December 10, 2010

The rise of the gay friend and its consequences

Yesterday at '80s night I saw even more disgusting evidence of the displacement of guys from a girl's social circle and gays moving in to take their place. As female attitudes toward guys came to be dominated by suspicion, fear, unease, and so on, they began to cut normal males out of their world and allow in only the non-guyish guys -- namely gays.

When this trend began in the '90s, the gay friend at first took over only the most female-typical roles of the guy he was replacing, such as talking about her relationship problems over the phone or accompanying her on shopping trips. Gradually he took over roles that were increasingly closer to the heart of a guy-girl friendship, such as going out for coffee and lunch during the day, or drinks and night-clubbing at night.

Over the past few years, I've seen the gay friends not just tagging along with the girls when they go out at night, but being more or less the only ones they dance with. Last night I saw them intrude even further onto the turf of the straight guy -- by being the only one that she would grind on (i.e. give a standing lapdance to), and the one who would pick her up and hold her around the waist while she put her legs around his sides.

Really, what's next? -- girls who only feel comfortable fucking when it's with their gay friend?

It's worth looking at the origins and spread of this phenomenon, as most Millennials will find it hard to believe that there was a time in the recent past when gays were completely off a girl's radar, and a good deal of pre-Millennials have already forgotten what they've lived through, as is typical. First, the prevalence of the term "gay friends" in the newspaper of record:


The points are of 5-year blocks and plotted at the middle year of the block, so that the 2000-2004 period is shown as a point at 2002. There are no instances of this term before the 1970s, except for some cases in the '40s and earlier when "gay" still meant "cheery" instead of "homosexual." I used the plural instead of the singular because this gave a larger sample size.

During all of the '70s and '80s, there are only 14 occurrences, or on average less than one a year, and no upward trend during these 20 years. In fact, there wasn't a single instance of the term from 1980 through '85. Suddenly during the early-mid-'90s the prevalence shoots up to 10 times the average from the '70s and '80s, and inches up a bit more during the late '90s. The 2000s saw another surge in usage, so that during the 2005-2009 period it was over 20 times as prevalent as the '70s-'80s average.

This picture confirms my earlier hunch based on the appearance of the gay friend in TV and movies. Here is a recent NYT article about some loathsome new TV show that will focus exclusively on the now-mainstream girl-gay friendship, compared to earlier shows where there may have been a single girl-gay friendship, and that may not have been very central to the plot. The reporter is correct to point out that fag hags are no longer drawn only from the dregs, but now from a wide range of the fair sex.

Another article covers several surveys on Americans' attitudes and interactions with gays, which have changed quite a bit even during the 2000s: from 2003 to 2010, "the proportion of people who reported having a gay friend or relative rose 10 percentage points." Since gays are not shooting up that fast in the overall population, this is not due to people having more gay relatives but rather searching out or welcoming in gay friends.

As I mentioned earlier, the gay friend trend is part of a larger shift toward extreme sex segregation after the peak of the violence rate in 1992, and in its broad contours mirrors the sex segregation of the 1950s, '40s, and even the later '30s, which were another period of falling crime. Boys and girls want to play with each other more when the violence level swings upward, as during the '60s through the '80s, as well as the first three decades of the 20th C., peaking during the Roaring Twenties.

Since male desire to hang around females is fairly stable, the real change shows up in female preferences. During dangerous times, they want to hang out more with males for a variety of reasons. They are in greater need of protectors and avengers, and female friends aren't going to do any good there (and neither are gays in general). Also, they tend to be more boy-crazy and promiscuous, for reasons described elsewhere, and having more guys in your social circle makes that easier to act on.

Moreover, when times are more dangerous, you expect to live a shorter life, so you feel the impulse to grow up earlier rather than live life as a perpetual toddler. I remember first being seduced into an adventure of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" by a girl who was hiding under a tablecloth-protected workspace during naptime at a daycare center -- when I was only 3 or 4. Ah, the early-mid-'80s... sure won't find a toddler girl planning that out today.

I still vividly recall my first school dance in the fall of 1992, when I was 11 or perhaps 12. Sure at first there was the typical picture of "girls along this wall and boys along the opposite wall" of the cafeteria, but it didn't last more than 10 or 15 minutes. Someone broke out and everyone else followed. We were barely entering puberty then, yet we were behaving more wildly than the infantilized college students I observe and interact with every week at '80s night. In particular, the girls back then were horny as billy goats and wanted so bad to dance up-close with boys.

Periodically the adult monitors waded through the sea of sweaty sixth-grade bodies to break us apart and insist that we maintain a certain distance with our dance partner. Today those busybody killjoys would be out of work, since most girls don't want to dance at all, let alone face to face and belly to belly, preferring instead to jiggle their shit in order to steal the spotlight without having to touch or be touched by boys, a la Fergie. (Grinding does not count, as I've explained in detail elsewhere. There's no connection or tendency to stay together; rather it's fleeting and prone to the girl just up and walking away without even making eye-contact.)

We were also more rebellious back then -- even when we were split up, we snapped right back together when the old lady had moved on. Compare that to the girl in the club today who's dancing with a boy, gets pulled away by her cockblocking friends, and then just goes along with the abduction rather than tell them to get a life of their own as she goes back to her partner.

And greater sex segregation is just one piece of the larger picture of girls becoming more boring during falling-crime times, namely as a result of not hanging around the more wild and exciting sex -- guys. Fag hags try to rationalize their snore-inducing friendships with gays by imagining that these relationships are transgressive and liberating. Back on planet Earth, the gay friend is the ultimate desexualized male, and hence poses no threat to her safe cocoon at all. He plays the role that the eunuch used to play with harem girls, although his lack of interest in girls was forced upon him then, and these days the female's cloistering is of her own choice. He has a faint protector role, nothing on the order of a knight who has to defend the castle, and spends most of the time in utterly asexual activities and conversation. Today's girls who like boys who like boys are no more shackle-breaking or square-shocking than a slave girl imprisoned under the guard of a ball-less watchman.

Shoot, I saw more carnivalesque behavior among the elementary school girls who joined in with the boys for a game of duck-duck-goose or state tag. like, omigod, you mean i have to touch a boy to tag him out, and he might touch me to tag me out???!! well... i guess so -- i mean, it does look FUN! On the bright side, once that late-'80s level of violence in the wider society returns, we'll see the rebirth of cool chicks as they start ditching their gay pet/friend and hanging out with the boys again.

16 comments:

  1. Gay friends are modern-day eunuch-guards.

    Here is another movie motif I thought off: biker gangs. They were very popular in the 80s on through very early 90s. They were usually shown unsympathetically, with rare exceptions like "Mask."

    Granted, I saw practically no new movies since circa 2005, but my impression is that the Biker Gang is not a staple among stereotypical movie thugs.

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  2. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was another one with a romanticized view of biker gangs.

    I can't think of a recent one either. May in one of those Fast & the Furious movies in the background?

    It's not just that gangs and crime are down overall, but also that below-middle-aged guys don't ride motorcycles anymore. Whenever you see them, they're all middle-aged or gray-haired.

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  3. I'm worried about you, Agnostic.
    True, I'm a woman old enough to be your mother or maybe your grandmother, but I got only so far and quit reading this post.

    You've written about gays and straight women before, and from all my years observing teens and young women in college, I have to say I agree with you about the relationship between some gay men and some straight women.

    The straight girls/women who spend an inordinate amount of time with their gay male friends do so for one or two reasons: either they don't have a real dating life so going out with their gay pal is better than not going out at all, or they are users of people. Lots of gay men, no strangers to social, familial, and emotional voids (no matter their recent "libertaion"), make ready victims.

    To the second point, which is all too common--these women use gay men as gophers, as dates, as mothers, as fathers, as big or little brothers (to boss or be bossed), as priests, as nurses, as financiers....you get the point, but the key word is "use." If you'd do that to another human being, you'd not think twice about lap dancing with him, especially if that activity gets you attention.

    However, my main point is this: you've written more than once in the-not-so-distant past about being in a club in which there's lap dancing, standing or otherwise. You've also written about finding a decent woman.

    Young man, get thee to a place where you'll find some young women with some brains AND self-respect!
    Dancing is for someone worth it, dammit, and no girl who wants to give her whipped gay friend or you, for that matter, a lap dance at a club is worth your jealousy or envy....or disgust.

    Damn, boy--it's pathetic when a bright straight male is jealous of a gay guy. If it's your horniness talking and all you want is to get laid, there are plenty of women out there willing to put out, and the few who give a lap dance to a gay pal instead of to you won't put a dent in the number of women willing to jump in the sack.

    If it's your desire to meet someone with whom you can share a meaningful relationship, go somewhere where NO lapdances are performed. None, nada, zip, zero, zilch!

    Now, get out there and find someone decent. You're a bright guy; you know where fag hags and users flaunt themselves and where easy lays can be found, and you know where a decent single woman might hang out. Now, do it.

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  4. Well since I have no trouble with girls, it's not jealousy about a particular girl grinding on a gay dude. There are enough girls who come up to me that that one won't matter.

    I'm talking about the general situation where girls and boys live in totally separate worlds. Again that's not horniness speaking -- merely sleeping with someone doesn't require a larger culture of mixed-sex relationships.

    There's more to boy-girl interactions that just screwing, and it's lame how the presence of boys and girls in each other's broader lives (not just sex lives) has more or less disappeared.

    Life is just more fun when there's a carnival sort of atmosphere, including when the sexes mix it up with each other instead of girls holing themselves up in tupperware parties and guys gathering together to watch The Man Show.

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  5. This evolution is also shown in romance novels - I've only read a handful over the years, but I've still seen enough to notice the trend. In Sweet Savage Love (1974), an evil homosexual was the prison doctor when the hero was wrongfully imprisoned and lusted after the hero - who of course kept his virtue even though his life would have been less grueling if he had given in. In The Barbarian Princess (1978) and The Marranos, the heroine was forced by her family to marry an evil homosexual so that she could have a forced marriage without losing her virginity.

    I read a few romance novels in the late 90's and by then, the heroine's best friend was a gay man who never had a boyfriend, but invariably made an appreciative remark about the hero to her. In one of these (a historical) the hero was outraged, in another (a contemporary) he was just amused, so I don't know what the general trend there was.

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  6. "It's worth looking at the origins and spread of this phenomenon, as most Millennials will find it hard to believe that there was a time in the recent past when gays were completely off a girl's radar, and a good deal of pre-Millennials have already forgotten what they've lived through, as is typical. First, the prevalence of the term 'gay friends"It's worth looking at the origins and spread of this phenomenon, as most Millennials will find it hard to believe that there was a time in the recent past when gays were completely off a girl's radar, and a good deal of pre-Millennials have already forgotten what they've lived through, as is typical. First, the prevalence of the term 'gay friends' in the newspaper of record:"
    **********
    Okay, I couldn't help myself. I went back and read your whole post.

    Long before the word "gay" became common, girls and women befriended the "guy who seemed lost or friendless" or "that really quiet but nice guy." Used to be we women were a pretty decent sort, you know? We didn't like to see people left out. It's our maternal nature, I suppose. The origins of a female befriending and spending time with a male who was a bit "different" was all very innocent and human. It didn't involve using someone. It was about being kind and thoughtful; it was about being someone's friend. Such guys weren't off our radar as individuals, you know? It's who we were before...well, before the "Black is Beautiful" campaign.

    What a sad tale of humanity that is. In the 60s and 70s a not unsubstantial number of male and female college students mostly, particularly females, went around trying to show how not-prejudiced they were by seeking out a "black friend." Having found one, they'd put him or her up for showing in their trophy case.

    I lost respect for my best friend and roommate when she began doing that. It became her goal to show everyone, herself included, that she was a liberated, free thinker by adding to her trophy case. She went so far as to cheat on her boyfriend for a month or so by having a brief but sexless dalliance (she was never serious about him, after all) with a black guy. It was important to her that her female friends be convinced of her hipness. I am sure that to this day she's never admitted to herself that she was using the guy, that she has a habit of using people who belong to a certain group. Lately, in our rare phone conversations, she drops in the "my gay friend" phrase enough times for me to realize that she is still collecting people of certain groups for her trophy case.

    Now, of course, the MSM and the gay lobby have done their best to make "gay the new black" as they say, and there are, unfortunately, still too many people like my former roommate who like collecting people-trophies.

    That the article about such a thing as "gay friends" appears in the NYTimes says it all. I am sure that the theme has been promoted by their gay reporters and editors. That there will be a new tv show that follows "Will and Grace" is all too familiar a reminder of the tv shows of the 60s in which a white guy befriends a black guy and suddenly all was well with the world.

    That a certain percentage of women have begun collecting gays for their trophy cases is a sad reminder of the 60s. The MSM has declared the hipness of gayness much as they declared the hipness of blackness and brown-ness.

    The difference this time is that most Americans have become hip to hipness. They have learned it doesn't really exist, no matter what Hollywood nor the NYTimes nor the MSM say.

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  7. The usual spin for the increase in reported friends is that more gays are out of the closet. There are some people (religious folks who think it can be cured) who believe that there has been an increase in actual gays and that such behavior is not innate but a product of socialization/media/culture etc. This just happens to be the one area where those people are not on the left and their view is considered politically incorrect.

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  8. I would bet that the girls with gay friends are actually more promiscuous than the girls with straight male friends. Recently I was surprised to find that pro-gay attitudes were the strongest correlate of female promiscuity out of all the variables in the GSS.

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  9. as most Millennials will find it hard to believe that there was a time in the recent past when gays were completely off a girl's radar

    As a - what? Slightly pre-millenial (born in 1979)? I'm more or less the reverse: I find it awfully hard to believe that this "gay best friend" phenomenon is real, or anything more than a "trend" that only exists on the pages of the New York Times. I've never seen it. The ladies in my circle of high school/college friends would never have wanted anything to do with a "gay best friend". Heck, I never even knew an out-of-the-closet homosexual until I was 25 or so.

    I would bet that the girls with gay friends are actually more promiscuous than the girls with straight male friends. Recently I was surprised to find that pro-gay attitudes were the strongest correlate of female promiscuity out of all the variables in the GSS.

    I second that prediction, and I think it makes complete sense. We are at a juncture where accepting homosexuality is mainstream enough that you're probably inclined to do so if you're already jettisoning other aspects of traditional morality.

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  10. Born in the early 80s and I've never met a woman who wasn't 'pro-gay'. Most aren't fag hags or even have a gay BFF but would certainly want one if there were enough to go around.

    As a male, go befriend a gay male and you will see the phenomena. He'll have four times as many 'friends' as you have had acquaintances in your life and they'll be 90% female.

    It's not something that exists only on the pages of the NYT.

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  11. The ladies in my circle of high school/college friends would never have wanted anything to do with a "gay best friend".

    This is more of a post-college phenomenon with city girls. Gay friends serve as male 'filler' and provide some physical reassurance. They are also a status symbol because of their reputation for ruthless sense of aesthetics. In other words, if a gay guy think's you're stylish and pretty, you really ARE stylish and pretty.

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  12. You'll hardly ever see the reverse situation, lesbians with straight male friends. Gay men may not be sexually attracted to women, but they can be friends with them, however lesbians by and large actively dislike men.

    I find it most mystifying that so many men have a fetish for lesbians. Why be so fascinated with people who don't like you? It's especially pointless when men who have a lesbian fetish also hate gay men. After all, from a man's point of view, gay men are like vegetarians at a barbecue (more for everyone else!), while lesbians are like starving wolverines at a barbecue.

    Peter

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  13. "I find it most mystifying that so many men have a fetish for lesbians."

    I've never really met a man who has an attraction for lesbians, real lesbians, that is. I'm sure they exist, but I don't believe that the average straight male who watches porn or the average high school boy who gets a thrill watching two girls fighting in the hall of his high school, with all the attendant hair pulling and huffing and puffing, is really attracted to the idea of a woman who loves women and has "sex" with women, not men.

    Men are tittilated, turned on by the fantasy of not just female quality but also quantity--multiple women attending to every part of him at the same time or one part of him being serviced by many women in succession. The more women, the more alpha he sees himself...at least in his dreams.

    Being the visual animal he is, watching two women touch is evidently the straight man's fantasy foreplay. I don't think the average guy takes the fantasy much farther than the women touching one another briefly, if at all, until he mentally leaps into the middle of them.

    Admittedly, I could be wrong, but I don't think what the average guy envisions is actual lesbianism.

    As for lesbians' attitudes toward men-- I have only known a small number, but yes, it was obvious that they either detested men (as evidenced by their vitriolic comments) or they seemed wary of them (as evidenced by their tendency to leave their company ASAP.) In the latter instances, their uncomfortableness around men seemed to me to illustrate a shyness or vulnerability.

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  14. Re: Jason Malloy's point that promiscuity and acceptance of homosexuality are correlated.

    I remember this scene from Bridget Jones' diary where her gay friend tells her that he hooked up with someone in San Francisco. Her reaction: "awwww." As opposed to, "OMG, you'll get AIDS!"

    If you're friends with a gayguy, I mean, they will tell you about their hook ups and their catting around and their drug use, right?

    If you are conservative about these kinds of matters, how could you be friends with someone like this?

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  15. @ agnostic: A lot of young guys I know ride motorbikes. They ride sports bikes and play video games. An increasing number of girls are getting bikes too. They are no longer the symbol of rebelliousness and freedom they once were but seem more like a hobby now.

    - Breeze

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  16. peter You'll hardly ever see the reverse situation, lesbians with straight male friends

    exception blk lesbians. you can often find one with about 5 of her homeboys trolling for women.

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