At one of the gay parties I went to a few years ago, I was staring at a cute guy. He wasn’t my type, neither was he handsome but I liked the way he danced. He was happy and sexy. Slowly, in my brain I created our evening together. How he would smile at me, I would approach without talking. We would bump into each other and dance together for a while, I would reach for his lips, I could almost smell him when my friend pushed me and shouted in my ear ‘stop staring at him, he is not interested’. My answer was ’fuck off’ how the hell do you know? I’m not molesting anyone, I was in my la la land. so happy and in love, I was now looking at him to receive a clear reaction that will blow my friend’s theory up. We were having something here….

After my friend disappeared, embarrassed or angry, I realized the guy was aware of me and was ignoring me when he suddenly turned around and mouthed. ‘No’.

Well, you wanted an answer, you got one. ‘I was a baboso’…. I needed to hide and look for comfort with the friend that I just insulted.

Babosos, those that approach again and again in dark rooms even though you already said no in so many ways, those that try and touch you in the club, those that introduce themselves and while doing so get too near and almost french kiss you.

I decided to go out with some babosos and see how it works. Most of the times they were great, sweet guys, very sensual. A few times I had to push them away for not respecting my wishes and limits.

Who is a Baboso

Baboso is a drooler in Spanish… that’s a very descriptive word. Clearly in the heterosexual world it is not the same. The power imbalance between women and men makes the babosos something scary and intimidating while in the gay world its mostly annoying and a bit repulsive.

Who is the baboso? Is he a harraser or a dreamer? Is he he trying to reach out? Is it an issue of awareness, communication, non verbal communication or just another human being that cant fit to the norms made by society? Either case, babosos are crossing the line between an innocent flirt and harassment. Something is going wrong here and we all have the right to be free from it including the babosos themselves.

On a sociological level there is a big dissonance. We are told to be ambitious and to follow our dreams. Pushy businessmen, nagging salesmen and media stars are viewed as models not to give up and to never forget your goal. Neoliberal culture is based on objectives rather than the way to get there. We learn how to be better than and not as good as we can. We receive the message that nothing is beyond our reach.  Even in images of what love is, romantic films are all about men chasing women that reject them in the beginning of the movie and marry them by the end. This helps us as a society to aspire for excellence and to never give up, but also brings lots of depression and  violence.

But actually in real life, when we enter the world of love and passion this tactic stops being so effective. Basically when you flirt, people create walls very fast. In general when someone shows a lot of interest in you, the first reaction they receive is rejection. Even if he is your type. I hope to be able to explore this issue in another paper. For now lets stay with the babosos. Those that try anyway, and even if you don’t give them a sign that they can come closer they will approach and ask you a question. Those that stare and in cruising places the ones that touch and never give up. Some of them are hot, all of them are rejected frequently….

Flirting is a skill

In the gay world there are different rules and if you don’t have a mentor, if you are not very sensitive, it is easy to fall into traps. Men in general are not very communicative creatures, we tend to get annoyed and angry very fast and we leave the baboso very confused. He got told ‘no’ and then ‘maybe’ and then ‘no’ and ‘maybe yeah’ ( if you look at it from this point of view)

Is it bad to reach out? How do you reach out in the gay world? Is it the same in applications, in the clubs, in cruising places? Not really.

Some of us are so shy and/ or ashamed that we don’t make the first step ever, missing opportunities but then we get drunk or high or angry and we reach out with full power…. To full.

Some of us are insecure, for some social reason/ norm( I’m not as good looking, I’m too old, I’m too young, I don’t have the right body or the right shirt). We find other methods to flirt or we decide that what the heck, ill try, ill probably be rejected but at least I tried. Approaching with this attitude, without waiting for a non verbal invitation is, in most cases, inviting a no….

In both cases the baboso part comes two minutes after we are rejected. we think: ‘we were not really rejected, ‘the guy just wanted to talk to his friend’, ‘the dude was dancing and he turned around’, ‘he didn’t really hear me or I just did it wrong’…. Maybe I should just try again….this time, better….

Non verbal communication

If I really want him, to an extent, that I am fantasizing about the name of our dog and the color of the bedroom curtains. I can’t understand the non verbal rejection. Usually the rejection is subtle, unclear, very unclear…. Then, why not try again?… but the second try is already tainted by us feeling rejected so we become even more daring this time or more fearful…the third try is just a disaster. by then you usually miss both the chance to get to know him and you suffer from an aggressive rejection instead of the nice one, gays can be bitches! and people are very protective of their private spaces. And it’s a good thing that they are.

I find this lack of communication and the need to receive a clear rejection happens due to two main reasons. Gays find sex easy and available, it is almost hard to understand why someone would refuse you. ‘What? Doesn’t he want to get laid?’ And second, our socialization as men has taught us to talk less ( that’s a women thing) and fight and demand rather than ask and flirt.

How to reject how to be rejected

How to flirt and how to be flirted with

These sound like simple tasks but actually we don’t really know how to do them. We live in multicultural society, where different men have different sets of norms and boundaries, we are unable to express ourselves, as men and as gay guys, unable to communicate and reflect our desires or our mistakes.

Many babosos I have met in my path as an intimate facilitator in GayLoveSpirit and in private sessions, were sweet and shy and kind. Others were blind to their surroundings but full of energy and enthusiasm to try it all, to explore, to give love. They were so afraid to be rejected again by a very bitchy gay.  They were so keen for a touch, a hug, a kiss… They failed to decipher the gay codes of behavior, flirtation, but were eager to please and to do everything right even though they were wounded by past experiences.

We are looking for love so much but we are afraid to have a coffee with someone or to have a small chat. We want to be approached but we put up walls when someone reaches out to us.


An Exercise

Whether it is an application, a club or work place, next time someone approaches you, try to have a short clear conversation with them. Instead of thinking that its all about sex and finding a boyfriend, who knows? Maybe he will turn out to be your best friend, or someone who will introduce you your new boyfriend, or a great fuck. Just be nice and clear. If you are not clear with yourself communicate this exactly.

You are very nice but im not interested in sex now.

I would love to have a coffee but please don’t have any expectations.

Just chatting with you is enough for me right now.

Im very interested in getting to know you even if it wont go far

I would like to kiss you / share a touch if you are into it.

Some of them will get angry that you are wasting their time, some will not answer this strange message, but in order to create a new dynamic in both virtual and real life, Lets just be nice and clear,

What are you afraid of?