How hard is it for an overweight gay gay to find someone attractive?
May 29, 2007 9:02 PM   Subscribe

In the gay male community, how hard is it to date someone pretty handsome/cute (though not necessarily physically "ripped") if one is, say, 20-25 lbs overweight (so overweight, NOT "obese") and in his mid to late 20s? How far can intelligence and personality take you? Is it easier to have a relationship on these bases than a one-night stand? Are things relatively hopeless without losing weight?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think it depends where you look. I have a friend who is in this situation, and met his partner on an online dating site. If you're looking in the stereotypical gay venues (bars, gyms, etc) you might have difficulty, but I think if you look in places where you can actually have conversations with potential dates, it might be easier.
posted by lemonwheel at 9:24 PM on May 29, 2007

In the gay community, no one would date anyone overweight at all...except when you're the only one available, then maybe.

Um, no. This varies with location and even more, with individuals. Not everyone is so shallow, even in the gay community. My experience was this problem was horrible in LA, and much more relaxed in NYC, however, that's experience of nearly 20 years ago.

Then there are those people for whom a bit of extra weight makes you different from the clones and drones, and therefore more attractive (/me raises hand). And I'm not talking about chubby chasers, for whom you are too skinny :-)

Of course, even in the gay community, some people find personality far more important than a few extra pounds. We're not all shallow, mindless drones who follow the dictates of fashion magazines. Those kind just get more publicity, because they trick suckers into spending more money to loose weight and buy new fashions. (It's a trap!)
posted by Goofyy at 9:30 PM on May 29, 2007

I have had a gay friend tell me how hard it was to stay in shape and not get old and all of that. But it sounds like you are looking for something more than just success in a hookup culture.

In that case you'll find that there are plenty of others who will dig you. You offer one thing, the hunky dude offers another.

I would suspect, however, that enigmatically, your chances of dating a hot guy are inversely proportional to your understanding and transcendence of the idea that you must be dating a particularly hot partner. Once you can look beyond the looks, others will reciprocate.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:32 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

From looking around at my gay friends ... I'd have to say that personality will get you further (and happier) than looks.

Then again, I have oddball standards of beauty ... I think most people have some aesthetic appeal, but physical attraction is a beast of a different feather entirely.
posted by ysabet at 9:57 PM on May 29, 2007

Physical beauty generally gets you "in the door" for one-night stands. Character will generally get you someone who will want share his life and himself with you.

What you "should" pursue might depend on what you're after. Targeting your efforts will help — cruising a meat market will get you a different kind of date than sipping a latte and quietly reading in a coffee shop, for example.

These are all generalities, of course. It is entirely possible to find someone who breaks the mold in these respects.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:13 PM on May 29, 2007

Some of scenes can be fairly brutally shallow (I'd cite San Juan and Paris and second L.A. as examples) but there are plenty of exceptions, even in the most body-conscious areas. As long as you're not interested in one of those self-same brutally shallow hipsters, that is.

But are you saying that you specifically don't want to date someone who looks like you? Sounds like there might be issues beyond availability of potential partners to address.

(Disclaimer- I'm neither male nor gay, but I live with my uncles, and we vacation in cities and stay at hotels that that we find in Spartacus, lol)
posted by arnicae at 10:21 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

On preview, some of *the* scenes. Oops!
posted by arnicae at 10:22 PM on May 29, 2007

You'll be fine, unless you're one of those slightly overweight guys who only wants to date ripped 21-year-old twinks. (They're out there.)
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:23 PM on May 29, 2007

I wouldn't say you're overweight at all, and I'm a gay man in my mid-20s. It depends on how your clothes hang, how you carry yourself, whether your diet and lifestyle is healthy.

It's all about confidence, really - as long as the person you're interested in sees that you're taking care of yourself, there's no reason to think that they'll focus on whatever "imperfections" you may see (and have fixated on). And luckily, there is no cabal of attractive men plotting to socially exclude all the guys who could stand to lose a few pounds - turn on the charm, intelligence, and personality, and awesomeness will follow. Who knows - a "cute" guy might be looking for the same things you are, and find them - in you!

For what it's worth, I'd love to meet a guy who thought his subscription to the New Yorker was more important than his subscription to the gym, and I know I'm not the only one. If you stop worrying about how you don't fit how our society's body-crazed, fucked-up, straight-owned media depicts us, that might help you stop thinking that you're somehow insufficient or unworthy of the attention of people who are, remember, biologically wired to be magnetically, irresistibly, unavoidably attracted to you.

Finally, my best relationship was with a friend of a friend through work, and we didn't even realize that we liked each other for months - don't think that because you aren't a chiseled Adonis cruising the clubs in $400 sunglasses and the same goddamn outfit as everyone else that all is lost.

Feel free to e-mail!
posted by mdonley at 11:25 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Okay, I can't help myself. When I read your question I can't help but see a 'do I have to be cute and thin to find a cute boy?' If you don't want to pay considerable attention to your appearence, you'll probably have better luck finding someone of the same stripe. He might have a hot body. He might not.

Like most people here, I prefer a few extra pounds on my bf/ on myself to being with/ being a neurotic hotty. People generally have more luck finding partners who value the same things. I'm not accusing you of being shallow. Just clarifying.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:36 AM on May 30, 2007

Well, my overweight friend has about three guys on the go at any one time. He says he does better than most because it's not the weight that is unattractive, but the insecurities. And he's a lot more than 20-25lbs overweight.
posted by saturnine at 5:07 AM on May 30, 2007

Sex and social interaction may feel like an odds game to you, but they really aren't. Everyone is different, and while some will react to you based on their own general likes and dislikes, these are real people we're talking about, and everyone brings their own specific baggage to the table. Keep an open mind about people when you meet them, and who you go bananas for might actually surprise you.

Also, you may simply want to avoid trying to meet people in a place where snap judgments replace social curiosity. In a club just skim over people's surfaces, and no one can hear you even if you have something to say.

Try to keep your concepts of your sexual ideals flexible. Practice seeking out what is incredibly sexy about people or kinds of people that you don't tend to automatically gravitate toward. Anytime I meet someone who has a "type", all I can think is how many incredible opportunities they probably missed and never even knew it.
posted by hermitosis at 6:03 AM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sorry, "In a club, eyes just skim.."
posted by hermitosis at 6:05 AM on May 30, 2007

Being "pretty handsome/cute" and also "20-25 lbs overweight" are not mutually exclusive. Just look at Lots of guys have a couple extra pounds here and there and still have an active and satisfying social life.

This is just speculating, but I wonder if your standards of what is attractive are setting yourself up for failure. If you don't find yourself attractive -- even with a little flabbiness here or softness there -- people will focus more on your attitude than on your looks.

For me personally, even when I was in my twenties and svelte and hot, I always focused more on the guy's personality and what I saw in his eyes. Hot bods were a dime a dozen, back in the 1980s, but the best sexual experiences for me (as well as the best relationships) were with the most genuine people.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:25 AM on May 30, 2007

I know a gay couple where one of the guys is skinny and cute and attractive and the other overweight and cute and attractive. And they're madly in love. So, like others say, it's certainly possible.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:36 AM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

As a slight counterpoint, the rule accepted among my friends is that if everyone's attractiveness was rated on a scale of 1-10, then most people end up with someone within two points of their own score.
posted by awesomebrad at 8:09 AM on May 30, 2007

I'm going to vote for confidence and a good sense of humor being more important than a super hot bod (at least as far as dates are concerned). As was said above, as long as it appears that you're able to take care of yourself (which is as much a grooming and manners thing as it is a "ripped physique" thing, I think), you're already making a good first impression.

Basically, I think it comes down to finding a way to be comfortable with yourself, and while being okay with your body is an important part of that, it doesn't have to be the only thing.

Of course, if it's your aim to hit the clubs and hook up with the hotties, your priorities may differ.

I realize that you didn't ask for book recommendations, but I found Boyfriend 101 to be a very useful (i.e. calm-inducing) guide when looking for and going on dates.
posted by metabrilliant at 10:02 AM on May 30, 2007

Dan Savage (who you should read) likes to have some fun in his sex column ever-so-often where he will run a letter from someone discussing his hyper-specific extremely kinky almost unheard of fetish complaining that he can't find someone to do such a thing to him, and then he will run another letter right below that one from someone else saying how he wants to do the exact such thing to someone but can't find a partner. If these two people could just find each other all will be well, and Savage can demonstrate how anyone can find someone, no matter what they are looking for.

A slightly overweight guy, is about as close to normal as you can possible get, so obviously this point holds, except to a much larger degree.

As far as physical appearance goes, self-esteem and self-confidence are at least as important (and many times more important) than how you actually look. If you think you're overweight and unattractive and want to find someone cute to date, then it isn't so likely to happen, but if you think you're good looking and like the way you look, then it makes things much easier. People sense insecurity and desperation and they are not very flattering traits.

And all my talk of looks aside, my general rule is that if I'm not attractive enough for someone, then I wouldn't want to date them anyway. If someone turns me down 'cause I'm not hot enough for them, and 6 months later I get in shape and they reconsider, I certainly wouldn't me interested in them. Guys who are more interested in the intellectual side of things (of which there are many) don't care about a little extra weight.
posted by andoatnp at 10:04 AM on May 30, 2007

I'm late to this question, but the thread's not closed, so - there are guys who are specifically attracted to beefier/meatier guys. I am one of them. I'm skinny, decent-looking enough to have been in one of those glossy men's magazines, and I really, really like bear cubbish guys.

I used to be embarrassed about it because I mistakenly thought that, y'know, it was weird and no one would understand and everyone else, everyone, only liked blond boyish porn stars from the former Czechoslovakia or guys who look like them. Uh, I was wrong.

Honestly, 20-25 pounds is nothing. The idea that things might be "hopeless" at that point seems crazy to me. I almost wonder, if you are referring to yourself in the question, as opposed to just asking a general question about gay people, if you have recently come out of the closet. Because the more gay guys you know, and different gay scenes you explore (venturing off the most beaten paths, maybe), the more you ought to realize that gay guys like different things, and do NOT all worship at the altar of Johan Paulik or whatever.

But hell, we all have insecurities. I know it's hard to just throw them over. It sounds to me like your problem is not your weight but confidence. That can and probably will change with time.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 1:38 PM on May 30, 2007

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