Body Language of the Gays

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    Dec 10, 2007 9:19 PM GMT
    I’ve recently been studying up on Kinesics, the study of facial expressions and body language. While it’s all really cool stuff, I’ve immediately noticed that pretty much all of it is geared towards straight men and women. There’s very little out there about body language for gay men and lesbians, especially when it comes to attraction. Do you know a resource I’m not hitting?

    A lot of the common body signals hold true for all sexes, like self-preening, standing with better posture, heightened eye contact, enlarged pupils, facing each other more openly, finding reasons to touch each other in conversation, etc… but there seems to be a big difference in the signals women give out/receive than how men give out/receive.

    What I’m wondering is, where do gay men fit in? We (generally) don’t make ourselves more feminine for our potential mate, but we also are (generally) more attracted to masculinity, like a straight woman would be. Many gay men seem to show their butts off more than straight men do, and we tend to wear clothing that shows off our bodies more than hiding them in super baggy jeans and shirts 3 sizes too big.

    So in picking up on a guy’s body signals, do we just mirror them and both end up being turned on by each other’s displays of masculinity? Or is it all gray area and there really is no one way for us gays? I have friends that become more feminine (subtly) when attracted to a guy, and I have others that do the opposite and become more dude/bro. Any advice and/or insights are fully welcome!
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    Dec 10, 2007 9:38 PM GMT
    As you learn more about it you will realise that the body language signals are guidelines and can not be attributed to a single sex.

    You will also find that depending on what we portray we can manipulate the body language to suit our needs or preferences. This really is an example of you are a product of your environment.

    The one that gets me is the men standing with thumbs in pockets or hands on hips and fingers pointing at their groin! It just says in very loud bold letters: YOU WANT IT, YOU GOT IT

    Good luck with your studies its a fascinating subject which I love to bits but it will completely and utterly head fuck you forever more as once you learn about it you can never ever switch off reading it!
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    Dec 10, 2007 10:07 PM GMT
    unfortunately (in terms of giving you a simple answer), human sexuality isn't all that simple - your very question ignores a huge number of possibilities. you framed your question in such a way so that only mascucline gay men are attracted/attractive to other masculine gay men. this ignores the fact that drag queens (sorry, female illusionists), twinks, male-to-female transgender individuals, and many other expressions of "masculinity" are found attractive by any variety of men.

    in my studies of sexuality, gender and gender expression i have found that what is attractive is fluid, in terms of body language and gender expression (because the construction of masculininty is, itself, so fluid). what is perceived as appropriate adornment/behavior/posture on a biologically male body in a particular place at a partcular time provides the context for "masculine." with that in mind, acting "masculine" or "feminine" to attract a man isn't the same from one place and time to the next.

    find a book called "masculinities." i can't remember the author's name right off. if you're interested, send me an email directly. it discusses some of the thousands and thousands of masculinites that exist throughout history. in responding to your question then: A person's tactic for attracting the man they want has to do with his own internalized image of himself and what he wants from a partner. if you want a more aggressive man who is traditionally masculine (and stereotypically insertive in his sexual preferences), then the tactic would be to accentuate your ass (whether you do this wearing a butt hugging dress or by "accidentally" bending over to pick up the free weight you "dropped" right in front of him). it is really more about you. faking the dude/bro is pretty sad though - and generally completely unconvincing to the point of being laughable, rather than sexy. it's lamentable that so many gay men think they're fooling anyone (or, indeed, that they should have to).
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    Dec 10, 2007 10:48 PM GMT
    bfg1, interesting points! I can only imagine what purposefully controlling your body language in different situations can cause. Considering that, what, 7% of our message is in the words we say? Incredibly small amount.

    I'd think it would be exciting to never ever switch off reading body language! It's a whole language that we all use and I so wanna tap into understanding it better. So useful in so many ways. How is it torturous?
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    Dec 10, 2007 11:00 PM GMT
    dancerjack, I didn't mean to exclude other masculinities as if they don't exist. I am well aware of the ways of twinks, and queens, and jocks, and bears, leather guys, preps, etc...Maybe it's because this site has a majority of jock men in masuline poses and dark smoldering facial expressions, thus how I framed my question. Posting the same question on DList, or I probably would have worded it differently. icon_smile.gif

    In watching the different aspects of gay society that I'm involved with (see entire list of guys I just typed), the overall theme I have witnessed when watching guys interact when interest is involved, there's subtle changes that, to me, point towards increased masculinity. I can't really put my finger on it (still learning), but it's markedly different than when I've seen my lady friends get all hot and bothered by a guy/girl. Make sense?

    "acting "masculine" or "feminine" to attract a man isn't the same from one place and time to the next." Kinda what I figured, but I wasn't sure if maybe there was a magical all-encompassing equation. I agree with you that faking a persona to attract a guy is somewhat foolish. Either you have to always wear that mask around them, or you'll eventually loosen up and the guy will feel dooped. There is something to be said about being your best when interested in someone (kinda what we all do naturally, I think), but your best self, not your best someone else.
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    Dec 11, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    I try not to read into body language. I do not think it is universal and as a previous poster said it can be manipulated.

    I think that body language does play a role in perception but it should not be a guiding principal.

    Remember as far as psychology goes you have Gender and you have sex.

    The term sex is related to anatomical structure, the term gender is related to an imposed or adopted social and psychological condition.

    You would have to divide body language into those categories before you could start to impose them on a group of people.

    As far as I know this hasn't really been attempted on a social level...yet.
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    Dec 11, 2007 12:50 AM GMT
    no, there's not a magic equation... lol - that's why my gaydar was completely useless in france. HAHAHAHA
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    Dec 11, 2007 8:24 AM GMT
    Gay men are an entirely unique breed where each individual person is a different genus all their own.
  • Artesin

    Posts: 482

    Dec 13, 2007 5:48 AM GMT
    Well a lot of our body language is encompassed within our eyes and lips, humans as a whole. That is really the first thing that is noticed when somebody takes notice. Lets take an ominous approach with all variables excluded in the fact that you know this person is a generic masculine gay stereotype #284. I would think that when you dont discriminate against sex and devide body language between the two that they become universal. So you see this guy across the room, knowing well he's gay, the easiest way to draw them in would be eye contact right off, then striking up a conversation while using mysterious/subtle approach, compensating with a striking eyes that seem deep enough to draw people in. Not everyone takes notice of these features but for the most part it's universal and a stare could be all it takes.
  • EricLA

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    Dec 13, 2007 6:08 AM GMT
    What about gay men's use of eye contact? Most straight men avert direct eye contact from strangers. Gay men, especially when trying to confirm that another man is gay, will look straight into their eyes and the other will look back. Volumes can be spoken with that stare.

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    Jan 10, 2008 9:11 PM GMT
    EricLA, I totally agree with you. Eye contact is a really big factor for me in telling a lot of gay guys from straight guys. Straight guys often make eye contact, but only briefly, while gay guys either have the "I'm gay and I think/hope/know you are too" stare or they don't make eye contact with anybody, I'm guessing due to insecurities with themselves, or if they're highly attractive, tired of people leering at them and would rather tune the world out unless their type walks by?
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Nov 05, 2009 9:18 AM GMT

    I'm not sure what you mean ... julienne some jesse mccartney and splice it with some t. pain ... and it will all begin to make sense: