Last week it happened again. I was at a dinner party at The Standard, downtown L.A.’s hipster-by-way-of-Ikea boutique hotel and what was originally supposed to be an intimate group of four had become, by the time I showed up fashionably late, a massive table of sixteen, thanks to the hostess. The Hostess is of a certain type you might recognize; casually affluent, martini-swilling, in a chiffon dress by a designer whose name is unpronounceable. She’s Carrie Bradshaw. She’s Holly Golightly. She’s Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding. She’s Willamina Slater. And fifteen minutes after I sit down, she’s sitting in my lap, preventing me from grabbing a bite of my Kobe carpaccio, which I dare not eat lest it wind up on the dress, which is now rubbing up against my nose. Ten minutes later, she’s insisting I unzip the back of the dress and examine her tattoos. Another ten minutes and she’s telling me how we’re going to be friends forever and jokes how this must be the most action I’ve ever had with a girl.
“Not true!”, I tell here. “There was a girl in college who would make me touch her breasts when she got drunk.” She laughs and starts bouncing up and down on my knee, grinding her pelvis into mine while regaling the guests about her latest European business trip. Inside, I am having a straight panic.
And honestly, I want to be friends with The Hostess. She’s smart and cool and obviously knows how to throw a party, but as my gay friends stare on and mouth apologies, I’m already certain this isn’t going to work out. You see, I am not going to ever be her friend, not really. I am going to be her mancessory, the sort of de rigeur item you take out with you shopping (I hate shopping!) or call about your man problems (“He’s a loser; fuck him and then dump him” is what you’ll want to hear, I’ll oblige) and then one day, you’ll make a joke about how if we’re both single at 35, we should just get married and we’ll both laugh at how funny that is, until you go, “No, really.”
If you’re a girl of a certain age, or even a metrosexual boy with an enlightened sense of style, chances are you have a gay best friend. You two are probably pretty tight and tell each other everything. After all, gays are like really understanding well-dressed genies, right? Like all cute, smart and adorable animals, your gay is more complicated than you think. To help you get the most out of your gay BFF, we’ve assembled a brief manual of operations.
Gay men are like straight men, it’s just they’re not trying to fuck you.
“Why can’t there be straight guys, like you?” you ask us and we smile, secure in our knowledge that we’re more talented, charming and well-groomed than any straight boy you’ll ever encounter. Here’s the dirty little secret the gays have been keeping from you: We’re huge horrible jerks, too—it’s just we have no desire to pork you, so we won’t fuck with your head. Yes, we listen to you and talk about our feelings, but believe it or not, these are things that straight guys do as well, they just don’t do it with you. Again, because of the whole fucking thing. They’re trying to get into bed with you and men, in general, always assume there’s some sort of secret game of indifference and emotional manipulation that’s needed to score. How do we know this? Because we do it to other guys all the time. We don’t call our dates back. We act aloof and have terrible fears of commitment. You know how we tell you about all the terrible things our various boyfriends do to us? Well, guess what? We’re doing them, too. Why do we seem like such a better catch than straight dudes? Because we don’t want to have sex with you. If we did, we’d be jerks, too.
Never fall in love with your gay.
Following from this, the single most important thing to maintaining a long term friendship with your gay is to never-ever fall in love with them. Remember how you felt about N’Sync growing up? Chances are, your gay BFF brings up a lot of those old pre-teen feelings. At some point, perhaps during some 2am chat about the various merits of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Chip, you’ll think to yourself, “This is so much better than the annoying singles scene. If only I could get him to sleep with me.” When you start having these thoughts, you need to send your gay home. While we can have deep emotional relationships with our girlfriends, we’re never going to be able to give you what you want. The reason the relationship is easy is because it’s not going anywhere. Real relationships are messy, complicated and riddled with self-doubt and expectation. Pursuing a gay boy will only wind up with you resenting them, not just because they can’t return your love, but because you’ve spent all your time wooing them instead of finding a man who will give you what you want.
Do not call yourself a “fag hag.” Do not let your gay call you one.
“Fag hag” is a really demeaning term. It’s a fat girl who can never get a date. It’s someone who still has unicorn posters in her bedroom. You’re a woman. Your life isn’t defined by your gays and if it is, you should reconsider what you’re doing with your life. Don’t hide behind your gays. Don’t use them as a crutch. Instead, face life fabulously together.
Don’t ask “So are you the guy or the girl?” Do ask about gay sex.
Don’t laugh! This happens more often than you think. At some point, you’re going to start becoming interested in how this whole gay sex thing happens and despite everything the Japanese manga industry has told you, it’s not all longing gazes and hand-holding. Believe it or not, most gays are shy about talking about their sex lives, at least with straight people. This is because, for the most part, the heterosexual world considers what we do gross and icky. Taking an active interest in your gays sex life will show them that you’re actually interested in them. On a related note, feel free to ask them about gay rights and gay causes. Don’t just tell them you agree with them, but ask their opinion. It’s a two-way street girlfriend. It is totally okay to ask if they’re a top or a bottom, though. Just don’t laugh when they say they’re a top.
If he drags you to a gay bar, drag him to a straight one.
Another dirty little secret about your gay BFF: The reason he drags you out to gay bars is to get laid. As previously mentioned, gays are just as bad as straights when it comes to dating and hooking-up and having you by his side takes off a lot of the pressure. Just as he’s your emotional safety net, at a gay bar, you are his rejection safety net. You’re also a convenient conversation starter: “Oh, yeah, this is Dana. I thought I’d take her out and show her how the gay half lives!” You’re someone who can vouch for the fact that he’s not a psycho without looking like competition.
This is great and all, but you need to make sure there’s some parity. Use your gay boy to get you some straight tail. Promise him a night of breeder fun and hold him to it. The best way to lure a gay out on a straight night is say you want to start off at Hooters. As we’ve mentioned many times before on this blog, Hooters is gay catnip. We don’t know why, but seriously, just thinking about Hooters makes me want to call up The Hostess for hot wings. Once you have them out, drag them to a straight bar, point out men you’re into and use them as props.
Now, here’s how this works for both of you. At some point in the night your gay is going to meet a man or you are. You need to have a signal for each other which means, “I am ready to get laid now. Time to go.” If you think this is mean or unfair, just imagine you’ve met a really cute guy at a bar, you’re getting along famously and your gay friend is there, talking about the latest Daft Punk album. Remember, the key to a healthy straight-gay relationship is to be having sex with people who will have sex with you. Never let that trump your desire for emotional snuggle time.
Don’t make your boyfriend hang out with your gay. If you’re a straight dude, please don’t assume we want to sleep with you.
Congratulations! You’ve followed all our advice and instead of developing a tragic codependency with your gay, you’ve both found boyfriends are maintaining a healthy friendship. Now, do your straight lover a favor and don’t insist that he become BFF’s with your gay, too. If it happens, let it happen, but as many a Craigslist rant attests to, straight guys don’t like competition, even if it’s from gay dudes.
And now a word for the straight guys: We don’t want to sleep with you. Now, because we’re guys, we know that underneath that macho exterior, there’s a insecure guy constantly craving validation. But it’s amazing that no matter how unattractive, unshaven or slovenly they are, every straight guy I’ve known for any length of time has admitted that he assumes I am secretly into them. What’s worse is that they’re crestfallen when I say, “Sorry, you’re not my type.” Yes, some of you guys are really hot, but for the most part, our desire not to get beaten up and killed trumps whatever desire we have to make a move on you. Now, if you start reciprocating, all bets are off, but so long as you don’t want to sleep with us, we’re probably not going to try to sleep with you.
Because you know another gay person, do not assume that they will make the perfect boyfriend for your gay BFF.
You know what happens when you set us up on a date with the other gay you know? We go for dinner at a mid-scale restaurant and talk about you the whole time. We smile politely at each other and go our separate ways. Why? There’s nothing so unsexy as being set-up by our straight BFF.