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DesDownunder

Gay men Navigate like women

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I am once again astounded at the uses, results and conclusions of scientific investigation.

The following article has me shaking my head with thoughts of "What next?"

See also the other 'Related Stories' links as well, on the following page.

Gay Men Navigate In A Similar Way To Women,

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navigation? *shudder* Whenever I go out driving with my best buddy, I somehow end up being the 'navigator'...which inevitably ends up with me being yelled at for being such a lousy navigator. See, I have a very mild case of dyslexia, which comes out as left/right confusion...not that I don't know the difference, or that I can't tell which arm is my left or my right, but on a purely cognitive level, I get the two confused. I can look to my right, know that that's the direction we need to turn, and say "Take a left here." I'm so used to this that when I'm driving, I expect that I will take the wrong turns and have learned to have a very good sense of how to get back to where I was so i can take the turn I should have taken the first time, but my buddy gets very frustrated if we don't do it exactly right the first time.

I know that for me, the study has it exactly right - I do navigate from landmarks. I'm terrible at looking at a map and knowing where the hell I am, so I have to watch for physical signs about where I need to go: turn this way at the 7-11, cross the street at the Crescent Tavern and take the next street on the same side as I'm driving on, etc.

cheers!

aj

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I'm possibly more qualified to speak on this than most subjects that come up here. I am the navigator of our rally team, and on top of that, I also navigate when my buddy and I go on extended vacations, some of which involve up to 10K miles of driving (like to Florida and back from Victoria BC). A good 80% or more of drivers in car rallies have the right/left mixup, and my driver is no different. The problem is actually the words themselves and the easiest resolution is to simply use other words, which have easy to grasp concepts behind them. When we began using 9 oclock and 3 oclock there was a remarkable improvement in this problem area. When we graduated to "your way" and "my way" there ceased to be any error whatsoever.

I can navigate by map, and very effectively, and I can also navigate by landmarks. What is very interesting though, is that I can navigate much better on back roads, like ranch, farm, and logging roads, than in urban centers. Just because there is a street sign identifying every corner doesn't mean diddly squat. I navigate based on either the landmarks, or the twists and turns in the road itself. One thing I don't have, despite being gay, is the ability women have of just asking for directions. Obviously that particular issue has nothing to do with orientation. :icon_geek:

One thing that I believe would make an interesting study (in response to the 'what next' issue), would be how pheromones affect gays and what do we exude. If a hetero male pheromone is intended to attract women, will it attract a gay male? What about a lesbian? If a gay male exudes a different pheromone, one to attract another gay male, does that attract women too, or straight men? Maybe that's partly what gaydar is all about: gay pheromones and receptors, as opposed to some kind of special perception. It is a fascinating concept, and frankly, research should be done so that gays can more easily find other gays, simply by using the right scents.

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Interestingly enough, I recall reading a study about this very subject: apparently, there is an orientation based difference in what pheromones attract gay men from which ones attract straight men. It was discovered that straight women and gay men are attracted to essentially the same scent (sweaty male body smell) and straight men and lesbians responded to a different set of smells. I don't think I'd be inclined to go around smelling guys' armpits to verify this result, but if true, I find that very compelling evidence that sexual orientation is an innate trait, depending on the age and experience of the subjects being tested...if they were older and more experienced, maybe their reaction to certain scents could be a pavlovian reaction. I know that smelling a man with a little bit of sweatiness makes me salivate.

cheers!

aj

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I cannot stand studies that want to stereotype someone based on their sexuality. Other than liking men there isn't much else about me that is "Gay". I'm a gearhead and love to work on cars and drive the crap out of them. I love guns as well and go shooting as often as I can. The only things that could be considered "Gay" about me are the facts that I'm very much into fitness and nutrition and I'm somewhat "Metrosexual" when it comes to my appearance and hygiene. Hell, I'm probably more masculine than most of my "Straight" friends, but it doesn't affect who I love/lust after. As for navigation I tend to get lost easy when I'm in places I don't know but otherwise with a map and a destination I can get where I need to go. When I read about studies like this I want to call up the researches and ask them to study me and see if they get the same results.

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I know that smelling a man with a little bit of sweatiness makes me salivate.

cheers!

aj

Remind me to stand away from you after I've been at work all day. Someone's gonna need a towel. :wink:

I normally have a good sense of direction, if I drive long enough, I'll find the road I'm after.

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It cracks me up what money is spent on for research these days.

I am the designated navigator most times. Be it a brand new city, or out in the boon docks I generally find my way. I call it ZEN driving. I know what direction I want to go, and one way or another, I'll get there.

In heavy traffic with 8 and 10 lane traffic I have never had problems with knowing far in advance which lane I should be in so that I can make the appropriate exit.

Now... this does NOT mean I have never been lost. Strangely enough... I'm one of the first people (even if I think I'm on the right track) to stop and ask 'Where the hell am I?!'

I don't think this is so much a gender specific issue, as it is a 'who hates to drive the most' issue lol It's not as easy for the driver to pay attention to every little sign when they are trying to keep from ramming into another car. The navigator doesn't have that worry, though I've slammed my foot on the floorboard many times where a brake pedal SHOULD have been!

I spent many years in large city rush hour traffic and have little trouble getting where I need to go. The rules are the same, it's just a new set of idiots on the road usually ;)

Eventually traveling in larger cities, knowing which lane to be in when your exit is coming up becomes second nature even if you've never been there before. Mile markers are a wonderful thing :)

Well that's my two cents ;)

Take care!

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... I call it ZEN driving. I know what direction I want to go, and one way or another, I'll get there.

...

Take care!

Hmmm ZEN and the art of navigation: I am at one with the road. The road and I are one. om,

Now where the *&@%! am I? :hehe:

:wink:

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You're on the road Des, and technically, on the roadbed (since you ARE the road).

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So, is the road bed the world's biggest bed? It's a hell of a long lay, that's for sure.

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Hmmm ZEN and the art of navigation: I am at one with the road. The road and I are one. om,

Now where the *&@%! am I? :hehe:

:wink:

Ohmmmmm... oh hell no! That asshole just cut me off! WHOOPS! That's a lady... woofty! Two bagger, thank you come again!

Actually I was referring to when I know the general lay out of a town, and just meander down roads I've never traveled, but know... in general I'm going the right direction... kind of. lol Eventually I get to where I want to be, and I might just happen across a kick ass yard sale!

:)

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Ohmmmmm... oh hell no! That asshole just cut me off! WHOOPS! That's a lady... woofty! Two bagger, thank you come again!

Actually I was referring to when I know the general lay out of a town, and just meander down roads I've never traveled, but know... in general I'm going the right direction... kind of. lol Eventually I get to where I want to be, and I might just happen across a kick ass yard sale!

:)

I've found it much easier to navigate on the West Coast and in the Mid-West than it is on the East Coast, we have too many old roads and hills. Newer cities and towns setup like grids are so much easier to navigate.

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I've found it much easier to navigate on the West Coast and in the Mid-West than it is on the East Coast, we have too many old roads and hills. Newer cities and towns setup like grids are so much easier to navigate.

I suppose that's why I love the town I live in here in Florida. The town is quartered NW, NE, SW, SE. Each street and avenue has a number. If you've got an address.... unless you're just mentally defective... you can find your destination by following the progression of numbers.

Cities that have only names of streets or a combination, are a complete enigma and must be learned by process of elimination (ie Louisville, KY) . It would be different if street names were in alphabetic order, but it's all ad hock. I sometimes wonder if this is an attempt to keep outsiders away. It's crazy, non productive, and I think an added complexity that should not exist save for the simple fact that 'simple reason' has been replaced by public relations bullcrap.

How in the hell does someone explain that to find 'wherever' they need to go down 17th until they hit Muhammid Ali Blvd, then take a left on 10th (it's a one way) and stop right before Broadway, and that if they go to Main or Magnolia, they've gone too far.

I now totally understand and appreciate the need for GPS and the gizmos that guide us to our destination.

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I cannot stand studies that want to stereotype someone based on their sexuality. Other than liking men there isn't much else about me that is "Gay".

Ah, Nick? Since 'liking men' comprises the entire actual definition of 'gay' or 'homosexual', your comment suggests that you've bought into some stereotypes and probably the less flattering ones. You might want to get a refund.

Take a step back and rethink your response. Would you describe yourself (and all chosen friends) as 'straight acting',etc?

I respectfully suggest that if that, if so, you may not be entirely comfortable with your own homosexuality (but this is fixable).

What those who require this in friends and lovers (and themselves) are doing is twofold: buying into bad stereotypes because, obviously, there are gays who can't be clocked as gay very easily and, two, there are also gays (and let's not forget bisexuals) who can be seen as such from a mile away. This latter may be their choice, they make no effort to be seen otherwise, or may be behaviors picked up within the community, I've never quite decided. Still, things like the 'gay accent' and a general tendency towards a few things suggests at least some sort of learning curve that precedes any actual same-sex sexual or romantic experience.

I nevertheless shudder at men who describe themselves as 'straight acting' (other terms exist) and claim they only date or befriend same. From a distance, I can tell you that I, at least, almost always take issue with their self-descriptor (though seldom to their face, I'm not a jerk, no matter what my ex says). In fact, they are often more obviously gay than men who are fully 'out' , seldom mitigating whatever behavior comes naturally.

Regardless, some percentage of gay men persist in claiming this 'straight acting' jive...but why? The clear assumption is that straight acting is superior to and/or more manly than, what, 'gay acting'? If that's a problem, I, again respectfully, suggest that it might lie exclusively in your head and live alongside your learned beliefs about gays and straights (and let's not forget bisexuals). Those learned beliefs are just that and do not reflect the real lives around you...again, if you step back and really look.

The good news is that we can always learn new tricks, unlike old dogs in the well-known adage.

Try this one: don't judge a person's sexuality or manliness by their mannerisms, hairstyles, clothing choices, vocal inflections, etc. Sit back and watch. The fun thing is that, like me, you may find that the more 'flamboyant' among us are not only happier but more manly, braver and more aggressive by a mile, and maybe even a lot more fun to be friends or lovers with.

I'll not delve into the waters where actual heterosexuals display that same flamboyance (the Arts are rife with them, regardless of orientation, and my father may fit that category).

Just a thought, put out here because I do not think that category really exists, of the 'straight acting' homosexual, but also because belief in it hurts the believer more than those he judges---it is perhaps the essence of internalized homophobia, that plus any religious baggage in that direction one may be carrying.

'Gay' just and only means you like men, honest, anything else you believe is an add-on and may or may not be helping your day-to-day happiness. Really and truly, that is the complete definition and the only way you can know about anyone else in particular is to ask...or ask them out.

Queer Eyes come in many colors, many shapes and live a million differing lives.

My opinion, listen or ignore as you choose.

TR :icon_twisted:

P.S. I 'get' DarkShadow's concept of Zen Navigating and engage in it with reasonable success but, alas, am also extremely reluctant to ask for directions. As I've done this with loooong cross-USA driving for years, that fact obviously has its good and bad points.

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Ah, Nick? Since 'liking men' comprises the entire actual definition of 'gay' or 'homosexual', your comment suggests that you've bought into some stereotypes and probably the less flattering ones. You might want to get a refund.

I think this should have a topic of its own, separated from the "Navigate" topic. We're involved in the Unity program at school. We do counseling for guys who are confused or concerned or have questions about their orientation. "Straight-looking/acting" versus "stereotypically gay looking/acting" is a central item of discussion in our counseling sessions.

TR presents some good arguments in his post. I'm not disagreeing with what he says when I say that I've been told that I don't "act" or "look" gay. And I believe that's true. Further, I'm not attracted (in a sexual attraction way) to gay guys who have one or more of the "non-straight" or "stereotypical" appearance and/or mannerisms. But that doesn't prevent me from being friends with those guys. What does that mean? Why do I "look" and "act" in a way that both straight and gay friends say is "straight"? Why am I attracted to that kind of guy (in a sexual attraction way)? What is it that makes anyone attracted to specific types of other people? I'd like to see more of a discussion about this (without anyone debasing others who post). Is anyone else interested?

Duke?

Colin :icon_twisted:

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The moderator capabilities don't seem to include SPLITTING a thread or topic, although many other options are there. I have no idea if the Dude has that capability, but I'd hope he would say something if so.

People have told me that I'm straight acting, but frankly, I doubt that. Most straight guys seem to ogle women of all ages, and I don't give women a second glance, so, in that aspect at least, I'm certainly not straight acting. In fact, I didn't act straight even before I figured out that I'm gay, although I never acted 'gay' in any of the stereotypical ways either. As for attraction, guys, whether they are flamboyant or otherwise, are attractive to me, although I'm not particularly a lover of facial hair. I do prefer clean shaven. I'm not particularly attracted to guys who look like women, as in cross dressers, probably because they don't look like men. I have no problem with them though.

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Why do I "look" and "act" in a way that both straight and gay friends say is "straight"?

Perhaps a better question would be, why might your friends say that.

Why is 'straight' (of 'straight acting' non-straights) even a word that comes up, let alone is applied and carries (sometimes enormous) weight in communities of men?

Just a thought to think upon is all.

I claim no special answers, just sometimes like to turn around a question onto itself and bite for taste. Reality cheque, one might say, whether it bounce or no.

There is nothing between my lines but space.

TR :icon_twisted:

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Perhaps a better question would be, why might your friends say that.

Like I always say, non-gays always seem to have better gaydar than I have (which is none, none at all). :blush:

Colin :icon_twisted:

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Most straight guys seem to ogle women of all ages, and I don't give women a second glance, so, in that aspect at least, I'm certainly not straight acting.

I'm gay, but if I see a particularly good looking girl I'll ogle her especially if she has big bazoombas out to here! :blush: But get into a relationship with a girl? Nada! No way, Jose! Nyet!

Colin :icon_twisted:

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I'm for a separate topic for a discussion on expressions of human mannerisms.

However be aware that it is a very large field of differing views, with diverse individual insights and beliefs as well as being clouded by a collective of politically correct assertions of misplaced and misconstrued understandings of well-meaning liberation agendas for the purposes of justifying socially acceptable definitions. These tend to subdue and imprison all of us into categories that need not exist.

Remember it was not the intellectual militants, but the drag queens that said. "enough is enough," and stood their ground at Stonewall.

It was those same intellectual militants that later said they didn't want effeminacy to be seen as part of the gay movement for liberation.

:icon_twisted:

The ancient Greek culture whilst accepting of the love between men also ridiculed effeminacy as much as many modern cultures do. This was not so much homophobia as it was rejection of the adoption of feminine mannerisms in men. (Perhaps because they saw it as a violation of the Oracle's advice to, "First know thyself" or "To thine own self be true.") :blush:

Many cultures have a respect for the delicate, gentle persona of the human male who does not feel the need to exhibit aggressive, sanctimonious, heterosexual traits on the one hand or is not a swishing effeminate on the other.

The cultural expectations of how a woman displays her femininity has certainly placed demands of how a woman thinks she should act. Likewise those same cultural expectations place demands on how men think of their own masculine image. The mass-media reinforces those images from microsecond to microsecond.

The stereo typical gay effeminate is also a culturally conditioned expectation of how a gay male should act.

Gay, for many people means an imitation (even unconsciously) of those cultural and often exaggerated, feminine mannerisms, while for others it means confronting the cultural image of effeminacy in themselves or their companions and acquaintances.

Many people are torn between self expression of their feminine side and their adoration of the masculine side in what they see as the object of their sexual orientation. Confusion begins here.

The problem is not so much as to what is "straight-acting" as it is to find and recognise the self-respect each of us should have for ourselves as individuals and not for some cultural expectation of how we should "act", whether that is an adopted masculine, effeminate or gay image.

These are the labels on the clothing of our humanity that do indeed maketh us the man or woman of our own perceptions of ourselves. Choice is being eroded by wearing other peoples' designs.

We should do all that can to make sure we do not succumb to wearing the designer label personalities of any culture and instead seek to be ourselves.

Trying to make people accept politically correct designer fashions of cultural images should not be our goal. Acceptance and encouragement of our differences as unique individuals is being overlooked for the sake of misplaced ideas of community safety with social acceptability.

It is also not up to gay political activists to dictate yet another persona for human beings.

In fact we humans all have individual personae if we will but make the effort to find them, nurture them and fulfil our potentials of being unique. We don't all have to be the same, even if homosexual means being attracted to someone of the same sex.

We can learn to love the differences as well as seeking someone the same to love.

It is called compatibility.

:blush:

My two cents.

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TR, I believe I what I was trying to do was make a comment towards the view of 'What is gay' rather than say I'm not a stereotype. I can also see where you might believe that I am one of those self proclaimed "straight-acting" gays.

I like cars and anything automotive, I love to drive agressively, I love guns and shooting guns, I serve in the military and enjoy crawling around in the dirt playing war, and I am definitely the first one out of my friends to throw down if there ever presents an opprotunity. While I tend to do alot of "manly" things, I do them becuase they are me and not because of any fear or reservation that I have. The way I present myself and act also reflect this. In other reguards I also like to dress in designer clothers (yes A&F and Hollister :blush: ) and take good care of myself physically.

Ask anyone who knows me to describe me and I can promise you all that they'd say is, "He's just Nick." It took alot of sleepless nights and soul-searching for me to figure out that I can't change who I am or what I like and just go with it. What you see is what you get with me :icon_twisted:

I have also made a conscious attempt to try not to judge someone on effeminate behavior alone. I think it is natural to find effeminate behavior as flaunting and becuase of that want to almost hate it, but if someone is truly that way and not simply acting out for attention then what right do I have to judge them differently becuase of it?

If I can find a seperate thread on this topic in the (sober) morning I'll comment more. You are completely right though TR and I'm more or less agreeing with you.

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I can also see where you might believe that I am one of those self proclaimed "straight-acting" gays.

No. I was speaking true when I said nothing lay between my lines. I don't know you. I only wondered at underlying assumptions, in a general fashion. Devil's advocate, if you like. Pulling dust bunnies out from under suppositions, perhaps.

In any case, the thread seems to be meandering about so I'll desist from further commentary.

TR :icon_twisted:

P.S. The finger-length-shows-sexual-orientation study was a lot more 'out there'...

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