Q: I’m a 23-year-old female college student whose life consists of going to class and going to the gym. I’m attractive and I notice guys checking me out—but I’m afraid I come off as unapproachable.
I’ve noticed this fine guy at the gym. From the way he looks at me, I can tell he’s interested, but he hasn’t approached me. We make a lot of eye contact, and some days he’ll walk by my treadmill and awkwardly smile, but we’ve talked only once. Is he shy? Should I try to talk to him? How can I come off as more approachable? I’m finding myself obsessing over him (like I said, he is fine), but the more I do, the more pathetic I feel.
Pathetic Shy Girl With A Crush
A: We’ll get to your issues in a moment, PSGWAC, but first …
Don’t you hate it when you’re working on a column that’s way overdue and you have a horrible headache and you grab the bottle of pills from your suitcase—a travel selection of Excedrins, Advils, and 222s—and you pour the pills into your hand and pick out a couple of 222s (they’re the ones that don’t have an “E” on them and aren’t green) and you toss the 222s in your mouth while you click through a few emails and then nearly choke to death?
Don’t you hate that?
And don’t you hate it even more when you’re sitting there wondering how you nearly choked to death on a couple of 222s—they’re skinny! You conquered that gag reflex in middle school!—and then you remember that your boyfriend put four of his massive, easy-to-choke-on Vicodins in with your pills the last time he came along on a trip?
Don’t you hate that?
OK, I had better get to it, huh? Soon I won’t be fit to operate the remote for the TV in my hotel room much less dole out sex advice to my love-, clue-, and orgasm-lorn readers. But before we begin: My apologies to anyone unlucky enough to find their letter in this week’s column.
OK, PSGWAC, a lot of guys—fine and otherwise—have been led to believe that hitting on girls who aren’t in bars or on personals websites is tantamount to sexual harassment. Because, you see, for the last 20 years, fine and otherwise guys have been told that it’s not nice to hit on girls at work, on the bus, at the gym or in class. Girls are still getting hit on at work, on the bus, at the gym and in class, of course, just not by nice guys. The guys who approach girls at work, on the bus, etc., are, for the most part, fine and otherwise assholes.
So I’m thinking Fine Boy is either a nice, polite, clueless straight dude who doesn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable or he’s a fag who stares because he thinks your skin is flawless and is sincerely curious about what product you use in your hair.
Here’s how you find out whether Fine Boy is straight and polite or gay and product-curious: Approach Fine Boy—take it from me, nothing makes you seem more approachable than physically approaching someone—and tell him you’d love to hang out sometime outside the gym, outside your clothes, etc., and see what he says.
Q: I’m gay but I’m just a normal guy. The most stereotypical gay thing about me is that I’m a musical-theater major. But I can fix a car, I don’t enjoy dancing (in clubs), I hate the bar scene and I never use the word “fabulous.” I’m not attracted to faggy men. Can you assure me that there are nonfaggy gay men out there?
A: There are no nonfaggy gay men out there, SA.
Or there are no other nonfaggy gay men out there, I should say, because you’re nonfaggy—I’m taking your word for it, SA—and there you are, all nonfaggy and majoring in musical theater! But you’re the only fabulously masculine gay man in America! You’re like Will Smith in I Am Legend, only you have to sing and dance and blow loads on guys instead of running and screaming and blowing away loads of zombies.
But there may be a few homos out there masculine enough to meet with your approval. Look around the tech department of your theater program, SA, and if you see someone in paint-spattered jeans, carrying a power tool, with a pack of smokes tucked in a back pocket, ask that butch dyke out. She’s your only hope.
Q: I’m the type of guy who always has a lot to drink because I need to have the courage to hit on girls and also because I don’t want to look like one of those assholes who stays sober so he can have the pick of the most wasted girls. However, when I do end up with a girl in my bed, I can’t get it up. Tactfully saying, “Let’s wait till the morning” is not much fun.
It Does Work, I Swear
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace