What is The M-Ranking?

Is this effect interfering in your ability to achieve self-value, self-acceptance and connection with others, particularly other gay men if that is your intention.

Think of the M-Ranking™ as a predominantly superficial rating system that some gay men in the Gay Male Community (GMC) utilize to assess and scrutinize other gay men, as well themselves. These tend to be very stringent criteria that are not so easily obtained or achieved.

There are 5 main criteria, but the most highly valued trait or quality appears to be that of masculinity. The pecking order that is created by subscribing to the M-Ranking™ philosophy creates a streak of value judging within and among gay men in the GMC.

The 5-M's in likely order of importance:

Masculinity, Manhood(endowment), Model Looks/Muscular Physique, Money/Materialism, and Mainstream Appeal.


  • Masculinity- The ultimate value for some gay men. Some perceive this as an ability to "pass as straight." This judging is sometimes a manifestation of underlying self-loathing and criticism of gayness.


  • Manhood- Penis size equates more power, by deeming a higher potential quality and caliper of maleness (outlier of masculinity).
  • Model Looks and Muscularity- "Above average" aesthetic appearance and physique is another superficial evaluation. Looking like a professional model would otherwise be limited to professional models. Having a chiseled ultra-fit body is not always obtainable by most people.
  • Money and Materialism- May be used in conjunction with material items, and offers a means to essentially purchase a way into various situations or status; it can compensate for other deficiencies. Power and connections may indicate status and thus a higher desirability. The trappings of materialism include beautiful cars, homes, clothes, trips, and sometimes associating with sex workers or escorts.
  • Mainstream Appeal- The ability to broadly and successfully blend in with both gay and straight environments/communities is an appealing trait in the GMC. Mainstream appeal also includes a favorable, above-average attribute of popularity, charisma, and likability, reminiscent of a more high school- or adolescent-like stage of development and social norms, where there is popularity competition.

*You've Been Blocked is an upcoming book that explores constructive criticism and analysis about dysfunction in the gay male community, coming in June 2024:


Gay men can challenge themselves by taking a personal inventory as to how much emphasis is placed on these qualities when personally judging self and other gay men as potential romantic/dating/social connections or even just as friendships.

Placing excessive emphasis on these qualities or associating with those who do may end up contributing to a sense of blockage from authentically connecting with others.

For example, if masculinity is so important, you may have an issue with self-loathing or internalized homophobia. This stems from a history of being conditioned to believe that being ultra-masculine equates being straight and normal which in some mindsets is "better" because it is less gay and less gay-acting. These stem from old tapes that convinced younger gay men that they were and are safer when passing for straight.