Resigning yourself to your anemic online-dating shopping options. And how depressing is it to go to a sex club by yourself? That yawning bore across the table is looking better every sec. (Kimberly Chun)
BEING A STRAIGHT GUY
I worked security at the Endup for four years. As a straight guy, I found myself jealous of my gay compatriots out there on the dance floor, nuts to butts, letting it all hang out. Obviously, gay men have committed, complicated, and drama-filled relationships too. But boys will be boys, and it seemed things were so much simpler and, pardon the pun, more straightforward for gay guys in San Francisco. Less of a mating ritual and more mating. It's the classic straight guy's lament: if women acted like dudes, I'd be getting laid right now. Or, as Michael Dean once said in a Bomb song, "The girl that I miss is just me in a dress." Still, after 15 years in San Francisco, I'm starting to see the bonuses of being single, straight, and not so young in a city known worldwide for Rice-a-Roni, sourdough bread, and buffed-out, hunky young gay guys.
Pros: At 35, I may actually be starting to enjoy dating. No one's lugging around that "my heart was broken, and I can't go through that again" cross anymore. We're all adults here, and like the young, restless, and gay, we've gotten in touch with our biological needs. Thirtysomething Bay City rollers know they need to get off and they don't have to meet their soul mate to do it. Sure, the roller coaster of love is one hell of a ride, but sometimes it's enough to get Indian food, hit a bar with a good jukebox, rent a movie, go home, and fuck.
Cons: People really do get married. Which means the thirtysomething dating pool shrinks and you can end up dating someone younger. This might seem like a pro, until you try to make a pop culture reference on a date and hear crickets chirp. There's not a lot of eye-to-eye going on when your love interest ejects Mania, by the Vibrators, to put on Green Day. (Duncan Scott Davidson)
BEING A QUEER
Oh, the burden! Straight guys think you get laid more than them. Straight girls think you get laid more than them. Both of them think you like turtlenecks and cologne. It's horrifying! And history! Here you are over the rainbow, in the fiercely romantic-looking burg all those haters in high school screeched at you to move to, and you're scrounging for any bit of affection you can find among the forest of online profiles and the coral reef of lopsided haircuts. Plus you've got billboards screaming "AIDS!" in your face on every corner. It's enough to drive a lonely fag to the gym or a dyke to the (one) bar, if that weren't just as fucked-up a defense mechanism as huddling with your old Smiths EPs and a tankard of Merlot in your cubby. But c'mon, at least you can walk home from your trick's house....
Pros: Be all you can be! Journey of discovery! There's a new opportunity around every corner. The hottest FTMs on the face of the planet. Boys aren't wearing so much product as in 2002. Being the envy of the gay world. Invisible lipstick lesbians. Trash drag. Crystal meth played out (pretty much). Domestic partnership laws (if only ...). Gay love is real (ask your serial monogamous friends). Hey, at least it's not Chelsea!
Cons: Too many to choose from. No need to grow up. Too many bottoms. Ever-present feeling you should get more tattoos or is that trying too hard? Everyone wants to be your fag hag. Monogamous or "negotiated"? Holier-than-thou activists, hotter-than-thou street life. "What if I'm really straight?" Knowing everyone's as shy as you but not being able to do anything about it. (Marke B.)
OUR PLAYBOY MAYOR
What a difference a few screaming headlines make.