Opinions and advice are like buttholes. Every gay man has one, but you only want contact with some of them. See if this gay guy’s must-do list has anything to do with your gay life.
Like his reasons for putting out on the first date, Atlanta writer Lucas Witherspoon doesn’t hold back in these unvarnished opinions on sex, dating, pop culture, slut shaming, stereotypes and basically everything else that he thinks every gay who’s any gay needs to know.
Some of it’s common sense or old news. Some of it’s not. Dive into Witherspoon's 30 Things All Gay Men Should Know and see if it rings true or applies to you.
1. A well-tailored suit is wardrobe must.
Even if it’s a singular suit, make sure it’s tailored to perfection. Anyone who says suits are too expensive has clearly never experienced the joy of a well-tailored Tom Ford suit.
2. Your measurements
For a tailored shirt alone, you have to consider collar and cuff size, sleeve and shirt length, chest and waist width, etc. It sounds tedious, but it’s well worth it.
3. Crying is okay.
Forget the antiquated archetype that says crying makes a person seem vulnerable. If Ancient Grecians (men who would make the “manliest” of present-day men look like stunted toddlers by comparison) and their gods were known to cry, for the sake of your emotional health, just have a good cry sometimes.
4. Getting tested regularly is imperative.
Being tested for HIV is of dire importance and should be frequent, but you should be tested for other STDs/STIs regularly as well.
5. Use common sense when it comes to sex.
Unless you are 100 percent certain that the person you’re having sex with is HIV- and other STD-negative (which is a near-impossibility), use a condom.
6. Make sure your condoms are the right size and that you’re using them correctly.
It’s distressing how many men don’t know how to properly use condoms and overestimate the size of their penis (both women and bottoms can attest to the latter sentiment). If you don’t already know how to properly apply a condom, I would refer you to this site, which also explains the benefits of condom usage.
7. Body hair is okay.
Not having some body hair past the age of 24 (the official cutoff point when you have to stop referring to yourself as a twink) is just unnatural. If your job requires you to be smooth (bodybuilder, stipper, escort, porn actor, model, etc.), so be it, but otherwise, no. Obviously it’s your body so it’s subject to your preference, but it’s a hassle, so why not just let it grow out a bit and resolve to manscape?
8. Stop living life like you’re a Real Housewife.
If you need pretend/self-imposed conflict (“drama”) to make you feel fulfilled, you need to take a few steps back and evaluate your life. Furthermore, don’t live beyond your fiscal means. Yes, being gay can be expensive, but you get to live in the satisfaction of knowing you’re debt-free and won’t be filing for bankruptcy protection 10 years from now.
9. Whomever proposes the date is the person who pays.
Some men find it emasculating to have someone else pay for them on a date, but the rules are the same in the gay world as they are in the hetero world: whomever initiates the date is the person who pays.
10. You’re still allowed to be friends with your friends’ exes.
Quick check: Are you a human being? Is your friend’s ex a human being? Good, we’ve established you’re both human beings, and as such, you are allowed to establish relationships with other individuals.
11. Don’t be that ex.
No one wants to be seen as the embittered ex. I’m personally friends with all of my exes, except for one, who is the aforementioned embittered ex (on his part, not mine).
12: The lyrics to every Madonna hit
Impromptu karaoke is a very real threat among gays and Madonna is a solid go-to. Alternates include Beyoncé and Britney.
13. Act on a subdued fetish.
The more you internally restrain a fetish, the stronger the desire becomes, so enact it (under the presumption you’re not the next Patrick Bateman). There’s no shame in being kinky.
14. Stop with the ageism.
Unless you’re a major cable network trying to reach a particular demographic, the words, “I’m only looking for 18-30″ should never leave your mouth. You’re not immortal; you won’t be young forever. Therefore, you should stop acting as if you won’t someday be the same 35-year-old you’re presently acting prejudiced towards.
15. Never settle.
Especially within the gay community, it seems a lot of guys are in a rush to be in a relationship at all costs. Usually it’s a sign of an emotional void that results from a number of factors, both personal and societal, but you deserve better than settling for the first guy that comes along who shows you a modicum of attention. Keep your options open until you’re sure it.
16. How to bottom
Even if you’re a self-appointed top, you’re obligated to bottom at least once in your life, if not only to experience what bottoms go through. It’s not always an easy task. See this post for further instructions.
17. You should eventually venture outside of your 'type.'
Additionally, you should examine why your “type” is your type. I used to have a stringent twinks-only policy, but then I matured, and now my tastes vary day-to-day. One day it could be a twink, the next it could be a beefy Latino, and the next it could be a daddy.
18. Never be afraid to be called a slut.
People who call others sluts are repressed in their own sexuality and are the last people who should be judgmental, since they haven’t come to terms with their own innate sexuality. As a man, slut-shaming other men not only perpetuates the misogynistic slut-shaming that was brought about by straight men shunning women for expressing their sexuality, but it degrades human sexuality as a whole. As Dottie Easton wisely defined, a so-called slut is “a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasurable and good for you.”
19. Make your own money.
If you’re a sugar baby looking for a daddy, what makes you think once you age beyond his preference he won’t dump you? Make your own money first so that you’re financially secure, then you can focus on looking for a rich daddy to pamper you.
20. Who Tallulah Bankhead is
Because she was the original Hollywood female badass. She was THE hot mess, long before Lilo came along (the only difference being Tallulah was and is a respected actress).
21. “The Golden Girls” was the original “Sex and the City.”
Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia will forever trump Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda, and Carrie.
22. “Gay” and “straight” stereotypes limit understanding and are culturally specific.
Historically, bisexuality was seen as being “manly” and even in some Asian (a continent not known for being particularly accepting of homosexuality) countries today, holding hands or being affectionate with close males friends isn’t seen as being anything other than just friendliness.
23. We owe the fight for equality in part to drag queens, so don’t automatically demean them.
There’s a difference between drag queens who do it for the attention and drag queens who consider it legitimate performance art, but the fact remains drag queens in large part sparred the fight for LGBT equality.
24. There’s a difference between having an ethnic sexual preference and being racist.
Being environmentally programmed toward one race over another sexually is one thing, but being obliviously and/or blatantly racist will always be unacceptable.
25. Don’t use the term “gay idol” lightly.
Most modern “gay idols” ripped off the idols that came decades before them. Do your research.
26. Fag hags are imperative, solely for their unbiased opinions.
Even though there have been plenty of “We Are the World”-esque improvements in gay culture in compliance with mainstream culture, the fact remains that being shown things from a different perspective is always beneficial.
27. Having friends with benefits is okay.
Let’s just break it down to a basely biological standpoint: gay men are still men. Biologically, most of us crave carnality (thanks, hormones!). So, if you’re a gay guy who’s friends with another gay guy, who’s to say you can’t have sex and have it be nothing else but libidinously platonic?
28. Monogamy is just as okay as non-monogamy.
Every person has the free will to choose whether they’d like to take the puritanical path that leads to monogamy or adhere to the biological pragmatism of sexual non-monogamy. Clearly I’m biased in this situation, but it doesn’t mean I don’t respect a person’s choice to choose one way or the other.
29. Being gay isn’t an identity; it’s a sexual orientation.
Your sexual leanings don’t define you as a person.
30. Don't discriminate against other LGBTs just because one genre of gay isn’t your taste.
We’re all in this together.
Lucas Witherspoon blogs at Lucas Lascivious, where this post fist appeared.