Gay Ratings: “What Is He Out of Ten?”


MANDY: Oh, you’re asking him out? Maybe I’ll stay here and mock you.
MARC: What?! You think he’s out of my league? He’s an nine. I’m an eight.
MANDY: He’s a ten. You’re a six.
MARC: You’re a bitch. I’m a seven!

I figured the easiest way to start off this likely controversial topic was with a hilarious quotation most of us can remember from a season two episode of Ugly Betty as the show’s homo ridiculously attempts to woo a “9 out of 10” model. As he and his hag debate over whether he has a chance with the hottie, I sat at home laughing at the situation which has come up so often for my friends and I as we navigate the world of gay dating and cruising.

Admittedly, this tendency isn’t at all reserved especially for the world of queers, still, having friends in all categories of gay, straight, lez and all interesting points in between, I fully believe that we male-lovin’-males do have a special penchant for rating men as we click on their manhunt profiles, catch their gaze across the bar or take that extra look as we pass on the street. I’m absolutely going to hear it from my friends in denial- oops, I mean friends “with different opinions”- but I think I’ve set myself up on this site as someone who would rather confront the harsh realities of our rainbow flag waving world than pretend we can achieve utopia through suppression and prohibition. But, no judgment of COURSE πŸ˜‰

Really quick, what are YOU out of 10???

I know we would all love to know that in the end it’s what inside that counts but let’s be honest, how many often do you see a 6″3, tanned, built, masculine, thick hair, perfect teeth doctor walking around with the overweight, snaggle tooth toll-booth operator… not that often. Of course people fall for each other for all different reasons, but for the majority, to marry a guy you have to date him, to date him you have to meet him, and to meet him you need to feel comfortable enough to approach/poke/IM him, and how we judge him- and ourselves for that matter- play a huge role in that first step. The point of this article is mainly to look at the different ways we rate each other as gays: the physical, the personality, the “on paper”… it all adds up in that unique and convolutedly pi-esque equation we create for ourselves to yield that “out of 10” number we use to decide if it’s worth smiling at him for.

First and foremost are looks. Let’s be honest, for the most part, you don’t immediately fall for a guy because he’s nice to his mom: it’s his smile, butt or the way that tattoo gets stretched by his recently pumped and bulging bicep. First impressions are paramount and a lot of the time you can judge that book by its cover (as I type this I can almost hear another nail get hammered into the coffin for me and this article πŸ˜‰

The Physical


When asking each other about our newest contending beaus, the first question almost religiously out of our mouths is: “Is he cute?” Without fail, we go to that one as an easy opener to allow our recently united friend the chance to regale us with stories of his ripped stomach, sexy smile or huge chest. While that isn’t always the response we hear, we do however expect to hear at least a “yes” out of our friends’ mouths. Maybe conventionally he isn’t, or to us personally he might not be, but for the most part, if we’re going to date a guy and intro him to our friends, we at least need to believe- in our perception of looks- that he’s cute. In fact, I can count the amount of times my friends have answered: “No, he’s quite unattractive but has an awesome laugh” on one hand… a hand without fingers or a thumb mind you. While I do allow for differences among my gay brethren, I would argue that there’s some pretty consistent themes that get raised when rating a boy. My biggest ticket item? (wait for it…) Teeth. I cannot tell you how important the color, shape and size of em’ all effect how I perceive any new guy I meet. They’re a pretty strong reflection of how he has until now cared for himself and they’re there when he smiles when I crack some sarcastic comment about how much I “care” about sports and they’re there when we make out. Inescapable, those puppies are a bit of a deal-breaker for me re: a guy’s rating. I doubt I’d even give him a number should the chompers be that terrifying.

Next up is the body. While most guys will quickly site the eyes or the smile, I need to know the guy could carry me out of a building in one arm should the whole place go up in flames and I need to be hoisted and taken to safety (yes, that sexy scenario has run through my head on more than one occasion πŸ˜‰ Now, here’s where it gets a little tricky. Some guys claim that you can’t demand what you don’t have: bears can’t demand a lean boi or in my case, twinks can’t complain about lack of fully-formed muscle, but I definitely still do πŸ˜‰ I argue that work on and care for a body are all worthy of “full marks” and that it just depends on the eye of the beholder. Some guys go for the swimmer’s build, taut kid, some go for the giant muscle stud (take a guess which option I side on for that debate haha). Still, for the 3,4 or 5 points that most gays dedicate to body, it’s the work on them that matters. I’ve yet to find someone who’d give out full points for the couch-potato who hasn’t flexed more than a thumb to rewind their porn. But, to be fair, I’m sure there’s someone for everyone πŸ˜‰ In the end, most would agree that the gym boys- who obviously have put more thought and effort into their body- are the typical top point earners in this category, and I can’t much argue with that logic. The big strong arms, the burly, manly chest, the flexing, bulging legs… okay, I need to take a break from writing, but I’ll be back in a second.

The face. Now this one is vaguely less subjective. Before your eye rolling gives you astigmatism, countless studies have proven there are actual ways in which all humans make instant judgments of the beauty and “worth” of people based on their face alone. We’ve all heard the symmetry argument that certain ratios are sought in the face: the distance between your eyes, the length and width of your nose, the space between your lips and chin etc. All that has been proven many times over so please prepare your argument against both me and science itself when you get angry about me purporting a gay’s number as strongly dependent on how handsome/cute/sexy the face is. Ratios aside, in the end, once again, the way we rate is up to us. Where I certainly enjoy the rough scratchiness of a five o’clock shadow and appeal of a swarthy smile, many of my friends go for that baby-face look or exotic youthfulness: it’s up to you, but those 3 points (I just decided πŸ˜‰ aren’t as subjective as we’d like to believe they are. Cute is cute, is cute, is cute.

Looks are a huge combination of anything you could expect to find on a Cosmo list of “Superficial Things That Really Shouldn’t Matter”… but that do matter anyway πŸ˜‰ The guy’s tan, his hair, the colour of his eyes, his height, hell, even the clothes he wears all add up in an instant when we spot a new guy and hugely effect our desire to say hi or poke back on facebook. Sure, you can scroll through his list of favourite bands, but I think we all know you’re going to flip through his profile pics first.

The Personality


While the rating game is typically played during the first few minutes or at most, first few meets between us and the guy in question, there is some level of insight into their personality. As far as I’m considered, there’s a constant battle between the importance of intelligence and humour. Where all the single ladies are puttin’ their hands up for rings… and humour… I sometimes find that as long as one person is funny in a relationship, they can keep the jokes going for both, but if one is stupid, you’re doomed. Bit harsh, but that’s the way my world is painted. When rating boys, typically the top words listed include: funny, smart, sweet and cool (a bit 90s of a term, I know, but you know what I mean!)

I really think that being able to laugh with a prospect in the first exchange is paramount to clinching the personality points in my book. Furthermore, not flinching when I use “whom” in a sentence or making that squinty, distraught face when last call at the club gets compared to Dante’s second circle of Hell is always appreciated. Where most guys don’t demand the president of Mensa, full points are typically given for being of equivalent smarts to the rater. I would argue that areas of expertise need not necessarily be exactly similar: a professor of art history can match with a entrepreneur, but the ability to show said intelligence in casual conversation is required.

Following the big two personality attractors are the more subtle and subjective concepts of care and cool. Where it’s often argued that “good girls love a bad boy,” I don’t think we homos typically fall for straight up assholes. Sure, we all have a friend in a nightmare relationship with a douche we can’t stand, but likely that ass wasn’t showing his true colours during the rating phase- so a keen eye for it is required while courting. Seeing how a guy acts with his friends and talks about others is often the best way to score him on this one. It’s sadly only worth about 1/2 a point… but, let’s be honest, the way he looks in those DSquared jeans does rate as quite important. The concept of cool is just really a general feeling about confidence and casualness that combine to offer you someone you can introduce to your best friends. No one enjoys the guy who checks 7 times if: “You’re still having fun?!” The other side of the spectrum on this one is also as annoying: nobody likes a cocky dick (again, there’s someone with a fetish for everything, but let’s keep this to the mainstream for now). This point is often a clincher between wanting to sleep with the guy and wanting him to meet your mates. Where anyone can show you pics of last night’s hot trick from their facebook profile, it’s the guys that score on the caring and cool point that earn some stay power. Looks may get the foot (hell, the whole leg) in the door, but personality definitely keep the chat going past: “Your place or mine?”

The “On Paper” Facts


As Carrie Bradshaw would have us believe: “Good on paper, bad in bed!” I say hell no! Good on paper is just another reason to pump up your guy’s score. This part of the rating is usually done last and only if conversation lasts longer than “Cut or uncut?” Still, it’s one of my favorite parts of the rating experience. Some call it more superficial than the looks category, while others find it the most telling about a guy you’ve just met.

Where did you go to school?
Where have you traveled?
What do you do for work?

Just some of the “On Paper” questions most of us try to delve into as early as possible to find out if the guy’s worth his salt. Personally, I find that guys with “good jobs” not only demonstrate a level of education but also an ambitious attitude I’d want in a long-term boyfriend. (This is usually the point where I get called a gold digger). To be fair, I don’t expect anymore out of another guy than I do from myself. Never having left the country doesn’t really do it for me, neither does minimum wage at the age of 30- mostly because I expect more out of myself. I do put a lot of value in the facts about the guy’s life you might find on a “dating resume”. Where we mostly don’t demand an Ivy League Bachelors however, the ability to appreciate a reference to Guernica often goes hand in hand with at least an attempt at some high education- be it through a conventional institution or self-taught.

I know a lot of us don’t like to admit that these “facts” don’t make the man, but thinking back to the last time you described a recently met stud to your bestie, didn’t “what he does” or “what he’s in school for” come up? We all know there’s a difference in the reaction between hearing: “He’s the guy who shelves books at the library” and: “He’s a pediatric surgeon.”

So, how does this all boil down? 3 points for this, 4 points for that, a half point here and a half point there…? There is no steadfast quadratic equation for figuring out how you or the cuttie will rate, but I wanted to bring up the concepts and phrases most uttered by the homos I know and see what you all thought of the gay ratings and how they work in your life/group/world.

Get as angry as you want- and I’m sure a couple of you will- but we judge and we compare, it’s not just gay nature but human nature. Let me leave you with one more infamous TV quotation, this time from our favourite hot Brit (oooolder) Doctor House:

HOUSE: Sevens marry sevens, nines marry nines, fours marry fours. Maybe there’s some wiggle room if there’s enough money… Numbers don’t lie.

A little cynical I know, but I like to call it being honest.

  • Braden

    I like this. However I will add that I do believe in a vast array of personalities fitting into each number. From my own observation, alot of men look for a twin of themself mentally and physically without entertaining the complimentary reciprocal. Both can be the same number, but they have “attained?” it in seperate ways.
    Overall good read.

  • Thank GOD not all gays look for their physical doppelganger or else me and my muscle quest would be frigged!
    Thanks Braden!

  • Patrick

    As I sat here doing homework, I found myself meandering around facebook to support my procrastination habit. I saw this article pop up on my live feed, and figured I’d give it a read.

    This is the first article I have read here on homorazzi, and I am hooked.

    This article is written pretty much how my mind forms sentences…. with examples of real life mixed in with a little humor, homo-ey goodness, and some pop TV quotes for good measure…..

    Awesome article. Glad I found this site… you all can interrupt my homework anytime you want. πŸ™‚


    p.s. hope its warmer there than here in Florida…

  • Justin

    I think sometimes we might be playing a double standard. Most people hate being judged based on looks, at the same time, we tend to judge others based on their appearance.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still go gah gah over the next pretty boy. But compassion, intelligence, wit and charm makes any ugly duckling a swan while stupidity and douchery turns every hunk into a meathead.

  • mark

    Oh please! you need to let us know what number you consider yourself, and for sport, rate the rest of the cast…

  • Shauwn

    Wow Adam….considering the fit that I threw over the A gay article….I have to say I actually really enjoyed reading this one…I think the reason is because you express the reality of our lives…but the enjoyable part and the one I respect is the owning up to it as opposed to saying “no I am not like this but I know others who are or I don’t know why this happens in our community pff pff”…good job, keep it up

    I personally think that one of the points you don’t mention is that how sometimes one of those catagories may get a really high rating and then the other one makes the deal-breaker…i.e. the super good looking guy that tries to rip you off at every outing, every date etc…or the really cute guy that you take home and see his disgusting toes…or the okay looking successful guy with poor hygiene or as I once again agree with you..the case of the bad teeth…but then sometimes it acts the opposite that a guy is okay looking but then when you find out that he is interesting or can carry a conversation or at least makes the same amount as you or more and has a job that interests you…then that all of sudden makes the difference between “just seeing him” vs. “dating him”…notice how the constant is “looking”; good, great or even okay looking

    As for science, I agree about the ratios and distances on facial features…although as someone who is 100% gay….I constantly go back every couple of years to youtube to find the one episode of fashion file that describes how symmetrical Christy Turlington’s face is to the point that they used it to make museum masks…I often ponder if I watch this because I wonder despite being gay how it would feel to make out with her OR to have one of the most perfect faces in the world…I think it is a bit more of the second but…hey I don’t think I would mind ust trying the first out either…I mean it’s not like it’s Cindy Crawford or Iman…the long horse type of faces are dime a dozen…but the perfect face with perfect symmetry…well…
    A propos de science…I never used to have any faith in this either…but I do think the unique smell of a human being from time to time is also effective in making that 2.5-3.5 out of 5 face do the magic of a 4.5 same with overlooking the body thing…I mean lets face it, if Christy or Brad Pitt stank or smelt like mothballs (apologies to those who like either scent, only personal views of the author)….then they would not be able to last in relationships…but what do I know I have not smelt either one of them although they say Brad Pitt and b.o….
    All I know is that once I was in a deep affair with a short stocky (fat) much older than me man…that none of my homos or hags could tell why…mainly because of the way his scent mixed with the cologne he wore…only to realize after the break up that having bought the same cologne and splashed it on the next mate (much better looking 3.75, and younger) for his bday…never gave me the same euphoric sense of passion…who am I kidding…I didn’t even like the smell of it on me…it’s called “Sexual”…I would be interested if anyone else out there has had a similar experience with this cologne…only because a simple google search of it states some very interesting facts about the picking of the ingredients on the basis of sexual arousal towards men…oh and the daddy also had a bit of the protective attitude thing that helped too but so did the other guy

    And alas…as the hollywood “has beens”…Rachel Hunter and Lorenzo Lamas and some other douche whom I cannot recal at this point would say…I give your body an 8.5, your face a 7 and your overall sex appeal 9.5 (go figure right)…I think confidence and yeah a bit of cockiness and the overall feeling of protection added to the base of his ability to make you the centre of his universe go fully hand in hand with an okay face and body or a good face and body or an awesome face and body…as one of my homos said on a drunken debate soiree…”dude the guy that you just described…(i.e. strong..masculine..protective of me when shit hits the fan and attentive with a good face and a confident attitude) even my 71 year old straight father would bottom for him”…

    So there’s my two or more bits…good article…

  • Very true Justin, the whole package can be there, but too much of even one bad thing can throw it all to hell- which is how I find my dates often go haha.

    Shawn, thanks for beating the length of my article πŸ˜›
    I’m really glad the article inspired you enough to comment like that! I kind of loathe to admit that science plays such a strong role in mass appeal et al. but it’s good to see that the individual differences among us make us unique in both our appearance to others and how we perceive others. I have a similar “smell reaction” to a mix of sweat and cigarettes from a crush in high school that completely messes up my mind to this day whenever I get a rare whiff πŸ˜›
    Thanks also for the good words about me admitting to what myself and “the gays I know” do… usually an aspect of my personality (and articles) that gets me into trouble, so it’s cool you liked it!

    Patrick, that comment made my week πŸ™‚ Donovan thanked me for doing my part and winning us a new subscriber haha. The weather is actually pretty damn reasonable for this time of year up here right now! Not sure who your friend is who’s live feed would have had this on it, but make sure to thank them!

  • bruin

    Adam i love this article great job breaking everything down : )

  • Patrick


    πŸ™‚ glad it brought you the warm fuzzies.

    And it was on MY live feed…. i stumbled upon the site just after new years, and bookmarked it and became a fan on Fbook becuase I thought ‘a gay run and operated news site…. I should support them.’ and never ran a single article til this one.


    Keep up the good work guys.. Tell Donovan that I thank HIM for starting the site… you all seem like a lot of fun… it makes me wanna be a fly on the wall in your offices…


  • Brian

    Desperate Housewives made a funny reference to this when Bree (Marcia Cross) was talking with her gay neighbors, Bob and Lee (Tuc Watkins & Kevin Rahm) about her gay contractor…

    Bree: Well, then you just have to fix him up with someone. Give him back his will to work.
    Bob: Yea, about that. Most of our friends are 9’s, and Walter, we love him, but, kind of a 3.
    Lee: And in the gay world, 3 does not go into 9.
    Bree: Well, we’ll just have to find him someone who’s not good at gay math.

  • Haha, there’s some pretty amazing lines on tv about this stuff.. most people are too polite to bring it up in real life (clearly not an issue i have) so i love shows for this kind of truth!
    “3 does not go into 9” made me pee my pants the first time i heard it haha

  • gregaaronm1

    Reading this article made me cringe. But I would expect as much from a gay perspective. I came out as bi last year at this time but am without a doubt gay. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate myself a 6. Well mannered and funny, but a little too shy and when guys realize that they are turned off by it. Right now a prospect is a terribly handsome white guy with an amazing smile. I would say he is a 9.5, but factoring in some extra tidbits about him I recently learned, I’d say it’s now an 8.5. He’s nice, but has the potential of becoming the next guy to break my heart without even saying a word. He can’t ever be considered a douche but definitely an asshole. He’s not fit or anything but he is a smoker so it brings him down a notch. No man or woman would go running from him.

    How do I win him over? He said he is definitely into me and says like many guys that I’m really cute, but I know myself best. I’ve only seen him once since we met in a bar one night and I am told it was most likely a one night stand. But I got him with my personality; not shallow and just looking for a hookup. He says he wants to see me again but through texts and it sounded very casual. I can’t tell how eager he may or may not be to see me again. Many would say I’m out of his league and I do too, but it just seems like it could go beyond a second or third meeting. I’m scared of losing him because he is a real catch and I keep seeing him with tons of other hot guys.

  • gregaaronm1

    My biggest fear is I don’t know if I would let go of the bi staple and just go gay. If I do there’s no turning back.