Matthew Dempsey | News

Why Some Gay Men 'Compare and Despair' and What to Do About It: VIDEO


Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey, whom you may remember from his video discussions of why gay men are so judgmental toward one another and the need for validation, 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.


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  1. 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.

    Posted by: Mango | Aug 7, 2013 1:09:35 PM

  2. 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 :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 7, 2013 1:11:30 PM

  3. Actually many of the comments here seem to be a case study in exactly what he's talking about..

    Posted by: Deryk | Aug 7, 2013 1:15:09 PM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: Brad | Aug 7, 2013 1:15:54 PM

  5. " 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.

    Posted by: Tranquilo | Aug 7, 2013 1:20:20 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Zlick | Aug 7, 2013 1:20:22 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 7, 2013 1:21:42 PM

  8. 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?

    Posted by: Hank | Aug 7, 2013 1:23:25 PM

  9. WoW the judgement levels here are severe and most are about his looks. Talk about completely missing the point here, guys.

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 7, 2013 1:23:39 PM

  10. Stop being so dismissive because he is attractive, I think it's an important message.

    Posted by: Peter | Aug 7, 2013 1:24:09 PM

  11. They should have played this for The Supreme Court. He mentions "True Blood" so you know he knows what he's talking about.

    Posted by: Garth | Aug 7, 2013 1:25:50 PM

  12. Where in the clip do I get to see him shave Warlow?

    Posted by: DLRnATL | Aug 7, 2013 1:29:04 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: ct | Aug 7, 2013 1:30:06 PM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: Doug | Aug 7, 2013 1:30:56 PM

  15. 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'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.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Aug 7, 2013 1:31:17 PM

  16. I hear he's dating Steve Grand.

    Posted by: Mona | Aug 7, 2013 1:31:21 PM

  17. OK, I tried to take this seriously until he ended the clip by quoting himself. Maybe his next clip should be on narcissism?

    Posted by: John | Aug 7, 2013 1:35:48 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: shane | Aug 7, 2013 1:37:40 PM


    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 7, 2013 1:38:08 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: joe c | Aug 7, 2013 1:40:13 PM

  21. "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me."

    Stuart Smalley from SNL

    Posted by: JB | Aug 7, 2013 1:42:51 PM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: ew | Aug 7, 2013 1:53:10 PM

  23. I knew this post would be a hit in the comments section, LMAO!

    Posted by: Bestcomments | Aug 7, 2013 1:55:44 PM

  24. 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.

    Posted by: Rami | Aug 7, 2013 2:02:00 PM

  25. 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.

    Posted by: Rami | Aug 7, 2013 2:02:00 PM

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