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I don't belong here: isolation in the gay dating world

"The scene".

We've all heard that phrase before, and it's just as ear-piercing and unpalatable as "the game" or just plain "dating".  Truth be told, ask most single people what they think about the dating scene, and they will likely cry, spit up, vomit, gag, choke on what they're eating, or yell at you.

Dating is a tale as old as time, and it's something we all have to do unless we marry the person we kissed on the playground, or adversely, decide to take up residence with all the stray cats one open can of tuna can fetch.  It's unavoidable that at one point in time at the very least, we all must hop on the dating horse and ride that tired steed until we land a winner.

Or, until it runs wild, bucking our poor rag doll-like bodies into a cactus.  Either way.

I had a friend express relative discomfort at a gay bar recently.  We were only there casually, to grab a drink with another friend.  He ranged in visible emotion from seeming "cruisy" to plain disgust.  I could sense the pit stains seeping down his crisp oxford as he was peering around the room, looking at all the men who were too wrapped up in their own situations to notice a bug-eyed twenty-something freaking out at the bar.  After we left, he erupted into a rant on just how he felt he didn't fit in.  He feels he never fits in.  It's driving him insane.

The "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna go eat worms" mentality is probably more rampant among the brains of young men (and women) than you think.  In straight dating, it is old-time customary for a man to approach a woman, take her on dates, pay for things, open the door, lend her his sweatshirt to do the walk of shame in, etc.  In the gay men's dating scene, the standards are very different.  There is no defined role.  There is no unspoken rule that states one person should approach the other first.  This can cause confusion, and in some cases, cause paranoia so grandiose, not even the largest quaalude could calm our frantically uppity homo down.  

As my friend has been single for some time now, I wondered what he was thinking when we walked into the bar.  In my mind, I thought that surely he could not expect to meet a suitor in the middle of the meat market.  He would have a better chance of finding a guy by hanging around Barbra Streisand's biography in the bookstore.  Getting to the root of the issue, I found something more.  Not only does my friend despise the dreaded scene, but he just can't stand to stomach going to a gay bar socially.

I was then reminded of why we are friends.  I too am one of the sector of gays who hate the bars.  And so it all makes sense, and so I started to hyperventilate FOR my single friends who, like me, hate the sketchiness of a bar.  How would they meet someone?  Would they need to invest in a lifetime supply of Fancy Feast?  Are they all ugly, and is that why the men glaze right over them at this bar?  If they're ugly, am I ugly?  

It was a nasty thought process.

My conclusion was just as jumbled as the questioning that got me to this point.  Many of us are not made to be paraded on the conveyer belt of the butchery, and thus would much rather find a man who is as quiet as we can be.  In a world where we make up 10% of the population, it is extremely hard to track down the quality of man our more demure brethren desire.  Much to the dismay of my single friends, the problem with that is that they are likely all at home as well, hiding.  Either that, or just like the good catch I know, they are also having heart palpitations while bellying up to the bar.  


  • gary 5 years ago

    nice article jon

  • Adam 5 years ago

    GREAT article! I found myself cracking up at your ridiculous references to becoming the crazy cat person on the block. My personal favorite line "He would have a better chance of finding a guy by hanging around Barbra Streisand's biography in the bookstore." Thoughtful as always, but very entertaining.

  • Meri 5 years ago

    Insightful article! I like the Fancy Feast reference. Great adjectives too. Where did you find all of them??

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