Dating sites for people with mental health problems
Although legal and social equality for gay people is further advanced in the Netherlands than in most other countries, Dutch gay men have much higher rates of psychological distress than heterosexual men, Sanjay Aggarwala and Rene Gerrets write in the February issue of Culture, Health & Sexuality.Their study suggests that some of this can be explained by the continued privileging of ‘normal’ masculinity, both in wider society and on the gay commercial scene.One respondent explained the appeal of circuit parties:“It’s a kind of tribalism. giving people a really good feeling about being gay, being gay together…It distinguishes you very much as a different group . I like dancing, being in this group of men, the friendly atmosphere, the sexual atmosphere, the flirting, the music.”Men who were considered to be physically attractive said that gay venues provided an ego boost, while individuals who had difficulty meeting those ideals recounted experiences that eroded their self-esteem. The authors note that different body types are valued by different men and in different gay subcultures – a man unappreciated in one setting might receive considerable attention elsewhere.Nonetheless, a man’s bodily appearance remained a vital currency across the gay scene; respondents were keenly aware of other men judging their physical features.Men with a more typically masculine body type and behaviour were often seen as particularly attractive, and many respondents wanted a man who was ‘straight-looking’ or ‘straight-acting’, while some described themselves as such on internet dating profiles.When asked why it was difficult to find a steady partner, most explained it in terms of not having gained experience of dating during adolescence, when most respondents were ‘in the closet’.This interviewee began to visit gay bars in his late twenties:“Although I was 28, I was an adolescent.
When they find out about it, will they be more circumspect?‘ve decided that it might be time to venture back into the dating zoo.A few weeks ago I sat down to write an online dating profile and thought ‘How hard can it be?There are too many fish out there in the pond.”Gay bars and clubs were an important part of many men’s social lives, especially those who were single.They had become more important for some men as they got older and their lifestyles diverged from those of heterosexual friends who had children.