Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gay Movie Stars?

Can you tell me if any of the following men are gay: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller, Russell Crowe, Jerry Lewis. Anon.

Uh .... since I've never actually had sex with any of these gentlemen or know of any man who has, I can't really say much about their sexual orientation. Russell Crowe played a gay man in the very interesting and moving film The Sum of Us, before he became well-known, but that doesn't automatically make him gay. [The Advocate charged that when he played real-life John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Nash's attraction to men was ignored.] Leonardo DiCaprio also played a gay role in Total Eclipse. He also starred as Howard Hughes in The Aviator, which presented the possibly gay or bi tycoon as heterosexual. Jerry Lewis may have appeared to be in love with his partner Dean Martin, but that was probably more of what people today call a "man-crush:" a straight guy who platonically loves another man who is sort of a brother or father figure. As for Stiller, who knows?

Anyway, why don't you try gay celebrity-watcher Perez Hilton?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Perpetrating Fraud?

I have read that Jim McGreevey's wife feels that her gay husband the governor perpetrated a fraud on her when he married her by pretending he was straight. How do you feel about this? Are gays and bisexuals defrauding their straight spouses if they don't tell them the truth? How about asexuals? Anon.

Interesting question. My answer is yes. I have often said that it's one thing if a person knows about the sexual interests of their mate before the marriage and enters into the union willingly, but quite another if the spouse is secretive. While I don't recommend mixed marriages for anyone, a straight person who enters into one with foreknowledge can not complain later on if, for obvious reasons, it doesn't work out. While a mixed marriage between a straight person and a genuinely bisexual person can work, I still think the bi partner should be completely upfront about their sexuality with their partner. As for asexuals, people who say they are born without sexual feelings, many do engage in sex with their partners, but the partner should be apprised that they are faking any enjoyment they have -- or rather can't have -- of the experience.

Upfront honesty is always the best policy. To be in love with someone and in a relationship with them for years and then to discover they are gay or perhaps have more of an interest in their own sex than in the opposite, or have no sexual feelings of any kind, can be devastating and is, I feel, completely unfair to the straight and/or non-asexual spouse.

The better and more accepting a member of a sexual minority is, the more likely he or she is to be honest and treat other people fairly.

It will be interesting to see what happens when some of these fraud cases hit a courtroom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Inter-generational Relationships -- or Daddy and Son

How do you feel about inter-generational relationships in the gay community, I mean where one partner is old enough to be the other one's father? Can these work? Big Daddy.

Relationships where there is a very big difference in age, be they gay or straight, can work, but -- as with mixed marriages -- it all depends on what you mean by "working."

Generally mixed age relationships are all about meeting specific needs. The older person wants a young, attractive lover, or at the very least a companion. The younger person is generally -- let's be honest here -- looking for some kind of financial stability, or at least free rent. Often the younger person is an artist (or at least an aspiring artist) who has a very low income, or zero income. The older "patron" is a godsend. There are older men who are so lonely and/or desperate for someone to share their lives with that they will even take in and take care of a younger person with whom they don't even have sex.

The older person generally loves the younger one a lot more than the younger one loves the older one, although the younger one can -- in his or her own way -- come to care deeply about the older person, and become quite attached to them (or at least to what they can do for them).

Relationships like this can last for years and in that sense be very successful. But in the long run it's all about using each other. And there are unhealthy aspects to these relationships. Often the older person will fail to encourage the younger one to get out there and deal with life, get a job, etc. because they're afraid that if the younger one becomes independent and/or has an income. they will no longer need the older person. And some younger people in these situations become awfully good at playing the emotions of, and manipulating, the older person.

And what happens when the younger person is middle-aged and the older person is elderly? The older person may have himself a caregiver (which is sometimes the motivation for old men to take younger lovers) -- or he may not. The younger person may make a very good caregiver, but it's tough having an elderly lover with all of those age issues when you have your own middle-aged problems to deal with. Sometimes the younger person can't handle it and just takes off -- while the older person, who spend years caring for and being devoted to the younger one -- is left all alone.

Frankly, I think the best and healthiest relationships are those where the age difference isn't too great, where one partner is not old enough to be their lover's father or mother. Middle-aged and elderly men should look around at guys in their own age range for partners -- after all, many of them are single or "widowed." Such relationships can not only be very successful, but they aren't dependent on financial need, and the two men can certainly relate to each other much better, as they are dealing with similar issues.

Then again, love is where you find it.

What a Drag!

I am a masculine gay man in my thirties and I can't understand why there seems to be this incredible preoccupation with drag, or at least this perception that all or most gay men are into wearing dresses. I've never had the slightest desire to dress up as a woman and neither do any of my gay male friends. Why does this stereotype persist? A character came out on a TV show and his mother started asking his dress size! Perplexed.

Some time ago an actor on a soap opera was giving an interview. He had just been told that his character was going to turn out to be gay. He said: "I guess I'll have to go out and buy some dresses."


Yes, you would think that this tiresome confusion of homosexuality with transvestism -- or of equating gay men with women -- would have gone out the window long ago. I don't think most gay men are preoccupied with or have any interest in drag, but the media makes it seem otherwise. As for TV shows, we've got stupid writers who can't come up with anything original. We all know that there are "queens"-- in and out of drag -- in our community, and I'm certainly not suggesting they should be put down in any way, shape or form. Our world would certainly be a little bit duller without them. But the whole world already knows that there are femmes in the gay male community. It's time we saw more portrayals of gay men as most of us are: non-stereotypical -- not to mention the bears, leather hunks, super-butch types and all the rest. It's gotten to a point where if you see a bear-like or just masculine gay guy in a movie it's considered a big joke-- how could somebody like that be gay?

Drag queens seem to be a disproportionate part of the gay community because whenever there's a march, parade or event, the cameras instantly capture the more colorful members of the community -- which includes drag queens. This has in part created a feeling among people that there are many more drag queens than there really are, and that drag is an inherent part of every gay man's life, while nothing could be further from the truth. Hopefully TV people and filmmakers will eventually explore the gay world in all of its diversity.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gay Men, Women, and "Sexual Fluidity"

Dr. Bill, I have been reading a lot of stories lately about openly gay men who are having sex with women. Even some of my gay friends have confessed they do this from time to time. What is going on? I thought being gay meant you didn't do that sort of thing. I've been out for quite some time but can't recall this kind of behavior being so prevalent or accepted in the gay community. Am I a prude who doesn't understand the new "sexual fluidity"? Sincerely, A.

First, let's start with the whole concept -- and dangerous notion -- of "sexual fluidity." I think if I hear one more person say "sexuality is fluid" I'll puke. On one hand we have activists and others arguing against these ex-gay nuts who believe you can "pray away the gay" or go straight through conversion therapy. Then we have the "sexual fluidity" trendoids who unwittingly are backing up what these ex-gay idiots are saying. Gay people can't change their orientation -- that is what every responsible psychiatrist, activist, therapist, and sex researcher says. It other words, sexuality is not fluid. Gay people are gay, straights are straights, and -- however many genuine bisexuals there are in the world -- they go from male to female partners but their orientation is always bi. One has to remember that sexual orientation doesn't always match with whichever sex a person is sleeping with, hence these gay guys who sleep with women on occasion. "Sexual fluidity" often just means that someone is going in and out of the closet. Their orientation doesn't really change.

As for these gay guys having sex with women, there are several explanations. First, are these guys really gay? Surely some of them at least identify (whatever the reality) as bisexual. Second, when we talk about "having sex"with women we have to define exactly what "having sex" is.

Picture this scenario. Gay guy and gal pal go out to a gay bar. Gay guy sees guys he likes but he has trouble hooking up with any of them because gal pal is making a loud scene because no one is paying her any attention (the guys are looking for other guys, after all) and the gay guys keep their distance. So it's 4 AM and gay guy and gal pal are both alone and horny. Gal pal gives gay guy a blow job while he fantasizes about one of the hot guys he saw at the bar and would much rather be with. I suppose you could call that having sex with a woman ...

Sometimes the gay guy and gal pal manage to thrash around with each other in bed, if you want to call that having sex. Both are dead drunk, and even if gay guy was attracted to the gal pal he probably wouldn't be able to get it up. In other words, the women in these situations are unlikely to ever get pregnant.

I'd be willing to bet that if you asked your friends for details their sexual episodes with women would be along the lines detailed above. And I'm sure that in almost every case there's heavy drinking and/or drug use involved. If somebody wants to call this "sexual fluidity" they can but I wouldn't. These guys are still gay.

Years ago I had an older friend who was in his fifties. He had had sex with women in the Army thirty years before but not since. One night a "fag hag" -- for lack of a better word --came on to him and he went to bed with her. I was astonished, but he laughed it off and said it was just an act of narcissism. Some men are turned on in a fashion by somebody's lust for them. This guy was middle-aged, not that attractive by objective standards, and while he pursued and caught many, many men, he was rarely pursued himself. Therefore he liked being pursued and decided, in a sense, to give the woman what she wanted. He insisted it was a one-time thing, that he had no desire to repeat it, was not bisexual in any way, shape or form, and that he was a dyed-in-the-wool gay guy (to which I will testify). He was gay before he had sex with the woman, he was gay after he had sex with the woman, and he was gay while he had sex with the woman -- and probably fantasized about men to keep it hard. Again, some would call this sexual fluidity. I wouldn't.

Other essentially homosexual men sleep with women on occasion (generally if no man is around) for some harmless sex-for-sex's-sake, or -- if they are not fully accepting of their homosexuality -- to feel more "butch"and manly. We live in a society where a man is considered a stud only if he sleeps with women, and while a well-adjusted gay man knows this is just hetero bias, a gay man who has "issues" may need to fuck (or at least try to fuck) women to reinforce his very insecure sense of masculinity. Sad, really. Even in this day and age we have homosexual men marrying women so they can come off to the world as straight husbands and daddies (while they hook up with men online). They may even identify as heterosexual. Many gay men are perfectlycapable of having sex with women (although for some only homoerotic fantasizing will sustain them), they're just not interested. They are into men.

Then there are men who know they are gay but are still conflicted. One middle-aged man in a bar a few months ago told me "Sexuality is fluid. [Puke!] Four years from now you could be sleeping with women." I don't think so. Tried it years ago, knew I was into guys, got over the angst very quickly, know who and what I am and wouldn't have it any other way. I could sleep with women but I don't want to, don't need to, and have nothing to prove. If men are middle-aged and they still haven't figured out or accepted who they are, I can only feel sorry for them. Plus the fact that I think it's terrible for these sad fucks to use women the way they do.

And not to be mean, but some of these guys sleeping with women are so effeminate (not that there's anything wrong with that) that when they have sex with a woman it's practically an act of lesbianism. I mean, who are they really kidding?

While I personally have some problems with the 60-year-old Kinsey scale of sexuality (where 0 is totally straight and 6 is totally gay), I suppose proponents of the scale could argue that a man who is a 4 or 5 on the scale -- essentially homosexual but a little bit hetero -- could sleep with women and possibly enjoy it but he'd much, much rather be with a man, if he's honest with himself. Gay guys who are 6 on the scale have zero interest in sleeping with women, of course, and don't understand men who do.

In fact, I dare say that most happily adjusted Out and Proud Gay Men are perfectly happy sleeping with men and just having woman as friends.

So this isn't sexual fluidity and you're not a prude. I honestly don't know how prevalent this business really is. Bisexuality [more on which in a future post] is as trendy as "sexual fluidity" and very political these days, and that may be contributing to what you see -- rightly or wrongly -- as a trend. I have to confess that here in New York I can't say there's an "epidemic" of gay guys sleeping with women that I know of. Most gay guys I know (of all ages) are looking for and sleeping with guys, as they should.

And that, at least, is good news, eh?

Cock Rings

I just want to know, what is a "cock ring." It sounds painful. Anon.

A cock ring is not like a ring through the lip or a ring through the nose. No wonder you thought it sounded painful.

A cock ring goes around the bottom of the shaft of the penis. It's purpose is to hold the blood up in the penis so that a man will get a bigger erection and be able to sustain it longer. It also increases the sensation of an orgasm. It's sometimes used by men are who tired or tipsy and have trouble getting or keeping it up because of that. However, there is a danger in using one if you're drunk. A guy could fall asleep and leave it on for hours which is not a good idea. A prolonged erection of several hours is called priapism and requires a trip to the emergency room. The blood in the penis coagulates and the erection won't go down, which can cause severe damage to your erectile tissue. You do not want this to happen.

There are different kinds of cock rings. The best kind is one that is adjustable and easily removed, with leather or rawhide straps, not one made of metal. If a man uses a cock ring and feels pain, he should immediately take it off. A man's cock ring should provide a comfortable fit, so it's either the exact size he needs or is, as I say, adjustable.

Used with care, a cock ring can enhance the sexual experience for a man and his partner.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Gay Men Marry Women

I recently read that Dwight Eubanks, some sort of reality TV show star and an openly gay (not bisexual) man, is getting married to a woman. I know that self-hating closet cases often get married, but why would an openly gay man do the same thing? Curious Gay Guy.

"Marriages" like this are not real marriages -- they're two immature people playing house. In other words what we've got here is another case of: "Dizzy Queen Marries Woman For A Hoot." [For more information google "Liza Minelli."]

I have often commented on why "mixed marriages" don't work in any realistic fashion. While I can be sympathetic for women who unknowingly marry a homosexual man, I think a woman who undergoes a marriage with an openly gay guy is just asking for trouble. She's on the same level, as far as I'm concerned, as a woman who wants a romantic relationship with a guy serving a life sentence in prison. It has everything to do with desperation and nothing to do with reality of any kind.

I don't know Eubanks, but there are some things we have to remember. We tend to think that internalized homophobia only affects closeted gay men, but I have met many men who are basically out of the closet -- even out publicly -- and who are still dealing with issues of shame and guilt. Then we also have to remember that, sadly, many members of minorities blame their unhappiness not on the vicissitudes of fate or their own personality flaws, but on their being black or gay or what-have-you.

Here we have a gay man who has reached a certain age (in this case, 50) without a partner, and will probably say that he just wants companionship. So he's marrying a woman he feels a certain rapport with. There may be other factors. She may be after the indirect celebrity that comes from associating/marrying someone who is "famous" (admittedly only to those who bother to watch reality shows). There can also be financial motivations in mixed marriages. And loneliness can literally create strange bedfellows (although I seriously doubt if these two will have any kind of riveting sex life or any sex life at all -- with each other). Women who marry gay men are often dealing (or not dealing) with their own sexual identity issues, and there's almost always a conscious or sub-concious element of homophobia as well.

I have met a few openly gay (but rarely Out and Proud) men who marry woman late in life. One fellow told me it was about companionship, but he was also in the media, and I truly believe he was hoping he could fool the powers-that-be into thinking he was straight and taking him more seriously. I also believe there was a financial motive (and in this case the woman probably did not know he was gay, even though everyone else on the planet did. Or she was so desperate for a companion she didn't care.) The marriage, which lasted about two years, didn't have the desired effect, and the guy not only didn't go further in his career but got fired after many years of employment.

Eubanks has complained that he meets too many guys on the downlow and is sick of it. He blithely ignores the fact that there are a great many Out and Proud African-Americans.

It can be tough for anyone -- gay or straight -- to find "the one." But the search is made that much harder by those gay men who aren't fully accepting of themselves [regardless of how "out" they may be] or think of themselves as being unhappy being gay when their unhappiness is actually based on other factors-- it is easier to say your problem is being gay when the problem may actually be you and your character flaws. Often men like Eubanks drive potential mates away because their internalized homophobia prevents them from fully committing to a relationship with another male.

The truth is that a well-adjusted. proud gay man may have many loving friendships with women, but he'll have no desire to entire into a sham marriage with one of them. And a woman with healthy self-esteem and no hidden issues will allow a gay man to be gay and pursue a relationship with a man who can be totally "into" her.

A bigger truth is that if Dwight Eubanks ever does meet the man of his dreams -- and that man feels the same way about Eubanks -- the "wife" will be out of the picture before you can say Tom Robinson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hit On By Horny Hubby

I am a single gay man in my forties. A married couple I'll call "Dick and Jane" live on the same floor in my building. I am openly gay, so they both know all about me, and seem gay friendly. I got a certain "feeling" about Dick, who works at home (as I do) and seems to have one excuse after another to drop by my apartment virtually every afternoon, although lately I have taken to not answering the door. I am not interested in having sex with him or in getting into any kind of scene with this married closet queen, but I am convinced by his behavior, the way he looks at me, and many other things that he is attracted to me and is hoping to get it on. I am not at all into Woody Allen types (that's whom he resembles, only much younger), among other problems. It has reached the point where I'm almost ready to bar the door and tell his wife to put him on a leash! Buddy.

Does the wife look like Mia? How many kids have they adopted? Seriously, while it can be flattering to have someone kind of infatuated/hot for you, I don't think I would particularly care to have a married man who looks like Woody Allen ringing my door bell every afternoon either. [No offense to anyone who might look like Woody Allen. He's done all right for himself.]

I also say: Get right to the point. If you're absolutely convinced that this guy is sniffing around you in heat -- that he's not just a little lonely while (I assume) his wife is at the office -- then either never answer your door again or invite him in for some coffee and consolation. Tell him:

A.) You don't date married men.

B.) You don't date married men who look like Woody Allen. (Okay. Forget "B.")

C.) You don't date closet cases.

D.) You don't want to help him commit adultery.

E.) You'll have sex with him if he lets you have sex with his wife.

Okay -- I was so amused by your question that I'm getting a little silly. Here is my serious advice.

Definitely tell him that you think you know why he's coming around so often and (don't hurt his feelings) that you're extremely uncomfortable with the notion of fooling around with someone who's not only married but who lives down the hall with his wife. Jeez!

Ask him if he feels that he is or might be gay -- he might be a gay brother reaching out for understanding and striving for self-acceptance, and that may be why he's hanging around you -- an openly gay man -- so much. Tell him it's okay to be gay and recommend counseling at any gay center in your area. (And have him write Gay Dr. Bill. I'll set him "straight.")

If he's just a classic married homosexual or possibly bisexual who wants to cheat on his wife -- if he has zero gay identity and no interest in coming out -- tell him you'd rather he stay down on his end of the hall -- or you'll tell his wife to keep him on a fucking leash.

That oughta do it.

Boyfriend's Ex is Just Down the Hall

Help! My boyfriend's ex-lover has moved into the apartment down the hall. He claims this is completely coincidental, but I think it's a crock. They had a physically violent and dysfunctional relationship, and while I know my boyfriend is through with his ex, I just don't know what to expect from him next. I feel so uncomfortable having this psycho down the hall. Anon.

Well, nobody likes to have, as you put it, a psycho living down the hall. It does seem a little odd that your lover's ex should move into the same building, but it does happen on occasion. Are you afraid he'll be dropping by all the time? If that happens, you and your lover have to make it clear that the ex is not welcome. If you fear that he could actually be dangerous, then don't confront him or say something that will set him off. A cool, brisk, unfriendly but not hostile demeanor from the two of you may give him the message that neither you nor your lover want anything more to do with him. If he starts things up with you, looks like he's trying to start trouble, or starts to get violent, call the police and get a restraining order. Yes, this could be a sinister plot of his to make you and your lover's lives miserable, but it's also possible that he just found a reasonable rent and is just as unhappy living near you as you are living down the hall from him.

Gays and Religion

Because most religions have turned their backs on gay people and denounce them, are most gay people atheists? Anon.

No. As I've said many times, the gay community is a very diverse community. Some gay people are religious and others are not. Certainly there are gays and lesbians who were religious in youth and became less religious as they got older, sometimes because -- as you put it -- the doctrines of their religion were anti-gay. Undoubtedly there are gays and lesbians who are agnostic or atheistic for reasons that may have nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

There are religions which are not homophobic, as well as groups for gay members of religious groups that are homophobic. Dignity, a group for gay Catholics -- the Catholic Church is virulently homophobic -- has been around for many years. And there are churches specifically created to be welcoming to gays.

Interestingly enough, religious attitudes are not the only causes of homophobia. There have been atheists and agnostics who are anti-gay, although the most vehemently homophobic groups and individuals seem to come from the religious sector.

Since religious attitudes can influence people, many gay activists feel it would be a good thing to work within religious groups to broaden their perspective on homosexuality. Other activists feel that religious attitudes and the homophobia that often goes with them, should be completely rejected.

It's your call.