Single straight woman is convinced every man she meets is secretly queer and is promptly read to filth for ‘internalised misogyny’
A straight woman who is convinced that every man she meets on dating apps is secretly gay has branded herself a “fruit fly”.
She wrote to “How to Do It”, Slate’s sex advice column, for some help with her conundrum.
The woman, in her 20s, explained that she had been on dating apps “on and off” for a few years, but said she is “convinced she keeps meeting closeted gay men”.
She wrote: “I’ll meet a guy I’m excited about, text with him for a week, and then we’ll meet — or, during quarantine, chat on Zoom — and they come off as absolutely, 100 percent not straight — they have ‘gay voice’… and a specific body language.”
Admitting that she sounds “judgemental and dated”, she claimed to have “known many men who exhibited these qualities for years and they have all ended up coming out sooner or later”.
“I also know these guys could be queer or bi or something else,” she added. “But here’s the thing: They SAY they’re straight. In dating app profiles or conversations, they identify as straight men who only like women.
“This happens to me so often that I’m starting to think dating apps are full of closeted gay men looking for beards.
“I’m frustrated, confused, ashamed of having these thoughts, and I’m tired, so tired. I want to know: Have you heard of this phenomenon? Is it real? Am I crazy and just need to get with the times?”
She signed the letter off: “Fruit Fly.”
‘Fruit fly’ read to filth.
Sex advice columnist Rich Juzwiak said that her problem “hits on an issue that isn’t really discussed much in broader conversations of queer acceptance”.
Queer acceptance, he said, also provides space for heterosexual and cisgender people to drop out-dated pretences of traditional masculinity and femininity.
Juzwiak wrote: “If masculinity is a construct, a veritable pose, an environment more accepting of certain markers of queerness would help straight guys feel comfortable cutting the s**t or adopting behaviour that previous decades would be considered ‘too gay’ and an affront to their manhood.”
He said that he had not heard of the “phenomenon” she described, gay men trawling dating apps for beards, but added: “I’m not saying that no one is closeted and in the market for a beard anymore, but given the state of acceptance in many places, I would assume those guys would be more difficult to come by and not, as you suggest, as common as contoured cleavage at a drag show.
“Your suspicions certainly could be accurate, but there are any number of reasons why they’re projecting behaviour that you associate with gayness, some of which you acknowledge.”
He said the crux of the matter seemed to be that “Fruit Fly” was dating men she wasn’t attracted to, whether because of their mannerisms or appearance.
He suggested adding to her profile that she is looking for a man with a deep voice.
“In a context like Grindr”, he said, “many would be quick to label such a request as femmephobia and a product of internalised misogyny, and maybe it is even in your case (you can answer that question better than me, and besides, I’m not being paid enough to be your shrink).
“But I think in a hetero context, it’s probably less hurtful to respectfully state such a preference upfront.”