cheapertherapy1
Advertisement

Frequently throughout my dinner conversation I found myself completely distracted, to the point where entire sentences from my friend became unintelligible background noise. I couldn’t help but notice the mass of beautiful men all around me. Crisp, stylish shirts were pulled taut across large biceps and bulging chests. Chiseled jawlines framed beaming white smiles. Their trendy jeans were perfectly cut to accentuate their firm asses, their hair was meticulously styled and…wait…was that guy wearing the four-hundred dollar Mark Nason’s I had been eying for months? What was more surprising than being surrounded by all these beautiful men was that they were all coupled with women.

cheapertherapy1

Frequently throughout my dinner conversation I found myself completely distracted, to the point where entire sentences from my friend became unintelligible background noise. I couldn’t help but notice the mass of beautiful men all around me. Crisp, stylish shirts were pulled taut across large biceps and bulging chests. Chiseled jawlines framed beaming white smiles. Their trendy jeans were perfectly cut to accentuate their firm asses, their hair was meticulously styled and…wait…was that guy wearing the four-hundred dollar Mark Nason’s I had been eying for months? What was more surprising than being surrounded by all these beautiful men was that they were all coupled with women.

I had met a friend for dinner in SoHo, and although the fare at this particular restaurant was lackluster, I found myself salivating. I was drowning in a sea of gorgeous straight men. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

There was a time when a myth was strongly perpetuated that gay men are all stylish. Women all wanted the gay best friend to help them shop and when it came to selecting a hair stylist, only a gay man would do. Then, in 2003, The New York Times published an article that brought Mark Simpson’s term “metrosexual” to the main stage and, suddenly, straight men everywhere came out of the closet, making room for a bigger, better wardrobe.

In the years that I have come to call Tampa my home, I have seen a burgeoning nightlife blossom from an eclectic mix of bars and clubs to a cultural community adding art and fashion to the the DJ’s back beat. Still, the straight crowd has the census numbers to support a wider array of establishments and locales catering the varied styles and tastes of that community, ever promoting that birds-of-a-feather mentality. Sitting in the SoHo restaurant surrounded by a sociodemographic dating jackpot, I felt very jealous of the straight girls. This environment would make cutting through the dating clutter a much less daunting task.

I ordered another beer, tuned out my dinner mate and gazed around the room at all the beautiful, late-twenties/early-thirties people living right in my city. I began thinking of the crowd on any given Saturday night at G. Bar. Children who think skinny jeans have always been and will always be in style, completely overaccessorized in hopes it will distract from the X’s on their hands. Too-trendy twenty-somethings who wish they lived in NYC wearing scarves in ninety-degree heat. Men who pair athletic shoes with pleated shorts for a night on the town. All great guys in their own right, I’m sure, but none possess a style I would consider husband-material.

The metrosexual man has surpassed many gay men in characteristics which once blessedly stereotyped us. Sitting in the SoHo restaurant surrounded by a sociodemographic dating jackpot, I felt very jealous of the straight girls. This environment would make cutting through the dating clutter a much less daunting task.

I imagine dating in straight-Tampa is like shopping at International Plaza. If you want Burberry, you know right where to look. If you want a twenty-dollar disposable t-shirt, head downstairs to Forever XXI. Dating in gay-Tampa, however, is a bit more like shopping at an outlet mall: you can find something great, but it may be hidden under a lot of things that just aren’t your style.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here