#206 In which our hero discusses his inability to determine sexual orientation by any means.
You know how some people have gaydar? And they can instantly tell if someone is gay just by talking to them, or sometimes just walking past them on the street? Well, I have the opposite of that.
(Side note: this is why I love Wikipedia; it has an entry for gaydar. A well-researched entry, including the subtitles “Stereotype reinforcement,” “Scientific research” (!) and “Further reading.”)
Anyway, not only can I not tell if someone is gay or not, I tend to think that certain people are gay, when it turns out they are not. I have a long and storied history of this behavior. Some of the more notable instances:
- In college I knew a guy who was, apparently, super-gay. I never picked up on this and remember being incredulous and slack-jawed when someone finally pointed out this obvious fact to me. Much later, he would try to grope me while we shared a hotel room bed… pretty much driving home his sexuality even to someone as clueless as me.
- Right after college I worked in the phone room of The Columbus Dispatch newspaper. As you can imagine, this kind of workplace had a lot of turnover, so there were often new and interesting women working there all the time. I was especially attracted to one woman who, in retrospect, was pretty butch and I should have figured it out all by myself. But naturally, I did not. Working late one night she commented on how nice my butt looked in my new jeans, and that’s pretty much all it took. I had a live-in girlfriend at the time and this threw me into a tailspin. What do I do? I’m not as happy as I could be right now… should I make a move? Would this be a better relationship? I remember having a heart-to-heart with a friend of mine and spilling my guts over the guilt I felt about the infidelity I has considering. This went on for a couple days until another friend of mine, also a Dispatch employee, told me, “Dude, she’s a lesbian! And she’s living with the girl who sits next to her!” Apparently everyone in the department knew about this… except me, of course.
- And the big one: the woman I dated for five years, and lived with for three (and, ironically, the same women I considered cheating on in the story above) came out of the closet after we had broken up. She was, again, a little butch, and I should have seen it coming. I remember once her telling me, “If you and I ever broke up, I think I’d try dating women.” To which I replied, “Whaat? You’re not gay, that’s ridiculous! You enjoy sex way too much.” Or so I thought. That really was my criteria in judging gay-ness (at least with this woman): how much she enjoyed sex. Which seemed like a lot. Never mind that in the five years we dated she initiated sex maybe a half dozen times and she outright refused to do anything that wasn’t straight-up vanilla sex. I remember once asking her for a little more foreplay (Jesus, even as I type this I see how blind I was) once in a while… and the one time she gave it a go, she stopped mid-way and said, “Yeah, see… I just get bored.”
REASON FOR SUSPICION: Brought another woman to the Christmas party, was very touchy with said woman; danced with her all night.
THE VERDICT: Out of town boyfriend; she flew down to his graduation and is considering moving to be with him.
REASON FOR SUSPICION: Guy who seemed a little too comfortable in the dress he wore for Halloween.
THE VERDICT: Married.
REASON FOR SUSPICION: Super butch, big-time gay vibe, no wedding ring.
THE VERDICT: Married with a child.
So, if I’ve ever thought you were gay and you aren’t… sorry about that. And if you were blazingly gay and I didn’t pick up on it… sorry, again. But try not to be too hard on me; I’m part of a minority myself: the clueless.