Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Asking Your Boyfriend If He's Gay

I am a straight woman and I think my boyfriend is gay. Here are the reasons [assorted]. I am afraid to come right out and ask him. Can you help me? Numerous women.

I frequently hear from women who think that their boyfriends or even husbands might be gay. I've decided to post a few pointers for women in this situation.

1.) Just because your boyfriend likes the arts, musical theater, etc., doesn't make him gay. Just as there are countless gay men who couldn't care less about Broadway musicals, opera, or Judy Garland, there are many heterosexual men who are either artists themselves or are fans of the performing arts, even -- yes -- musicals.

2.) Your boyfriend isn't necessarily gay just because he's a little "soft" or even "girlish" or non-macho in some way. Just as the vast majority of gay men are actually masculine, there are cases of heterosexual men who are somewhat effeminate. Also being bad in bed is not a prerequisite for being gay. Some honest-to-goodness straight guys are lousy or inexperienced lovers, and there are gay men who are able to satisfy a woman [by using fantasy if nothing else].

3.) When straight people talk of having "gaydar" they usually mean that they pick up on stereotypical behavior -- which is hardly a feat. Many gay people have a more advanced type "gaydar" that is not always tangible or easy to explain. Just because the man in your life rings a few "stereotype" bells doesn't make him gay.

4.) If he supports gay rights, gay marriage, doesn't seem to have homophobic attitudes, this just may make him an open-minded secure straight guy. Consider yourself lucky.

5.) Here are some red flags:

a.) He visits gay porn or dating sites on a regular basis and has a profile on a gay dating/sex site.

b.) He sends or receives sex-oriented email from other men.

c.) He is virulently homophobic, almost obsessively so, always going on about "fags" and the like as if he's trying to cover up something. [He may be a repressed homosexual.]

d.) When you're out to dinner he spends more time looking at the handsome waiter than he does at you. Ogles good-looking guys at parties.

e.) He admits to having had homosexual relations -- or relationships -- in the past, but says he is "all over that" or that it is "no big deal." Homosexuality is not some "condition" that just goes away. This fellow may be suffering from self-hatred, trying to use you to become an "ex-gay" [which never works], or is flat out using you for a beard.

There was a time when I would have said, "if you think your boyfriend is gay he probably is" but sometimes women can jump the gun. [Bisexual advocates insist some men are genuinely bisexual, but if in their heart of hearts -- and gonads -- their preference is men, then to all intents and purposes they're gay.] One thing I can say with certainty is that if a man has had sex with men in the past, he ain't straight. Aside from being in prison and under highly unusual circumstances, straight men do not have sex with men, no matter what you've heard.

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.

And for women who are sure that their husbands are gay, you can find support at the Straight Spouse Network.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

My bf recently confessed he had a male tryst in the past but said he is attracted to women with minur attraction to men. I love him and he is loyal but I don't know if he is gay or bisexual. I've read a lot and many say you are either gay or straight, and as a woman if he is gay, I cannot be committed to him. Sorry if I am naiive, but I dont know much about this(and english is not my first langauge, sorry for the writing.)

Bill Samuels said...

I suggest that you ask your boyfriend for more details about this tryst. What he says and how he reacts may be very telling. Was he an active participant? Did he initiate the tryst? Unless he passed out at a party and woke to find himself being fondled by some guy, he must have some attraction to men. Whether he sees himself as straight, gay or bi he is definitely not straight if he's having sex with men. He may be in denial over his true feelings toward other men. All you can do is sit down and have a frank talk with him and hope you can tell if he's being honest or not.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend is younger than me and has never been with either gender before me. However, he identifies as bi and cross dresses almost every day. I love the fact he cross dresses, but I'm worried that it all points to him being gay but too young/inexperienced to realise it or to come out. How do I talk to him about this without jeopardising our relationship?

Bill Samuels said...

You just have to sit down with him and gently start a discussion about sexual orientation and gender issues, leading into a discussion of his own sexuality. You have to make clear that he realizes it's okay to be gay. Don't "accuse" him of anything. You're sympathetically trying to help himg get at the truth.

I also must point out that cross-dressing is not typically a gay trait. It's possible that he might be a transsexual, a female born into a male body.

I realize that this can all be very confusing. If there's a gay/LGBT [Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender] center anywhere near your area, you might suggest that he go in for counseling and can get help to better understand himself.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bill. Thank you for the website. I read all your posts about possibly gay boyfriends and would love it if you could judge my situation. My boyfriend is kinda of feminine...gestures, tone of voice, posture, likes chickflicks, pretty sensitive...all those stereotypes. If I bring up homosexuality in general, he is cool about it, very liberal. His family seems very traditional since college he lived in a very liberal environment with a lot of options to come out if he wanted. I asked him if he ever experimented with a guy...he said many years ago he had kinda a dry spell with dating girls and he and a gay friend were joking about may be him being attracted to guys...and they kissed to try it...and he didn't like it and never wanted to try again. He did have a couple of long-term relationship with women in the past and he is late 20s.

Oh, and I read on the web that scientists determined that testesterone level affects lengths of second and forth fingers (weird but appearantly true) and that based on their study very feminine women's and gay men's ring fingers are shorter than point fingers (straight men's ring finges are longer). So his are like...very feminine or gay men :)

So, do I have a real reason to be concerned? I would really love your opinion.

Bill Samuels said...

I'll respond to your question in a new post in the next few days. Thanks for reading. Bill

Prettysmile said...

Well- first of all I don’t have experience on being a girlfriend- this is the 1st time in a long term relationship - it all started after I saw some bruises on his tail one day after one of his friends' birthday party- he said he had to showed up early to help for the party (8:30am) and that I could showed up around 2pm - these guys had all a pot faces- so I was like =/ when I showed up....at night at home I noticed some bruises on his tail...so i was like =/ ..Ok!).....I could not sleep that night, thinking I was crazy and being dramatic....I got over it, days later we got into a mini fight over him comparing me with a woman, we got back in the car and he said: "Ill be at my friend house" and I am like :? .....we fought a lot through text messages and he did not showed up to the house for 2 days...I was so disappointed about him by them ..that week he had to go to the emergency room to get checked out by a doc because of the pain in his ass they found him "hemorrhoids"...by this point I am so confused because I had already had gotten over his friend and him. I told to myself that I was just being crazy, But them "hemorrhoids" - then he guarantee that it was because of his longer hours sitting on a chair at work. So, I was ok, I believed you too. I took him to the doc and brought him back home, few days later after seen him so miserable by the treatment I finally asked the question: "are you gay" - he got mad for a while then we felt asleep - next day - he goes with his friends out to watch a game, at night we went out to eat - then next day he said there is another game at this friend house - then I rolled my eyes and said: "I don’t like your friend",,,,he jumped on me all crazy like if he is about to kill me, I called the cops on him because of all the horrible stuff that he was saying to me, he kicked me out of the place where I had being paying half rent on.... he tells everybody that I am not giving nothing on rent... by this point I am "OMG"!!God had mercy, what had happened to the man that used to cook for me and go to church with me and understand me on my no-experience in being a girlfriend. What do you think about all this.please I would like to hear your opinion?

Bill Samuels said...

Sorry to take a while getting back on this; it's been that kind of month.

My opinion is that this sounds like a troubled guy and maybe someone you don't need in your life. If you again discuss the possibility of his being gay with him, don't "accuse" him of being gay as if there's something wrong with it. If you're sympathetic and understanding -- you just want to know what's up -- it will undoubtedly go better, without him throwing you out of your home.

Is it only his word that he has hemorrhoids? If he is the bottom in anal sex it doesn't cause hemorrhoids, and engaging in anal sex doesn't mean a guy has to go to the doctor. Maybe he honestly has hemorrhoids.

Whatever the case, do not stay with a man who physically abuses you, if that's the case.

Best, Bill

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,

I have been dating this guy for almost a year now. He is good in bed and stares at women. However, he has very gay mannerisms. He cares about his dressing, he takes longer to shower than I do, all his male friends are gay except one. He grinds with them in public, he holds hands with his best friend, who is gay. This behavior appalls me and I don't know what to do. Everybody thinks he is gay. I asked him sweetly about it and he says he doesn't know how to act like a bro because he grew up among women. He has 2 sisters and lives with his mom. His parents are divorced. He says he always found it easier to make friendships with gay men. I asked him about his sexual history and he said he has never done anything sexual with a guy. Most of my friends are gay too, so when we go out to gay clubs and gay guys hit on him, he enjoys the attention and proudly talks to them and then later on he will introduce me as his girlfriend. He is also quick to point out a good looking man on television. I am confused about his behaviour. Please help me before I lose my mind. I dated a gay guy before, and I dont want to make the same mistake. I have a preference for a completely straight man.

Bill Samuels said...

I'm going to answer this one in a new post on the blog in the next couple of days. Bill

Anonymous said...

Even though some young guys unsure of themselves like to call themselves bi even though we all now their gonna be gay later, that doesent make us all that way. I am a 9 times out of ten staight guy, that can also enjoy male sex, love or cuddling but I dont think I would come off as effaminete. I am very masculine, i have been told by numerous female and male partners that i am good in bed...my only "femminine" feature seems to be that i am good at communicating in bed...I have both been very promiscuous at times and at times monogamous for long periods of time. I think opportunaty and attitude makes the thief and most guys could have sex with the right men if it was'nt such a stigma. It is less stigmatized for girls...What one defines oneself as doesen't really matter. I was straight untill I in my mid- twenties realised that I had slept with too many guys to call me straight anymore. My wife knows I am not gay but she also knows I suck C**k at times. Why does your boyfriend need a label?

Bill Samuels said...

It's not so much about labels as it is about being proud and unashamed of who you are. The more people who come out as gay/bi/queer the more accepting the world will be of gay people. You're right about the stigma of being gay, which is definitely why many people are still in the closet, identify as bi, or if they're genuinely bi [a big if] marry someone of the opposite sex.

Anonymous said...

My br loves to imitate gay men he has even put on my wig and bra and paraded around the house in front of me and my sister. I told him that I was uncomfortable with that behavior and not to do it again. Several weeks later he starts parading like he is gay snaping his fingers with his hands on his hips. Recently, we spent the night over my girlfriends house her and her husband was delighted to have us over well we started drinking and then he starting playing like he was gay and when my girlfriend told him to stop she and her husband was uncomfotable with the behavior she asked him if he was gay he laughed and said no Im a homo fag-tug fag no laughed at him and he stopped with the act. Lather the night us women stayed upstairs and the men stayed down stairs in the livingroom my girlfriends husband told us the next morning that he put on my earining in front of him as a joke is my boyfriend gay?

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comment/question. I will answer it on the blog itself in the next few days. Bill

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I enjoy playing video games together. One game we play is World of Warcraft. He has several female toons on his account and explains that they are more visually appealing than the male ones. I have no problem with this.
Recently I logged on to the game and saw him on one his female toons erping (erotic role playing) with another male player. I have also discovered that he has gotten a few emails from male players, all of whom believe he is female. Some have sexual content and pictures attached, but not sexually explicit pictures. I asked my boyfriend in a non threatening way if he was bi. His answer was "I don't believe so". In the past, before this discovery, he has said he doesn't understand why men erotic role play as females with other men. Is it possible he is bi? Our own relationship is very sexually satisfying for both of us so I'm surprised about this latest discovery.

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comment. I'll answer your questions on the blog in the next few days. Bill

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
I've have been with my boyfriend for 5 months now and I have suspicions about him being gay. One time we were sitting in his living room watching a movie and out of no where he told me that he's been involved with another man before. I thought he was joking at first, but is expression was so serious. Then I asked him if he was for real or if he was serious, because I won't judge him...But he started watching the movie again and told me he was joking. Another time we were talking about our high school experiences and he told me how he was really popular and on the track team, but he didn't lose his virginity until he was 16. There is nothing wrong with that, but he told me that he didn't like the idea of bodily fluids mixing and he found it disgusting. It makes me wonder why a popular guy like him viewed sex in this way. It seems like he could have been trying to figure out his sexuality. Finally, one day we were at the barber shop and he was waiting to get his hair cut. He asked me if I thought his barber was cute and I told him no. While I asked him why he asked me that, he was checking the barber out and smiling. Maybe he could have been joking, but it really confused me.

Bill Samuels said...

I'll also answer this on a new post on the blog asap.

Confused Ex-Girlfriend said...

I was with my boyfriend for a year when I began suspecting him of cheating when I found women's clothing that was mine. Long story short, I found out through extensive Internet searching that he owned a porn site where he is the main attraction as a crossdresser and people pay to watch him have sex dressed up in MY underwear and dresses in my home. I had no idea and was shocked. I found out next that he was advertising himself as a hooker who crossdresses and caters to men for $200. After I moved out and confronted him he said he wasn't gay and was just interested in making money. The thing is, he has his masters degree and he lives off his rich parents. He had the gall to tell me that the fact that my daughter who is disabled stresses him out caused him to snap and "indulge in selfishness". He had the website for a year before I met him and admitted to paying very passable pre op transsexual hookers for sex up to three years before we met. He tried to explain since he had sex with them while he was dressed as a man and they looked like beautiful women it was not "gay sex". Furthermore he said when he was prostituting dressed as a woman having sex with men that also did not constitute "gay sex". In the past two months since I've left he has been actively trying to get back together with me saying all that was a phase and he was over it. I then found out he got arrested 30 min. After we got off the phone for prostitution by Vegas vice. He was still doing it! And now he's a " changed man" and is livid that I won't accept he's straight and move back in with him. I am heartbroken, and confused. But I also know I can't get back with him obviously. What I want to know is if he has a severe disorder, if he's delusional, and why he is adamantly denying being gay and is he typical of "closeted men"?
Also his particular obsession in dressing was thigh high boots which was consistent through out. I am so confused why he'd pursue an serious relationship with me when he was doing all of these secret activities? Should I try to help him....? Forget he exisited?? Help.

Bill Samuels said...

I'll respond to this comment with a new blog post in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years, we recently had a baby girl in November. We have plans to get married and he seems excited about it, we even got the ring together. But I had snooped on his computer and found that he had been watching tranny porn, and found a video in his trash can of him masturbating. Furious, I texted him all upset and he left work to talk to me. He said he Was just super stressed and it wasn't anything. He even told me that he joined a gay dating site back in february. But he deleted it after I found out about the porn. So even more curious I looked in his email and found a email between him and some guy talking dirty to each other and exchanging numbers. He felt like crap after I confronted him about it and said if I left he wouldn't have a reason to live and that he'd want to die. But every time I ask why he made a profile for a gay dating site he just says he doesn't want to talk about it. He told me he always liked watching tranny porn because it's like a girl being in control. But I don't understand. Is he hiding something? He won't open up anymore but I don't want to waste my time if he is gay. It's not fair to me. He even said he's not attracted to men at all. What is your opinion? What do I do?

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comment. I will reply to this with a new blog post in the next couple of days. Bill

Anonymous said...

I also have been dating a closet crossdresser, he likes to watch porn alot but its shemale porn. Never straight porn. I just recently found all this out becuz I was snooping and looking through his phone. Anyways he acts like he loves me and it feels like in my heart hes holding back, I asked him the other day, if we werent together would you have sex with a tranny and he replied yes. After that my heart hurt so bad and I feel like he might be gay. He hasnt been realy into sex latly, can you give me some advice or your opinion please.

Bill Samuels said...

Cross-dressers can be and often are heterosexual. [Just as it's also true that most gay men have zero interest in dressing up as women.] If your guy wants to have sex with post-op [after surgery] trans women, he'd still be having sex with women. It becomes a bit more problematic if he wants to have sex with a pre-op transexxual who still has a penis, or with another cross-dresser who is male. I can't definitely say he's gay, but he could be a transsexual man struggling to find his identity. He should get counseling to help him figure out all of his feelings. His lack of interest in sex may also be caused by his confusion.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I really need your advise. I went to go on my email account & my partners email account poped up and there were a few emails from gay webites. I sent an email to them saying i had forgot my password & got the password & went onto the site & there was a profile using his middle name & nickname, there was no photo, there was a little comment written that i wont repeat. I totally freaked out & went and showed him and asked him what was going on & he totally denied it & said someone else had done it & he new nothing about it, he said he must have been hacked, I might have let it go even though i was completely suss, but a few weeks before this i saw in the history of our brand new lap top that someone had gone to the exact same gay matchmaking website, i just thought maybe it had been clicked on by mistake or something but then when i found the emails & the profile i new something wasnt right, he keeps saying he doesnt know how the history got onto the computer & that he didnt go on any site & that i should trust him & forget about it, but i cant! I dont know what to do, Its not possible for history to just appear in a computer?? and why would someone else make a profile for him?? i need some advise please

Bill Samuels said...

I am going to respond to this question with a new post on the blog in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill
I'm a woman. My 33 year old boyfriend of 6 months recently admitted to me that when he was a preteen, him and 2 if his best friends would masturbate together, rub on each other, and give each other oral. This happened for over a year. He also just admitted that 2 years ago him and one of his friends went to a hotel got drunk and blew each other. He claims his friend didn't *** in his mouth, i think he did. He also said his friend licked his but, but he didn't have any anal sex.He said he didn't like it and did it only cuz he was curious about trying it as an adult and it made him know for sure he is not gay. But is this true? Especially considering he was in homosexual relations for over a year as a kid?

We have good sex and He loves kissing me and going down on me and all. He does want anal but i said not until we're married. but he's super clingy, emotional, and insecure about our relationship and my faithfulness. But he's also super macho guy and kind of homophobic so this info caught me by surprise.

I'm trying to be supportive and believe him since he told me something he hadn't told anyone else. But should I worry? Him and his 2 childhood friends are still buddies. he said they don't ever talk about it but he thinks his friends do think about it sometimes. but he said his hotel friend stopped contacting him after a while. Seems like he still wanted contact. These are all men in straight relations now. 2 are married. I'm just worried he's still curious but would not admit it but might do something about it behind my back. What should I do and how can I know he's for sure straight?

Bill Samuels said...

Thank you for your question. I'll be answering it in a new blog post in the next couple of days.

Erin Mills said...

Hi.....ok where do I start? Been with my boyfriend for 10 years....we have 2 children together. Recently I had been feeling like he was acting funny... distant. I thought he may be cheating with a woman, a man never crossed my mind at this point. So I put an app on his phone that would allow me to listen to his phone calls. I received a notification that he called a strange # I didn't know. I called it and a man answered....I hung up thinking phew he's not cheating. I listened to the phone call later in the evening and it was him calling this random guy using terms like glad u can host....asking him which positions he preferred....he was very explicit with his words. Told the guy he would love to meet up for sex.... that he was bisexual and he had a girlfriend (me) and he had to plan around me. I immediately confronted him. Told him I had him on record. Hev told me its not what I think and he was told by guys he works with if he called this guy and pretended to be gay when he got to his house there would be females there and he could pick one. He said he wanted onev for a 3some for "us" a girl that is. So I called the guy and explained to him that I was his girlfriend and I heard the conversation between them. I told him what my boyfriend said about the guys at work giviing him his number and askd him about these "girls" He apologized said he felt really bad and said he met him on an adult website and that there were no girls. He laughed actually and said that was completely untrue. When I confronted my boyfriend that I had spoken with him he got angry and denied being bisexual. I also told him he said he met him on an adult website he said a guy at work let him use his profile to talk to him so he could get "the girls".....I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. I know he's lying but my question to you is he is ckearly caught red handed and still denies it, do I just accept this? . He ays I made it up. What scared me is in the conversation he said he had a 3 yr hook up and it was his first bareback experience.....he qouted it as "great....a whole nother ball game" and told this guy he doesn't even knowv that he'd like to have bareback sex with him and he said he's a bottom. That's scary with aids now a days. Why won't he just admit it???? I feel violated and decieved. I can't trust him. He did tell the guy on the phone that he is very discreet and "nobody knows and that's the way he likes it." Will he never admit this to me out of pride? Please help.....I just do not understand. :(

Bill Samuels said...

I will answer this in a new blog post a.s.a.p.

Erin Mills said...

Thank u. I would really appreciate any feedback/opinion offered. I am driving myself crazy! :p

Bill Samuels said...

"Boyfriend with Secrets" has just been posted. I wish you the best. Bill

Anonymous said...

Hi bill..I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over 3years now.my partner told me about A friend he had that came out he was gay..my partner asked his friend if he thought he was attractive?they had oral sex..but that's it.my partner also enjoys anal stimulation but I don't feel comfortable doing that!he has also admitted that gay porn turns him on..but only ever talks to me about it when he's drunk.putting all these things together gives me strong feeling that he is gay..we have a very good sex life but these things are constantly in the back of my mind...he strongly denies it and becomes angry when I try to talk to him about it and doesn't say anything...I'm so in love but so confused please help me ease my mind ..thank you ..

Bill Samuels said...

Okay, he admits to gay experiences and liking gay porn when drunk, but otherwise just gets angry when you bring it up. This sounds like a man who is at least bisexual if not a closeted gay guy. The question is: is his true preference, when you really get down to it, men or women [with "bi" men it tends to be men]? I suggest you sit him down when both of you are sober, bring up a discussion in a non-accusatory, non-judgmental way, and ask him to really explore these things that he brings up when he's drunk. The point is for both of you to really be comfortable in your own skin and with each other.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate you replying and giving me positive feedback.I have sat him down and been very supportive and calm..he has still become very angry and leaves and it doesn't get spoken about again.how do I get him to open up about this topic?I know he loves me and doesn't want to lose me but I have explained that we can't have a relationship when there are secrets and can't fully be ourselves.I don't want to just give up and I have told him that if he was to be gay/bi that it would change our relationship but I would never judge him.I don't think I can carry on in this relationship having doubts it's nit fare in either of us! :(

Anonymous said...

I have attempted to do all of your suggestions..but I see that he is uncomfortable and then becomes aggitated.he has sworn to me that he is not gay/bi..but I truly believe that he is.I don't want to push him but I also don't want to be in a dishonest relationship.I have trust issues,as he hasn't given me a good reason to trust him(different story).I just hope I'm not making this a bigger deal than what it really is...always a horrible feeling in my stomach stopping me from ignoring This situation :( I don't think I have ever felt so lost and confused :((

Anonymous said...

Hello I'm not sure if you had replied to my post....if you have how do I find the response? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I'm glad I found this blog post. After being with him for two years and knowing him for seven, my boyfriend confessed that he used to look at "naked men" online daily for years. He said that he wanted to stop but it was like an addiction, but he hadn't done it for almost a year and didn't miss it, and felt he needed to tell me and come clean. He cried when he told me and it seemed like he had a lot of guilt about it. I'm not sure what this means and even why he told me. When he told me I was shocked and told him it was ok with me, as long as he didn't do it anymore, but was too surprised to say anything else then. I've been too afraid to ask him more about it and it's been more than a year so I don't know how to bring it up again. I guess I don't care if he's bi as long as he's attracted to me, too! Haha. He has many close girl friends and hardly any guy friends (I'm not sure if this is a factor but it's something I've always wondered about also). He's never been with a guy or a girl, so what if he doesn't even know?

Bill Samuels said...

Yikes, there are so many anonymous comments for this post that even I have lost track on whom I've replied to or not. Any replies would probably have been posted on the blog in the last couple of weeks. The very last comment [before mine] will be answered in a new blog post asap. To those ladies who need to talk things out with their boyfriends, I suggest to ask your questions within the body of a general discussion, like one of your friends thinks her boyfriend might be gay ... and lead on from there, never being negative or judgmental. I will try to address all this in a new post soon.

Bill Samuels said...

I've had to disable comments on this post. If you have a question for me, send it to my email address. I never publish names or personal info. Thank you.