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. Lots of Bitter going on here.

    Posted by: Eric | Aug 7, 2013 2:02:05 PM

  2. "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.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 7, 2013 2:04:50 PM

  3. You guys are really bitches. The guy is educated, young and handsome. How dare he?

    Posted by: Monroc | Aug 7, 2013 2:11:33 PM

  4. 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!

    Posted by: Gigi | Aug 7, 2013 2:12:22 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Ed McAn | Aug 7, 2013 2:12:47 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Really? | Aug 7, 2013 2:16:52 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 7, 2013 2:22:18 PM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: will | Aug 7, 2013 2:26:08 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Jose | Aug 7, 2013 2:30:19 PM

  10. UGH this guy. he looks and sounds so much like my EX that i can't watch more then two seconds.

    Posted by: Will | Aug 7, 2013 2:31:51 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 7, 2013 2:38:09 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: joeyhegele | Aug 7, 2013 2:56:25 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 7, 2013 3:00:22 PM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: Frank G | Aug 7, 2013 3:01:09 PM

  15. 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 . . . )

    Posted by: Paul Liehr | Aug 7, 2013 3:03:44 PM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Aug 7, 2013 3:12:04 PM

  17. I, for one, enjoyed the creative use of stock photography.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 7, 2013 3:18:43 PM

  18. I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to anything he was saying, all I was thinking about was sucking his C*ck.

    Posted by: James | Aug 7, 2013 3:30:14 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: Loren | Aug 7, 2013 3:57:40 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2013 4:13:10 PM

  21. "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."

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 7, 2013 4:16:23 PM

  22. "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.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 7, 2013 4:20:25 PM

  23. I'm so fortunate not to live in Russia -- no access to these life changing videos. I wonder if they're judgmental over there?

    Posted by: Gary | Aug 7, 2013 4:47:27 PM

  24. Very surprised at all the negative comments about a really positive message. Armchair critics can be very tough, I guess.

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Aug 7, 2013 5:03:36 PM

  25. *Sigh*

    Comments here make me sad.

    Here :

    Posted by: BabyCakes | Aug 7, 2013 5:08:05 PM

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