There’s a man I meet for enchanting lunch dates. We giggle and taste each other’s food. He stands up when I enter the room, and looks me frankly in the eyes. He’s inexcusably handsome, laugh-out-loud funny, and whip-smart.
And when I leave for our rendezvous — wearing a smile, a flirty dress, and a spritz of mango body splash — my husband always comments, “Wow. Who are you having lunch with again?” When I answer, he says, “Oh! Have fun.”
You see, my delicious date is gay. Gay as they come. Dresses-better-than-I-do gay. Big-fan-of-chick-flicks gay. I fancy myself the Grace to his Will. The Madonna to his Rupert. (But not the Carrie to his Stanford. He’s not that gay.)
Apparently I am a fag hag. But I find the term tasteless-times-two, so I go by the gentler, more fashionable “fruit fly.” (The zeitgeist now also allows for “lesbros,” or straight men who covet the company of lesbians. A column for another time, no doubt.)
Lots of my girlfriends have cherished friendships with gay men, and the gay part isn’t incidental. These guys are not “girlfriends with penises.” There’s something about the breezy straight gal/gay guy dynamic that makes other friendships feel like hard labor.
Some say it’s a shared love of drama. Others admit they feel hipper-by-proximity when they sashay into a party on the arm of an out-and-proud-er.
But here’s the coolest part of having a gay boyfriend: There’s no sexual tension (is he hot for me?) like there is with straight male friends, and there’s no competition (is she hotter than me?) like there is with straight female friends. The relationship is miraculously relaxed.
Our gays make us feel attractive — without feeling hunted. “Isn’t it nice sometimes,” asks a woman I know, “when your boobies are admired and appreciated in ways that are less…leering?”
Plus, we share an edginess that comes from living in a “man’s world.”
“No matter how well enculturated they are,” explains my homosexual honey, “gay men still grew up on the outside, which often gives them a perspective that’s either bitter or humorous.” Both, please!
And the unbridled honesty. Oof.
“My boys,” says a gal with lots of gay pals, “have the balls (figuratively and literally) to tell me the stuff my female friends won’t, like, ‘You look fat in that’ or, ‘He’s totally not into you.'”
Another asked her gay friend to teach her how to properly fellate a fella. “He instructed me on a bottle,” she says. “It was informative, fun, and very, very useful. I still use what he told me.”
Still others brag that their gay friends are great listeners, gifted fashion advisers, and are happy to share an evening watching Janet Jackson videos on YouTube.
“On a weekly basis, I talk to my gay more than anyone else I know,” says one woman. “When I told him I was considering moving to another state to find a job, he said, ‘Oh, no. There will be no moving.’ It made me feel loved.”
To be fair, there are downsides to the relationship. Some ladies complain that their gay friends are capable of summoning a level of bitchy that we gals can only tremble at, in awe.
“My gay has made me cry,” says a friend of mine. “He says, ‘I just can’t not be snarky! It’s who I am!’ Gays. Always with the snarky.”
Case in point: A woman I know bragged that her gay confidant of 30 years is the most thoughtful, generous, nonjudgmental gentleman she knows. Then she asked him, out of curiosity, why he liked her.
“Because you’re the same sex as Cher,” he deadpanned. “And you like men also.”