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Fire Island Memories: My Wonder Years (1996 - 2002)
Terrence McNally's Play "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" Opens (May 28, 1991)

Naming Names ... Counting the Gay Men in My Life

Hello.mynameisMost of us find ourselves attracted to a man based on his physical characteristics and/or personality traits.  I can't imagine that an individual's first name is a deal breaker, but it may serve as the cherry on top.  However, some names seem to stimulate the pleasure center in the brain more than others.  Interestingly, as I think about my favorite names, very few men in my social circle have a name on this list (see list below).  For the most part, the names of my friends, boyfriends and acquaintances (past and present) are neutral, e.g., Michael, David or Brian.  Of course, I'd never choose to date or not date someone because of their first name.   But if I had a bad experience with someone their name might stick in my subconscious and cause some trepidation if I encountered it again.

 

NAMES I FAVOR
     
Antonio Dario Jeffrey
Ben Eduardo Julian
Brent Evan Kent
Carlos Francisco Luke
Christian Gabriel Roger
Dale Javier Ryan
     
NAMES I'M NOT SO KEEN ON
     
Alfred Fred Ralph
Arthur Larry Sal
Clarence Leonard Stanley
Curtis Manny Todd
Greg Marty Vinnie
  Marvin  

 

Looking through my journals (which I've kept since the late 1970s), I conducted a census and counted over 500 gay men who've been part of my life for one reason or another.  They fall into the following categories: 1. Acquaintances I came to know either through friends or meeting at Fire Island (24%); 2. Co-workers and colleagues (24%); 3. Dating/relationships (20%); Tricks (12%); 4. Close friends (9%); 5. Neighbors & roommates (5%); Those working in professional services I use, e.g., doctors, accountants and therapists (5%); and 6. Relatives (1%).

 

Mens.names

 

The gay men who have been part of my life in some way have 241 different names.  The most frequently encountered have been: Michael (19); John (19); David (12); Mark (12); and Paul (10).  Two-thirds of the names have just one person attached to them.  Some of the more out-of-the-ordinary include the following: Armin, Arunas, Barrington, Blandon, Cyg, Jatinder, Kemper, Kuba, Mahes, Udy, Shasi and Toon.  (There is also one Robb, a Donn and a Mat.)

 

THE MOST COMMON NAMES
IN MY SOCIAL CIRCLE
       
Michael 19 Brian 6
John 19 Chris 6
David 12 Gary 6
Mark 12 Mike 6
Paul 10 Peter 6
Jim  9 Robert 6
Steve  9 Ron 6
Scott  9 Bob 5
George  9 Greg 5
Bill  8 James 5
       

 

As far as my own name goes, there are/have been four Robs, six Roberts and five Bobs in my social circle - but only once did I date someone who had the same name as me.  (And we met a couple at a Christmas party who were also both named Rob!)

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