Hot Guy Phobia

05/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This visual is your key to overcoming Hot Guy Phobia--the fear of talking to good looking guys:


Straight women aren't the only people who can't seem to meet the right guy. Gay men can't seem to either. The difference is that women aren't "allowed" to approach men while gay men are expected to. And this sets up what psychologists call "Approach Anxiety" -- the fear of initiating contact with a good looking stranger.

But I like to call it Hot Guy Phobia.

It goes something like this: You see a beautiful guy at a gay bar or a party and you want to meet him in the worst way. But fear matches your desire. Doubt sets in. Alarms go off. The fantasy of being with him draws you in but the thought of actually saying something to him scares you to death.

Approach anxiety and conversational skill deficiencies feed on each other. If you knew exactly what to say and how to say it, your approach anxiety would melt like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

But there's an even bigger reason that approach anxiety rears its ugly head and keeps gay men from connecting with the kind of guys they want to date (especially in gay bars): Believing that good looking strangers are something they're not.

Most of us see an attractive guy as a goal--something we want to, ahem, achieve. But if he's a goal, taking the chance of approaching him has only two possible outcomes: Leave with him in your arms or your tail between your legs.

The thing about goals is that you either achieve them or you don't. You win or lose, it's black and white, sink or swim. Actually, it's worse. When your goal is love, sex or both, it feels more like live or die. You either get validated by a beautiful guy or die of embarrassment from trying to talk to him. That's a pretty high price for what amounts to saying hello. And it's what makes gay nightlife turn into gay frightlife.

So what's the secret to overcoming your fear of rejection? It's coming to a profound realization about that hottie in the corner:

He's not a goal. He's a portal.

The guy you want to meet is not an objective; he's an entryway. He's somebody who's going to lead you to the next moment in your life. He may be the next guy you date but what if he ends up introducing you to the next guy you date? What if he becomes your next acquaintance, friend, or business contact? Or the guy who points you to the sports league you didn't know existed, the concert you didn't know was scheduled or that restaurant that just opened. Maybe you'll just get a great story out of the experience of meeting him. Or a funny joke. But if you're open to all of it, any of it, then suddenly Mr. Hot, by the definition of a portal, can't induce fear of rejection, ridicule or loss. He can only instill a sense of curiosity about what's next.

It'll be easier to absorb this new definition of attractive guys with a visualization. Every time you see a guy you're interested in, picture him like the doorway you see at the top of this column.

Once you've redefined and realigned your perception of attractive guys, the fear of rejection goes away. But you're still left with a major dilemma: What do you say to attractive strangers that won't make you sound like an idiot?

I cover that subject extensively in my new ebook, Meet The Hottie In The Corner, and will touch on it in later columns. For now, work on the law of gay attraction by changing your perceptions. Every time you see a hottie, picture that doorway.

Mike Alvear is the author of the instantly downloadable gay dating book, Meet The Hottie In The Corner--The 21 Day Plan To Overcome Your Fear of Rejection, Master the Art of Icebreakers and Snag Guys You Never Thought You Could Get.