almost comparable to online clothes shopping in how easily accessible it is to find someone to have sex with any time, any where. And to me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it being that way, safely. There’s always an assured confidence in knowing what you want out of your relationships so why should selecting who we want to have a one night stand with be any different.

But here’s the thing, today I was asked does the easy access to sex diminish the possibility of experiencing a real, fully developed relationship. Do apps like Grindr make sex cheap and thereby less meaningful? I had to at least entertain the question. But as I began to process the inquiry it leads to me asking: Does the easy access actually make having real, sustainable relationships harder to have? Because of how easily it is to select a sexual partner for an evening or two translate into how we look for someone to share or lives with? Do you ever question how much social dating apps change and influence the way you see other men? Does it change the way that you look for dates out in the real world? Or does it change your entire perception on what other men are like?

These are all legitimate questions if you think about it. Communication now is more about a text someone sends rather than the voice of the person sending the message. We are more focused on the physical aspects of a guy than any other attribute he may possess. Intimacy is now more about what is said than what is heard. The fast pace of it all and ease that doesn’t pose any of those pesky, sometimes awkward encounters of getting to know someone out in the real world. There’s an objective, almost sterile approach to these encounters and so why wouldn’t we want our other interpersonal relationships to be just as convenient.

Of course we know these apps are not designed to find the one so I’m not arguing against their purpose. I’m asking does our use of them set the standard in how we interact in all the other relationships we seek out. So often I ask myself what are the components of a successful relationship and wonder if these behaviors we enact upon on social apps placate other social relationships. Because we communicate differently on these apps than say when we text someone out for a date, or at least they should be different. So to an extent we have to at least examine how much of an influence these social dating apps have on us.

Think about this: when you first began to fantasize about being with men (or at least didn’t deny it to yourself that you are attracted to men) what was the idea that you had in your mind? Was it you rescuing a hot, rugged man in some forest where you show off how brave and strong you were? Defending the prospective lover waiting for you to defeat their adversary and you run into each other’s arms as the antagonists stumbles away, leaving you the victor. Then you and your lover run off into the sunset to begin your happily ever after. Okay maybe that was a little over the top but that’s what I thought about all the time growing up. Comes from a tendency to want harmony and romance in all amorous situations that lead to the fantasy. But I felt like romance and sex was the same thing. That having sex was intimacy and love.

But as an adult (more likely an adolescent) we learned that this is more the exception than the rule. A lot of the lessons we learn within the gay community we have to learn pretty fast. That more often than not the fantasy and romance to sex does not exist and it is just that, sex. It’s okay when it’s just sex. Have as much as often as you like (safely) has always been my motto. It goes back to knowing what it means for you each time you choose to engage in it. So again I ask do social apps set false pretenses of what to expect out in the real world? No it doesn’t. It doesn’t promise us the fantasy of what we thought love or relationships meant. We can sometimes just erroneously apply the same expectations to every other type of relationships we pursue.

There’s a downside of course to the quick and easy mode of dating and relationships in using these dating apps and rely on the same rules to apply everywhere.  When we apply this mode of interaction to all of our relationships, we miss out on a lot of the things that make relationships stronger. Those awkward moments of first meeting each other are time-honored stories of how love can bloom to the younger generation. The obstacles of getting to know someone and finding out their likes and dislikes prove to be the thing that helps strengthen them giving the relationship decades of longevity. How intimacy can be in a simple touch of a lover’s hand or one longing look into each other’s eyes. Learning and reaffirming that sex is not the only thing there is to love and that there is so much more of yourself involved. Noticing how you place deep flaws on pedestals because that is a part of the man you will love the rest of your life.

I know the ones that regularly read my articles have noticed a central theme. You’re probably thinking, oh great, another examination into the world of dating and or relationships and what they could be doing. But honestly there’s so much about relationships that I’ve only begun to write about. Maybe it’s because of the place I’m at in my life or because of the relationships I observe around me that I question them so much. But I know that sometimes you just have to accept things at face value. That certain things provide a service and that is the extent of it. And that is what Grindr, or Scruff, Adam4Adam, or sometimes even twitter is, essentially. And that is perfectly okay. Just remember that those rules don’t apply everywhere else.

A Gay Man’s Perception Of Rejecting & Rejection

Contributor’s Note: Another updated entry from my old blog. THIS IS NOT ADVICE. This is merely me sharing my experiences with you all. Enjoy!

Again I’m using my old college buddy as a point of reference since some of the stuff he says and does makes me continually laugh because it’s so asinine but he doesn’t mind. Plus if he keeps this up, I’ll be able to one day write a great biopic or sketch comedy. It’s money either way so I’m game. Anyway, he tells me about an old friend of his that he secretly has been pining for since they first met and since his latest snafu in the love department he finally summoned up enough courage to tell her how he felt. Unfortunately, while she appreciated the gesture, she did not return the feelings and wanted to keep the relationship as is. He was distraught, and after he had gotten used to it (and after asking all of our friends about it every 5 minutes) we talked about the rejection, both when it happens to us and when we have to reject the advances of others.

He has this mindset that the dreaded “friend zone” is the equivalent of being called an ugly troll that needs to take up residency at the most dank mossy bridge nearby. I get that no one wants to be rejected, but that is a bit drastic, even for him. He asked why it stung like this and was their differences with gay men compared to his experiences with women and honestly through our comparisons we couldn’t find any major differences. It hurts being rejected and it really REALLY sucks turning someone down with genuine feelings.

While he prefers to drink until he forgets her name, I of course have a different approach to when it happens with the guys I like and gently rejected by or vice versa. So over the years, this is what I’ve learned as a gay man managing these sometimes delicate relationships when aspirations are dashed. Keep in mind this isn’t advice for you to live by just my own observations that I’ve learned that you might find hilarious.

Love yourself. 
I can’t stress that enough. Usually when people write the observations about their life the put their strongest argument last to drive their point home but this was paramount to me. This to me will always be the most important thing I tell myself daily. The good, bad, sometimes ugly aspects of who I am I have to love completely. It seems like the first thing we do is degrade ourselves to the lowest living form on Earth when rejection happens. And I feel as gay men we do this so much more often because a lot of times we judge what we see. Try as much as you like to deny this, but to an extent everyone is vain. Admitting that I believe is the first step in ensuring that it’s not the ONLY thing that attracts you to someone is their looks. I’ve second guessed myself to the point that I didn’t like myself at times because despite my tall frame, I critique my body to what everyone else looks like too. I learned that loving my flaws first and foremost is one of the best things I could ever do for myself.

Laugh at the ridiculous situation. 
Really what can you do other laugh about it? The long winded awkward pauses whenever he says your name. The small “just because” surprises that you time out perfectly to make sure you don’t seem desperate or creepy. How you eagerly will agree with every single thing he says even though you don’t agree at all and then show a passionate albeit very recent love for anything and everything he likes. Even algae farming becomes sexy to you (how embarrassing and possibly unhygienic but he was sooo cute) just to be near him. How you lose all sense of direction and walk face first into a glass panel window (no comment). All of this so that he’ll make this great connection that’ll lead to some great romance. It’s funny and kind of cute so laugh at yourself. It was one of the fastest ways I was able to move on.

Learn from these situations 
Another great thing I learned about these encounters other than how painfully awkward I am when I like someone is to be honest with myself when I start feeling this way. No point in hiding how I feel as it’s bound to surface eventually. Of course I’m not talking about some small crush. I’m talking about real feelings of not being able to stop thinking about them. Wanting to spend time with them, wondering if my ass looks perfect the next time we see each other. And if these feeling surface at the beginning of our friendship to let him know. Learn that it’s okay to feel that way and it’s okay that he doesn’t feel the same way.

Don’t get mad at the friend for putting you because of rejection unless… 
Look it’s not their fault that they don’t have more amorous feelings of fires by log cabins, long walks on the beach or exchanging small trinkets of affection. Don’t take the actual frustration of the situation out on the person. Being rejected is not fun. And I learned not to lead that person on that you have to reject. No flirting with them, no accepting their gifts. No leading on whatsoever. But if they’re your friend, appreciate that friend and don’t turn a potential life long relationship into a badly made angsty after school program because of the situation. I learned there are exceptions however. I learned that if you feel like it would be too hard for you to let go of your attraction then let them go. No need to repeatedly show up at their bedroom window blasting some cliched 80s montage (they’ll probably call the cops too). The other reason brings me to the next self tip…

Don’t Dwell 
It’s hard enough when you have to deal with unrequited love and it’s even worse when you see the person frequently. Listen to all the emo music to release the pain. Hell screech out some Bjork if the rhythm moves you but you’ve got to stop staying in this mode of black walls with spray painted poetry. Leave that for the Laugh Factory or guilt trips the next time you need money from the parentals not an all day every day situation.

Have Fun 
Rent a movie, hang out with friends, do some Jager while doing karaoke, ponder why Dane Cook even has a career in comedy. Whatever it was that you enjoyed outside of these affections for this friend. The point is simple. Do the things you love and that love will return. Make the effort, fake it until you make it applies so much in this situation.

Rinse and Repeat
It’s not going to dissipate overnight (God I wish it did) and I learned that it wasn’t just one thing and everything was back to normal. Again, of course things most likely won’t be the same after you’ve said how much you like the guy. So I kept doing all of the things I listed over and over until it wasn’t routine, it was how I really felt. Content. Hopeful. Status Quo (my quirky way of saying normal). The greatest victories are the long fought ones and I wholeheartedly believe this.

Take note that this is my fun guide and what’s helped me navigate this awkward thing called dating in the gay world. All of these come from my own experience so when dealing with your own then make your own rules and boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable. Just wanted to share my unique and funny (well it is to me) perspective.