1: Send out random photos of their a**hole. I'll admit it: I'm a butt guy. I can look at gorgeous rear ends all day, and anyone who wants to send me a photo of their perky bottom has my blessing. But a butthole? Am I missing something? It doesn't have an adorable look or a cute personality like a penis or a bunny rabbit does. It's just there, resembling a drain or a black hole or something else I don't want to get lost inside. Yet gay men send them out, in close-up and sometimes stretched out so I can get a better peek. Don't even get me started on the names people give them, because that only reminds me of why I'm gay in the first place.
2: Write things like "Not looking" on their hookup profiles. Um, then what exactly are you doing on these sites? Checking out the inspirational quotations? Seeking selfie photo tips? Or, my favorite, networking? Because we all know the headhunters are searching Grindr for new talent. It's almost as baffling as the dudes who post a headless torso and write, "Will not respond unless you send a face pic." These guys are actually auditioning heads to match their body. The most puzzling are the men who add things like "Have boyfriend, so don't ask me what I'm into." To play devil's advocate, I have to ask: If you were looking at an earlier time, why not simply delete your profile until further notice? This way you won't need to send out nasty responses to all those horny bastards who assumed you might want to meet up, since you're probably half-naked in your shot and listing your sexual proclivities. Gay men are so presumptuous.
3: Over-pluck their eyebrows. I get it: These days we're all about trimming our beards, our bods, our backs, our balls. But if your eyebrows make Julianna Margulies' caterpillar brows look natural, you've gone too far. And even the Good Wife's brows have an arch. I'm seeing eyebrows that stick straight out and are clumped together, like someone covered them with plaster of paris and a Sharpie. They don't look so much like caterpillars as they do scary black leaches clinging on to guys' foreheads. Unlike in those coloring books we had as children, men should feel free to draw a little bit outside the lines.
4: Post photos of themselves on dating sites with guys who are infinitely hotter than they are. You get a notice that says, "Someone likes you," and you are thrilled when you see how great he looks in shorts and sunglasses. But wait, that's not him. That's his "buddy from Fire Island last summer." Your "match" is the dweeb in the background, wearing crocs and a Margaritaville T-shirt. Even more perplexing is when the guy posts a group guy photo and gives no clue as to which one he is. "The gang at P-Town," the caption reads, offering no hint as to where he stands in the lineup. Generally, the main profile photo doesn't help either, as it's usually a city skyline or a puppy, and it's usually upside down.
5: Call every female singer a gay icon. Entertainment sites aren't helping, but how is it possible that every new female singer who's ever auto-tuned a hit single gets this label? Because if Carly Rae Jepsen is a gay icon, then I'm the queen of England -- impossible, as Elton John already has that job. The term "diva" is overused too; it used to mean a female in the opera, and now it means any female who's never been to one. And let's not forget "living legend," which, as I read awhile back, includes Rihanna. What are they going to call her when she turns 30? A myth? This phenomenon is not unlike referring to any guy who's done adult films as a "porn star," even if he only did one film and his face never made the final cut. Let's save "gay icon" and the rest for those who've really earned it, like Betty White.
6: Label themselves. Weren't "faggot," "cocksucker," and "sissy queer bait" bad enough growing up? And isn't Pride about the thrill of being an individual and not being reduced to a stereotype? We now have more labels than a designer showroom: twink, twunk, pup, bear, cub, chub, bicurious, gay-curious, wolf, bull, daddy, daddy chaser, geek, jock, gym bunny, gym rat, power bottom. (That last one might make sense, even if it does sound like something that you purchase at Best Buy.) As complicated and confusing as these names are, accidentally label a chub a "bear" and you're likely to get his otter boyfriend in a tizzy. The acronym "LGBTQIA" is confusing enough without adding more labels to "define our unique identity in the community." With all these initials, we're starting to look like a vision test for a gay driver's license.
7: Watch any of those Real Housewives shows. And people made fun of me for loving Desperate Housewives, which, admittedly, wasn't quite as scripted or include as many plot twists and deaths. Try as I might, I cannot understand the appeal of any of these programs. Is it the cloned faces, the cloned hairstyles and outfits, the touched-up foreheads and Frankenstein-monster body parts, or the inane conversation and petty catfights? Because, if so, wouldn't the weekly bitch brunch suffice? Unless you have a secret crush on Andy Cohen (who gets his own label, sugar daddy!), watching any of these reality-TV shows is the equivalent of viewing the Reichen sex tape; it looks like seductive on the outside but turns out to have very little meat to offer.
8: Refer to themselves as "straight-acting." In case you didn't get the pink memo, if your legs are in the air or your rear end is arching outward and another man is penetrating you, you are not straight-acting. As soon as your lips attach themselves to another man's penis, you are not straight-acting. There are no exceptions. That means that you can watch sports, you can drink beer, and you can make sexist remarks about Hillary Clinton, but if any part of you is inside a man's anus, you are not straight-acting. Until you start salivating over a clitoris and craving cunnilingus, you are gay-acting. Learn to love the label. All your boyfriends have.
9: Practice their inclusive life by excluding others. You were bullied in high school for being different, you were ignored by the popular kids, and you were never invited to the cool parties. So now that you're all gay grown-up, you only hang out with guys who look like underwear models, you don't invite anyone to your summer share unless they look great naked or are rich and connected, and there's nothing that upsets you more than when a lesbian, transgender, or straight person sits down next to you at a gay bar or tries to talk to you at a party. Sense a pattern here? High school without girls is still high school, and everyone needs to graduate. As for those heteros you avoid, think back to all the straight places you've boycotted or complained about because they didn't like it when gay guys bombard the place. Then think again.
10: Hit clubs and bars with friends and stay on their phones all night. If this practice keeps up, conversation will soon be a lost art, like writing letters or steam-room sex. Grindr found a guy 300 feet away who likes you? Huzzah! But if you lift your head up for a couple of seconds, you might find a guy three feet away who likes you! I know, it's medieval, this practice of actually conversing with real men. I understand the need to text at a bar, to connect with a friend or let him know where you are. But if you're at a bar to meet men, go meet them! If you're at a club to be with your friends, be with your friends. The only thing sadder than seeing two friends sitting together at a club staring into their phones is picturing the poor saps they're texting in hopes that they'll join the fun.
11: Cheat on their partners and think they'll get away with it. It's the oldest deception in the world, and it doesn't work, especially in today's world. Between friends telling friends they saw you on Scruff and Manhunt, accidentally leaving the apps on, browser history, the history of STDs, the basic fundamental principal that says lying fails unless you've got all your basis covered plus one or two extra, gossip, emails, unintentional heartache, attachments, and guilt, it just never works. Trust me.
12: Summarize everything with a Top 10-like list. Hey, I didn't say my actions were any less baffling than those of other gays. Do as I say....