Saturday, November 12, 2011

Possibly Gay Boyfriend

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.
[I assume you mean stereotypical mannerisms as most gay men are not "limp-wristed hairdressers" -- Bill]  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 [presumably because it's your date and not because you have a problem with gay behavior -- Bill]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 don't want to make the same mistake. I have a preference for a completely straight man.

Well, I gotta tell you that this doesn't sound like a completely straight man. On the other hand, some of the things you mention aren't necessarily red flags. There are girlish heterosexual men [just as the vast majority of gay men are not effeminate], and a man can also care about his appearance, take a long time to dress and shower, and still be straight. [The reverse is also true: I'm a gay man and I'm a slob, or so some friends tell me, LOL!] Guys who grow up in all female households can sometimes seem a bit epicene [androgynous or unmanly] but it doesn't necessarily mean they're gay. [For the record, it's generally now believed that people are born gay, so whether a man grows up surrounded by women or men, has or hasn't got a father figure, is irrelevant.] Growing up with women may have helped your boyfriend be more comfortable around women, and perhaps the more stereotypical gay men.

Now we come to this business of how your boyfriend has virtually immersed himself in the gay scene. Since you say that the both of you have gay friends and therefore hang out a lot in gay clubs, it may be that he finds himself in a homoerotic environment and doesn't want to stick out like a sore thumb. [We'll all seen some straight guys in gay bars clinging to their girlfriends, practically breaking their ribs, in terror of being thought gay.] So he dances with some of his gay friends to be cool, although I have to admit that the grinding and holding hands is a bit much. I have known cases of guys who immerse themselves in gay culture, have girlfriends and refer to themselves as straight, but are deep down attracted to men. My guess is that your boyfriend is possibly gay or at least bisexual but just isn't quite ready to acknowledge it, although he seems to do everything else but have sex with guys [if what he's told you is true, and it may not be]. I call these guys "gay-friendly closet cases."

Most straight couples go to gay clubs that tend to be somewhat mixed [men and women/gay and straight] and not the more intense cruise bars or "meet" markets where gay guys go to get laid. If he's hanging out in the latter bars he could certainly be attracted to men.

I won't repeat what I've written in my post Asking Your Boyfriend If He's Gay, but I suggest you review the information and familiarize yourself with the red flags.

The truth is that there's no hard and fast way to know for sure about someone unless they come out of the closet or you discover they're having sex with guys, are on gay dating sights, etc. In the meantime, if his behavior in gay bars embarrasses you, you should probably stick to straight clubs. Right now I think it's more that he's "acting" gay that bothers you than that he may be sleeping with guys, because otherwise you probably wouldn't bother dating a guy that you think is gay!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill. I have confronted him about the grinding and his stereotypical gay mannerisms thrice now. I guess I just don't understand why it would be difficult for him to come out. We both went to the most liberal and gay friendly college, and as I mentioned before all his friends are gay except one, so he has a support system. Clarification: We have gone to a gay club twice both times for birthday parties. Does this also mean that great sex is not enough to judge someone's sexuality? Do you think I should ask him yet again about his sexuality? I don't want to offend him. I am distressed because I love him so much but we owe it to ourselves to be true to ourselves.

Thank you once again for answering my questions

Bill Samuels said...

My pleasure.

As to the great sex, there are gay/bi men who are perfectly capable of having sex with women, it just may not be their preference if they're honest with themselves.

If the two of you have a good relationship -- and remember he could just be a straight guy who's cool enough to not freak out in a gay bar -- I wouldn't worry unless you catch him in bed with a man.

Best, Bill