throb919: There's a fun (and funny) article in the October issue of Men's Health magazine by this title, suggesting "A gay friend can be your best secret weapon for understanding women." I'd hoped to link y'all to it, but the articles at menshealth.com don't reflect current issue offerings. I suppose I could've posted this on the (hated) "Do gay men hate women?" thread (to further dispel that misguided misogynistic myth) or at "Women's Issues"--but it's really aimed at straight guys. It's about "Relationships" so this seems the right place for it (although not about how a big dick affects those relationships per se). The gay-man / straight-woman best-friendship has been mentioned here by several of our illustrious Ladies Auxiliary members (Sammygirly immediately comes to mind) and it's certainly true in my case, too. The magazine piece (written by Michael Callahan and cited here totally without permission) advises that you het-guys can benefit from these relationships: Diamonds are not the quickest way to a woman's heart. A gay man is. For those men still trying to figure out women (translation: any straight guy), the real value of cultivationg a friendship with a gay man can be summed up in one word: Berlitz. Homosexuals are the ultimate Berlitz students: From birth we're dropped into a world that never feels like home, and from childhood on, we're taught gender roles that are counterintuitive to what we feel inside. Dolls bad, baseballs good; lusting for cheerleaders good, lusting for boy gymnasts bad. With our outside and inside compasses at odds, we simply shrug and figure it will all, ahem, straighten out in the end. (...) The point is that almost all gay men are raised as straight men. We grow up as an odd mixed breed: adopting a hetero identity, but always subliminally in tune with our true selves. As a result, we end up sitting with the popular girls at lunch and becoming the boys they confide in and trust. They can sense that we're not after what you're after. So it's us they tell all of their deepest secrets, phobias (number one: You won't call them again), and dreams. Eventually, we accumulate a treasure trove of insider information--from what cologne turns her off (musk) to what makes her want to give oral sex (suggestion: Trim your pubic hair). We've also garnered the power to make and break you. A woman will ask another woman if a guy is worth dating, but no matter the answer, she'll be suspicious. When it comes to relationships, women are much more competitive than men are. But when a woman asks her gay friend if a guy is worth dating, she lives for his answer: He is the perfect judge and jury, equipped to understand the primal urges of the species, yet with no stake in the verdict. (...) The sad truth is that few straight men have gay friends. This is mainly because of what I call the "ick" factor. Ask any straight guy his top sexual fantasy, and it no doubt involves those catfighting babes who tumble into the fountain on the Miller Lite commercial, only in his version they're nude. But any mention of sex between men gets one resounding, wincing response: Ick. News flash: We are not checking you out. (Unless you are the guy on the cover of this magazine, in which case we're most definitely checking you out.) We don't spend time conjuring up images of your sex life, so you shouldn't have any trouble returning the favor. How do you find us? Chances are you're not popping in for a cocktail at Lure (don't ask) anytime soon, and although the occasional flamer wearing the Britney crop top at the mall is easy to spot, the truth is that you really can't tell most of us from, well, you. So do some basic detective work. Think of the guys at your office, in your extended family, from your old college frat, even on your Friday-night softball team. Who's single? Who's decent looking, yet never seems to date or check out women? Who looks as though he's going out on the town--when he's going to the gym? You need to hunt. Or maybe just do this: Next time you meet a woman, find out if she has a gay friend--a Will to her Grace--then make an effort to get him on your side. He knows her moods, her weak spots, and far more of her secrets than you ever will. He can sink you or save you. All you have to do in return is treat him like the rest of your buds. Ask him about his job, his vacation plans, and, yes, his dates. We don't bite. Unless we're asked.