I am a gay guy. I'll get that out of the way first. Grossed out by the boobs, turned on by the cock. It's a fact of life for me and there ain't no changin' it. I accepted it many years ago and life has been great ever since. I will also say here that I am a “quality guy”. I have a career that I have absolutely loved for the past 13 years, I have a wonderful long term partner of over 10 years, a wonderful daughter, vital relationships with supportive friends and family, lots of fun interests and hobbies, I volunteer and give back to my community. Oh yeah…and I know how to have fun in the sack to boot, AND I have been faithful to my other half for the whole time we’ve been together (and he to me). Go ahead and trash me for calling myself quality, but I know I am. I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. I have my faults like anyone else, but I’m reasonably sure that I would be perceived as quality by most people.
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OK...so now my point. I am amazed at the number of postings from gay men on this site who are complaining about the lack of "normal", non-racist, attractive, monogamous, non-druggie men out there. It truly is incredible to me. It makes me wonder if we are living in the same place!
If you scroll down a ways on this Rants and Raves list today, you'll see a posting from a gay Asian guy who laments the fact that the gay community is totally focused around white gays. I totally agree. But I had to laugh at his posting as he went on to say that he meets guys at clubs and online. THAT’S what he is judging the gay community by? How lame is that? Does he see Asian guys throwing themselves at White guys at book club meetings and running clubs? I’m guessing not. Post after post I read gay guys complaining about the lack of quality gay men out there and almost all of them talk about some creepy online experience or a bad scene at some bar or club.
To all you gay men who are complaining…do you realize there is more to life than meeting guys in bars and online? My God...you live in one of the major hubs of culture, academia, sports, you name it, and you're trolling for quality guys on the Internet or at Badlands?
Do you all know that getting your dick sucked or getting banged is not the center of your existence? Sure it’s fun and I’d never turn down an opportunity for either, but there is so much more to life than just being defined by being attracted to a penis. Make yourself more well-rounded than that. Quality guys can sniff you out in a second if you’re just horny. What more do you have to offer after you’ve both cum?
For all of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here are 10 suggestions for how to find that quality guy. They are all based on common sense, but I have found them to work well for me:
1. Do you have a hobby or interest other than sucking cock or getting fucked? If you do, then join a club/group/social group around that interest or hobby. It doesn't have to be a gay club. Just join a club or group. You will meet people there who like the same thing you do. You will be yourself there (and not some phony posing at a bar or hiding behind a screen name) because you will be in a place where you actually enjoy what's going on. Do you enjoy spending hours on the Internet trying to find a hook-up? I’m guessing not. The hooking up is fun, but not the endless searching. If you join a group you won't meet a one night stand or boyfriend there most likely (although it could happen, huh?), but you will meet other people who know other people who know other people. It's like that lame MySpace site although in actual real life! Amazing, huh? Who knows? Maybe one of those people will invite you to a party and introduce you to the man of your dreams. And chances are that he will be a quality guy because the people who accepted you into their club or group or going to hold everyone else up to the same standards, whatever they are.
2. Go out and give back to others. Instead of trolling around the Castro or Gay.com, get off your ass and volunteer somewhere. Project Open Hand, Stop Aids, Equality California --- they all could use volunteers and are positively TEEMING with gay men who are all united behind a common purpose. Are those causes too "gay" for you? Then volunteer at St. Anthony’s Dining Room or Glide Memorial. Too religious for you? Then go do a Google search online for other volunteer opportunities. Help out at the Humane Society, be a mentor for a young person, go read stories to the local kindergarteners in your neighborhood. When you volunteer, you will meet other people who are selfless and who enjoy helping others (i.e. those “quality” people you are looking for). Quality guys appreciate someone who understands that life is not all about you. It’s also in part about helping others and learning about other people. If you don’t like to do either of those things, then I suggest you look inside yourself to see why not. You’re not a quality guy if you do not have this aspect of your personality.
3. Go out and get some exercise. No…I don’t mean go to a gym in the Castro and cruise the steam rooms for sex. Set a goal for yourself. Tell yourself you will spend a year training for a marathon (or a 5K, or a half marathon, or 3 miles) and then run it. Train for the AIDS Ride and then do it. Go for a run in another part of the City from where you live. Get out of your rut. Join a running club. There are lots in San Francisco and all over the Bay Area. It doesn’t have to be one of the gay running clubs, by the way. Remember, you’re not living your life around the sole idea that you are gay. Change your mindset that you are a runner, or a cyclist, or a weightlifter, or whatever. People who say they “hate exercise” come off as not quality. If you hate to run, find something you do like – dance, rowing, swimming? You do not have to be a porno god with bulging biceps and perfect pecs. Quality guys appreciate someone who takes the time to take care of their body in any way. This doesn’t mean hit the gym 7 days a week. It doesn’t mean you are 6’2”, 190 with a tapered waist. It means get some exercise, eat well, go to the dentist regularly. Show some pride in yourself by taking care of yourself.
4. Do you have a job? Do you actually like it? Or do you spend all your time whining and moping about it? A quality guy wants a guy who is doing something with his life that has goals and seems rewarding and/or fulfilling. You don’t have to make lots of money to be fulfilled by the way. Have you ever bumped into someone who LOVES their job and just kind of felt awestruck by them? Be that person. Or if life has dealt you a hand where you have to stay in a job you hate, then make the most of it. No one wants to hear about how much your job sucks. Sure we all have bad days, but if you don’t seem like you have made good choices in your life around the one thing you spend most of your day doing, how do you expect to attract anyone who will think you are quality too? If you have a professional job, join a professional group. Go to conferences. Give a seminar. Again, you don’t have to join a gay professional group. Just get your name and face out there. If you hate your job, find ways to change it instead of moping to everyone about it. Your complaining will be a total turn-off to a quality guy.
5. Do you have an education? Quality guys consider most guys with no college diploma a bad catch. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Right or wrong, people who went to college are perceived as having goals, striving for them, attaining them, and planning for their futures. If you haven’t gotten a degree yet, what’s stopping you? There are scholarships, loans, grants – so much money out there waiting for you to spend it on your future. But you have to do the legwork. It sucks…I know. It’s a lot of stress, time, and energy. But at the end of it, you will feel proud that you accomplished something for yourself, you will be better educated, and you will be more attractive to the quality guy. There are so many schools in the Bay Area – everything from cooking schools, to art schools, to universities, to massage schools, to you name it. Go back to school and start doing what you love or what you’ve always wanted to do. Start small. Don’t think you’re going to get into the Stanford M.B.A. program if you’re not qualified to be there. Take classes at the local community college at first, transfer up to a state or U.C. You have so many options open to you. Stop with the excuses for why you are not educated as much as you could be.
6. Lay off the drugs. Quality guys don’t do them. They are too busy with their work lives, their social lives, their family lives, their volunteering, their cultural events, etc. Drugs are for lazy people with too much time on their hands. Choose to spend your time another way. If you meet a quality guy while you are high or drunk, what kind of person will he wake up to the next morning? Some of you post on here wondering why a guy never calls you back after the one night stand. Could it be that the guy he met in the bar last night sobered up and is now a boring dud who drones on about his work? Ditch the drugs and be yourself. If you are addicted, go get help. There are free programs all over. If you are reading this you have an Internet connection. Google programs and then get to work on getting clean and sober.
7. Get over the fact that some guys just aren’t attracted to you. Here’s something a shrink told me many years ago while I was dealing with my own coming out issues: he said that as gay men, most of us never got the teenaged experience that many straight folks get. Many of us didn’t get asked out to prom or have a first kiss, or get drunk and screw the cheerleader at homecoming (extreme example, I know, but you get the drift). We missed out on a lot of the teenage “rites of passage”. Because we were still trying to figure ourselves out or because we were in the closet, all of the adolescent sexual stuff flew right past us without us even knowing. Now that we are out to ourselves, we are making up for lost time. There are many men who are stuck in this adolescent phase. They are petty like schoolgirls. They bitch, they judge people based on looks or clothes or how much money they make. They think the world revolves around them. It’s textbook. They are stuck in 7th grade. They are reliving the years that they couldn’t have while they were growing up shy, awkward, closeted, or “hate crimed”. They are being the “powerful” people they wish they could have been back in middle school. Be above that. Move on from that. You are going to meet guys who turn you down because your dick is too small or because you’re going bald or because you are a certain ethnicity. Get over it. You will never change what someone is attracted to. I like coffee, you like tea. It’s a preference. If you keep finding guys who judge you like this, then you are obviously looking in the wrong spots. You are only in places where these adolescent phase guys are – online and clubs. That’s where the superficial crowd usually hangs. There is safety in numbers or behind an anonymous screen name. I’m not saying everyone online or in a bar is a creep or freak, but I’m willing to bet you will find way more quality guys volunteering or in a running club than you will at the Midnight Sun or in the San Francisco M4M room on AOL.
8. Broaden your horizons. Go take your lunch somewhere new. Get out of your neighborhood and see some place different on the weekend or whenever you are not working. Take a weekend trip alone (GASP! Alone?!) and sightsee somewhere new. My God, we live in an area where you can drive or take public transit to the mountains, the beach, the wine country, hiking trails, or the Bay all within hours of each other. Where else in the world can you do that? Can’t afford a trip? Take the bus to a different neighborhood or local city. Ask a local where a good place to eat is. Walk downtown. Go meet life! You will bump into all sorts of people. Most of them won’t be your next boyfriend, but you never know. Maybe their co-worker would be. Or their frat brother from college. You never know how things will work out.
9. Read books, magazines (no, People and US Weekly don’t count -- although they ARE fun once in a while), newspapers, Web sites…anything you can get your hands on. It’s amazing how many people don’t read. Reading makes you a great conversationalist. Not reading means all you can talk about is what you know – yourself and your own life. This gets tedious for a quality guy. What was the last good book you read? What made it good? What kind of conversations can you start about our world that does not include an anecdote about yourself and your life? Are you interested in politics and next year’s presidential election? Have you read the new book by Armistead Maupin? Are you a sports fan and like chatting about the Giants and the Barry Bonds feat/controversy? Find something in this huge universe of ours to take an interest in and then READ READ READ about it. In my single days, I used to notice when I’d walk into a guy’s place what books (if any) he had out on display. Invariably, a place with no books out at all meant a non-quality guy who could only talk about himself. Books tell others who you are and what you find interesting, and they are great conversation starters everywhere. Can’t afford books? Go to the library. Browse bookstores. Maybe the guy standing next to you at the stack likes the same stuff you do.
10. Go out and get some culture. We live in one of the hubs of culture on this planet. If you’re into art, go see the MOMA or the new De Young Museum. If you like dance, go see the ballet. Go see a Broadway show (I just saw “Avenue Q” last night – AWESOME!). No money? All of these places offer discounted tickets, student prices, and lots of other freebies. Check them out online. Go see the symphony or opera. Go see a loud metal concert. Go listen to the free music in the park. I was just in Dolores Park a few weeks ago listening to a free concert by the SF Symphony and that place was PACKED with quality guys. Tweakers and drunks tend to steer clear of culture because they know they are out of their element. If you can afford something more expensive, you will also be able to weed out the tweakers usually. Go get the Pink section from the SF Chronicle on Sundays. The whole thing is bursting with events, showings, performances, etc. to choose from. Yes, some are pricey, but many are free and easy to get to using public transit. People bitch and moan about MUNI and BART, but they will get you there. Go do something wacky and see something you’ve never done before. You might be surprised who you meet.
So there are my 10 suggestions for attracting a quality guy. And if you tell me that you can’t do anything I have listed above, then you are not a quality guy yourself. You should look inside yourself to see what your priorities in life are and then go out and make them happen. No one will be attracted to you in the long term if you don’t have your own life squared away first. It’s cliché, but it’s true.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers in life. I have my own issues that cause me grief just like anyone else does. I’m not saying I’m perfect and you’re not. I’m just responding to all of the guys out there who moan and groan and complain about the gay community and its lack of vitality and quality guys. This is not true, and I think that deep down you all know it. Hopefully you can use this as a kick start to go out and make something happen for yourself.
Oh…and one last piece of advice…stay optimistic. I have been there. It sucks being single and wishing you had someone to share life with (if that is your goal – I know it’s not everyone’s). Look on the bright side. Laugh at the weird encounters you have and chalk them up to experience. It’s easy to get bitter with the dating life, I know. But the more bitter you get, the more the quality guys will run the other way when you finally meet one. So many guys on here say they are sick of “bitter queens”, but they don’t realize that their complaining makes them one of the same group. Guys who are bitter seem like they are “over” life and done. Be the guy who makes a new start instead.
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