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POLL RESULTS: Straight talk for the gay man: (12 comments)

POLL: Straight talk for the gay man

Friday, June 05, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes...Q: My girlfriend Linda has this old friend, Ryan, who visits now and then. Ryan is gay. I've never had a problem with gay folks, but this guy can't seem to get through a conversation without some tale of his exploits with men -- and he shares a lot more than I want to hear from anybody, gay or straight. The thing is that Linda and he go way back. Should I tell her how much he bugs me or just let it ride and make myself scarce when he comes to visit? Or am I a closet homophobe who needs re-education?

POLL: This guy should...
 
16% (212) ... have his girlfriend speak to the guy.
 
57% (749) ... man up and speak to the guy himself.
 
7% (97) ... loosen up.
 
5% (77) ... leave before the guy visits.
 
12% (157) ... try to switch the conversation by sharing stories of his own sex life
1292 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Lachesis
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Posts: 13

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Jul 2008
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 09:38 AM (#48096)

if you'd ask another guy to lay off (uhh, let me re-phrase that) the details of his exploits with women....

if you'd ask a woman to be less forthcoming on romps in bed with guys....

(going out on a limb here) if you'd beg out of hearing the intricacies of girl-on-girl action....

then by all means, you're perfectly within your comfort zone to ask that your girlfriend's gay buddy spare you the details regarding adventures in the gay zone.

everyone has their comfort zone on what they're willing to share, AND what they do or don't want to listen to. his zone just happens to extend a bit beyond your boundaries. you're allowed to inform him regarding where your boundaries exist. most polite people then make an effort to respect those boundaries, once they've been made aware of them. it's just that, since all boundaries tend to be invisible to everyone but the person they belong to, it's up to their owner to inform others that they exist and where they extend.


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ErikTheRed
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Jan 2008
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 11:20 AM (#48098)

There's not enough info here to suggest a solution, so here are some random thoughts:

Just because you don't want to hear detailed descriptions of gay sex doesn't make you a homophobe. It just makes you averagely squeemish about these things. You'd be a homophobe if you though his sexual orientation made him a lesser human being. Does a girlfriend not wanting hear about sex you've had with other women make her a heterophobe?

I'm surprised nobody's hit on the large warning sign here: your girlfriend doesn't seem to have a problem with it, which probably means that she's a bit less inhibited than you. That's going to cause problems down the line.

Sharing stories of your own sex life is just tit for tat (so to speak). If he was a co-worker it would be the perfect solution... but your girlfriend is involved. To guys this usually isn't a big deal, but for most women hearing about their significant other doing anything with another woman (and that includes looking at or thinking about) is about as welcome as getting our balls tied to a departing freight train is for us guys. Stories about you and your current girlfriend are fair game.

Have your girlfriend speak to the guy? You'd be better off dumping her and dating him.

Ideally you should be able to just speak to the guy yourself, but realistically that's got about a 70 or 80% chance of making things weird.

Leaving before the guy visits would be a clear sign that he's made you his bitch (metaphorically, of course. Well, maybe).

Don't discount the possibility that he's trying to either bond with you or get rid of you (flip a coin).


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 12:34 PM (#48101)

1- For the sake of arguement, I'm going to assume that most open conversation of a sexual nature (particularly in mixed company) makes you uncomfortable. -- That would be fine. Your solution would be to politely beg out of the get-together when the conversation gets too much, assuming you can't change the topic.

And, yes, you may wind up ending your relationship with your girlfriend. But, if she doesn't feel your sensibility is important; that may not be a bad thing.

2- Now, let's assume that you also have sexually explicit conversations if front of your girlfriend. -- Your a stupid ass, no matter how you look at it.

3- In any event, you've missed the opportunity for your best option. At the first occurrence, "Aw, Dude! TMI!", generally settles the issue from the start. If he's a real friend to your girlfriend, he'll curtail his stories in your presence, for her.

4- It might just take time.

Maybe, it's his way of loosening up around you. For some forward people, there's an instinctually pro-active need to put themselves out there in conversation. It's almost as if they are sub-consiously daring you to not accept them.

I've known one or two people like that. It comes from a fear of rejection, nothing more. Once you find a common ground for friendship with this guy, he might just settle down to a more ordinary conversational pattern with you.

And, you'll have made a new friend who just might really respect you.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 12:35 PM (#48102)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#48101):

Sorry.

I just realized that this is almost exactly what Eric said.


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zmortis
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Jun 2009
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 06:03 PM (#48106)

This is always a tricky subject in general, how to deal with the inconsiderate friends of a girlfriend or significant other. I don't care if this person is gay, straight, a woman, or a wookie. When they presume to cross conversational boundaries that are not within the realms of what is considered polite general conversation, then they are inconsiderate of the sensibilities of others and imposing their agenda on them.

Examples of this are people who presume their political, religious, or social view point is the only correct one, and who verbally barage anyone who doesn't step in line with their views with their conversation.

The only question you really have to figure out for yourself is whether this guy is deliberately making you uncomfortable, or unconsciously making your uncomfortable. If it is deliberate, then it is likely he is testing your limits to determine whether he will ultimately be in charge of your "relationship", or whether you will step in and take control of the situation when you've had enough. Any attempt to put a stop to their behavior will get you labled as one of "them" (aka: homophobe, mysogynist, atheist, religious nut, liberal, conservative, etc.). Best case action in this scenario is to tell them that you don't care if they are "blank", but you don't like them because they are a jerk.

However, if the person is truly unconsciously being inconsiderate of your sensibilites, the best option may be to broach the topic with your girlfriend first so she is aware of how you feel about this treatment you are receiving. If she has your back, then you can tactfully mention your discomfort with the level of detail about their personal business, and the lack of senstivity they are showing to you in their conversation.

If they can't understand what it feels like to be handled with a lack of sensitivity, then I think it's fair game to ask them to keep clear of you in the future.

If you girlfriend refuses to have your back about how you feel, then it will only get worse as your relationship continues. In that case it would be time to break up and find someone more in tune with your feelings.

I hope this helps.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 02:33 AM (#48108)

The only question you really have to figure out for yourself is whether this guy is deliberately making you uncomfortable, or unconsciously making your uncomfortable. If it is deliberate, then it is likely he is testing your limits to determine whether he will ultimately be in charge of your "relationship", or whether you will step in and take control of the situation when you've had enough. Any attempt to put a stop to their behavior will get you labled as one of "them" (aka: homophobe, mysogynist, atheist, religious nut, liberal, conservative, etc.). Best case action in this scenario is to tell them that you don't care if they are "blank", but you don't like them because they are a jerk.

zmortis nailed it in the previous post. I have only this to add ...

Should I tell her how much he bugs me or just let it ride and make myself scarce when he comes to visit?

Tell her ... but not with the expectation that she will tell him to knock it off. Tell her because you want her to know that you will raise the issue with him the next time he starts, and you don't want her to misinterpret your intent or to blindside you by taking his side.

If you tell him in a resonable manner that you don't appreciate his infodump, and she still takes his side ... then to hell with her.


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Gruhl
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 12:52 PM (#48113)

Just a comment to ErikTheRed.

Semantically speaking, you are wrong: Being a homophobe does not require you to think less of persons because they are homosexual. It just means that you have an irrational fear of them. Such subconscious fears sometimes result in feelings of unease.

However, in the common, less precise way of expressing oneself, the derogatory "Homophobe!" would require despice of homosexuals to fit.

Apart from that, my advice is to speak with the fellow. Even if it turns wierd, it's more honest than having your gf do it.


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BigD
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 09:25 PM (#48120)
In Response to Gruhl (#48113):

Man - what kind of pussy are you?

Its really, really weak to hide behind your girl or question yourself, when somebody makes you uncomfortable.
Be direct!

You are not comfortable with his Bedtimestories - TELL the Man!
What do you care if hes gay, or hetero or fucking Goats? You just don`t want to hear it, right?

Tell somebody, if they irritate you!
Else, they are not going to know and you are not going to respect yourself...

Okok, everything can be done diplomatically, and maybe it would be good to let your girlfrind know your feelings and your plan to express them....

But everything but owning up will just further strain this thing.


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meshugunah
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Dec 2006
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 11:55 PM (#48121)

I have noticed that some folks are so busy being whatever they've decided that they are (gay, straight, conservative, IT people, comic nerds, Trekkies, you-pick-one...)that that's ALL they can talk about. Could that be this Ryan dude's hang-up? The GF might have insight into this - is Ryan always like this or does he sometimes pick other topics of conversation?

If Ryan just does the Sex Talk in front of you, he's pushing your buttons! Why, I can't say (insecurity, maybe?)but others have some great suggestions for putting a stop to it so I won't reiterate. IF you can get him to shut up about his bedroom antics, you might find out what his other interests are and discover why he and your GF became friends in the first place. Heck, you might even decide the guy could be YOUR friend as well - stranger things have happened.


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Caffeine
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Feb 2009
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, June 07, 2009 - 02:38 PM (#48123)

Simply say that you are not comfortable with that kind of sex talk, no matter from whom it comes. Should be no problem, I guess.


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stuckinontario
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May 2009
Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 - 12:07 PM (#48141)

Some people just like to dish about their sex lives to a single individual they trust over a coffee somewhere private, & if Linda represents that person for Ryan, it actually shows a bit of trust in YOU that he's still comfortable talking about it when you're around. If that's the case, you should probably talk to both of them as individuals, but I'd start with approaching Ryan on your own & tell him how you feel. Perhaps he'll understand & at least dial it down a notch when you're around, saving the more gory details for Linda when you're not there. If not, then simply extract yourself from the conversation as gracefully as possible if it happens again in the future. Just be glad that he only visits now & then, rather than all the time.

On the other hand, if Ryan talks the same way in large groups & he's actually like that with everybody, then it's probably the attention he's really after. He's also more likely to be covering for what he considers his inadequacies, much like the hetero guy that has to tell anyone & everyone within earshot all about his bedroom antics in order to feel like a bigshot. If this is the case, Ryan's not likely to change his tune no matter WHO approaches him, & he probably won't react well if you call him out on it, whether you do it alone or in a publis setting. So I'd talk to your girlfriend alone about it, instead - at least that way, you'll both be on the same page about how you feel & she won't be put out if you find someone else to talk to or somewhere else to be the next time Ryan decides to dazzle the entire group with stories of his sexual exploits. Obviously she's more open to hearing about gay sex than you are, but if she's aware of your feelings & sensitive to them, she might even go with you.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: POLL: Straight talk for the gay man (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 03:49 AM (#48148)

Of course, if you ever decide to break up with Linda, you know what you have to do ...

Hey, Ryan! Has Linda ever told you about that funny thing she does with her [CENSORED] whenever we [CENSORED]? Jeeze, she really loves it when I [CENSORED] her [CENSORED], and I like it too, but sometimes it gets a little gross. One time I [CENSORED][CENSORED], and she [CENSORED][CENSORED][CENSORED] all over the drapes! That was the funniest thing I've ever seen! I nearly [CENSORED] a [CENSORED]! And to top it off, then she [CENSORED]! Ah, those were the days ... right, Linda? ... Linda?


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