As Anark points out, this topic does indeed have two sides to its own little coin.

In physical description I match Anark's description. I'm a big guy. Tall. Burly. Hirsute. And while I've had a number of male lovers that are attracted to that, I find that in my experience, females are far more attacted to me on the sole basis of physical appearance than men usually are.

And in 100% of the discussions I've had with the women that have aggressively pursued me based on my physical appearance--said discussions usually held after I've outed myself to them--the one description that they all eventually mention is ... "teddy bear".

I've always preferred gentle giant myself, but whatever we label the attraction, it is real, and it is very flattering, no matter the gender of its source. I rarely have qualms about accepting compliments, nor do I feel threatened or insulted or feel I'm giving out some sort of "straight vibe", and neither should Anark feel this way regarding any gaydars he might inadvertently set off. And while it's true that gay men fuck in the same way that straight men shake hands, it shouldn't be viewed as anything other than a friendly interest. Rarely will a gay man pursue any form of relationship that is unwanted.

Now, in my experience with men who've been physically attracted to me, I've slowly (because their numbers are far fewer than those of the women attracted to me) come to realize that there's something ... paternal in the way men who are smaller in stature than I view me. I find empathy in this because, being six foot two, I definitely find the experience of having to look up at another man almost overwhelmingly erotic (by dint of its sheer rarity), and I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something paternal, filial and submissive in that feeling.

We now live in a time, at least in the United States, where a huge number of our young adult males are children of divorce, and are without in many instances a paternal figure in their lives. I've found in my experience that this will drive a young (and not even necessarily) gay man to some type of father figure. This can even happen to a gay youth who does have a father in the home, as it's very often the father who has the most volatile reaction to finding out one of his children is homosexual. That kind of anger and rejection coming from one's own parent is, quite frankly, the reason so many gay youths commit or attempt suicide.

Because of my own experiences, I would urge Anark to react not as someone receiving unwanted attentions, instead viewing each person as someone who wants to give their attentions to a man they find attractive. Treat them with kindness, with respect, and let them down gently ... as is the nature of all gentle giants.

Oh, and Anark, if you ever want to be exposed to a large number of gay men who find us lumberjack types utterly abhorrent, you can be my guest at a gymbunny dance club. Mmmkay? :)

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