8 Reasons Why Gay Men Are A Girl's Best Friend

He's a total sweetheart, and he's not trying to get you in the sack. Cosmo tells why guys who like guys make the greatest gal pals.

By Sarah Miller

It's Saturday night and you have nothing to do. Unless, of course, you consider de-mildewing your bathtub and giving yoruself a pedicure "something to do." Maybe you and your boyfriend had a fight, or he's not around, or you just don't happen to have one right now, all right? All your girlfriends are out swing-dancing or having dinner with their finace's parents or at Lamaze class. What you need to fill the void is a gay guy best friend a la TV's Will & Grace. "The expression perfect couple is always applied to romantic relationships, but it's women and gay men who are really the perfect couple," say Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman, best buddies and co-authors of the book Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man (ReganBooks, 1996). Think of all the issues that you won't have to worry about that you have to worry about with girlfriends. No fighting over the same love interest. No competition. Was he looking at her or at me? Is her tube top upstaging my miniskirt? And there are so many problems being friends with straight men. For example, Will I sleep with him? Should I sleep with him? And finally, Omnigod, I slept with him. But there are tons of reasons to be friends with a gay man. We've narrowed them down to these eight:

1. Gay men are funnier than straight men.

Crashing a party recently with my gay friend David, I was approached by the hostess who asked coolly, "And you're a friend of...?" "Pleased to meet you," David said breezily, extending one hand in greeting and, with the other, gesturing toward the buffet table. "We're friends of the ham." When I had finally stopped laughing, he explained gay men's gift for humor. "From an early age, I knew I was different, that I needed to prove myself. My older brother was the jock, my twin sister was the beauty, I was determined to get my parents' attention, even though I couldn't throw a curve ball or be crowned Harvest Queen. So I was a one-man show--- one-liners, imitations, shameless self- deprecation." His boyfriend, Chris, agrees. "We're just quicker on the draw, because working out makes you alert. Watching football while drinking beer out of aluminum cans kills brain cells."

2. Gay men are into silly pop culture.

"My boyfriend has to listen to the most alternative pop bands," says Tara Weiss, 25, a waitress. "But when I go on a road trip with my friend Brian, we crank up all those heart-wrenching FM ballads. 'My Heart Will Go On,' 'Hopelessly Devoted to You,' and 'Guilty' - that one's our favorite. It's a duet between Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb." Brian explains his songbird side: "When I was growing up, all the other guys wanted to be Reggie Jackson.. I wanted to be Donna Summer. I'm not embarrassed to sing at the top of my lungs like the diva I am. And when no stations are coming in, I'm happy to give Tara a Cosmo quiz while she drives."

3. Gay men like to talk as much as you do.

"Gay men," says Lilian Glass, who is buddies with many gay men and author of Attracting Terrific People (St. Martin's Press, 1998), "are more communicative than straight men." When you ask a gay man a question like "How was your day?" he realized you're not just looking for information, you're looking to be entertained. He's likely to give you a movie treatment: "My boss is driving me nuts! I know her husband left her for his yoga instructor, and her son- who is going to be sooo cute-was caught running a three-card monte scam at his high school. But that doesn't mean she can take it out on me..." The gift for gab that gay men and straight women share is, Glass says, about caring for relationships. "Women and gay men know communicating isn't just about saying yes or no, its' showing someone who you are, what you think, and what interests you."

4. Gay men get shopping.

"I go to buy a dress with my boyfriend. We hit the dress department. Boom, we're out of there," says Kelly Wakin, a 27-year old teacher. "But when I go with my friend Steve, I try on a million dresses an he rates each one. We check out the shoe department and then hit the cosmetics department because both of us want to know if those weird lavendar toners really even out your complexion." But the best thing about shopping with a gay man, says author Berman: "He will tell you honestly if your butt looks enormous!"

5. Gay men are still men.

Eve Brosnan, a 30-year old filmmaker, appreciates not having to miss out on those precious male vibes when her dating life's in a downswing. "Sometimes going out with the girls is a painful reminder of the fact that you don't have a date," she says. "But going out with a gay guy feels like you have this great boyfriend. He tells you that you look sexy, notices that you lost weight or at least that your Wonderbra is doing great things for you." As Anderson puts it, "We won't have sex with you, but we will open the door for you and mix your drinks."

6. Gay men know that gossiping is the single most entertaining pastime in the world.

Holly Wright, a 22-year old stylist, tried to tell her boyfriend the latest about a coworker's messy divorce, but before she got out the first "You'll never guess.." he cut her off. "I don't' even know these people," he said. "And why don't you just let them have their privacy?" Her gay friend Vince, however, sat enraptured as she told him every detail. "Who cares if I don't know them?" he said, when she got to the part about the wife's affair with the husband's father. "This is better than Melrose!"

7. Going dancing with gay men is a blast.

Marni Rossi, a 30-year-old caterer, loves to go dancing. "But single girls in a straight club are a magnet for creeps trying to get our numbers," she says. When she met Nick, a coworker, a new social life opened up. "Gay clubs play the best music-disco, techno, lots of Madonna." Speaking of Madonna - the material girl first strutted her stuff when her gay friend and dance teacher, Christopher Flynn took her out to gay disco's in the 70's.

8. You can tell a gay man the stuff you can't tell anyone else.

Say you slept with your ex-boyfriend again. Or got drunk and went home with a jerk. Whatever you did, you're feeling dirty and cheap. Tell your girlfriend if you want to hear "Oh my God! How could you?" Tell a straight male friend if you want to hear "Whoa. That's rough." And know that he's thinking "slut." But if all you want is for someone to laugh and shake his head and get you Haagen-Dazs bars while you watch a double-feature of Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, tell your gay friend. "When your love life runs opposite to what the culture wants from you," says Stan Maslow, 30." You tend to have more of a sense of humor about other people. Plus, I've done stupid things in pursuit of love." Anderson agrees," because our own love lives are under constant scrutiny, we're empathetic about sexual matters," he says. "We'll listen, but we won't, God forbid, judge."