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Is My Husband Gay ?

Question:

I’ve recently been talking with my best girl-friend about my husband & his best friend. Since she dated my husband’s best friend on several different occasions & she knows him pretty well, we’ve started to think they might both be gay. My husband & I have been married almost 7 months, and because of his job, we had to move away from friends & family. So, he doesn’t get to see his best friend but a few times a year. However, while we are visiting, it seems like they cannot get enough of each other – they’re constantly calling each other & spending lots of time together, all hours of the day & night. Since we’ve gotten married, our sex life has went downhill. He claims I’m "addicted" to sex & want it too much. I can’t remember the last time he performed oral sex for me. My husband also makes gay jokes often, & seems "afraid" of gay men. He is also very protective of his butt & doesn’t want me touching it, unless I massage it, which he says turns him on. His best friend also complains that his "girlfriend wants too much sex". My best friends says that while they were dating, he kept begging her to let him perform anal sex and often had difficulty keeping an erection. What is going on here??? Am I just paranoid?

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Answer:

I don’t think you are paranoid, but I do think you may be jumping to conclusions. Your evidence for your husband’s supposed homosexuality consists of his not wanting to have sex with you all that frequently anymore, his strong desire to spend time with his old male friend, and his being protective of his butt. Your girlfriend’s evidence for the friend’s alleged gay status is that he wanted to have anal sex with her and that he too was less interested in sex with her after a while being together. None of these things suggest homosexuality to me.

Some men are rather socially handicapped when it comes to making new friends. Men need friends just like women do, but it becomes harder for them to form new friendships as they segregate into married couples and cease to hang out with the old male "gang" (e.g., whatever male friendships they may have had prior to marriage. Compounding this possible skills deficit your husband may have is the fact that he and you have recently moved to a new town far away from where you both lived. This must have disrupted your social lives quite a lot, and he may be very lonely for male company and specifically the company of his old male friend. This does not necessarily make him a gay man. It instead mean that he may crave male friendships. I suspect that such friendships give him something he needs, a particular kind of male intimacy, that you, as a woman, cannot give him.

The diminished desire for heterosexual sex that you and your girlfriend have observed could mean a lot of things, but my money is that it has to do more with familiarity, stress, and possibly porn (in your girlfriend’s case) than it does with a desire for homosexual sex. Couples almost always have the most frequent sexual contacts of their relationship lives during the first several years of their time together. After a while, perhaps because the novelty is gone, it is common for the frequency of sex to drop to some lower figure than was initially the case. If you add to the factor stressful life events like moving or having to prove yourself on a new job (or just a demanding job), or any other stressful factors, and desire may become dampened that much more. This is not a good thing for the health of the relationship, clearly, but it is not an indication of desire for homosexual sex either.

With regards to the wish for anal sex, this is a very common and frequently depicted theme in pornography aimed at heterosexual men these days. It seems that it is increasingly okay from a cultural point of view for men to desire to penetrate women anally. When this happens in porn, it is almost always males penetrating females and not the other way around (where a female might stimulate and digitally penetrate the male’s anus). There is a long standing taboo among heterosexual men regarding the desirability of anal penetration, in part because men fear that they might be gay if they find they enjoy anal stimulation. This is, of course, completely baseless. Plenty of heterosexual men like anal stimulation, just like many women like it too. Stimulation preferences have little to do with sexual orientation. I’m thinking that your own husband’s fear of having his butt touched may come out of this taboo.

At any rate, men who consume pornography depicting anal sex frequently will start to desire what they see depicted, even though left to their own devices they may not have come upon that idea or found it particularly appealing. Frequent pornography use can also diminish male sexual interest in actual sex with their female partners. If your own husband is using porn (which is common enough these days), some of his lessened interest in having sex with you may come as a result of his porn use.

So, there may be lots of things happening here beneath the surface of things, and you may be quite right to suspect that something is up. I just don’t see the idea that your husband or his friend being gay as being the most likely truth waiting to be uncovered. My best guess is that these guys are feeling quite stressed out from a variety of demands, some of which they perceive as coming from the women in their lives (that would be you), and that they miss one another and take refuge in each other’s company as it is a space in which they feel at ease and less stressed. These may may have consumed (or be consuming) pornography. They may have relatively unsophisticated and rigid attitudes towards masculinity and their own sexuality which would tend to make them less creative and open lovers, but which is no crime in of itself.

Rather than trying to puzzle out whether your husband is gay or not, consider just talking to him in an open honest manner and expressing your concern about the lessening intimacy you both are experiencing. This is troubling to you surely, and you may be feeling that you are perhaps not attractive enough for him, or somehow inadequate (although these feelings go unexpressed in your letter). If you can get an intimate dialog going about your sexual life and the factors that are influencing it, you have a better chance of improving your sexual life, it would seem to me. You don’t want to be attacking your husband as you do this, as this will cause him to be defensive. Rather, talk about your own insecurities and desires, and this will prompt him to talk about his own (if he is up to the task). Marriage counseling may prove helpful in getting this sort of communication to occur if you can both be open to that process. Counseling is a marriage tuning process. It can help make a decent marriage better (as in your present case). It is not just for marriages that are ready to fall apart.

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