Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bi-Curious Boyfriend?

Dr. Bill,

I am a young, 22 year old female college student, who is dating a 21 year old male college student. We have been officially together for about 3 months and I have fallen deeply in love with him. I feel that with every ounce of my heart, that he could be "the one" for me, because he is remarkably caring and loving and loves me for who I am, flaws and all. The reason why this particularly important is because, in my past relationships, I have been psychologically and mentally abused that eventually led to physical abuse, which did not escalate to an invariable extreme as I was relatively quick to walk away from the relationships. When I first got to know my boyfriend, I really could say that I did not know what it was like to be completely cared for. He truly seeks to talk out our problems, be emotionally healthy, and to communicate maturely -- all characteristics that really fell short with my previous relationships. What I am trying to say by all this is that this relationship means a tremendous amount to me and my dreams of being happily married do not seem too far away with this guy -- a guy who I feel I truly connect with.

One example of this is the undeniable chemistry is in our sex life. We have amazing, gratifying, out-of-this-world sex. There is a balance in who receives and gives pleasure -- we both seek and get turned on when pleasuring each other, something I believe is key to a healthy sex life. But you may still be wondering where I am getting with all this, and I'll tell you now: something particularly sensitive got brought up DURING love making. He likes to have conversations during sex (something I thought was a tad strange at first, but I quickly got over it and started talking, too), usually about his love for me or a reasonable fantasy. This time, however, he brought up the subject of a threesome, something I have fantasized about myself, so I carried on the topic. He asked if I would prefer having a threesome involving two men and and me or one involving two females and him. I said both because I have fantasized of being pleasured by two men, and women because I have always lusted over a beautiful woman's body. He said he knew a friend (a guy whom I have met) who might be interested and if I would consider actually doing it. For the sake of resuming love making, I agreed, letting him know I am not officially agreeing to anything because this is something that needs to be thoroughly discussed, and hoped we would leave it at that. He then brought up if I would be comfortable with some homoeroticism. I was shocked, but tried to just move on and resumed love making, saying that we should talk about this afterwards. I really didn't display an adverse reaction, because at the same time I was shocked, I was reminding myself that I would like to be pretty open about our sexuality. Trying to think that was a harmless request, I didn't get upset about it and I actually said I would consider it, still thinking of my own fantasy.

I have not brought it up to him as of now, and have decided that I am not completely comfortable with that suggestion yet (this happened yesterday). But what I am most confused about is how I should go about his disclosure. I said that I would expect and trust that he would remain faithful to us beyond any sort of consensual sexual exploration of our fantasies, and I even asked if he ever thought of himself as gay or bisexual. He said it was merely a curiosity. So what I am left with is this: am I wrong to doubt his commitment to us, as he has openly expressed his desire to someday be married and have children? Am I overreacting because, I, who consider myself "straight" relationship-wise, would probably want a sexual encounter with a woman? Are we just moving too fast with our sexual explorations? I apologize if I went into too much detail, but I feel that most of it might be useful in factoring in an opinion. Please let me know if you have any questions that might further enhance your understanding of the matter. Thank you, Dr. Bill, for your time.


If you are "over-reacting," as you put it, it's a bit strange, because why worry if he wants to experiment in a homoerotic fashion when you want to do the same? Reading between the lines there seems the fear that one or both of you might be gay, and what that might mean for a future relationship. You also have to remember that "homoerotic" refers to relationships between two women as well as two men, so maybe your boyfriend is just one of these straight guys who for some reason is turned on by the thought of two women getting it on. Did he specifically mean "homoeroticism" involving him and another guy? More on that in a moment.

Right at the outset I would have to say that if you are interested in a sexual encounter with a woman the proper classification for you might be bisexual but not "straight." Heterosexuals might be curious about homoerotic relationships, but a desire to put it into practice indicates a genuine attraction to your own sex. There is still a lot that is unknown about bisexuality and its reality; I tend to think if people are overwhelmingly attracted to their own sex [if they're being completely honest with themselves], regardless of any attraction to the opposite sex, they are essentially gay. There are plenty who will disagree with me. If a bi person is much more attracted to the opposite sex, then I might say that they were bisexual, but I at least couldn't think of such a person as being totally straight.

Now that we've got that out of the way, it sounds to me as if your boyfriend might still be trying to find himself. Or it could be that he's simply interested in swinging -- and if you're not comfortable with this you need to let him know at the outset. You may figure you'll lose him if you don't go along with him, but do you really want a guy who's going to be "swinging" if you'd prefer a monogamous relationship? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the swinger's lifestyle; it just isn't for everyone. A man [or woman] can remain emotionally committed to his or her partner while maintaining a swinger's lifestyle, but if the partner isn't into this lifestyle he or she may simply feel continually betrayed or forced into scenes that really don't interest them.

I'd suggest what you should do now is sit down and talk to him [during a less, shall we say, hectic moment] and ask him more about this homoeroticism he expressed an interest in. Does he want you to get it on with a woman? Or does he want to get it on with a guy? Some bisexual men are really gay guys who just can't come fully to grips with their sexuality and come out. [If you scroll down you'll see how I feel about "mixed marriages" between gay and straight.] There have been many cases of women who have been in abusive relationships with brutish men finding comfort in the arms of a more gentle, sexually confused gay guy [not that all gay men are gentle, believe me].

If you have some attraction to women, don't let it throw you. It's perfectly okay to be gay or bi.
While I admit I can be cynical [realistic?] when it comes to male bisexuality, there are plenty of women who insist -- sometimes very loudly -- that they are genuinely bi and can have happy relationships with either sex. If you someday come to the conclusion that you'd be happier with a woman, there's absolutely nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.

College tends to be the age of sexual experimentation, and many people your age haven't quite figured out if they're gay, bi or what-have-you. There's no need to be in a rush. This young man may be the love of your life, or -- as Judge Judy would put it -- in five years you may not even remember what he looked like. [For the record, when I was in college I thought of myself as straight, then bi. A few years later I realized I was gay, and have been happy with it ever since.]

College is a period for exploring and thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Keep your mind open to possibilities and share your thoughts and fears with this fellow, who in all likelihood is dealing with the same insecurities that you are.

Bras and Bullets

I want to share a wild true story with you that happened to me some years ago. I was in a gay bar when the bartender, who was straight -- a very hairy, macho fellow with an enormous pot belly -- tore open his shirt to reveal that he was wearing a bra. When one of the customers started laughing at him, the bartender pulled out a gun and started shooting. Luckily, no one was hurt. Ever hear anything so weird?

Uh, I hope we don't go to the same bars. And no, I've never heard anything that weird (weirder, yes) and I have a feeling that neither did you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



Give thanks that you're gay and out and proud, and hope that everyone ashamed and in the closet, living a lie, will one day feel comfortable and proud enough to be and say who they really are!

Hope to maintain a regular weekly schedule in the new year, but will continue posting throughout the holidays. Keep those questions coming!

Bill Schoell

Hateful Married Homosexual

I'd like your opinion on something that happened to me. Many years ago I had a boyfriend who was not comfortable being gay and who left me for a woman with money [he also enjoyed the good life]. Both of these people were simply horrible to me back in the day. He admitted he was not bi or attracted to women, and I felt he was being unfair both to himself and to her by marrying her just to be financially comfortable and to play at being straight [to please his parents]. I even told her we had been boyfriends and she said he told her that he was straight and I was a 'fag' who was in love with him. Anyway, I avoided this toxic couple, moved on, had another lover for many years who died a couple of years ago.

My ex-lover and his wife have stayed married for many years and managed to have two children, although I hear one is adopted. I have seen my ex-boyfriend -- I'll call him Chuck -- in gay bars making out with guys and dragging them home [while the wife is out of town] many times over the years.

Just recently I was on a date and encountered this man and his wife at a social function. I barely recognized him, but he definitely remembered me, sized up my attractive new boyfriend [ certainly compared to his fat wife] and began making rude, homophobic comments. His wife even joined in. They made a terrible impression with the other people in the group, who thought they were boorish and narrow-minded. You don't know the half of it, I said.

The other night I got photos of him french kissing a guy at a gay bar. My question is: should I email them to his wife [I have her work email].

Hell, that's what I would do! I don't believe in outing people most of the time -- it's a personal decision a pivotal, important moment in a gay person's life -- but all bets are off if the party concerned is publicly homophobic . This guy did you enough damage -- and he's still trying to do it. His self-hatred has spread out to encompass a man -- you -- who has lived a happy gay life while he's stuck in a closet having furtive affairs, terrified his bill-paying wife will find out.

Click send, baby!

The Big Kiss-Off?

All my boyfriend ever wants to do is smooch, smooch,smooch, but when I try to do something a little bit sexier, y'know fellatio, analism, he backs off. We get naked, and we make out -- and that's it! He seems very, very attracted to me as I am to him, but I can't figure out why he doesn't want to have sex. When I put it to him he just says, "I really like kissing." Forget about a blow job, he won't even touch my dick. I just can't figure out what's going on? Am I with the wrong guy?

Don't jump to conclusions. There are people who prefer kissing over everything else, but I'd be willing to bet that this guy simply wants to stick to very safe sex. However, the fact that he won't even indulge in mutual masturbation -- totally safe -- is a little odd. It may be that he has an abnormal fear of AIDS [safe -- or at least safer -- sex can include other things besides kissing], or perhaps he's HIV positive and can't bring himself to tell you. [For the record it's very unlikely that HIV can be spread via kissing unless both parties have bleeding gums. Even then it's not a given, just a possibility. Contact GMHC -- Gay Men's Health Crisis -- if you have more questions.]

I suggest you sit down and put the question to him, no matter how awkward it may be. Even if he is HIV positive, you can still enjoy safe sex with one another.

But remember, some people are really into kissing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Man with Boyfriend Wants Wife

I'm a 28 year old guy and i have been bisexual since I was a teenager, but i was exclusively gay in the past 10 years with complete self-acceptance as a homosexual. My boyfriend and i were together for 4 years but now all of a sudden i started seeing my best "girl friend" from another view rather than just as a friend. I confessed to her and she knows everything about me (we're friends for 11 years or so) and we started getting more intimate; she said she can accept whatever happened in the past but once we are committed that's it for monkey business with a girl or with a guy. i totally understand her wish but i am so confused now with a lot of questions that turned my life upside down & is causing me continuous anxiety and depression

-Will i be able to do it?? All other forums and people's experiences say they couldn't do it and at some point of my life i would be unable to suppress same-sex feelings and i never ever wanna think of putting her into this [situation].

-i feel terrible for my boyfriend who believes i am only doing this because i have a strong parental instinct and if I have a child it has to be my own child.

Is it true that i really want to get married to her and constitute our own family (i see her as the perfect match mind-wise and fun-wise) or am i just deceiving myself and it's just a desperate attempt of my unconsciousness to gain social and family acceptance and have the kids i want( i'm from the Middle east in a country where homosexuals face complete social rejection)

i would hate myself if i realized too late that this is the case as i will be just using her! i also feel terrible for my boyfriend , and i don't know how can i help him and help myself , we're both having extremely hard times trying to change the image of me and him living together in the future although we can still be friends but nothing more.

Sometimes when i think of it, i'm like yeah this is the life i want, a loving and understanding wife, kids and a nice family life but sometimes i'm like no, it can't be like that all of sudden , i have never thought of marriage....EVER and you should know i am 80% attracted to males and only 20% attracted to females.

Well, I think you've just answered your own question. At times you say you're bisexual and at others homosexual, but it's clear that whatever you are your preference is men. Just the fact that you're wondering if your "straight" feelings are genuine or if they come from your doubts about your future as a gay man in a hostile atmosphere tells the story. I realize that for some people, especially those who live in countries much more hostile to homosexuals, it would be easier to be straight, but wishing it just doesn't make it so. By trying to live a straight life you might only be doing harm to yourself, the woman you profess to love, and especially your boyfriend.

First, read what I have to say about "mixed marriages" where one partner is straight and the other is gay. Click here.

You say that you're feeling confused and depressed. It is no coincidence that this has happened just after you left your boyfriend and decided to make your bff [best female friend] your lover or wife. I think the truth is obvious and you said it yourself when you wrote: it's just a desperate attempt of my unconsciousness to gain social and family acceptance.

You can't make a total commitment to your girlfriend because a.) you're still in love with your boyfriend and b.) you're basically gay.

If you honestly feel that your boyfriend is not the right man for you for any reason, that doesn't mean you should seek happiness with a member of the opposite sex. I realize that living in an oppressive environment as you do makes things that much more difficult -- to put it mildly -- but if you and your partner have enough love for each other you can triumph over adversity. Your girlfriend can remain a friend who's there for you when you need her.

In the U.S. we have people that are known as "ex-gays." These are homosexual men and women who are full of self-hatred and/or simply feel that their lives will be easier if they are straight, or at least appear to be, so they enter into sham marriages. The vast majority of these people are unable to suppress their true instincts [a terrible thing to do in any case] and wind up having clandestine affairs with members of their own sex. People can't change their sexual orientation no matter how much they may want to.

The truth is, if you're afraid that you'll only be using this woman in your life, that is probably just what you'll be doing.

99% of gay liberation is in the head, as we used to say in the Gay Activists Alliance of New York. That means, if you accept that you're gay -- and that there's nothing wrong in being gay -- you can deal with everything else -- it will give you the strength to persevere.

Good luck!

BMF is Gay -- Is Marriage in the Cards?

Dear Dr. Bill,

I have came across your blog, when searching about "straight women marrying Gays". I am X from Jordan-Amman. I would appreciate if this is kept confidential. I have no one to talk to about this. I have been attracted to my best friend (guy), and my attraction became too confused, because I had people telling me he is gay, and many saying he is so to me; some people, however, assumed we are in a relationship, and should get married.

Anyhow, our relationship got stronger in the past year. And just recently we both decided to confront each other with a secret. I am attracted to him, and he is Gay. and complete shock for both of us. He is not out of the closet, and he is telling me is is bisexual, yet mentally attracted to men. I am the second person to know about this. Yet he also is attracted to me, not emotionally he says, he also wishes he was straight to be with me, and have our children together; but it is not possible because he believes he will resent us one day.

My question is: is it in any way possible that we can be together, marry and have a family? keeping in mind the freedom he has to enjoy other men's companionship?

Kindly, I appreciate your time and sorry for long email.

No problem. I have to be blunt and tell you that your boyfriend is giving you very clear warnings. He calls himself bisexual, but being gay [or straight] is about more than sex. If he cannot have an emotional -- in other words, a romantic -- connection to a woman, as you say he's told you, than he is not really bisexual, but gay. In other words, as distressing as this may be to you, he may be able to have sex with you, but you can never really win his heart; he just isn't in love with you. A gay man can only have true romantic feelings for another man.

I appreciate that you obviously have deep feelings for this man, but if he is only marrying you because he can't deal with being gay or wants biological children, then you're just being unfair to yourself and ultimately to him as well. Even if you have an "open" marriage that allows him to be with men on the side, why would you want to be with a man who can never fully love you?

Men and women in your situation often do marry but the gay husband can not change his orientation. In the U.S. we have "ex-gays" who enter into sham marriages but they still remain homosexual. I think people deserve better, don't you? [Even in a country that is more oppressive in regards to gay people than the U.S. is.]

You can read more about "mixed" gay/straight marriages and why they don't work here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unhealthy Bears?

I realize that the point of the bear movement is to recognize that men who may not be conventionally attractive can still have appeal to many. But doesn't the bear movement also encourage an unhealthy lifestyle? I see all these very fat guys and can't imagine that being so overweight is good for them. What do you think?

I think you have a point. Of course we have to remember that there are out of shape people who live till 90 and 45-year-olds who stay fit and trim yet still drop dead of a heart attack on the tennis court. So much of it has to do with genes and other aspects of one's lifestyle.

The stereotypical bear is basically a big, jolly, fat guy [without getting into Santa Claus]. But there are many types of bears -- muscle bears, bear cubs, otters [thinner bears -- my classification but I have to watch the calories to stay within it], and so on. A bear is simply a gay guy with hair on his face and body. Many bears do go to the gym.

But I do think the -- for lack of a better word -- obsession some men have over very large men has its downside. As men grow older it is still important to stay in shape. If a fat bear loses weight he may lose some admirers -- the chubby chasers, for instance -- but hopefully he will gain a whole lot more.

Paranoid about the Down Low

Dr. Bill, I just read your response to 'Asking your boyfriend if he is gay' 4 Mar 2010. My fear that my boyfriend has been with other men could be due to paranoia. I watch TV and hear about men on the 'down-low'; men giving their wives/girlfriends AIDs and I am afraid. So, how do I really know, how do I confront my boyfriend and ask him if he has been with men and not offend him? Thank you Ms. Paranoid

First of all, there's no real need to confront your boyfriend unless you have concrete reasons for thinking he's attracted to other men and acting on those attractions. [I give some of the reasons for being suspicious on that earlier post.] Because there seem to be so many men even in these more enlightened days who are attracted to men but married to or involved with women, I suppose it can make some women a little paranoid. But remember that there are many more genuinely heterosexual men then there are gay or bi men, so the odds are in your favor.

If you feel a need to broach the subject with your boyfriend, you can say you found out a friend of yours is gay and see what his reaction is. This will hopefully lead into a discussion on homosexuality and you can monitor his opinions on the subject. You can playfully ask if he ever experimented in that direction. A lot will depend on his reactions to what you say. If he admits that he "experimented" you can ask for a fuller explanation. As I've said many times, a man who has had sex or relationships with other men in the past doesn't suddenly become heterosexual. It just doesn't work that way.

But unless he's getting sexy emails from guys, has joined a gay dating service, or has gay porn on his computer, chances are that your boyfriend is straight.

As I said in the earlier post, if you are convinced your boyfriend is gay, sit down and have a talk with him. It takes a very special person to help someone she loves comes out of the closet, knowing that it may forever end their romantic relationship. Remember not to "accuse" someone of being gay -- it's not criminal to be gay or even in the closet. You can't just tell someone they're gay, especially if they are repressed or deeply closeted and ashamed. But sometimes an honest discussion can lead to a positive result.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Self-Hating Friend?

I am a heterosexual female and I have a gay best friend...whom I've recently developed a small crush on. It's actually really annoying, but it's not like I can really control who I'm attracted to. I feel we both connect on a much deeper level and I'm pretty darn sure he feels the same way, too. We tend to have the most fun when it's only us alone hanging out. Which is when he tends to say 'off' things, things I don't expect to be part of his nature. For instance, he expressed to me that he would totally bed a certain, very beautiful, voluptuous actress (says it about other girls as well). Then, again, if someone had the chance to sleep with someone extremely beautiful and famous, wouldn't you take advantage of that opportunity? Another time, we were under the influence of a substance and he sort of insinuated something sexual. He said that if in that moment, a hand happened to touch his nether region, he wouldn't brush it away. Stuff that makes me think, seems to always happen. He said something about how he can't have sex with men cause it hurts... Is it possible he's conflicted about his sexuality and wants to venture out?

Many times he has expressed his dislike for the gay community and the individuals that sustain it. Although, it's not like he represses his homosexuality. He is very much 'out' and makes everyone aware of that fact. As I gazed further into your blog, I came across the bits of 'internalized homophobia.' This sounds like a more likely scenario than if he were to actually be sexually attracted to me, right? Maybe it's just me, being a girl, wanting something she can't have. Or my overactive imagination putting in work... but I don't think those comments/actions are exactly 'normal' for a gay man is it? Either way I want to move on and I don't want to ask him straight out. I would much rather avoid any awkward confrontations, which would probably spoil the friendship. What's your take on this matter?

My take is that your friend is essentially what we call a "self-hating homo." Any openly gay man who expresses disdain for the gay community is clearly dealing with issues about his sexual orientation. Sadly, there are many gay men who are openly gay but for one reason or another are not happy being gay, largely because they've swallowed society's negative opinions about gay men. or they may have religious hang-ups or feel that being gay makes them "unmanly" -- or just have a basic insecurity about themselves. Then there are people in every minority group who have simply had unhappy or unsuccessful lives for one reason or another and make their race or religion or sexual orientation the reason, unwilling to face their own flaws.

Without saying that your friend may be "bisexual," being gay does not mean that a man finds women repulsive or can't have sex with a woman. [Many married homosexual men sleep while their wives while dreaming of being in bed with guys.] And sure, some gay men might get a kick out of sleeping with a famous female celebrity -- although they'll still be gay in the morning. But be careful of things expressed while under the influence, as they should never be taken seriously.

As for his comment that it "hurts" to have sex with men, I can only assume he's a bottom and a rather inexperienced one at that. Either he can try being a top [or eschew analism altogether] or he can get more experience.

Frankly, this guy may be your bmf, but I think it would be a mistake on your part to expect more. Even if the two of you indulge in some sexual fooling around, it may not lead to anything realistically romantic or permanent. Guys like this often try to "go straight" or become "ex-gays," but while they may get married and even have kids, they remain homosexual. And why would any woman want a homosexual husband?

Some time you might ask him how he feels about being gay and ever so delicately suggest he get counseling or therapy. He can't change his orientation, but he can certainly learn to accept and enjoy it.


Why do gay men say "fabulous" all the time?

Uh, believe me, the vast majority of us don't. Besides, "fabulous" is a kind of theatrical word that is used by people of all stripes and orientations. Flamboyant men and women -- both straight and gay -- may use the term much, much more than the rest of the population, but the average gay guy may not even use it at all. Trust me on this, you fabulous thing, you!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not Gay -- But Wants Sex With Men?

Hi, I'm so happy I came across your web page.

I'm 39 years old. I met a man 3.5 years ago. We started dating, moved in, got engaged, and was supposed to be married this July 2010. Three months before our wedding date, he picked up a prostitute and had sex with her. Got caught by the police and had to tell me. This action made no sense to me. Over the course of a couple of days after that I asked to see his email accounts. Because a "normal" man just does not one day decide to do what he did. It had to be a progression of something. Now mind you, over these days, he says he doesn't know why he did it, and still loves me. He's sorry etc. When I looked into his email accounts a part of me died that day.

He was placing ads on Craig's List to have sex with men. He says, I'm not having sex with men, they are having sex with me. I said to him, then you are gay. No I'm not gay he says. And he continues to deny it till this day. I never had a clue. I had no signs. There were rough patches in our relationship of not having sex for long periods of time. And he was taking pills to perform. That was the only thing that was a red flag for me. We are no longer together. I do talk with him on a weekly basis. What my question is, if he so strongly denies that he is gay, could it be possible? I guess part of me doesn't want him to be gay because I was so in love with him. But I also want him to be happy and live a great and successful life. I have told him that it's ok that he is gay. I would be there to support him. But he denies it all the way. My other thought is, I don't know any straight men that would want to have sex with another man.

Any advice or thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.....

Well, I have to tell you first off that I don't know any legitimately straight men who want to have sex with other men, either. I know of one gay therapist who insists that there are tens of thousands of straight men out there seeking other men to have sex with, but in my opinion the guy is an idiot. He seems to think that because these men don't want to be in relationships with other men but only want sex with them that that somehow makes them heterosexual. Granted most of these guys have wives or girlfriends, but at the very least they are bisexual, not straight. The reason they can't even abide the thought of a romantic relationship with another man is due to their internalized homophobia, their deep-rooted shame over their homoerotic feelings, not alleged "heterosexuality." Yes, there may be certain peculiar circumstances where a hetero man will have sex with another guy -- prison, for instance -- and it's been said that the male victims of childhood sexual abuse sometimes can grow up to be confused about their orientation -- but other than that I have to say that "straight" guys who have sex with men -- especially repeated sex -- are deeply conflicted homosexuals.

The man you're referring to definitely sounds like he's in this category -- and in deep denial. He can't even label himself bisexual [whether he's gay or genuinely bi is another story] which some of these men do. There are quite a few essentially homosexual men who think of themselves as straight simply because:

1.) They are in some kind of heterosexual relationship with a woman, either a wife, girlfriend or fiancee. Therefore that makes them "straight" despite the fact that every fibre of their being is crying out to be with a man.

2.) They wrongly see themselves as being the "man" during the male-male sex act; in other words they are the "top" while their sex partner is penetrated. Or they get "serviced" by the other man without ever giving "head" themselves. But I know a great many self-identified gay guys who are exactly the same way. It's just a matter of preference. [And when two gay men get together neither is "the woman" -- both are men.]

3.) They are paid for the sexual acts they perform with other men. [The number of male prostitutes whose clients are exclusively male and yet who insist they are themselves completely heterosexual is legion!]

As for his comment "I'm not having sex with men, they are having sex with me"...? he is being so disingenuous you could choke on it. What is he implying? -- That he just lies there while they work him over? But what kind of straight guy wants to lie there and have another guy work him over?

As for his encounter with the female prostitute, there are two possibilities. The first is that the woman was actually a "transvestite hooker" with a penis. Lots of conflicted homosexual men [I won't call them gay because they are not exactly Out and Proud] prefer sex with "TVs" because they are having sex with a man but -- due to the way the other person presents themselves -- they can pretend they're really with a woman. The second possibility is that he approached this prostitute for the purposes of "proving his manhood" after a particular homosexual encounter left him confused and, sadly, disheartened.

I think you've done all the right things. And I do appreciate how very difficult and painful this has been for you. Unfortunately it's very, very hard -- and believe, me, I've been there -- to help guys like this if they can't even admit to themselves that they're gay [or even bi]. You can tell them "it's okay to be gay" a hundred times but until they really believe it themselves they'll go on doing anything and everything they can to convince themselves they're really straight -- all the while having sex with men. Therapy with a caring gay or gay-friendly therapist might work wonders, but again, these kind of guys rarely seek therapy except from quacks who are out to "cure" them or guys like the aforementioned gay therapist who wants to convince them [while being very well paid for it] that yes, they really are straight.

Hopefully some day something will click inside him and he'll realize that his problem isn't his desire for men, but his guilt and shame over it, and instead of these furtive, short-lived encounters [not that there's anything wrong in casual sex, mind you] he might entertain the notion of a long-term and caring relationship with another man.

Speaking of which, there's another [hopefully hetero] man out there for you as well! Best of luck!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gay -- or Just in a Bromance?

Hi, I really thank you for your time to read this, and I'm in desperate need to ask for your opinion. I guess my question has been similar to many questions I have read in your blog (a great one by the way, thank you!). But, there is something different about my case.

I am in a different culture than, I think, most readers of your blog. I am in a culture where guys seem to have a higher level of bromance
[a very close, affectionate, non-sexual relationship between two heterosexual men, sometimes called a "man-crush" -- Dr. B], which is my main problem. You see, when it comes to love life, I'm a miserable screwup. Gay guys in my culture are not really my type, because most of them belong to effeminate category (I don't have any problem with that, they're just not my type), and I'm usually attracted to guys who are masculine and manly. These kind of guys are usually available in other countries. I am a person who is close to foreigners in my place (I was studying at an international university), and too bad that they also have a culture where bromance is very high.

And recently, I befriended a Turkish guy, who just came to my place. He is just so attractive that I really wanted to avoid meeting him because I knew that he'd not be able to reciprocate my feelings (I saw his pictures in facebook). However, last week, a friend insisted that I come to his house (where this guy was) where I met him and I instantly became infatuated with him. It was our first meeting and I found him to be a wonderful guy, plus with those looks! And now I can't forget about him, and he is in my mind 24/7. What makes it worse is that in our culture, gays are abhorred and coming out is not exactly something wise to do. And now I'm depressed because he is engaged but he keeps becoming so romantic to me. But I am told that guys in Turkish culture can be secretly gay or something. Do you know anything about this?

For your information -- this happened several times -- I seem to attract straight guys to become cuddly with me (and they don't seem to do that with other guys), much more cuddly than is usual in my culture. Do you think it's something to do with my personality? Am I being flirty? Because I don't remember being flirty. Or am I just unconsciously inviting them to be cuddly with me? I don't know. I really hope you can share your insights in this.

Thank you so much.
[From Malaysia]

To start with your last point first, even here in the United States straight guys occasionally give one another a hug, sometimes when they've been drinking or are feeling emotional or excited about something (and men in this culture are not generally very "touchy-feely," as we call it). It may well be that they simply like you and your friendly personality. Straight men can be affectionate with other men; for them it just doesn't go any further.

As for guys in Turkey being secretly gay -- guys can be secretly gay in every country on the planet. Apparently the attitudes towards homosexuality in Turkey are much more progressive than in other Islamic nations, which may mean that Turkish men are actually more open about their sexuality.

It sounds to me like you're in a situation that is very universal among gay men of all nations. You have feelings -- both sexual and romantic -- for another man and you just can't tell if he feels the same [his affectionate feelings for you may not be sexual] or even if he's gay or straight. Even the fact that he's engaged to be married doesn't exclude the possibility that he's attracted to guys.

However, the fact that he's engaged does make him a little less available, and there is also the strong possibility that he is straight. I recognize the danger in coming on to him. The only thing I can suggest is that in a casual way you ask him what he thinks of homosexuals, gay marriage etc. At least it will give you some clue as to how he feels on the subject. Even if it turns out he is very homophobic it doesn't exclude him being gay, but it does suggest that it would be best for you to look elsewhere for a romantic or sexual entanglement. Good luck!

There's more about gay life in Turkey and Malaysia in the post below.

Gay Life in Islamic Nations

The post above got me to do a little research on what gay life is like in Islamic nations. I came across some interesting websites. For instance, here's info on Malaysia:

"Advisory: Gay life in Malaysia, as in other Asian countries, is blossoming despite conservative religion-based discrimination and outdated colonial-era laws. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, was famously removed from office by a trumped-up sodomy conviction that was reversed by Malaysia's high court in 2004. Muslims, both local and visitors, are also subject to religious law which may (though rarely does) punish gay or lesbian sexual activity with flogging and male transvestism with imprisonment. Even though religious law does not apply to non-Muslims, Islam is the state religion under Malaysia's constitution and thus homosexual citizens face official discrimination. Police may arrest any person (Muslim or not) for sex in a public place (i.e. cruise spots), so visitors are well-advised to respect Malaysian law and customs while they are guests in the country. Having said that, police generally have not detained foreigners during raids on local gay businesses, focusing instead on ethnic Malay customers, almost 100% of whom are considered Muslim at birth by law." For more information click here.

And as for Turkey: "As a Muslim country, Turkey reveals a very different attitude than most other Islamic countries toward lesbigay life. Progressive and highly western, Turkey allows gays to have a measure of freedom of expression and as well access to fulfilling careers and romantic intimacy." You can find much more information here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boyfriend Marries Woman Part 2

The following is in response to my past last month on Boyfriend Marries Woman.

Thanks Dr. Bill for your answer -

A few more clarifications from my end - - well my partner did mention raising kids at some point in the past but I did not show much enthusiasm and we let the matter drop- had I known it meant so much to him I would have gladly gone in for surrogacy of a child as I wanted to be with him at any cost.

Unfortunately the arranged marriage bit is very real. I chose not to believe it hoping that he was just testing me but a few days before he left he came home with gifts from his office mates and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes we just don't want to believe the ominous signs...

My intense regret is that we both did so much to make a life together and to just throw it away after a silly argument is rash and immature. I cut-off ties with friends and family to just be solely with him and now most of my friends are either smug or don't want to have anything to do with me.

Yes you are right I don't intend in having a 3rd person in our relationship and I hope I am strong enough to tell him that when he comes back. Doc I am trying very hard not to be bitter or hate. Yes I know I must play the field again and I will but for now I am hoping he comes back and gives me hope for both of us to be together still. After all as you say gay men should remain with other gay men.

Here's a question for you: since he is a top gay man does that make him more prone to bi-sexuality than say a bottom ?

Thanks and regards.

Well this guy doesn't sound like a genuine bisexual to me, just someone who is giving in to parental pressure and marrying the woman that his parents have apparently picked out for him. It's a shame he doesn't have the strength to resist this. But to answer your question, there's no evidence to suggest that bisexual men are more likely to be tops or vice versa, just as there is no correlation between how butch of femme a guy may be and whether or not he's a top or bottom. Some homosexual men with "issues" refuse to be bottoms [even if that's what they really want] because they think it "unmanly" -- which is often why they wind up with women. There are also guys who have "straight" sex with women -- generally their wives [or beards] -- and then put up the legs for the men in their lives.

If your friends are not being supportive, then to hell with them. You'll make new friends -- and find a great new guy who will treat you with the respect you deserve.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Confused About Orientation

Hey Dr. Bill, I was reading one of your posts that said "bisexual or lesbian" and it struck a cord with me because some of the self identified bi-women sounded like me, when it comes to men. I like women and at least 98% of the time I am attracted to women. I think about women when I masturbate, when I watch porn I always look at the women, and I long to have a girlfriend. I consider myself to be a 5.5 on the Kinsey scale but I don't know if that's gay or bisexual. One of the only reasons I don't call myself gay is because I have slept with men before(two) and you can never really know what the future holds. I thought I was gay when I was about 13-14 and I came out to my friends and told them I liked girls (I didn't use labels). When I was 15 I told my mom and that didn't go too well. Ever since then it's been a bit of a struggle. I believe if my mom would have been more supportive I would never have been with men at all. I even had a boyfriend for a little while and I even told him I liked women and wanted to have a girlfriend lol. I was even about to ask him if a girl I liked was gay so he could hook me up. Throughout high school I had crushes on sooooo many girls and wanted to be with them but I was too scared to do it. I kinda envied those women who had girlfriends. I'm in college now and I'm still somewhat scared. I'm intimidated by women I like. I find men attractive but I don't find the sex or the relationships to be too satisfying. I get bored with them really fast. As a matter of fact I told a guy that I slept with that I wanted a wife. I don't know...but when I do talk to guys I still think about girls the majority of the time and how I wish I was with them. I'm convinced that if I get a boyfriend I'll end up meeting a woman and I'll leave him. So...I don't know -- am I bisexual or a conflicted lesbian? I notice when I look at a woman's body I'll get turned on but then I'll turn away because I don't want anyone to notice. Am I ashamed? I don't believe I'm self-hating but I'm confused. Also people say that sexuality is 'fluid' and it will change, especially for women. So I don't want to call myself gay and then ten years later I'm really straight. Any advice would be nice. Thanks.

First let's get one thing clear. When people talk about "sexual fluidity" they may mean that someone who is essentially gay may wind up -- for one reason or another -- in bed with a member of the opposite sex, but anyone who tells you that a person's sexual orientation can change -- that a gay person can magically become genuinely straight [at any age] -- is just dead wrong. Someone as attracted to women as you clearly are will not wake up some day and suddenly [or slowly] become heterosexual.

You also have to remember that sexual orientation isn't just about who you sleep with, but who you really desire on both sexual, romantic, and emotional levels, so your two experiences with men don't really count for much. It very much sounds to me that you want to be with women. Some homosexual people with a very tiny attraction to the opposite sex [as opposed to a whopping big attraction to their own sex] often call themselves bisexual for varying reasons, but in reality they are basically gay. I think this is the case with you.

I'm glad you don't feel full of self-hate, but it's possible that your mother's negative attitude may well have influenced how you see yourself and your sexuality. Based on what you have told me, I would have to say that you are definitely a lesbian, and much closer to a 9 or 10 on the Kinsey scale [if we must talk about the Kinsey scale] than a 5.5. And that's okay! If you feel you are consciously or sub-consciously ashamed of this, you can seek counseling or therapy from a gay or gay-friendly counselor or therapist.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong in being gay.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Boyfriend Marries Woman

Hello Dr. Bill,

The last few days have been extremely traumatic for me - I am Asian and my ex-partner is too. We met 5 years ago and from the first minute we both just clicked and knew we were made for each other. At that time we were in India and due to the circumstances prevalent there, we both felt it would be better if we moved into a society which was more accepting of gays and where we could be anonymous. Subsequently within a few months he got the chance to study in the UK for a year and we planned that when he graduated and got a job I would come over and join him. Even a year of a long distance relationship did not put a damper on our love - I came over to the UK and we started living together.

I got a job as well and slowly our standard of living improved and all seemed set for us. Yes we were extremely passionate and occasional fights would get very 'hot' and bitter - but we never let it slip out of hand. We even came out to our families and professed love for each other. A few months ago after a fight he tells me he is engaged to a girl in India in an arranged marriage and their wedding has been fixed for August. I was truly perplexed and even after him telling me all this I kept living with him. Till the last day before he was to catch his flight I pleaded with him to not do it - he said he knew it was a mistake but he desperately wanted kids, plus he says our fights used to leave him so shaken that although he loves me he could not live with me any more, it was too late to go back now. He even says he is open to continuing the relationship after his marriage !! He is now probably married and I feel lost and abandoned in a foreign country - my emotions oscillate between anger and a desire to cling to the hope that he may see the light and come back to me.... I know that I will never be a 'side-show' for him - for now I am not even keen on casual sex. I love my man and want him back - Just need advise on what to do..... Take care and thanks.

It's very important for you not to feel despair even during this very upsetting [to put it mildly] situation.

If you are somehow in touch with your lover, there are a couple of points you can make. The first is about children. Gay men do not have to marry women to have children anymore. Many gay couples adopt children, and some hire surrogates [or a female friend] to give birth to children that they, the gay couple, can raise. This has become very commonplace. The second point is that if your temper or temperament is an issue, you can assure your lover that you'll do something about it, and get counseling or therapy to keep your anger in control.

You said you both came out to your families, and you also said that he told you about this arranged marriage after the two of you had a big fight. There are two possibilities. The "arranged marriage" is not real and your lover only said it to hurt you because he was angry, or the marriage is real, and it was forced upon your lover by his parents, who may not have been happy when he told them he was gay.

In either case, you can hope that he will come back to you after a suitable cooling off period, or if he realizes that his marriage was a total mistake.

You may not be in the mood for casual sex, but you still have to get out there, meet people, date other guys. The alternative is to sit around brooding and feeling terrible, and worse, you'll have no support network to help you. If there are any gay centers or bars in your area, you may find friends or at least acquaintances, some of whom may have had similar experiences.

It is also possible that while you may be comfortable with your sexuality, your boyfriend is not. In that case, whatever your feelings for each other, he would not have made a reliable or supportive life partner. He is also showing insensitivity by suggesting that the two of you continue your relationship after he has become married to someone else! [You're not the only gay man to be put in this situation. My advice in these cases is to say you want it "all or nothing at all." It may be tempting to take him back on a part-time or halfway basis, but why should you share someone, especially someone who has the bad taste to enter into a phony straight relationship?]

Maybe this guy will see the error of his ways, but don't sit around and wait for him to do so. I know you're upset and heart-broken right now, but you may find if you go out and meet new men, the right man may be out there waiting for you.

Good Luck! Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Woman with Gay Husband

I am a woman married to a man who identifies as gay. He was out and proud when we met 12 years ago, and was confused to find himself very attracted to me when he is not normally attracted to women. He eventually pursued a sexual relationship with me, basically couldn’t keep his hands off me, even more than any straight guy I’d been with, and after three years we got married. So we’ve now been married 8 and a half years and things have been cooling off a little. I am really not sure what to do. We love each other and want to stay together. I don’t know if this is normal for a 12 year relationship or if it because he is gay. I asked him if he thought his being gay was causing a problem in our relationship and he said “yeah, cuz you get upset if I check out guys in front of you.” I explained that his being gay is not the problem. Obviously men are going to look at people. I had been upset when he was openly disrespecting me and drooling over someone with his gay friends right in front of me. Any woman would be upset by that behavior, whether the guy is checking out men or women or whatever. I do not care at all if he is attracted to men as long as he is attracted to me, and as long as he is polite in public about it. Anyway, I have had lots of conflicting advice from different counselors about our situation. Some think he is just a normal guy and if I treat him as I would treat any straight guy, things will improve. Some say he is gay and will never be fulfilled by me. We think both those views are extremist and inappropriate for us. Any thoughts/advice?

I do have some thoughts on this matter but I don't know if it's what you want to hear. First let me say that you have to understand I am a long-time gay activist whose message has always been that it's okay to be gay, and that the whole point of Gay Rights and an acceptance of homosexuality is that gay men should be with men [to be true to their natures] and lesbians should be with other women. Therefore, I have never been a proponent of "mixed marriages" between a gay man and a straight person [or a member of the opposite sex, regardless of their sexual orientation.] You might say, well isn't gay rights about people being free to be with whomever they choose? No, for me it was about men being free to be with men and women with women. Mixed marriages generally come about due to the unhealthy needs of the two parties involved. The gay partner somehow needs to be seen as straight by society at large [which is where the wife comes in] and the straight partner simply wants to ignore the realities of the situation -- their partner's true sexual orientation -- out of their own, sometimes self-centered desires.

It seems a little odd to me that you say your husband is/was an "out and proud" gay man at one point, when many today would assume he was bisexual. If this is not the case [and without getting into the fact that "bisexuality" can on occasion be a completely false identification, political correctness be damned] then the relationship doesn't seem to make much sense. Why on Earth would you want a gay husband, and then have to play "policewoman" when he's out in public? If he's gay he's going to be attracted almost exclusively to guys -- this is something he simply can't change. It seems you've set up a tremendous burden for yourself by marrying someone who plays for the other team.

I also have to question his motives. You say he was "Out and Proud" but you may not fully understand what that means. There are, sadly, men who are openly gay but who are still full of guilt and shame and for some reason desire a heterosexual relationship. Women who marry guys like this sometimes suffer from self-esteem issues; they feel they can't do any better. So instead of being good friends to these guys and encouraging them to accept themselves, they marry them!

I'm going to be very, very blunt now and wonder just which of you is paying the bills? I don't like the way your husband tries to sort of sidestep the basic issue of his being gay by making it not about his sexual orientation but about your objecting to his flirting with men in your presence; it's a bit disingenuous of him. But I also have to say that your attitude of "I do not care at all if he is attracted to men as long as he is attracted to me, and as long as he is polite in public about it" is completely unrealistic. Even borderline homophobic. Why not just let this guy be gay and find a perfectly nice straight guy -- they do exist!

I have to agree with those who say that a homosexual man can not be completely fulfilled by a relationship with a woman. I have met and known many homosexual men with wives and sometimes families, and while these men may love their wives as best friends and companions, they can feel no true romantic passion for them. Often they fantasize about men while they are engaging in sex with their spouses. If this guy openly flirts with guys in front of you, you have to assume he's hooking up with them as well. One-night stands can lead to affairs can lead to long-time relationships. [I also have to say that I'm bothered by your use of the terms "normal guy" versus "gay," as if I have said anything over the years it is that being gay is not abnormal. Women who think they're somehow "saving" their men from homosexuality are way off the beam.]

I have made it clear in other posts that I have always been sympathetic to women who inadvertently marry men who are homosexual. I have also maintained that women who marry gay guys -- men they already know are attracted to men -- in the hopes they'll change, stay on the straight and narrow, or somehow magically transform into heterosexuals are asking for what they get. Which, invariably, is disappointment.

My advice is to turn your husband into a friend, and look for a genuinely heterosexual man to have a completely fulfilling relationship with.

It's not the twelve years -- it's that your husband is gay.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Out of the Gay Ghetto

Recently I was told by a friend that a friend of his surveyed this blog, and said -- and I paraphrase -- what does he [meaning me] know about anything? He stays in his gay ghetto and doesn't get out in the world [or words to that effect].

I have already posted my qualifications for writing this blog so you can click here and I won't repeat them. Except to say that I have never stayed in a "gay ghetto." I have straight friends and relatives whose company I greatly enjoy, have gone to parties where I may have been the only gay person present, have gone to innumerable non-gay bars and so on. Unlike the fellow who criticized me, I have also traveled extensively. [I don't believe this fellow has ever left the country -- or the state!] I've been to all the world capitols and then some, and have also traveled across the USA, although mostly in the east or south. Being a gay activist does not mean that I am a separatist, and I pretty much go wherever the hell I feel like going. [Ironically, I have been to Cape Cod many times but have never been - so far -- to that "gay ghetto" Provincetown!]

My interests are just as far-flung as my traveling. Some of my interests might be seen -- rightly or wrong -- as "gay," while most wouldn't be. Out of my thirty or so published books, none of them have been "gay" books [that may change in the future] and only a couple may have been seen as being of "gay interest" in publishing classifications.

So my opinions on this blog are informed and educated by a wider view of the world than this critic of mine would suggest.

For example, I always see red when I hear people, gay or straight, saying that gays are obsessed with youth and beauty. First of all, that opinion completely ignores the bear community, where it isn't about being young and pretty, and even more importantly, ignores the fact that virtually everyone in the world, regardless of sex or sexual orientation, has a hang up with age and looks. Some gay people are unaware of this because they are living in a ghetto, rarely interacting with people who aren't exactly like themselves. And superficial people tend to have friends who are just as superficial.

In any case, having a gay identity, being Out and Proud instead of a Self-Hating Homo, does not mean you are living in a "gay ghetto." And yes, I do understand --because I have met and talked with many of them -- those men who are homosexual but still feel full of shame, or are married and in the closet, or who are on the down-low and don't identify as gay, and so on. So I feel qualified to advise them as well.

After all, my message has always been It's Okay to Be Gay -- and what the hell is wrong with that?

Muscle Bears or Chubby Bears?

I got into an argument with some friends over this but I'm getting a little tired with all the inaccurate classifications in the so-called "bear" community. I see guys who are obviously over 50 calling themselves bear cubs, which is supposed to be a young man. My biggest complaint, however, is with the so-called "muscle" bears. I mean, I like muscular guys, but I like muscle not fat, and most of these guys who refer themselves as muscle bears have fat bellies to go with the big arms and chests. In that case, shouldn't they call themselves chubby bears?

LOL, there's often a big difference in the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us. Understandably a muscular guy -- even one who's [for lack of a better term] gone to fat -- would rather think of himself as a muscle bear than a chubby bear. If their pictures don't reveal all, you can hope they're honest in their vital statistics. I mean, a guy who says he's five feet four and weights 190 lbs is gonna be a big fellow in the waist area no matter how he classifies himself. You also have to remember that some guys are simply attracted to big muscles and don't care if a big stomach is attached. On the other hand, when you think of a muscular man you don't exactly think of a big stomach or of someone who's obese.

Perhaps there should be some new classifications. In addition to musclebear and chubbybear guys can opt for musclechubbybear and leave it at that!

As for those middle-aged guys who call themselves cubs -- and I've come across a lot of them myself -- let's just say they're referring to their state of mind and not to their particular chronology.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dating a Trans Man

OK, this is an unusual one.

A couple of months back i met this guy, i saw him at this bar, he instantly caught my attention, he's just so handsome! -- nice styled hair, Greek god abs and pecs and charming gray eyes. So i spent the rest of the night chatting him up and trying my charms on him, and by the end of the night i gave him my number and he left me drooling like a high school girl. And so we went out. While at the beginning i was just looking for a quick fling like most boys in their twenties, this seemed to take a more serious turn, but i didn't care.

With a couple of dates past and having come to know each other well, i started making several bold sexual advances, and he would always deflect them. So i started to have my suspicions, and eventually we got a moment in private at his place to talk about that and the conversation took a turn i never saw coming. It turns out the reason he wouldn't respond to my advances is the fact that he is a female to male transsexual. I was prepared for many situations but didn't know how to react to that, and so we talked about that for several hours; he said that he was too afraid of the sex reassignment surgery and besides had heard it didn't have such good results, so eventually i told him that i love him and that it doesn't matter. Then we stepped into the bedroom. I gotta say i love him and all but it was weird, it took some concentration to actually perform, something that had never happened before, but above all i enjoyed it and instead of concentrating on the state of his genitals i just concentrated on who i was with.

So a couple of days later i learned that a good friend of mine is a good friend of his too. He said he had not said a word [about his being a trans man] because he didn't want it to get in the way of a possible relationship. He also understood how the sex could get awkward, but i said that i couldn't tell him that. Truth is every time we have sex i must concentrate beforehand, and even though i enjoy it and it's been good so far i just can't seem to get "ready" without a little mental preparation. I truly love him and i don't want that to get in the way. I mean the rest of his body is clearly and beautifully manly, and i don't feel like me or anyone is in a position to force him into the [sex realignment] procedure.

It's just, i don't want this to get in the way as much as it does. I also do not have that much knowledge about the transsexual community, and it seems that female to males are harder to learn about than the other way around...

To finish i just want to know if there is any case like this that you know of. I have never known another relationship like this and i want it to go nicely. I mean the sex seems to be the only problem, and he hasn't so far known that it is. I mean it's something new to me, and i enjoy it but it still causes some trouble in my head, i just don't know...

Okay, for someone born biologically female to be convincingly masculine, they have to have some procedures of some sort done, even if it's just taking certain hormones, so your boyfriend must have had some work on his body. I take that the problem you have is that he's held on to his vagina instead of getting an artificial penis, which is expensive, and apparently not too convincing. This is fairly common among Trans Men. Since a vagina is so utterly feminine in nature, and gay men are generally attracted to everything that's masculine, I can certainly understand why the sexual experience seems strange to you. You're a gay man who's used to dick, so the whole situation seems a little bizarre and unreal. Yet you also love the guy and seem to be capable of getting beyond your initial -- for lack of a better word -- queasiness. As weeks go by you will probably become more and more comfortable with this situation, especially if you truly see him as a man and if both of you are in love with each other. If you never quite get used to it, then you both may have to face the fact that you just want and need a guy with a penis and that's that. [You can also try alternate sexual positions. If you're a top is your boyfriend willing to be a bottom on the, ahem, other end? If you have to make adjustments, so can he.]

I don't pretend to be an expert on transsexuality so I would suggest searching out web sites devoted to the subject where you can find out more and also possibly get in touch with other gay guys who are dating trans men. I know they exist. While trans men generally wind up dating or in relationships with other trans men -- or trans women, depending on their sexual orientation -- I believe it has become more commonplace of late for transsexuals to have relationships with non-transsexuals. Your situation is still unusual, perhaps, but not that unusual.

In the meantime, I'm not so certain it's a good idea for you to keep from your boyfriend the fact that you're not quite adjusting to the reality of his physical being. He needs to know that there is a problem, and maybe he can help you with it. It's better that he know now instead of finding out after he's hopelessly in love and you realize that you just can't make a complete adjustment.

On the other hand, sometimes love does conquer all.

I suggest you read another post on this blog regarding this very situation, as well as the several comments that follow it.


Hey Bill-

I'm writing to you from StoryCorps, America's largest nonprofit oral history organization. This morning we broadcast an interview on NPR's Morning Edition in time for Gay Pride Week that I thought you might be interested in sharing with your readers. Please have a listen:

Michael Levine and Matthew Merlin
Michael Levine, who witnessed the Stonewall Riots in 1969, speaks with his friend Matthew Merlin.

Each StoryCorps interview is recorded on a free CD for participants to take home and share with their loved one and archived for generations to come at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps currently has one of the country's largest oral history archives—with more than 30,000 interviews recorded in all 50 states.

Please let me know if you have any questions about StoryCorps or today's broadcast. I hope you'll take the time to listen to our stories and to share them with your readers!


Boy, when I get backed up I get backed up! My apologies -- this was supposed to be posted way back during Gay Pride week. Anyway, use the link to check out Michael Levine's story as well as the StoryCorps web site and archives.

Anal Itch or an Internet Twitch?

Folks, I present the following email exactly as I received it a few short weeks ago:

Dear Dr. Bill

Since your blog is one of the most prominent gay health blogs on the Internet we were wondering if you would be interested to “BE THE FIRST” to write an article about “the world’s most expensive remedy.” It is called AnaNOitch . It is a 100% natural remedy to “STOP” anal itching. Prices are around $3,000 but we offer discounts for average income individuals and FREE bottles to low income individuals. With high income customers paying a high price, we are able to help out those who need it.

There are no other products like AnaNOitch on the market. It is sure to create a TON OF BUZZ and draw lots of attention to your blog. Our customers have sent in dozens of handwritten and signed testimonials that you can see on our website, which prove that AnaNOitch is the only remedy in the whole world that will STOP anal itching. Because of that, our competitors have posted negative reviews about AnaNOitch on the Internet, but we leave it up to your intelligence to compare our testimonials with theirs; this is how confident we are about our miraculous (according to our customers) remedy. Let us know if you would like to receive a free bottle. Please check out the website, Facebook, and Twitter pages if this sounds like something you would be interested in:

Thanks, but I think I'll pass on the free bottle. [Though at $3000.00 a shot maybe I should take one just in case ....

P.S. Yes, they do have a web site with testimonials, but I'm still not sure if this is for real or not [although no doubt some people do experience anal itching, I guess.]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sexy But Gross

I keep myself in shape, exercise, go to the gym, keep what I think is a nice appearance, don't smell or look like I do, practice good personal and dental hygiene, and have been told I am attractive. Yet when I go to a bar I see men that I find attractive dragging home guys who look like something I might find under my sink -- if I didn't ever clean it that is. I know there's a "bear" movement, but aren't things getting out of hand? And since when did obesity and grossness become sexy? I swear it's not that I'm into pretty boys or think that everyone has to have a handsome face, but have utterly repulsive people become sex objects in the gay male community?

Oh, boy! This is one question I'm going to answer verrrry carefully.

First of all, I wouldn't say that "utterly repulsive people" -- or at least people you find utterly repulsive -- have become sex objects in the gay male community. Rather it's that the boundaries of what's attractive have been stretched quite a bit. It used to be that the only gay men who were [generally] considered attractive, were young, pretty, very slender, with posh apartments, expensive aftershave, manicured nails and not a hair out of place. But this was back in the days when the dominant image of a gay male was a swishy "hairdresser" stereotype. We've come a long way since then, baby! [Although to some people, gay and straight, that's still the dominant gay male image unfortunately.]

The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of gay men who don't fit into the young, pretty, slenderella stereotype and yet are considered "hot" by many other men. I may not get the appeal of "fat," but there are guys who don't get why some fellows are crazy about my -- and others' -- shaved heads. Some like tattoos, and some find them gross. Hairy bodies versus smooth. Facial hair or none. And so on and so on. As I've often said, there's no accounting for taste.

Still, I do admit that sometimes it seems the envelope is being bent way out of shape. I've heard guys on the way home from the gym wondering why they torture themselves to stay physically fit when so many utterly out of shape guys have their admirers. Some of this has to do with a certain masculine image that goes with a pot belly and hairy chest. [But then how do you explain the attraction of effeminate bears, who do exist?]

Don't know how old you are, but I for one am quite happy that men can still be considered sexy in middle-age and afterward, right?

As for the whole "bear" thing, I'll save that for another post.

In the meantime, I still recommend that you stay in shape, practice good personal hygiene, and all the rest. Ultimately -- and I guess I'm being politically incorrect here, not that I give a damn -- an "attractive," fit-looking man will make out better than a "slovenly" one in most instances.

Bi Questions

Hello Bill. I'm not sure if I'm asking you this in the right place, but I'll go ahead and give it a shot anyway. I'm 22 years old and have always been very attracted to females and males. I recently just came to the conclusion that I don't have to be completely straight and can meet girls and go on dates with them. Well, it's been a few months, I've met a lot of females and I'm growing sick of all the games. I don't have a boyfriend, nor do I have the desire for one at the moment, but I'm starting to think that I like men a lot more. Do you think it's possible that I could be bisexual but just haven't met a female that I feel comfortable with? Also, it seems to me that you don't believe in bisexuality. Would I be correct? I have had a boyfriend who was very obviously bi and, yet, still very much in love with me. I can tell you they exist and isn't always a case of "internalized homosexuality", although I do agree this does happen. Thanks!

First, I've never said that bisexuality doesn't exist. Certainly I've met quite a few men and women over the years who, for one reason or another, become sexually and romantically involved with members of both sexes. The only thing I've pointed out is that this doesn't necessarily add up to true bisexuality in many cases. For instance, if a man gets married to a woman because he can't deal with his homosexual feelings, but he is mostly or exclusively attracted [if he's honest with himself] to men, is he is bisexual or a homosexual living a straight lie/life? Some people would classify any gay man who's had any interaction with a woman whatsoever, no matter how fleeting, as a bisexual, while others feel as I do, that a man can have interactions with women -- sometimes many and long-lasting interactions -- while being essentially homosexual. It can sometimes just be a question of semantics.

Notice I'm talking about gay/bi men. I have never pretended to be an expert in female sexuality, but I'll give your question a stab in any case. [First I'll just say in regards to the boyfriend you mention that there is a difference in loving someone and being in love with them with an all-consuming passion. Many men can feign a romantic and passionate interest in a woman -- almost as though they feel if they pretend hard enough it will come true -- while still being essentially homosexual. Not saying that's the case with the fellow you mention, but it does happen. Many homosexual men with wives truly do love their wives -- but more as "bffs" than as lovers they feel strong sexual passion and romantic attachment towards.]

You mention games. I have to tell you that people, especially during the dating stages, do seem to play games [a lot of this is simply that people develop feelings for one another while still being uncertain if a particular person is "the one"] and it happens among both women and men regardless of their sexual orientation. It may be that you simply haven't met the "right" woman or that it's just too soon for you to feel entirely comfortable at the thought of a relationship with someone of your own sex. Someone can be very open-minded and liberal intellectually on the subject of same-sex relationships, and still feel a bit queasy inside when it comes to their actuality.

Don't sweat it. If you are honestly attracted to both men and women, don't worry about preferences for now. Keep the door and your mind open to any and all possibilities. Lesbians/bi women don't "play games" any more than straight/bi -- or gay -- men [or women] do. Once you recognize deep down in your heart -- whatever you may think you feel now -- that a same-sex relationship is as genuine and valid as any other kind, you'll be open to exploring this option in a positive and rewarding manner.

Best of luck!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Doldrums

Okay, I'll be back from vacation in early August -- if not sooner -- and will finally begin to answer the backlog of questions that I've received. I appreciate the patience of those who contacted me, as well as your faith that my educated opinion can be of some service.

In the meantime, try and stay cool!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I have a backlog of questions that I'll be answering in the next couple of weeks, but for now let me simply say:





Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gay/LGBT Pride

June is LGBT PRIDE MONTH. We should be productive and help those people that are anti- gay about anything, become more aware of the Gay Community. Let's take the time this month to educate those around us about the LGBT Community, who we are, what we do and how all we want to do is live our lives in peace and not in fear. Please take an hour, a day or even a week this month. Open up your show/blog to this topic, since it is the month for awareness for all LGBT people in this country who just want what everyone else has: their human rights to live in this country as all other people do.

Excellent idea! It has been said that gay people are more accepted in this country not just because of the tireless efforts of activists, but because more and more "ordinary" people have come out of the closet. The more people who know that they have a gay relative, friend or co-worker, especially one whom they like and admire, the better the chances for acceptance. It is hoped that bloggers, gay and straight, will address this issue.

I recognize that some people, especially young people who may live at home with homophobic parents, can't come out. But I do get tired of excuses from older people who make their own living. One of the worst excuses is "I can't hurt my parents." How is coming out going to hurt your parents? It may educate them instead. Besides, many parents already know that their children are gay [I mean a 55 year-old-man who hasn't been on a date with a woman in thirty years -- come on!].

If you come out you may get razzed by co-workers or you may enlighten them, and discover that some friends and co-workers you never even suspected were gay -- it does happen -- will come out of the closet as well.

Anti-gay prejudice was particularly rife in those days when people thought the gay community only consisted of "a few guys in Greenwich Village." But there are millions of us. The more Out and Proud people there are in our community, the better for all of us. I understand that some people think of it as a private issue, but by hiding their sexuality they're missing an opportunity to provide support to gay acquaintances and education to straight ones. And let's make it clear that by coming out you are not discussing the intimate details of your sex life anymore than a person is who declares him or herself as hetero.

And we need to deal with those masses of fringe homosexuals who live in the closet, pretend they are straight, and just can't bring themselves to identify as gay due to deep-rooted shame and guilt. Some of these people immerse themselves in gay culture but still can't come out of the closet. If you know someone like that, suggest they get counseling. At least talk to them. Tell them It's Okay to Be Gay!

There are many gay/LGBT bloggers out there, many of whom are anonymous, some of whom are out, like me. I recognize that the Internet can seem like a big, scary place and some people are afraid to put themselves -- their real selves -- out there in cyberspace, but at least on one post during Gay Pride month these bloggers should identify themselves. I mean how can you talk about Gay Pride and remain anonymous. as if you've got something to be ashamed of?

Social Drinker?

I have a friend who I feel is drinking himself to death. I seemed to get through to him and he stopped drinking for awhile, but recently he told me that if he wants to drink he'll drink, and that's that. I want to do an intervention, but some other of his friends think I'm making too much of it and that he just likes to party. But he has told me that he has been very depressed lately because he is out of work. So he shouldn't be spending what little money he has on booze. I also think he's never quite accepted that he's gay. He says -- and some of his friends say -- that he's just a social drinker, but I know better. Anon.

You bring up a variety of issues in your question, but I'll try to address them.

First, there are people who drink heavily during difficult periods -- such as after the death of a loved one, or losing an important job. Your friend is depressed and wants to feel better, hence the partying, socializing -- and drinking. He doesn't want to sit home alone brooding. Still, whether he's a genuine alcoholic -- which is debatable in this instance -- or has a "drinking problem" in that he drinks way too much [I mean, your liver doesn't know the difference], there's only so much you can do. He's a grown man, and this may just be a phase. If you feel his drinking will ruin his chances of finding work, you can tactfully make that point to him -- when he's sober -- because eventually he'll have no money to party.

As for any shame he's suffering because he's gay: there are certainly people who drink heavily because they can't deal with their sexuality. The question is: is he drinking because he's depressed and out of work, because he can't deal with his homosexuality, or because -- as most of his other friends feel -- he just wants to have a good time? I suggest you give it some time to see what develops, and as this is Gay Pride month you might have a talk with him -- again when he's sober -- about how he feels about being gay, and suggest counseling at a local gay center if he needs help in feeling good about himself.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bed-Hopping at Any Age

I am casually dating a man who, like me, is in his late forties. "Doug" is always attentive to me when we go out, but he has admitted that he cruises quite a bit and is quite sexually active. We stick to safe sex and he says he does the same with his tricks. But why is a man of his age still cruising instead of settling down? Is this a kind of sickness that some guys need to go to bed with as many men as possible? I'd love to hear what you think about this.

You're gonna hear it, all right. Being sexually active and enjoying a healthy sex life and a variety of interesting sex partners -- at any age -- is not a "sickness." Different strokes for different folks, to coin a cliche. You wouldn't like it if Doug suggested that you were sexually repressed or had something wrong with you simply because [I assume] you only sleep with the man you're currently dating. May I make it clear that there's a big difference between someone who enjoys a healthy sex life -- especially if he sticks to safe sex -- and a "sex addict" who sleeps with people, even people he finds repulsive, compulsively. Doug may not "need to go to bed with as many men as possible" -- he may just have a strong sex drive, be attractive to many men, and enjoy hitting the sheets when he feels like it. What's wrong with that?

In my opinion it has little to do with sex or sexual orientation but some people are the monogamous type and some are not. The trouble starts when the two types become partners and the friction isn't limited to the bedroom. In this case, it's not what Doug is doing, but the fact that it's Doug who's doing it. Someone you obviously care for and want to settle down with. But first, there's something else that needs to be said. And that is that a man in his late forties like Doug is not exactly over the hill. I have met sexually active men who are a couple of decades older than that. And still going strong. Good for him!

Conventional thinking on this subject suggests that some middle-aged gay men seek lots of sex partners because they have a sense of time running out, that they fear the day when they will no longer be able to attract anyone. [And don't think that straight men don't fear getting older, too, and for this same reason.] There may be truth to this, but we have to go one step beyond the conventional thinking. Why should someone who enjoys good sex and physical closeness with another person give it up just because they reach a certain age? If "Doug" has no partner should he stick to five finger exercise all the time?

I think you're probably hurt because Doug isn't "satisfied" with you, because it sounds as if you'd be perfectly content with him and him alone. This is not an easy situation for you. Doug may not be ready to settle down -- there's no certain age when someone is ready -- but in any case, even when he does settle down he may prefer an open relationship to monogamy. And it doesn't sound as if that's something you'd be into. That doesn't make you a prude or mean there's anything wrong with you. But you are being just a touch puritanical with your remarks about cruising and age.

I also have to say that you shouldn't settle for an open relationship if you're not comfortable with it -- and many aren't. The stereotype of gay men is that we're all "promiscuous" but the truth is that many gay men are quite conservative in that respect, and are much more interested in -- and happy being in -- monogamous relationships. But that doesn't mean that gay men who enjoy being sexually active with more than one partner should be castigated for their attitudes and activities, especially if they're responsible.

So the good news is that if Doug doesn't work out, you're bound to find plenty of gay men who want to settle down and snuggle with that one special person -- and no one else -- just like you do. Good luck!

"Man-Hating" Lesbians?

Dear Bill, I stumbled upon your website a few months back and since then I am a regular reader of your blog. Without wasting much time let me get it to the point right away. What I have seen for the last couple of years that is gay men and straight women enjoy a very "close" relationship with each other but for lesbians and [gay] men quite the opposite is true - lesbian women ( with the exception of a few) hate almost everything that is male. Let me make it clear to you, though, that I am no fan of "sweeping generalizations" but I have to tell you what I have seen in these years.

Lesbian women, who would have a cow over an "insensitive" remark directed towards their sexual orientation, (it never ceases to amaze me and sometime angers me) don't give a second thought before stirring up hatred towards men in pretty much every aspect of their life. Why so? I am waiting for your answer.

You say you don't like sweeping generalizations so all I can think is that you've had some mighty unfortunate incidents with certain gay women in the past couple of years, which is too bad. I have always enjoyed good and friendly relationships with the lesbians I have known. In general I have to say that my observations over the years have been quite different from yours. Most gay men and lesbians I know get along together perfectly well. Of course, there can always be misunderstandings and personality clashes. This may be what you have encountered -- not "hatred of all men" per se.

First, you have to remember that gay men and lesbians share one major thing in common. We're all gay! Therefore putting each other down almost seems homophobic!

I can't speak for the lesbians you've encountered but you have to understand that not only do they have to deal with homophobia, but with sexism, and for some -- even in this day and age -- it happens to them on a regular basis. Because of the insensitive way they've been treated by men -- gay and straight -- some women (again gay and straight) have become especially sensitive to what they perceive as a slight, an indication that there's something second-rate about them because they're female. It's understandable that they would be ticked off by this.

You also have to understand that some lesbians might be reacting to those gay men who-- sadly -- have a "problem" with lesbians. As I say, since we're all gay this doesn't make much sense to me. But while they are definitely in the minority I have met gay men who don't like lesbians and make no bones about it. Certainly a gay woman who encounters one of these men has no reason to go out of her way to be pleasant. Some of these men simply dislike women; others simply don't relate to lesbians but have a number of straight women friends who share their interests -- such as men. Some lesbians may not hate men -- they're just not interested in them [and vice versa].

But right here let me make it clear that that whole business of gay men hating women is an awful old stereotype. Most gay men have warm relationships with female friends and relatives, gay or straight. This also applies to the stereotype of "man-hating" lesbians.

Now back in the seventies when the women's liberation movement was first coming into prominence, there were a lot of very angry women who were sick and tired of the second-class status imposed on them by [some] men, and I've no doubt that some of them -- regardless of sexual orientation -- did for a time "hate" men -- or at least "male chauvinist pigs" and the attitudes they engendered. But as I say, the vast majority of lesbians I have encountered don't seem to hate gay men or straight men.

I don't know what kind of situations were going on when you had these unpleasant encounters with certain lesbians. If you look back maybe there were other factors in play.

Of course, every group has its angry people. I mean people who are angry about factors in their life that they can't control. The anger you've seen from these certain lesbians you've encountered may have nothing to do with their sex or sexual orientation, but may be a reaction to things going on in their lives that are highly upsetting to them. They take it out on whoever's near. And perhaps they'd rather take it out on a man than on another woman. Many people -- even members of minority groups -- tend to blame the members of other groups for things that have gone wrong in their own lives, rightly or wrongly.

But as I say, gay men and lesbians are all homosexual, so we need to be as supportive and understanding of each other as possible. If you honestly feel these particular women you've encountered have no real grievance, then either you're not looking at it from their point of view, or perhaps -- in this case -- they are just angry people who are Mad at The World for any number of perfectly human reasons.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cute and Delicate

hi Bill! Well lets start with this, i love the way women look! smooth skin, slender looks, playful hair, nice hips, beautiful lips... you know, only i don't like it like any boy does, oh no, i like it as in I would like to look like that. Now this is where it gets odd -- I'm not TG [transgender], i don't want to get implants or even less get a sex change operation, no not anything like that. i just want to look and be all cute and delicate.

I know its weird, and ever since i had a boyfriend a couple of months ago i realised that I'm not straight (what a surprise right?). The current conflict to me is that i have this impulse to do what i can to look girly -- i grew out my hair and style it in a very womanly way, i depilated everything from the neck down (you should see how weird i look with a beard). Genetics did me the favor of giving me nice hips and not too broad shoulders (posture fixes this greatly) and must i say that i wear tight jeans and shirts?

But the trouble comes at this point: my boyfriend broke up with me since he insisted that i was "a woman in a man's body." That's not true, for starters as i have told my friends "does this look like a man's body?" i simply love the looks, i still enjoy being a man, just not a manly one, but still a lot of people keep doing their little "interventions." Why is it they question me this much? is it hard to believe what i want? is there a problem with it?

i don't know if you re the one to ask about this last part
[probably not! -- Bill] but i hope you can at least point out where i can find about this... Lately I've had this need to further it more, i wanted to do some work to my face, but I'm afraid of surgery! Someone also mentioned hormone therapy, he even said it would remove my Adam's apple, and tone out my hips and legs and even make my skin softer (which i am OBSESSED over) but i also heard that it would make my chest get plumped, which i absolutely would not like! i don't know how that would happen, if its very slight and just some soreness i could stand it, but if its a full blown buy-yourself-a-bra then we've got a problem! i don't want to have breasts! it's one of the womanly things i don't want!! and also i heard that it could cause some manly problems, and i sure as hell like having a functional penis! [Don't we all!]

I'm very scared go into any procedure since all i have done is very superficial and not aggressive (which is only in hair, style, depilation, and moisturising and stuff to make my skin dandy!) but it would make me even happier to look even more like that! Much thanks in advance!!!

Okay. You're right that I'm probably not the one to ask about skin moisturizers, hair care products [I have no hair, baby!], hormone therapy and the like, but I will respond to some of your other comments. Although you may not be transsexual, you could probably get more information about hormone therapy and the like on a site that deals with transgender issues.

First, there's nothing wrong in being a "girly" gay guy, if that's what you're comfortable with. A certain percentage of gay males are stereotypical in that they have some identification with and characteristics of the opposite sex without being transsexuals or wanting to actually be female. In that sense you are "transgender" [or at least androgynous] -- you have female and/or womanly qualities that you cherish. There's no shame in that.

I'm assuming that your boyfriend broke up with you because he's more into the "butch" type of gay man, and if that's the case there isn't much you can do about it. You have to be true to yourself.

I think some of your friends question your "girliness" and what it may mean because guys who think about getting hormone treatments are generally transsexual. [I'm not saying that that's the case with you, but if it is you need to acknowledge it.] However, I do understand that there are men [including some straight guys, believe it or not] who love being and looking feminine and yet still feel they are -- and are -- men. And there are people who feel they are, or at least want to be, "gender-free."

Now about hormone therapy. This is the bit that makes your friends and former boyfriend wonder about you. I understand your desire to be as feminine as possible, but when you're talking about hormone therapy you're taking it a big step further. And any kind of surgery has its risks. I get that you want to be frilly and feminine while still being a man, so getting hormones seems pretty extreme. There may be some gay men out there who appreciate man-boobs, but I imagine they're few in number!

Before you take that big a step, talk to professionals who are very knowledgeable about hormones and their effects, and it wouldn't hurt to get some counseling or therapy [no, I'm not suggesting that you're crazy or anything like that] to determine if hormone therapy would be the right psychological step for you.

But most of all, be comfortable in your own skin, be it soft and feminine like yours, or a bit grizzled and bearded like mine, LOL!