According to a study conducted by Columbia University, about one in ten M4M hook-up ads on Craigslist stipulate that the author seeks only non-gay-identified men, either as fantasy fulfillment or in order to keep their man-sexin’ desires secret. This earthshaking revelation will truly blow the minds every single gay man who has never seen five minutes of gay porn. Or visited Craigslist.
To examine the subgroup of men seeking non-gay-identified (NGI) men in the online sexual marketplace, the researchers reviewed 1,200 Internet personal ads posted on Craigslist and selected 282 for analysis and performed comparisons of two categories of personal ads: those seeking encounters with NGI men, including straight, bisexual, married, curious, and men on the “down low” (those who usually identify as heterosexual but have sex with men); and a contrasting set of ads that did not specifically seek NGI men. Craigslist was chosen because it is publicly accessible, highly trafficked, free-of-charge, and widely used by gay, NGI men seeking men, or men who have sex with men and women to find sexual partners.
Among the ads studied, 11% were placed by men seeking NGI partners. Although men who posted NGI-seeking ads were more likely to self-identify as bisexual, married, and/or discreet and to seek out an anonymous encounter relative to the ads of comparison men, only 24% of online advertisements seeking NGI men were posted by men who were themselves non-gay-identified. This suggests that many of the posts are placed by gay men seeking NGI men, perceived by some gay men to be more masculine, dominant, or “straight-acting.”
See? MIND. BLOWN. Of much greater interest is the study’s observation that the authors of these ads are also far less likely to request safer sex and condom use, should one of these allegedly NGI men express interest.
The analysis revealed that men seeking NGI partners were significantly less likely to mention that they wanted to have safer sex/use condoms (15% vs. 33%) and were more likely (66% vs. 42%) to omit mention of condoms or safer sex in their advertisements. “This suggests that these men are more likely to be looking for and willing to engage in sex without a condom which may place them at greater risk for HIV/STI transmission than men who are not seeking non-gay-identified male partners,” said Dr. Schrimshaw, who is assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health.
The researchers speculate that older, less fit, or less masculine men may perceive themselves as having “less bargaining power” in the sexual marketplace and therefore are more willing to place themselves at risk for STDs in order to get laid. I’m guessing that most of us here have also deduced that sad fact.
Regarding the timeless “NGI men are inherently hotter” trope, years ago when hearing such claims from friends, I would pose a hypothetical scenario and ask which of two identical twins they would most like to have sex with if one is gay, one is straight, and both are equally masculine. Without exception, the straight twin was selected. Usually that was followed by inane rationalizations based on stereotypical examples of social misbehavior by gay men. “Hey, I didn’t say you were gonna date him.” Further prodding, however, very often elicited a confession of the belief that the straight twin would definitely be a top. Which magically makes him more masculine even though they are equally masculine. Norman, coordinate! Cue the long discussion about self-loathing and all the other baggage in its gravitational pull.
A friend once pointed out a handsome young father waiting with a stroller while his wife window-shopped on a Soho corner. He pondered, “What is it about men with babies that I find so damn sexy?” Thinking it was a rhetorical question, I gave him what I thought to be the obvious answer anyway. “Because right in that stroller is the physical proof that he has sex with women. And for you that instantly makes him more desirable than any similar gay man.” The argument that followed convinced me to stop with the dime-store psychoanalysis and just let my friends lust idly for straight men they’re not going to bag anyway. But I still won’t let them say “straight-acting.” That’s a paddlin’.