Sorry if this strikes anyone as homophobic, I don’t have problems with gay men, only the few who seem entitled to push their orientation onto other men.
Now to give thanks where thanks are due, Ari from http://geekingsexuality.blogspot.com/ referred me to this interesting blog: http://afemanistview.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-threat-of-being-wanted-trigger.html
Snowdrop brings up some good points about men harassing women. He asks heterosexual male readers to envision being approached by gay men. He mentions how it would feel to have someone bigger than you making sexual advances. Well, this is not abstract as I have had this happen to me before. I will discuss two times that particularly disturbed me.
I had begun working out at a new gym after relocating to a new city. I am still a member after a name change, location change and change of owner. I had tried one other gym in my new town and didn’t like the atmosphere at all. Unbeknownst to me, I was working out in the “gay” part of town. I realized I was in the gay section of town after wandering into a nearby adult bookstore and seeing more DVD’s with men on the cover than women. This area would be comparable to West Hollywood in Los Angeles.
I really liked the gym, it was laid back and most people seemed focussed on working out. There were many buff gym queens. I kept to myself but found most of the other members to be friendly and accommodating with sharing equipment. I had dealt with meatheads before and this environment was refreshing. I had been to a nude beach at this point but still changed behind closed doors to avoid any uncomfortable situations. One or two men had been “overly friendly” but none had crossed any boundaries.
At one point a personal trainer had solicited me and asked if I had a need for his services. I politely declined. On a different day he had offered me a free training session. I explained that I wouldn’t be able to afford training and I didn’t see the point. He said to just try it and there were no strings attached. I took him up on the offer. He showed me a few new excersizes but I didn’t like his overly macho drill sargent style. He thanked me for attending the session and that was that, or so I thought.
I would run into him again as I went to work out. He was amiable and never tried to sell me his services. He invited me to go drink vodka with him at a techno club. I said I didn’t like techno or vodka. He said that I was missing out on meeting really hot women. I still declined. We would run into each other a few times more. I couldn’t putt my finger on it but he made me really uncomfortable. He invited me to one of his outdoor bootcamps. Again I declined even though he insisted that there would be many hot women there. He talked about his “wife” and how great he was. He was arrogant and extremely self promoting.
This personal trainer struck me as overly macho. He had spikey dyed blond hair and looked ex military except for his pierced ears. It goes without saying that he was buffed out. And he was significantly bigger than me. A few times I caught him staring at me as I was working out. It was a harsh glare that I didn’t like at all. At one point, he gave me his myspace page and told me to add him. He ran into me again and made a comment that I seemed like I was trying to avoid him (I was.) The personal trainer guy didn’t seem to take subtle hints that I didn’t want to be near him. He persistently asked why I hadn’t added him as a friend. His profile was set to private so I added him. His number one friend was a gay sado-masochist and his profile status said single after he stated he had a wife. I don’t like liars–I deleted him from my friends page. I changed my workout times to avoid him. He never touched me outside of a handshake or how a personal trainer might touch a client to show proper from. However he had creeped me out.
Another time I had an unwanted advance, and this time, definitely unsubtle, was at my favorite clothing optional beach. I was walking through the clothed part of the beach on my way to the nude section. A “surfer” looking guy approached me. He began asking questions that a tourist might ask about the area. (I would later find that he was a regular and this was a ploy.) He was taller than me, probably a couple years older, a bit grungey. His initial questions seemed reasonably polite. Then he playfully tapped me on the shoulder. He also made a few comments that made me question his sexual orientation. I moved a few feet away from him and said “You’re a “Switch Hitter”, aren’t you?”
He responded by saying that he didn’t keep up with sports. I told him that it meant he liked men and women. He ran up to me, put his arm around me and said he liked “Cool people.” I pushed him off of me and began running. I would see him a few more times at the beach. He would lower his sunglasses and stare at me. Really, it seemed like something Tom Cruise would do while looking at a hot babe in a bad 80’s movie. He would also make comments at me. He wouldn’t leave me alone until I screamed for him to “F*** Off” while waving my fists in the air.
I have had other situations where gay men had approached me. However these two stick out in my mind as the worst. In other situations, the men had left me an “out.” That is to say that they might start a conversation but leave it to me to continue. They showed a little interest but didn’t seem threatening. In sales, there is something called qualifying a prospect. That means letting the potential client say that they have an interest in your product. What bugged me about the above two situations is that neither man seemed to care about my feelings or what I wanted. They didn’t care about my orientation at all. The guy at the beach rudely pushed my boundaries by putting his arm around me. If I did that to a strange woman, I could be put up on assault charges. The first guy always wanted to get me drunk. Somehow I don’t feel it would be in my best interest to be intoxicated around a creeper like that. Granted, he never touched me inappropriately like the beach perv. It just seemed that he would use alcohol to push an agenda on me that I would never want in a million years. Also, he knew that I was heterosexual as he always mentioned hot women…