This Sunday, gay guys and straight guys will be rubbing elbows at Superbowl parties across country. Some of them will even hit it off and want to become friends. This is progress, people, but like anything, there are some rules.
While not as fraught or as common as the friendship between gay guys and straight girls, sometimes the butch and the femme want to come together in a Platonic fashion. This is great for both parties. Many gay men experienced teasing and torment in their younger years by the big, butch jocks and other assorted heteros in their high schools and this is a great way to get over the PTSD of daily name calling and atomic wedgies in the boys' room. For straight guys, having a homo friend is a fine way to get over homophobia as well as welcoming him into the modern world of diversity and acceptance for all.
But straight guys, there are a few things we need to work out first. Don't expect that we're going to be the guy you point to when you have to say, "I love gay people! I'm friends with a gay!" and we're not just going to let you draft off all our straight lady friends so that you can run off and make the future generation of babygays (but thanks for that). This should be a relationship of equals based on strictly above-the-belt affection and shared interest. We may be on different teams, but as men we're all playing the same sport.
Get Into Our Things: Here we are at your Super Bowl party trying to pretend that we care about a football game that doesn't have Mark Sanchez in it. The thing about mainstream culture is that it is pretty much made for straight boys. We probably already listen to similar music, see similar movies, and watch similar shows, so we have lots of common ground. But don't be afraid to open your mind up to the things we think are cool because they might brand you "too gay." After all, Lady Gaga and America's Next Top Model are practically mainstream these days, so you should know them. Also, your girlfriend might give you a BJ once she finds out about your new-found love of Project Runway. You're welcome.
We Don't Want to Have Sex with You: A common reaction among straight boys to meeting a gay is to get all skeeved out thinking he is about to get hit on. Sorry, you're not our type. Just like the straight guy doesn't want to have sex with every woman, we don't want to have sex with every guy. First of all, we know you're straight and aren't interested. Second of all, there are plenty of gay guys that we don't even want to have sex with, the fact that you are ugly and straight just gives you two strikes. So relax, straighty, we don't want to have sex with you any more than you want to have sex with Janet Reno.
...Unless You Are Hot: If you are hot, then we definitely want to have sex with you. Actually, being attractive and a labia-lover makes us want you twice as bad. It's a challenge. So, yes, we're going to flirt with you and try to woo you in a very obvious way. You should be flattered. This will stop eventually once we realize that you really are straight and we are more interested in going to the movies together than sharing a bed. That's not to say if at any point during the course of our friendship you get drunk and try to make out with us, we'll stop you.
We Don't Want to Make You Over: We don't care that you only pay $15 to get your haircut, don't wax your eye brows, buy clothes at discount stores, and don't wear underwear with names that look like algebra equations. That's part of your appeal, so don't get worried thinking that we're trying to change you. If you want some advice or to go shopping together, that's cool, but we aren't just going to be the guy that helps you look good. There are gays you hire to do that. They're called stylists.
...Unless You Make Us: We don't want you looking too fussy, but there are some things we just aren't going to abide. Like Tevas. If you show up for a bike ride in the park wearing Tevas, we are going to make fun of you for hours while forcing you to ride directly to the nearest shoe store for suitable footwear. The same goes for errant nose hairs, mismatching outfits, and anything with visible holes or stains. Everyone should have standards.
Don't Be Offended If We Ask for Help with Butch Things: Just like we don't mind giving mild shopping and grooming advice, please don't be upset if we ask you to show us how to repair things. There are plenty of gay guys who know how to wield a hammer and work a caulk gun, and there are plenty straight guys who don't, but we're still going to ask for help. If you wish, politely decline and tell us there are straight guys who hire to do that. They're called handy men.
Know When a Guy Is Attractive: If we ask you if a guy is hot, you have to respond. Don't give us that socially conditioned, "Oh, I don't look at guys like that," bullshit. We're not asking you to hold his dick, just give us a gauge of how handsome he is. We know whether or not a girl is smokin', and you won't think twice about asking us, so we expect the same in return. You have seen enough men's magazine covers to know what is considered conventionally attractive, so just go based on that. Or better yet, ask us what our type is. Hearing what kind of guys we're into isn't going to make you want them as well, and we appreciate your getting to know us better.
Be Comfortable Enough to Talk about Sex, but No Lady Business: To be our friend, you have to accept that we are sexual beings and we are going to want to talk about sex, and we welcome you to do the same, but let's both agree that not going into too much detail is best for everyone. Be as excited for us when we take a trick home from a bar as you would if one of your bros bags a chick. Even ask us if it is good—and we promise to do the same. That said, we're not going to make you uncomfortable by going into the logistics and talking about dick size and whatnot. We'll save that for our gay friends. Same goes for you and the lady parts. We want you to have as much sex as possible, but save the pussy talk for someone else.
You Are Welcome in Our Bars, but We Get Your Run Off: Going out with a group of gays to a bar is a great way for a straight guy with a jealous or suspicious girlfriend to go out with the guys and get wasted. They're not going to get into any funny business with a bunch of gays, and you might even have a drink bought for you for a change! Now, remember not every gay guy is going to want to sleep with you, but some might hit on you. Be polite and just tell them you're straight. Also, if they are cute (and you now know that you can admit it), please introduce us. Heteros invented the "wing man" so it's a role you know how to play. If the poon-chaser a gay brings to a sausage party is single, then we will definitely hook him up with any straight girls in attendance, especially if she has cute slutty friends for us to take home too.
Remember, We're All Men: Just because we've seen another dick up close doesn't mean that we don't have one ourselves. We still have the same masculine tendencies you do. Do not refer to us as "girl," make jokes about our manliness, or assume that we're going to be the one to stop and ask for directions just because we're gay. In fact, we may be even butcher and know the infield fly rule better than you do, so don't fuck with us, because we'll cut a bitch, girl.
[Top image via Getty]