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Gay men searching for female friends

Women can relax and be themselves with gay men in a way that's usually not possible with hetero men.

I’m 25, gay, single and insecure that all my straight friends are settling down

But that doesn't mean our relationships are all about shoes and eyeshadow. The levity in the sitcom made it easier for many viewers -- and me -- to swallow. The times are changing indeed. Many of my gay peers tell me they appreciate the safe space, free of judgment, that straight women friends provide in their lives. However, some argue that the duo of gay men and their girlfriends may ring too shallow; they'd rather not be seen as a shopping buddy a la Carson Kressley or a treasured "glam squad" expert, forever pampering his "diva.

Joe Forester, 23, boasts four best straight girlfriends.

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And at their request, I've even weighed in with a tip or two for keeping their men happy. But more important than fashion or sex, it's the emotional security that primarily comforts me inside these special bonds, especially during life's worst moments. In , my friend Nichole held my hand as we sat through the memorial service and watched the cremation of my lover who died unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of These friendships led me to the project I'm working on, a book and documentary about the relationships between gay men and their best straight girlfriends.

I have interviewed dozens of "couples" for the project, including Robin and Peter, two life coaches and friends who traveled from the States to South Africa to help redefine what constitutes family during the country's post-apartheid, regime-shifting era; and Sheila and Chuck, seasoned broadcast journalists who thought their fun times would be cut off when he was diagnosed with AIDS.

Twenty years later, Chuck is alive and the godfather of single adoptive mother Sheila's son, Charles. San Fernando Valley resident Eddie Satterfield, whose best female friend is Academy Award-winning actress Mo'Nique, remembers some particularly trying times in their friendship. According to psychologist John Gottman of the Gottman Institute a research institution dedicated to studying and strengthening marriages and other interpersonal relationships —who says he can accurately predict divorce in 90 percent of cases—contempt is the leading predictor of divorce.

Contempt, Gottman argues, destroys whatever bonds hold a couple together. You've been together only ten months, HOMO, and you're not married, but it sounds like contempt has already overwhelmed your relationship. It's not just that you dislike his friends; you're contemptuous of them. It's not just that you don't share his spiritual beliefs; you're contemptuous of them.

​Gay men have a unique view of the straight man’s world.

It's not just that his gayness is expressed in a different-than-yours-but-still-perfectly-valid way; you're contemptuous of him as a gay man. Because he doesn't watch Drag Race or hang out in gay bars.

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Because he's got a lot of female friends. Because he's happy to sit and talk with his friends about their kids. There's nothing "straighty" about kid conversations. Gay parents take part in those conversations too. And while we're in this parenthesis: I can't understand why anyone would waste their time actively disliking drag queens. But being a gay male correlates more strongly with liking dick than it does with liking drag.

This relationship might work if you were capable of appreciating the areas where you two overlap—your shared interests including your shared interest in each other —and content to let him go off and enjoy his friends, his new age church, and his standing Friday-night dinner date. You're missing the "mutual respect" part—and where this formula is concerned, HOMO, two out of three ain't enough.

Here's how it might look if you could appreciate your differences: You'd do the things you enjoy doing together—like, say, each other—but on Friday nights, he makes dinner for his bestie and you hit the gay bars with your gay friends and catch a drag show. You would go on vacations together, but once in a while he'd go on vacation with one of his "straighty" friends, and once in a while you'd go on vacation with your gay friends. On Sundays, he'd go to woo-woo church and you'd sleep in or binge-watch Pose.

You'd be happy to let him be him, and he'd be happy to let you be you—and together the two of you would add up to an interesting, harmonious, compelling "we. PS: I have lots of straight friends, and I'm a parent, and sometimes I talk with other parents about our children, and I rarely go to gay bars, and I haven't gotten around to watching Pose yet, or the most recent season of Drag Race , for that matter. It's devastating to learn, after all these years and all those dicks, that I'm terrible at being gay.

PPS: If a straight person told you, "I don't have any problem with gay men, but I don't hang out with any gay men, and neither do most of my friends," you'd think they had a problem with gay men, right? Q: I've been in an on-again, off-again relationship for the past four years. My girlfriend has an assortment of mental-health issues—anxiety, depersonalization episodes, depression, paranoia, among others—that make it very stressful and tiring to be with her. Despite my best attempts at getting her to seek help, she refuses to take the plunge.


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Whether it's a result of her illness or not, she refuses to believe that I actually want to be with her. I do care deeply about her, and the good days are wonderful. But nearly every time we go on a date or have sex, it ends in tears, and I have to endlessly reassure her that I do really want to be with her. I'm exhausted by having to defend my feelings for her multiple times per week and I don't know what to do.

A: There's only one thing you can do, HEAL: Put this relationship on hold—take it back to off-again status—and make getting back together contingent upon her seeking help for her mental health issues. You've made it clear, again and again, that you want to be with her. By finally seeking help—by actually taking the plunge—she can make it clear that she wants to be with you. Q: I have a very sexy German boyfriend, and he is not circumcised.

His otherwise beautiful dick is a problem.

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Specifically, I believe evolutionary psychology and human mating can help explain why relationships between straight women and gay men tend to flourish. At first glance, this explanation may seem quite counterintuitive. However, this is precisely the reasoning behind my approach.

With heterosexual men who, by definition, are sexually attracted to women , the process is longer — and potentially more fraught — because men may be grappling with their own sexual impulses.


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About three years ago, I initially tested this theory in a series of experiments that have served as the foundation of my research program on gay-straight relationships. In these experiments, straight female participants were shown fictitious Facebook profiles depicting either a straight woman, straight man or gay man.

I also recruited gay male participants, and had them complete the same task with the gay men viewing Facebook profiles depicting a straight female, gay male or lesbian female. The experiments, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology , demonstrated that straight women and gay men perceived one another to be trustworthy sources of relationship and dating advice.

watch In other words, when it came to dating-related matters, there was an almost instantaneous level of implicit trust. Recently, my colleagues and I at the University of Texas at Arlington developed a series of four related studies. For the first study, I wanted to replicate the finding that women trust gay men more than straight men or straight women. It really only had to do with one thing: dating and relationships. To further examine why this might be the case, we had women imagine receiving information from either a straight woman, straight man, or a gay man about their physical appearance and the dateability of potential boyfriends.

We then asked the women how sincere they felt the responses were.