Guest Post: Electrobabble by Rick R. Reed

With the release of my new novel, Hungry for Love (see blurb below), I am thinking about all the ways gay men communicate with one another online, both good and bad. Since Hungry for Love is a story that revolves around online posting and honest and dishonest identities we choose to show the world, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the stuff I have personally come across in online ads and my reactions to them. How do you feel about the terms below? Are they effective shorthand to get what one wants? Or merely offensive and insensitive? Somewhere in the middle?

Who knows? Maybe the title above will become a new word and will one day appear in Webster’s, attributed to yours truly. When I say electrobabble, what I’m referring to is the inane comments that permeate gay male Web sites. Here are just a few that irk me:

Not into the gay scene. What is the gay scene? I’m gay, don’t go to bars much, but love to cook, read, and go to theatre. Is that the gay scene? Mark is gay and big into sports. He’s on volleyball and softball teams, belongs to a gay running group and is on his bike by the lakefront all summer. Is that the gay scene? Luke is in the closet and frequents places like the adult bookstores and tearooms. Is that the gay scene? The point is there’s no such thing as a gay scene, any more than there’s a straight scene. We’re all different, the only thing we really have in common is our sexual orientation and even with that, there’s a wide range of scenes. If you’re talking about going out to bars a lot, say that.

Straight-acting and appearing. This one always makes my blood boil. What’s wrong with being gay-acting and appearing (whatever that means)? Some of the most masculine men I know would bristle at being labeled “straight.” Let’s grow up, being gay-acting and appearing doesn’t mean you aren’t masculine. One time, I saw a guy online who said he was straight acting and appearing, but that he loved to get fucked hard. I IM’ed him and said, “I bet you’re not too straight-acting and appearing when you have a dick up your ass.” He didn’t get it. And therein’s the pity.

Neg. UB2. If anyone thinks that posting that little phrase (which means “HIV-negative. You be too”) is gonna screen out all potential HIV+ partners, dream on buddy. You’re living in a fantasy world. Just make sure you’re getting tested regularly.

VGL. What does this mean? I know it stands for “very good looking,” but very good looking to whom? Your mama? And even if you are, by many accounts, VGL, isn’t it more refreshing if someone else gives you that label, rather than yourself? Once you label yourself VGL, you’re also saying you’re a VEA. Very egotistical asshole.

41 but look 30. Who gives a shit? What’s wrong with being 41, or 51 for that matter, and looking good? Youth is no guarantee of quality, unless you’re in the produce department at your local supermarket.

No fats or femmes. It’s fine to say what you’re looking for, and usually that’s enough to weed out potential “undesirables” (at least to you). What I mean is that, if you say you’re looking for masculine guys who work out regularly, you don’t need to hurt some poor soul’s feelings out there who’s probably already running low on self esteem.


Nate Tippie and Brandon Wilde are gay, single, and both hoping to meet that special man, even though fate has not yet delivered him to their doorstep. Nate’s sister, Hannah, and her kooky best friend, Marilyn, are about to help fate with that task by creating a profile on the gay dating site, OpenHeartOpenMind. The two women are only exploring, but when they need a face and body for the persona they create, they use Nate as the model.

When Brandon comes across the false profile, he falls for the guy he sees online. Keeping up the charade, Hannah begins corresponding with him, posing as Nate. Real complications begin when Brandon wants to meet Nate, but Nate doesn’t even know he’s being used in the online dating ruse. Hannah and Marilyn concoct another story and send Nate out to let the guy down gently. But when Nate and Brandon meet, the two men feel an instant and powerful pull toward each other. Cupid seems to have shot his bow, but how do Nate and Brandon climb out from under a mountain of deceit without letting go of their chance at love?

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From Dreamspinner Press (paperback):


Rick R. Reed Biography and Contact

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

 Visit Rick’s website at www.rickrreed.comor follow his blog at You can also like Rick on Facebook at  or on Twitter at Rick always enjoys hearing from readers and answers all e-mails personally. Send him a message at



“I loved his writing style, I loved the flow of the book, I didn’t feel like there was anything missing by the time the end of the story came around and I was really able to love Brandon and Nate very easily…this story had romance, love, friendship, deception, jealousy, heartbreak…. Read the review:


“…overall, I really enjoyed this book…it was perfect…” Read the review:


“…written beautifully with humor, and love, and intelligence. Rick Reed has done a wonderful, wonderful job with this story!!” Read the review:


“Reed has never been afraid to tackle the important issues of the LGBT community and here he looks at friendship, love, lies, heartbreak and jealousy while creating characters that we can identify with and grow to love.” Read the review:

From USA Today

“I’ve gotten distracted reading a book before but never because I stopped to marvel at the genius of the author…sigh worthy….” Read the review:


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