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Gay guys and competition – this is something I’ve thought about for a long time, and something that I care about deeply. Now, I saw this more as an academic article rather than a ripe topic for a pop culture column, but we make do with the venues we have.

Gay guys aren’t typically recognized for their athletic prowess, and the majority of us spent our time in high school gossiping with cute pudgy girls on the quad rather than tossing a pigskin back and forth on the field. Now there are exceptions, but one might argue that the lack of competition, paired with our gender’s notoriously voracious sexual appetite, has led to some really serious in-fighting amongst ourselves as gay dudes. I’ve noticed, on sites like Grindr and online profiles, amongst my gay friends, and even within myself that we compare ourselves to one another on varying scales of ideals, and judge accordingly. Masc versus fem. Athletic versus average. Tall versus short. Clone versus hipster. Hair versus smooth. Beyonce versus Bright Eyes. Top versus bottom – even this column is guilty of doing it!

As an end of the year wrap up I wanted to do something different and new, and definitely didn’t want to do a highlights or “Best of” post. Instead, in the spirit of keeping things light and to send you off into the holiday season, I thought I’d put together a pop culture-relevant Guide to Healthy Gay Competition. I hope you enjoy.

Step 1: Know The Difference Between Your Friends, Enemies, and Frenemies

Friends: Sure, Buffy has had downer moments with both Xander and Willow at different times. She even went as far as to try and kill each of them in the same season (season 6, yo, and Willow, like, three different times). But in the end, they’re the power trio – Xander saved the world a couple of times and brought Buffy back to life TWICE. Willow used her witchy powers to make all potential slayers into vampire slayers so Buffy wouldn’t have to carry the burden on her own anymore. Now those are some friends you can count on.

Lesson?: You are allowed to have down times with your friends. In fact, it’s expected. Just remember that your friends will pull you out of your darkest hours (or out of unknown hell dimensions), so hang on to them … tight.

Enemies: The Master needed Buffy’s blood to free himself from his tomb underneath Sunnydale – enough said. The bloodsucking fiend got what he needed when Buffy foolishly ventured into his lair and, in an alternate reality, he manages to kill all of her friends and snaps the vampire slayer’s neck. It doesn’t get any more black and white than that – Buffy will NOT be inviting the Master out for cocktails at Bar Dupont any time soon. Plus, he probably fits into a dustpan by now, given the way Buffy ground up his bones into chalk in the season 2 opener. Yeah, enemies they most certainly are.

Lesson?: If someone wants to drink your blood, its best not to walk into their lair like you’re shopping for bedroom furniture at JCPenny. Stay away from their creepy underground candlelit dwelling (or from Nellie’s, JR’s, etc.) until either things cool down a bit or they die. Whichever comes sooner.

Frenemies: Buffy and Faith have a long history – that history mostly involves kicking each other in the face on many different occasions, but that’s to be expected, when you’re supposed to be the Chosen One and happen to not be. But through all of their trials and tribulations (especially that nasty one where Faith bangs Buffy’s boyfriend during a body-swap episode), they learn to accept each other’s faults and strengths. Now, that doesn’t mean they run around braiding each other’s hair or are on the same recreational kickball/bocce team, but that does mean when you treat someone right, good things can come of it.

Lesson?: Give someone a second chance. If they dog you, or try to kill your mom or bang your boyfriend, sure – let them hang out to dry for a while. But life is very long and you never know when your paths will cross again – I hear there is another hellmouth in Cleveland.

Step 2: Take a Risk – But A Smart One

Rebecca Black knew what she was getting into – assaulting our eardrums with this tragic hot mess of a song. I know people who have this song on their iPods for the sole purpose of pissing people off. And it works. I’ve seen fights break out in the midst of a repetitive, “FUN FUN FUN FUN.” It got really ugly real quick.

However, say what you will, but Rebecca Black knows how to take a risk. Although “Friday” has been named the most disliked video on Youtube, it is also one of the most viewed EVER, and has spawned countless parodies and spin-offs. That girl dancing in the back of the car in pink?:

Well, she’s a meme now:

And she has a music video now, too:


If that isn’t Charlie Sheen’s dictionary definition of “winning,” I don’t know what is.

Lesson?: How is this all relevant to gay guys competing with one another, you ask? Sometimes, we tend to stick to our cliques and judge people from afar. The gay world is all about cruising, even if it is cruising to bruise someone’s wardrobe or weight with unkind words. But sometimes, when you stick yourself out there, and you really let yourself be seen by other people, and are willing to be open and see people for who they really are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Now, I’m not saying go back and listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” one more time for a deeper meaning. But what I am saying is to take a risk – and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Even if that is as simple as being nice to some gay bloke hanging out by himself at the bar or in the park.

Step 3: Everyone Likes To Dance

Its no secret that I love videos of people dancing. One of the things I love most about dance videos uploaded to Youtube is how transparent the power of dancing is. EVERYONE LIKES TO DANCE. Its in our blood. In a way, it makes us human.

You have twinks dancing:

You have kids dancing:


You have old people dancing:

You have military men dancing:

You even have drunk Mexicans dancing:

Lesson?: We’re all pretty much the same. Some might say that’s why we compete – to separate ourselves from the rest of the universe. But truth of the matter is, competition is healthy to the point that it honors and recognizes our similarities. Everyone likes to dance, everyone has feelings, and everyone has ups and downs. Once we recognize our similarities, the differences really don’t seem like such a big deal.

So that’s it for this week and this year, folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed Tops and Bottoms so far, and look for some exciting new changes and surprises in 2012! See you next year, sluts!