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Perennial singledom affects many gay men

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Steven Bereznai, 32, is the editor of fab magazine, and author of Gay And Single ... Forever?



Sitting across from him at Second Cup, I knew he was a catch — smart, witty, and good looking.


But at 32, Steven Bereznai has never had a boyfriend. He always thought coming out when he was 19 would be the hardest part. He was wrong. It just added to the pressures of finding the right person to spend his life with.


“I would give myself little challenges like I would have to approach two cute guys in a bar a night,” says Bereznai, editor of fab magazine. “Looking back on it, it was a lot of pressure.”


Now, Bereznai is focussing his time on being happy with his single status and has parlayed what he’s learned along the way into Gay And Single … Forever?: 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking For Love (And Not Finding It) Needs To Know.


Hot on the heels of the gay marriage debate, the book takes a well-researched and intimate look at how half of gay men live — single, sans boyfriend, sans marriage partner.


“Nobody thought of the 50 per cent of gay men who are single,” says Bereznai on why he wrote the book.


“There’s a lot of that relationship pressure that historically has been more amongst the straight community. Now, we get to feel it too.”


Don’t you love equality, boys?


For Bereznai, coming into his comfort zone with being gay and single, in part, came from writing the book and thinking about his own life. “(Writing the book) was very cathartic. When you date a lot and have a lot of negative experiences you build up a bit of baggage … I realized it was better to just let go of that negativity,” says Bereznai.


“The other thing was dealing with gay and single forever as a question. If I’m going to be single for the rest of my life, what am I going to do to be happy?”


The answer partly came in how Bereznai views his friends. “I’m much more willing to do the special things that perhaps I was saving for a boyfriend for the people that are already in my life.”


He also has a fresh approach to his sex life.


“There is this very pornographic image of the gay one night stand — very slam, bam, thank you ma’am. The more I started slowing down, even in a one night stand situation, I was actually interacting with this other person as a person,” says Bereznai, adding he finally let real emotions enter the bedroom.


“That doesn’t happen in porn.”


For those men who aren’t happy being single, Bereznai recommends asking what you are looking for in a relationship. “Once you start breaking it down into things like companionship, then start asking yourself how you can have that in your life now.


Don’t assume that having a boyfriend is the only way to get that.”


Gay And Single Forever? can be found at Glad Day Bookshop at 598A Yonge St. and This Ain’t The Rosedale Library at 483 Church St., or through www.chapters.ca.



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gay singledom

• Forty to 60 per cent of gay men are single. This is onethird to two times higher than for lesbians and heterosexuals, and many gay men will spend most of their lives unattached.


• The happiest gay singles are singles by choice.


• Twenty per cent of gay men say their current best friend is an ex-lover.


• According to one gay therapist, “Shame about being single has been a common theme in my support group. We’ve internalized the notion that it’s somehow better to be in a relationship, so there must be something essentially wrong with us if we’ve arrived at midlife and we’re still single.”



 
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