SEX :: The Gentleman Pig. A Guide On How To Not Be A Douche

By on February 15, 2018

THE GENTLEMAN PIG :: A Guide On How To Not Be A Douche

Dear GGN Reader,

In order to interview one of my heroes, LGBT icon Larry Kramer, over a decade ago, it took letters from New York City influencers advocating on my behalf, after my initial outreach, to get him to pay attention to my request and agree to it. (After he acquiesced and before we at last spoke, I was apprised of the kinds of things Kramer “didn’t cotton to,” a forewarning about not wasting his time.)

Kramer (because LGBT history is not everyone’s A+ subject,) was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay, Women In Love, in the late 1960’s. His 1978 novel, Faggots, about 1970’s gay promiscuity won him much derision from those he confronted. When AIDS began killing our forbearers, Kramer cofounded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, now the world’s largest private AIDS service organization, and his political activism continued with the founding of ACT UP! He wrote the widely loved play, The Normal Heart, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and has won the OBIE –  twice.

And that’s just a Coles Notes bio.

I fairly held my breath when we first began to speak on the phone – I wanted to do a good job badly – and was therefore so pleased, ninety minutes later, when we said our good-byes, when the infamously ornery Kramer told me: ” Shaun: I genuinely enjoyed this.”

Far less pleased, after I hung up. In a moment that tested my humour, temper, and sanity, my laptop immediately died. A cosmic joke I still don’t find funny, the Kramer audio and my 90-words-a-minute note-taking were lost.  Forever; I spent time and money trying to recover them, with no luck. I didn’t have the nerve to ask for a re-do.

That Mac attack remains one of the biggest disappointments of my career.

Years later, I’ve been thinking of Larry Kramer a lot, especially since divorcing and enjoying single guy sex again for the first time in almost a decade.

Kramer is now 82. There are not a lot of gay men of that age who exist, because, of course, a horrific percentage of Kramer’s generation were wiped away by AIDS; the ones who dropped like flies. Mine, the one after, is therefore a generation of lost boys.

Because AIDS decimated those before us, guys like me have had shockingly few role models showing us, as gay men, how to grow up and grow older; how to be a great gay. 

I personally feel it’s incumbent on myself, and my gay male peers, to make sure we do the best job we can in showing those coming up behind us what being a gay man means. (As best we can, of course, given that we, the ones who escaped – though not unscathed – are still making our way through the dark shadow AIDS cast over us, and still does, as we age without much guidance. But that’s still no excuse not to guide and be uplifters for those around us.)

Larry Kramer once said: “I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we’re better than other people. I really do. I think we’re smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. And I think we’re more tuned into what’s happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people’s emotions, and we’re better friends. I really do think all those things.”

I love and agree with all of that. Except one part.

We aren’t better friends. At least not in the world of online sexual hooking up, an orbit I’ve spent time in since I found myself suddenly single. While I’ll let whatever romance life has in store happen organically, I like hunting for casual sex with the touch of a button (though that course-corrected once I concluded last summer – despite multiple police denials – that a serial killer was on the loose… but that’s another story.) 

You could argue that someone you hook up with isn’t a real friend. But if you can call someone you’ve never even met a “friend” on Facebook, surely we can call those we allow inside our homes and bodies “friends” of a sort.

It is wonderful to metaphorically roll in the mud and the muck with other guys who call themselves “pigs.” And those who don’t identify that way – but are.  Which is where I must disagree with Kramer. 

We might have once been better friends, but if what I’ve witnessed and experienced, we are failing each other horribly now.

How some treat others in this modern gay sex scene, actually brings to mind another Kramer-ism: “We are not crumbs. We must not accept crumbs.”

From ourselves, and from each other… yet we do. We, appallingly, shockingly, behave like mean girls, and we lie, and we steal, and so much more. (I even once had my jeans, wallet, phone and keys stolen at a trick’s. Another story too, but let’s just say it ain’t easy getting home without your pants!)

This is all beneath us. I think we’re better than other people. I really do. 

We, one of the most historically persecuted groups of people in the world, need to get our act together. Many of us, at the very least. Like many of you, I’m so upset by how it seems the police seemingly did not take better care of the LGBT community, as I watch the sickening Bruce McArthur case unfold.

But, if we want people on the outside to take care of us, shouldn’t we demand the same thing of ourselves and each other, here, on the inside, in the thick of it all? One way we can is whenever we do one of the things gay men do best: hook up and fuck.

And so it’s in this spirit that we present for your consideration: The Gentleman Pig: A Guide To Not Being A Douche.

Please let’s take better care of each other. 

Shaun Proulx,



Pigs abound. But it takes self-awareness and self-actualization to straddle who you are sexually and bring forward the compassionate, kind, honourable, grown up side of yourself – one we all have access too if we choose – which I’ll call your gentleman side.

Rather than describe what a gentleman is, let’s look at what he’s not: A gentleman is not a douche.

Douches steal. Lube, poppers, cock-rings, jewellery, laptops, jeans (!), party favours, eye-cream, lip balm, smart phones, hard-drives, and shoes are not take-home gifts. (Neither are phone charging cords, so I started to use bright LED charging cables, which no one can “whoopsie” out the door, “thinking” they was theirs – even though they asked to use yours because they never brought any.(I got mine here.) Douches, stop taking people’s belongings. To you it might just be an item to nick you think your host or guest will just replace, but sentimental value is a real thing, feeling violated is, too, as is feeling through evidentiary experience like you cannot trust people. Grow up.

Douches come to your place under the auspices of sex, but really just want the roof over your head and free WiFi. I had to laugh when complaints arose about a downtown high-rise complex I live near: tenants were finding people sitting in the stairwells. One expert in the media suggested it was homeless people coming in from the winter’s cold. Perhaps, but I’d wager elsewhere: It’s guys sitting close enough to the apartments of the trick they just left to keep using their wi-fi.  Grow up.

Douches stay on their phones: Unless you were invited specifically to come by and sit on your phone and ignore me, on unless you said, “Hey, wanna come by and watch me type on my device?” put your phone away – guest or host. It’s the height of rudeness, it’s sometimes symptomatic of dopamine imbalance, and there is nothing hot about sitting next to someone who has gone down what I call the Rabbit Hole. Grow up.

Douches don’t know when to leave. “Get out. You’ve been here for 35 hours. I said my girl friend is coming by in ten minutes and I smell like you and me. So I need time to shower because I respect myself and my girlfriend … so why are you still telling me about your bitchy sister in Cornwall, like you were when we were shagging? Get out! This is awful!” Grow up.

This portion of our post is brought to by the word “punding.”

Douches bring nothing to the table. Or to the bedroom. They mooch. They need your shower; they need your towels; they need your toiletries; they need something to drink – usually something very specific like a fruit  juice with no pulp – your Imodium; your baby powder; they need a fresh tee shirt, they need a minute; they wonder if you have any favours; they could use a cigarette. Douches prefer one kind of lube over the other and they use it in vast amounts but they didn’t bring any – even though they know they need it – and: got a cock-ring? Or, even better: some Viagra? Douches rarely have money – or an orange or a newborn goat – in exchange any of this… which brings me back to favours. What makes you think the person you are with should gift you at least  $100 or more in free goods because you are standing there on your phone ignoring him? Get out. Go! Grow up.

Douches gossip. After performing intimate sexual acts together with another man or men, a douche turns into the Rona Barrett (or for you whippersnappers: Perez Hilton) of your local sex scene. Breaking all sacredness, trust, and the energy of the prior exchange, it’s important for the douche to point out your ad online and share with those he is now with that you’re into whatever you both got into. Of course, the douche is NOT into it. But you are. And now, everyone knows. Not that you should be ashamed. But he should. Douche. Grow up.

Douches are hypocrites. They say they only play safe, but they bareback, lie to themselves and their friends about it, and then condemn and criticize those who do exactly the same but without the self-loathing part, which self-loathing douches hate. And remember “Truvada Whore?” Don’t hear that term as much now that the cost-prohibitive drug is more easily accessible and hypocritical douches everywhere are on it, do we? PrEP is a miracle and we attacked first users? Grow up.

Douches are awful guests. If I invited you to my home for dinner, would you show up at the door with someone else who is a stranger to me and whom I didn’t invite? Would you sit there and say absolutely nothing to me, but eat all my food?  Would you completely ignore the other people at the table, because they aren’t your cup of tea? Would you be on your phone, inviting other guys over, unbeknownst to me? Would you complain you don’t like the music can we change it, ask for more more dessert, more dessert, more dessert, more dessert, even taking someone else’s dessert when you are trying to pass it to them and consuming it for yourself – even though you brought nothing with you as a simple rule of thumb right out of Guest 101?  Would you begin video tape us all eating, or cam us live without permission? Grow up.

Douches don’t say thank you. Have you been a guest at a guy’s home who basically ignores you once sex is done? Or perhaps you entertained, and then after,  watched your guest put his clothes on and leave, wordlessly? Call me old-fashioned, but I think if fluids were exchanged, a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a smile, a thank you, is appropriate. Some of my best friends are guys I met having sex. We’re taking 25 and 15, and 5 year friendships all because of manners  after the fun. This is what you deny yourself access to when you choose to be a douche. Grow up.

Douches employ computer courage. Oh the snark, rude, abrupt, pissy things we’ll type and then fire off when hidden behind the safety of a device. Unless you would be willing to look the person directly in the eye and say it to their face, don’t say it. Grow up.

Douches don’t answer online sex responses if they are uninterested, but grumble like Mama June in her early diet days if you don’t answer theirs. You get back what you put out and that’s just quantum physics and Universal law. Grow up.

Douches don’t know history. Or even present. A serial killer has killed at least five of our gay brothers, here in Toronto, here in Canada, here in North America, here on our planet,  as of this writing. For over thirty years a dis-ease took the lives of millions of our own and still does. We owe it to them, to ourselves, and to each other, to treat one another better than we do. If we don’t take care of ourselves and each other, we can’t expect others to honour us to such a high degree. Grow up.

Douches negate and discount: Especially when we are in each other’s presence and especially when we are in each other’s homes. Both are sacred spaces. Lying, stealing, diminishing,  – everything mentioned above – and I don’t care how high you are on what you’re high on – is wrong.

Douches don’t know their drugs: I know a lot, especially about crystal methamphetamine, having been the first journalist in North America to authentically share his experience with the drug, in 2004. Know your poisons. It doesn’t matter what the most popular recreational drug is, if it’s not for you, don’t do it. You know it’s not for you when you start thinking there’s a camera behind the art, someone in the closet, people in the hallway, others talking in another room, or that the police are coming, or shouting “TIM!” at apartment buildings. Those are also signs you need some sleep and something to eat, so heed them. You know a drug isn’t for you if you wake up hours later and don’t know who was inside you. I know lots of guys who love to go all night or all weekend – but who do so on whatever they choose, not what everyone else appears to be doing – and the end result is a lot of healthy respectful fun. That said, I am not telling you not to do drugs or to do them, to me it’s fine one way or the other. What isn’t fine though is not knowing yourself or respecting yourself. If you are walking down the street looking like you are furiously playing the piano, if no one understands a word you are saying, if you are sweating like that time I was  a virgin at the prison ball, it is time to pull back a moment and think about how you could manage you better.

A lot of guys I talk to blame the arrival of crystal meth on our scene (and her refusal to leave the party,) for douchery and while it may contribute, I know lots of gentlemen pigs who enjoy the letter T and don’t douche out all over you  – so the argument to me is blame game nonsense. (Drugs of all kinds have historically been part of the experience of some gay men and while the arch bitch in every gay man exists and we can be catty, I hope I’m being clean that I am talk talking about complete demoralization, disregard, lack of feeling or empathy that continues to grow and fester.) This is about men treating each other like they have not value. It’s about men being douches to each other.

Grow up. Even in the most casual or anonymous scene, you have a choice about going high or low.

Know this if you choose the latter: There is nothing enlightened about playing small. It doesn’t serve you, us, or the world.

In no way am I perfect. Approaching 50 years of age this summer, of course, there have been lots of times I was a douche. But primarily I am kind. Primarily I am respectful. All while being shockingly fun, according to at least 1001 reference.

I’m old enough now to have seen times when we gay men had each other’s back – as a rule. What I see now, sadly, are gay men lacking self-esteem and treating others from that low-level.

We are better than that. We have to be better than this. We have to help each other. Grow up. No one likes to be told to grow up. It likely got pretty annoying getting to this point of this post, with me saying grow up like I have. But grow up. Behave with a measure of honour, and be proud to be gay because it is a blessing, and be proud to be with guys naked and being gay with them, in each other’s homes, in each other’s bodies.

Take care of you, take care of him, take care of them.

It’s uncomplicated. So can we stop making it so?

Be a gentleman. Pig.


Shaun Proulx is the publisher of He hosts The Shaun Proulx Show on SiriusXM 167 where everyone from Oprah to Micahel Alig have ben guests. He leads a #ThoughtRevolution about busting through personal limits on He is a gentleman pig.


  1. Gord McLaughlin

    February 21, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Some great truths and turns of phrase.

    And the repeated “grow up” gave it the feel of a Catholic mass.


  2. Rob Morrison

    February 21, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Bravo….very well said Shaun.
    Hopefully some will even hear what you are saying & apply it, if necessary, to their own lives.
    I too remember a time when being gay was like an unspoken brotherhood & you had a fellow gay persons back…friend or not.
    It is a different time… Thankfully you use your platform to discuss & enlighten your audience on subjects that are directed to & come from a place of kindness & positivity.
    R Morrison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *