Speak Out : “I’m Shy With Men”



If you’re not outgoing or eager for the spotlight, most of the time you’re considered awkward or pretentious. Being shy in the gay community can be one of the hardest things to deal with. Shyness is not always related to a lack of self-confidence, but it can be for these people. And trying to convince themselves that someone will like them for who they are can be a hard task. Because of this, they usually stay in their shell until they feel it is appropriate to talk.

Believe it or not, I’m a shy guy if I don’t feel 100% confident in a situation. Probably because of things that happened when I was younger. Whether it was my appearance that got me teased by others and left me alone without friends, or the fact that I was a gay boy who grew up in the 80s-90s at a time where it was not “ok” to be gay or because I was beaten up by my brother and dad…

Still today I keep some aftereffects of these injuries. I get very shy with men, whether they are straight or gay, even though I am not the skinny boy with pimples and big ears anymore. It is hard for me to look at them in the eyes, to date them, to talk with them. It is very hard for me to meet a gay man for a date….it is usually easier for sex, because it usually last 1-2 hours.

I am happy that there’s websites and apps like A4A, this allows me to chat with guys and be myself. I would probably be virgin if this wouldn’t exist, lol. At 32 years old, I only had 1 boyfriend in my life and it lasted 6 years.

Am I the only one that is that shy with men? Do you also have this “problem” ?


There are 64 comments

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  1. Rob

    Dave, yes, it’s just you. Only kidding, it’s actually rather common. I used to be married to a woman. While married I started to find myself attracted to other men. Certain men that I found very attractive I became extremely shy around. Once I was divorced and decided to pursue a gay lifestyle I found that my shyness around men I was attracted to became less and less the more I pushed myself to talk to them. The venues available on the internet make things a whole lot easier too. Because then you can get to know a guy a bit before meeting up. And, as such I’ve managed to be in 2 relationships, the last of which was 10 years long. I also found that being a gymrat also made it easier to talk to attractive men too sinve we usually had the gym in common as well.

  2. mark

    I agree I am also shy person when it comes to meeting guys on here in person or talking on the phone. I also don’t have many guy friends except for ones I known all my life but if its new guys that I don’t know im very shy. I have never really had a boyfriend I had a friend I have fooled around with for about 10 years or more. I also an shy because I have had a guy I really loved that died and made me go more into a shell because he helped make me feel that I could say anything and he would love me its also hard to talk to guys because my father was never in my life my brother died when I was eleven so its harder to talk to guys

  3. DPL

    I can totally relate to this post. I’m definitely a shy guy, yet no one seems to notice that but me. When meeting new people, I think my lack of being social often puts me into the pretentious category, until they really get to know me. The problem is when the first impression you give off is being pretentious, not everyone wants to take the time to get to know you. When talking about this with friends, I’ve been told more than once that before they got to know me, they never thought of me as being shy, actually just the opposite, and almost unapproachable.

    Hookups have always been easier for me as well, and at age 34 I’ve had plenty of sex, but nothing that I’d consider to be a real relationship. Just like you, apps and websites have been my primary way of meeting guys, and I could tell that a lot of the guys I’ve met, have the same hang ups as me.

  4. wammo

    I was bullied as a kid by my classmates and older boys because I was perceived to be queer. Actually, I didn’t know what queer meant at the time, but as I grew older I also grew more queer. I didn’t light up a room when I entered, and I was always shy around a group of guys. I played no sports and had no interest in watching them on TV, so my contact with the outside world was rather limited. I went off to college, studied hard, and got my degree. I made no attempt to have any association with females at all though some pursued me. My little world consisted of my roommate and study buddies. I never indicated any sexual orientation to them at all. Then, I went to my first gay bar and found there were guys I was interested in and some who were interested in me so I loosened up quite a bit but never ever got really close to anybody. I have tried, but all my relationships have failed. My life story consists of hookups but no long-term relationships. NSA all the way for me. Actually, I like it this way!

  5. edd

    I am shy around guys as well, my reason is that I am not gay just curious! I get on a4a from time time looking for fwb.

  6. Chris

    So true I feel like for once im not alone in this world…Im 21 and have never had a relationship and I thought it was because I’m ugly or fat or something but I realize its because I don’t put myself out their and im very defensive from being ridiculed for being me 😉

  7. Manny

    Dave, I am the exact same way. I am extremely shy and I don’t know how to over come it. I am 30 and was teased and bullied a lot from 4th grade all the way through high school. And I think that has a lot to with me self-confidence issues and shyness. I’ve never had a boyfriend. But I have hooked up in the past. I feel like people are always judging me for whatever reason. And especially in the gay community.

  8. cuteeemt22

    I’ve been a shy guy for years when I was younger and more so after two things in my life scared me. I’ve had two bfs and been single for 3-4 years.

  9. BLKMAN57

    I don’t think you are that much different than most of us. I was abused and molested when I was a kid. I am in my 50s now and I still have trust issues. Those trust issues have kept an impenetrable wall around me for all of my adult life. Even in the market I keep everyone at what I call my 5feet perimeter. Ok I am not exactly all that shy but my wall gives the impression of shyness. I never know what to say to guys. I never know what to talk about. Let’s face it guys out to have fun are not interested in human or political history. The only reason I watch pro sports is to watch the athleticism of those brothas on the field or the on the court. When a guys starts talking to me I start to worry if I am saying everything right, or are my mannerisms man enough. I do understand you, I think. All I can say is take one day at a time and above all be who you are. You shouldn’t have to re-invent yourself.

  10. Dave

    Usually shy men are ugly……LOL… know they say “the early bird gets the worm”…the same can be said for out going men…but lets hope its not a worm……

  11. Peetc

    This is my very first post to this blog– even though I read them daily and find them very insightful– I have never felt such a compulsion to respond. Tears were swelling and my limbs trembled as I had read with horror the treatment the author received in his upbringing from so called ‘loved ones’ and peer bullies.///– It felt as though I had written myself. I have always been shy and aloof and I finally understand why…there was no place for a quiet gay boy who liked to knit macramé and paint watercolors with in the structure of a machismo family of older jock brothers in suburbia
    circa 1980. Yes, the isolation can destroy confidence in anyone. And then…AIDS came. You should have heard the ridicule and hatred within the juvenile walls of a high school locker room emanating from children and adults alike. It is nothing short of a miracle I ever came out and was able to eventualy accept myself for who I was. Unfortunately, the scars remain. I can be painfully, severely shy—sometimes it may be mistaken for arrogance or conceded ness, which has to be overcome too. Computers have pros and cons in regards to breaking the ice and overcoming inhibitions. There is no substitution for face to face interaction with real people–A4A can sometimes be a facsimile or hindrance to taking those first steps. On the other hand it’s a profound tool that brings people together to meet who otherwise never would have. Ultimately, it’s humility that’s fills me with confidance. I know I’m a kind and loving person; just because I like to skip rope does not make me any less than. This lesson is being taught to a new generation. So big jock brothers who like themselves a little too much–I have one thing to say—Sashe……..away.

  12. metoo

    Being shy is part of the personality it relates to people who are more sensitives, observers, analitics, and people know how to be in self control, but has nothing to do with lack of self confidence, in my opinion

    • blog

      metoo: it’s not an opinion here…if you are not shy, you have no clue. If someone says he is shy because of self confidence, it’s a fact.

  13. NotCuteAndVeryShy

    I am not the most handsome man and that doesn’t help with my shyness. So yeah, t have probably lost a lot of guys because I am just too shy to approach them in person. That’s why I am here.

  14. NoConnection

    I grew up a small, nerdy, academically over-achieving kid with no interest in sports and a huge Star Trek obsession. No surprise I was either picked on or ignored by other boys up through middle school. Things improved quite a bit in high school as I attempted to reinvent myself; even my coming out was an issue for no one. I hoped my confidence and the acceptance of others would carry over to adult life, but they did not. I actually spent most of my twenties involved in a couple of long-term relationships, but reentering the dating world after their demise has been incredibly difficult.

    I’m not outgoing or exceptionally good-looking. I’m more comfortable at home than mingling in crowds. Just as I did not fit the general standards for masculinity as a boy, I suspect I still fall short in the eyes of men who will only consider guys who are big, ripped, and conventionally butch. I usually don’t start conversations with others in person or online as most efforts go unacknowledged. Eye contact makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t liked being touched, which tends to turn off the few guys who approach me. I’ve found that I’m really only good at attracting other odd-balls, most of them unstable, unbalanced, and none too particular about who they latch onto. This has, sadly, fed into my sense that I’m probably not good or interesting enough to draw healthy, desirable companions–at least none who could understand or appreciate me without judgement.

    I don’t really mind being alone as it’s what I’m accustomed to, but it does get tedious from time to time. I’m over the hook-ups and the disappointment that seems inevitable in relationships, but I wouldn’t mind finding a gay friend or two just for talking and getting out a bit. Unfortunately, as BLKMAN57 mentioned, most guys are less interested in intellectual discussions or debates than something that ends with flesh and fireworks. Since I make no attempt to mask my intentions–or lack thereof–on my various online profiles, it seems I’m no more visible or appealing to the virtual masses than I am to those who overlook me in the real world.

  15. JH

    Wow. I always felt something was wrong with me but you described how I feel every day. I’ve gotten good at faking confidence but I’m not sure if I’m fooling everyone. It’s only with men I get this anxiety. Especially good looking men. People have called me stuck up and people think I’m mean since I don’t interact as openly as everyone else.

  16. P.K

    Im still in shock over the fact that your dad and brother used to beat you up as a kid. Thats awful. My ole man was hyper masculine. Career Army and used to call me a sissy to try and squash any feminine attributes that I had. I was a very sensitive kid. As I have gotten older (40ish) I have experienced different aspects of life which has garnered me the ability to adapt to many different situations. The shyness I used to suffer from as a young adult isnt as prevalent, since I have learned who I am as an individual. I know myself pretty much and appreciate me for who I am. (Take me as I am or leave it) I was in the military for one tour in Iraq. When I got out Honorably I lived with a drag queen and began to explore my feminine side. I have been Fag bashed (kids through bottles at me) for carrying a man purse. I have held very alpha male jobs from aircraft mechanic to Auto mechanic. Now I enjoy a balance. I can be both masculine and feminine at leisure. One thing about growing older, you stop being influenced by what society deems acceptable. The important lesson I have learned is to be yourself know matter what. Let the true you shine through and the rest will fall into place.

  17. Jason

    I’m so shy it’s in my a4a username shyepgay235. People on here always say they are surprised that I say I am shy. Well a4a is a forum where I can be myself and feel comfortable making the first move. And since the intro stuff is done on here, it’s easier talking to someone in real life because you know a bit about them. In real life, it’s hard to get the confidence up to go to a guy you don’t know it he’s straight/bi/gay and say “Hey you’re cute, want to grab coffee?” And then if all goes well with the chemistry there, you might find out you’re incompatible in the bedroom later on down the line.

  18. Thom

    Growing up was told to speak only when spoken to. If I disobeyed I was treated with a belt. No, this isn’t the beginnings of my attraction to sadomasochism. It was, however, the beginning of my being shy period. As I grew older, my gay gene kicked in and I finding myself able to speak freely around women but speaking to men has always been my curse.
    As with author, I have found that sites like A4A has allowed me to truly show men the person I am. I am intelligent, funny and with the right guy be absolutely explicit on my likes & dislikes in the sexual arena.
    The trouble is, that when I finally meet them face to face my online bravado disappears and the person meets my normal self-conscious, shy & timid self. I now give the people I am meeting that the person they know online is much more outgoing than the person they meet in person. It helps tremendously and actually calms me so I am able to be a little more outgoing.

  19. mrbill425

    I was always described as “painfully shy”. After being treated for the 3rd time for chronic depression, I was finally diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. Medication and therapy helped a lot.

  20. Johnny

    I am shy and introverted. Was never athletic. I get all stupid and silly around even average men. Still seeking a big brother/mentor for guidance.

  21. Solo

    I didn’t know there were so many shy gays. I thought i was the one of very few i’am very shy and quiet. I don’t have any friends besides a few texting buddies. I am a handsome guy but i am a homebody and i keep to myself. I don’t even know how to have a simple chat with people on these gay sites anymore it seems like every ones attention spans are so short that it’s hard to keep convos with people. I am funny and have a sense of humor but it takes awhile for me to come out my shell. I used to think something was wrong with me cause no one ever hits me up to say hello all i want is a cool gay friend to hang out with. but i don’t club hop or run the streets and i hate confrontation and drama. I feel like i can be myself in text and chat but in person i tend to be more reserved and quiet and shy. I sometimes feel insecure especially around really cute guys

  22. Keeng

    I thought I was just weird. Lately I’ve been questioning why its easier for me to hook up with a guy than it is for me to actually talk to one and carry a conversation. I tend to get nervous and not know what to say. Glad I’m not the only one it made me feel good to read this.

  23. Stefano

    I have the same problem, I never really learned how to talk to guys. All of my friends are girls and I feel comfortable with talking to girls, mostly about boys, penises, sex and shopping. Whenever I go out I just usually stand around getting drunk and never approach anyone. No one approaches me either, I come off as very closed off.

    Mostly I just talk to guys using apps, and my conversation skills are great on them and I can be myself but if I end up going on a date, still so awkward and weird. Hookups are easier, right to sex and really awkward short conversations afterward

  24. Seadonna

    Hey Dave!…I have an idea for a topic you should post. How about GAY or Curious? And what does that mean?…Are you truly a gay man or are you curious because you think it’s just a life-style and a myth that gay is an actual sexual identity. What do you think? I always look forward to your posts. Take care.

  25. Alden

    Dayum, metoo just got scolded…I’ll try to stay in line! When I was in high school I was definitely shy to approach people. I’m not sure what caused this because I was not a shy person overall nor did I lack self confidence in regards to my appearance…I guess I just wasn’t sure what I brought to the table, what I had to offer. Luckily, I got over that when I got to college, for the most part. Now, at 27, I’ve been rejected enough to know it ain’t gonna break me lol…but let’s face it, for the most part we are all looking for the same thing, you’re gonna hear yes a lot more than you hear no if your brave enough to ask. To test that theory, Dave if you ever wanna change that one boyfriend thing just let me know 😉 cause I can still picture you wearing just a sock and that shit is workin! Lol, good luck fellas

  26. Knute

    I was for many years. I was abducted and used for several years and it took me many to get comfortable around men again.

  27. Jeff

    Can shyness also be related to intimidation?

    Gay men can be a rough audience. Enough guys won’t even give you the right time of day unless you live up to 100% of their image of the perfect male. I really wonder most of the time if the image some hold onto is even realistic.

    Those types are also usually the ones who grossly overestimate their own gay market value.

    Now if they are looking for a life partner maybe a man’s job title or paycheck is important to some. But does this really have any bearing on looking for Mr. Right Now? Or what if the guy has everything else you could ask for and then you are rejected because you have or don’t have a foreskin? I think you get the idea here.

    Sure we all have likes, dislikes, preferences or standards. But when guys are truely rigid about their wish lists they also are likely missing out on something else they overlooked. We’re humans, not the gay gods those types look for or think they are.

    A realistic sense of self confidence is sexy. If the guy has to be a pro salesman about how wonderful he is he probably isn’t all that. And if that type rejects you he probably did you a real favor.

    Don’t let those people intimidate you. They are the ones that lost out, not you. Marketing yourself in any arena can be helpful if not even necessary. But you need to be a real person first.

    I don’t worry about fitting everyone’s perfect image. That’s impossible. Either you can see what is in front of you or you don’t. A little encouragement or seduction may be what it takes and is part of the fun too. Just be yourself and don’t worry about pleasing everyone.

  28. Solo

    Someone should make a chat-room or site for shy gays like us i really enjoy reading everyone’s experiences and story’s and after reading all of them i felt more normal and comfortable. I think we all have some sort of anxiety with talking and meeting people. maybe it was the way we were raised or what we seen growing up or something we went thru all that plays a part in it. I have always been that quiet shy kid but i was also very cool and funny once people got a chance to know and i got comfy enough to be myself. Hey @johnny how old are you? i always wanted to be a a big brother/mentor for guidance.

  29. marc

    Wow — talk about some upsetting and disheartening and heart-tugging posts. I have read them all, and I send good thoughts and vibrations and meditations to all of you.

  30. Jim

    tldr: Don’t be shy! Go live. Today’s world is great for gays in comparison.

    Long version:
    Shyness is an interesting phenomenon, which probably does stem from several sources or combination of sources. Simple shyness for people who have “no reason to be shy” (the nice-looking, not stupid, well-mannered, etc.,” it may be only a case of growing a pair and making the first advance. Shyness which might be partially secondary to some objective disability or detraction or physical matter (stuttering, for example) can be a harder matter with which to deal. However, one can only deal with it oneself, because if you don’t, probably no one else is either. Our days are numbered — an old cliché, but nevertheless true. It is better to deal and to learn to deal with such issues sooner rather than later, as life does pass by if one does not seize the moment. Rejection by someone may not be pleasant, but if you know you yourself are worthy, then the loss is theirs, not yours, as you don’t WANT to be with someone so unperceptive. Rejection is just rejection; it speaks to the other person’s head more than to you. The plight of gayness has so dramatically improved that unless you were there, you simply cannot imagine! Don’t be shy! Go live. Today’s world is great for gays in comparison. (And if you’re an introvert, go read Jonathan Rauch!! jonathanrauch dot com, particularly his March 2003 article in the Atlantic Monthly.)

  31. justin_time40

    I am shy, I never know how others will react to me, or what to say to not get a rejection. it is harder for some then others.

  32. phil

    With things and ppl doing more now adays the simplest thoughts or words can help even the most closetest, shy or awkward of ppl, making life, GAY life a little easier to handle..

  33. Grant (LGBT_Yenta)

    I tend to be extremely shy in situations, particularly around new gay men I don’t know. Alcohol is, in theory a great social lubricant, but it’s certainly not something one should use every time they are shy.

    Thus, I tend to overcompensate by being chatty… often obnoxiously so. I really try to reign it in, but it often seems to be hot or cold. If I ever go out by myself to a club, I’ll often sit somewhere the whole night and not utter a single word to anyone but the bartender.

    Granted, it doesn’t help that I am oblivious to social and physical cues.

  34. LaDaryc

    Re, solo..seems like I wrote your post, like so many of you I’m shy guy, esp with all men, I was not abused as a child, but I just never felt any connection to men, attraction yes, but awkward otherwise.

  35. Bjea

    I am shy and have been shy all my life. It is hard to deal with in this life style because others think I am being shady when that is not the case. I do have a hard time talking to guys for many of the reasons mentioned above. I want so much to be more out going but that’s a task in its self.

  36. Michael

    People seemed interested in me from 14…but I was ackwardly shy and felt inferior as I am slight built…but athletic and now at 52 find myself still trim..decent shape and asked out…but it seems no one is interested in anothers values, likes etc…it’s all about them. I just take people as human beings…we are all different..but I think we can all help each other…so many people are narcissistic and want it their way and then say mean things if you don’t fall to their advances on what they like…instead of celebrating differences…like I do..but once the criticism starts I clam up… and lying are a huge part of the gay culture and sadly so…and it keeps me cautious…wondering when the next insult is coming…SAD right ??? I’m a good and fun guy…like sex as anyone nut people here in mid central Florida are well…you fill in the blanks here. Probably the same everywhere. Also I am a Christian gay man…and few are…and throw you in a fire pit for believing?? I thought and think God created us all equally beautiful in his image.

  37. Michael

    The gays bring the negative on themselves…and unfortunately I have seen it over and over…ITS THE MAJORITY !! and by far..why can’t we all try to make each other happy instead of alienating our own…I mean really ??? I can’t believe the many of the men out there that think they are a god ??/ Really..reality check.So selfish and insecure…no wonder why gay relationships are so disposable. It’s a shame. And it just gets worse. I though by this time in life it would have changed. Now we have people that think that it is okay to BB a negative man when they are positive and “undetectable”…really have regard. I was here when everyone that got it died including all my friends….another horrible tide is about to unleash as this virus speciates…then what. People need to re-evaluate who and what…be thankful…but to be a SLUT with no protection??? What the hell is up with that mentality. Status of…love really has zero to do with all of that. My man for many years was not that way at all until an unfortunate accident, which is a reality in life happened. Gay men need education and to grow up.

  38. Trey

    I can only speak on my behalf and say you are not the only guy with this problem. I am in fact a 26 gay black man in the country area of NC. It’s very hard living here and finding anyone remotely close to my type. When I meet sexy guys of any race, gay or straight, I instantly start getting shy. It’s just a habit because I really don’t want to come off as though I’m “thirsty” for the “D”. And I agree 100% on your statement that if a4a didn’t exist then I could still be a virgin. Definitely don’t know to speak to guys.

  39. Slimtee

    I am shy around guys, too…mostly attractive guys or at least the ones I find attractive. My insecurities usually kick in. However, I am way quiet around men in general, both gay and straight. Though I identify as gay, I really don’t like younger gay men. I find them to be rather cold and standoffish… As we mature, We tend to find comfort in ourselves and could care less how someone feels about us. I am still shy and quiet as I think it’s just who I am and I am beginning to embrace it more and more everyday. Like you, if it wasn’t for the Internet, my sex life would probably be non-existence, though I find it is getting harder to find sex online as well…which causes my insecurities to prevail as well. These profiles on A4A makes you feel like you’re not even good enough for a quick hookup. My besties are females and I very free and comfortable around them as I am who I am around them. With my male acquaintances…I am low key, quiet, and pretty much subdued.

  40. Rick

    Shyness is the down side of introversion. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted. I enjoy my introversion. I like talking about subjects that have meaning and value deep one on one conversations. Mingling at a party with light social talk is awkward and sometimes even painful so I find someone interesting and do my introverted deep connecting thing.

    For me shyness is what gets in the way of expressing myself, meeting someone I want to meet and generally feeling good about being exactly who I am. It’s different than my natural inclination to be an internal processor vs. external or extroversion.

    The more I’ve learned to love and appreciate myself exactly as I am, with all my introverted qualities, the less shy I’ve become.

    I’ve found I can heal the shyness and embrace the introversion and find ways to be comfortable with all sorts of people.

    We can heal from the wounds of rejection, humiliation and shame. Shyness need not be a way of life. Love is available to all of us.

    My partner is a formerly shy guy too… and we’ve been together happily now 18 years.

  41. Mr.Finance

    No your definitely not the only person who’s shy around guys. I’m 26 and I’m shy in non work settings period but especially with guys. I find it difficult/impossible to approach guys at clubs/bars but oddly enough when I volunteer or do stuff that’s no necessarily gay I’m pretty social – I take charge of unorganized volunteer teams and I’m the guy who’ll jump into a volleyball game on the beach. I guess I’m weird but one thing I’d definitely share with someone else who’s normally shy is to do something about your shyness. Whether that’s reading up on how to deal with life as an introvert or reading up on social skills, shyness isn’t a permanent issue unless you let it be. People can change and grow if they want to. Good luck in the future, I hope that you find someone who does appreciate you for you and thanks for sharing!

  42. Paul

    Not being outgoing or comfortable with new people has been a struggle for me for a long time. Most of the time I feel completely invisible when I am out with college age crowd that dominates the city I live in. I don’t get invited to events or parties because people seem me as being stuck up or defensive. Makes being in a city so far from your family verydifficult, not to mention very lonely. It’s nice to know that someone knows how I feel and understand s the problems it can cause. Thanks for writing it.

  43. 1versfucker

    The ‘experts’ say shyness is not just an innocuous personality trait
    but a disorder that we should get fixed. It is not a healthy mindset to be ‘shy’.
    I’ve had to work on it all my life, as I suspect MOST people do.
    It has nothing to do with attraction and meeting men (or anyone).
    There are plenty of articles and self-help books on the subject.
    I started with practising ‘the 4 agreements’ and this simple set of values for daily living has helped me immensely.
    Good luck guys!

  44. Timothy

    I have been described as “stuck-up” and “aloof” when in fact I am just very insecure, leading to being painfully shy. I was told by my father, at a very young age, I was a disappointment and this verbal abuse continued throughout my youth and early adult life. I did nothing to please my dad and could do no wrong in my mom’s eyes. THEY WERE BOTH WRONG lol. As a result of not feeling good enough or manly enough, I never have been able to approach men; I don’t know or care about the “typical” manly things although I am not overly effeminate either. I am just ME not gay enough for some because I don’t live in the bar and refer to everyone I know as “girl or Mary” but too gay for others because I am comfortable with my sexuality. It is easier to hook up. I was in an 11 year relationship until my partner died 5 years ago. He built me up daily with positive affirmations but alas he is gone and the early-learned lessons have crept back into my persona. I am very introverted except in my career; then I am in complete control. I know I am a great guy but at 52 years old, I am often times treated like a fossil or an ATM. This just reinforces my self-doubt. I was in counseling several years and know what I am doing is wrong and even know how to correct it but just “can’t” or probably truly it is “I wont”. I am not a gorgeous man although I am not a bridge troll either but can’t even understand when a guy is attracted to me and use past experiences to question what their “motive” is for trying to get close. My counselor said there were too many people who adored me and look up to me “WHY do you dwell on the few negative things you heard as a child” I cant answer why it is easier to accept those negative things but I do and it makes me very uncomfortable talking with men, gay or straight. OK rant over. It is refreshing, albeit saddening as well, to see how many people have responded with similar feelings and stories.

  45. WillSD23

    Great post and I agree. As much as I’ve blossomed from a severe introvert into a sociable, fun guy since coming out, I still am very shy with guys. It’s probably residue from the straight, fearful and self-loathing life I lived before, with a dose of the fear of rejection from an often catty and rude gay community. Nevertheless, I march on!!

  46. Andrew

    I relate to this post I hate gay bars I get very self conscious in them so I avoid them. I go to bathhouse a lot to fulfill my sexual needs. Yet oddly, in the bathhouse I am not shy. Yet talking to gay men in a non sexual place I do get nervous.

  47. Scott

    This is the first time I’ve ever commented on one of these. I’m definitely a shy guy thanks to the fact that I’m not everyone’s definition of attractive. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was in high school. I’ve lost over 130 pounds but still feel like I’m the fat guy who sits in the back of the room hoping not to be noticed. This site has helped a little, with people who have messaged me being way hotter than I have ever thought I could attract. 🙂

  48. Cotati Hottie

    If you are really good looking and are shy, people might perceive you as being aloof, pretentious, stuck up, and/or full of yourself. If such is not the case, it will be easy to get whatever you want. Get over they shyness, seek and you shall receive.

    I approach beautiful men. There are cases where I have tried and felt better about myself than not having tried at all. It feels better to be rejected rather than not at least make the first step.

    I also enjoy good looking guys at the baths, face down on their stomach, or the fuckbench. They might partying and don’t care.

  49. Odettaguy

    So much I resonate with in these posts. I’m adaptively outgoing fot my profession, but shy in general social situations when I’m not in a role. Thus, I also can go between awkward and obnoxious and pretentious. I get horny a lot like most guys but I also like connecting around story and intellect, moreso as I get older (late 30s now). The answers here could spawn a good essay in themselves. I’m using my real SN here–feel free to reach out.

  50. darryl

    We all have some kind of shyness in many situations. I can remember when I was younger how I would never make the first move when it came to talking to other guys. In time confidence allowed me to go for it balls to the wall, and I had some fantastic experiences that I still draw on when I slip back into shy mode. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to let shyness hinder your wants, and desire’s it may work in your favor.

  51. Jay

    It’s awesome to see this very important topic addressed, and even more awesome to see the number of responses by those of us who can so easily relate. Being shy and socially anxious is especially difficult when you’re a gay man…but knowing you’re not alone helps a whole helluva lot.

  52. InOverMyHead

    I’ve always been terminally shy about meeting new people.
    Was surprised to find that my inhibitions come off with my clothes. Doesn’t happen often enough.

  53. Patrick

    No Dave, you are not alone. Your issues are shared by myself and others here. It is called a fear of intimacy and a fear of abandonment. Discuss it among yourselves.

  54. Aaron

    I’m rather shy with men as well. First dates never turn into second dates. Yet hookups get repeated often even months and years after the initial meeting. Odd. So…im not worth the energy to date me, but well worth the time and energy to have sex with repeatedly? They basically want a relationship but only the sex part. I just don’t get it.

    No one is a perfect 10. Trust me. Yet our egos make us BELIEVE some of us are 14’s and 17’s. Which might be why were shy around men.

  55. wamoo

    This has been an excellent venue for venting about our shyness. It’s a shame we’re are scattered all over the world. I wish all of us “shys” could get together and find out if in a group, we are shy with each other.

  56. Joe

    Wow! I did not realize that I was not alone. After reading all these comments about shyness it is unreal. I can relate to all of you and I am probably the oldest among you. I am 59 and I have been alone most of my life because I feel I am not good enough,to look at I am big and out of shape and feel alone. I don’t pity myself but i get frustrated sometimes because I have not had sex with anyone in 6.5 years. I am afraid to talk because of rejection from others. I work all the time to keep my mind off of men. I really wish i could be like others who do not have a problem talking to people. I just want a friend or close companion even if I don’t have sex.. But the sex would be nice….

  57. Joe

    I used to be the shy guy. Even in high school, I had a really hard time even making eye contact with other guys my age. It was horrible. When I got to college I found sites like A4A, MH and the like, and realized that I was pretty good at talking to people over the computer. I could be a smartass, I could be coy, I could be anything, but I was never awkward.

    I met my two college boyfriends through online hookup sites, and after graduation I met my third serious boyfriend. Every one of them didm’t work out because we didn’t know how to communicate. Only fuck.

    Almost 10 years later I’ve found that the people I date still come from hookup sites, or apps, and it’s because it’s just convenient for me. Instead of thinking “oh I’m super awkward”, I think “I am a professional and have to support myself. How lucky am I that we came up with a way for people that represent such a small segment of the population to find each other?”

    Let’s face it. If you are a hetero it’s really easy to find people that you might be able to talk to or date. If you’re the type that only wants to date someone of your own ethnic background of skin color, that’s pretty obvious too. Most of the time when you’re looking for someone of the same gender it’s not exactly that easy. You try to meet people, and you’re always nervous that you’re wrong about them or wondering what they will do to you if they are straight. Websites, apps, all of that have made it easier for us all to network and become a community.

    Now, I’m never shy, or nervous to talk to someone, especially if I’m at a gay bar or club. The fact that you’re willing to go there and be yourself should be proof enough that even if that person isn’t interested, they should have some type of respect for you for coming up, saying “hi” and offering to buy them a drink.

    Off my soapbox and back to anonymity

  58. Glen

    Thing about being shy? The more your encourage it, the less your chances of overcoming it. I’m Black and 63. Now do the math. I would’ve been 20 in 1971 and going up to White guys (hey, I went to college in Boston: 95% white) and asking for a date was a receipt for rejection – and most of that was my color. I stopped worrying. YOU CANNOT think about YOU All the time, because that isn’t a path of life or love. Feel the fear and do it anyway. And if its overwhelming, see a therapist if you can. You can always smile at a guy and send him a drink. If he likes you, he’ll acknowledge it. if he doesn’t, at least he won’t have you run out of town, as happened to me when i was in the south and made a mistake. i won’t say ‘get over yourself,’ but I would say ‘make friends with yourself’ and then you’ll have something to share.

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