Hello Mr.

Essays   POEM | ISSUE 01   Feb 22, 2015

Twenty-Five Things You Should Know About Being A Gay Man Before You Decide To Be One

by Ryan O'Connell
Illustration by Adam J. Kurtz

1. You will always feel a little bit fat and a little bit ugly. Sometimes you will feel a lot fat and a lot ugly. 

2. Moving to New York City may seem like a grand idea but trust me it’s not. Everyone here is at least 10% cuter than you and they know it. 

3. Anal sex is like, the most intense thing ever. 

4. Even if your parents are super progressive and love you just the way you are, your dad will always be a little bit bummed out that you’re a ’mo. 

5. We don’t cry as much as that one kid on Glee. I promise. 

6. Dating the same sex is difficult because you will always be comparing yourself to them. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether or not we date a guy because we love them or because we want to be them. 

7. This notion of a gay community is largely a fallacy. The only thing we have in common with each other is penis and then we saunter off into our own little alienated nooks. 

8. You will sleep with “straight men” until the novelty wears off and you realize that sex is the most fun when both parties are being honest about what they want. It doesn’t matter what position you take. If you sleep with someone who identifies as “straight” you’ll be the one getting screwed.

9. Some dudes will flirt with you very aggressively, bordering on sexual harassment, because you’re gay and it’s naturally assumed that you’ll want to sleep with everything. 

10. Girls will come up to you your whole entire life and say stupid things like, “I wish you weren’t gay, OMG, let’s make out!” And you’ll always have to be like, “Um, no.” 

11. It’s hard to find a good group of gay friends. Harder than you’d think. 

12. You’re expected to always be in good shape, even though lesbians get to do whatever they want with their bodies, and it just isn’t fair. 

13. It will be hard to find a boyfriend because typically gay men like to sow their wild oats until they’re 40. Or dead. 

14. At the end of the day, all gay men want is to be connected with each other. 

15. You will always be wondering if you should be having more sex. 

16. You should. 

17. Forget what any gay man tells you: everyone’s dream is to marry their soul mate, get a dog, and become the gay couple everyone else is jealous of. 

18. Loving a man is quite different than getting one off. Be prepared for the beautiful mindfuck that is gay love. 

19. You should always wear a condom. Always. When you’re gay, STDs are practically banging at your door. “Yoo hoo, it’s me, syphilis! Anyone home?” 

20. Whenever you get intimidated by other gay people, just remember that they, too, were once a frightened 13-year-old boy masturbating to Ryan Phillippe in the shower. 

21. In good conscience, you know you have to trim your pubic hair. 

22. “Cock” is a really gross, dirty porn word. You shouldn’t say it unless you’re mid-coitus. 

23. Don’t ever say “twink,” either. It’s unbecoming. 

24. Actually, gay men have a whole vocabulary of their own. Try not to learn it. 

25. I don’t mean to scare you off of being gay. It’s actually quite wonderful. Even when my self-loathing levels are at an all-time high, I’m still thankful for my gayness. Truly.

Ryan O'Connell is a writer for MTV's Awkward and author of "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves to Get Through Our Twenties" out in June with Simon & Schuster.

Adam J. Kurtz is a graphic designer, artist, & serious person. He is primarily concerned with creating honest, accessible work, including a range of small products & the self-published “Unsolicited Advice” calendar series. He is the author of "1 Page at a Time" and no other books. He currently lives in New York City.

More Essays