As for someone who hasn’t been out and about, actively participating in what is commonly known as the quintessential single’s fav pastime (read: dating), I find that I have been missing out on my own privileges, not to mention opportunities, as a single gay guy after reading this book.
Dave Singleton, who has written quite a few articles on pop culture, delves into the effervescent life of gay dating (and the drama that comes with it) accompanied by first-hand accounts contributed by gay men including that of the author’s about what it is like being out there at the barricades, holding the front, get cut, bruised, burned, to be all that you can be.
If you’re man enough, Singleton equips hopeless date aficionados with his doctrinaire “mandates,” whether if you’re on the hunt for tricks and “sex dates” or if you’re seriously looking for that potential relationship with a life partner (which I believe only a few of us have remotely come close to).
In The MANdates: 25 Real Rules for Successful Gay Dating (Three Rivers Press, 2004; 219 pages), here are some favorites:
Mandate #8: Keep the Mister in Mystery
Mandate #10: He Opened His Mouth and His Purse Fell Out (or: Everything You Need to Know You Can Know in the First Five Minutes)
Mandate #12: The Difference Between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now: Learn It!
Mandate #20: Intergalactic Instructions on Conquering Cyberspace (Avoid the Darth Vaders Who Lurk in Chat Rooms and Find Your Own Luke Skywalker)
Mandate #22: Be True to Your Own Standards (And If You Don’t Have Any, Get Some)
Some pieces of advice, however, are in a way rather presumptuous to a point wherein you have to reevaluate the contents of your bathroom cabinet, especially if you’re inviting your date over, so that the “dramatically different moisturizer” is secretly tucked away together with the “soothing and firming fine line serum” and the “honeybee kissable lip balm.” Not that I mind. After all who would ever want to date their own mother.
Singleton has an entertaining prose style yet always mindful to be respectful to the reader especially in describing how to get around surviving the gay dating scene — from grooming, setting up realistic expectations on the first date, hooking up, moving in together and meeting the “immediate family” — the fairly biased and judgmental friends from hell.
What anchors the book are the insightful depictions of personal experiences from other gay men who have been there, done and dealt with. Doubtlessly, Singleton through his book will influence the incipience of a gay dating culture that can be both refreshing and liberating.