Is He Gay?

We get a lot of questions from readers who are questioning not their own sexuality, but the orientation of their boyfriends, husbands, friends, or coworkers. We've collected some of these and attempt to answer that burning question: Is he gay?

My boyfriend was married for 5 years and had a kid with a woman. I'm a gay male (and he claims he is too.) We just moved in together like 3 months ago. He filed for divorce, etc. He also won't tell any of his friends that he's gay which really bugs me. I haven't met his wife, just his kid. My question is...Do you really think that he's gay? I don't see how a gay man could have sex with a woman for 5 years of his life.
Mikey, Connecticut

Mikey,
I think your boyfriend is gay, he’s just still mostly in the closet. I can understand your skepticism, but the scenario you’re describing used to be much more common, say 20 or more years ago, when gayness was even less socially acceptable. If you talk to older gay guys, you’ll find that a lot of them were previously married to women (and had sex with them) and many have children. Think of your boyfriend as being a little retro or behind the times. Maybe he didn’t realize he was gay when he got married, or he thought getting married would cure him of being gay, or he didn’t feel he had other options. He may have tolerated the sex, or done it because he felt it was expected of him. He may have even enjoyed it a little. But obviously he did not find it satisfactory. That’s why he started dating guys and ended his marriage. But he’s probably still pretty attached to his old life. I imagine all his friends are straight and married, and he is afraid he will lose them if he comes out. Going from a closeted straight lifestyle to an open gay lifestyle is a huge transition. Maybe you can help him make new friends who are gay or more tolerant. In the meantime, I don’t think you have to worry that he’s going to go back to women, unless he decides he wants to stay in the closet for good.


I want to find out if my friend is into guys or not. For some reason, I've noticed some very faint signs; he looks me in the eyes and constantly looks at my mouth when I'm talking to him. And sometimes after he says something, there’s like an awkward prolonged stare looking at my eyes and mouth for a few seconds. He also tends to joke around saying he loves me and other "homo-like" jokes. One time he slept over and we were playing video games, then when he did something funny in the game (ex: GTA), he would do that same thing where he like looks at my eyes and mouth longer than usual. My other friends never do that. He has a girlfriend, but she doesn't live anywhere near here, and he rarely talks about her. He goes to church often and stuff as well. Is it possible that he may be gay or bisexual in some way?
Anonymous, New York

He’s staring at your mouth? OK, first let me ask this: Is there a chance that he has a hearing impairment? No, seriously – because if he’s hard of hearing, he might be reading your lips so he can understand what you’re saying. If he doesn’t have a hearing problem, I don’t know; either he’s just weird or he’s in love with you. It’s possible that he’s gay or bi (even if he goes to church). Then again, some people are just socially awkward or a little odd, and have strange quirks that make people uncomfortable, like standing too close, or staring at your mouth and eyes. Try to observe him talking with other people (male and female) and see if he does the same staring thing to them. If he only does it with guys, or he only does it with you, then it’s more likely there’s something sexual going on.


I have suspicions that my boyfriend is gay or maybe bi. I've heard the rumor once or twice in the town that we're from, but no substantial evidence to back it up. Mostly just hearsay. He only likes to have sex once a week. He has made comments on if other guys are good looking or not. He keeps reminding me that he's totally comfortable with his sexuality and that he's straight, yet he has a gay cousin that he hangs out with at least twice a month. He stays over at his house and they hang out all night. His older brother is gay; he was married at one time and had children and later into their marriage he revealed he was gay. I'm just scared that he's repeating his brother’s history. He's always had beautiful girlfriends. I just don't know...could he be gay? Or maybe bi?
Alana, Vancouver

Is his older brother dating a guy named “Mikey”? I don’t know…my guess is that your boyfriend is probably bi and kind of insecure about it. If someone repeatedly reminds you that they’re “comfortable with their sexuality,” that screams the opposite. People who are truly comfortable with their sexuality don’t have the need to point it out, and certainly not over and over again. Methinks he protesteth too much, but maybe he’s just defensive because everyone thinks he’s queer. Or maybe he’s defensive because he’s getting blowjobs from his gay cousin. Who knows what’s going on? That said, with all his exposure to gayness, I would think that if he were totally gay, everyone would know and he would be out in the open about it by now. I mean, he’s surely had to think about it, and I bet he’s had plenty of opportunities for gay sex, and half of his family is gay, so there’s no real reason for him to hide it. If he hasn’t followed in big bro’s footsteps by now, he probably won’t.


I just started dating an older man who has been married 3 times (currently divorced). It has been said by a few people that they think he is gay. I’m not sure. He has some erectile dysfunction with me as he did with his last 2 wives. He takes Viagra, but it only helps a little (he doesn’t ejaculate). He says he has had this problem for about 10 years. He sometimes expresses himself with a lot of emotion and is always concerned with how I feel. I have never seen him look at a guy with longing or flirt with any guys. He does walk a little gay. He never makes any comments about how girls look or dress, or says anything if a girl is half naked on TV or otherwise. He does touch me intimately and kisses a lot, and says I’m beautiful and sexy. I don’t know. I care about him but I’m not sure which way he is. Any info is appreciated.
Michelle, Iowa

Michelle,
I don’t think this guy is gay. He sounds like a nice, well-mannered gentleman who is respectful towards women and happens to have erectile dysfunction. Millions of men, mostly heterosexual, have erectile dysfunction; it has no relation to sexual orientation. Hopefully he’s seeing a doctor about it. You seem concerned because he doesn’t act like a stereotypical male. He doesn’t swagger down the street, he doesn’t make comments about other women’s tits, and he doesn’t act like an uncaring jerk – all traits that are typically associated with straight males. That, combined with the erectile dysfunction, may make him seem less “manly” to you – but that doesn’t add up to him being gay. It just means that he acts differently than most of the straight men you’ve known, and maybe he treats you better. He’s caring, attentive, and he thinks you’re hot. Is that so wrong? Consider yourself lucky.


Me and my boyfriend are very open minded and have threesomes about every other weekend. My boyfriend says that it turns him on to watch me take cum on the face from other guys. We have only had threesomes with other guys that he is friends with. He asked me to have a threesome with another girl, but we have not had the chance. He watches porn pretty often and all the porn he watches is nothing but cumshots or bukkake movies. He has said before that it turns him on to watch other men get off and that he is amazed by men's dicks and watching them jerk off and cum. But he says that he is not attracted to men at all. Should I worry that he is gay?
Ash, Virginia

Ash,
No, you shouldn’t worry that he’s gay. He’s just a little kinky. Who do you think they make bukkake movies for? Straight men. Sometimes men are fascinated by watching other men come, because they identify with it. They’re not lusting after the other man’s penis, they’re living vicariously through it. Also, some people have theorized that men like to watch cum shots because males need a sense of completion about things, especially sex, in order to feel satisfied. It’s the same reason they like to watch car chases that end in huge fiery explosions.


I am approaching 40 soon and so is my boyfriend. We have been dating for a year and a half. I am so in love with him and I am so attracted to him that I want to make out and French kiss and have sex with him every single day and night. But he doesn’t hardly ever want to do any of that stuff...and God forbid for him to eat me out! He has only French kissed me two times and we have lived together for a year and a half! I cannot take this feeling much longer. I hurt so bad because my boyfriend has no passion for me whatsoever. I think it’s because he is gay but in the closet. I have confronted him on numerous occasions and I’ve tried to be cool with him about it, but he denies it all the way. I know he is at least bisexual because I caught him getting oral from a 22-year-old gay boy. That is what turns him on – blow jobs. He loves for guys and girls to suck him off. I believe in my heart that he really is totally gay but he just uses us girls as a cover up, because he is really ashamed that he is gay and he doesn’t want his mother or family or friends to find out the truth. If he was bisexual then I could accept the fact that guys turn him on as long as he was attracted to me also. But he’s not. He says he is, but his actions speak a different language. He does love me, but as far as being sexually attracted to me...well, it’s just a pipe dream for me, and it totally sucks. (No pun intended.) What do you think? Is he totally gay, or is there a little hope because he’s bi? Please help me. I just can’t hardly breathe sometimes because I hurt so bad. What should I do? I swear I can’t believe this is even happening to me.
Bethany, Arizona

Bethany,
You need to drop him and move on. There is no hope. None whatsoever. It doesn’t matter if he is bisexual. It wouldn’t even matter if he was straight. If he’s not attracted to you, that’s all there is to it. And I think you realize that. You know he’s unavailable and unattainable, and although you feel like you’re madly in love with him, what you’re really attached to is the feeling of unsatisfiable longing that you get from pining after him. If it helps you let go of this relationship, let’s just go along with your theory about him being totally gay and using women as a cover to throw his friends and family off the scent of his gayness. You don’t deserve to be used like that! Cut this thing off, cold turkey – get him out of your life. Then go find a man who loves and appreciates you and can’t keep his hands off you.


The man I'm with has had sex with men in the past. He was on the giving end of anal sex with them, nothing else. He tends to want anal sex with me a lot, too.  I don't mind -- with him it actually feels pretty good. He never lets anything get near his rear. I tried to touch and tongue it once and he jumped and moved me back to his cock. Is he just a guy who likes the feeling of giving anal, or do I have to worry about being one of those women who ends up getting left for a man after years of being together?
Angel, Florida

Angel,
Probably he just likes being an anal top (being the active partner in anal sex) and he’ll be satisfied with your relationship as long as anal is part of your sex life. Since he’s had sex with both men and women, he could probably be considered bisexual. But I’m guessing that the sex he had with men was just sex, and the relationship he has with you offers him more emotional fulfillment and so on, so he’ll be likely to stick with it. That said, if he really, really likes anal, and has a high sex drive, there’s a possibility that he might “supplement” by having casual anal sex with men. You’ll see a lot of “straight” or married guys looking for these kind of hookups online – or in highway rest stops. I’m not saying he’s doing it – but, you know, guys are guys. And for men who are willing to have sex with other men, it can be very tempting because it’s so easy, much easier than having sex on the side with females. Give him the benefit of the doubt, but keep your eyes open.


My son-in-law is married with two children. He has posted his profile on an Adam4Adam web site indicating that he is bi and desires Latinos and blacks. He indicates where he will be (his future travel plans) and has had sex with male persons. While he states that he prefers being a top and likes receiving oral, he says that he is open to oral with special guys. He only prefers men that are guys, not femmes. Recently he had unprotected anal sex with another man whom he feels had a similar spousal relationship (claims that he was vulnerable), while at the same time was looking for relationships at various locations. While maintaining a family relationship and deep love for his children, he is posting on the internet. When caught, he stated that he does not want an alternate lifestyle. Is he bi? Or has he jut not come out? Is it possible to justify infidelity or is it denial? How do we (father-in-law and daughter) figure this out?
Anonymous, Delaware

Your son-in-law is sleeping around with other men and clearly intends to continue doing so. But he loves his family and says he doesn’t want “an alternative lifestyle”. Too bad – he’s already got one, he’s just keeping it the closet. He wants to have his happy-marriage-and-nuclear-family cake and eat it too. He may be bi; he is more likely just gay and in denial (or lying about it). One thing is for sure: unless he and his wife have an open marriage agreement (and I’m guessing they don’t) he is committing adultery. He may be a decent husband and father in other ways, and he may very well love his wife and kids, but he will end up hurting them if he keeps this up (not to mention exposing his wife to the risk of AIDS if he keeps having unprotected sex). And he won’t stop. Even if he says he will, he’ll have another profile up on another man-for-man site within a month, trust me. If he’s gay (or bi), therapy or gay deprogramming will not work. He and his wife can try marriage counseling, but chances are the therapist will tell them the same thing I will: He’s gay. Get a divorce.


I have a friend that talks gay shit all the time to some of his friends. He gets very explicit and real about it in chat, but he says he likes girls and all.  I wonder about him. He says he is straight, but is there any way I could find out if he is bi or gay?
Anonymous, U.S.

I doubt this guy is actually gay. If he was, he probably wouldn’t be broadcasting it like this. A lot of heterosexual guys “talk homo” to their friends as a form of humor and male bonding (heterosexual male bonding, of course). It could also be a form of social domination. Male dogs will sometimes hump another male dog – not because they’re gay, but as a way of saying, “I am the alpha dog and you’re my bitch.” In the case of male homo trash talk, it’s supposed to be understood that the speaker is not by any means actually queer, although he may be (jokingly) implying the other males he’s addressing are gay, which is why guys end up flipping this shit back and forth. Maybe he just doesn’t know when to quit. If someone mentions that he seem to be getting a little too into it, that will probably shut him up for a while.


My boyfriend is in his late forties and has never been married. He made a statement awhile ago about not wanting me to find out something about him that would make me leave him, but wouldn't explain it. We enjoy a great sex life together, and he was thrilled that I enjoy giving (and now, receiving) anal. But sometimes, he tastes his own cum, and fantasizes about having three-on-one, two women and a man, with him getting all of the attention. Is he bi? Seriously.
Anonymous, Michigan

Most of what you’ve said doesn’t suggest that your boyfriend is bi. Forty and never been married? Pretty common these days. Something mysterious in his past? He could have robbed a liquor store or dated Courtney Love – who knows? He likes anal and tasting his own cum? Again, not that unusual; straight guys are getting more open minded. The only thing that raises an eyebrow is the three-on-one thing. You mean, he wants two women and one man to service him sexually? If that’s what he said, then he’s bi, because when a straight guy fantasizes about a threesome or foursome, there are no other penises in the picture.


I have a straight buddy who has said that he is disgusted at the thought of homosexuality, but he treats me like he wants to have a walk on the gay side. Aside from him touching me in the office, even giving me a kiss on the cheek in my cube when I pointed to my face the way grandmothers do when they want some sugar, he once said to me that it was "a good thing I'm straight, cause you are a good looking guy." He's also kind of a dick to other people, but always nice to me. But he's a rural redneck guy. Maybe they all treat each other this way. But that is weird, too, because I am black. One day we were way out in the sticks with his kid and we stopped for ice cream. In front of a parking lot full of good old boys he spoon fed me some ice cream. I don't know. It seems that playing at being gay is acceptable on some shows like Jackass and others, but I just can't read this guy. Or maybe I am just too chickenshit to make a move on a real cowboy.
Bill, U.S.

Bill,
Oh geez. Where to begin? He spoon-fed you ice cream? That is so goddamn adorable. This guy totally has a crush on you. C’mon. He’s got some gay in him, or at least some bi. The thing is, does he know it? Maybe not, or maybe he senses it but doesn’t want to admit it to himself. Straight guys who have gay or bi tendencies often talk loudly about being disgusted by homosexuality, when it secretly turns them on. These are the same guys who use the “homosexual panic” defense when they’re in court for killing a gay man who came on to them. So I don’t suggest you try making a pass at this “cowboy”. He might freak. Be cool, and enjoy his attentions. But let him decide if he wants to take it to the next level. And even if he initiates something some drunken night, be cautious – he may still flip out the next day when he realizes what he’s done.


My boyfriend is not particularly interested in sex...well, at least with me. He doesn't initiate -- I have to. He revealed a month ago that he was addicted to porn (I don't know what kind).  I have no problem with porn, but he revealed this after we hadn't had sex in over 6 weeks. I thought he was depressed because his mother had passed away, so I didn’t push it. He is bouncing back now from the depression and he still is not that interested. He has three ex-girlfriends who are now in lesbian relationships. (The last time that happened, the girl realized she was gay after they broke up, and she said she thought he was gay too; their common secret attracted them to each other.) So, how do I know if my boyfriend is gay? Oh, and I would say at least two times since we have been together, some acquaintance of his has made reference to the fact that they think he is gay. I pride myself on pretty good gaydar (if this exists), but this is too close. He is a weightlifter and he works in retail.
Anonymous, NY

Well, if so many of his friends suspect that he’s gay, it seems like there’s a good chance there’s some validity to it. He may actually be gay or bi. With his porn addiction, who knows – unless he was looking at girl-on-girl, in which case he’s definitely straight. Having three exes go lesbian is unusual, but some straight men are attracted to the lesbian or tomboy type, so that’s not conclusive. But what that one ex said – about them having a shared secret - is pretty telling. And he’s a gym bunny and works in retail. Yeah, he’s probably gay. I bet the two of you look great together, but I don’t see the no-sex thing improving. You should probably cut your losses.


I I have been dating my boyfriend for a few months, and he is starting to act more like a female than I do. He said he's NOT gay, but he acts really gay to me. Is there a way I can tell if he's really not gay?  I think he's on the DL with other guys.
Lakeita, North Carolina

Lakeita,
They say you can’t prove a negative (i.e., you can’t prove that your man’s NOT gay), so look at the evidence you have that he IS gay and see how that weighs up. He’s acting like a girl. OK, that could be some cause for concern. Does he show an intense interest in other men’s bodies, either in public or when you’re watching TV (including porn or sports). Does he comment on how hot or good looking other guys are? Does he have a “special” male friend that he seems unusually close with? Any unexplained absences – does he seem like he’s sneaking around? Finally, does he openly flirt with other males? That’s a dead giveaway. If you can answer yes to two or more of these questions, he probably is into guys.


How can I tell if my man is gay?
Beth, Stamford

Beth,
Try asking his boyfriend. Seriously, unless he’s sleeping with other men or he tells you he’s gay, there’s no sure way to know unless you have more evidence to go on. However, if has an unnatural attachment to his lacrosse team buddy, owns a pair of assless chaps, or you find a tube of Anal-Eze and a Leather Man magazine in his drawer, that could be a pretty sure sign he’s playing for the other team.


I think my friend is gay. All my friends think he is too. Sometimes he jokes around and he likes to touch us. He looks at porn but we all think he pretends to like it, and I personally think watches it to look at the guys. Girls often like him, but he never does anything about it. We think it’s ‘cause he’s gay. He also pretends he’s extremely homophobic and goes crazy when we call him gay. Whenever we mention that we think one of our friends is gay, he often says “Let’s go beat him up!” I think it’s a cover-up for how he really feels inside. He’s not feminine or anything, and he acts like any other guy. Is he gay?
Joey, California

Joey,
It’s possible that your friend is gay, or bi, or confused and insecure about his sexuality. Most of what you’ve said seems to point to that, especially his touchiness about being called gay, and his homophobic overreactions. Men who have homosexual or bisexual feelings on some level, conscious or not, may act homophobic as a denial of their feelings, or because they are afraid of appearing gay. But often, as in this case, it just backfires and makes others suspect their gayness even more. Not all gay or bi guys effeminate or swishy, so the fact that he doesn’t “act gay” doesn’t matter. There’s definitely something up with him. He may be gay and not realize it. Or he may think that he’s gay andis having a hard time dealing with it.


I don’t know what to think of this. Every time my boyfriend is riding me, he likes to stick things up my butt - like pencils and beer bottles. I don’t enjoy it, but every time he does it, it gets him off. I tried the same thing to him once, and he didn’t stop me. Is he gay?
Amber, Switzerland

Amber,
OK, first of all, tell your boyfriend to stop sticking pencils or beer bottles up your butt. That sounds painful and it’s just plain dangerous. What do you think butt plugs and anal beads are for? If your boyfriend’s going to keep doing this, make him get some proper anal sex toys. Anyway, the answer to your original question: The fact that he’s into ass play, or anal eroticism, does not mean he’s gay. He sounds like a straight guy who is just into buttholes. Many straight guys like ass play, both doing it to their girlfriends and getting it done to themselves. He might be preoccupied with it more than usual, but it’s not a weird thing in itself.


I was wondering how to tell if he is gay? I work at a fast food restaurant. There is another guy that is always there when I work and he smiles and flirts with me. Like, Oh, can I get more napkins, or something else. Yesterday I broke up laughing at this guy through the drive through because he was smiling at me. How do I break the ice without getting noticed at work?
Chad, U.S.

Chad,
It’s hard to tell if your coworker is actually flirting with you, or if he’s just being friendly and helpful. Maybe you can tell if he’s flirting – if he’s obviously batting his eyes at you or giving you hungry, longing stares. Otherwise it might just be wishful thinking on your part because you have a crush on him. You can’t assume anything just because he’s being nice to you. And really, dating coworkers, whether you’re gay or straight, isn’t a good idea, because things can get very ugly in the workplace if the romance goes bad. If you insist on pursuing this, though, don’t come on to him at work. Casually ask if he wants to hang out when your shift is over, and then see how he acts when you’re away from the restaurant and it’s just the two of you.


When I suck my boyfriend’s penis, he wants me to finger him in the ass. Is that normal? Or is he gay ?
Anonymous, U.S.

Yes, this is normal. No, it doesn’t mean he’s gay. Lots of straight men enjoy a finger (or more) up the butt during sexual activity because it stimulates the prostate gland and enhances orgasm. Some guys are too shy to come out and ask for it, though, so that may be why you haven’t encountered it before. It doesn’t indicate homosexuality, and if you stick your finger up there, it won’t turn him gay either.


My friend (a guy) asked me to jerk off together. Is he gay?
Kevin, U.S.

Kevin,
He may be gay. Or not. Some people think that this is a totally normal thing for heterosexual males to do: kick back, have a few brews, watch some porn, and jack off. Other people think that is totally gay. Local customs vary, and people can be very opinionated about the standards of what constitutes a homosexual act. (Some people insist that if you do anything remotely erotic with another man present, even a three-way with a chick, that qualifies as gay or bi). I think intention also matters, so it depends on what your friend had in mind. If he just wanted to jack off while looking at dirty mags or watching a DVD, that’s not proof that he’s gay (unless he was obviously doing it so he could get a look at your goods). If he wanted the two of you to, like, jerk each other off, then yeah, he’s probably gay or bi.


My husband of 5 years recently disclosed to me that he has always worried that he is gay because he has an intense attraction to pre-op Male-to-Female transsexuals and desires to be penetrated anally. He says that he is not attracted to other men and the thought of kissing another man ooks him out, but he cannot explain his attraction to transsexuals. So we bow to your wisdom...is he gay?
Anonymous, Texas

No, he’s not gay. There’s no simple way to categorize men who are attracted specifically to pre-op MTF transsexuals (also known as she-males or chicks with dicks). They’re sometimes referred to as trannychasers. They’re not really homosexual, because gay men are attracted to other men – men who look like men, not like women. Someone attracted to a pre-op MTF is attracted to her femininity, the fact that she’s female, but also…something else. That combination of being a hybrid of female and male, and having a body that is both female and male is what’s attractive. And of course, a pre-op MTF still has a penis. That part makes it kind of hard to make a case for your guy being straight. Maybe we should just compromise and call it some variety of bisexuality. The fact that he wants to be anally penetrated isn’t significant. There are straight men who go for that too.


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