My 'Epilogue' column from this month's GCN
Last month, I interviewed Belle de Jour, the anonymous former London call girl who chronicled her various sexual and emotional trysts in the best-selling books, The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl and The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl.
I had an email chat with the fabulous Belle about her new book, Belle’s Guide to Men, a Sex and the City-tinged, self-help book-cum-dating guide told in Belle’s witty, finger-snapping style. At the end of our conversation, Belle asked, ‘Would you consider writing the man/man version of this book for gay men?’
I laughed and violently dismissed the suggestion like the good self-deprecating, low self-esteem-ridden Irish person I am, but I’ve been thinking about that idea ever since. Rather than put arse to seat for months or years writing an actual book, I’ve decided to avail of this column space to present my key advice and tips for dealing with and understanding other gay men.
I’m not an expert - by any means - and these are just culled from my own experience and observations. I’m sure you all have your own, and if you’d care to send them on to the email address at the end of this page, I’m sure there would be an extended feature article on the topic in GCN in the near future.
So just think of me as ‘Fella de Whore’ as you cast an eye over my bespoke, incomplete guy-ographical study of the wonderful, baffling creature that is the Irish Gay Man.
In no particular order:
* If you’ve just come out, no matter what age you are, what you need now are friends, not boyfriends. Concentrate on that, please. Get all over friends like Dannii Minogue on a box of new wigs.
*On that same point, you will now be going through your ‘delayed adolescence’ phase, playing catch-up for all that lost lust time. Have fun, be careful, and try not to break too many hearts along the way. Note to everyone else: step away from the just-came-out guy!
* Bitchiness comes with the gay territory. A little bit can do us all good, but man should know when to say when. Remember: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” In other words: put the claws away, bitch!
*It’s perfectly okay to have no interest in fashion, interior design, America’s Next Top Model or Mad-out-of-it-Onna.
*Everyone has bad sexual experiences. It doesn’t always (ahem) come together the first time. It’s okay. Try again. Hell, fail on purpose just so you can keep trying.
*Size: we all have our opinions on it. Mine is: it’s not size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.
*Go for sexual health checks twice a year. I went last month, and my doctor told me he’s diagnosing an average of two HIV cases a week. That’s one just doctor on a tiny scene. Two a week. Wrap it up boys.
*That guy you had sex with last night or last weekend will probably avoid eye contact when you see each other in bars or on the street. Don’t rush to judgement: you’re probably doing it too.
*Similarly, why is that we can all spend hours, days, months even talking to some guy on Manhunt or Gaydar (oh don’t look at me like that, you know you have an account), yet we totally ignore each other if we cross paths in a pub or club?
*If you can identify all the guys in the pub just by their Gaydar profile name, it’s time to cancel the subscription for a while. Come, join us in the real world. It ain’t so bad!
*Chat to someone online for no longer than a week; then insist on meeting.
* Never, ever go on a date with a grown man who uses digits instead of letters in text messages/emails.
*Don’t worry about texting too much or too soon after the date. If you like him, just do it for fuck’s sake.
*Lurking on George’s Street for talent at Desperate O’Clock (2am onwards) is not a good look. Or so I’m told every Saturday night.
* You and your friend(s) will fall for the same guy at some stage. It can be tricky, but don’t be a cock-blocker out of petty jealously. Plus always remember: ‘bros before mos’.
*In that vein, one of your friends/acquaintances will end up going out with one of your exes. Everyone has maybe one or two exes that are totally off limits; the others are all fair game. Accept it.
* If you’re 28 or over, you have nothing in common with people under 21. A harsh over-generalisation, perhaps, but true nonetheless. For [insert deity of choice here] sake, some of them were born in the Nineties. The Nineties!