I have some gay coworkers, and most of the guys on the hall in my apartment building are (it is West Hollywood, after all). My mother, who lives in Iowa, keeps asking me if I’m “comfortable” in West Hollywood. The other day she finally explained what she meant. She’s afraid gay guys are hitting on me. I’ve never noticed the slightest flirt. So my question: Do gay guys find straight guys attractive? Do gay men want to sleep with straight men?
Your name is Bruce, you live in West Hollywood, and you aren’t gay? I mean, really! Before I get to your question, I want to let you know that it’s okay to tell me if you secretly wish your gay neighbors would flirt with you. But okay, now let me try to answer. All the straight men I know seem to think that gay men find them hot. That’s not a straight or gay thing, that’s a man thing. We guys, as any woman can tell you, have an exaggerated sense of our own importance, and that extends to how we think we’re seen by possible sex partners, even those we don’t want to sleep with.
Gay guys do appreciate male beauty, mostly when beauty is defined as being built. That explains the affection in our community for Michael Phelps. But in the unlikely event that a gay man were to sleep with Phelps, he probably would put a paper bag over his head first. The fact that we admire his body (and his swimming prowess) doesn’t mean we want to have sex with him. It’s true that gay men spend too much time fanaticizing that one “straight” celebrity or another really plays on our team (John Travolta and Tom Cruise come to mind). But that’s not a function of sexual attraction so much as it is a prideful desire to add more celebrated and powerful people to a team that already is brimming with them.
The truth is, a gay man isn’t likely to make a pass at Michael Phelps unless Mike makes it clear he is open to it. It’s not just that he doesn’t want a broken jaw. Men, and that includes gay men, are biologically programmed to spread their seed. But nature also has programmed us not to waste our time in doing so. Just as most sane straight men don’t pursue elderly women and little girls, most gay guys don’t engage in pointless pursuits of straight men. We have enough romantic and sexual disappointment in our own community to deal with.
So tell Mom to relax. Unless, that is, you have something bigger to tell her. The good news is your neighbors, I’m sure, would be happy to offer you their support. And they’d probably start flirting with you!
Questions you can’t bring yourself to ask your gay friends and neighbors? Send them to Henry@WEHOville.com.