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Hey Woody!

You’ve probably received a thousand letters from guys like me, who are attracted to guys they can’t have. It’s a laughably common problem, yet I’ve never seen anyone give a satisfactory answer on how to deal with it.  Maybe you can help me?  

After 20 years of experience with men, I’m sure that for me, the brawny, muscular guy will always be my “type” above-and-beyond any other.  Too bad for me, because these guys nearly always want someone with their own body type, and I’ll never have it.  I’m a beanpole by nature: thousands of hours of weight training haven’t turned me into a hunk, just made me less skinny.  No reputable doctor will prescribe anabolic steroids to me, and I don’t want to risk doing illicit steroids.  Given the Gay Rules of Attraction, I know my chance of getting a studly boyfriend is slight-to-vanishing.  I do meet many averagely built guys who are decent-looking, smart, successful, and who consider me attractive.  

I really am tired of being alone, and I don’t want to grow old without a partner.  So, I’m finally facing the reality that I’ll need to lower my physical standards considerably if I want a boyfriend.  But I’m afraid it’s beyond me.  Occasionally, I do enjoy flirting with an “average” guy, sometimes even a roll-in-the-sack, and I can love someone deeply, as a friend.   I could see myself in a “warm and cuddly” relationship with one of these guys, but not a sexually fulfilling one.  I know I will always long for the hot stud that I can’t have.  Until now, I always thought that I would find that one man who satisfied me both physically and mentally, but now I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.  

I guess I could get a boyfriend who’s really more friend than lover, and seek out exciting but loveless sex with brawny studs on the side.  But I can’t imagine telling someone “I think you’re a great guy, and I enjoy being with you, but I’m only sexually excited by brawnier guys, but none of them will date me, so I have to settle for you.”  Of course, I wouldn’t put it in those exact words, but I’m sure that’s how it would sound, no matter how I said it.  And before you say “Therapy”, I’ve already had years of it, and it hasn’t changed what I want.

—  Too Confused to Choose

Dear Too Confused:

Going to therapy to change the kind of person you’re attracted to is like going to therapy to change the kind of gender you’re attracted to:  The only positive change will be the therapist’s income.

I agree with you that most guys like their own body types (just like most guys like dating guys their own age, race and class). But the last time I looked up “most” in the dictionary it didn’t say “See ‘All.’”

Physically opposite couples may be a minority but you see them everywhere:  Young with older, black with white, tall with short, bitter with stupid.

While you can’t change your desire you can change your strategies.  Your tactics have all been external—your physical appearance.  Have you really worked on your internal traits?  Many “body-reversed” couples aren’t necessarily attracted to their physical opposites; they’re attracted to certain emotional qualities that just so happen to be packaged in body types they’re not particularly keen on.

And as you probably don’t know because you’re too busy chasing brawny d–k, the more you love someone on the inside, the more beautiful they become on the outside.

Bottom line:  Emphasize but don’t limit your efforts on the brawny types that make your d–k stand up and sing “God Bless America.”  But do it by being the kind of person anybody, brawny or not, would want to be with:  Enthusiastic, funny, confident, interesting.  If opportunity isn’t knocking, I say build a door.