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GREY AREAS: Come, Let Me Play You a Torch Song Of My Wasted Youth Edition

Last week I asked for questions for Grey Areas and this was in my inbox before the e-ink was dry on my e-request.

I‘m young, gay, sassy, and just starting to play the dating game. How do I get buttloads of men to swoon over me, or at least get the buttloads of men swooning over me to date/make love to me?

If I knew the answer to this question, do you think I’d have time to blog? Do you think I’d have time to get on the Internet to complain about my feelings? No. I would be too busy working my way down a Slip N’ Slide made of hot dudes and getting myself a reputation. Alas, I am the world’s foremost dating coward. I look at personals for about 15 minutes before I lose all hope for love and lie on the couch — or rather half-on/half-off the couch — in utter despair.

But here are some general rules about sex and dating I had to figure out for myself and am now giving to you, in hopes you will benefit from them.

First Rule: Don’t be anything like me. Be brave. Pursue men you think you won’t get because sometimes you will. Even a broken clock bangs a hottie every now and then. Know what I mean, stud?

Second Rule: Condoms. Every single fucking time.

Third Rule: Learn to maintain eye contact without looking away. When he sees you looking at him, smile. The face he makes will usually let you know if he’s interested. This was very, very hard for me to do and I sometimes catch myself avoiding eye contact with strangers and retreating into my shell. Barring that, you could get on the Internet and find a site where gay men search for sex with one another, if such a place can be found. Finding the men is going to be easier than you think, it is the selection, retrieval, disposal, and maintenance of the men that is the hard work.

Fourth Rule: Be honest with yourself and others. Don’t let anyone treat you like shit or disrespect your body.

Fifth Rule: Don’t worry if you don’t marry the first dude you fall truly and deeply for because no one ever does.

Sixth Rule: Read lots of dull, boring, non-sexy information about how two gay males have sex. While it is fairly straightforward mechanically, there are nuances to the experience that don’t exactly translate to film.

Seventh Rule: Learn to communicate your own desires and needs. If something hurts in a bad, unsexy way, say so and demand that it change.

Eighth and Final Rule: When you are asking a question about gay sex, please do not measure groups of men in “buttloads.”

Good luck!

My brother recently came out to my family. He’s gay. I am over the moon for him – not having to keep that secret from my parents has totally changed him. Recently he asked me for some book recommendations about living as a gay cis-gendered man. All of the books I’ve read that could possibly be related are more in the realm of academic queer theory, which he doesn’t seem interested in just yet. Would you know where I could point him? I want to be as supportive as I can, but I’m not sure where to start.

Hello, ally sibling and recently-out gay brother. Most of what I learned about being a gay man has come from other gay men. I suspect your brother’s experience will be similar, but he should definitely get a thorough guide to the basics. Unfortunately, I haven’t done any more than skim through those sorts of books and would hate to recommend one just because it was highly-ranked in a search result. However, the Beatdown is usually very good about offering advice and I just know one of our valued readers will recommend a book that will make your brother’s emergence from the closet as fun and easy as possible.

Do any of you have the perfect book in mind? You know what to do.

If you would like to have your question answered, drop a message in my ask box.


  1. MikeV wrote:

    Not sure what the age range of your brother is, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.

    PS Yay Grey Areas is back!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  2. SA wrote:

    “Free Your Mind” is written for younger queer people but has chapters for family and teachers. It’s about 15 years old but was a nice read then.

    “Always My Child” and “Straight Parents, Gay Children” and “Beyond Acceptance” are all aimed at parents.

    Amazon throws up ideas like “The Velvet Rage” and “10 Smart things Gay Men Can Do To Improve Their Lives” but I haven’t read them. I dunno, it depends on what he wants to read about – first-person essays about different experiences of being gay? Gay history? Self-help for dealing with internalized shame?

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  3. I highly recommend Second Person Queer. I found it interesting, engaging and comforting in the year or two after I came out. It’s very personalised, in the form of letters to specific or hypothetical people written by adult queers.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink
  4. not a book, but... wrote:

    Get him to read Dan Savage? (Assuming he doesn’t already read him.)

    ps – Neither gay, nor male, nor the sibling of a gay male, so that advice comes with a grain of salt. Maybe other readers will disagree. From the outside looking in it seems like a good idea. If it’s not, please explain why. If I had a gay son/brother, that’s where I’d direct him.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 1:56 am | Permalink
  5. Mejoff wrote:

    Eighth and Final Rule:…

    Funniest thing I’ve read in weeks, Thank you G.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  6. ke wrote:

    NO don’t have him read Dan Savage! Savage is not so good on the entry level every day life stuff. Eric Marcus’s books are better.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink