Anthony Carter

How to Make Gay Male Relationships Significant

Filed By Anthony Carter | October 15, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: dating, friends with benefits, gay youth, mentoring, older gay men, one night stands, tricks

I have had bad experiences trying to make fuck buddies into legitimate friends.

corzefa005741-42-17852188.jpgHaving witnessed several friends attempt and fail repeatedly at this endeavor, I am assuming either it doesn't work or my friends and I are a bunch of dopes.

Gay men learn early on how to sexualize absolutely everything.

When we are young and beautiful and unsullied, everyone is more than willing to sexually instruct the "newbie." Where is all eagerness when it comes time to mentor, teach, support, guide and encourage without the promise of a shared sexual experience?

I recently sat on a panel with some very striking and experienced young gay men.

Both of these men were in their 20's with similar experiences of interacting with older men. Apparently, once sexual interaction was taken out of the equation for whatever the reason, the older men had little to no interest in pursuing any type of relationship.

In other words, we're not gonna fuck so I am gonna move on.

I remember being put in that position and not knowing how to handle it. Based on what I heard at this panel and what I've witnessed first hand, we (older gays) don't know how to interact with one another either. Hence, not much has changed since the days when I was a contender.

We must learn to socialize.

We must learn how to differentiate between a potential sex partner, date, trick and some one we can truly call a friend. We must learn not to angrily discard a relationship because dating and or sex are not on the menu. This type of learning and negotiating can only occur if we are emotionally honest with another human being.

Trust me nobody is fooled when you only call post-midnight.

Nobody is hoodwinked when you are showering them with gifts a few days into knowing them. While this is simple, "it is not easy" (as my baby would say). If you tell people, "I really like you and look forward to getting to know you better," you are often met with sheer terror and the assumption that you are one needy SOB.

I say risk it and be ok with the outcome.

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"We must learn to socialize." That's a profound statement, and I agree fully. I've only recently been brave enough to begin to come out, and that's complicated. I want, quite a bit, to socialize with other gay men, but my lover/friend/boyfriend/heartthrob isn't ready to begin to introduce me to his friends. I truly think that being in the company of more gay men - particularly in a non-sexual mode - would be beneficial to me. I've suffered through a long process of wonder, denial, revelation, admission, acceptance, etc. and now I want to spread my wings at last.

This is so typical of gay men. I've known far too many guys who only wanted to do 'STUFF' if I had sex with them. When I refused, they dumped me like a hot potato. I've talked with a lot of other guys, over the years, and it's just simply the way men are. Apparently SHALLOW is a tag most gays enjoy having around their neck. At 67, I basically stopped trying to make friends because of this problem.

I think this is a part of a larger issue of trying to maintain a friendship with someone when one wants something more and the other doesn't. It seems like there are several people who aren't interested in hanging out if I'm seeing someone, but suddenly find time to come around once I'm single again. One guy isn't flirty all, but once I asked what his 'type' was he pretty much described me. I'm not saying he's pining for me or anything, but he exhibits the same pattern I've seen elsewhere.

Things can get complicated when a friendly hugs and smiles become a little "too" friendly. People misread signals and feelings get hurt.

I've had good success with local gay groups on We get together and have a good time. The groups are usually planned around common interests, so I have a lot in common with the people who show up. Have these developed into lasting friendships? Too early to tell. But I do have people whose company I enjoy.

Right on,Tony.I have found that the best way to meet gay men,other than sexual partners is in gay,common interest groups.I am an artist and honestly,not overly socialized i.e.I don't make friends easily.Once I do I am fiercely loyal and loving but nobody knows that and most guys I have met don't want it.So,I figure I am probably going to be alone during my elderly years(I am now 65) and that will have to do.Maybe I will get to know some great folks...stay tuned.

This article is so full of broad generalizations presented as absolutes that it is nearly useless. "Gay men learn early on how to sexualize absolutely everything." And straight people don't? Have you watched television? Consume any media? I admit I access a huge privilege by living in NYC, but I simply can't believe that only in this city do gay men come in every variety, with every interest. And good grief, even when I lived in Topeka, Kansas, I had a broad group of gay male friends, none of whom I had or may have had sex with, a topic that usually never came up.

The kind of immaturity of thought presented in most of the articles I have read from this author leads me to believe that he really needs to work on himself and the kind of friend he is to others, before criticizing the whole world for not being up to his standards, which seems to be the sole theme on his mind. Even the idea that a fuck buddy relationship being inherently illegitimate is offensive; he's simply not able to honor the mutual benefit and simplicity of the relationship. Please, give up judging and dismissing other people--look in the mirror to make the change you want in the world.

Wow? What's wrong with you people?

I've had one time random encounters turn into life partners, and have had several friends that I've slept with. I also have several close friends that I love, but that I would screw with someone else's junk. And I have cute friends that I'd love to fool around with, but which are taken, or only have been available when I was taken.

Sex has never been a condition of friendship for me. That's not to say I've never seen some of the behavior you're talking about. I have, mainly in younger (and/or more immature) gay men. But I see the same thing way more often in straight friends and their dealings with each other. I also tend to avoid those that have this behavior, or bluntly alert them to it. It often breaks off any chance of keeping them as a friend, but I like to think it helps them become better people in the long run.

I really don't get all this whining in the past month here about how sex "interferes" with relationships and friendships. This is the third such article on this topic in the past couple weeks, and it's all the same thing. All I can suggest is that if you're having this type of issue repeatedly, maybe it's time to change your environment. Part of the issue is you, be it you doing the same and just only seeing it in others, or you staying in circles where this is true. Maybe it's time to no go to the bar every weekend, and start interacting with people that have grown enough to be able to deal with these things like adults?