Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gay Bars

Dear David,
Do you ever go to gay bars? Will I run into you some night at one?

Dear Bar-Bara,
Sorry, honey, but I never go anywhere where wit counts for nothing. Gay bars are too noisy, the music is too loud and the lights are too low.

This is all from my new book, "How to Be Gay in the 21st Century":

1. I personally don't want to sleep with someone who has slept with half the Eastern Seaboard.

2. Remember, no tanktops. We have already discussed this.

3. Please behave yourself at the urinal. No a thousand times NO.

4. Think twice when the new guy is from out of town.

5. Do not get drunk. Okay, think booze and drugs are just a way to let you step outside of the picture and live in a fantasy, brief and chemically generated. If you can afford it why not?

Because finally, you are all alone in this fantasy. And nothing is harder on your looks than alcohol, tobacco and drugs. You are going to need your looks later, my darling. Hang on to them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dating & HIV

Dear David,
I am having my 50th birthday this week. I am reasonably attractive, my body is quite ok, I make good money and I am fun to be with. My humor may be a little subtle but I have it.

Where I have coffee every morning there is an attractive guy of about 40. We chat, laugh, I can see us bonding more and I am at the point where I want to ask him out to the movies, lunch, something to see where it might go. We are close enough that he has told me that he is HIV positive. This has kind of stopped me in my tracks. What do you think I should do?
~A Bit Afraid

Dear Fraidy-Cat,
Listen, this is a very good question. And probably in the past many people have had similar quandaries when tuberculois was such a scourge. Historically there have been any number of contagious diseases to be considered when starting a relationship.

I myself don't think HIV should stand in the way. But only when a real relationship is involved. So you think you could really love this man? If you think you could, give it a go. Have a movie date. Go to lunch. See each other on a Sunday. I think you can kiss. I think you can fool around some sexually. I would just wait until I was really sure that this is the real thing, and then you can have protected sex.

He's got to be feeling some level of rejection by HIV negative men and your reaching out for him will be important. You know that I am a sucker for romance and love. And yes, I am willing to die for love. I think you have to be if you put someone else's welfare before your own. And that's what love is. Go ahead and get to know him better. And then make a further decision at that point.

(Image via Jupiter Images)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Money, Money, Money

I talked about money yesterday and I want to talk about it a little more today.

1. Money is not an end in itself. If you are attractive to other men because of your money, you're really just paying for it. How does that feel?

2. Money will buy you stuff.
Clothes, jewelry, furniture, art. And a lot of those things can be interesting and fulfilling in their own way. But you should be willing to throw all of that over for a man. That someone cares about you...correction, that you care about more important than stuff.

3. Tightwads. You can always tell how much a man cares about you by the amount of money he is willing to spend on you. I kind of hate to say this but it has been my experience. They don't have to have a lot of money. They can even have very little money. But if they don't want to spend what they have on you they are not willing to give you love.


Here is the cover of my new novel “Love in the Loire” out in May from White Lake Press. You should buy it. My big question is, why aren’t any of you buying “How to Be Gay in the 21st Century”? :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Job Advice

Dear David,
I hate my job. It is totally meaningless to me. I make good money but going into the office every day is boring, boring, boring. But I can't think of anything I would rather do. Is it just the money?
~What to do

Dear What to Do,
I have a t-shirt framed on the wall in my study. It is yellow and has a photo of Marilyn Monroe looking a little confused on it. Over Marilyn's head is says in large letters "Then It Hit Me." Underneath it says:
"I'm not going to be a movie star.
I won't get to be a rockstar.
I'm going to be stuck on the payroll
Doing a job that doesn't interest me
For a very long time"

There you have it, my dear. There are two things that you can do. Is there something realistic you would like to do? Work with the poor? Teach Third Grade? Be a cowboy? You can do these things but you will not have much money and they have to be very meaningful to you because you won't have a lot else.

We cannot all be a Picasso or Dr. Schweitzer. We cannot all work with the natives in Africa. What we can do is become very good at the work we do best and earn money to pay for our lifestyle.

I believe you can only feel strongly emotionally about an hour and a half a day. If you can squeeze that in doing karate, dancing lessons, looking at old movies, whatever and you really love it, that leaves twenty-two and a half hours to fill in. You can sleep for eight, eat for three or four, that still leaves plenty of time to work eight hours a day, whether you like it or not. Remember, Coco Chanel said, "I never designed a good dress until I didn't care anymore."

You can do excellent professional work without caring. You can save the caring for that hour and a half when you can muster some emotions. Really, you cannot FEEL more than that. So figure out what you do best, become an expert, be relentless about moving upward. You need to be in the top of your field between 30 and 50. These are your peak earning years. And remember I said this, "Most problems go away when you throw money at them."


My thought of the day. I woke up this morning and remembered that in learning about cosmetics, women wear a lot of eye makeup when they feel self-confident. They wear a lot of lip makeup when they feel they need protection by men. Think Cleopatra. Ruled Egypt. Wore a lot of eye makeup. Think Marie Antionette. The world was falling apart, a little pink on your cheeks and lips.

Think the 19th century when women were incarcerated in girdles, hoopskirts, bustles, upholstery fabrics. No makeup except you pinched your cheeks and bit your lip to get a little bit of color. Maybe you rubbed a geranium petal on your lips if you were feeling daring. And men ran everything.

Now, suddenly, bright red lipstick has reappeared. And women are tottering around on the highest heels in history, making them very vulnerable and fragile. Like geisha on their clogs. Think about it. What does this tell us about where the world is going?

(Alexander McQueen heels worn by Lady Gaga)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Dreams

Dear David,
I'm beginning to think I will never accomplish my dreams.

Dear Better Than,
Oh, come off it. What did you dream? The usual American stuff? A handsome man, children, a kitchen in the suburbs. All you have to do is look around you and you know that dream is usually a nightmare.

Personalize your dreams. Pick one thing. You want to live in Paris? You want to be a dress designer? You want to live in Miami Beach? (That's the easy one.)

Make your dreams something accomplishable and very specific. Paris? Start studying French. Go to work for a company with international branches. Once you have a clear goal it is just a matter of figuring out how to get there.

Want to write a book? If you just write a page a day you'll have it in about six months. Someone asked me, "When do you know your book is done?" I said, "When I have 250 pages." Just write a page a day and organize it later. Do NOT criticize yourself or let anyone else read it until you're done. You can self-publish rather inexpensively. We are in a new age. Everyone is a publishing house in and of themselves.

Dream of being taller? Wear cowboy boots.

Pursue your realistic dreams. You may not get there but you will get somewhere very interesting.


Speaking of dreams ~ my vocal coach, the terrific singer David Kingery told me last week that he has a new business. He calls the business "The Cake Singer" where he makes gorgeous cakes, delivers the cake and sings to you at festivities such as: birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, small weddings, engagements etc. He can do cakes for functions up to 20-25 people.

The songs can be customized to fit any occasion with special lyrics for the special occasion. Any genre, any song = G rated to Naughty! The cakes also come in many unique flavors.

Please contact David Kingery, "The Cake Singer" by phone: 786-525-9983 or email:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor is gone and with her one of the great Hollywood faces. She was so beautiful in extreme close up which is what Hollywood is all about. Who cares about acting? It’s the thrill of being so close to so much beauty. Now we see motion picture theaters on the way out. Faces on tiny screens. Is there really anyone beautiful left in Hollywood except some of the men? I don’t want to see Glenn Close in close up. She always reminded me of Andrew Jackson. Farewell Elizabeth. Your kind of thrill will probably be missing in the 21st century.

(Photo~Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Avedon, 1964)

Love Problems

Here is a recent inquiry:
"I have a newly re-kindled romance that made a kind of start several years ago and has now reappeared. I am trying to conduct it as a slow-growing, heart-warming love relationship instead of what I usually did in the past: a great big bonfire that burned the house down and everything else with it. Actually it's going great.

The problem is I also have a very important woman friend who has stood by me through many of the ups and downs, and whom I see a lot of socially, going to concerts, the theater and dining out with friends. My new lover does not like sharing his time with me AND woman friend. And she equally doesn't enjoy social threesomes with both of us. What am I to do? I don't want to lose her friendship and I am definitely not going to give up my lover.

Dear "Torn Between Two Affections,"
I have a friend whose lover lives in a very nearby city and I think what he does may work very well for you. He sees his lover/boyfriend/husband from Friday night through Sunday. They spend that time together, go to the theater, socialize, but always as a dedicated couple. During the week they are in their separated cities with lots of work and school responsibilities. Very occupied. And in that time they see their other friends. This could work very well for you. See your ladyfriend during the week. Watch TV, hangout, shop, do that girl stuff I'm assuming you have been doing together.

I might point out that she perhaps should be looking for a heterosexual lover of her own. Yes? No? This is something else to think about. If she fancies you then she is obviously barking up the wrong tree. And why would she do that? The plot thickens psychologically.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Sleeveless T-Shirts

This is the fashion advice of the day. Please, no sleeveless t-shirts. Why is that the men with the flabby, undeveloped arms and saggy armpits always opt for this look? Usually coupled with those horrible shiny nylon shorts slashed drastically up the side to reveal their equally unattractive upper thighs and buttocks. Just because you are willing to show it doesn't make it good.

And the men with the great arms always wear tight t-shirts with sleeves, which somehow is always sexier.

The current fashion magazines are showing these t-shirts with exaggerated arm holes. Do not be lead astray. Just because it's in a magazine does not mean that it will look good on you or make your more desirable.

The goal of fashion is to make you look good. Not worse. As Coco Chanel said, "Elegance is the ability to say no."

One of my friends asked me to put more stuff in the blog about what I am doing. I am currently reading a great English language paper/magazine from Berlin called the Exberliner. Berlin seems to be far more happening that anywhere else I know. I love that there is a bar called the SilverFuture that has a sign on the door: "You are Leaving the Hetero Normativ Sector" in English. We must all go there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't Marry a Woman

You know I'm always promoting my book "How to Be Gay in the 21st Century." But I do want to point out that in the opening I say, "If you are in the closet and do not plan to come out, read no further." This book is not for you.
Even so I do have a chapter entitled "Don't Marry a Woman." And you will muster the old-fashioned arguments. I want a settled domestic life. You can. With another man. Just because you're with another man doesn't mean you have to be out chasing even more men just because you're gay. That's a gay tradition you can very well forget.

Then you will find that being settled in the suburbs will end your problems. Really? Honey, they're just the beginning.

Or you will tell me you want to have children. You can. Firstly, there are tons of kids without parents out there. If it were me, I would take a child no one else wants. Hovering towards their teen years. Bound to be lost if you don't take them. Remember you are there for the child, the child is not there for you. Children are not like poodles. You have them because you want them.

My sister was visiting me once when I had been given two abandoned cats. She said, "I don't remember you liking pets." I said, "I don't particularly, but now that I have them I feel responsible for them." She said, "That's how I feel about the children." Need I say more?

Plus, you will cheat on your wife with truck drivers. You will never discuss your double life and when she finds out she will be destroyed. You are not supposed to do that to other people.

And when the kids grow up and move far, far away (a curious fact about children with closeted fathers), you will no longer be able to resist your hankering for men, leave your wife, settle down with another man in a replica of your married life with a woman. It sounds boring just discussing it. So please, don't marry a woman.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Was George Washington Gay?

I just finished a biography of George Washington. He married Martha when he was 24, I think largely because she was very wealthy. A widow with two small children. The author, Ron Chernow, doesn't want to really come out and say anything but he quotes people who saw George Washington with his staff, usually young good-looking men. One observer said of Washington's attachment to an assistant David Humphries, "He loved him as much as any man ever loved a woman." I leave it with you. He supposedly was in love with General LaFayette, also (who came from France when he was 24).

1. What do you do when the man seated next to you at the dinner table keeps groping you and you don't want him to?
You turn to him and say politely,"Excuse me, am I in your way?"

2. What do you say to some man who insists that he must go to bed with you?
You turn to him politely and say,"You don't want to sleep with me. I'm terrible. I hardly move. Ask anybody."

(Photo of George Washington via

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Today I'm in the mood to talk about fashion. Men's fashion. I have just come from Lincoln Road in Miami Beach where the subject of men's shorts cannot be avoided. Fortunately I have just had this query.

This is such a good subject. Because men don't wear their shorts much of the year except here in Miami they tend to remain in their wardrobe for years. Even decades. You can tell a gay man's age easily here by just checking the length of their shorts.

The more mature in short shorts and usually paired with black oxfords and pull up black socks are certainly from the 1950's. I think the last time we wore short shorts, although I see from the fashion magazines they are returning.

Then there are those tennis length shorts paired with sneakers and sweat socks pulled up tightly. The preppy look from the 1970's. Ralph Lauren may have captured it permanently but not that shorts' length.

I could also mention the too-long "pedal-pushers." Or "clam-diggers." You know, that mid-calf look that really doesn't work on anyone. They were big for women in the 1960's. Beats me how they made a comeback for men.

You can also have that below the knee "surfer-dude" look but I think only kids on surfboards get away with it as they are usually clinging slightly below where their public hairs begin. I don't recommend that for the sophisticated.

Your shorts should be just above your knee. Where they are out of the way if you are on a bike. And don't reveal too much thigh, which may not be your best feature. Even if you have great legs, don't advertise it. It looks so desperate.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Tell Your Parents

I have a new book "How to be Gay in the 21st Century." One of my most interesting chapters has to do with your parents. In my experience one of the biggest stumbling blocks in coming out is telling your parents. Even some of the famous people I have known who were closeted didn't come out because they didn't want to face their parents. It was even more important than their career. So let's talk about it.

"HOW DO I TELL MY PARENTS?" This varies a lot depending on how old you are. I think for most gay men the most important thing in their lives is falling in love. So obviously you can't have that big deal romance if you are still in the closet.

On the other hand if you are a teenager living at home you many want to wait to announce the news until you are living on your own. Particularly if your take is that they are going to be irritated. Because you have to realize, they don't care so much about you they are primarily worried about how it makes them look. How did they fail? They will surely not want to hear the news that homosexuality is hereditary. So if you're young, maybe you should wait awhile to discuss it.

If you're out of the house I think you should take them to dinner, sit them down, explain we are in a new century and you like men better than women. You need to have some information ready. It is not a choice. It is inherited. Many famous people from Alexander the Great on down were gay. Maybe you should buy my book "How to Be Gay in the 21st Century" to have your story ready.

Reality is reality. There's no point in them thinking you are someone you are not. And if they don't like it maybe you should get some new parents. An older couple who would like the fact that you remember their birthdays and like to have dinner with them. They exist.

You will hear this a lot from me. If you're pretending to be someone you are not, how can anyone relate to you really? This includes your parents. One friend of mine told me that when he told his parents his mother said, "But what about the neighbors?" and he said, "The neighbors don't care. It's not their son."

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to Be Gay in the 21st Century

I'm starting a blog. Now that I've seen it all I want to become the "Dear Abby" of the gay world. We are in a new century and a lot of the way the gay community saw itself and interacted with each other has changed enormously.

Someone asked a friend of mine "When did David come out?" and he said, "I don't think David was ever in." Which is true. When I was young we didn't even have the word "gay." There was "sissy" and "fruit" but even "faggot" and "queer" didn't exist yet. In my lifetime the world has kind of awakened to the fact that some men and women prefer their own sex.

Dr. Kinsey did his research in the 1950's and discovered that 37% of American men have had sex with another man as an adult. That's alot and everyone has chosen to pretty much ignore that information since.

And here we are in a new century where being gay is going to be a lot like being Swedish. A little different but not much and who cares?

So check in with me tomorrow and we'll deal with "How do I tell my Mom and Dad?"

~ David Leddick