Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Really Bisexual?

Is it true that all gay men are really bisexual? I mean, look at the guys who have been or are still married to women. Isn't labeling yourself bi or gay a political decision? Anon.

But then look at all the guys -- many more, in fact -- who have never been married to women, and are not in any way, shape or form bisexual. And may not have the slightest sexual or romantic interest in women. Ever.

How you label yourself or identify can be a political decision (or one born of how you see yourself, or want to see yourself and be seen by others). No doubt there are gay men who call themselves bisexual because they feel it makes them -- somehow -- more masculine. [In gay society, a man can have sex exclusively with men and still be considered something of a stud. Outside gay society, a man is seen as a "stud" only if he has sex with women. Some guys need to seen as studs by the entire world, and especially by their straight friends and family.] I don't know if a man who identifies as gay would label himself bi for political reasons, unless it's to show solidarity with a bi male partner.

I believe there are men who see themselves as bisexual but who label themselves gay for political reasons. [But many, many more men who label themselves gay simply because they're gay.] They may do this to show solidarity with other "queer" Men Who Love Men, or because of their recognition that if they experience persecution it will more likely be due to their same-sex attraction and relationships than to whatever attraction or relationships they may have with the opposite sex.

A genuine bisexual has much more than a passing interest in the opposite sex, and their relationships with women are not for appearance's or career's sake, or due to internalized homophobia or self-denial. Some gay men may have a mild or occasional interest in, or sexual experience, with women, but their attraction to and interest in men is far more overwhelming. Although some men in this position, as well as others, may choose to call themselves bisexual, their overwhelming interest in men (even if they're married to women) in my educated opinion, makes them gay, not bi.

Married homosexual men (as opposed to married bisexual men) are technically bisexual because they do sleep with women and have biological children. However, before one talks about bisexuality one has to consider this: I've met, befriended and interviewed literally hundreds of men who were once, or still are, married to women, and the vast majority of them say they are gay, not bisexual. Many, perhaps most, of them, say that sex with their wives was unsatisfying (as opposed to sex with men), and that they had to fantasize about males during the sex act. In some cases they would not have been able to achieve erection let alone successful penetration, without the homoerotic fantasies. Not just with their wives, but with virtually any woman. That doesn't sound bi to me -- it sounds gay.

So, no, it's not true that all gay men are really bisexual. Saying so is tantamount to saying that all gay men can change over to straight, change their orientation, when that flies in the face of all evidence to the contrary, "sexual fluidity" be damned. A gay man can sleep with a woman, father children, but that doesn't make him straight or bi. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes many bi-identified individuals make is to automatically assume a Man Who Loves Men is bisexual just because he is or was once married to a woman.

Funny, nobody ever seems to think that all straight men are really bisexual. Wonder why?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hanging It Up

At what point do you think a man should hang it up, I mean stop cruising, accept that those days are behind him? Is there any specific age, I wonder? Anon.

Given how people live longer today and the "senior" crowd -- gay and straight -- is still sexually active, I don't know if anyone should ever "give it up." It really depends on a lot of factors.

As long as a man is attracting other men to him -- and I don't mean that every head turns when he walks in the door, but that guys do at least on occasion let him know that they're interested -- I see no reason why he should stop cruising, or at least think of himself as "past it." I mean, a man can go to a bar one night and feel invisible, with no one hitting on him, or striking out as he makes passes, but then a week later there are more guys in the bar (or a different bar) who like his specific type, and he finds himself in the position of (nicely) rejecting people. You never know how it's gonna go. Guys, especially as we age, can be very sensitive to this, and one has to remember that even younger, "hotter" guys can have a bad night or a string of them. It's important not to despair.

Some guys of a certain age don't actively cruise. They wait for people to express an interest and now and then may get lucky. Other guys are more aggressive and may or may not be more successful. Some guys just tell themselves that they're over-the-hill and jerk off, or become more or less asexual.

Then there are guys are who really lousy at cruising in bars and do much better on-line. I'd suggest before giving up on cruising/dating/sexual activity entirely, a man should try the on-line dating/sex sites that cater to older men and their admirers, such as silver daddies.

Older men -- especially those who are predominantly attracted to younger guys -- should avoid the pitfalls of cruising in a bar that caters mostly to, say, twenty-somethings. There are young men who like older men (for various reasons) but they tend to go to bars that cater to the middle-aged [and older] crowd. If you do go to a bar full of twenty-somethings, at least go late when they're more likely to be a little snookered and approachable. You may not get laid but at least they'll talk to you!

I have encountered middle-aged men who are fresh out of a twenty-something bar down the block and are miserable as hell, feeling old, rejected and desperate, when the truth is that there are many men their own age who would find them perfectly sexy. Unless a guy is extremely handsome, hot or rich, it's difficult to be in middle age (or older) and be exclusively attracted to much younger men.

There are still a lot of attractive (whatever your taste) older guys out there, and all of us "of a certain age" -- and we are legion -- should take advantage of that fact.

If a man really feels that he is just too old to attract sex partners, he can still enjoy the joys of masturbation, his friends, other activities that add joy to his life.

But remember that I've known guys as old as their seventies who cruise -- in bars -- and are successful at it more often than not.

You just never know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting Lucky -- Or Not

On your recent post on "The Revenge of 'Fats and Femmes'" you talk about how guys sometimes come on to and go home with other guys who are much less attractive and you give various reasons for it. But isn't the number one reason that guys are just drunk and horny and don't realize what they've got in bed with them until they wake up the next morning? Anon.

LOL, Well, there is that old saying that if you get drunk you may wind up having sex with someone you wouldn't even want to talk to in the daylight.

And that other old saying: a stiff dick has no conscience.

Sure, of course it's true that some sex hook ups (gay or straight) happen because one or both parties are way too inebriated. And it's also true that a horny guy near closing time will often consent to go home with a guy who really isn't his type just so he can get a damn good blow job. (Hopefully. Sometimes they just pass out and you're left holding the ... ).

However, what I was talking about in the other post is reasonably sober guys who for one reason or another are attracted to men that you wouldn't think they would be.

While we're on this subject may I take the opportunity to importune people who do wind up in bed with someone they normally wouldn't go for to at least be kind in the morning. There's no point in hurting somebody's feelings just because you got too drunk.

Besides, sooner or later we all get lucky and wind up with somebody who's way out of our league.

GLBT Expo 2010

Hello, Dr. Bill. I recently found your blog. I think it is marvelous. We are producers of The 17th Original GLBT Expo 2010 and it is our 17th Anniversary. This is a huge milestone for the GLBT Community, the loyal sponsors/exhibitors/attendees that support the EXPO and your dedicated staff at The RDP Group.

For the past 17 years, the EXPO has helped to present the finest products & services available to the GLBT consumer. Starting in 1993, the EXPO has generated over $80,000,000 of dollars spent within the Greater Tri-State area. This includes the GLBT friendly companies from every industry, both large and small, Fortune 1000 and Gay-owned companies. They have all discovered the GLBT Community is affluent, brand-loyal, well educated and business minded. It is the truest of definition of "THE PERFECT NICHE MARKET".

It would be great if you could just post some information on your blog about this event. Spread word to the Gay Community to join and Expo.

Thank you and I'll be happy to. Here's where you can get further information on the Expo:

The 17th Original GLBT Expo
March 20-21 2010
Jacob Javits Convention Center
New York City
Call 800.243.9774

For more information please visit the website http://www.originalglbtexpo.com/


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Revenge of the "Fat and Femme"

Dr. Bill, what's going on here? I consider myself a reasonably attractive, in good shape, gay man in his early forties, and I do okay in the bar scene and on line. But I notice more and more that -- to be charitable -- chubby guys seem to be getting a lot of attention in gay bars. I'm not necessarily talking about bears or chubby-bears, but just obese -- sometimes morbidly obese -- guys, often effeminate, who seem to be attracting men who are much more attractive than they are. What's going on here? The other night I saw a good-looking guy rejected by a man who made an instant beeline for a super-plump homely fellow with zits and was making out with him. I mean, didn't it used to be that most gay men would put on their profiles "no fats, no femmes." What happened to make these -- to me -- gross guys so "sexy" all of a sudden?" Annoyed in New York City.

First of all, there's no accounting for taste. There are guys who won't look twice at a guy with a shaved head and goatee, while others are drawn to them like moths to a flame (thank goodness for me). I imagine the same is true for chubby guys. But I have noticed some changes over the years, maybe relating to the emergence of bear culture, where it isn't about being young, slender, having a full head of hair, or being conventionally handsome. Still, some people think it's getting a little out of hand.

Why would a handsome guy -- as you and I and others have observed -- want to make out and go off with a man who, by most objective standards, is just the opposite of him? I can think of at least two reasons.

Even good-looking guys can suffer from low self-esteem. Some men are intimidated by other "hot" guys and would just as soon be serviced by someone who is much less attractive. They may have issues that we know nothing about -- sexual problems, or are HIV positive -- and figure a less attractive man will be so grateful to have them that they'll overlook things that the hotter guys -- who can pick and choose -- may not. Often when a good-looking person chooses an "ugly" or "slovenly" person for a sex partner, it's an expression of the former's self-hatred.

Then we have to remember that Love is Blind. Some people change over the years, lose their looks, and become much less attractive than their partners. But the other partner is still in love, and when he kisses the other guy, he's kissing the man he remembers, the man he was so attracted to long ago. I think that must be a case with a couple who come into my usual hang-out all the time and just stand there and make out while others around them are shaking their heads and wondering what one guy sees in the other.

And, again, there really is no accounting for taste. Some people see something in somebody that you or I may not see.

There have always been chubby chasers, people who found something erotic about excessive avoirdupois. [As well as guys who were attracted to effeminate men, perhaps because they feel superior to them.] A few years back,when I was much heavier than I am today, I was often approached by men who seemed to like me because of the extra weight. Frankly it grossed me out a bit, so I promptly went on a diet.

Many years ago when I was skinny, I went with a fat friend to a party given by Girth and Mirth, a group for chubbies and their chasers. I remember being practically chased around the room by obese guys, but no one was chasing them, and I felt that was kind of unfair. I mean this was supposed to be a group for men who found portly fellows sexy, so what was going on?

But now the situation seems to have changed a bit. One acquaintance recently said to me "The only guys who get laid these days are fat guys."

Well, that's a "gross" exaggeration of course.

But in a sense it's nice to know that there is literally somebody for everyone, that virtually everyone is somebody's type.

As long as you are somebody's type, don't worry about the ones who turn up their noses at you and walk out the door with somebody that -- to you -- looks like they escaped from a circus sideshow. [No offense intended to anyone. I mean, I know I'm not exactly "Brad Pitt." Who isn't all that great anyway.]

I mean, better them than you, right?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Three's a Crowd

I am a gay man who has just entered into a committed relationship with a man I've been dating for three years. The problem is his friend, whom I'll call Loretta. Loretta is a lesbian and she is my guy's best, best friend. Let me make it clear that I have absolutely no problem with lesbians or women in general, but try as I might, I just can't get "into" Loretta. I just don't like her, and believe me I've tried. What's worse is that she is always around, and I mean always. She broke up with a long-time lover about five years ago and apparently still isn't over it. I'm sympathetic, but I wish she'd understand that her friend -- my lover -- is in a relationship and he doesn't always have time for her drama. Sometimes I feel like we're supposed to be this happy trio or something. They've been friends for years and I don't want to end that, but just wish Loretta wasn't around quite so much. When I bring it up, my boyfriend will tell me all the things Loretta has done for him, how she's lonely and hurting, blah, blah, blah. Dr. Bill, what can I do? Anon.

The problem isn't Loretta so much as your boyfriend. In other words, he has to understand that while being in a relationship doesn't mean that you forget about your friends, it does mean that you should be spending more time with your significant other and at least a little less with your friends. It's too bad that you just don't care for Loretta, but I have a feeling anyone who intrudes on your life with your guy would understandably be a problem.

It may seem that there's little you can do when your boyfriend goes into "defensive friendship mode" -- I mean, he starts reminding you of all Loretta's done for him and how much the friendship means, blah, blah, blah, as you say. Tell him that you understand that his friendship with Loretta is important and you don't want him to end it for the world, but you don't have the same history with Loretta and she's just an annoyance to you because she's around so fucking much! If he's unwilling to address the problem for fear of hurting Loretta, you may have to take tactful action, a sympathetic aside to Loretta, maybe just a hint that you wish you had more quality alone time with your new lover.

Take a firm stand with your boyfriend. Explain that you're in a relationship with him, not with Loretta, and while you don't mind if they hang out together from time to time, and can put up with her now and then, you don't want to feel as if you're part of a threesome. He has to meet you halfway.

If all else fails you will have to tell Loretta that she needs to get a life of her own, and/or tell your boyfriend that he has to put in his foot down in as kind a way as possible. If the problem is that Loretta just keeps showing up without an invitation, you will eventually have to be firm with her. Tell her you don't mind her coming over now and then, you respect her friendship with your lover, but he's in a relationship now and the two of you sometimes need to be alone. Give her a specific date to come over, but tell her she has to wait to be invited.

An awkward situation. But one that can be dealt with.

In the meantime, if you know any single lesbians who might be attracted to Loretta, for heaven's sake, introduce them to her!