Fannie Fierce

Saying No... gracefully!

Filed By Fannie Fierce | February 02, 2008 9:03 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: saying no

Dear Fannie,

I'm 21 and just beginning to explore the gay world. I'm lucky enough to have two really good gay friends who are helping get out and about in terms of exploring my gayness. The other night we went out to a gay bar and I ended up making out with this kid. I really shouldn't have, he's really young (18! And still in high school!) and I'm not really interested in him in the long term sense. But he keeps texting me and calling me! What should I do? Do I tell him that he's too young, or should I lie? How do I get him off my back!

--Thanks But No Thanks

TBNT,

First off, welcome to the softer side, I think you'll find it to you liking. So you went bar hopping and hopped onto a tawny twirly twink, but now you can't get rid of him. TBNT, have no fear, this is probably the most common occurrence in bars/clubs in general. People look a lot better and perhaps like much more viable options during one's drunken delusional fog... but once the fog has cleared and that damn cricket on your shoulder starts scolding you, it can be awkward to right those 3am wrongs.

I hate games. And, boy are gay men good at games. The requisite wait time after getting a number, the texting, and the worst: the "come here, go away" game. Games are petty, stupid, and best saved for middle school crushes. They have no place in the big girl/big boy world of bars and alcohol-induced fluid exchanges. So don't play them because that's just sending out shitty relationship karma.

I've always been a fan of honesty. But there are different kinds of honesty: Flat out, unspun honesty where you just tell it as it is, and then there's the more nuanced, pragmatic, and humane honesty. Telling the kid that you're just not interested seems harsh and "you're too young" sounds like a cop out. That's why I opt for the ever successful, "I just got out of a relationship and I'm not ready to date" spin off of "It not you, it's me." It succinctly closes the door and makes you look like a saint. A saint that just got his ass dumped, but a saint nonetheless. And no one likes to kick a puppy while it's down, so use the pity angle to your advantage. This way you save the unfortunate victim of your post-vodka-&-tonic-tongue-tango from the cold harsh truth of "I'm just not into you." Plus, it's not a complete all out no. It leaves things open for the future. No need to go burning bridges, especially in close-knit communities like the gay one... where everyone has slept with everyone's ex, and gossip travels faster than the speed of light.

Hope that helps!

++
fiercely,
fannie

send you questions to fannie@bilerico.com
Read the rest of Fannie's column at belowthebelt.org


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Now wait a minute...

You said you're into honesty, but then you encouraged him to lie and say he'd just got out of a relationship.

...

beergoggles | February 2, 2008 8:41 PM

When I was young I really didn't think the "We're young and I wasn't planning on anything long term" was spin or too brutally honest. It's also viable groundwork for laying down the "Wanna be fuckbuddies?" question if both parties didn't find the sex objectionable but didn't forsee anything long term. I used to use the "You're not my type and I was just goofing around while drunk" excuse if the object of my drunken attention was too fearsome under natural light. Then again, I liked anything pretty while drunk - I'd even make out with 'alternative lifestyle companions' (read fag hags) as long as they were pretty. They didn't have to be sexually attractive in the long term to be fun to make out with. Much easier to be vaguely honest than outright lie though.

Bil, there's a NUANCED honesty that I'm suggesting. A pragmatic option that isn't completely dishonest. If you're going to tell a little white lie, it should be one that TBNT relays he's not interested... for whatever reasons isn't really important. I'm just looking for an easy out for TBNT to say no to the kid without breaking his heart or making him feel rejected.

It's much better than stringing the kid along with a none reply or a vaguely platonic demeanor that is easily over-analyzed and construed to mean other things. It's much easier to ignore a call or text than to confront the person. But if someone has gone out on the limb to text or call, they at least deserve some kind of response. I'd opt for the win-win situation than the "I think you're fugly, go and die in self-hatred" response.

I have a friend who is very gregarious and thus often times gets numbers etc. It's his policy to always call back, no matter if he liked the person or not because he feels like that if that person went into a vulnerable place to show his attraction in you, he at least deserves a phone call. An easy let down is much more preferable to a harsh hand-in-face rape whistle of a rejection.

Hmmmm... I think that this person could stand to be a little more honest here. "Leaving the door open" for future possibilities is fancy-talk for stringing the kid along.

Because sometimes boys don't get the message (and they can be 18 or 40, it doesn't seem to matter the age). Sometimes you move to the other side of the world, refer to them directly as your "ex", tell them you've moved on and are never going back, and they still think for some reason that you have to be exclusive with them so much that they go nuclear when they find out you've slept with someone else.

Er, um, not that that's happened to me or anything.

Anyway, reality's a bitch, better this 18-yr-old find out now instead of later.