Dare to Ask: Gay men appeal to her. Is there a problem here?
By Phillip Milano
The Florida Times-Union
I’m attracted to gay men. My boyfriend has a problem with this. What is wrong
with me? — Gina, 21, Dallas
Sunshine, nothing is wrong with you. Gay males are a Safety Zone! — Paul,
gay, Akron, Ohio
Of course he has a problem with that! You’re attracted to men with qualities
he apparently doesn’t have. That said, most women wouldn’t blame you. There is a
reason for the cliche “All the great men are either married or gay.” Gay men
tend to take better care of themselves and be more stylish. They tend to be less
macho and sexist in how they relate to women. — Lynne, Arlington, Va.
I have plenty of female friends. It’s because if they ever catch me looking
at their chest, they know I’m trying to read their T-shirt rather than get my
jollies. — Brian, 18, gay, Minnesota
Why is this a problem for your boyfriend? Is he homophobic? Or maybe he’s
unsure how “gay” some of these guys really are. — Rich, 46, gay, Seattle
It boils down to insecurity and ignorance. — Paul, 27, Austin, Texas
These friendships have the advantage of being platonic, which attracts many
women because of the “forbidden fruit” mentality — you want exactly what you
can’t have. But if the issue is sensitivity and empathy, many straight and
bisexual men are just as caring. — Chris, 24, bisexual female, Chicago
Would your boyfriend think it was weird if he found a hot lesbian attractive?
Hot is hot, regardless of sexual orientation. — Jean, 39, lesbian, California
Straight gal/gay guy? That’s touching — with no touching!
Some straight women enjoy the lack of sexual tension when with gay men, said
Tom Dolby, co-editor of the book “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.”
“There’s no issue in terms of who’s going home with whom,” he said in an
Cliches about straight women and their gay pals swooning over shopping and
dishing about men are superficial, though, he noted.
“I think most straight female/gay male friendships have at their heart a real
sense of mutual understanding that may be lacking from other friendships and
While he didn’t think Gina was off-base to hang with gay men, she should
consider what her penchant means, he suggested.
“If it’s to the exclusion of all other friendships and relationships, then
I’d say there’s something wrong. … I think single girls can sometimes use gay
men as a crutch when they are not in relationships,” he said. “She might want to
ask herself what she’s getting from her gay male friendships that she’s not
getting from her boyfriend.”
And hopefully she isn’t the kind angling to “turn” a gay man.
“I think that’s a pretty futile endeavor!” Dolby wrote.
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Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers. Send general
column comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also hear his
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