1. JSE says

    The first thing this guy should do to be taken seriously on this topic is stop wearing a form-fitting shirt with an open collar. To lecture gay men about trying too hard by yourself trying too hard is laughable. Also: it’s easy to lecture other gay men about loving yourself when you look like an underwear model and don’t experience the widespread rejection a lot of gay men (all people, really) experience. I’ll bet this Dempsey guy hasn’t been ignored by a bartender in a gay bar in years. It’s a nice effort if taken at face value. Something about it rings…if not phony, then unrealistic.

  2. Rick says

    “takes a look at the tendency some gay men have to compare themselves to others and be left feeling not good enough, and what can be done about it.”

    Oh, gee, how profound!

    Look, everybody, somebody just discovered that people compare themselves to other people and sometimes feel inadequate when they don’t feel as though they compare favorably in some way!

    Who knew?

  3. IJelly says

    It’s a little like hearing Dan Savage tell us that we need to try harder to keep things sexually interesting with our partners and then seeing Dan’s husband working as an underwear model.

  4. says

    I work out constantly to feel better about myself. I don’t know why I do it. Probably because it is easier than dealing with the emptiness inside. Unfortunately, I didn’t work out evenly so now I have really skinny arms and an overworked chest.

  5. Andy says

    I’ll use the same cash I just mopped up my wet panties with to buy his book. But he better offer overnight shipping because I’ll find someone new in 2 days.

  6. crispy says

    “I’ll bet this Dempsey guy hasn’t been ignored by a bartender in a gay bar in years.”

    Is that really a thing? I mean, I’ve been to a lot of gay bars (accusations of functioning alcoholic have been levied my way), and it really doesn’t work that way. When a bar is crowded, bartenders typically start at one end, work their way down, and rotate back to the start. If you want to get their attention, you could hold a large bill (bartenders are, after all, working for tips) or you could at some point simply ask them their name and try being friendly. It very rarely has anything to do with looks.

    I’m not saying you’re not ugly. But maybe you’re impatient and an a–hole, too.

  7. Mikey says

    Yeah, nothing against the guy, but I see someone who looks like him and I immediately can’t relate to *his* problems. I know that’s short-sighted and unfair, but at least I’m honest.

  8. pedro says

    Is this guy trying to take the place of the other wannbe life-coach who offed himself? Why do these people assume they have some special insight that we lowly plebes need to hear? It is all a conjob with the aim of prying away money from the insecure through admission fees to worthless seminars and price of shallowly written self-help books. No different from the religious charlatans.

  9. babboo says

    I wonder if this video would have been posted if he looked like a stereotypical nebbish jewish therapist – or even female – as opposed to a model?

  10. Jim says

    “You just landed a regional commercial and your friend booked a recurring role on True Blood.”

    This guy is so completely disconnected from the reality of the lives of the other 99% of gay men that he cannot be taken seriously.

  11. FernLaPlante says

    Good message, I guess but the “you landed a regional commercial” bit – was that supposed to be a joke or serious? How many people are “landing commercials” all the time? That example was far fetched and that’s when I lost interest because I can’t even book a LOCAL commercial let alone a regional one.

  12. Jay says

    I can’t believe the cynicism in the comments here.

    Many people find him good looking, but that doesn’t mean he’s “trying too hard” and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t experience the issue at hand or have something to say about it. It also doesn’t devalue his credentials.

    Come on, guys…

    You’re undermining what he’s saying because, “That’s easy for you to say. Look how good looking you are and look at all you have.”

    But I’m sure if he were less attractive, you’d say, “Oh, you’re just saying that to make yourself feel better about how you look and what you don’t have.”

    Honestly, the cynicism isn’t going to get you anywhere…

  13. Kevin says

    Pedro: “Is this guy trying to take the place of the other wannbe life-coach who offed himself? Why do these people assume they have some special insight that we lowly plebes need to hear?”

    Because he is a licensed professional clinical counselor (lpcc) and went to school to study behavior and psychology. We each have something to offer and his educational and professional expertise is that.

    The comments here seem very cynical, taken from the very ideology discussed in the video. “Oh look at him, how can he possibly know what my life is like.” If that’s your first thought, then you need to take a step back and maybe reflect on the advice. Maybe the ideas are not profound to some who have thought about these topics before, but the suggestions are reasonable and meaningful if you allow them to be.

  14. rayrayj says

    There seems to be a belief that because he is handsome and primped he can’t relate to someone comparing and himself to others and evaluating himself negatively. Unbelievably handsome men sometimes feel insecure about their looks too. Also handsome men frequently have to deal with a different kind of prejudice as is evident from many of the posts.

  15. Gigi says

    @2:03 — Nice clip from one of my FAV films, Weekend. It sums up nicely how some of us feel inadequate and lonely in spite of ourselves.

    @JSE re: “The first thing this guy should do to be taken seriously on this topic is stop wearing a form-fitting shirt with an open collar.” LMAO! Thanks for proving his point. I could do “@” for pretty much every comment here but I gotta get to they gym. :)

  16. Mango says

    Oh My God. The music, the soft light, the whole package–it was like an SNL spoof. “Because I’m good enough and smart enough and people love me..” Everyone is trying to make a buck out of this pop psychology market.Thank you for your infinite wisdom, Dr. Ken Hack.

  17. says

    the troll posting as me is just jealous because he couldn’t get laid if he fell @ss-first onto a cock factor.

    anyway, the thing with Coming Out is that it’s not just about saying “i’m gay” – it’s the first step toward living your life on your own terms, and MANY a gay men don’t ever do that. look at all the trolls. not only comparing themselves to gay men, but to the straight men they wish they were.

    your life becomes enjoyable when you live it on your own terms, for reasons that make intellectual sense. and finding that is indeed a journey.

    my video take on it:

    btw, Troll Posting As Me: i’m flattered that you think i have an overworked chest. truth is, i don’t work out anymore. i run, i do pushups, that’s it. that’s all. and i love it 😀

  18. Brad says

    The True Blood analogy was definitely not the best choice, but he is based in West Hollywood. Struggling actors are probably a major portion of his clientele.

    Regardless, insecurity has dominated my entire life. I found a lot of his comments helpful, and I sensed pure intent in his message. Cynicism is not helping anyone evolve into healthier, happier men.

  19. Tranquilo says

    ” If you want to get their attention, you could hold a large bill (bartenders are, after all, working for tips)”

    Bartender here. No, that doesn’t work. Kinda “douchey”, and will usually set you back 5 minutes in getting served.

    PS. I don’t pass over people to get to get to the good-looking guy either.

  20. Zlick says

    I have nothing against a good-looking guy giving this type of advice. That would be pretty absurd and, ironically, an indication that you really suffer badly from the problem he’s describing. No, my problem with his presentation is that the solution offered is, basically, Don’t Do That. Well, d’uh.

    That’s as old as “Doc, it hurts when I bend my elbow.” You know the rest.

    Really? Concentrate on your own good values. It’s not really a matter of comparison, so don’t compare yourself to others. THAT’s the solution to not comparing yourself to others?? Sheesh.

  21. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    jeez. it’s not a “gay” think–it’s an “everybody” thing–the kind of competitiveness our culture engenders. Yes, it’s unfortunate and destructive, but gay guys are, by no means, the only ones doing it. I’ve been surprised to learn over the years, that straight guys are just as insecure growing up as gay guys.

  22. says

    Wow. I sure wish I had hair like Matt, instead of being as bald as Captain Picard. And that perfectly trimmed beard. And the way he fills out that shirt. And he must be raking in the dough as a psychotherapist.

    Oh well, I guess comparing should be reserved for the locker room, huh?

  23. ct says

    So a “hot” (well, except for the eyelid-drooping bit and the narcissism) “psychologist” tries to get all the not-so-hot and insecure gays in his vicinity to sign up as his clients. This way you get to ogle him during the session AND you get a free sympathy pat on the back by the hot guy in the end.

    God this is lame.

  24. Doug says

    Oy. The comments on this blog are blow-your-mind mean. I feel like I should apologize to Andy every time I read them. I’m sure the majority of the readers are not so horrible.

  25. woodroad34d says

    I remember reading an article about either Robert Redford or Brad Pitt and how difficult it was for them to be taken seriously because of their good looks–great to look at and be admired on that level….but no substance; so they dirtied up their looks and tried to look sloppy. I’m sort of getting that feeling here. Because he’s good looking, he’s not taken seriously. He is talking to gay guys who generally–GENERALLY–hold beautiful porn stars and actors up as a role model for how to live. So what if he uses the example of an actor getting a role in a big commercial…it’s just an example. Listen to the whole message and not parse it down. I’ve gone to dinner or the movies, whatever, with friends who do the parlor game of “get a load of HER!” It gets tiresome, depressing and depending on the volume, very embarrassing. It’s not necessary to tear someone down to build yourself up.

  26. shane says

    It’s not the message, it’s the messenger. Did he really need to go A-List and use True Blood as an example? He just doesn’t come across as believable..and while is this a great message that is completely ignored, he may not be the right source of enlightment…i’m just saying.

  27. joe c says

    Yikes I’m with the anti-cynics: a bunch of y’all are really missing the message. And the problem is judging someone ONLY by superficial means, or letting another person’s accomplishments overshadow your own. I’m all for him making himself look as presentable as possible if it gets more people in the tents.

  28. ew says

    comments today made me giggle and think…not too bad. truth is…this guy is trying to build his private practice. he lives in weho and the commercial/versus true blood comparison was directly speaking to his target market. sure he will get more than one client thanks to this video…and towleroad promoting the message.

  29. Rami says

    I like his take on the issue, but come on – this would not have been posted on Towleroad if Dempsey was dumpy and unattractive. Or straight. It’s just kind of embarrassing – for Towleroad – to post this and pretend it’s NOT because he’s hot.

  30. Rami says

    I like his take on the issue, but come on – this would not have been posted on Towleroad if Dempsey was dumpy and unattractive. Or straight. It’s just kind of embarrassing – for Towleroad – to post this and pretend it’s NOT because he’s hot.

  31. crispy says

    “If you want to get their attention, you could hold a large bill (bartenders are, after all, working for tips)”

    “Bartender here. No, that doesn’t work. Kinda “douchey”, and will usually set you back 5 minutes in getting served.”

    That’d be the last time I went to your bar then.

    Note I didn’t say wave it in their faces. That WOULD be douchey. Casually holding your money so they don’t have to wait on you to dig it out of your wallet just seems considerate to me.

    Anywho, I usually find that a simple smile works best.

  32. Gigi says

    52 comments and counting. 53 including this one. Man, the girls are in a snit today. Must be Dempsey’s perty hair and perfect teeth that did it. You’re all a hoot!

  33. Ed McAn says

    Holy Cow! Most of these commenters simply don’t get it. Imagine the hostility this guy must face every day just because he got lucky in the gene pool and knows how to present himself. While I do think his message is simplistic, I don’t think you can expect anything more detailed on the INTERNET. Maybe he would be more specific in a PRIVATE session; something longer than, say, the 4 minutes here.

    He’s smart enough to know that in our current culture, looks matter more than anything, so who can blame him for using what he’s got as a mechanism to get people to listen to basic, simple, common sense advice? Dr. Joyce Brothers built her career through the media; was she more accepted because she was ‘average’ looking and buck-toothed? I wish Matthew Dempsey success in his practice and career, despite his appearance. I’m sure he’s aware that his looks would be intimidating for those of us with a less developed sense of self.

  34. Really? says

    I have a friend who had a recurring role on True Blood. It’s not THAT far-fetched.

    Yeah, he’s pretty. He probably goes out clubbing with a group of muscular guys with low body fat and perfect hair. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t truth to what he’s saying.

    Nothing is more annoying than a single guy who has no confidence, is insecure, and doesn’t understand why no one wants to date him, but seems desperate and alone.

    The point that we all have our own strengths is spot on. What makes people attractive- and successful- and happy- is self confidence. Stop comparing yourself to other people and always do your best and life will be great.

  35. Jeff says

    The commercial bit made me think he probably lives in Los Angeles so a majority of the people he is interacting with are actors and that’d be a primary concern for them. And a quick Googling confirms that. It’s savvy of him to use an example that would illustrate the issue, though be far-fetched for most of the country, but also relate to the people who are most likely to be his patients.

  36. will says

    Oh, God, this is mushy trendy psychobabble backed up with soothing-sensitive music. I love the Hollywood analogy of feeling “less than” because of the commercial vs. a recurring role on True Blood”.

    This is chockful of woozy platitudes. But there is something Nurse Ratched-y about his overly smooth bromides.

  37. Jose says

    Wow this man is very handsome, young and talking about this topic – hmm!? Gay men tend to be very superficial and it’s not what you are but what you look like. Some of these men can be viciously vocal about it too. Most behave like 16 year old girls in high school – the cheerleaders vs all the other regular girls. It’s a harsh but sad statement but it’s true – any regular gay Joe Schmoe can tell you.

  38. johnny says

    I just compared my hair with his.

    Mine looks great, his is odd.

    Off to take a nap now, this video and the comments here bored me so badly I can’t keep my eyes open.

  39. joeyhegele says

    I came to the comments to say basically what everyone else has said. Obviously even someone who looks like Mr. Dempsey can have his fair share of problems, but his advice to people concerned about their looks seems similar to rich folks who say money does not buy happiness. Uh, easy for you to say.

  40. andrew says

    If anyone ever does a remake of that negative and bitchy movie “Boys In The Band” they simply have to come here to find the perfect type casted actors.

  41. Frank G says

    This felt like bland recycled fashion tips, from a bar drunk, who watches too much Bravo or TLC. Vapid meaninglessness, delivered with measured cynical authority – made me nauseous.

  42. Paul Liehr says

    Agree with ” Mikey ” above . I try to be objective here but at the end of the day it’s very difficult to take seriously a message from somebody who looks this good ( when I’m part of a minority in which THE ONLY THINGS that matters are personal appearance and youth . . . )

  43. Sargon Bighorn says

    I don’t blame anyone for being good looking, hell I turn heads on starfish. What I find disconcerting are the weird pictures on the table. Are they showing the future? And thank you all for making this one of the funniest comment threads I have read in a long time. You are all mean high school girls to the core and I SALUTE you.

  44. Loren says

    Loved the clip. The comments following are so ironic. Gees, talk about a load of guys with inferiority complexes thus proving the very point of the clip. Unfortunately, gays seem to live by this sense of inferiority, thus the constant need of put downs of others. In the face of so many forces against us, so surprising we can’t be more united together, supporting each other.

  45. anon says

    The sad truth is that if you want a hot looking sex partner you need good lucks and put a lot of work into your appearance. Good looking people get a lot more breaks in life than the normal or plain. However, hot sex partners do not equal hot sex. A lot of hot guys are very lazy in bed.

  46. EchtKultig says

    “I like his take on the issue, but come on – this would not have been posted on Towleroad if Dempsey was dumpy and unattractive. Or straight. It’s just kind of embarrassing – for Towleroad – to post this and pretend it’s NOT because he’s hot.”
    & what JB said & what Shane said etc. etc.

    Sorry, the “cynics” have the day on this one, folks. And not because they are insecure, it’s because, as a recent piece in observed about Nate Silver, they “believe in the real world.”

  47. EchtKultig says

    “Vapid meaninglessness, delivered with measured cynical authority – made me nauseous.”
    Exactly. I don’t care how he looks – frankly I’ve seen much better looking gay men than him. It’s that it seems like insincere psychobabble from an opportunist.

  48. Jason says

    Good lord! Just because someone is traditionally attractive doesn’t mean they lack feelings/hardship/empathy. He’s probably a more kind-hearted soul than most of you bitter queens.

  49. john says

    I find this messaging an important one, but the way it was presented was completely skewed by this psychologist’s obvious privileges, both racial and of class. Most queer people living in the hard economic brutality of neo-liberal economics do indeed feel that they are not performing up to the levels of their peers in the bar when there are huge gaps in wealth present. Gaps that are usually evident by what is in the parking lot outside.

    I believe if this messaging had perhaps gone through some vetting by race politics, gender politics, and an acknowledgement of the very real existence of HIV stigmatization, we would have seen a methodology that could apply to poor and urban gay men more effectively. Economic pressures are real pressures, and the presence of poverty and massive debt in our community can not be so easily brushed aside with self help platitudes. With the rigors of survival in our own capitalist pyramid scheme applied to queer people (sometimes by other queers, whether intentionally or not), you will find us hard pressed to feel good about ourselves in a society that has dictated most of the rules of our interactions for us, before we even come out.

    Every closet is a prison whether they are of race, orientation or class.
    –Victoria Brownworth

  50. Paul Liehr says

    Like it or not the gay male community constitutes a totally narcissistic subculture . I’m not sure anything can change that given the visual nature of the male gender . A woman can look across the table at her date and see the prince inside the toad . All a man sees is the toad , regurgitating the last fly it devoured . . .

  51. Felix says

    This is an SNL skit, just missing the self awareness of how pathetic it is. Regional commercial to True Blood role–really? It was laugh out loud WRONG!

  52. j says

    i recall from past posts by this narcissist that he has a msw from hunter (i think that’s it – no more than an Masters at any rate) – not impressive – says a lot when you have an MSW and you go around calling yourself a psychologist – more accurate to call him a social worker – which is what his degree is –

  53. Markt says

    Tranquilo – You’re a bartender who doesn’t favor the cute ones and doesn’t respond to large bills. Really? Are you paralyzed as well? We all try to provide a service and get the best we can out of it. But not you, you are an ethical provider of an addictive narcotic that has ruined more lives than heroin and crystal meth ever could. Thank god you are behind the bar. What fun you must be to sit and talk to.

  54. Brian says

    Regardless of his qualifications as a therapist, it’s a more than a little disconcerting to be lectured on this topic by such an attractive man. Yes, we shouldn’t base our self-worth on our physicalities but for decades, gay men have judged one another in just that way. Should we resent how attractive he is? No. Should we take his advice with a grain of salt? Absolutely. Therapy is a completely subjective and individual process. To give across-the-board advice like this is irresponsible (at best) and condescending.

  55. Just_a_guy says

    Hmm. Lol. No thanks. Lolol. I think this was posted as a joke or else just because the guy is attractive? Well, that aNd the rancour it would generate in the comments. Funny sh&&. But worth a serious contemplation??

  56. Jonno says

    People work hard to look good. Let’s face it, if you want to be part of the club scene you need to look a certain way. I did it for years but there comes a point where, no matter how good you look, you’re just too old!

  57. beaunic says

    Speaking of “damage nation”… Most of the comments are solely based on what this guy look like as supposed to what he is saying. If this guy would have been overweight or unattractive, no one would have clicked on this link and the ones who do would have been crucifying him for being unattractive… Get it together gay people. It’s totally pathetic to discredit what he is saying based on his appearance, just because he looks like a model doesn’t mean he can’t be insecure, models are most insure people you ever find,, beside you don’t have to be a criminal to understand how criminal mind works. He is professional who has credentials to understand human behaviour period…I wish most of the comments where about the content of what he is saying, not what he looks like but apparently most people who click on this link are incapable of that …I truly hope it isn’t a reflection of our community, otherwise we will need all shrink we can get (ugly or beautiful)

  58. Sean Westmann says

    Benr & John (& probably others), I agree with your comments. Too many have taken the tack of attacking the person instead of his ideas (ad hominem). Some day people will learn to leave personalities & ego out of the equation and intelligently discuss the topic.

  59. MaddM@ says

    Jesus, some of you people are absolutely wretched. Regardless of attractiveness levels or not, your souls are ugly and I’m sure that comes out to trump whatever physical things you have going or not going on. Y’all are not the diamonds in the rough you think you are, you’re just rough

    Yeah, a lot of this is “It hurts when I do that/Don’t do that” stuff but (as a doctor myself) I can tell you that’s what some people need to hear sometimes.

    Oh and apparently when I go into clinic I should put on my burlap bag and splash some acid on my face so people will take me seriously… talk about superficial

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