Monday, January 31, 2011

Gal with Gay Hubby Part 2

The following is from the young lady who submitted the question that was posted under Women with Gay Husband.

I wanted to thank you for helping me figure out some stuff about my husband. Inadvertently though it may be. [Thanks!] You mentioned that he is essentially going back in the closet by being with me. I thought that was totally crazy but upon talking to him we both realized it was totally true. He had two sides of himself, his gay side with his attraction for men and his gay friends and all that, and the side that was attracted to me, married to me and existed with people that know us as a couple. I did not realize how not integrated these two sides of him were. He was totally in the closet to his gay friends about his attraction for me (and yes he certainly is attracted to me) and also very uncomfortable admitting his gay feelings around our straight friends. So he is seeing a counselor on his own and learning to be honest with himself and with me about his feelings. We are way happier now than we have been in years (although we have never been unhappy, just a little less amazing) and all it took was him admitting his feelings. I didn’t know that he thought being married to me meant he "shouldn’t” be attracted to guys anymore. I would never want to change that. Now if he sees a guy he thinks is hot, he says so, to his co-workers, to me, whatever. And he is feeling way more comfortable with himself and we are having way better sex. Like we did in the beginning of our relationship. Both of us have to disagree with you on one thing though. Why do you not believe in bisexuality? Both my husband and I are attracted to both sexes. I consider myself more on the straight side since I am not emotionally attracted to women, and he considered himself more gay because he wasn’t normally sexually attracted to women. But he is to me and that’s what matters. So by definition I think we are both Bi. (TMI Warning: seriously, do gay guys get hard when they see a naked woman? Do gay guys like eating pussy?There has got to be some grey area here, don’t you think?) I am hoping that instead of denying any part of himself, he can begin to experience himself more fully. If that means he ends up leaving me for a guy, so be it. I wouldn’t want to keep him if he wasn’t truly happy. But he says he has been with lots of guys and a few girls and the point is he wants to be with me. I have no choice but to believe him and hope he is being truly honest. Like you said, only time will tell. I am still interested if you have any thoughts or ideas on how we can deal with our peculiar challenges.

I have never said that I "don't believe" in bisexuality. I won't speak for women, but I have almost never encountered a man who identified as bisexual who didn't say that his preference was men [which is even the case with your husband], and on the one or two occasions they didn't admit that I got the distinct impression they were lying. If you prefer your own sex, to me that means you're gay. I've met men with wives who call themselves bi but virtually every time they have extra-marital sex it's with another guy. That's not bi, that's gay.

The problem with any discussion of bisexuality is that when it comes to gay and straight there isn't an equal playing field. That is, no one gives a hoot if you're straight or in a hetero relationship, but unfortunately many people do care if you're gay or in a homosexual relationship. The battle for equality for gays -- including marriage equality -- has not yet been won, and in other countries being homosexual is still an offense punishable by death. Then we have the downLow and closet cases and gay teens committing suicide. Not twenty years ago but today. So you'll have to forgive me if it sometimes seems to me that in some cases "bisexuality" has become a kind of phony identity for people who are essentially gay or lesbian but just can't deal with that reality, as if the "bi" label is some kind of safety net. After all, once you fully open the closet door there's no way you can close it again. This doesn't mean that some people aren't genuinely bisexual, but my definition of that might be quite different from yours and others. But I'll save that for another post. [For the record I thought of myself as bisexual when I was in my early twenties.]

Gay men do sometimes get involved in hetero sex scenes -- sometimes drunken fooling around, sometimes sex for the sake of sex, sometimes a blow job feels good no matter what sex is giving it to you. This may very well be the gray area you're talking about. However, I will admit that human sexuality and psychology can be certainly be complex, so I wouldn't necessarily discount anything, although I reserve the right to be a doubting Thomas.

Gay men sometimes marry women. Some gay men simply feel more comfortable in straight relationships for any number of reasons. A study of this syndrome [although in these cases the wives did not know there husbands were attracted to men] indicated that these men suffered from self-esteem issues and had a terror of "bucking the system" [i.e. being unconventional]. Sadly, even in this day and age some men have a [often unconscious] craving for respectability and to them gay relationships are somehow not respectable. In other words, they can have sex with men, but are unable to have a relationship with another man. Hence the wife. And the bisexual label allows them to claim/feel that it's a real relationship [which in terms of friendship and caring it may well be]. [Even if a man is genuinely bisexual, say equally attracted to both sexes, his choosing a female partner/straight lifestyle might be indicative of the same syndrome.]

The gay/bi man in a straight relationship who is openly gay/bi isn't completely new, but it is relatively unique compared to the closet queen syndrome I mentioned above, and it does, as you've noted, have its own unique challenges [though at least you can get married].

But sheesh, give me a break here. I started this blog to advise people on homosexuality and gay issues, and to help people in gay relationships, not to help a gay guy [remember men are his preference] who's in a straight relationship! I've never denied that I think gay men should be with men. Of course your husband has the right to do whatever he wants with his life -- get married to a woman, become an ex-gay [Lord save us!], be openly bi, whatever, but you''ll have to understand that his situation is not something I can necessarily relate to. Also, never having heard his side of the story, I'm really not comfortable in advising him in absentia.

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