Where Do You Fit In?

July 12, 2011
gay cliques

It's been said that being out in the gay world can be a little like high school. There are plenty of bitchy insecure girls, and more often then not we're sub-categorized into different cliques. Cliques has a pretty negative connotation, but when you break it down, it's kind of true that generally we like to hang with our own kind. Just look at we Daddies, Hunters, and Bears on this site. We like to be with like-minded people, which really isn't such a bad thing at all. So while I'm not a huge fan of the word clique in this instance, I think this radar chart that Noodles and Beef did is pretty fun. What's more is that he's trying to make it even better by fine tuning his original chart for better accuracy. He's asking the gays to participate in his survey (which will only take a few short minutes) to help define these subgroups a little better. I love these kinds of charts and will definitely be reposting the updated version when it comes out, so if you have the time please help a beefy brother out.

How do you feel about the emergence of gay subcultures? We'll definitely have a larger discussion about how they effect the community at large when the new chart comes out so be sure to throw your two cents in.

Tags: Gay Culture, Subculture, Cliques
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Comments

Apparently I have been misusing a few of these words to describe even myself. While subcultures can be great way to find acceptance and comradeship, the price is steep. Stereotypes, the prevailing maintenance and policing of masculinity, in-group fighting, and alienation to those who don't fit are costly side effects.

I guess I'm an otter. But, I live in an area where there are plenty of gay men but little as far as a "community"--just an assortment of cliques. The reason I don't really have a place in the gay world is because I'm visually impaired. I was accepted until seven years ago when my vision worsened. Since then, most of the gay men around here don't even want friendship, much less a LTR. Many of them want me for sex and nothing more, but I'm done with hookups. Thank God there are a lot of open-minded, tolerant straight people around here. They judge me much less harshly than the gay men do. To me, it seems hypocritical to expect straight society to treat us any better than we treat each other.

damm your hot i picture myself like a kid in a candy store so much to choose from but dont know where to start

I think I would be more of a weasel, there cute to right?

I find it interesting that we jump out of one closet, just so we can immediately stagnate in another. Living up in the bush country, I find this gay animal planet obsession resembles those "eeewwww" Garanimal labels that our folks used to force us into as kids. You know- a hippo tag goes with another hippo tag so they "match." Only slightly worse were the Sears plaid toughskins with the reinforced knees. We all know where that got us. But, whatever.

While matching hippo labels kept my colors aligned as a kid, as a means of sorting within the gay community, the same ways of pairing feel like a trap and I don't like the idea of getting locked into a one size fits all label. Besides, very few men that I've encountered mirror pups, cubs, wolfs, moose, otters, bears, or any number of other totem animal selections. I'd also bet all of these animals are faster and fitter than 99% of the dudes that use such terms to describe themselves.

If I'm going to confuse my identity with the animal kingdom it's only to put the buck back into naked and rode hard and put away wet back into the same corral as the stud. Otherwise it's just too many rules and it's a deal breaker fer sure.

... indeed...
... these spiritual representations...
... do seem a bit of a farce...
... though some...
... apparently...
... fashion them into religion...

... though more so understandable...
... on sites such as this...
... am i unaccompanied in the assessing...
... of whom or what i am...
... that these sorts of criteria...
... are far from initial consideration?...

blessings.

laeth

really, there's no way i fit anywhere on this ridiculous wheel. selkirkcowboy is right - we get equality to get out of the closet, then invent new ones to join. it's just stupid.

Is it me, or have the bears and their little cliques reached the same level of bitchiness that other groups have showed them in the past??

I've always said I'm more of a Raccoon, I usually use my hands to wash my food, prefer to work at night & do my best work in dark alleys. And NEVER corner me... I won't be pretty! LOL

Racoon...now that's funny! Needed a smile before bed. Thanks.
Now you got me thinking...what kind of animal am I??? I sure don't fit any of the ones listed. Hmmmm

It seemed like too simple a survey to get any definitive results. I wasn't impressed.

I find that every time I think I have a "type" some wonderful man who entirely breaks the mold comes along and shows me how silly cliques are.

News to me. I hang out with straight guys all the time. I generally get along more with straight than gay guys. The blog entries on this are like the 'articles' in Playboy magazine. Something to read to get me to sleep.

Cliques in the Gay community are OUT, I had enough trouble fitting into some sort of Human clique without trying to rip myself into 2 or 3 different people just so that I can identify myself, and I am definitely not an animal of any description. I also don't want to feel that because I happen to be on the larger side I can't be with a chub loving twink, or muscle Mary, so these sort of identifiers should really be looked at as what they are-just a bit of a laugh.

AMEN!!!!!!!!!

My lover and I live in Montana. The city we live in has a population of over 100,000 and is the biggest city in Montana. For it's size it has a decent sized gay community. There is a gay clique here and if you're not part of the clique you don't belong. My lover and I aren't part of the clique. Our view is that if you have to be part of a clique to get to know guys then fuck it.

very well put buddy.

For those of us daddies who remember how tough it was 40 yrs ago to simply act out our desires, I somewhat agree with selkirkcowboy's comment. Now, we've reached a place where guys can select and prefer other guys according to a body image and personality trait. From looking at the chart its all about how we look - muscle, hair, bear, pup, otter, gym bunny, wolf, chub, twink, etc. It's turned into trying to handle self-esteem about your body. And then you're trapped in your own tyranny. It's not so bad to be affected by what others say about your body image, but it's terrible to be ruled by those comments. Those guys hung up on body image convey a sense of insecurity, and its contagious because hanging out with other guys who think the same reduces their fear and helps them feel good again. So, they use their body image as a way of keeping other men close. Instead of : he couldn't possibly like me, no one likes me, no one could like me, they can risk getting close to someone who shares the same body image. And once we give other people and ourself a visible sign that we're feeling better about ourself that's when we begin to like ourself. What it all boils down to is set your own standard of judging your looks instead of submitting to the real or imagined standards of other guys. True independence is wanting to please yourself at least as much as you want to please others.

just be who you are and try and like yourself. I find the Gay community is its own worst enemy. Why cannot we accept each other and enjoy the difference. The community in general is youth oriented............But dont forget you too shall become old, a little out of shape and if all you care about is appearance you will become the lost soul in the end. So the next time you go to a party and see a 70 or 80 year old gay man........be proud for him say hello and engage him in discussion. He has a lot of history to share just listien

Greetings Sir,
when you say new sub clubs, do you mean stuff like, nasty pigs ?

lostnwoods

I don't fit in anywhere on that chart so I guess I'm my own category.

I don't identify with ANY of the limited stereotypes mentioned in this survey.

Is it really necessary to further segregate us for more prejudice and abuse?

There are a bunch of people who say that they don't fit in any of these categories, but clearly do when they take on the lenses of objectivity. Jesus Christ, we are on /daddyhunt/. /We/ have some common unity.

The chart reminds me of college research graphics in a textbook or thesis. I hope they are helpful to those who are researching" gaydom", and cetianly a place to start a discussion, and serve to point out the social dymanics of an emerging gay society - I'm so fucking strange and efeminate I don"t see a quadrant for me - more work to be done perhaps or a perhaps more veiws to be expressed. Enjoy your indiviguality all ,and love what life gives you.

Seems that selkirkcowboy is always the voice of reason and common sense. I didn't see the catagory "Fabulous", so I had to click "Other: _____"

I've been attracted to 400# bears who were Fabulous, and I've been attracted to 125# twinks who were Fabulous. The outside packaging changes over time, but the inside packaging is called character: bad, flawed, good, great or Fabulous.

A gym can't build character, but can surely help cover up bad and flawed character; it all depends on where you look for goodness... and how deep.

What we are attracted to is less of a personal decision and is partly set up for us by people who established the clicks and behavioral systems that were available to us and we slide into certain groups because everyone does need to belong to something or someone and feel accepted and loved and their is a sense of strength that builds within a group. The spirit at a Daddybear club is strengthened by the refreshments and the commonality of mind and interests which is kewl within their circle. Being flamboyant in public is usually a sign that a person is not really connected to friends in a meaningful way because otherwise they would be a little more careful so as to not make their friends worry about them being safe on the street. Guys are naturally more assertive or a bit submissive where thats partly just how we are born and then certain images in society get painted on TV and elsewhere that then get us hooked on something that sort feeds into our natural born personality type. However some guys who seem like queens are sometimes very dominant in a subtle psychological way and become pushy bottoms. SOmetimes a guy in a leather hat can end up talking with a high pitch voice and turns out to be a therapist and not scary at all beyond the down to earth nature. I have been at coffee shops with a friend a few times and there was a sort of verbal drone where the tone seemed almost cultish with cell phones ringing constantly. Even if we end up belonging to one special guy then we are still part of a certain mindset of things. No one can be so individual that they have issues with anyone and everybody. Everyones got to get off the computer at least once in awhile or their world will be totally in hi definition 3-D but at least that stuff is almost real even if the realism can't quite be touched.

Below is a link as to what I'm talking about.

This dude is preparing to hike all 2600 miles of the pacific crest trail. In 26 days. Wearing 26 wedding gowns. So what animal totem is he supposed to answer to? Polar Bear?

Yep, he may be late to the altar but certainly not late to the scene as he, like me, is out in small town rural America. He's a blue collar guy, super creative, and works in a metal fab shop in the foothills of the northern rockies.

While it's true there is growing number of sub cliches and terms to describe ourselves, I see this all quickly going the way of the hanky code, the impossibly complicated bear code, and while these sites may be increasing in urban areas. I'm gonna push back against getting locked into any of these silly terms. Don't fence me in-- even if the market forces of social networking force my hand to sign up just to participate.

I'm none of the above and all of the above-- dependent on the status of the moon. So are nearly all of my friends. Maybe its an urban verses rural thing as there is no particular scene to "choose" here and our campsite welcome all comers.

http://highmountainranch.blogspot.com/2011/07/26-wedding-dresses-26-weeks-2600.html

I consider myself to be a average, honest, down to earth working guy. I'm known for being honest and say what I think without mixing a lot of words about it. I'm also a liberal. I have a super lover and we'll soon be together seven years. He's a conservative which sometimes clashes with my liberal views about things. Not to the point of an arguement but I pretty much know where he stands on things. I guess you'd say that my lover and I aren't part of the gay scene. We hardly go to the gay bar and aren't part of the gay clique. We have a few friends who are also friends with benefits and we're looking for more. I've been out a lot longer than my lover. I've been out and openly gay for over twenty years. My lover came out to himself about seven years ago and is out to some people. I'm originally from Iowa and moved to Montana to be with my lover. I'm a friendly guy and respond to messages. Say HI and see where things go. Have a great day.

I guess I don't understand it, it looks to me like you can't be mature and hairy at the same time... and I sure hope you can.

Also it can't be a radar, surely it must belong to a clique among gaydars.

I didn't get the hair/age thing either. Maybe the chart makers think all our hair starts to fall off at a certain age.

I believe too much in opposites attracting to subscribe to any clique. I'd sooner stand alone than join a specific group of people just to fit in. You will possibly argue, "Hey, he's on daddyhunt, so he must be in a clique" however, as I am neither a daddy nor a hunter, nor for that matter seeking a certain type, this is not true. I like men of all shapes, sizes and ages and am here because Daddyhunt offers that. You can go through life seeking what you deem the perfect partner, be it by physical appearance, personality type or fashion sense. You can maybe only hang with those similar to you or aim for those that fit the profile of some imagined perfection and maybe you will never find happiness, or you can risk that maybe, just maybe, someone who is totally different and not the same as that type you are so desperately seeking, may well be your soulmate. Of course there are physical and other qualities that I find attractive in people, but they are never prerequisites to meeting me, I am all too aware that personality can shape my perception of how a person appears to me physically.

So for sure, have your cliques, if it offers you some kind of security blanket in life to belong to something, good luck to you, but try not to forget that sexual preference is a fundamental we all have in common and that alone could be the bullding block from which something great can flourish.

Do try not to assume that everyone else must have a clique to belong to though, if you try hard enough, you can place any person into any given clique, but it does not mean that the person you are placing there has any desire to be a part of it or is making any attempt to do so.

I think what this graphic is getting at is the notion that our visual self is what other people first know about us. Long before we get to speak to someone -- much less know even scant info about him -- we see what he looks like. The shame is our own, not because we often use this visual shorthand (wittingly or not), but because we use it too much. "Oh, he's an otter, not my type..." He may well BE an otter, but that's only a descriptor of his physical plant.

Anyone who uses such a diagram in pursuit of quality connections is selling himself -- and others around him -- very short.

It's equally true that because of insecurity that we all feel at one point or another in our lives, we may default to gravitating unthinkingly towards others who look like us. Safety in numbers, that sort of thing.

The information isn't bad or good or otherwise. It's what we do with it that counts.

There are many versions of "spanky and the gang" out there in the form of clicks of all types which is like a human wolf pack or human bee hive engaging in identical behavior within that click. However many of those guys who feel the need to conform are actually not predictable at all when they are away from the need to fit into a scene whether its an Oprah cult or a fashion environment and so forth. Some do end up trying too hard to be one of the guys at the wellness center consuming the popular formula's for an artificial brain and energy boost till the side effects kick in. If being yourself is not popular in a certain setting then dont worry because lots of guys are not even going to those group settings at all. I think the majority is actually not even at the clubs and conventions other than to have fun attending something just for the fun of it once in a blue moon. I dont think many guys walk away from a convention thinking they are a label at all. We are a social beast but you can always find folks to mix with even if they are not gay where maybe the stuff you have in common is not always being gay but maybe just sharing an interest in community lodge activities and so forth. However you dont want to be part of a group where you are afraid of getting discovered as being gay because of the attitudes displayed around you. Being "gay" is a sort of fashion cult thing these days but men who like men will always be around as the various group fads come and go.

Ugh.

Let's just be clear here. This is not scientifically accurate gauge of the whole of gay society and N&B is not the final arbiter of what constitutes a particular group. This is the aggregated result of an online survey with a statistically small and somewhat biasedly targeted audience. It's no more or less reliable than an online fortune teller.

For cripes sake guys, you're smarter than this. Have some self respect. You do not need a narcissist with some pretty severe body dysmorphia dictating what you should identify with. :/

This is a very topical (on the surface) kind of study that only highlights the most basic view of Gay culture. The truth of the matter is that a huge number of gay men don't identify with the "Gay Clique" and live rich rewarding lives integrated into the public sector. People do gravitate to their own social and economic groups it is true, so how representative are these clique graphs with regard to gay society?