Friday, August 2, 2013

Why Some Straight Men Are Romantically or Sexually Attracted to Other Men

This is recent blog entry I made on Huffington Post:

I recently wrote a blog post about the music video for singer-songwriter Steve Grand's song "All-American Boy," in which a gay man falls in love with a straight man and they share a quick kiss. In that post I addressed why gay men might be attracted to straight men, but that question raises another: Why might a straight man be romantically or sexually attracted to other men? Why did the straight guy in the video kiss the gay guy back, after all?
The following scenario happens many times: A man comes into my office, referred by his own therapist and clutching coming-out literature that the therapist has given him. He explains that his therapist has tried, unsuccessfully, to help him come out as gay or bisexual, but even though he's had sex with other men or gone to gay porn websites, he insists that he isn't gay. He says that he isn't homophobic either; if it turns out that he is indeed gay or bisexual, he'll accept it and move on with his life, but the label just doesn't feel right to him.
During the last three decades, in reaction to prejudiced and destructive anti-gay attitudes, we've seen the pendulum swing so far in the other direction that it's now become almost a therapeutic credo, not to mention a requirement of political correctness, to assume that men who have sex with men are "in denial" and need help to recognize and accept their "true" homosexual orientation. In fact, neither extreme represents the experience of many men. The truth is that many men who have sex with men aren't gay or even bisexual. Although their mental and emotional state resembles that of the initial stages of coming out, gay and bisexual men go on to develop a gay or a bisexual identity, whereas these men don't.

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The comments from people insisting that labels matter and trying to put people in boxes are most interesting to me. How about you?


Anonymous said...

As I see it, there is difference between sexual behaviour and identity/orientation. People do love to box people into the labels of gay straight or bi. Nature doesn't deal in categories though.

Many people are so closed-minded. I've always said if it wasnt for some of my straight friends I would not have had any homosexual encounters during the teens. And yes, they are pretty much straight. The act itself was homoerotic, ranging from mutual masturbation, kissing (not that much though) etc. Maybe it was just experimentation or maybe cause I don't need that anymore in my 20s, as it is much easier now to meet other gay men.

I guess people are too social conditioned nowadays to think outside those 3 boxed that they tend to confuse sexual behaviour with the identity. During my teens and denial I kissed girls and even had really awkward sex with one, it was a heterosexual act and it didnt make me heterosexual.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post from a 2 years ago on ''. Titled "in love with same sex friend but not gay". What are your thoughts?

Bre said...

I think men will view naked men in the same way a man will view another man's other possessions. I wish I had that guy's car, house, wife, body, or his cock. I won't watch porn containing naked women unless a man is involved.

Philip Levine said...

I had 3-4 session with Joe and am currently in couples counseling with a really good sex therapist. Basically the woman I was living with and I had no sex for 6 years. But I was having an affair that long with another women and have seen a number of men for sex I found fantastic. So now we (my girlfriend and I) are starting to rekindle a sex life. And I have to say it's pretty good. But the questions remain: am I monogamous? Am I bisexual? In spite our renewed sex life I still long for the one or two men I loved being in bed with. Hendricks talks about closing exits - and I have done that - but not perfectly. I haven't slept with anyone else in the 4 months since my girlfriend discovered my 'other' life - the life having sex with men and women. I remember quitting smoking and that was EASY compared to giving up men. I think that ultimately I will have to leave and live alone to pursue the life I want. And yet that is no easy decision. We have a really nice life together and I have to figure out if giving that up is really a huge cop out or a huge embracing of who I am...

riversong6295 said...

I have recently discovered a video made by my partner of him giving fellatio to a dildo. He claims he is not gay and was just curious. I don't know how to react to this. Why didn't he tell me about this? The deception hurts. I found your articles to be helpful in understanding his behavior, but there is not much about how female partners should or shouldn't react.
I am having trouble moving forward. I wonder how I can ever satisfy him now. Any advice or other situations you can share to give me some sort of grounding? I'm baffled.

Dr. Joe Kort said...

Riversong I just finished the book for women and how to understand and react to this