Monday, March 18, 2013

Emails from a married guy with some gay characteristics.

About three month ago, I got a fascinating email from a new reader. The reader is successfully married with children, but he has some gay characteristics. He sent me the email because he was interested to ask for my opinion on his sexual orientation. However, apart from saying that human sexuality is a very complicated and fascinating subject, I wasn't sure what else to say! So I agreed with him that I'd post the entire email conversation, so that everyone can read it and give their own views :-). The first email that I got from him was as follows:

Hi GB,

Just discovered your blog by coincidence, started reading some of the posts and I found it interesting reading. I'm not writing you to seek advice but to know your opinion on some aspects of the 'sexual orientation' issue:

First, some information about me: I'm 45, married with children, partner in a law firm. I look straight, I act straight, I feel straight, I am straight. But I have a side order: Sometimes I feel sexually attracted to men. I have gay j/o fantasies, I have gay fetishes (suits, lycra, sports gear etc.), I get aroused when I see a bodybuilding competition or if I happen to shower next to a built man after swimming. Technically you'd probably call me bi, although I don't feel 'bi'. I feel straight plus some percentage gay. (I don't like labels any way). In younger years I was worried about my sexual identity. Was I gay? I didn't want to. Why was I different from what the other guys appeared to me? etc. Much the same as that young French whose e-mail you answered on your blog lately. I was not so much concerned about the others could/would think about me than about my inner balance. Then, at about 24, I met a handsome, intelligent guy, he turned out to be gay and I thought that was my opportunity to find out about me. I went for him and we were together for some 6 months. But I found out that, actually, I wasn't gay at all. And that after I had told my family I had a male lover - what a bloody fiasco! As much as I liked the sex (and still do) I realised I could never think or feel about that guy or any other man more as of a friend. So I terminated the experiment - trying to hurt as little as possible - and returned to make the female world happy again. I got married and fathered children. And luckily my family forgot about my coming out ... The most obvious effects of that experience were, however, that I gained that sexual confidence I was lacking before and that I lost my previously homophobic attitude. My side-order remained unchanged, but I accepted it as given and didn't question it any more. And I care a damn if I fit in a category or not.

To the point: Over the years I realised that there are many straight men with similar 'extras' as me, and that the pattern repeats itself on the other end: There are many gay men with 'extras' to the straight side. Despite that reality of the male nature - I suspect it's a majority of all men - the shades between the poles, the greys between black and white, are largely ignored till openly rejected - on both ends. E.g. I've experienced so called 'open minded' gay men telling me after hearing my story I should seek psychiatric advice. Why is it, do you think, everyone is so desperate to stick labels to everyone else's sexual orientation: Gay, straight, bi, curious (of which the latter two are considered inferior because understood as 'gay but too coward to come out')? This also striked me on your blog. Why is it, the participants in the 'social game' themselves care so much to divide the world in a straight, i.e. we're the normal, side and a gay, i.e. we're even more normal than the straights, side. Why does sexual orientation matter so much anyway? Aren't many of the apparent problems of sexual orientation something completely different? E.g. isn't it much more likely that young French Londoner didn't feel his drinking mates were dull because they were straight but because they were less intelligent or less creative or less ambitious as him? Why on earth should dullness be a question of sexual orientation?

It's Friday afternoon and I'm tired of working and let my thoughts flow. Would be interesting to know your opinion some time, given you seem an intelligent guy and an expert in these matters.


When I first read the email, I wasn't sure what he meant by "… I found out that, actually, I wasn't gay at all". I wondered what happened to make him "find out", and whether it was just that he wasn't prepared to live his life as an openly gay man. So I replied with the following email:

That's a fascinating story :-) . I agree with you that labels like gay or straight can be pretty useless in some situations. Even though you're "straight", the fact that you have an interest in sex between men is obviously a "gay" characteristic. And in fact my boyfriend had 'extras' on the "straight" side, because he sometimes gets turned on by big breasts!

I also agree with you that if one is prepared to label oneself gay, like I do, then it's about much more than the sex. I'd love to know what made you decide that you're straight, after you'd had a male lover for 6 months, and even though you like sex between men? I could tell you what all the extra things beyond the sex are that make me think I'm gay, but I don't want to prejudice your answer.

Hope to hear from you soon, GB xxx

Within a couple of days, he sent me the following reply

Btw: I'm not a native speaker, so my English is sometimes faulty.

As said, I liked the gay sex physically. But emotionally I couldn't really cope with it. The longer the less. I felt more and more like my inside would get turned outside. And started to feel really depressed.

I truly liked and appreciated the guy - still do - but it became very clear to me I would never be capable to feel more for him than friendship, to regard him as my partner. On the contrary, the prospective that I would have to lead a gay life for the rest of my days scared the hell out of me.

Sexually, the episode had been very rewarding. However, on other levels my personality was kind of violated, it was not me. I also realised it was impossible for me to live both sides, the straight as well as the gay, it would have torn me apart. So I felt very much relieved as soon as I had come to terms and decided to stick 'to the old ways'.

I must be boring you by now, so I stop here. Curious to know why you chose to label yourself gay. Wasn't it always clear for you which way you'd have to take?


And then, before I could reply, he'd sent me another email:


Just reread my two previous replies and would like to add the following:

It is true that I have grown up traditionally, i.e. with conservative family values etc. and being gay would not necessarily have been part of the concept. However, it would not have been a disaster either. As I told you, I had come out to my family, back then I felt I had to, and the reaction was sort of "Ok, so be it, if you say it needs to be". Later on in life I stopped telling my parents about my sexual adventures, but as the time went by they forgot about my coming out. At some point I mentioned it again but they didn't remember. Also, while I was together with this guy I didn't mind going out with him publicly or meeting friends or so, though I didn't "officially" come out at work or to a wider circle of friends. That's probably because as a character I don't so much mind what others say and think as long as I am comfortable with what I feel and do.

I tell this because it was not convention that made me choose the label "straight". Although, of course, in many ways it was the easier choice. But had the label "gay" fitted better, I don't think I would have hesitated to walk down that road.

So, it turns out that apparently I have all the same been born straight and despite that 'misweave' I couldn't choose differently. Remains the question - which I have not yet fully answered to this day (and which maybe needs not to be answered), what exactly is that 'misweave'? I don't know, maybe you can tell me?


To answer the reader's question about why I'm happy to label myself gay, it's not only because I enjoy gay sex. While I was growing up, before I even knew what sex was, I always wanted closer friendships with my male friends. And then when I was older and started to understand what being gay meant, although I didn't want to be gay the reality was that I was always craving emotional intimacy (as well as sexual intimacy) with other guys. So perhaps the differences between me and this (mostly) straight reader are that (1) he didn't have the need for emotional intimacy with another man, and (2) he enjoys straight sex as well as gay sex?

Anyway, do any other readers have any thoughts on this reader's story?


Anonymous said...

as much as I respect people with the policy of "I don't believe with label", one has to come clear about what he really wants and not just experimenting! The "labeled" gay people aren't lab rats. Human sexuality is indeed very complicated but in this year, it isn't that mystery anymore. The taboo is literally out of the closet now. The guy is obviously a guy who enjoys male to male physical intimacy but gets emotionally attached with female companionship.

I hope he stays devoted to his wife, be a good father instead of a "confused" man who starves sticking a rod in a hole.

Unknown said...

I really can't see how his family 'forgot' he came out and had a 6 month relationship with a man - but hey if that's the case they must have ultra relaxed attitudes on sexuality

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that there are issues somewhere. I get the feeling as if the gentleman may be deluding himself ( whether consciously or not). A "straight" person who is aroused by men ... I don't know... it just sounds "suss" no matter how you put it, whether it is loving your wife or having a great r'ship with the wife, etc.

Of course it does not mean he should necessarily do anything about it. If he is perfectly happy with the status quo, why upset anything???


LC said...

Just come across your blog as I was looking for something to do and my boyfriend suggested trying to find some “naughty” blogs. I typed in Gay Blogs and ta-dah you were there!

I read your post about the “straight” guy with gay “extras” and wanted to chip in.

The way I see it, is that he’s straight. I personally don’t believe in this whole “no label” thing. It’s true that sexuality is more complicated than one word can sum it up as, but so is religion and science yet we give them labels: Christians, Muslims, Biology, Chemistry etc. yet within each of those there are contradictions, sections which span other categories etc. but labels are necessary in order to categorise. And categorising is VERY important (else how would I have come across your blog when searching for Gay Blogs).

So he’s straight. And to me, you either have straight or gay. There is no bisexual. Now, I’m not one of those who believe “bisexuals are gays who are too coward to come out” not at all. I just believe it doesn’t exist due to the fact that it technically exists with everyone. Seems contradictory, I know, so I’ll explain:

Everyone is bisexual. For what is bisexality? An attraction to both sexes? If can’t be “enjoying” sex with both sexes because gay AND straight people identify themselves as such whilst still virgins. And so it has to be about attraction; the mental rather than the physical. Well, “straight” men are attracted to men. They won’t admit to it as being “attracted” but it is. When a “straight” guy sees...David Beckham, Jean Claude Van Damme or Ryan Gosling and decided “I’m gonna hit the gym to work on my abs so they’re more like David’s” or “I want to beef up like Jean Claude” – that decision has been made by looking at, appreciating and enjoying the guy’s physique. That there is their “gay” side. It doesn’t mean they want to jump into bed with them (I don’t want to jump into bed with every guy I see, yet I’m gay), but the overall image of the celebrity has appealed to them. In that regard, since ALL men and women do this, we are all bisexual. Therefore bisexuality can’t be used as a term to differentiate between heterosexuals, homosexuals and those who like both. Because we all do...

LC said...

...Sexuality then comes down to PREFERENCE. We ALL know that in ANY situation we always have a preference. Someone might say to us “Do you want Indian or Chinese tonight?” we’ll say “I don’t mind...whatever”. That’s being too lazy to decide. Were we to think about it, we WOULD have a preference. Therefore as default bisexuals, when it comes to “knowing” our sexuality, it’s all about preference. If you PREFER males; you’re gay. If you PREFER females; you’re straight. This preference isn’t solely about what turns you on most when you either have sex with the gender or think about having sex with them; I think that were ALL men to experience (well prepared) gay anal sex, their preference for sex would always be “gay sex” because of the whole prostate thing. So sex isn’t what dictates preference. It’s certainly an aspect though. I also don’t buy into it being about “emotional closeness” because let’s face it, stereotypically (and rather accurately I’d say) most gay guys have more female friends than male. They are close to females. Happy to be emotional with them, tell them everything and anything. And yet, they’re gay in spite of these emotionally close relationships with females.

So what is it? What gender-oriented preference must we have in order to realise our sexuality? For me, it’s the preference to spend one’s life with ONE gender which makes us decide. If someone held a gun to one’s “bisexual” head and said “You must live the rest of your life dating and sexing only one gender; which will it be?”, one would have to think of the “sexual” element alongside the “closeness/comfortable” element, if they contradict (i.e if one felt more comfortable in the arms of a woman but also more excited being fucked by a guy); which one is more important to that individual? Sex vs. Comfortable. Whichever one would choose, in this ludicrous situation, is one’s sexuality.

I’ve had a girlfriend. I had sex with her on countless occasions. I enjoyed it. It felt good. Chances are, out there, there’s another girl I’d happily have sex with (other than a couple of attractive celebrities). But I’m not straight. And I’m not gay. Because not only do I prefer gay sex, but when my boyfriend holds me, I feel so much more “at one” with myself than I did with my girlfriend. And that is why I’m gay.

Your reader is married, has kids; that’s all irrelevant as I know gays who have the same background. Your reader enjoys gay sex; that’s irrelevant as I’m sure many of the gay-for-pay porn-stars do too. But the fact that thinking of living a life with a male does not appeal to him...that makes him straight, and simply able to appreciate good sex!

Sorry for the essay

24 from London

Ken Skinner said...

All you need is to ask yourself one basic question: are you sexually attracted to men, women or both (equally or otherwise). Everything else is irrelevant. Sexuality is about sex. I've had great sex with people I could NEVER have relationships with and great relationships with people I wouldn't ever want to have sex with! If you're lucky you find someone with whom you can have both.

Catch22 said...

My point of view is the following : people are very hypocritical about sexuality. I have ALWAYS believed that most guys were a tad bit attracted to other men, and most girls as well (as a matter of fact a lot of women if asked are honest about it :'yes I am attracted to the softness of girls' skin, ' I kissed a girl and I liked it' :) but they also very quickly conclude that they lack the emotional connection. When I was 14 and 15 a lot of guys at school were going through such a phase of blurred attraction and desires (this was evident in sleepovers and at the gym for PE, when guys would start mimicking anal sex in front of everyone else, or touching themselves, in a very carefree way, on the pomel horse! haha!). Of course the gym teacher was very strict abt this and unleashed his pseudo-military jargon ( Yo! we are not wuss, not girls, not pusies, blablabla... what do you expect from a gym teacher ?). If you add up the pressure of school + RELIGION + sports + military + FAMILY there are several levees designed by society to curb any kernel of homosexual desire in a human being. and ultimately enforce reproduction and I suppose, growth and prosperity for the 'nation'. Survival too.
What is happening to you is very simple: you are perfectly normal, which means that you are not 'blind' and are able to find some beauty in the male physique and even get a bit excited abt it. Since you are a smart and brave person you also experimented and discovered the best kept secret that most men are sitting upon like apes - ring a ding ding ! prostate stimulation feels amzing and your orgasms are super intense - and what does it all mean ? Nothing more than that. Your emotional connection is derived from the relationship with women, and your wife who you seem to really love. not from men. These straight,gay, bisexual, ect,,, are equally social constructs as is the implementation of a 100% straight identity. though they do, at the end of the day correspond to an emotional reality ( you like women, some men like men more than women, some men are digusted by women and act like women themselves and can only cope with a guy...). Everyone gets pigeonholed ultimately in a role much more rigid than corresponds its true sexual orientation and gender identity. But it would be utopian to assume a society devoided of families, of structures, of diseases (AIDS). eventually you have to make a choice. though no one really 'chooses'. The problem I expressed in my letter, asidee getting labelled and pigeonholed, is that I want to find a guy who is as carefree, as wild, ambitious and strong as I want to be who are not afraid of an intense emtoional connection. And I cannot seem to find that, either very stereotyped gays (east London) or closeted jocks who starve me sexually and drag through a fucking psycho-drama of theirs... Source: the french Londoner you quoted in your letter. felt I had to reply. :) best. x

jmorais said...


best blog


Sebastian said...

All he needs to ask himself is if he's sexually attracted or preferably attracted to male. All the others are excuses. If he's not happy in the marriage with a woman, he should come out of it.

Anonymous said...

This might be a bit late but what the hell.

Mr Lawyer has already realized is that sexual orientation is not binary but is actually a spectrum(from gay to straight with everyone slotting somewhere along it). So don't get caught up with labels again.

A second key point is the idea of affectional or romantic orientation. It basically means who you are predisposed to fall in love with(male/female/otherwise) whether or not you desire that person sexually. So for most people, the gender(s) they fall in love with is aligned with the gender(s) they are sexually attracted to. But this may not always be the case because if you view romantic attraction as separate from sexual attraction then the permutations are numerous.

So in that sense, it is perfectly acceptable that Mr Lawyer is just a guy who enjoys sex with both sexes but only has romantic feelings with females. And if you had to put a label on it, Mr Lawyer would be a Heteroromantic bisexual.


Anonymous said...

I can relate to this man. Although I label myself as being "bi" to people who are open-minded, I feel much more to the straight side of the scale. I feel straight, but sometimes want a man. Perhaps selectively bisexual? I do not feel emotion towards men in the way I do towards women.

Hope you're well GB

Anonymous said...

Sexuality is complicated for sure. I thought I was bi and married as the easier option. However as I got older gay sex became easily the more fulfilling thing. So much I have very little recollection of the straight sex stage of my life.