I have written a number of posts about masculinity and what seems to be a rarity among men who are gay — just being a guy. A guy-guy. That is how I am and how I behave. Not putting on an act, or behaving in a way that is uncharacteristic of the man I am. I’m just a guy who happens to be in love with another guy who is a “guy-guy.”
Lately, I have received some more comments from college-age guys looking for a masculine guy to develop a relationship with. The challenge is sex. Lots of guys have guy friends, but when a guy wants to have sex with another guy, that’s a different story. And since society imposes rules (of perception) that “real men don’t have sex with other men” (that is, “real men aren’t gay”), then gay guys who behave in a masculine manner by nature tend to hide in the closet — never revealing their true interest in other guys.
In fact, some gay men who hide in the closet may become the most outspokenly negative about gay men. They rant, call names, and write nasty things on Facebook messages to distance themselves from the thing they want most: a deep relationship with another guy that includes sex.
I am not a shrink, but I am asked rather often, “how do you know someone is gay?” and “how can you find another masculine guy who is gay?” I have even been asked, “should I wear clothes like boots and jeans for the image they project?”
Let me take each of these questions separately:
1. How do you know someone is gay? Well, despite some people who claim that their “gaydar” is 100% (meaning that they claim that they can “always” determine someone else’s sexual orientation), that is not true. Gay people do not have a scarlet letter branded to their forehead, nor an indicator on their driver’s license that says “G” where others have “M” or “F” indicated.
As a matter of fact, last month I was with a group of people and one of them absolutely insisted that he could “always tell” if someone else were gay. So I asked him to “give me the test.” He said there wasn’t a test, but he could “always tell.” Having had enough, I asked him, “so, am I gay?” His response: “hell no.” You should have seen the shocked look on his face when I told him that I am gay and have been in love with my partner for well over 17 years. He sputtered and stammered and said, “but you wear leather, boots, and jeans. You ride a Harley. You are President of (x organization)….” He proved my point: he was making assumptions based on activities in which I engage and stereotypes. Even as a gay man myself, I can’t always tell if someone else is gay, and frankly, I don’t even try to do so, and don’t care.
2. How can you find another masculine guy? I can go on and on again, but rather, I refer you to the original post on this matter, and ask that you read it, including the comments. You can’t simply hang a sign and say, “masculine men only need apply.” Ain’t gonna happen. Just be yourself, and become active or involved in various groups where you just might meet another guy who, like you, is interested in masculine men.
3. Should I wear clothes that project a masculine image? Wear what you want, and what you like. But if you’re looking for a masculine guy, he’s not going to respond to the latest designer-label jeans and designer-label jacket. Ditch the fashion, and wear what other guys in your area wear. If you like boots, wear them. If not, then don’t. It’s up to you. The choices of what you wear on your body and your feet will not make much of a difference provided what you wear is generally within the norm (okay, I’m being tactfully circumspect about men wearing women’s clothing.)
It all boils down to this: relationships. Every man seeking a mate — male or female — has to build a relationship first. That’s what dating and courtship is all about. You build on a friendship to a level of closeness that reveals your true identity because you are completely honest with your mate and do not hide your sexual orientation in the closet. If the other guy likes you, and you come out to him, then if he is a real friend, he will not forsake you. He may respond with becoming intimate, or he may back off and say, “not interested in that.”
But if he is a true friend, he won’t hurt you. Regretfully, though, there are times when guys let down their guard and let someone in, only to be burned by the other guy who recoils with shock and says rude and hateful things. To reduce that possibility, my recommendation is to take your time.
Taking the time to build a relationship with a masculine guy is very hard for some people to do. It’s as hard for men as it is for women. Younger people who are accustomed to instant satisfaction and immediate responses can’t handle having to take things slowly. But I have found that most masculine gay men are very careful and deliberate in choosing who to get close to. Some of them have been burned before, and some of them remain very much “in the closet.” Some may not have self-identified as being gay, and are in denial. Eventually, time will tell … but taking the time to figure it out is not an easy thing. (For example, I was 35 when I met my man, but I wasn’t celibate… if you get the drift.)
You can find a masculine gay man if you’re looking for one. You just need to take time, be patient, and keep being true to yourself. Good luck.
Life is short: but in this case, take your time.