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Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes the DVD release of “Man 2 Man: A Gay Man's Guide To Finding Love,” a 2011 documentary by filmmaker Christopher Hines.
The documentary has played at numerous film festivals around the world, and the DVD has added extras such as a self-help guide for gay men looking for long-term relationships.
Hines, known for gay documentaries such as “The Butch Factor” and “The Adonis Factor,” turns his lens on gay men’s quest to find loving, honest and lasting relationships – and the challenges that stand in the way.
“I think the film provides a lot of answers, with the help of psychologists, authors and matchmakers, along with couples who have made it work,” Hines said.
“The film also posed the ultimate question: Are you looking to get laid or are you looking to fall in love?”
San Diego and several of its local gay men figure prominently in the documentary. Chad Casper, who is a familiar face around Hillcrest, talks about how difficult it has been for him to find a lasting relationship. He even admits to being jaded about the dating process.
Uriel Adame, 26, of San Diego candidly talks about dating and his own issues trying to separate who he is from how his church views him. The athletic Adame is active in the gay sports community in America’s Finest City.
“I needed to learn to be myself, to be free, to be there for someone else,” Adame says.
Hines notes that gay men today have technology on their side, including dating sites such as Grindr and Manhunt, as well as the usual places such as bars and churches.
Gay comedian Ant is featured in the documentary, providing a much-needed humorous slant on dating.
“Gay men’s standards are way, way too high,” Ant said. “They watch too much porn … they want a Nordic Latino!”
At times, the documentary sounds like a walking billboard for MyPartner.com, Gay Couples Institute, Grindr and Manhunt, among other businesses.
Patrick Perrine, the matchmaker behind MyPartner.com, shares with viewers how his computerized system uses algorithm patterns to find matches.
Joel Simkhai, founder of Grindr, and Johnathan Crutchley, co-founder of Manhunt,” discuss their services and how they allow gay men to connect via the Internet or smartphone.
The more interesting segments in the movie were the gay men themselves, as they discussed their lives and their struggle to find true love. Brendan O’Hara of Boston, a handsome man with a flawless body who also models on the side, laments about his lack of a relationship. It makes one wonder: If this gorgeous man cannot find true love, who can?
The interviews with the psychologists – Will Mahan and Alan Downs -- are very helpful and provide necessary insight.
Mahan, a psychologist from Atlanta, hit on key points that gay men since childhood have faced rejection or possibly bullying for being themselves, and as adults are behind the curve in emotional maturation when compared to their straight brothers. Society makes it easy for straight men and set a path for them, unlike for gay men.
“Isolation and loneliness” are two key factors for gay men, Mahan says, and these fears often spill out into friendships. He also talks about how “social anxiety” is a heavy burden for gay men, who fear being judged by society and rejected.
Downs, author of “Velvet Rage: Growing Up Gay In A Straight Man’s World,” also contributes helpful advice.
The movie trailer
“Man 2 Man: A Gay Man's Guide To Finding Love” will retail at $24.99 on Amazon.com and at other online sites, starting Feb. 14.