Straight Guy Syndrome
I bet you didn’t know that there is a syndrome, one that affects only the ‘straight guy.’ Gay men, bisexual men, transgender she-men, all are immune to catching or developing this syndrome.
There are many examples of the ‘Straight Guy Syndrome’ that I will explore to adequately explain to you what I, Janell Martin, perceive as the absolute truth when it comes to men… straight men that is.
What is the Straight Guy Syndrome?
Well, it’s actually quite layered and not based on one single element. Rather, it is based on a series of observations of male behavior that I have witnessed and documented over the years. Observations which are the basis for my totally non-scientific and arguably questionable conclusions.
Let’s start with the ‘Straight Guy I’m Hot’ Syndrome…
Women, we tend to notice every flaw. When we look into a mirror, we see our imperfections: our lines, our wrinkles, our age spots, our cellulite, our love handles, etc. We not only see it, but we can also focus on it to the point that it is all we see. When it comes to our ‘female perceived imperfections,’ it can become an obsession that can often lead to unhealthy behaviors. Extreme dieting, plastic surgery, a whole industry has blossomed out of our need to perfect ourselves.
This need for perfection also afflicts gay and bisexual males. My gay male friends and bisexual friends fret and worry about their imperfections as much, if not more, than my female friends. Women and gay men are alike in that we notice and subsequently focus on what we perceive we need to fix about our appearance. It often affects our confidence and self-esteem, worrying about what is not ‘right’ about the way we look.
But, do you know who doesn’t have this worry or obsession?
Yep, the straight guy. When straight guys look into a mirror, what do they see? They see a hot guy, a guy that’s got game. They see male perfection. Even if they are a bit overweight, balding, short, smelly, fart a lot, have extra-large noses, whatever, they just see… HOTNESS! Hotness that no matter what their imperfections are, that we, us girlies, will love them, regardless.
How do I know this, you ask? Years of research, with me being the unlucky recipient of the overly confident hot guy ‘straight guy syndrome.’
Let’s start with my experience with an obese male.
Years ago, my little Honda del Sol was in a fender bender. My friend recommended a ‘reasonably priced’ body shop repairman that she said would give me a good deal. So, I drove my battered car, battered because I accidentally rear-ended someone, down to his broken-down and dilapidated shop.
His personal appearance was, sadly, as dilapidated as his shop. He had greasy hair, dirty nails, and was about 300 pounds overweight. After we negotiated a price, he inquired if I would need a rental car. As I was broke at that time, I told him that I planned to walk everywhere until the car was fixed. He nicely offered to give me a ride back home.
On the ride home—and as his fat rolls were barely able to squeeze in behind the car wheel and seemed to be inching uncomfortably close to me—he started to talk about this woman he had just dumped. He went on to tell me that she was gorgeous, but once they began to take off their clothes to have sex, she had layers upon layers of sagging skin. When he complained about her appearance, she confided in him that she had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery and had dropped 150 pounds.
This obese man, went on to say what a turn off it was, and he told her that she needed to have reconstructive surgery and remove all the excess skin. He was so turned off that he couldn’t sleep with her. He laughed as he said, ‘she left in tears.’
I wanted to pound him in the face.
Seriously, this poor woman likely felt comfortable enough around this guy hoping as an obese man that he would understand her body insecurities and subsequent surgery. He not only lacked empathy for her, but he also didn’t see himself for the FAT FUCK he was.
As he dropped me off, he turned to me, telling me how ‘cute I was’ and wondered if I would like to go out on a date with him. I was shocked!!! Why would this man think that I would ever, I MEAN EVER, want to go out with him? We had nothing in common, did he think he was, ewe, my type?
Well, he thought he had a chance with me because when he looked in the mirror and all this dude saw was a ‘HOT GUY.’
I went home, upset. Upset feeling horrible for this poor woman that I didn’t even know and upset at myself that a creepy fat dude now knew where I lived. Seriously, if the guy tripped and fell on me, it would be instant death to me. I’d be squashed like a bug. All you’d see would be my little feet and hands sticking out from under his blubber.
This was the first time I realized that the ‘Straight Guy Syndrome’ existed.
Okay, so now we have the Older Dude ‘Straight Guy Syndrome’.
It’s prevalent in Los Angeles to see ‘Way Older Men’ with ‘Way Younger Women.’ It’s so common that I often assume when I spot an older man and much younger woman out together that they are on a date. I don’t think, oh, that’s a father and his daughter, or a grandfather and his grand-daughter. My mind automatically goes to the May-December, or the ‘hey let’s call it what it is’ ‘January-December’ relationship.
News flash older dudes.
While it is rare that these unions are based on love, it does happen. However, I would estimate that ninety-five percent of the younger ‘much younger’ women who are dating you are doing so to obtain status, a lifestyle, or let’s face it, because you are paying their fucking bills. They are your live-in hooker. Face it.
Ugh, my recent older dude ‘straight guy syndrome.’
I have some dear friends, a lovely couple. He’s in his early eighties, and she’s in her mid-nineties. They have an incredible love story and fell in love at a time when dating and marrying a much older divorcee of a woman was not only NOT in fashion, it was frowned upon. Their love is a testament to what a real relationship is and can be.
They have become my LA family. So, when I go out with them and meet their friends, I am my bubbly, comfortable, friendly self. I recently went to a lovely dinner with them at Il Piccolino on Robertson Blvd, and their newly divorced friend, Jerry came as a fourth.
Jerry had built a career as a high-profile attorney. He was handsome, for his age, interesting and athletic. I enjoyed the evening and our group conversation. As we went to leave, my friend asked if it would be okay if Jerry gave me a ride home as he lived in my direction.
Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable going with this new acquaintance. Still, knowing it would be less burdensome for my friends, I agreed to it.
As Jerry and I were driving the ‘thank god’ four short blocks to my house, he told me how much he had enjoyed meeting me. I politely said that I had enjoyed the evening too. As he pulled up in front of my building, this man who was more than 35 years older than me said, ‘Can I have a kiss good-night?’
‘WHAT?!?’ I screamed! ‘Why would I give you a kiss good-night? I’m not even on a date with you. That is such an inappropriate thing to ask.’ I leaped out of the car, thanked him for the ride, closed the door, and bolted into my condo.
The next day, my friend was apologetic for his friends’ behavior. He told me that out of all the girls Jerry had met through him, I was the only one he had been attracted to. Nice, NICE for Jerry! But it was creepy for me. I told my friend that Jerry needed to take a good look in the mirror! UGH!
So once again, straight men seem to have an oddly over-developed level of confidence regardless of their age.
Then there is the Dating Sites ‘Straight Guy Syndrome’
My theory is even more magnified when you look at the people who are approaching you on Bumble, or Tinder, or whatever dating site you are on. I have to wonder what the men that are ‘buzzing’ about me are seeing on my profile and profile pics that makes them think I would be interested in getting to know them?
For example, the Young Guy …
Why does a 27-year-old single father of two who is in the military and lives in San Diego think that I might want to date him? Does he not realize that he’s a little young for me? And does he not worry that the ‘two to five-hour drive depending on traffic’ commute to take me on out on a date, might ultimately make him want to turn his military-issued gun on himself?
Does he have ‘mummy’ issues? I’m not interested in being a mummy to a 27-year-old man. And unless he’s planning to send a helicopter to pick me up, I’d never drive that far a date. Santa Monica, that’s too far in traffic. The valley, not even a question.
Why does he ask me? He has that ‘straight guy syndrome,’ he has that ‘I’ve nothing to lose, and maybe she’ll bite’ kind of a mentality.
Or then there was the Rich Dude…
The rich dude who reached out to me saying he wanted to get to know me, and that I shouldn’t give up the opportunity to know him because he was ‘good looking and wealthy, so what else did I need to know!’
You’re right; I didn’t need to know anything else because I have no interest in dating a pompous, narcissistic ass. Wealth often makes the straight man feel like he’s wearing a cloak of invincibility, and that his money will get him, anyone, he wants.
Let’s not forget the stupid dude…
Yep, the guy who said, ‘I’ve got wood, let’s build a wooden badger’… Yep, so huh? What the fuck are you talking about, and I’m creeped out that you’ve actually seen my picture, and….
I shut down my online dating site….
What about the Straight Guy Syndrome for the Regular Guy?
Okay, so extreme examples aside, I am still sticking with my theory. Most of my straight male friends’ have insecurities like everyone else. They worry about aging, but they don’t obsess over it. The normal guys may know they’re maybe a few pounds overweight, but they don’t let that stop them from doing what they want to do or going after what they want. They may notice that they have smile lines when they smile, but they don’t rush to the dermatologists for Botox.
Basically, they handle their insecurities, and ignore their imperfections and move forward going after what they want. They don’t think ‘She wouldn’t be interested in me,’ rather they think ‘why wouldn’t she go for me, after all, I’m _______ (fill in the blank – hot, handsome, cool, rich)’ they just seem to know they’ve got it ‘going on.’
Wishes, wishes, wishes…
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a little of the ‘Straight Guy Syndrome?’ Maybe we should take a confidence lesson from straight men, and be content with who we are and trust that we have what it takes to do or get what we want.
But then, women and gay men really would run the world. Just sayin’!
And the moral of this ‘Straight Guy Syndrome’ story is…
1. Girls, if you are shocked that he approaches you, hits on you, or asks you out, remember, they don’t look in the mirror and see what they don’t like; they only see what they like. Use their self-confidence and turn it on yourself.
2. Women, gays, bisexual, etc. we may be harder on ourselves, but we have a far more refined and discerning palate. I think that this automatically makes us more interesting.
3. Remember, we all see life differently. Accept others for how they are, but don’t internalize any of their bullshit. Ever.
If you want to check out my novel, a sweet story about a dog and his human, you’ll love Where the Dogs Go, available online at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.