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There’s a responsible way to be masc-attracted, says the Internet

Gay couple on sofa

It’s not wrong to be attracted to masculine people more than to feminine people, but it is wrong to be a prick about that preference.

So say many commenters in Reddit’s r/gay forum, who recently gave counsel to someone wondering if being masc-attracted was a problem.

“I see that a lot of guys put ‘masc4masc’ and ‘no femmes’ in their Grindr profiles, and a lot of my gay friends have talked about how offensive this is,” the original poster explained. “I do feel like when dating, I’m more attracted to a guy with a deeper voice, strong jaw, taller [stature], all ‘masculine’ traits. But at times I feel like I’m being shallow for liking this mostly and like I’m discriminating against more femme gays.”

He went on: “If I were to explain why, I’d say it’s because I think masculine energy represents a balance to me. I lean more towards having a feminine energy, so I think I’m more nurturing, sensitive, [and] receptive, and a partner to me ideally should complement these traits. What do you guys think?”

Related: Gay guys sound off on pressure to act masculine

In a popular but since-deleted comment, one person wrote, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with it as long as you’re respectful to people you’re not attracted to.”

“This,” another user responded. “Femme guys are a huge turn-off for me sexually. But they’re still people, and I encourage everyone to be who they are. Attraction is subjective.”

“Well said!” a third user wrote in reference to the first comment. “We like what we like, doesn’t mean we gotta be disrespectful.”

“Our community as a whole needs more of this,” a fourth user chimed in.”

In another popular comment, a Reddit user said that the only discrimination at play “is that sometimes our preferences can be the result of internalized bias that cause us to treat other gays unkindly and homophobically”

Another user wondered if misogyny is to blame. “When one thinks of misogyny, it by definition is ‘dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.’ If we look at this definition as not only those things against women but also anything that resembles ‘femininity,’ that would provide one answer as to why some people feel this way,” that user observed. “Even in being gay, the patriarchy can still wreak havoc and cause division.”

Related: Gay men, it’s time to get over your insecurity issues with feminine guys, blogger says

Other commenters suggested keeping one’s options open. Take the fella who said that he always liked masculine men and would tend to be more feminine when he was around him. But he ended up with a more feminine guy and now, 42 years later, they’ve both gotten more masculine. “Go figure,” that commenter added.

Another person wrote, “Honestly, if a guy ticks all your other boxes and just happens to be less masculine, [it] doesn’t hurt to go on one date. Even if no sparks fly by the end, there’s always a chance that someone not exactly what you are looking for ends up doing it for you.”

A different comment on the thread summed up the conversation neatly: “We like what we like. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but keep an open mind (‘cause attraction is wacky, and you never know who you might meet), and don’t be mean to guys who aren’t your type who approach you.”

Or even more succinctly: “You like what you like, and as long as you’re respectful to others, then there’s nothing wrong with that.”