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!

No "Cure" -- And No Need to Suffer

Dear sir: Myself , I am suffering from above subject problem [homosexuality]; is possible to cure this problem?I heard some information. Through yoga is possible to cure; please suggest me sir. Anon.

First of all, homosexuality is not a disease so it cannot be "cured." Second of all, homosexuality is only a "problem" if a gay person can't accept his sexuality.

Instead of a "cure," people who are gay and who are uncomfortable with their sexuality should seek self-acceptance instead of self-hatred. A gay or gay-friendly therapist could certainly help, or at the very least counselors in the gay/LGBT center of your city, if there is one.

Although there are groups out there that claim they can "cure" homosexuality, this is a complete lie. Responsible therapists, sexologists, and members of the psychiatric community are united that not only is it impossible to convert people who are homosexual to heterosexuality, but that a great deal of psychological damage can be done just by trying. People who claim to be "ex-gays" are still gay, they simply [try to] abstain from homosexual activity or relationships. Most of these people eventually "succumb" and enter into gay relationships again, because that is what is natural to them. [You can read much more about the ex-gay movement here.]

And no, yoga is no help at all.

One can be a perfectly happy and fulfilled individual being gay. It is not a disease, a sin, or anything terrible or unnatural. There are millions of Out and Proud Gay people living happy and productive lives.

No one needs to "suffer" for being gay. As we used to say in the days of the Gay Activists Alliance, 99% of gay liberation is in the head. Once you realize that there's nothing wrong in being gay and feel better about yourself, the rest is easy.

Please stay in touch if you have any other questions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Harry Weider

I want to inform you of the death of Harry Weider, who was killed in late April in New York. I believe you knew Harry, but didn't know if you were aware of his death. Harry was not only a gay rights activist, but also fought for rights for the disabled, as well as Jews and dwarfs [he was a "little person" but very big in heart and stature]. E. A.

Yes, I knew Harry and liked and admired him very much. I have posted a tribute to him on my brother blog, jatgab, and it can be found here. It goes into my personal recollections of Harry.

There's much more about Harry's life and accomplishments on the Jewish Journal.

Harry will be greatly missed.

Monday, May 10, 2010


HELLO DR. BILL-- What do you think of the new law that has gone into effect in Arizona? I believe that this may be the catalyst we need in the LGBT community to push for the long overdo Immigration Reform Bill. As it stands there are about 37,000 people in this country that are part of a Bi National Couple, where the person here in the states has a partner in another country that they can't sponsor because they are considered "legal strangers". I am one of those people that has a partner that can not become a part of this country because of this law. I am writing to you to see what you think about all this and to ask if there is anything you could do to really help get the word out there even more about this issue concerning all of us in the states that are affected by these laws.

First, those interested can read more about this issue here [Lez-Get-Real] and here [Lambda Legal].

I think this is another reason why marriage equality is so important. Gay relationships -- even between domestic partners -- are still not seen as equal to straight relationships, and they must be.

It's a horrible situation that same-sex couples must remain separated because they are not seen as viable partners. Immigration reform, along with marriage equality, should be at the top of the gay political agenda.

Hopefully those couples who are now separated can someday in the not-too-far future live proud lives together.

More on this issue and what you can do in a future post.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Are Married Homosexuals Butcher?

I hope this is not offensive. Is it true that gay men who for one reason or another marry and have children, maybe because they can't accept being gay, are more "macho" than gay men who are strictly gay. I mean is it easier for them to "pass " because they do, after all, get married -- so they can't be obviously gay or women would reject them. I probably haven't explained this well but I hope you understand what I'm driving at. Anon,

I understand what you're driving at, but I have to tell you that you're off base on this one.

I know it may seem strange that an effeminate, stereotypically gay man can marry a woman and even have children -- you wonder, what was she [the wife, that is] thinking? -- but it does happen. I have certainly seen many male-female couples where the husband seems a little bit "queeny" [that doesn't necessarily mean he's gay, of course]. The guy may be attracted to men but may not identify as gay, thinking of himself as bisexual or even straight.

There are a few theories as to why women marry men who seem gay. Some wives in this situation are closeted lesbians; others are so in love with the guy that they look past his femme exterior -- which they may like in any case -- and are in denial. Then there's the somewhat homophobic and/or unsophisticated response: he's a great guy and he fucks me so he can't be gay [as if a guy can't be a great guy if he's gay, or a basically gay guy can't possibly have sex with a woman]. The feminine guy they love is like a soul-mate, a boyfriend and best female friend rolled up into one.

Anyway, I think we've all had women introduce us to their husbands and boyfriends and think to ourselves: Sheesh -- can't she tell this guy is gay? On the other side of the butch-femme spectrum, on more than one occasion I've had women introduce me to guys who may not be obviously gay but that I've seen in gay bars or even been intimate with. Talk about awkward moments!

What I have to make clear is that it is not true that only "butch" or butcher gay men get involved with women. Nor is it true that men who are bisexual [at least in the technical sense in that they are attracted to men but have wives or girlfriends] are more masculine than men who are strictly gay. Again, many bisexual men are actually quite effeminate, and most of the strictly gay men I've met are pretty masculine. [And, while we're on the subject, men who are "tops" are not necessarily more masculine than guys who are "bottoms."]

In other words, there are no hard and fast rules. Confusing, maybe, but it keeps you on your toes!