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Science & Pride

by Brian Salkowski 2 days ago in Community

A Science Based Look At Gay Culture

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***A SCIENCE BASED LOOK AT SHADE AND GETTING LAID IN GAY CULTURE*** By Brian Salkowski

After a few days of government forced self-isolation in response to Covid 19, I wanted to do some research on why gay men are the way they are. On a social level. Its findings reveal what many in the community know all too well: that gay and bisexual men can be pretty harsh with each other and with ourselves in trying to measure up. Some people reported feeling stressed by what they perceived as the community’s obsession with looks, status, and sex; they pointed to its exclusionary racism and social cattiness. “We know that men in general are more competitive, and that masculine-related competition is stressful,” one article on Wikipedia says. “What these data show is that when that type of competition happens in a community made up of men that both socializes and sexualizes with each other, the toll on one's mental health can be pretty steep.”

WellAfter a few days of government forced self-isolation in response to Covid 19, I wanted to do some research on why gay men are the way they are. On a social level. Its findings reveal what many in the community know all too well: that gay and bisexual men can be pretty harsh with each other and with ourselves in trying to measure up. Some people reported feeling stressed by what they perceived as the community’s obsession with looks, status, and sex; they pointed to its exclusionary racism and social cattiness. “We know that men in general are more competitive, and that masculine-related competition is stressful,” one article on Wikipedia says. “What these data show is that when that type of competition happens in a community made up of men that both socializes and sexualizes with each other, the toll on one's mental health can be pretty steep.”

The stressors I read in interviews and then read both locally and nationwide could be classified into 3 types. One was stress related to perceiving that the gay community is overly focused on sex at the expense of long-term relationships or friendships. The second was that the gay community is overly focused on status-related concerns, things like masculinity, attractiveness, and wealth. Boasting about sex and the # of partners men "hit". The third was related to perceptions that the gay community is overly competitive, that it upholds this kind of shade culture and general social competition. "Oh that n***a trade (trade is slang for down low- a name given to men who engage in gay activity or sex while maintaining themselves as "straight". Further data included that crack cocaine also is a factor in "DL" men) or shady insecurities about being too feminine. "He is a bottom. How do I know? Look how feminine he acts." Conversations and accusations like this occur every day in the gay community. A study in Philadelphia that asked 300 gay/bisexual men also discovered that receiving penis or giving has nothing to do with femininity or masculinity, or acting as such.

One of the most frequent articles and studies I read was that gay men aren't good friends to each other, which really suggests that relying on and strengthening friendships in the face of some of these more stressful aspects of the gay community would be a sure route to protect against that type of stress. So what that does is make socializing move behind closed doors and you guessed it- online.

For the past decade almost, gay community spaces moved online to platforms like Grindr. "Grindr" is a location based dating app for gay and bisexual men. Many people say it's not about dating. It's about 2 things now- Sex and Drugs. This then makes the norms for communication and for community get degraded and brought down to the lowest common denominator. One of the great things about being queer is that it allows people to stand outside the status quo, to form diverse communities and diverse friendships that might transcend artificial boundaries that exist in the heterosexual world. That ability gets harder to see in these online spaces where people can self-segregate, reject people, and just talk to people who are 100 feet away. Also the use of crystal meth ("Tina" is the preferred name given to the dangerous drug) has made dating more like a sport. Many people I read about this issue admitted that sex was only good when Tina was involved. Amphetamines do create sexual endurance but also after prolonged use- paranoia, the inability to socialize ("stuck" some refer to the feeling) and a score of other side effects. With this inclusion, it has made the community tainted. Is there dating anymore? Or is it all about who wants to have sex and do some lines of "Tina"? So I think another intervention would be either to preserve brick-and-mortar spaces, where people can continue to congregate in diverse, open ways, or enhance online platforms to facilitate more sense of community over expedient partner-searching.

Honestly from my own personal view, intervention and trying to return to what it was like to meet someone. You know..the days of calling up your best friend and going to a gay club, dancing, meeting a guy, getting a phone number etc etc etc. - It's almost non existent. With the internet and the cloak of being anonymous, it has changed the game completely. Instead of going to that club and having fun and possibly meeting someone has become you in your bedroom on your laptop or phone, logging onto one of these sites as your manhood gets erect. It is easier to just scroll through faces on a website and get right down to the nitty-gritty. So in conclusion what I have discovered is the gay community is really pretentious as hell. Obsession with image, status, having a big butt over a small one, crystal meth and prep pills... It is not the same gay community I came out of the closet into. Is it me being too cynical? I considered that but I let the research and facts do the speaking.

Publication/Websites Used For This:

Wikipedia

Them

Time magazine

The NEW YORK TIMES

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

CITY PAPER- PHILADELPHIA

Unity Online

LGBTQ Website

Drugs com

Community
Brian Salkowski
Brian Salkowski
Read next: A Bisexual Perspective
Brian Salkowski

I am a writer. I love fiction but I also I'm a Watcher of the world. I like to put things in perspective not only for myself but for other people. It's the best outlet to express myself. I am an advocate for individualism and Free Speech. )

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