Don't you just hate that question when people ask it of you? How to answer? One, there's something judgmental under it---even if it comes from a good place. You're such a wonderful person in so many other areas, why haven't you succeeded in the relationship area? Secondly, it's also a way of looking at yourself and not having a clear answer about what isn't working with you. Why can't what you are attract someone? Thirdly, there's some judgment to your skills at relationships. If you're so wonderful, why won't a man stay with you?
But before we go into some of the deeper answers, let's look at some of the common answers that might be rumbling around in your head.
No Good Men
There are no Good Men out there. All of the men are hyper-sexual and cheating or not interested in being in a relationship. Whenever people use the word "all" that's their emotional projection coming from lack of knowledge and/or past hurts. There are an abundance of jerks in the world, get off of their cheerleader squad. We can tackle this from several vantage points. Let's talk about how you're always talking about a lack of good men. A Good Man is sitting next to you and honestly, who the hell wants to convince someone they're a good person? Or how about, if you're constantly cheering about negativity YOU are a negative force? (Men are always talking about avoiding negativity but never self identify when they are the negativity.) Wait, wait, wait, one more---who are you really talking about with loyalty and fidelity and emotional messiness? If you're not on the field then yup, the loud 10% is going to look like the majority, when in fact they're the minority. If you're such a grand catch, why aren't you out here dating, courting and LTRing, showing us how it's done? Hmmmmm?
And lastly, it gives you something to talk about. When you ain't got relationship/dating romantic stuff or house buying or school stuff or partner arguments, you have to talk about something right. Here's what I'm going to suggest, men create the Wrong Man to have a man to talk about 'cause they ain't got no Good Man to brag about. Plus, you get the added bonus of selling yourself as the victim/Good Man of your own sexuality community and what's baby-waby gonna do when all the big bad homo men tweat him so wrong!
Grow up. Man up. Stop conflating being a victim and a Good Man, the two won't congeal nor attract someone. In fact once you open your mouth bad mouthing men, a smart, Good Man has X-ed you off and is being polite to find a way out of hearing more of your toxic pain drama.
MSM are so obsessed with the intense identification and judgment of how masculine or feminine they are in comparison to Thor and Batman and the Black Panther that they die alone. No, really, it's that stupid. Ask an MSM WHOM he's measuring masculinity against and listen. A trick I use in conversations is I ask people directly: WHO told you that? WHERE did you get that thought from? Try it out a few times and you'll discover that most of the mantras and commandments that people take as fundamental beliefs they have no stable reasoning, logic or source for. The pause and then the emotional consternation on their face will show you that their internal "stuff" has just been poked in the eye.
When you're really smart you understand what women have understood about men for millenia you trade in some of your perfection list for some heightening in other areas. If you're not smarter enough to grasp that concept then nothing I say will convince you. So why waste my time. More on the field for me while you're sitting at home alone with an XBox counting your invisible masculinity chips. But what I will offer is that it is self-destructively ironic that men who demand that people "accept them for who they are and how God made them" turn around with a Nazi measuring stick for others. Self hatred at work and a level of fear, fear at having to show up in something they don't know how to do.
I'm Not Looking For One Because.....
In all the workshops and TV shows I do that people get to interact with me, men never tell the truth. "I don't know how." When we look out at the world, people in passing, movies, television, books--it seems like it's so easy to get into wonderful loving relationships that men who grow up feeling different/bad.shameful of their identity don't realize the backwash internalization that occurs. Think about being denied something that you want. After awhile what men do is they deny that they want what they might deeply believe they can't, won't or don't know how to get. It's how we emotionally protect ourselves from disappointment.
It's what human beings do.
You're a human being no matter your gender, sexuality, sex or sexual preferences. You've learned defensive systems so early that you don't even know your shields are up. Men in particular put up the defense screen of work---I'm looking for work, I'm invested in work, I'm busy at work----and you know what work is for men, defensive. Why? Work tends to tell us instantly and directly if we're doing something right or wrong. Someone is there to correct you. And if you do it well there's acclaim and even rewards. Work is easier than dealing with another human being who definitely won't cheer you every time you do something well and will point it out directly when you make an error. That's a scary prospect. So men tend to "find/create" such busy lives that exclude have a built in intimate-feedback person.
Maybe, If, Possibly I Would If, Maybe, Possibly.....
But the truth always leaks out in comments like I'm just hooking up but if, maybe, possibly, the right one comes along. This is a set-up for two things: one, the right one to suddenly show up grinding on your local dance floor, in line at Wendy's or on the train. Probably not going to happen. Fantasies keep us from looking at reality. Two, it softens how we appear in our deep dish negativity---you ever notice, even in films, people very rarely, directly announce that they're the villain? I often remind people in my workshops that even Hitler thought he was right and doing a good thing. We all psyche ourselves out to support our own framework. That's why a partner can be so frightening---because when someone first meets you and has no investment or when they truly love you---they will blow up all your shit. To your face. Casually. Period.
Toss in HIV, sexual positions, lack of money, too much money, shyness, past hurts----blah blah blah blah---and you have some of the real answers to the question of why are you single?
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He said yes! He'll go out with you! Happy feet, happy feet!! :)
Planning a date is simpler than you would ever believe. You just have to keep in mind WHAT a date is for and plan around that. A date is similar to a job interview but the focus isn't the best candidate it's to show you at your best. Showing yourself at your best will get you further than trying to be something you're not. Opposite the intended outcome of a job interview but same skill set.
However there are some things to avoid on the first date:
Coffee Dates---Drive By/Interview---let me see if you're good enough for an investment. I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't think you, me and plenty of other men are worthy of significant time, energy and investment. Do you think that of yourself though? Or are you just worth a cappumochacino?
Lunch/Dinner Dates---Investment---clean clothes, time spent, real attention paid.
House First Dates---Sex---let's eat (sex) and watch a movie (sex) and then have sex. It's a compliment that someone finds you attractive and you them but sex too fast---Non-Investment---I can get the milk for free, why invest any time or resources? There's a reason why mothers and grandmothers have advised against fast sex for years and fathers and grandfathers have separated potential spouses into categories "good time" and good ones.
Food or No Food?
Probably there will be food involved. Why? Because it's one of the most basic and intimate functions of being human. The question comes down to maybe three basic questions: who pays, where, and what.
Men who are interested in men (and any other gender that want to apply these strategies) get into this silly squabble internally and miss out on great pairings because they forget what makes intimacy work. Generosity. You're not bargaining and heavy hand negotiating to win on Shark Tank. You're on a date. You're giving of yourself to establish a bond of intimacy with someone so that you can experience a level of emotional bonding and enhancement. Therefore you can't measure dating in dollars and cents. You measure it in outcomes.
That said. Figure out your budget. It should roughly be that wiggle room you have in your monthly budget. This is your Dating Budget. The lights, rent, mortgage and cable should stay on after using this discretionary funds maybe two or three times a month.
He who asks, pays. It's okay. Breathe. You're giving. And if it doesn't work out with this one, you're practicing. Remember every date is practice for the real one. Like driving school. The more casual you are through practice with everyone, you'll come off like a winner, a superstar when you meet the real one. However if you rock stingy, one, your dating life will be short because who wants to go out with a stingy person and two, you'll turn off someone who likes you but you just displayed some crass behavior.
Men interested in men generally don't have the same gender dating experience in high school and college (where heterosexuals practice Dating Skills 101) so they don't learn how to navigate resources and intimacy and erroneously feel like they're "paying" for someone's attention. Instead what they're missing is that we're animals and animals show each other their capacity to give, to provide. You're literally a bird or a lion bringing something back to the nest. This is a signal to your date about how you share, how you support, how you care and having a mental budget allows you to prescribe to yourself what you can and can't do.
Where to eat?
I personally have half a dozen restaurants around Manhattan that I know serve fantastic food, I have an idea of the prices and I can describe the location or have them on speed dial for reservations.
Restaurant #1: Cheap Date (Budget Love)
Be honest. If that's $20 for you (I like Wendy's----I'm just putting that out there) then that's your budget. Give freely, give lovingly and tell your date, "Go ahead, baby, Supersize!"
Restaurant # 2: Medium/General Dates (Your Spot)
This might be your go to place that you know has a variety of dishes from burgers to steaks; liquor, nice desserts and candlelight. This might cost you $100 for two people. This might also be the general area you spend on every date if you can afford it. This price point will give you a good presentation experience, good food and comfortable space to talk which is a natural boon to the cost. (Pennyfeathers was a sensational restaurant that I would go to on dates or for nights out with co-workers; I knew the owner and waitstaff (making it a safe space in case my date was cwazy or drunk), the food was great (T-bone steak for $30! and it was easily accessible on 7th Avenue South in Manhattan.)
Restaurant #3: High End (Special Occasions, etc.)
I love several places in NYC (Morton's, The Four Seasons, Plataforma Churascaria, Frankie and Johnny's, Peter Lugers) that dinner for two will be northwards of $200 and I've gone to them on special dates and also sometimes on first dates. The important thing about your High End spot is that you love it. Keep in mind on dates that if you're leading it should be somewhere that you like---so that if the date turns out to be a dud you've had a wonderful time at one of your favorite places. In fact, I've had bad dates where there wasn't a love connection but having gone to my favorite places, I've still had a good time.
Yeah, you could go this route. Or you could be the one who graciously allows themselves to be treated to a meal or two. Or you could be the one treating. If they pay and you still feel slightly uncomfortable with that, leave a sensational tip! If he pays for a Medium Meal and you drop a $25 tip, the wait staff will love you and you'll be enhancing his generosity. Remember you have to decide whether to be the Democratic Leader (Alpha) or the Empathetic Receiver (Beta), more on that in other blogs and the TV show.
But you have to decide. That's the first step in dating and enjoying it. Deciding to give. Deciding to receive. Deciding where to go. Deciding what you can afford. Deciding that you can do this and most importantly deciding to enjoy the dating process as you soar into delightful possibilities!
Next blog, OTHER activities to do on dates besides simply food (and sex!) that will give you a chance to get to know someone and vice versa!
These blogs on Dating 101 are aligning to upcoming episodes of The Kyle Phoenix Show on Dating 101---check it out!
Thanks and enjoy! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Time Warner Cable, Verizon Fios or Comcast or the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast on http://kylephoenix.com/
The number one question Discreet City gets in emails is, “How do I meet other masculine Gay men?” Well here’s your ultimate guide. Discreet City’s Nick Delmacy joins GuyTrap.com founder Stingwood to share the top 12 ways to get those precious 7-digits from the man in your sights…whether you know if he’s Straight or Gay.
Obviously it helps to approach a guy for potential dating if you already know that he’s Gay. And if you’re like me, you prefer to meet a guy at least as masculine as yourself. We get so many emails from young readers asking “How can you tell that a masculine man is Gay?” The easiest answer: Ask Him. I’m serious.
You may not want to be that direct, but there are still many indirect questions that can be inserted into normal conversation that will let you know if a man is Gay/Bisexual. One “straight” friend that I was interested in mistakenly slipped up and said “X-Tube” instead of“YouTube.” Whether he slipped up on purpose to give me a hint or not, it was all I needed to begin putting the moves on him without fear that he was actually heterosexual. Before that moment, we both assumed that the other was straight. Key things to remember though: Don't bank all of your dating prospects into seemingly heterosexual men and don't waste a lot of time playing the "is he or isn't he Gay" guessing games.
When it all comes down to it, you may meet men that you hope are Gay but aren’t. They may convince you that they’re straight or maybe they eventually see your clues and tell you that they’re just not into you (in that way). This is fine, at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with having more friends, even sexy straight ones.
Have you ever seen a super-hot guy wander off with someone you wouldn’t give the time of day? That’s because the art of seduction has a lot more to do with social skills than with naked physical attraction. It’s not 30 pounds you need to lose to pick up more men—it’s your inner fears.
The mistake that many of us make is prejudging potential objects of affection on what we THINK they’re attracted to before we’ve even said one word to them. You see a muscular guy and just assume that he ONLY likes other muscular men. This could be far from the case; you could be the just type he’s looking for. Also, remember this: No matter how fine a guy is, he’s still got some insecurity of his own. Sexy men can be shy too.
Confidence goes a long way. I’ve even been a victim of it in the past to guys I wasn’t superficially attracted to but had the courage to approach. Dope personality, style, swag, demeanor, intellect, etc can get me to give up the digits just as fast a sexy body or a cute face. Careful not to become TOO confident, though. No matter how attractive or unattractive a guy is, being the “groper” in a party/club just comes of sleazy.
Read more of The Top 12 Ways To Pick Up Gay/Bisexual Men of Color, In Just One Click.
I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating: Let go of the antiquated Gender Roles! If you’re a Bottom that doesn’t want to be considered a woman, then stop wanting to be treated like one from an old 1950’s movie. I get it, you’re submissive…but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least make the initial contact to get the ball rolling.
Tops, just like many heterosexual men, can be shy and/or wallflowers as well. Sometimes they need help breaking the ice. My grandmother always used to say: A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. If you don’t even try to go after what you want, you can’t complain when it doesn’t come to you.
It’s a Numbers Game. Think of rejection as a good thing. Its practice for the next man you talk to at the party. Approaching only one guy at a party or club is pretty much a wasted evening if your goal is to meet men…especially if he rejects you. And yes, you must get out of the house and go to a party or club where there is a likely chance gay men will be. You can’t be a hermit locked away in your house and complain about how hard it is to meet men.
One thing that helped me in the early days was saying this to myself, “I’m not leaving here until I get at least 3-5 phone numbers.” That didn’t necessarily mean that I was looking for sex with all of them, it was just simple conversation that eventually led to me asking for their phone number.
To get started in the pick-up game, you need to go where gay men are and learn to approach them. And not just one or two guys, but many guys. If you can’t strike up a conversation, you don’t have a chance to pick-up and eventually seduce someone you’re attracted to.
Right and one last thing, don’t worry about guys you’ve already talked to seeing you. If they’re adults, they know what the deal is…If anything it can make you look more popular, attractive and desirable.
Nothing conveys indecision and nervousness like hesitation. Indecision and nervousness are not attractive traits. So practice the three-second rule: train yourself to approach your target within three seconds of seeing him.
The three-second rule is so essential. How many times have you seen someone you found attractive at a party but internally talked yourself out of approaching him. Or worse, you just keep glancing at him the whole evening, trying to build up the confidence to approach not knowing that he’s already noticed you looking and now you’re just coming off as a creepy stalker. Whenever you move around the party to a place he’s standing it looks like you’re following him. CREEPY!
So in the future, if three seconds go by before you make an attempt to approach him, let him go…move on to the next. Also, don’t get caught up on him being the best looking guy at the party thus being the only one worth approaching. In the chance that he rejects you, it’ll ruin the rest of your night. No man is THAT good looking. Whenever you think you’ve seen the best looking man in the world, hop onto a male admiration Tumblr blog…You’ll see that there are PLENTY more sexy men out there of all ages, shapes and sizes.
An approach is an excuse - any excuse - to start a conversation with someone: “How do I get to Hyatt Hotel?” “There’s some lint on your collar.” “I noticed something about you…” The easiest of all approaches is simply to smile and say “hi.” Forget pick up lines like “I want to melt in your mouth, not in your hand.”— they’re phony, convey too much sexual interest, and leave you no place to take the conversation.
If you’re unsure what to say to begin a conversation, just remember this: saying ANYTHING is better than saying NOTHING. I’ve met masculine men in many places by just striking up random conversations. I’ve met Masculine Gay guys in the gym just by just asking what goal were they working on, gaining muscle or losing weight. I even met a guy at a gas station by just saying the four magic words, “Yo…You look familiar.” If you’re at a bar/club, my go-to approach is to ask say, “Yo, what kind of drink is that, it looks good…” If he’s receptive by giving me his number (and I’m feeling generous), I might throw a bonus in and buy him a new drink at the end of our conversation.
But if you go generic and use any of the above statements, try to still be interesting. If he has tons of tattoos, don't just say, "I like your tattoos" and leave it at that. Plus I'm sure he's heard that MANY times before. Get him involved by asking him what tattoo would look good on you. That way it becomes a conversation instead of an obvious attempt to hit on him.
Once you've exchanged a few words develop openers or standard conversational ploys that will attract your target. Try something startling: “That wasn’t your car on fire in the parking lot, was it?” “Did you see those two guys fighting outside?” Or get an opinion: “Hey, can I ask you a question? What’s the best way to get revenge on an ex? This guy I know…” Develop your opener into a little routine by adding vivid details. Get your target involved and keep him engaged until he gives signs of starting to relax. Sometimes it helps to give the opener a time constraint so that he thinks you’ll shortly be on your way (“I’ve got to go find my friend, but…).
Yeah, it’s all about conversation skills. It’s like a good job interview…showing up is just half the battle. Admittedly it helps if it’s a place where you’ll see the guy again, that way you can plant what I call “Conversation Seeds.” These are short nuggets of dialogue that gets the guy comfortable with over time (days/weeks) so that it won’t be awkward when you ask for his number.
For God’s sake, whatever you do, DON’T ask for his Facebook, Twitteror Instagram handle. Especially at the end of the first conversation. No matter how much you want to keep in contact with him, this comes off as “stalkerish.” Do like most people and get as much information as possible so that you can Google Search him when you get home. Stalk in Private (just kidding, just kidding).
Keep him off balance when he suspects you’re trying to pick him up. This allows time for his attraction to develop. Keep talking in a friendly way while pretending you’re not really that interested sexually.
Keep it casual and don’t come off desperate or “thirsty.” Ultimately you want him to think, “This is a guy that I want to get to know more of…”
However also remember that every connection doesn’t have to be a “Love Connection.” If you have a good conversation yet no contact information is exchanged, chalk it up to experience/practice and move on to the next guy. Meeting guys that you don’t click with can still help you in the long run. They may play matchmaker in the future and introduce you to one of their friends that’s perfect for you.
The lower your expectations, then the lower your disappointment will be. If you have that attitude, it usually has the opposite effect when meeting men. They become more interested in you, the less you seem interested in them. This can backfire if you seem too disinterested though. Checking text messages or glancing around the room for your next target DURING your conversation with him is body language that says you’re bored.
When you meet a guy, don’t stop talking- just stop talking aimlessly. Learn to be funny and entertaining and cast yourself in a positive light in the stories you tell. Tell him how great your new gym routine is making you feel.
Talk about ex-boyfriends or hang a “friend” around your shoulder to demonstrate that others think you’re attractive. In other words, give him enough ammunition to justify an attraction towards you. Once an attraction develops, you’ll see the signals in his eyes and body language.
Again, meeting a guy is like that first Job Interview. The best interviews I’ve ever been on were conversational and free flowing. I also sold myself very well and was sure to compliment the person/company I was being interviewed by. The same applies to this first conversation. Just relax, be yourself and keep your expectations in check.
Without touching there is no sex. To get the ball rolling, touch early and often. Make sure your touches are sensual and motivating, not crude sexual pawing. Examine his cool wristwatch. Flatten his mussed-up collar. Slap away his too-familiar fingers. Read his palm. Test his kiss-ability quotient. Your fleeting touches will leave him begging for more.
Touching is okay as long as you do it with a purpose. Groping is not what we’re talking about. Copping cheap feels is not a good idea (unless you know that he’s down for it). Something as simple as holding his hand a little longer than normal on that first and last handshake/dap can be enough to tell him that you’re interested. A gentle hand on his shoulder or back while leaning in to his ear can often give off the non-verbal communication needed to get the digits.
It amazes me how many guys go to Gay parties and clubs hoping to meet guys but they STAY attached to their friends at the hip ALL NIGHT LONG! For starters, staying THAT close to their “best friend” makes it look like they actually came with their boyfriend. So they scare off potential mates. Secondly, most guys don’t like to pick up men if they’re surrounded by their friends. Even straight men generally don’t like to do this. Remember, the goal is to get him to focus on YOU.
You can accelerate this process by leading him to a neutral location away from his friends. Continue developing rapport and sexual interest. Invite him to a quiet corner of the bar, outside for a breath of air or to a nearby pizza place.
Some men, especially attractive masculine men, feel odd when they’re in the middle of a club/party/event and after you talk you pull out your cell phone to get his number. Not only is this somewhat emasculating, it also advertises to all those around that you got the digits. This may be off-putting and make him hesitant to share contact information, especially if he has a lot of admirers. He may want to keep up the appearance that he NEVER gives up the number to ANYONE.
What’s worked for me in the past is to lean in and ask the man to tell the numbers to me in my ear. Once we separate and I’m alone, I pull out my cell phone and punch in his number. Most times, I’ll immediately send a text reminding him of my name and a descriptive trait so he’ll know who I am when he sees the message.
With some men, all this won’t be necessary. They’ll just grab your cell phone, punch in their number and call it so that their phone rings, giving them your number too. These are the guys that REALLY like you. They want to make sure that they get your number and let everyone else in the party know as well. This can ultimately prove to be both a gift and a curse (see my later post about obsessive dudes). I prefer not to use this method because in the past I’ve been handed password locked or hard-to-figure-out smartphones that just create awkward moments of fumbling around.
If he’s texting or calling you even before you leave the party, it means he wants’ to have sex that night. Seriously. I’ve seen it time after time. The only alternative is that they’re lonely and can’t wait to have real human interaction. But typically when they’re that thirsty, they just want sex. Its up to you if that’s also what you want. Tons of essays could be written on whether sex on the first night of meeting each other can still lead to relationships. If sex was your goal in the first place, then you’re good to go.
It takes two to tango. Back at your pad, ask him to pick out some soft music, or turn down the lights, or massage your back. Let him be your partner in setting up the sex scene. You might both be surprised by what develops naturally. Make him feel at ease and develop things naturally.
Stingwood is the founder of the now defunct GuyTrap.com, a Gay discussion website where men traded hints and tips on attraction, love and sex topics.
Thank you for reading,
Thanks and enjoy! You can Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter! Don't forget to watch The Kyle Phoenix Show on Channel 56 (Time Warner), 83 (RCN), 34 (Verizon) and the Thursday/Friday 12am/midnight simulcast