My friend Beth is dating an “I don’t know if” guy. I don’t know if…he’s gay. Here are the facts about her "tough call" guy, as she has relayed them to me over spinach artichoke dip at Houston’s:
Walking through Chelsea, he says things like, “All eyes are on me here honey. But, I’m holding your hand, so they know I’m fcuking you.”
He stayed at the Versace mansion, sharing a bed with two gay men, claiming he’s secure in his masculinity and, “they’re just friends” a la Biz Markie.
Post coitus, he needs reassurance about his performance. “How hot was that scene honey? Did I fcuk you or what?”
Beth confides after taking a long sip of her Shiraz, “He doesn’t even like a blowjob.” She says ‘a blowjob‘ as if she’s an Irish grandmother speaking about “an Italian” or “a gay” who just moved in next door. He doesn’t even like a blowjob, as if it only comes in packages of one.
“Wait. He doesn’t like it, ever?”
“No. I had my period and said to him, you know honey, there are other ways to get off. But he said, nah—I don’t like bjs.”
“Did he say bjs, as in pjs, or did he say blowjobs?”
“You know Steph, I really don’t know, but when I told my openly gay friend Nelson about all this, he said a lot of gay guys don’t like blowjobs that much because they prefer to RAM.” She then snacks on some nachos before continuing, “Steph, here’s the worst part. He’s from the Midwest. His father is a firefighter. The boy comes from no culture.” I feel myself raise an eyebrow. “Well, you know what I mean. He’s very Wonder Bread. And now he’s double cheek kissing his male friends and saying, ‘mwah’ aloud. He’s 25, a scorpio, middle child, played football in New Mexico, but post games, instead of attending fraternity parties, he chose to ‘dance his ass off’ at gay clubs.”
“Why not at straight clubs?”
“Supposedly because that’s where his friends went.” She’s clearly made up her mind; I’m not sure why she’s asking my opinion.
When Beth confronts her boyfriend (who keeps more and more of his belongings at her apartment) about his sexuality now, he says it’s an industry thing. The industry is the hotel/club business. I thought that was more about Russian girls and ‘would you like to join me in the VIP room, say, on my lap?’
“He says it gets him more business if he embraces homosexuality into his life. He keeps saying that he can flirt with these guys because he’s very comfortable with his sexuality.”
“Did you happen to ask him what that sexuality is?” Next, I fear she’ll say this boyfriend of hers said he sleeps with men but doesn’t enjoy it.
“He always seems to be performing and selling his masculinity as some kind of proof. See,” Beth says in a deep voice designed to mock him, “I can kiss and grab like a man.” Then she drinks more of her wine and decides to ask the handsome man beside her for some input.
“Exucuse me,” she says, touching him lightly on his forearm, “Is a man gay if he doesn’t like to eat pussy?” Oh dear God. I wave to the waiter for the check. Before the stranger has a chance to answer, she asks, “Well, what I mean is, do you like to go down on women?” As if this is a better alternative.
He responds, quite warmly actually. “Well, if a guy doesn’t, it can be a byproduct of a bad past and doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay. My first was horrible, but then I grew up. Now, I’m 34 and more confidant.”
“Yeah, but what about a 25-year-old who won’t make out?”
“Yeah,” he says, “lot’s of guys see kissing as a distraction because all they want is sex.”
I begin to wonder about the last time I really made out with a guy. Men are visual creatures who respond to physical stimuli. Want to turn a man on? Grab your breasts with one hand and his dick with another. Bonus points if you call it a cock and tell him how much you want it to be yours for the night. But women are more cerebral. Yes, we want the “I love you”s and “God, you’re beautiful,” but we also want him to boss us around a bit. When I say “we,” I mean me, but I’ll still say we, just incase. We’re too busy being professional and assertive in our everyday lives, trying to prove ourselves in the world as women. The bedroom is the one place where we don’t want to have to be in control. We want to be told what to do, to be with someone who for at least some of the time is selfish. I want role-playing. “I’m your babysitter, and you’re going to be a good little girl and do what I say. No, that’s too fast. Like this. Let me show you, so you’ll be good for all those other boys in your class when you’re older. That’s it. Now don’t tell your parents about this.” Okay, I don’t mind taking my turn at being the older babysitter, either, mind you. The point isn’t so much domination as it is cerebral, verbal play. A woman becomes more quickly aroused with words than touch. That’s the point.
While every woman is different, I think the majority of us respond to verbal over physical communication. You can’t assume what one woman likes until she shows you. And opening yourself up to a sharing session doesn’t make you gay. But finishing with "Did I fcuk you or what?" just might.