I hate the phrase fag hag. It trivializes friendships and marginalizes both the gay man and the straight woman. I haven’t heard people use it recently (granted I live on the other side of the world), so hopefully it’s fallen out of vogue, like duh or dude. Let’s hope retard and so gay go away soon too. The last thing I want to see is a gay retard saying, “Dude!” I mean, like duh. That’s so gay.

Most of my partner’s colleagues are men, as are the majority of the people we meet through his job. And, surprisingly, most of my fellow teachers in Asia have been men too. I say surprisingly because as a teacher and later a university counselor, most of my colleagues were women, gay men, or gay men who pretended to be straight so we all had to play along. Not a fun game.

Here in Asia, I’ve been thrown to the wolves, forced to make friends with straight men. It’s not that I didn’t have straight male friends back in the U.S. It’s that I tended not to have many male friends at all. Gay men make terrible friends. Think about a hyper-competitive, catty bitch who either secretly despises, or loves you and you get the picture. I’d rather not deal with the drama.

I grew up in the South. There, straight men were afraid to make friends with an openly gay guy. What would their buddies think? In New York, straight men wanted to be friends with a gay guy to up their cool factor. “Hey! Look at me hanging out with a Mary! I’m so cool.”

Traditionally, most of my closest friends were gay women. Is there drama among them? Of course. Don’t let me get started on lesbian drama. My God. You think gay men are bad. I’ve seen it from the inside. It ain’t pretty. The American military should study lesbian strategy and tactics, that way, if push comes to shove, we’ll blow our enemies away, secretly, seductively and with a venom so lethal, so toxic, they won’t know what hit them. But I digress.

Straight men are great friends to have. You never have to worry what you look like, or how you’re dressed, or what you say, or how you say it. They’re not looking for hidden meaning or searching for secret emotional treasure. My Latino chivalry goes completely out the window–no cheek kissing, hugs or “Let me get that for you.” They’re men after all. They can get it their own damn selves. Except beer. Men always buy each other beer. It’s a bonding thing I guess. Now I’m not a real beer drinker, but I learned quickly that vodka sodas don’t go down so well with the stags.

Straight men are even better when they’re single or mostly single. No wife or girlfriend to deal with. I know how this sounds. But hear me out. Women and the half of gay men in touch with their feminine side, are the mommies. We are the meter maids, the final authority, the judgment queens. We can be such a drag. Who wants mommy’s stern glare when you’re out drinking or partying with the boys? Straight, single men can be stupid all night without fearing for their lives when they get home.

I’ve learned to take it easy on my partner when he has a work thing that we both know will turn into a booze fest. I used to call him if he wasn’t home when he said he was going to be. I used to leave crap by the front door to alarm or scare him when he did finally enter, drunk and wreaking of Stella or Sapporo. I used to tell him that his breath stank like a cow shit in his mouth when he woke up. I used to say, “Coffee? Coffee? You can make that yourself. Good luck at work today. You look like shit.”

I don’t do that anymore. My stags have taught me well.