“No Fems Allowed…”
I’ve been single for a while now and let me tell you, the gay dating scene is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. No BRAVO show or article on GayGuys.com can truly depict its nature, but let me try.
It seems masculinity is like social currency deciding our value, which leads to how attractive we are. We can have the hottest body on the planet but if we are too feminine for a man’s taste, we end up staying in the one-night stand category rather than moving on to dating material.
As a feminine dude myself I’ve come to understand that I’m a fetish—a special interest type of date attracting only guys who “go for” my kind. Is this what dating has come to?
It’s as if feminine guys are only for partying or f*cking, but masculinity is something to be sought after in a husband: the tall rugged mountain man with a heart of gold (and great fathering skills) isn’t just a type for women. Gay guys want it too. It’s the only image we see in our fantasies.
Feminine guys want it, masculine guys want it, but where does that leave guys like me who try to find a great connection but is sadly met with prejudgments and an already set standard?
Masculinity is respected not just in society, but in our imaginations too. It’s worshiped like a deity so much so that we filter away all contradictions.
I go on dates. I’ve seen it firsthand.
Why is it that men instantly make a judgment call that I’m not “for them” the second I start to speak? I understand we all have our type, but this is more than just a type. It’s a social construct that we’re trained to believe in. If I was a type there would at least be a sanction of men willing to step up to the plate, but most of the gay community seem to only be willing to date men who aren’t feminine. That’s not a type, that’s a problem.
It’s not a type, and in my opinion it’s even more dangerous than racism: “I don’t like black men,” “I don’t like Asians,” “I only date white people” is equally as hurtful as being dismissed for being feminine, but the need for masculinity has no barriers. It’s in the gay community, straight community, black community, Asian community, white community—the entire world accepts machismo over femininity, which expands the problem across the entire dating world.
I don’t want to feel like I need to man up before I go on a date. They say in order to attract the right person they need to accept you as you are, but if the whole world starts straight-washing everything it’s going to be harder to accept myself, much less for someone else to.
Dating itself is hard enough. The last thing we as a community should do is turn each other away based on ideals. I am not less of a man because I’m feminine. The fact that I accept myself and refuse to conform to any set prototype says a lot more about my courage than it does yours. That’s true manliness.