To all the Gay Baiters Out There, We See You!

Image by Tony Alter

Gay people aren’t idiots. We know the difference between taking your shirt off to dance and have a good time, and taking your shirt off purposely to bait salivating gay dudes. Trust me, we have an intuition from the gods. Nothing gets passed us.

Gay baiting is like someone waving a piece of chocolate cake in your face then throwing it in the trash. That’s torture for a chocolate lover like me, but for the sadist holding the plate, it can be more pleasurable than the cake itself.

People say gay baiting doesn’t exist. We try and give someone the benefit of the doubt because no one wants to admit they were used. What’s worse is we know we’re being used yet we fall for it every time – like a moth to a flame. We willingly walk into the trap because can’t stop ourselves. Before we know it we’re blaming gay people for what straight people do, but trust me – the last thing we want to do is blame each other.

Straight dudes know exactly what they’re doing.

What we see on television, movies, and advertisements is a reflection of culture. They dig from a constructed truth, a psychologically accurate view of how we think: where there is a hot body, our eyes shall travel. But are the rules starting to reverse? Are straight guys seeing what actors and models do and reflecting it towards reality?

A lot of straight men, at least in progressive cities, enjoy the fact they’re being gawked at. But it’s one thing to get a gay guy’s “hot” approval, and another thing to actually seek it out – to consciously flirt, tease and show off in front of them, only to have it be a “look, don’t touch” policy.

Last week, two extremely attractive guys at my gym were working out together. They stole the focus of everyone upstairs because not only did they look like porn stars, they were also Australian (which gives them extra points). In other words, they were off the charts HOT.

One of them smiled and winked at me, and scanned me up and down sexually. I’ve seen this type of “scan” before (we all have). There’s no doubting it was a cruising invite of sorts, so naturally I responded back not thinking anything of it. He got the hint.

For half an hour we’d look at each other in the mirror and smile, as we did bicep curls, deadlifts, yoga posing, seemingly for the purpose of showing off. A bit later, the two were in the wet sauna together – naked, rubbing each other’s legs talking about their girlfriends. Every once in a while, looking up and seeing gay guys admire them, then laughing at each other as if they were doing it on purpose.

To make matters even weirder, one of them lay naked on the bench next to the lockers – in a Hercules (and he was Hercules) style pose, watching as guys passed by to sneak a peek. Eventually, the rest of us in the locker room got the hint: whoever these dudes were loved the attention, and while they were planting seeds of possibility in our heads, everyone knew they were baiting us.

Why do straight guys gay bait?

At the end of the day it’s about power. If a man is a sex addict, or bisexual, or seeking affection from other guys, he doesn’t bait – he goes through with it. He won’t wave his abs or d*ck in your face and act dumb later saying, “Oh sorry…”

We go wild over it and they know it because they see our reactions to advertisements and TV/film scenarios, and they want the same attention. It’s a jacked up way to feel important or validated because, let’s face it, when you received the gay gaze, magical things happen.

But no matter who you are, leading someone on or blatantly teasing a person for no particular reason with nothing to gain, is wrong. It doesn’t make you look superior – it makes you look like an asshole, which immediately debunks you from our list. To all the gay baiters out there, we see you.

David Artavia


David is an award-winning journalist and editor at The Advocate, Plus, and Chill magazines. His work also appears at and OutTraveler. He lives in Los Angeles where he lives vicariously through his friends.

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