This composition comes to you in response to a question posed by a young man, Mark. He asked, “Is the ‘new shiny thing syndrome’ (that never ending peering over your shoulder to see if someone better has come into the room) a major detriment to gay relationships? I have heard this question a lot and felt I needed to weigh in on the subject. It is a matter that brings into question which is the greater influence, biology or sociology?
Let’s start with the biological factors first. In my opinion men (no matter the sexual orientation) seem to be predisposed to a hardwired response to physical stimuli. If we see a person that we subjectively find attractive, we respond automatically with dilated pupils, increased respiration and a variation in blood flow. These are the signals through nature that let others know we are interested. (Do an engine search…you’re already online. This is a fact). These responses have been a part of our biological make up since the very beginning. This is not a bad thing. It works very well for our heterosexual counterparts and is necessary for the continuation of the species. Most of us wouldn’t be here without it. (Thank you mom and dad for giving me life…and kudos to my good friends who have done the invitro thing! But I digress). So, what I am saying is that the ‘searching thing’ seems to be a very innate biological feature that just isn’t going away.
Having said that, I think it’s time we take a look at the sociological aspect of this discussion. It is more and more prevalent in our culture to want the newest, greatest, sleek and sexy object. Look how many people waited in line for the release of the ” revolutionary computer tablet” or check out the number of guys who are absolutely gaga over their flat screen televisions or the next model of automotive ingenuity that offers you ‘just that much more’. We constantly bombarded with images and messages to get the ‘new and improved’ or the ultra something or other. The question is, do we really need something (or more importantly on this subject matter…someone) shiny and new?
Let me say this about shiny and new people in your life. You need to make sure that the shine you are seeing is genuine and emanates from within them, if you are looking for something to sustain you, long after the shine may not be so bright. The new part of meeting someone is a wonderful allure. New is part of what makes the next day potentially the best! It is also the time when we all put our best face on. (That is not say you or the other person is being false). You are simply ‘selling’ your best self to the guy of interest. New is exciting, in part because you are still in that ‘discovery’ mode.
Ultimately you have to decide what kind of person you are. I can paraphrase a quote from a movie featuring Jennifer Tilly. “Are you the type gay man that only enjoys unwrapping the present, or can you really enjoy the contents long after the holiday is over?”

Written by Kenn Gaither


k david cochran

I love this. And find it to be so true. I’ve known so many guys who’ve settled with what they have while they wait for the shiny new attraction – and you see them searching, even when their significant other is on their arm. Then the moment happens and, “zoom,” they’re out the door – and no one is surprised by it.

lloyd dubuc

If you are not in love w/this person than the next shiny thing is your best option however if you are there will be no other shiny thing as you will have no desire to even turn your head!!!!!!!

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