ProConnect

'Am I Gay?' Why Heterosexual Men Are Having Same-Sex Encounters

By

Gay Sex: Why Heterosexual Men Might Be Having Sex with Other Men
It's hard to get comfortable with your sexuality when you don't know what it is.
There are many reasons why a man may be confused about his sexual orientation.

A married man of 21 years is sitting across from me in my office. His wife is horribly upset and has threatened to leave him. She told him to get into counseling right away — and he agreed. Now he is in front of me, telling me a secret he has kept for over 30 years. After a long period of silence he softly says, "I have had sex with men as far back as I can remember. I am not romantically attracted to men. Men just seem to be available to hook up with and I get a sexual release. I have tried to stop but I keep going back to it. I really love my wife and I want to stay married. Both my wife and I wonder... am I gay?”

As a counselor, the question "am I gay" is not an easy one to answer. And in fact, the question itself is really not for me to answer. I can help him explore and understand himself better, which may lead him to an answer on his own.

More from YourTango: Fight, Flight, or Freeze: What Is Your Infidelity Game Plan?

Through my work with sexually addicted people, I have encountered a group of men who identify as heterosexual (they are attracted to and want relationships with females), but act out sexually with anonymous men. These men are revolted by the thought of having a relationship with a man, however, they find that the sexual release they get from these encounters is exactly what they are seeking.

There are several ways in which the encounters are acted out. Below are eight possible reasons why men who identify as heterosexuals may engage in sexual activity with other men.

1. Experimentation
Curiosity prior to age 25 can be totally normal, developmentally speaking; some kids ask themselves, "am I gay?" Prior to age 25, it is too early to answer this question with certainty. The interest in the behavior may or may not extinguish, as the person develops a more mature sense of their sexuality.

2. Trauma repetition
Sometimes, when a boy has been traumatized by childhood sexual abuse from an older male, he will develop a trauma bond. Unconsciously, the boy will reenact the trauma over and over again, hoping for a different outcome. He will even convince himself that he is in control of the trauma by choosing to put himself into "harm's way".

3. Sexual release 
This behavior is seen in the example above. The man identifies as heterosexual, but wants a sexual release; anonymous men are readily available to provide this act for him. Women are much less available — they require emotional engagement or money to provide the same service, and he is not willing to put that much effort into getting his release.

4. Attraction to men
Some men who clam to be heterosexual may actually be bisexual or homosexual; they just have not come out, even to themselves. They may have some attraction to men and spend a lot of time resisting that feeling. They may even be married, to appear as if they are heterosexual.

5. Rites of passage
Many hazing rituals in college fraternities and sororities include some homosexual acts, including nudity and same-sex touching. Additionally, many rituals around the world throughout history and today include homosexual acts as a rite of passage to manhood.

6. Sex workers
Male escorts may participate in homosexual sexual behaviors to earn money, or for the sense of power they feel in making the exchange. Many, but not all, of these men also identify with the trauma repetition group.

8. Sex addiction
Some people find themselves addicted to sex and will do anything to get it; it is their drug of choice. They may identify as heterosexual, but their drug-seeking behavior outweighs their sexual orientation.

9. Narcissistic
Some people are only out for their own sexual satisfaction and don't care about other people. They get a thrill out of controlling and manipulating others to do what they want to serve their own purposes. Their goal is to have others do things for them.

The above client I mentioned is a hypothetical example from many different stories I've heard. Since the explosion of online pornography and hookup sites, more and more people are finding ways to act out sexually. They are finding novel ways to hook up, which leads to acting out in more extreme ways. One thing we know about human brains is that they are able to create new neuro-pathways all the time, based on what our input. If we input new exciting sexual images and experiences, our brains want more of that to make us feel good. This is a slippery slope toward sexual addiction; how much is too much novelty?

The question of "am I gay?" will continue to be asked by men in committed, heterosexual relationships. With the Internet exposing people to new ways of acting out their sexuality and redefining their sexual orientations, there is much to learn in the coming years. As I did the reseasrch for this article, I had difficulty coming up with a cohesive definition of of the word "gay", because different groups of people had different meanings for this particular word. For example: "If you have one homosexual experience, you are gay" to "if you embrace the gay lifestyle and are living it openly, you are gay". Those definitions are pretty far apart, if you ask me.

The research done in the 1950s by the Kinsey Institute stated that most people were on the spectrum somewhere between heterosexual to homosexual. This means most people have had some sort of homosexual experience at least once in their lifetime; does it mean practically everyone is a homosexual? Or can it be that sexual orientation is defined internally; that heterosexually-identified people sometimes engage in homosexual behaviors? I don't have all the answers, but I'd love to further discuss your opinions on this topic. Please comment and keep the discussion going.

If you would like more information to make your Couple-ship Thrive please sign up for my newsletter. You may also connect with me on my website Teresa Maples LMHC, CSAT and on twitter.

More from YourTango: Manipulation And The Sex Addict: How To Find Value In Yourself

More gay sex advice on YourTango:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Teresa Maples

Counselor/Therapist

Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

If you are a woman who has been betrayed and want to heal and thrive  I want to invite you to my Free Webinar.

My passion is to encourage, nurture,and validate people, deepening their most important relationships to Live Life Abundantly!

Reserve my seat now for the amazing webinar, "Surviving to Thriving" Help for women after discovering your partner has cheated.

 

Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Credentials: CMAT, CSAT, LMHC
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
Other Articles/News by Teresa Maples:

5 Things 'Awkward' Teaches About Cheaters & Why They Blame You

By

On the successful MTV show Awkward, Jenna and Matty were the perfect couple — until Jenna messed it up by cheating and not taking responsibility for her actions.  The show is so compelling that I watched all three seasons in one week. It helps that I am a serious student of human nature and found the characters similar to what you ... Read more

Taking Back Your Sexuality After Trauma Or Abuse

By

If you suffered from childhood sexual abuse you probably land in one of two camps; those who have nightmares and avoid sexual experiences out of fear, and those that repeat the pattern of sexual trauma, justifying it in the name of freedom. Both behaviors are problematic and can deprive you of a fulfilling life. Even though you were abused as a child, it ... Read more

Radio Show: Healing After Betrayal

By

Carol the Coach interviewed Teresa Maples on March 3, 2014 on the topic of Partners of Cheaters. If you are interested click here and you can listen to the interview in its entirety. Teresa talked about her upcoming webinar and how she can help women who want healing after being betrayed by their partners. Many partners feel like they are going crazy and ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Staying Dry

10 Signs Your Guy is Smitten

Does that new hunky guy you've been dating see you in his future? Here are 10 ways he'll show you.

Girl Decorates Easter Eggs

Rebirth Renew Happy Easter!

Five ways to get going on your best life today!

Texting Your Way To Love

How To Have Cyber Sex: 5 Keys To Unlock Your Lady's Passion

Cyber sex partners disappearing right when things are heating up? Make them crave you instead!

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no timeā€¦

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS