Question for Gay Dopers

Sorry if y’all get tired of inane questions from curious straights! It’s just in the interest of greater understanding…

Anyhow, I went to dinner this evening at the home of a lesbian couple I know (have known for 4 years.) It just struck me…I have been to a couple of (mostly lesbian) parties with them & a couple of other friends, & they were quite physically affectionate. Kind of like my SO & I are generally; little touches, arms around eachother, etc. I’ve also been to more…diverse gatherings, a couple of BBQs at my house, friends’ parties, etc where the social mix has been primarily straight (because of the general demographic.). I just realised tonight that there seemed to be a difference in the amount of physical contact they have depending on whether it’s a strictly “gay” event, or a more…eclectic one. I feel badly thinking that in my presence they would curtail little affections, and a shame if that’s an unconscious response to being in the company of “non-family.” I consider both of these women close friends, but for some reason feel funny asking this question of them…

So…I’m wondering. If you’re gay, do you restrict physical affection, perhaps unconsciously, in the presence of breeders? Do you feel more comfortable being huggy/kissy/feely in a strictly gay setting? And as a collorary, if you’re straight, can you honestly say that you’re comfortable with gay friends or gay whoevers being touchy-feely in your presence?

Considering I just spent the other night having sex with a straight guy one bed over from a straight couple engaged in similar activities (are all women that loud?) I’d definitely say it has to do with the type of party.

One’s usually more comfortable holding hands with a partner at a gay party than a straight one. But eventually they all sort of converge.

Sounds like a perfect one-shot question for the “Ask The Gay Guy! III” thread, but I digress… :wink:

I feel most comfortable being physically demonstrative in an all-gay setting. I feel almost as comfortable in a setting of people I know at least casually. I feel somewhat comfortable in a setting where I know at least some of the people well. I would be very cautious in a setting where I knew no one.

Then again, I’m pretty out, so I usually don’t give a fuck what other people think of me. I sometimes, however, have to be considerate of the person I’m dating, who may or may not be as comfortable as I am. Lowest comfort tolerance wins.


That I can see. My other dyke friend (aka Uncle Deb) had a gf for a while who would hang all over her in any setting, anywhere. Made Deb quite uncomfortable. They’re not together any more; “Brenda” was a skanky ho so it’s just as well!

matt I used to go to parties like that when I was your age! :smiley:

Yep, what he said.

My last boyfriend was very much against showing affection in any situation that wasn’t exclusively gay. I’m the opposite - unless I’m feeling unsafe for some reason, I get very touchy-feely. Yeah, I know Public Displays of Affection are always icky to watch but it’s usually not something I really think about. I used to have to try very hard to consciously monitor my body language when I was around him.

Of course, he would also say that he is fairly touchy-feely unless he is feeling unsafe. It’s just that out view of what constitutes “unsafe” differed quite a lot. (Him: There are straight people present. Me: There are straight people present who are coming towards me with a baseball bat.) :slight_smile:

The funny thing was that most of the time, it just didn’t do any good trying to hide it. People could tell anyway. We’d simply be facing each other and leaning in, trying to talk, but we might as well have had a large neon sign flashing “We are together and desperately trying to keep our hands off each other”. Body language is a funny old thing.

My boyfriend and I live in southern california (long Beach) and we usually hold hands everywhere that we go, with only a couple of negative responces. But, that is the extent of physical contact in public that I am comfortable showing (Aaron is much more comfortable in public than I am).

But at a private party, we don’t change much from how we are at home. The one exception is when I am around my dad. Even though he accepts me fully, I feel very uncomfortable touching Aaron in my dads presence. (Though I think I would feel the same if I had a girlfriend instead :slight_smile: )


Giving this some thought, in a setting with primarily str8 folks around, I would keep the affection to my partner on the same level as str8 couples would; closeness, hugs, a peck on the lips or cheek. Nothing more than what a typical str8 couple would do. In a purely gay setting, I wouldn’t have any inhibition to tweak a nipple or grab a crotch (of my partner or a good friend, depending on how well I know them).

Hey, Freyr, how you doin’? :wink:


You know, as thick as people in my high school were, they figured out that when quietgirl and I were walking veryclosesidebyside in the hallways that there was just possibly maybe something a little more than just friends going on.

That, and I guess we were much more obvious than we thought when we’d go to the bathroom. (We only got caught kissing once or twice, I think.)

A resounding “yep” to what Esprix said. Quietgirl and I are both edgy with PDAs- her much more so than I- but it’s very, very rare when we’re affectionate outside of a very gay crowd. (Or, for that matter, a crowd we know well.)

One of the most controversial “couple” things we did was get our picture taken together at the prom. The photographer kept on asking if we were sisters. :rolleyes:

Well, like most, my husband and I find it dependant on where we are. We don’t hold hands in public. We only tend to cuddle when we are with close friends, or alone.

Though in contrast, I do tend to taunt breeders for ‘flaunting their sexuality’ when I see them grope and fondle each other in public. Quid pro quo, as I see it.

And on the sad, depressing side:

One of my favorite songs by Romanovsky & Phillips.


Aww Esprix, that’s a bittersweet song.

Don’t any other straight people have opinions about PDA’s by gay persons? Personally, I’m uncomfortable with others’ being very sexual & gropey in my presence, no matter what the orientation is. But as a huggy~touchy person myself, I don’t mind affectionate stuff.

FWIW, I’m not a big fan of PDA’s regardless of orientation. However, there are PDA’s and there are PDA’s. I think holding hands is sweet, regardless of who is doing it. Likewise with kisses at the airport, in a movie theater, smooches when people greet one another, etc… Life’s too short not to experience love.

What I don’t like is people groping each other in public places, or in “inappropriate” settings. Case in point- my icky younger brother and his girlfriend mauling each other at a Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s. I was tempted to get a bucket of water and throw it on them.

For me, it’s a question of the situation, like most things. I would not have a problem with a couple making out at a college party, no matter the composition of the couple. But I might feel differently if I saw the same couple going at it in a class.

(checking in as a straight guy)

So long as it doesn’t scare the horses or confuse the children, I don’t much care (or think it’s any of my business) what people do to make their lives a little happier. Hey, they let people playing bagpipes in public. I don’t think a little kissing or holding hands is gonna give me a stroke.

I have to agree with blanx–there are PDAs and then there’s stick-your-tongue-down-my-throat-and-grope-me-in-public. The latter makes me ill no matter who’s doing it.

I live in NYC, in Chelsea, a very gay neighborhood (it’s actually a family/gay neighborhood, which is kind of interesting). I see same sex couples holding hands, walking with their arms around each other and casually kissing pretty often. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable. But sometimes I find myself staring. Although I’ve lived in Chelsea for 5 years, I still get surprised by same sex PDAs. But I like it. I’m glad they feel comfortable enough in the neighborhood to do what my husband and I do when we’re walking around.

Well, I’ve never been really worried about what other folks were doing, but i know I’m not all that comfortable putting on a PDA.

One question on the quote though… from when I’ve seen this happening, it seems like the person grabbing was comin in awful fast. If I was the grabbee, I would feel more than a little leary of someone’s hand approachingmy crotch at that speed, even if I knew pleasure was the motivating factor. I think there’s one speed if you’re slappin somone on the butt, but if that hand’s comin at my front side at that speed it ain’t gonna connect. Or is this just a perception thing on my part?


**dublos wrote:

One question on the quote though… from when I’ve seen this happening, it seems like the person grabbing was comin in awful fast.**

Hrm…this really depends on the situation. In a place like many gay bars I’ve been in, crotch grabbing isn’t out of the ordinary, quite often it’s an overt way of saying “hi there, you’re handsome and I’d like to get to know you better!” Of course, this wouldn’t be done out on a public street on in a place of mixed orientation.

Here in Austin TX, the local bear club gathers at a friend’s place that has several acres of piney wood surrounding it. When we gather there, there’s an entirely different set of PDA rules: clothing optional or almost mandatorily nude. Heavy groping and extreme PDAs happen frequently, yet no one complains. It’s “safe space” whereby people can be very physical without fear of breaking social taboos.

dublos, if someone does the crotch-grabbing thing to you but you’re unappreciative try this: gently but firmly grasp his/her arm or hand and move it away from your body. In a polite tone say: “thanks, but I prefer a dinner and a movie first.” That gets the msg. across.

In general public, I do just as the str8 couples wrt PDAs; it’s just my own form of egalitarianism. :smiley:

And, Esprix; how you doing, big boy! Want a footrub? evil laugh

Contrary to my frank contributions to the sexually-oriented threads, IRL I find PDA, even in an all-gay setting, to be distasteful. There is something really vulgar about just pawing each other in a public place. I will hold hands if we’re walking on a sunny day and I’m feeling very affectionate, but that’s as far as I feel comfortable. You know what they say: “Be a lady in the drawing room and a whore in the bedroom.” :smiley:

Of course, I’m feeling like an unloveable reject right now and I’ll probably never have another boyfriend…grumble…piss…moan

I do too. Once and awhile, especially when I was younger, I gawked to the point where it was unfortunately seen as homophobic.

I think it’s just because of how infrequently you see gay people kissing. (Especially in gay movies, but that’s a whole different thread…)

And the whole “mauling each other in public” is just tacky. A quick kiss on the mouth is about all I’d ever do.

I’m kind of a social enigma. I didn’t grow up around many people and only had one friend all through school, so it takes me awhile to warm up a bit and relax more when at a big gathering.

Once I do, though–I usually tend to be as touchy as I think is comfortable. I’ll shake somebody’s hand–if they don’t object, I’ll give them a pat on the shoulder or a scritch on the head. If they don’t object, I’ll give them a hug. Whether they’re het-boys n’ girls or not. (I’m a Furry, and most furries tend to be relaxed about that kind of thing. You see it a lot at gatherings and conventions.)

If I’m with another guy who I’m familiar and comfortable with, I’ll probably go even further and hold hands with them or give them a kiss or nuzzle. The only exception to this rule being that I’m a complete introvert when I’m around my family. Mostly because I don’t trust them–and partly because a lot of them don’t know about my ‘little secret’, either.

Any guys I’m with usually don’t mind giving and recieving PDA’s because I tend to shy away from guys who don’t. I don’t like having to hide affection because to me, it eliminates all the progress that’s been made in the movement of tolerance and civility.