T O P I C R E V I E W
oOo Lea oOo
Member # 26647
posted 06-16-2006 10:12 AM
I ran into an old friend the other day. She is 23 years old and has never, not once, had a boyfriend (or a girlfriend for that matter)
We got into the typical 'haven't seen you in a while' conversation. You know, the one with the common questions : "How have you been? How's the family and oh ..what's her name? Where are you working?" among others. I whipped out my trusty cell and started typing away for her name, number, the works, when the "Who are you seeing now?" question arose. Of course, my cell being a picture phone, I shoved a picture of my handsome someone in her face (not literally, guys! ) and said, "Isn't he gorgeous?" She replied with, "Ah, now, Lea. You know how I am." In a somewhat frustrated tone. All through high school, even before when 'dating' first really started for us, she has been attracted to only gay males. She has tons of guy friends who are all (except a rare few) openly, and strictly gay, and a few girl friends, but she is only attracted to gay males. If she sees someone she is interested in, she will do the normal flirt thing, get a number, hang out, etc. but that is as far as it gets. (Obviously because they are strictly attrated to other men and if the guy is any way bisexual she isn't interested) She once fell head over heals with this guy, Alex. He was the stereotypical gay male. Very 'pretty boyish' so to speak. The 'feminine' ways and low pitched voice. He was very handsome, and very openly gay. He even had a boyfriend. She would always go to his house, stay overnight, go to the mall, they became best friends. She loved him to death. She has no interest in guys who are interested in women. I have no idea why. This one guy, Dan, was very openly gay. She was very interested in him. Not quite as much as she is with Alex (who is the 'man of her dreams') but she was pretty fond of him. He had never once been interested in a female, but when they started hanging out and she told him of her fetish with gay males, he told her he was bi-curious and asked if she would want to experiment. She instantly turned her nose and said, no I'm sorry. She never spoke to him again. She told me, that day, that she ran into dan when she was with Alex. Dan has a boyfriend now, and when he came back to town, Alex and Jamie double dated with them. Alex and Dan are good friends, and Jamie and Dan's boyfriend connect better. So Dan told Alex that he thinks of my friend often, and he wants to experiment with male/female relationsihps but the only female he has been interested in was Mandy. (FYI - To keep this anonymous I changed the names.) So Mandy told me she has been seeking counseling because she is upset that she only is interested in gay males. And if a gay male is attracted to her, she is turned off. Her counselor told her that it was some sort of condition and made her feel like a 'freak' so she hasn't been back. She really wants to be in a relationship. She wants a companion. But she can't get over this. She is Alex's room mate and they talk about it often. I told her if she needed anything to call me and I would try my best to help. But on my way home, I thought. . What am I going to say. I have no Idea how to help her. The counselor thing really ticked me off. I have been online searching my heart out and haven't found a 'condition' similar yet. So does anyone have any input on this? Know of any 'condition'? Or is this simply a fetish? Any advice on how I can help her over come this fetish? This may be a long shot, but has anyone ever dealt with anything similar? Anything at all would be helpful. Thanks guys!
Member # 27418
posted 06-16-2006 12:08 PM
There is sort of a 70'ies term for this, if you'll excuse the vulgarity.
*** hag. The phsychology of it has not gotten the professional attention that it deserves, imo. If you type the term into google, you'll get pages and pages of personal essays on the subject: women who have dealt with it, examined themselves, questioned why they seem to automatically or exclusively form such intense bonds with their gay male friends. (Sometimes even "dating" them--all of the attention, flattery, and time-spending... just without that pesky, complicated sex thing.) I'm just going to go ahead and say that in my opinion, it is not healthy. I am not demeaning the friendships that your friend has, but I do think that her peculiar tendancy stems from a problematic area of her psychology... especially as it seems to be keeping her from having the sorts of relationships with men that she herself voices a want for. There are several reasons why relationships with gay men can be attractive. One possible reason is being heterosexual, but being afraid or somehow too insecure for "real" relationships, so seeking out a mimicking level of intimacy with gay males... just without the scary, judgemental sexual part. Socially, culturally, men can be pretty... well... FRIGHTENING. They appear to be empowered with control over women's sexuality, confidence, emotions... A gay man doesn't fit into that cultural slot, and therefore doesn't have those scary powers. (Speaking from the perspective of my example, here.) It's a very (seemingly) risk-free way to be intimate with a man. No sexual tension; always a quick way out because they're not "technically together"; a way to get a man's attention and approval, which a lot of women crave, without the fear that usually accompanies when men are given such power over our self-esteem. I'm not saying that any of what I'm typing here is true to your friend's case--I'm just throwing out some possibilities. Either way, I'm pretty dern sure that there's no "condition" that causes one to be a "*** hag" specifically, although if you regard it as just another way of expressing certain social insecurities or dysfunctions, then another condition could possibly influence one towards that outlet. But again, I don't know. You can't really pick up your standard psychology book and flip to the chapter of this.
oOo Lea oOo
Member # 26647
posted 06-16-2006 12:35 PM
Yea, I know. I am going to do some online searching, although I have done it all day. I really don't know what to do with this, though. I know it is stressing her and is very unhealthy.
I never looked at it in that perspective, though. So I appreciate the input. I just want to help her get through it and I have no idea on how I can . . not even a little. I am going to set her up with an appointment with my doctor to see if he can help. Thanks for comment, Red
Member # 3
posted 06-16-2006 12:36 PM
I'm actually on a few days sabbatical from the boards, but I didn't want to let this one sit.
While I think that there's some merit in some of the things Red has said, absolutely, I would not consider what's going on with your friend -- or women being emotionally and physically attracted to gay men, or men who present in ways we interpret as homosexual -- to be any sort of disorder. Can I ask what may seem like a silly question? Has your friend done any trevling in her life? Giotten out and really seen the world? I ask that, because a big part of the issue for her may simply be that she is not attracted to the heterosexual men in her area, for any number of reasons. Sure, we're all still different in our various parts of the world, but our locales and areas often also give us commonalities per behaviour codes and the like that aren't always a great fit for someone. Beyond seeing a bigger sphere of her partnership options, getting out and about in the world can also be a help in figuring out what she's looking for (in herself, in all types of relationships with people, romantic and platonic). She might even discover that she doiesn't really WANT a romantic/sexual companion yet, but that the cultural conditioning that says we should want that is at play. Who knows. But in the meantime, I don't see why she needs to beat herself up about this. How many people do we know or know of in the world who are attracted to what's unattainable to them, right now, or period? A lot. That her issues is specifically about gay male friends makes that no more or less a "disorder." And flatly, in a world as bigoted about homosexuality -- and the world of psychology still has centuries of bias on these matters it's restructuring itself from, mind -- I'm not sure most therapists are sage to lean to "disorder." So, in the interim, she keeps her friends. She feels some attraction to them, okay. She doesn't feel attraction to other men yet (or ever), okay. She doesn't want to be someone's petrie dish in the meantime as a way of settling, that's more than valid. And if she hasn't ever left the area where she grew up and lives? I'd say that'd be a good thing to plan to do.
Member # 27418
posted 06-16-2006 12:48 PM
I just wanted to clarify: I was NOT in ANY WAY backing up the notion that being attracted to gay males is a "disorder". What I DID say is that IF she has any other emotional or psychological problems right now, they MIGHT influence the manifestation of relationship frustrations. If she is struggling with the whole idea of her attraction, and finds that is INTERFERING with her social goals/desires, then I would definately call that a frustration, and one that should be examined as something that may hint at other underlying issues.
oOo Lea oOo
Member # 26647
posted 06-16-2006 01:04 PM
I don't think it is a condition. I was actually quite upset when they said she had a condition. I think it is just her. She feels more attracted to homosexual men. She has never once had a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
I think it may be a comfrot thing, I'm not sure. And yes, Miz Scarlet, she has gotten away. She lived in Cumberland Maryland after she got out of highschool and then after college in Cumberland she went to Ohio. She is in Martinsburg, WV now studying again. So I guess you could say she has traveled a bit and has been around different groups of people. But her pal Alex was also with her for most of it. They were room mates in College and are room mates again while they are at college, living in Martinsburg. She has called me several times on my cell, crying, but I have no idea how to comfort her. I feel insanely bad for her. I told her that maybe she isn't ready for a relationship, just a companion (platonic) and that's okay. She doesn't have to feel anything romantic for anyone right now, or ever. She is just frustrated. She doesn't really want to get married or find a life partner or anthing like that. . but it does frustrate her. I don't know. Maybe I am overly concerned (I tend to be that way ) I just wish there was something I could do. Thats all. Thanks ladies
Member # 25425
posted 06-16-2006 01:29 PM
I don't know if you're still looking for input, and I don't think I can offer any more than personal experience, but I've been in situations somewhat similar to your friend. Until my current relationship I had never dated, or even been attracted to, straight guys. Even if I didn't even know the guy before, if I was attracted to him, he would always turn out to be at the very least bi-curious. Not only that, but they were always also the stereotypical feminine gay guys.
Since this never led to long-lasting relationships, I eventually tried to figure out why this was happening and realized that I was drawn to the kind of guys who seemed 'non-threatening' to me. I'm not suggesting that it's the same for your friend, just throwing that out there as an option.