How’s Your Gaydar?
Can you really tell if someone is queer? Do you have a finely-tuned ‘Gaydar’ that can pick up on the subtle signals and cues that indicate whether or not the guy that you’re talking to is on your team? There’s not much science behind it, but it’s a fun way to gamify the dating experience in the real world.
It also happens to be the name of one of the original online dating specialists for the LGBTQ community – Gaydar was established over 20 years ago and is still going strong.
If you’re wondering if a guy is into other guys, here’s five ways to test whether your Gaydar is working effectively.
How do I tell if a guy is gay?
When you first meet a guy, you can pick up a lot of information through the handshake. Did he look you in the eyes while shaking your hand? Did he hold that handshake a moment longer than he needed to? Did he smile at you?
Scent is one of our most powerful senses when it comes to figuring out if there’s a sexual attraction between you and another guy. What does he smell like? Does he smell good? Are you detecting a hint of something expensive, possibly something from the Tom Ford range?
The facial hair
Lots of guys have facial hair, but someone who has put some effort into their facial hair is someone looking to impress. Is he rocking a moustache? You should definitely hit on him.
Maybe you’re catching a glimpse while he’s getting changed at the gym, or perhaps you can see the waistband peeking out over the top of his trousers. What colour underwear is he wearing? What brand is he wearing? If he’s wearing a jockstrap, he’s probably exactly what you’re looking for.
The simplest way to figure out if a guy is into other guys is just to ask him. Not everyone is going to identify as gay, but if you offer to suck his dick and he’s up for it, that pretty much gives you all the information you need.
What’s the right way to ask if someone is gay?
Figuring out someone’s sexuality can be tricky ground to navigate – especially if it’s someone you’ve just met or don’t know very well.
Here’s some general guidelines that might help.
The general rule
A person’s sexuality is their information to share. Don’t assume anything, and don’t force anyone to disclose information about themselves that they may not be comfortable in discussing with you.
If trying to determine a person’s sexuality is important to the conversation that you’re having with them, create opportunities for them to describe their sexuality in a way that makes sense to them.
Don’t make it awkward
We used to see this quite often with celebrities – journalists asking famous people if they were gay. You want to avoid putting someone on the spot, or backing them into the corner of binary answers.
The person that you’re speaking with may be perfectly comfortable with their sexuality, but there may be other factors at play as to why they don’t feel that it’s appropriate to be discussing it right at that moment.
Use open-ended questions
Here’s some examples as to how open-ended questions can open the door for someone to share the details of their sexuality with you if they feel comfortable in doing that:
- Is your sexuality relevant in this context?
- How would you describe your sexuality?
- Are you in a relationship or seeing anyone special at the moment?
Lead with your own information
If you’re trying to demonstrate to someone that you’re in an environment where it’s safe to share personal information, putting your own information out there first is a good starting point.
For example, you could use it as a conversation starter for your open-ended questions:
- My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. Are you seeing anyone at the moment?
- Telling my family that I was gay wasn’t the drama that I thought it was going to be. Have you had to navigate any tricky conversations with your family?
- When I realised that I was into guys, the options seemed to be describing myself as either bisexual or gay, but there’s a lot more variations available these days. How do you describe your sexuality?
Don’t force the issue
If you feel like you’ve done everything right and created opportunities for someone to share details of their sexuality with you, don’t feel frustrated if they choose not to tell you what their sexuality is. There might be other factors holding them back that you’re not aware of. It’s their information to share when they feel that it’s appropriate.
Word of the day: Gaydar
How finely tuned is your Gaydar? Can you intuitively tell if someone that you meet is queer? Is having a Gaydar even a thing?
What is a Gaydar?
The Oxford Dictionary defines the term ‘Gaydar’ as: “The supposed ability of homosexuals to recognise one another by means of very slight indications.”
The origins of the word Gaydar aren’t particularly clear, but it’s a pretty ingenious mash-up of the words gay and radar that seems to have first appeared sometime in the late-80s and embedded itself into popular culture in the 90s.
The use of the term went next-level when Gaydar was adopted as the name of one of the first major online dating sites in 1999.
Is there any science to being able to tell if someone is gay?
Is there any truth to the concept of having a Gaydar? As queer people, do we have an inbuilt intuition? Are we able to interpret verbal and physical indicators in order to recognise what we have in common, even in the most closeted of situations?
Perhaps surprisingly, there’s been quite a bit of scientific study to try and assess whether you can tell if a person is LGBTQ just by what they outwardly present to the world. This type of research is generally categorised as Physiognomy.
Physiognomy was particularly popular in the 19th century, but then fell out of favour as it was frequently used for racist stereotyping. However, in recent years – with the rise of research into artificial intelligence – there’s been renewed interest in the field of Physiognomy and trying to determine what we can learn from the outward appearance of each other. However, no one has really been able to come up with any hard evidence about how to objectively determine if someone is gay.
Are all queers the same?
Making lighthearted jokes about whether or not someone has set off your Gaydar might seem like harmless fun, but it’s often unintentionally reinforcing a lot of the stereotypes that have been used against LGBTQ people.
We all know that the LGBTQ community is incredibly diverse – we come in all shapes and sizes. Sure, there’s lots of things that we have in common, but we definitely don’t all look the same.
Means Happy is part of the Gaydar family, so it’s a word that we love and that we’re proud to identify with. It feeds our X-Men fantasies that we’re somehow building a Cerebro machine to help connect and bring together LGBTQ people around the world.
Having a Gaydar isn’t about thinking that you might somehow know more about a person than they’re comfortable revealing. Gaydar is about feeling part of something that’s bigger than yourself. As LGBTQ people, we may all be different but we’re never alone.