Commentary

Why do straight guys have sex with men?

After going into a lengthy description of the differences between sexual identity and orientation, sexual preferences, sexual fantasies, and sexual behavior, the author gets to the heart of the matter.

For straight men who have sex with men, same-sex encounters aren’t about romance or sexual attraction and desire, but about sexual and physiological arousal-“getting off” with another who’s male and accessible. They don’t sexually desire or get aroused by looking at other men, only by the sexual act. But if they don’t actively desire other men, how do they get to the point of having sex with them? These men typically want to bond with and get affection from other men. Their behavior may reflect a desire to experiment, to engage in something that’s taboo, or to express inner psychological conflicts involving their sexual feelings and desires that have nothing to do with having a gay or bisexual identity.

Straight men who have sex with men do so for a variety of reasons. Some have been sexually abused and are compulsively reenacting childhood sexual trauma by male perpetrators; some find sexual release with another man more accessible; some have sex with men because it’s easier and requires fewer social skills than those required to have sex with women; some are “gay for pay” and get financial rewards; some like the attention they receive from other men; some like anal sex, which they’re otherwise too ashamed to talk about or engage in with their female partners.

My husband, Jerame, is always amazed at my ability to flirt with a straight guy and get him to flirt back. Once when we were having drinks at a sports bar with friends, Jerame regaled the table with tales of my exploits and how straight guys will respond to me so easily, but no one believed him.

I’m usually able to tell within a few minutes if the guy would go to bed with me and as the waiter left, I told them that he was do-able. They insisted I demonstrate. By the end of the evening, he’d given me free drinks, stopped checking on them altogether unless I ordered for them, given me his number so we could “hang out,” and had bought me a pack of cigarettes.

What can I say? I have a gift.

No matter the reason, I’m glad they occasionally do.

Now if we could just move everyone past the labels to the heart of the matter: Does it feel good and not hurt anyone? If so, go for it.

 

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