"Gay men are basically just women". It's a thought that passes through my mind from time to time as I navigate the waters of dating and relationships with men. Of course I can think of no community more than this one that would both reject that statement and at the same time understand it's meaning. We are not women, of course not. Most of us here have a strong understanding of our masculinity and firmly root our person-hoods there in. And still, looking outward we deal with an increasingly effeminate pool of men. We have all at one point or another had this thought. And you know what? Thats the way it should be.
There is a discomfort withing the gay community and amongst gay men talking about this dynamic. The question "who's the guy and who's the girl?" has been satirized into oblivion. Its now taboo to ask anything of the sort. The sexual roles of a couple are kept a closely guarded secret from outsiders. Culture shuts down conversation of the dynamic with thought-terminating clichés like "You don't ask two chopsticks which one is the fork". The black out on talking about this topic is so pervasive that for some time I really thought that gay men were just chopsticks. Two equal partners. Friends with benefits. I thought my preferences were not representative of the whole.
But of course, as anyone who spends some time gaying out will find, thats not the case. Men tend to fit into certain stereotypes and they want their partners to as well. They respond positively when you act a certain way and get disinterested when you don't. They don't want someone just like themselves to share their bed with. They want a man so they can be a woman.
The regularity to which gay men fit into these roles is astounding. This study by Nick Yee nicely illustrates the preferences of different gay men. Certainly there is quite a bit of versatility displayed by the respondents to his study. There are people who purport to like others of the same age, height, body type, ect. But They fall withing the bathtub curve of those who prefer contrasting partners. Those who are primarily sexually receptive (bottoms) are attracted to older, taller, hairier men. And, shockingly, tops are attracted to younger, shorter, smooth-skinned. The preferences mimick male-female relations, even down to the love for rough sex.
Whats important to note is that, just like hetero attractions, these egalitarian "someone similar to me" preferences are paid lip service by a large portion of the population, but that doesn't change the fact that those who more closely fit their respective male female roles are found more attractive by their counterparts. None of this is of much surprise to anybody, but somehow it's not being discussed in the wider gay community. Whether its out of fear that bottoms will feel emasculated or just general disdain for observing the workings of the sexual market place, it doesn't matter. Understanding this will let you attract the men you want.