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Saturday, September 6, 2014

'Gay travel': Why gay men so obsessed with being separate/different?

Except from a discussion on another site: Dudesnude Travel ForuM

Ash (from Toronto) started off with the topic:

Am I the only one who travels here without having to put "gay itineraries" in my agenda whenever I travel?

I find that a lot of gay guys have this need of searching for places that are gay-friendly, and that really strikes to me as saying "can I cruise for sex here?"

I may be wrong, but chances are I am right about this.
When I travel I focus on the sightseeings, cool things to see, street festivals, kickass pubs and comfy lounges, and such...doesn't matter to me whether it is gay friendly or not.
I mean, yes it would be great to meet other gay guys during my trip, but I just find it that guys are limiting themselves of 'where to go' for a vacation when they're focusing on gay-friendly-accepting-areas.
Sorry if I have offended anyone, but I'm just wondering?


Response from Sunbuns (me) to Ash's question:

Let me assure you that I am NOT arguing your point.
Just commenting and adding my own opinion.

It is a curious thing. I believe that in the future (hopefully not so long a time to come) that most gays won't be in a position and in the state of mind that limits them to choosing only a 'gay' destination. But -- at that point in time -- there won't be a need for sites such as this one either.

It's a matter of perspective and purpose.

You're on the gay channel -- remember. I am very sure that if you went to a general travel forum -- such as TravBuddies, etc, and similar sites, IF you could ask the members and get an honest answer (from some of those who post travel blogs, photos, review, etc), about who is gay, you'd find a lot are. I am positive you would get a larger than 'average' percentage of members. They are on that site because they want to learn about and talk about travel. Their purpose is not anything else - while people join and visit Dudesnude mainly for other reasons - than to talk about travel.

This site is called 'Dudesnude' for a reason. The population is heavily weighted to guys who are
horny, seeking some kind of gratification (not only sexual), and / or who like looking at (or talking/chatting) with similar guys.

The fact that there are plenty (still a minority) who are here for other reasons or who aren't always looking for sex / hook-ups shouldn't allow you to draw major conclusions about all 'gay' people or gay travelers.

Another thing is your age.

You seem to be of the latter generation (younger) - one that has (possibly) grown up without the layers upon layers of prejudice (still existing to a large degree) and discrimination (exists far, far less than 20-30 years ago) when the 40+ generation was going through late adolescence and young adulthood. Note please; I did not say that your generation has never experienced those things but it's a matter of degree. (We older folks always think things were tougher back in our 'days'. *lol* - so allow me that delusion (although I do believe there is enough truth in the idea. )

It was a different time even 20 years ago - at the time just before the first big AIDS epidemic -- and what seems normal behavior for young gay men nowadays was hardly tolerated at all -- except in some special 'gay' places. Some gay men today tend to think that way. Just one theory.

Another reason may be the way you can express yourself (in your home community) and also what you want out of a vacation may be very different -- sometimes quite extremely so. Coming from liberalized, enlightened Canada, especially a very cosmopolitan place such as Toronto (I think that where you're from) - you probably don't feel the need to go off for a vacation -- just to be your 'gay' self - it is something you can do happily right in your own community - without free of reprisal or even physical danger.

But even today in small town rural America - in Kentucky for example (where I lived most of my adolescence) seeing guys hold hands (or God forbid - kiss) is still an absolute social no-no. There are no gay bars except for a hour or 2 hour drive away and Pride is considered to be one of the 7 deadly sins -- not a summer event for the gay crowd. Gay people still don't have much of a face on the local state college campus even now -- nearly 25 years since my friends and I started the first GLBT Association on that campus.

Your purpose for travel may include things that some people can't (or don't want) to be involved with. Travel seems to be a very highly personalized activity - especially how one perceives of the 'travel' experience and its meaning.


A vacation is not the same time as travel -- although travel can also be a vacation is (usually) much more -- especially for people like you and me.

Perhaps some just see the trip (or vacation) as an extended long stay version of 'the one-night stand," whereas you (or me) might see if as something more or different or maybe not. They don't necessarily see their trip (not matter how well planned and expensive) as a real travel experience - but simply as 'vacating' their normal premises (changing spaces -- not 'exchanging' places (becoming someone new by experiencing a new cultural perspective in an unknown place in the word).

For me it is often a time of reflection, self-discovery, having new experiences or cultural lessons, and even spiritual development. But it can also be about sex and physical gratification (pleasure/desire), too. Some people may see it as a combination of all of these.

Perhaps too you're happy with your sexuality and satisfied with your romantic and sexual relationships. So you are looking for that desperately -- like some men are. For many people, the urge to find a 'mate' forms a major part of the agenda for a vacation. So the idea of choosing a 'gay' resort / gay-friendly area increases the chances of consummating that desire.

I agree totally. There are so many wonderful places in the world worth visiting - -why limit yourself by going ONLY to gay 'resorts'. However, it is also true that more and more of these great vacation spots are actively trying to 'recruit' new tourists who are gay and are actively selling themselves as 'gay-friendly' destinations. The average income of gays (in general) is fairly high - so it has become a segment of the population that is often courted by the travel industry.

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