straight talk

A straight dude wonders: does baiting guys on Grindr make him gay?

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A straight man who loves using Grindr to taunt gay men has appealed to famed sex advice columnist Dan Savage for help.

“I’m a 26-year-old masculine straight guy who loves exploiting the fantasies so many gay men have about straight men,” the reader, identified as Ally Loves Personifying Homophobic Assh*les or ALPHA writes. “When a gay guy is into me because I look like his straight-masculine-jock dream, it’s a power trip like no other. It’s always a specific type of bottom gay dude I seek out when I get on Grindr: a very feminine “thicc” guy with a pretty face and physical features begging for a d*ck.”

“I always follow the same script,” he continues. “I send my d*ck pics, I make one of these thicc bottom boys want me, and I tell him to send me a video of him twerking like a stripper for me. But I don’t go through with the meetup. I’ve experimented a few times and have gotten head from a few guys, but I have no interest in d*ck or f*cking one of these dudes.”

“I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it,” he concludes. “I also worry this comes from a homophobic place. (“Look at this dumb twink, he’s so stupid and obsessed with d*ck he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the alpha.”) And I guess it is homophobic because when you remove the intensity and power trip of being the straight male in this scenario, I just have no interest in guys at all.”

Related: Dan Savage warns: don’t hook up with your friend’s “straight” boyfriend…even if ya wanna

In a rare move, Savage actually defers to fellow sex therapist Alexander Cheves for advice.

“I don’t see any major problems with this, and I’m not fully clear on what he perceives his problem to be,” Cheves writes. “For gay men, straight men can be a kink, and the reverse can also be true. Regardless of how he identifies, ALPHA enjoys dominating feminine gay men, who he ultimately denies. Sexual withholding—denying and being denied sex—is part of many fetishes and is really hot. So this guy’s kink involves withholding and, like many kinks, it involves role-play. He’s role-playing as ‘the straight strict Dom top.’”

“We all enter Grindr chats willingly, and we should do so knowing that anyone we talk to may have no plans of following through with their promises to meet,” Cheves continues. “Many queer men do the same—talk and tease with no intention of meeting—and for similar reasons. The guys he is messaging are chatting with him consensually, so I don’t see any consent violations.”

“Even the homophobia bit is not alarming to me,” Cheves elaborates. “Shame, stigma, and prejudice have their place in many fetishes. I think these things often lead to fetishes in the first place. So long as ALPHA isn’t committing violence against these men or causing them harm, I don’t mind that he likes degrading them. I like guys who degrade me and call me a f*ggot, and I don’t much care if this fun part of my sex life comes from latent homophobia in me or the men I play with.”

“If ALPHA’s problem is ‘confusion’—a concern that maybe he’s not fully straight—that’s something neither of us can help him with, as that problem boils down to a foundational debate on what it means to be queer,” Cheves observes. “Is there a discernible difference to an outsider between a straight man who titillates gay men for fun and a gay man who does the same? Not really. This could be his inlet, his way into queerness, his version of same-sex attraction.”

“But unless he calls himself gay, he’s not gay,” Cheves concludes. “Being gay or queer isn’t really about the chemical processes of arousal in the brain and body. It’s a willingness to be one of us, to claim oneself as part of our tribe. If he doesn’t feel the need to do that or thinks doing so would be disingenuous—indeed, if he must be straight for this kink to work—then he’s straight. As long as he’s doing no harm—just having hot, consensual Grindr chats with guys before ghosting them—he can be whatever feels true for him.”

Savage himself concurs, pointing out that ALPHA might actually enjoy sex with a man that doesn’t enjoy penile attention or stimulation, or possibly a transgender man without a penis. Apparently neither Savage nor Cheves objects to leading a fellow Grindr user on then flaking out, but that’s a debate for another time.

In any case, we wish ALPHA the best of luck.