Why do straight men assume (automatically) that I fancy them all? Sorry guys; I have my tastes.
It is a never-ending source of irritation for me when straight men assume that just because I am gay, I am literally panting for him. Some go as far as telling you outright that they think you want them so bad and cannot control yourself…how patronizing? I used to get it at school and still get it at work. Normally I have my own personal gaydar system which pretty much tells me whether I am bucking up the wrong tree.
In fact; I am often spot on when it comes to the guys I fancy. Chances are that if I am interested then you are either bi or gay. Of course, you can never be sure. I have sometimes been off but normally that is where apparently gay guys are really straight…not vice versa. I can honestly say that I have never before assumed a guy was straight and they turned out gay.
My friends say that I am falling into their stereotypes of gay-meets-gay and they fall into lust. They do have a point to an extent, but I still insist that I am not some raging sex machine that has the hots for every straight guy that happens to cross my path. That has been one of the most damaging stereotypes of gay people as far as I am concerned. It used to bother me so much that I would lash out but I am now at a stage where I dispassionately consider why people think that way. Some interesting ideas have come to my mind although I am yet to test them in real life.
Why do other people or straight men assume and over-sexualize gay people?
It all started with the basic premise of what it means to be gay. The thing that is most uncomfortable for straight guys is the idea of a man surrendering his masculinity by becoming an unrepentant bottom. I wonder whether lesbians feel the same.
Certainly I know that LGBT people generally face deliberate sexualization in order to reduce their entire existence to nothing more than “doing the nasty”. It makes it so much easier to advocate for anti-gay legislation when you can show that these gays spend all their days thinking of ways of enticing and assaulting straight guys. It is the subliminal message behind all this. Otherwise why would society fail to accept the fact that gay people do much more than check straight guys out.
We then have the whole fantasy scenario of fatal attraction where some desperate queen is humiliated by the disinterested gay-for-view-only hunk. This is a stereotype that has moved from the porn industry into the mainstream. Comedians are at it all the time, portraying gay people as potential or actual perverts who will do anything for sex. Transgender people have struggled with this particular type of damaging phobia over the years.
The reluctant straight object of affection
There is some level of narcissism and arrogance that is involved when assuming that an entire community is interested in having their way with you. It speaks of an over-confidence in attractiveness yet in reality douche-bags can be the worst turn off for anyone…straight or guy.
In any case; why don’t we explore the possibilities of “straight for pay”. Is it even possible for a straight guy to be attracted to a gay guy or is that too much of an ask? The God’s gifts that we happen to meet have been told over and over again that they are uniquely attractive. They feel entitled to adoration and rarely invest their energy in meaningful relationships. To be fair; they too have their fans. How many times have I seen a dear friend fall for an absolute “straight” bastard?… I simply don’t care to count.
Nevertheless; I really object to the notion that I literally go to pieces when there is a straight man around, as if the gay men I know are somehow not good enough. This is the narrative of defective gays which has plagued our community for time immemorial. We need to take back some of our cred by saying a big fat NO.
“Fat Dave” at work thinks I fancy him
Few things are more mortifying than an assumed unrequited love that does not exist. Dave (bless him) is no hunk of the year by any means. He is ok…nothing more, but for some mysterious reason Dave has embraced this warped idea that I am going for him…in a very big way. Dave is incurably straight (although I gather he has not been getting too much nookie over the years) …there’s nothing wrong with that.
What I don’t want is for Dave to think that I am secretly in love with him because he just happens to be a man. That don’t impress me much. I actually think it is a bit crazy. What made this guy come to the conclusion that I had hots for him? I am not one for the a-hole-is-a-hole philosophy of indiscriminate f###king.
On the contrary I am quite picky about my lovers and boyfriends. Dave (nice as he is) does not make the cut. I wish I could tell him but I suppose he could be hurt and offended. I want none of that at this point. It is just that I too get offended when he seems to be on his guard whenever I enter the room. He has now taken to walking as far away as possible when we happen to meet along the office corridor.
A New Form of Homophobic “Erotomania”
Yes…I did look up that word and it actually exists in abnormal psychology. Basically it means someone that is convinced (without any evidence) that another is in love with them. In my situation the presumed infatuation is made all the more complex by the underlying homophobia that drives it. Nobody expects that every straight person is going to be obsessed with the opposite sex all the time. Why then does Dave feel entitled to describe and categorize my sexuality without even bothering to ask me about it. I would have thought it common courtesy to at least consider my opinion.
On a serious note, the gay rights movement has won the battle of legal recognition but that of acceptance is yet to reach its zenith. We are still treated as if we were some freaks of nature that are to be either reviled or feared. In other words, gay is dangerous and the rest of “straight” society is well advised to keep away. It is the continuation of the mythology of the contagion of gayness. The amateur anthropologists theorize that too much contact with gay people will make you gay.
By the same token, if you restrict your society to the straight ones then they may eventually pass on the straight vibes. That has been the basic premise of conversion therapy and it is the theory that is behind the automatic labelling of gay people as being prone to child abuse. Perhaps fear is the natural reaction to a society that has never quite gotten to grips with gay people in the first place.
How to react to the over-sensitive straight colleague?
I am currently toying with the idea of telling Dave straight (pun intended) to his friend that I pose no threat to him and his sexuality whatsoever. On the other hand, I feel that it is a touch unfair for me to have to explain my very existence and motivations simply because the other guy has some hang-ups.
A friend of mine suggested something that is even more outrageous…camping it up so as to tease the hell out of Dave. I think that would be unnecessarily cruel. The guy is not a piece of work. He has just been trained that way and many people in the wider community do the same thing. Anyway, as I work through my issues with Dave; I have come up with a list of different types of straight people who react to gay people who they wrongly (or even rightly) suspect of having the hots for them, or alternatively entice them into the deed:
- The recreational flirts: these guys do it because they can.
- The exhibitionists: These ones just want to be seen by somebody out there.
- The narcissists: Do I need to explain this?
- The agent provocateurs: These ones feel that they might just have a chance to take you to the dark side.
- Closet cases: Another obvious category.
- Socially inept geeks: They just don’t know what to do with you so they keep away (maybe Dave falls here).
A different strategy is needed for each of these types of straight dudes. At the moment I am not too sure what the strategy is. I can just say with absolute certainty that Dave’s antics are freaking me out. I just wish we could be like any other normal colleagues. I am neither infectious nor predatory…get it through your head please.
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