Just the other night, I was out with a group of friends when I was introduced to an entirely new pack of gay men I had never met before. Not being on the market in the least bit, I couldn't be less interested in a romantic fashion, however I am always lobbying for new friendship, so typical courtesies were exchanged. Then, in a flash, it happened. I got the look. This is not the typical flirtatious glance. It's "I hate you but I really don't" personified on the face of someone trying to flirt, but with no ability to actually create a pass.
Doing a little research, I found that (and was well aware that) gays are stereotypically known to be the most flirtatious of any specific social group. The common conception is that we are all among the more sexually charged humans, and therefore we gather in groups where we can so easily pick up one another and have intercourse like bunnies. Perhaps this is true for some, but for others, picking up people is not the easiest task. Though gay bars tend to be meat markets for the masses, many others find other ways to match themselves with a suitable mate. Online dating, social organizations, activities, etc. all offer ways to meet men in a non-traditional setting. Sometimes the traditional settings even offer the ability to meet men by chance. Then "the look" comes into play.
A friend recently complained to me that he has very little luck dating in the gay community at all. He is one step away from simply giving up the dating world altogether, but I have a standard solution for his doldrums; stop scowling at men. In our heads, most of us are attracted to men who offer the true vibe of testosterone and the typical male behavior that calls out to us as strong, sexy and alluring. What we get in reality is a catty, lip-snarling scowl that is supposed to attract us like flies on a pile of garbage, but instead sends a message loud and clear saying "never talk to this guy again". I have seen this look flashed my way many a time, only to be followed up with an awkward conversation weeks or months later that reveals the sourpuss to have had a giddy eighth-grade crush on me that was projected by a face perhaps not even a mother could love.
The truth of the matter is that gay men can sometimes be bitchy. You're probably saying "tell me something I don't know", but this is the tired ritual that afflicts the homosexual singles and dating scene and has for years. Picture yourself at a club or bar frequented by the rainbow population. Everyone is sizing each other up, and the place is starting to look like a sweaty jungle of men who either hate each other and want to fight, or want to take out aggression by tearing the clothes off their prey. It's difficult to distinguish which is which. When you see someone actually smiling, laughing and having a great time (a.k.a. having a personality), then it's more likely you will want to talk with that person than the angry tigers and prima donnas who surround you.
The nasty scowl and the prissy "don't bother me, I'm pining over you" attitude is actually familiar to anyone; gay or straight. The little girl who is being somewhat bullied and teased by a male counterpart on the elementary school playground is told by her mother or father that the boy probably treats her like dog crap because he has a crush on her. Take that idea, and place it in a scenario of gay men, and you have yourself a classic situation of gays trying to flirt with each other through feline means. The simple solution to this awkward look is to basically stop. Remember what you're attracted to yourself and try to project that onto someone else. Perhaps then, you will be able to attract a suitable match and won't want to give up and join the priesthood (we all know the consequences to that idea).
Though, as I mentioned before, I am not available to date, I am not scowl-exempt. Now, of course, I can just take that look given me in a social situation, dissect it, and laugh a little. A while back, I promised my significant other I would actually rarely use our own relationship as fodder for my writing, but when you get flirtation attempts from the catty population, it helps to come home and realize you are actually very fortunate. I plan on never gracing the meat market again and acknowledging the flirty scowl with a follow-up conversation. Seeing a man scowl gives me great pleasure in the fact that I found my match. And, you can be sure that the first time I ever laid eyes on him, he was genuinely flashing his pearly whites. It was safely all downhill from there.
Questions and comments are always welcome by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org