Sneaky deceptive gay alphas?

While I never liked the term "fag hag" or the superficial stereotypical thinking surrounding the whole meme, an article in Scientific American discusses the latest research results. Not only are women who are attracted to gay men not as ugly as commonly supposed, but according to one expert, their existence has encouraged and facilitated gay men having unique access to women -- thus confounding the traditional evolutionary notions about the "alpha male" always getting the pick of the flowers.

This has been called the "sneaky f*cker" hypothesis:

She's also apparently never heard of biologist John Maynard Smith's "sneaky f*cker" evolutionary hypothesis for male homosexuality, which posits that gay men in the ancestral past had unique access to the reproductive niche because females let their guards down around them and other males didn't view them as sexual competitors. We're not infertile, after all, just gay.
Such deception raises several questions. First, whether such "gay" men are in fact "really" gay, because regardless of society's labels, the successful impregnation of women by men constitutes heterosexual behavior. So they would technically have to be bisexual.

Second, whether they are "fag hags" or not, why would females be letting down their guard? Is that really what's going on? Or are they actually attracted to the apparent non-attraction? And if so, and if something then occurs, then doesn't that mean that the non-attraction is a deception? A subterfuge? Why would that be going on?

And why would other males not regard them as competitors? Are they seen as analogous to eunuchs? In the distant past, eunuchs were used to guard female harems, and the reason they were trusted was simple: they were seen as lacking the proper male equipment. It never seems to have occurred to the sultans who owned the harems that many castrated males actually can have sex. But perhaps this didn't matter as much as the fact that they could not render a woman pregnant. Still, eunuchs were automatically trusted not to act as men with women, and if similar thinking has been applied to apparently (or obviously) "gay" men, a reproductive loophole results, for the simple reason that all uncastrated men have testicles -- whether they're gay or not. Thus, gay men may have been placed in a situation analogous to a man believed falsely to be a eunuch and placed in a harem.

Definitely sneaky. But would it necessarily be hereditary? If so, then wouldn't it follow that gay men should never be trusted around women?

Should we care?

Naturally, I'm puzzled. (And because I'm going to be gone all day, I haven't the time to consider the implications for gay conversion therapy* or raise the question of whether the cuckolded straight alpha males are getting it in the butt.)

*Assuming there is a "gay gene," wouldn't anti-gay religious conservatives be helping to perpetuate it -- and promoting what they claim to oppose?

Glad I didn't make these "rules."

posted by Eric on 06.13.10 at 10:00 AM


Eric, I've been saying for years that the discovery of a "gay gene" will cause heads to explode on both sides. Because 30 seconds after someone finds it, there will be a genetic test to identify it.... which is going to cause some radical re-thinking about how bad abortion is if it can get rid of sinners in utero, and conversely, whether it should be 100% available when it will weed out a major liberal constituency.

Should be "interesting" in the Chinese sense...

SDN   ·  June 13, 2010 11:31 AM

In my youth I would often get women to get naked and sleep with me with the promise that I was only interested in naked snuggling. And I always kept my promise.

In about 3/4 of the cases the woman would then come back with the intention of having sex. I actually had a woman "march" up to me and it was obvious that "no" was not the correct answer to her intentions.

Sexual "rejection" may be an attractant for many women.

M. Simon   ·  June 13, 2010 5:55 PM

M. Simon

Absolutely women are attracted to the unavailable. Same reason many single men wear wedding rings to bars. And, heavens, every woman is a renovator at heart. We all take on properties in need of improvement. :-P OTOH I learned my limits long before I married which is why I kept my ambitions to convincing my husband to read fiction. (He'd only read non-fic, mostly science up till then. Mathematician.) And probably why it's lasted 25 years.
Some women however are delluded. They think EVERYONE will want them, if they just work at it.

Also, M. Simon, that was a SNEAKY thing to do, as I suspect you do know. Women are so used to being pursued, having an hetero male NOT make a move drives us nuts. And if we are of a pushy disposition we'll want to know WHY. It's the "what? Is my nose painted red?"
Also, I wonder if you and my husband developed that strategy separately, or if it's some whispered secret. (No, not on me. He proposed to me after several late-night phonecalls and not seeing each other in four years. Didn't lend itself to the cuddling thing. But he'd been trying that for years, before we married. :))

Sarah   ·  June 14, 2010 12:47 AM


Yes it is a VERY sneaky strategy. First - keeping a promise about NO sex when in such intimate contact gives the lady the impression that I am a man of my word (I am).

Second - she also wonders - is it me or him?

So she winds up having confidence in me and less in herself. At least until she has had a go at me.

And no - your mate and I have not exchanged tactics. In fact your comment is first time I have heard about that tactic used by another male. Most men do not have the self control to pull it off.

Which is why it works.

M. Simon   ·  June 14, 2010 3:35 AM

Fag-haggery as we know it—what the term actually signifies—isn't historically old enough to have a sexual-selective root. Nothing evolutionary becomes common enough to have a slang name after only a three or four generations.

The right explanation is probably really boring. Something like: Identifying as gay now, among the people who get surveyed by academic scientists, is a social rank booster, and that's alpha-like, so chix dig it.

guy on internet   ·  June 14, 2010 12:48 PM

In 1984-85 I was a member of a gay bar in Portsmouth, NH.
In NH, at the time I don't know if it's still that way, a bar either had to be for members or have a restaurant, bars would often sell a one night membership.

There were always women hanging around. It seemed to me they were either there because they didn't want to get hit on all night but did want to dance and do "fun stuff" or they were there to go after gay guys.

Eh, either way, as usually the only straight guy in the club, I did pretty well out of that bar and I usually won all night at pool.

Veeshir   ·  June 14, 2010 7:04 PM

You asked "raise the question of whether the cuckolded straight alpha males are getting it in the butt."

In most cases no. Sure there may be a few with some latent homosexual urges. And yes some will suck the dick of their wifes lover at her urging. In many cases though I would classify that type more as simply an 'oral submissive', with an overwhelming desire to please, rather than gay.

To me, the question is does, will, has the guy ever gone out of his own volition seeking cock for himself to enjoy. Yes equals gay/bi. No equals oral submissive/passive bi. Just my opinion though.:)

Vanessa Chaland   ·  June 15, 2010 3:14 AM

I always find it amusing, what people think Christianity is about. Abortion as a cure for sin? Even for a specific sin? Are you high?

The whole idea of humans being sinners is that it is volitional, and that therefore anyone capable of telling right from wrong can sin any sin at any time for any reason. (Let us call this the "Joe Bob Briggs drive-in movie sin theory".)

So if people were going around aborting every single baby that had some theoretical "gay gene", I would expect to see a sudden increase in habitual gay sexual behavior among the survivors of that generation, in people who were totally heterosexual genetically. Because it would suddenly be rad and edgy and forbidden and rare, and so lots of people would want nothing better.

Anonymous   ·  June 16, 2010 11:05 PM

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