A friend and I were chatting. Initially we were talking about people we've dated when the topic turned to whether or not you would date yourself if you were gay. Would you?
It's probably wisest to not retrace the conversation and how it steered into such warped dimensions. For now it's safest to say that we're both crazy, and it's a good thing crazy people write articles for zines. Crazy people think deranged, obscene and unnatural things so you don't have to.
In this event, we briefly discussed what would happen if we could date a mirror image of ourselves. Originally, the mirror image would be identical to us in every way, except it would be female. Perhaps this proves what a chauvinistic pig I am, but the very first thing I thought of was what I would be like if I had PMS. And I think we'd all be a lot happier if I declined to pursue this line of thought.
But the idea of "dating yourself" I think is an important thing to consider, because answering the question "Would you date yourself if you were gay, why or why not?" is a road to potential self-discovery. Insight into your own character that you don't normally get, being wrapped up inside yourself all day.
So, let assume you're gay. That is, you are emotionally and physically attracted to people of the same gender. Now let's clone you. Here you are looking at a mirror image of yourself. Would you date this person?
Examining the issue closely, I've broken it all down into individual categories, listing the pros and cons.
This one is very iffy, probably a negative. You know everything you are going to say. While this might lead to a king of soul-mate empathy, it's more likely going to lead to one person trying to kill the other. And since both parties possess equal strength, the fight would last a long time.
Men have a tendency to talk endlessly about how great they are when initiating a relationship, not listening to the other party. Again, this could lead to violence, or it could simply mean that the other part of the couple talks endlessly about how great he is, ignoring the other person. So you got two people yakking non-stop about how great they are, each cheerfully oblivious to the other. I leave you to decide whether or not this is a bad thing.
Initially, this looks the biggest possible advantage. A sexual partner whose tastes are identical to yours? Yeehaw! Think about it. When one's hormones are boiling into arousal, so is the other person's hormones. When one doesn't feel like it, neither does the other. During the act, the partners know exactly where the sensitive areas are. And never once will you hear the other person bellow "You want me to WHAT?" They share the same kinko perversions as you, so you can't shock them. You don't have to worry about disease, you know exactly where your partner's been. And if you do break up, your partner can't go spilling the beans on what sick pervy things you were into. After all, they'd be ratting on themselves.
Some problems can occur, however. Particular tastes require an opposite in order to work. For example, a sexually submissive person requires a dominant partner. Two submissives will never get any sex done while they wait for the other to take control, and two Dominants might kill each other in a sexual frenzy. Again, I leave it to you to decide whether or not this is a bad thing.
And finally, it really must be noted that you don't need to clone yourself in order to have sex with yourself.
This would have to be settled on a case per case basis. Couples of all types often share clothing--what an incredible turn on itis put on your lover's sweater and smell their cologne or perfume.
The stereotype on how homosexual women dress are vague. The mannish flannel shirt image comes to mind, but ask some puffy salesguy who tells blonde jokes, and he'll tell you they dress in thong bikinis and hot pink stiletto heels, or at least they did in Oral Bimbos 3. The stereotype with homosexual men is clearer: that they dress very well. I have known three openly gay men. Of the three, only one fit this stereotype. Pressed suits, immaculate collared shirts, a well-trimmed moustache. The second wore average day to day clothing that was unremarkable. And the third actually had bad fashion sense. Yes, that assessment from me, a person with such poor clothing sense that the kids on Yonge Street don't bother asking me for spare change as I walk by. Case #3 liked to put on a piece of outrageous clothing, such as silver pants or a very gaudy hat (meaning just one in addition to regular attire). Some people of all persuasions like to dress campy, but they do so from head to toe. They wear platform heels, tight vinyl pants with the Union Jack on them, a glitter-encrusted shirt, a pirate hat and a feather boa. This at least gives you a kind of consistency, even though looking at it would strike a Mennonite blind. When you wear Docs, jeans, a t-shit, a denim jacket and a feather boa, you just look stupid.
The reason I bring this up is to establish that being a gay does not automatically give you a new kind of clothing sense. If your orientation changed you'd probably wear much the same stuff you do now. If you already dress meticulously, great--you and your partner can share clothing, save money, and bask in the glow of each other's majestic presence through your clothing. In my case, this is bad news. Major bad news. I am notorious for going through clothing like it was water on a hot summer day. Shoes get worn out, my knees poke through my jeans, and the less said about the condition of my socks, the better. There is no way me and my gay clone could share clothing. Take a fresh pair of jeans off the rack, let me wear them once, let me clone wear them the next day, and they'd be shredded like a slab of mozzarella through a cheese grater. If somehow my clone worked up the courage to try on my socks, he'd be barefoot by the end of the day.
Here's a little tip for you young lovers. Say you've got someone in your life that loves you dearly. Thinks you walk on water. Mistakes you for a Greek God or Goddesses on occasion. If you want to keep that level of infatuation, NEVER EVER LET THEM SEE YOUR LAUNDRY. Oh, your little Prisoner D'Amour would love to do domestic chores for you when even your mother says "Like hell I'm touching that. You wash it." One look at a collection of your smelly socks and crusty underwear will bring them back down to Earth like a Coke machine pushed out of a 747 (wow, there are some really good similes in this one, eh?)
There is another distinct disadvantage for me here. Women in North America come from a society which forces them to be more aware of their looks, and the looks of others. Whereas men are taught that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bathe once a week whether you need it or not. The wardrobe, diet, and hygiene of men involved in a relationship with a woman improves by at least 40%. During my last relationship, my personal habits went from a D to a solid B-. Concert t-shirts ceased to be my principle attire, and my cooking skills relied mainly on a skillet rather than a telephone. If I were gay dating myself, this wouldn't happen. In fact, it would probably get worse.
If your clone did what you did for a living, you would know everything about his or her finances. Again, a mixed proposition depending on your level of responsibility. In a couple, there's often the conservative, grounded one who can actually save money, and the throw-caution-to-the-wind one who loves impulse buying. The two balance each out--the wild one is a little less wild, and the conservative occasionally takes the credit card out of his or her ass and learns to live a little. If you are already good at managing your money and occasionally treating yourself already, you should have no problem being financially compatible with your gay clone (did I really just write that? Man, this is fucked up). On the other hand, if you're one of the more extreme cases, two wild children are going to wind up massively in debt. Two tight-fists are going to grow up rich, but so bitter that watching a Disney flick would send them into diabetic shock.
There are more factor to consider in this whole dating yourself thing, but I think I can sum my feelings up best with this, one of the most important, useful, and life-saving things a loved one ever said to me. What was it? "I love you"? "You're special to me"? No.
It was "That's a stupid idea."
I'm serious. "I love you" and "You're special to me" are very important things to say, stuff most people can't live without. But my love, listening to one of my zany schemes, said to me "That's a stupid idea," or words very much like this, and as I result, I took my head out of my ass and realized "My God, she's right." Although it hurt to hear her say it, in the long run, she saved me far greater pain.
If I had been dating myself, I just would have received encouragement, and gone ahead and done the stupid thing.
Really, that's the bottom line. We seek out the company of others because we get lonely. There is nothing wrong with being alone with your thoughts, in fact, sometimes it's vital. But in the end we go looking for the companionship because the ultimate loneliness would be to spend your days with only your thoughts. We find partners who often have attributes we lack, and we seek to emulate what we see in them. They in turn try to add the foreign elements of our personalities to their own. In so doing, we become two new people. The differences are still there, and that's good because differences bring balance. And it means our loved ones are not afraid to try to save us from ourselves.
That's one of the reasons breaking up is such a painful thing. You're not just losing your lover, it seems like you're losing a part of you. When I found out I was single again, I moved into my own room after years of cohabitation. Suddenly I was in my room again, a place I hadn't been for a long time--I had lived in her's and mine, if that can be clear. Surrounded by things that were only me, I realized I was the person I was five years ago again. I didn't want to be that person again. It was like taking a step down on the evolutionary ladder.
You needn't lose the things that you learned from an ex-lover, but initially it seems like you might without them there to remind you. The trick is to hang on to what you've learned, and try again. Evolve again.
Dating yourself, you would not bring in new experiences, new ideas, new emotions. You would not evolve. You would not grow.
And that's why I would not date myself if I were gay.