Does class exist for gay men?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2007 9:08 PM GMT
    This might seem like common sense, but it seems like there's this mythic idea that being a minority (gay) suddenly annihilates class differences. Can Jim, a member of the bourgeoisie make it together with Carl, a waiter in the Bronx? Does a nice cock and a smile make up for the fact that you two might have little in common? Have any of you had experiences where your class differences with a guy have become an issue? Lastly, how does your conception of class influence or affect your standards of beauty, masculinity, and your idea of what a gay man should/shouldn't be?

    Thanks comrades!
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    Jun 15, 2007 9:23 PM GMT
    Great topic.

    I'm from a lower middle class background, unions, strikes, alcoholism, abuse, etc. All good fun.

    My partner comes from upper middle to wealthy.

    I'm not sure where I left my glass slipper.
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    Jun 15, 2007 10:36 PM GMT
    LOL. When I read this title, two other definitions of "class" came to mind first.

    (Where DO I sign up for that class, anyway?)

    I may have a Ph.D., but I come from a long line of poor white trash. Not sure where I fit in the "class" scheme.

    Not sure if this is what you had in mind: There is one guy who I saw a few times, until he started making me nervous. For example, one time he showed up at my house for an unannounced visit, and I'm pretty sure he was hiding out from the police in his town. Beyond that, we just didn't have anything in common.

    The few guys who I've "clicked" best with have the same sort of background as I, do the same sort of work, and enjoy doing the same sorts of activities. We have things we can have conversations about. Coincidence? Not a big enough sample size to really tell.
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    Jun 15, 2007 11:11 PM GMT
    I've tried to pretend it doesn't affect a relationship, but I think it does.

    On the other hand, I do think gay men handily ignore class when it comes to sex. (I think that point was even made in the oh-so-sad "Boys in the Band.") Indeed, many of us fetishize blue collar guys, don't we?
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    Jun 15, 2007 11:21 PM GMT
    My first serious boyfriend was a guy from COlombia. Back there he was pretty much an aristocrat. His grandfather was the ambassador to the US, and later to Japan... and he looking a lot like Brando when he was young and hot to boot. But he came to Canada as a refugee..... so in a way he had an upper class background but lower class circumstances.

    I came from a lower class background but worked my way into the middle class.

    And yeah, there were issues. Dude had never seen a washing machine before he got here. He had to call home to ask his mom how to cook rice.

    She had to put the maid on the phone to explain it to him.

    I came from a background where everyone had to pull their own weight. It was exasperating trying to explain to him that if I cooked, he had to do the dishes because fair's fair.

    So yeah, I'd say class factors into things. Thank God he was hot.....
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    Jun 16, 2007 12:49 AM GMT
    I'm sure class does and can make a difference at times. But would agree with obscenewish in that when it comes to sex class isn't our first concern.
    Personally I have lived a good portion of my life outside of the US, and I find I relate well to immigrants whatever their social class. I usually feel the least comfortable with upper middle class whites who have never left the US -- And I'm caucasian and my parents and my educational background place me in that class.
    Some of my best friends are Brazilian -- and yes, I've started to learn some of the Brazilian soccer teams and soaps. Another very good friend of mine is an Iraqi woman who comes from a very different class, culture education you name it, but despite those differences we are on the same level, and I would do anything for her.
    So I don't know. And my examples aren't all gay, but sometimes you find people and connect inspite of all those differences.
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    Jun 16, 2007 12:59 AM GMT
    And I'd agree with everything that y'all have said. Socioeconomic differences, cultural differences, differences in education, differences in personal expectations and life goals--they all impact relationships. Period. And gay or straight, we're willing to make allowances for someone who's really hot or for sex that's really good (hopefully, both).
  • cityguy39

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    Jun 16, 2007 7:23 AM GMT
    Great topic!It's hard to ingore class distictions esp in gay relationships. There are just as many social stratas in the gay world as there are in the straight one. I think how you deal with it in your life is a personal thing. I think it all has to do with the comfort level of where your are in your life. With certain people you just don't feel comfortable at certain places, and there are certain types of guys you wouldn't want to bring around your friends and family but you wouldn't have a problem taking them to bed. We have all hooked up with someone we thought was hot as hell but not necessarly good enough to be a full fledged boy friend and believe it not, we have also been the one the guy didn't think was good enough for him too.
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    Jun 16, 2007 11:15 AM GMT
    I am sure that class is a big deal for some folks in term of who thier partner is and where he is from. I think it is where the individual is at the moment and what are his goals and dreams for the future. Another important thing is motivation.

    My dad's parents were poor when they came over on the boat and my mom's parents ran successful businesses in the US. That does not label me as a person, I don't think. Myself and two of my brothers do very well without the help of anyone else. My third brother can never seem to get his act together even with the help of other people.

    In a relationship, I believe we are all resposible for our own actions and equally need to do our part in a relationship. That does not mean that 2 people can't help each other or share what they have with each other.

    "Class" is a catagory that society labels. To me "class" is a state of mind. It is how we choose to live, the respect we have for ourselves and other human beings.

    Take a look at Paris Hilton, No Class at all for someone who comes from what the world precieves as "CLASS" So Money, Neighborhood and who you know, does not determine how classy a person you are.

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Jun 16, 2007 3:06 PM GMT
    Sure...there are stratifications as far as class goes when it comes to gay men...
    we all do it to some extent
    and it's not done because we're gay
    it's something that's rooted much more broadly in our American socialization
    I'm from NY and we had this running joke that guys outside of Manhattan were not worthy for dating
    they were called "bridge and tunnel" people and some men actually went as far as excluding them from poss men to date
    ...also we all have done this to some extent saying to our friends...he's ok to "f**k" but I wouldn't date him...yes or no?
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    Jun 16, 2007 9:16 PM GMT
    In the not too distant past, I dated this wonderful man who, well to be blunt about it, who I had consistently pornographic sex with (i.e. it was out of this world)and felt pretty comfortable around. However, as time passed, I noticed that our interests were pretty different: he didn't like to read, had some superficial tastes, liked to drink, didn't exercise, wasn't into art, etc. Before then, I'd never had this as an issue but then, with him, I found myself saying, "No, sex is not enough and we have some differences I can't overlook (such as his voting for Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, TWICE!)".

    You're right though, we do put it aside if it's to fuck.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Jun 17, 2007 1:05 AM GMT
    ...although I believe anything is possible...there are two adages that you can follow:

    1. Birds of a feather flock together.
    2. Opposites attract.

    I have found #1 to be more universally true over the long haul...mostly because I believe we have fears that hold us back...relationships crumble over communication, finances, fidelity...class differences are one more to that does as one knows...

    ...all the more reason to experience what you can, while you can...

    - David
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    Jun 22, 2007 4:25 AM GMT
    I think everything that's been said is right: we don't care when it comes to sexual escapades and relationships are easier when people have more in common, which "class differences" can make more difficult.

    I'd postulate 2 more things about gay relationships:

    1. Having already broken much more severe sexual taboos, what's the big deal about the more minor taboo of dating someone in a different [usually lower] class?

    2. Would our choice of relationship partners be different if we planned to raise children together?
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    Jul 02, 2007 7:00 PM GMT
    dfrourke's 2 postulates are a good place to start. For me #2 is way more important to me than #1. Opposites attract also means that I get to learn skills that make me a more well-rounded person. Being gay and having to rely on myself to get me where I am, I don't give a crap in a lot of cases. Yes family and friends are important, but if they are small-minded maybe they're not worth it. Good people and good friends are out there, I don't worry about losing the friendship of small-minded people.

    Birds of a feather do flock together, it happens naturally, but as human beings we have more choice in who we socialize with. Most people with science/engineering backgrounds like myself have a lot of valuable skills but also lack certain other valuable skills; I do hang out with such people quite a bit but it excites me more to hang out with people with opposite skills and perspectives.
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    Jul 02, 2007 7:23 PM GMT
    I believe that "class" as a socio-economic stand point is really (as someone put) broken down due to our unifying minority status, however, it still plays a role in anything beyond superficial (including sexual) relationships.

    Men, historically, seem to be the more sexual of the genders, so I am not surpirsed to hear of people sleeping above and/or below their "class". On the dating front... I find that "class" (real or perceived) plays a huge role in coupling. I have dated wealthy (who brok up with me because I couldn't afford the $75 meals most nights we hung out) and not so wealthy (who I broke-up with based on his families take on my life style). And of course, there has been plently in between.

    I find that any resulting relationship/break-up is due to a result in that we have things in common, not necessarily he shares my love of politics, but that he is interested enough to know about politics. It is the subtle similarities (how we view a situation, how we think about a certain topic, etc.) that unite us, not necessarily that we do the same thing.

    I can also say that as an upper-middle white urbanite I find it really hard to date within my "class" because you either have people denying their waspy upbringing, or faking it.
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    Jul 05, 2007 5:19 PM GMT
    I'ev had at least one relationship fail based on class differences- a guy I was dating in college was upper-middle class and I'm lowermiddle/working class... it was kind of a large joint effort between my folks and I to get me to/through college, which meant Ihad to put in some extra effort and work in school and take a hit to the spending money, while the guy I was dating was kind of a jewish american prince and didn't get why I was always busy working or why our dates were breaking the bank