As the dating scene’s new generation develops and expands, there is a specific community within this sphere that isn’t being represented, nor talked about. This community is feminine men and their dating lifestyles.
While subjective in its description, femininity in men refers to someone who possesses traits that would be considered more feminine than masculine; this can range from having high emotional intelligence, taking proper care of oneself, or filling roles that aren’t considered to be conventionally masculine.
Whether within the LGBTQ+ community or not, feminine men have a different dating experience compared to those who fit within general masculine archetypes.
TikTokker Ismaél Santana provided perspective on navigating the dating scene for effeminate men in a recent post.
“The way I noticed that I would get less attention on dating apps like Grindr or Tinder if I put feminine pictures of myself, but if I put pictures that made me look slightly more masculine, my phone would blow up. The masculinity obsession is strange to me,” he posted on Twitter.
While feminine usually refers to behaviors or emotional processes typically associated with women, the term “effeminate” is usually used as a derogatory phrase to say that a man is less than a man.
Both uses of the word help add to the negative stigma in dating men who are more in tune with their feminine energy.
Dave Noble, a first-year business administration student at Florida A&M University, shed more light on this perspective in his dating life.
“Within the gay community, femininity is ironically looked down upon,” Noble said. “The majority is attracted to feminine energy, which leaves effeminate people like me to feel underappreciated in my community, as well as in my dating life. I feel like fewer guys approached me for being effeminate compared to if I was masc presenting.”
These experiences and countless others echo the reality that most effeminate or feminine men have to deal with whenever looking for a partner.
These negative viewpoints on femininity are largely based on subconscious biases to actually being with someone who is more feminine and less masculine.
Relationships with men more in tune with their femininity also offer more positives in the long run.
“[Since] society values toxic masculinity, it would help to engage with a man … more in tune with people’s feelings, more emotionally intelligent, and [to] be more open to flexibility in traditional gender roles that we see in relationships,” said Brittany Griffin, a psychology professor at FAMU.
This shows a glimmer of how male femininity in relationships should be regarded as a good thing and not as something that would ruin your chances of finding the love that’s right for you.
As society progresses, we should hope to see more love and appreciation shown to feminine men throughout their dating lives that allows them to be their truest selves.