I read an article by a gay man on a mainstream website that stated in the very first paragraph, “I got all dressed up and feeling sexy and went to a party and didn’t get one number or one guy to hit on me”. That article was written by a man of color who went to a gay function where the attendees were primarily White. In another article on a mainstream website I read, “Must be disease free. I was online and all I saw were guys who didn’t want me because of my HIV status”. That was written by an HIV positive man discussing HIV shaming within the online gay community. He used this example because the profiles he saw online from men were seeking only HIV negative men.

I thought I didn’t have anything else to contribute to the subject of faux racism, pseudo effemiphobia, fat and HIV shaming when it comes to online dating profiles (I’ve discussed it before) but I was wrong. If a man wants to have sex with another man who displays traditional male qualities, has a certain appearance, is of a certain race, is of a certain age range and has a certain body type in the wrong for his personal preferences or desires? Well according to many mainstream gay outlets, he is.

When I was in the online dating and hooking up universe, I personally didn’t care about the characteristics that I was lacking or that didn’t apply to me based upon these random online profiles. I didn’t care about the Submissive Bottoms, Must be 10 inches plus, Whites Only, No Asians, Tops Only, Anything Goes, “I’m in shape and you be too” crowd. I simply scrolled past them and didn’t give it a second thought. They were not for me and I wasn’t for them, no worries in my book.

According to my friend and business partner, the “I don’t care” attitude that I possess as it pertains to this subject is a byproduct of my privilege. I’m privileged because I’m masculine, considered attractive and for the most part, in shape.  In the gay dating hierarchy, I’m considered more desirable amongst the gays so not only does the “No-Fat-No-Fems” mantras don’t apply they also don’t sting.  Ok, well using that same logic, why don’t the Whites Only, Must Be Well Endowed, Tops Only or Submissive Bottom requests bother me? I’m not well endowed by porn standards, I’m not a top or submissive bottom and as Black man (who has experienced overt racism and institutional racism) the Whites Only tag doesn’t offend me. What are the superhuman mystical powers I wield that allows me to fend off the evils of being offended when it comes to these online profiles? Maybe it’s because I’m not a possessor of the perpetual state of gay victim-hood or entitlement.

At least once a month on some mainstream queer leaning website or gay blog, there is a new article about hookup apps and the negative dating preferences of the users on said apps. The authors of these articles talk about racism, fem bashing and various forms of “shaming” that persists through-out numerous profiles in the online/app gay communities. Some of these articles are thought provoking; nonetheless many of these articles are mostly “I want sex or love and can’t find it online because of racism, femaphobia, fat and HIV shaming” in disguise.

Via their own admissions within their articles, many of these authors are either effeminate, fat, of the wrong ethnicity (white only) or HIV positive. They claim they are the undesirables at the bottom tier of the online/dating app sexual landscape. I’m not saying this perception may not have some truth but is it the whole truth? Are we to fully believe that gay men regardless if they’re fem, fat, men of different ethnicities and HIV positive are not hooking up and having sex? I think there is a bit of entitlement at play or adult men who can’t handle rejection? If said rejected offendees have spent countless hours online, taken the time to create a profile, write a short bio, list their hobbies and upload a pic of their shirtless torso or with them smiling with bedroom eye as they lay on white bed sheets caressing a pillow with their ass tooted up in the air, then automatically they should have an inbox full of suitors in waiting, right?

Be Honest, You’re Looking For Sex?

Let’s not play games here or beat around the bush, many online dating sites and apps are primarily used for (not their only use) sexual hookups and one night stands for gay men. Can we just admit it? That being said, for many men, time can be of the essence. Most guys get on when they want to engage in sexual activity and they want that experience to be worthwhile. Regardless of their reasons, most men have perimeters and preferences of what they want and how they want it. Hence the laundry lists of demands and qualifications including “No Fems, Fats, Asians, Blacks, Tops, Bottoms, etc. This is where the problems begin for the users or subscribers who don’t fit the bill.

To reiterate, these authors and the men who think like them are afraid to admit “I’m on a hookup app or online looking for sex and can’t score because the people I want don’t want to have sex with me.” This morphs into, “Oh My God, I’m tired of this happening. I’m a gay victim or a serial queer rejectee and I must write an article about it to express my rejection outrage”. Not realizing they are zeroing in and focusing on those that don’t want them and neglecting those that may be interested in them. In my opinion it’s a classic case of focusing on the negative and not the positive.

Could There Be Something Lacking Within You?

I have heard some men say that it can get demoralizing seeing “No Fat or Fems” over and over again. Why is that? What’s going on within you that anonymous, random and obscure strangers on the internet and apps impact your life to the point that you are demoralized? As a man who is introverted, a home-body, suffers from social anxiety, who’s had low self-esteem, coupled with aggression and anger issues; the sexual and dating preferences of others online NEVER bothered me. I was online looking for something just as they were. Why would I invest so much time and emotional mental energy into numerous profile on a computer screen that didn’t want me?

Even if they looked appealing to me, yes I may stop and ogle at their pic for a second or three but I wouldn’t waste me time to challenge them about their preferences, racism, or shaming. I just didn’t care and more importantly why should I? There were plenty of other men to choose from. In my opinion, online and app profiles that have preferences are a time saver. If you deem these preferences are bigoted, racist or femaphobic be grateful that these men have saved you time and made it that much easier for you to find what you may be looking for, which obviously isn’t them.

Ambiguity begets trolls, jerks, bigots and racists.

We should all know there is good and bad in everything. The internet and aspects of social media are not exempt. There are hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of positively impactful spaces online and there are just as many of those that are hateful and negative. The internet and social media allows many individuals to operate within a level of secrecy and ambiguity. Thus it empowers them to be trolls, jerks, bigots and racists.

There have been a couple of studies recently that high light sexist, homophobic and racist language via Twitter (view examples here and here). Regardless of my personal stance as it pertains to individual’s anti-gay or racist views, I personally support them in their right to say what they want, as long as it doesn’t insight direct violence upon others. If I want to speak freely than other should also be afforded the same rights and courtesies. I may even speak out in opposition of their point of view; nonetheless I understand they exist and will always exist. That doesn’t mean I should empower them by giving them more attention than they deserve. As an adult man, if you can’t handle rejection via the internet, disconnect and grow a thicker skin. Preferably around your nutt sack!

Ignoring The Online Gay Meanies Is Easier Said Than Done…

Why? We’re not talking cyber bulling between high school kids, we’re talking about adult gay men being offended by profiles of strangers. In my mind it’s simple. If you’re offended by the phrase;

No Fems: This one is confusing to me. There are so many men out there who prefer and love fem men. I know finding the right guy may take some work but please stop acting like fem men are not hooking up, dating, desirable and in relationships when reality states differently.

No Fats: Replace the word “Fem” with the word “Fat or Chubby” within the above statement.

Whites Only / No Blacks or Asians: Why does it seem like gays who are offended by “Whites Only” in online or app profiles are Asian, Black or Latino men who are looking for “Whites Only”? It’s like you’re saying you’re upset that white men want the same thing you want. As a Black homosexual man I do recognize that I’ve primarily had sex with and dated Black men and that’s because of the environments I grew up in. Not only is Black culture what I’m accustomed to but it’s also what’s relatable for me. How is this any different from the majority of Caucasians who profess “No Blacks or Asians” for their sexual or dating partner? The majority of societies date, have sex with and couple with those of the same race so why should gay men be any different? Isn’t that part of the Gay Rights Movement; to show how “normal” we are just like the rest of society?

Masculine Only: If there are men online who’re looking to date or have sex with only other masculine men, this is a bad thing why? Masculinity is attractive and desirable for many gay men; get over it.

Must be HIV negative: Some men with HIV seem offended when online and see this type of statement. There is an abundance of gay men who are HIV negative and want to remain that way. Not wanting to date or have protected sex with an HIV positive individual is their choice. Respect that and move on.

So Now What?

  • I absolutely think gay men need to rethink and change their mind sets when it comes to this topic. We are not talking about employment discrimination or the fight for marriage equality; this is online dating and sex.
  • I understand that some gay habits die hard. Many guys have formed habits of using technology as their only means for meeting other men. Some of these GPS technological advances maybe great for a quickie but may not be so great for anything meaningful. That’s not to say it can’t happen.
  • If you’re looking for something more, the internet and apps should not be your primary way of meeting men. Don’t limit your social interactions and put so much stock into these apps and online sites. Need some suggestions? Check out the articles here, here, here and here.
  • Many of us really need to rethink rejection. This is one of life’s great time savers that also help to build graciousness and character.
  • A lot of men lie or are deceptive concerning their profiles. From their looks, body types, STD status, endowment, sexual position, masculinity, you name it and many online profiles usually have at least one deception within them. So why take them seriously or more importantly be offended by them?
  • Stop thinking rejection means that you are undesirable. There are plenty of men who desire you. Blacks, Fems, Bottoms, Chubs, Asians, Bears, Tops, Whites; you name it and horny men OR men looking for something more meaningful want you. Focusing on those who want you means focusing on the positive.
  • I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist within the confines of someone’s personal preferences, I am saying under no circumstances should you care.

When I had an online profile on one of the gay dating sites years ago; I asked a buddy of mine to read it so he could give me his feedback. After reading, he felt my profile was somewhat antagonistic, a little anti-social, a bit immature and a bit cookie cutter with my headless muscular torso. I didn’t have any hobbies listed outside of video games, movies and the gym. I also had “No Fems” listed. He suggested I change somethings, add somethings and delete the “420” reference and the “No Fems” phrase. He also suggested replacing “No Fems” with “looking for a masculine man”. At that time, I wasn’t focused on making new friends and I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I was open to dating and sex.

The good thing was I started getting more messages in my inbox. The bad thing was that the majority of the men that sent the messages was effeminate or not to my masculine standards (yes, my standards). After speaking with the men who did past the phone test, I eventually would meet up with them for a date. Most times after meeting them face to face, I thought “okay I certainly see fem characteristics and mannerisms” and after they had a couple of drinks and begin to get comfortable the “real them” would come out. Now I’m looking at this dude like, “why or how do you consider yourself masculine when it’s clearly not who you really are”? Why did these men think it was wrong to be effeminate to the point that they would be misleading about it? It’s like the guy lying about his body type. If we’re gonna get naked, you know I will see the truth right?

Getting back to my point, I dealt with what I felt were these men not being completely truthful about their masculinity. I made it a point to enjoy my date night regardless if there wasn’t a love connection. After dealing with this type of situation over 15 times, there was money spent and time invested which other men may not have the patience for. I can easily see some men not being as understanding which could lead to frustration, which could lead to “No Fems” being stubbornly displayed in online profiles in hopes of not having the experiences I had. I’m not saying I agree, I’m just saying I understand.

We can absolutely have a conversation about the causes of our attractions and preferences; however we need to stop getting offended because someone doesn’t find us desirable and learn how to properly handle rejection.