I think I mentioned, a couple of weeks ago, my little crush on the guy who works for the architctural firm which owns and occupies the building our office moved into... I don't know if he's an architect or an office manager or what, but I think he's awfully cute. He's short, and a little bit round (a cuddly rather than a slovenly kind of roundness), with warm hazel eyes and a lovely profile and a sort of mouth that looks like it could sneer enchantingly (which is harder to do than it sounds). I couldn't really tell if he was straight or gay, but there is a slightly feminine softness and vulnerability about him that I find really attractive; and so I started making up little fantasies about him.
Not sex fantasies, mind you, but rather relationship fantasies. Though I don't know anything about him other than his first name (Lucas, isn't that cute?) and where he works and the fact that he has an utterly enormous dog that he brings to work with him, I nevertheless imagined all sorts of boyfriendly activities: going to the movies with him, curling up with him on the sofa and watching TV, shopping at IKEA together, introducing him to my family at Thanksgiving... those kinds of little fantasies.
So yesterday when I found out that he's married to his boss's daughter, who also works at the firm, I was a little bit dismayed... only a little bit, since this is by no means the first time such a thing has happened. I'm always falling for straight boys. In fact, I've gotten into the habit of assuming guys are straight if I find them attractive; when the risible Boy Meets Boy was on Bravo last year, I picked out the three straight boys immediately, simply by choosing the three I found hottest.
The big hair was also a giveaway... for some reason, cute gay boys as a species don't like having big hair; but I'm a sucker for big hair. And little gold hoop earrings. Offbeat fashion sense. Wire-rim glasses. Certain kinds of softness, especially around the mouth and eyes. And a lot of other things that I don't find very often on gay men.
So I find myself wondering, do I find these straight men attractive because they're straight? Am I self-destructively focusing my energies on the unavailable? Have I internalized some sort of homophobia, in the proper sense of the word, believing straight men superior to my fellow gays? Have I somehow identified myself subconsciously as female and therefore respond to features which are biologically geared to attract the female of the species?
Or do I find them attractive because I like certain things in a man, and there are more straight men who fit my paradigm than there are gay men, simply because there are lots more straight men in this world than gay men? Is it all, finally, just a numbers game?
Like I said, I like softness, vulnerability, certain "feminine" characteristics that are actually rather rare in men, straight or gay. But I like the hardness and strength of a man, as well... it's the balance of supposedly masculine and supposedly feminine qualities, I guess... a masculine physicality and feminine behavior, perhaps? Or is it just certain degrees of androgyny that interest me?
I'm just not emotionally attracted to the hard and aggressive type of male that I suppose is typical in both straight and gay (physically attracted, perhaps... they can push my buttons and turn my crank... but I wouldn't want to marry one); in straights it is usually found in the athletic paradigm, the hard-edged, competitive, boisterous, belligerent type of behavior that I loathe; and in the gay world, I find that I dislike the sharp, brittle, effete qualities that gay men frequently display, qualities that one might characterize as "effeminate" and which I characterize as "shrill," but which are really just as hard-edged, competitive, boisterous, and belligerent as your typical fratboy jock or gun-totin' redneck or corporate shark, the only difference being the subculture in which the subject lives... the high-pitched screams of a club queen are no different from the low-bass grunts of the deer hunter, only the milieu is different.
So I suppose it's not that I am attracted to straight men, per se... it's just that I am attracted to qualities that few men are likely to display, and that these and all other qualities are more frequently found in straight men because straight men are more frequently found, making up at least ninety percent of the male population (though here in the Bay Area it's probably more like seventy-five or eighty percent).
And really, it's easier having little crushes on straight men, because there is one big and completely impersonal reason why they wouldn't be attracted to me: I lack a vagina (I was going to say "and breasts" but that's not as true as it should be). Gay men have all sorts of reasons to not return my affections, which tend to reflect poorly on me rather than my gender... I'm not good-looking enough, I'm not muscular enough, I'm not thin enough, I'm too sloppy, I don't like to dance, I don't bother about my clothes, I live with my Grandmother, I'm getting old, I get my hair done at Supercuts, my teeth are all fucked up... and let's not forget my all-time favorite, that I'm "emotionally unavailable" (I still don't know quite what that means... though I suspect it's a euphemism for the preceding reasons but makes the other guy sound less shallow).
Whatever. I'm going to continue to have my little crush on Lucas, despite his married-straight-guy status, just as I have continued my little crushes on Kyle at the sandwich shop and Jeremy at General Service, after finding out that they were straight. An attractive young man is always pleasant to see and think about and talk to than someone who isn't attractive, n'est-ce pas? And someday I am going to get a crush on a boy who turns out to actually be gay (like I did with Shiloh), and I'll maintain the crush even after I find out that he's not remotely attracted to me, because it's the same thing as a straight-boy crush, after all. And if I keep up this practice long enough, the numbers will rack up the right way and somebody might just like me back... and then all hell will break loose.
I just hope that when that day finally comes, I'm still young enough to do something about it.