A Girl Who Likes Boys Who Like Boys: The Joy of Dating Gay Men

Perhaps the only problem with dating gay men is that they’re gay.

One of the greatest forms of procrastination is Tumblr. During midterms, I was on a Tumbling spree and happened upon the Homotography Tumblr page. On a public computer in my college library, I nonchalantly scrolled through the impeccable bone structure, bare chests, and bulging groins of the male models featured on Homotography. “That’s a beautiful gay guy. That’s a beautiful gay man. That’s a beautiful gay dude,” I thought. Then my eyes widened and I thought, “that’s my beautiful gay ex-boyfriend.”

Those closest to me know that I have a pretty impressive track record of dating guys that eventually come to realize their sexual orientation is one that favors other men. Two of them have been male models, and one was just a Buddhist chap from San Francisco, who I would describe as “cute.” Many women are horrified by my ability to joke about my history of dating gay men and the fact that I’m not particularly bitter about it. Most commonly, I am pitied and asked if I think that I “made” them gay. Apart from informing them that these guys went on to date other women after dating me, my response usually entails asking them to hop in a time machine and join me in the 21st century.

My taste in men is certainly influenced by my identity as a feminist and maybe only a slight fascination with intellectual male models. As a Political Science major and Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, I have read more Judith Butler than might be healthy. Thus, I am well aware that gender is a performance very much bound up in sexuality and am not very concerned with the level of “heterosexual masculinity” being emitted by whomever I am dating. Sometimes I reason that perhaps my romantic relationships with these gay men are strong evidence for the fluidity of sexuality.

My experiences dating men who later came to identify as gay were no different than my experiences dating straight men. I was attracted to their intelligence, worldliness, humor, ability to express their emotions, and good looks. My relationships with the male models and the Buddhist from San Francisco were honestly no different from those with my straight boyfriends. If anything, they were more enjoyable. They processed and expressed their emotions with greater ease, were more open-minded, and oftentimes more caring than the straight men I have dated.

My wise therapist told me that gay men are the best lovers, even when they are dating women. I may have to agree with her.

—Photo pedrosimoes7/Flickr

About Feminist Dating Blogger

Twenty-something heterosexual female maneuvering the dating world as a staunch feminist. Join me as I recount my adventures, observations, thoughts, and advice regarding dating as a 21st century feminist.


  1. when you introduce ageing into this paradox it all makes sense. becoming older, the sexuality wanes and a deeper level of interest must takes its place. the gender barriers seem to dissolve and all that’s left is love and what’s involved with being human. this can happen at any age.

  2. I guess we’re all different in regards to gender identity, sexuality etc. I don’t even truly know what I am. I am physically a male, not fem or butch acting, kind of neutral with a little more on the masculine side. I’m physically fit. Both men and women can find me attractive. I have been attracted to both guys and girls, but sometimes I feel like I am a woman inside. When I fantasize about sex I think of being a woman having sex with a guy and am more interested in straight porn, but in the gay area I am a top. I haven’t had sex with a woman, but I think it is because they intimidate me. Sex with men hasn’t been very good. I think I just like the look of men, and the masculinity, as I don’t like the sex much, but I love the kissing, cuddling, etc, but I liked that with girls too. I have tried dating men more than women, but been very disappointed, as men seem to just want sex and don’t care about me. I think a woman would give a better emotional bond. I have been attracted to cute lesbians and FTM Trans, so maybe I just need a masculine woman, lol. I wonder how much my not having a dad and having a domineering mother and more influence from my sisters has had on my sexual identity and orientation. I kind of feel turned off by females because of my mom and sisters and how girls acted in High School, queen bitches. But guys are jerks. Guess I’m destined to be alone.

  3. Here Here!

    FtM here to say, I totally get it! Before transition all I was attracted to was gay men- some whom didn’t know they were gay themselves 😉

  4. I’m a gay guy (25 years old), who, along with a few other gay male friends, is more on the masculine appearing side. My current roommate (also gay) and I are heavily into bodybuilding. At first glance, we come across as a couple of jockish types. Both of us date women occasionally. This arrangement is often highly emotionally compatible but physically/sexually strained. In these situations (roommate and I) it often spontaneously combusts into a threesome between me, my roommate, and the girl one of us is dating. My roommate and I don’t have sex with each other when this happens, with the exception of incidental contact. However, I can’t identify myself as semi-straight or bisexual, since I think this particular activity is almost like a fetish. We like to double up on a girl here and there, but I don’t feel sexually attracted to women in general (with some exceptions). The real appeal is sharing her with a another hot, sweaty bro. It’s like we’re using her for the sole purpose of rubbing our dicks together; sort of like fucking each other by proxy. When it happens, the sex is mind blowing for everyone involved. There’s no “rules” for us like there would be with two straight guys and one girl. We don’t worry about our appendages touching; arms around each other, slapping each others butts, etc. I don’t want to make this practice a habit though, since it involves some form of degradation to the female involved. Though often enough a relationship like this continues for a while, despite one or two bouts of perviness. Maybe the “straight” porn I watched when I was younger helped pave the way for the incorporation of these sexual acts into an otherwise normal, gay sex life. I’m not saying the porn made me gay, since I was gay well before (in the womb?) before I started watching it.

    • Very interesting reading TJ

      regarding this,
      I don’t want to make this practice a habit though, since it involves some form of degradation to the female involved.
      You could find a woman with a ‘degradation’ kink for your fun. So that all understand the terms of engagement

    • Rabbithole says:

      ^^ Ah, that’s totally like my fantasy!! Too bad i don’t have two well-built, willing, gay (or otherwise) hot sweaty bros.. :/ Gotta start looking!! 😀

    • 2 straight guys would have a “no crossing swords!” rule

  5. Funny. I just wrote about this myself the other day including a link to my favorite tumblr, pornceptual, which had me fantasizing about guys doing homo stuff. I think its about liking guys who can take care of themselves and each other and don’t put all their sexual needs on the feminine. And, accepting and embracing the full-spectrum of human sexuality.

  6. I’m curious to hear more about this from the gay friend’s side of things. Naturally this article is from the point of view of a woman who has had rewarding relationships with gay men. I have no reason to doubt that she was a good friend in return.

    I’m still wondering, though, what do these men get out of these friendships? I wonder if they see the relationships the same way that these women do. I’m wondering if there are gay men out there who are a little annoyed by this approach who sometimes feel used. I’m guessing there would be. Friendships come to an end for all sorts of reasons, of course, but might these friendships come to an end precisely because of this quasi-romantic dynamic?

    This article and comments talk quite a bit about what women get from gay men. I’m left with curiosity about whether the men themselves find these relationships equally rewarding. I highly doubt his therapist is telling him that straight women make the best lovers…. : – )

    • I don’t know about the original author’s friends, but my gay friend seemed to get out of the friendship the same things that I got out of it. A friend who was there for him and who accepted him for the way he was despite all the crap he endured. We had a lot of similar interests (anime, theater, crappy pop music, sci fi, gay rights issues). He would walk to my house every day to hang out whether I asked him to or not, so clearly he was getting something out of it. When you start to become sexually active, you know when to back off when the other one is trying to get laid, and can dish out honest relationship advice without sexual chemistry or jealousy getting in the way. You can tell him how awesome, brave, smart, or talented he is without him thinking you’re trying to take the relationship into dangerous waters, so you would think that there’d be a better atmosphere for mutual support on both ends.

      We’ve gone our separate ways now, but his current best friend is also a girl (so he, once again, chose a girl), and from what I see on facebook and have heard, they have a great back and forth relationship that includes teasing, fun times, reminiscing, etc…just like any good friendship. I’m sure there are gay men out there who do feel used, but when conducted properly, it can be a very symbiotic relationship. It’s possible many women also feel used—and deal with the consequences of being called ‘f** hags.’ It’s to the point where it’s become a stereotype, though–which is always entering dangerous territory. Gay men are fabulous and love clothes and talk a certain way and love sassy female friends!

      I’m a little concerned about the word “used” being mentioned every time a woman is involved in a relationship with a man and there’s no sex. A good chunk of my partner’s closer friends are gay, and for the most part, they haven’t slept with each other, even if they’ve roomed together (they’re attractive and outgoing, so they have PLENTY of opportunities to get laid on the side, though). So obviously, many men appreciate elements friendships with the gender that attracts them that aren’t just sex related–given that there are also sexual opportunities and romantic relationships available for both parties on the side.

      Still, you’re right that this article and comments are coming from women’s points of views, so it’d be nice to hear from a gay man who has or has had a lot of close girlfriends, and continue to do so as the times change to start and make homosexuality more acceptable.

  7. I can see it the upsides, though, stereotypes or not. He’ll be there for your emotional needs, and as a stable friend–as long as you return the favor. Yet, he won’t get pissed off when you go out and bone someone else, so you also get all the fun of casual sex (yay!). And he can give you sex tips–having (in some cases), experienced it from both a giving and receiving angle. He can provide you the fun drama of silly fights and gossip, without it going into the ‘real’ and awkward drama of dealing with money, sexual boredom, or child issues. When he calls you ‘beautiful’ or compliments you, you won’t be told by all of your other friends that he doesn’t actually mean it and is only trying to ‘get’ sex (regardless of whether you’re willing to or have had intercourse with him regardless). And because he’s not a girl, you’re not dealing with as many jealousy or mean girl issues.

    Seriously though, my first real best friend in high school was (is) gay, and it was a great friendship—although we did live in a town where he was the first one to come out at our school and it caused him a LOT of stress and bullying (he was forcefully put into suicide prevention counseling). Still, it was nice to also have someone who also didn’t fit in (the ‘otherness’ thing) to get through high school with, and to learn together. He had asked me out before he came out, and I refused him. It mostly out of awkwardness, because I really did like him, but sometimes I like to think it might have had something to do with me having a hint about his sexual orientation (once again, I’m stereotyping, but we did meet through a shared passion for theater). There was never any sense of wanting to ‘turn’ him, desiring a sexual relationship, or having him to myself. My foreign and conservative mom, of course, always thought he had some sort of other agenda.

  8. “My wise therapist told me that gay men are the best lovers, even when they are dating women. I may have to agree with her.”


    At first I was tempted to feel offended by this, but then I realized that if it’s true that’s really sad for women and not all that bad for straight guys anyway. The best lover a woman will ever find is a man who would prefer having sex with someone entirely different? Geez, that’s depressing. Given the small percentage of men who are gay, and the percentage of them willing to have sex with women, and then the percentage of those willing to have sex with any particular woman, we’re looking at a very tiny population of men. Hard to find, outnumbered by women 50 to 1.

    Doesn’t our society have enough problems with unrealistic expectations about sex and relationships without this one, too? If the advice for women is to find a gay man for a boyfriend, I can only say “good luck with that.” : – )

    • Megalodon says:

      They made a skit about this on the Man Show years ago. It was a commercial about how heterosexual husbands could rent homosexual men to be their wives’ companions. The gay men entertain the wife and go with her to mall and the coffee shop and such. After the husband is done having sex, he leaves the bed and the gay man comes in to cuddle with the wife.

    • Feminist Dating Blogger says:

      I definitely wouldn’t say that this post advised women to find a gay man as a boyfriend, rather that my few experiences of dating men that later came out were enjoyable and not the *horror* that many people expect them to be. I was also hoping to challenge readers to imagine what the benefits of loosening labels and boundaries of sexual orientation could be.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this is a totally cliched question, but I’m sure many of us are thinking it —

    Isn’t this just another case of being involved with someone who is unavailable? Of being drawn to someone that you “can’t have”?

  10. “Many women are horrified by my ability to joke about my history of dating gay men and the fact that I’m not particularly bitter about it. ”

    Why would you be bitter about about a choice you freely made? You sound healthy and those others sound sick. Good for you.

    By the way, did any of these guys feel like you wasted their time? I bet they had the good sense not to either.

    • I wouldn’t say that anyone involved felt that time was wasted. In one instance I felt particularly heartbroken after the breakup with one of these guys, but I think that merely speaks to the normalcy of these relationships. And by “normalcy,” I mean the passions and feelings experienced in any romantic relationship.

  11. In a way, you could think of it as a great compliment if a man came out of the closet after dating you. It’s like he’s saying, “I knew that if I was not attracted to THAT amazingly beautiful, sexy, vibrant, captivating woman then I must not be attracted to women. This just finally confirms it.”

    (Yes, I know that not being attracted to women is not the same as being attracted to men. I know that “gay” does not necessarily mean not attracted to women. Work with me here.)

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Ok, that’s the best turnaround way of looking at it I’ve ever heard! Bravo!

    • I like the way you think 🙂

      • I can’t really take any credit for it. I just paraphrased what a friend of mine told me years ago. On two separate occasions when he was in college, an ex-girlfriend came out as a lesbian right after they broke up. He spun it as evidence that he must be a VERY attractive young man, final proof for these women that they just could not be attracted to a man, no matter how sexy he was.

        I just switched the genders. 🙂

  12. One thing I always enjoyed about being with gay men (non sexually, but occasionally romantically) was that I felt truly “seen” by them without sex getting in the way.

    Now, lest I sound like I don’t like sex with men. I do. But when I was younger and dating, it was often unclear if the men I was dating were into me or getting to my vagina and then maybe really getting to know the rest of me. Something I found, and still find, distasteful.

    I enjoyed having gay boyfriends, because I was able to have a relationship with the masculine that didn’t erase the part of me I thought was most valuable in its search for my genitals. Straight boys, during that time period, seems to see me as secondary to their pursuit of the good stuff.

    It took the pressure off and I was able to hear the man and see the man for who he was as well, without any thought to having sex with him, or feeling like an object. Refreshing, really.

    And also, I’m really fond of non alpha male types, artists, writers and so forth. I’ve always liked masculine women and feminine men for actual dating.

    Then again, maybe I just don’t appeal to alpha dudes.

  13. As a gay guy myself, I have observed that much of my other-ness comes from the fact that I was forced at an early age to question the ideas being handed to me: you should have x kind of relationship with females, you should have x kind of relationship with fellow males, your culture and religion say that men who like men are evil. All the cultural authorities just come crashing down when those three things turn out to be untenable for a guy who likes guys. When that happened for me, I had to be open-minded about making things up for myself. Most gay men have to go through that in some form; most straight men (and women) do not, at least not to that extent.

    • Yeah, definitely being gay would force a person to question cultural norms and where they fit into them. Personally, I felt forced to do that even though I’m straight, because I just don’t relate to a lot of female stereotypes. But as you point out, a lot of straight people don’t go through that process because they don’t have to. I like people who have thought these things through for themselves and not just accepted society’s “defaults” (not that you have to reject them all – sometimes you think them through and conclude that they’re OK, but the point is to think them through and forge your own identity, and get to know yourself in the process), so I can understand a straight woman being attracted to dating gay/bi guys. In my case, I hang around with a lot of “artsy” types who like to push the envelope anyway, so they aren’t necessarily trapped in gender roles whether they’re straight or otherwise. Being gay or an artist or a racial minority tends to force you to re-think things for yourself, which IMO is always a good thing.

  14. I hear ya. I’m usually attracted to guys who, in one way or another, don’t fit the accepted male gender roles, and I don’t fit the accepted female roles in many ways either. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sexual orientation, but if a guy is somewhere along a bisexual spectrum and he doesn’t express his masculinity the way straight guys are typically expected to, he might end up preferring to date men – that is, men might be more likely to accept him as he is than most straight women would be. Just a thought, I don’t know.

    • “…he might end up preferring to date men – that is, men might be more likely to accept him as he is than most straight women would be.”

      That’s a really good point. I’ve never thought about that possibility, but I think it makes a lot of sense. I think our sexuality and adoption of certain labels (gay, straight, bi, etc) is more influenced by the rules of gender role performance and “acceptance” than we probably realize.

      • Yeah, exactly… I don’t think that sexual orientation really correlates with gender roles – that is, some people are completely on one end of the other on the sexual orientation spectrum regardless of “gender role performance” (I’m one of those people – I’ve never been attracted to another woman even though I don’t relate to a lot of the female gender roles). But if someone is bi, or at least somewhat open to either sex, a gay man for instance is more likely to be accepting of a man who rejects gender roles than most straight women would be, so the guy may end up with another guy for that reason. I definitely know a few lesbians where that is the case – they dated men for awhile but got tired of being asked to conform to gender roles that they don’t fit into, and lesbians didn’t expect that of them.


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