What are gay men attracted to?
3 min read

What are gay men attracted to?

I sometimes have the thought: am I actually gay though? I mean, maybe girls are cute and I don't know it yet. This is probably not true though.

I think there were signs I liked boys in middle school but I wasn't aware of it. I distinctly remember the end of the year water park trips in 6th and 8th grade where I would couldn't stop sneaking looks at a friend's body. I think I was drawn to his arms and chest. I also remember following boys I thought were good looking around but that might not be a strong signal.

The epiphany moment where I realized I was not straight was when I thought my non-binary friend was cute, which prompted me to look at the subreddit for asexuality.

In the summer of 2022, I just couldn't figure out what attraction was, if I was attracted to any particular gender at all, and how do I find a relationship if I didn't know what I was attracted to. I wished there was a 'how to find a relationship if you are ace' handbook. If I were to give advice to my past self, maybe I would say to pay attention to what gender you are attracted to. Clarifying aesthetic and physical attraction and who you want to be with seems difficult. Writing a dating doc in dec 2022 was helpful in figuring out what I am looking for and what kind of relationship I want.

This is still a bit confusing now. Like there is some fuzzy thing where I am not exactly sure if being "attracted" to non-binary, trans, and women is similar to the attraction to men.

Some concrete thing for men happened in the beginning of 2023 when I started watching a lot of instagram reels. When it was a straight couple, I noticed that I thought the guy was cuter, and then eventually the algoritmn made it gay. I also noticed that when seeing straight couples on the street, I would also think the guy was cuter.

I thought the first two pages of "What Makes a Man: Physical Attraction Among Young Homosexuals" by Aaron McCauley was interesting and am gonna use it as a prompt.

The questions they asked were:

1. Describe, from the head down, what your ideal partner’s physical characteristics would be. go to 4.

2. What body shape is most appealing to you? Using typical “gay terms” such as: twink, bear, jock, etc. I think twink. I wonder if I am matching with similarity. I feel some weird thing with categorizing people based on their looks. people used to say I'm skinny and have spaghetti arms, but I guess that just getes categorized to twink. a funny time was when me and my friend who is transfem were crossing a road when some people said, oooh twinks, unclear whether it was to us. but we both thought it was very funny.

3. What age range would you consider for a possible partner? 0-2 age gap is ideal.

4. When reflecting on a past or possible partner, what is your favorite physical characteristic? I think I'm attracted to a boy's face, hair, arms, legs, and wanting to be close to their chest and cuddle them. I think I especially notice eyes that are bright and excited. Hair that is wavy and a little long. I notice that when I rub a boy's arm or chest, I like that it feels firm, the skin feels soft and feel little hairs. There is also some sort of skin smell that I like.

5. In terms of a partner’s height as compared to yours, what is the ideal height? (Taller? Shorter? Same height?) Same height. Further wonder if I am look for similarity.

6. What are unacceptable physical characteristics for possible partners [to have]? Nothing comes to mind. I wonder if I use physical characteristics as a proxy for personality and compatibility. like maybe someone looking too young or badboy-like is an indicator that they are still experimenting and looking for a short term partner.