Queer essayist, activist, dad and relationship counselor Dan Savage has issued a warning to one reader, and to gay & bisexual men at large: do not hook up with your straight friends’ boyfriends.
“I’m a gay male in his 30s and during the pandemic I stayed with a straight male friend and his girlfriend,” writes reader “Boy Lost & Hurt.” “He’d periodically been flirty with me over the years—sending me nude photos and drunkenly telling me that he loved me. When his girlfriend was away visiting family we got drunk together. He bought all the alcohol, he mixed it, and he served it. During this time we had a series of drunken encounters. The first time he took out his c*ck and asked me if I wanted to play with it. There was some brief licking and he grabbed my hair and finished on my face. He hugged me and rubbed my back after.”
“His girlfriend eventually found out about one of the incidents,” the reader continues. “After a month of drama, he told her everything and they broke up. Shortly after he claimed that I took advantage of him and claimed he was too drunk to give consent.”
“I am not sure what to make of this,” the reader says. “First, he is the one that supplied the alcohol and made us both really strong drinks. He also drinks a lot regularly, so his tolerance is much higher than mine, but we drank the same amount and I was much drunker than he was. Third, he continued to hang out with me until his girlfriend found out.”
“I am deeply hurt,” he concludes. “I’ve lost two friends—which I admit that I am partially to blame for. I knew they were together. But I don’t know what to do about the accusation that I forced him to be sexual without his consent. I have played events over and over in my mind and I don’t understand how he could say this. He supplied the alcohol, he was an active participant, and when I asked if he really wanted to do this, he said yes. I am not sure if he is gaslighting me or if he honestly remembers things differently.”
Savage, never one to mince words, has some pointed advice for anyone who will listen.
“At some point in our gay lives every gay man learns not to mess around with a friend’s drunk straight-identified boyfriend,” Savage contends. “No matter how many d*ck pics they send us, no matter how much they claim to wanna, when it comes to sh*t—as it invariably does—the gay guy is gonna get the blame. It’s a lesson most of us learn earlier in life (I was 16 when I learned it), but it’s a lesson most us learn after messing around with the drunk straight-identified boyfriend of a friend. We f*ck around, we find out.”
“Your male former friend obviously wanted to mess around with another dude—he wasn’t sending you dick pics by accident,” Savage goes on. “The drinks he made were as much about lowering his inhibitions and yours (about cheating with him) as they were giving him some plausible deniability (“Man, I was so drunk last night!”) if the worst should happen. And it did: you f*cked around, she found out. But after you guys got caught—which almost everybody does—instead of taking responsibility or coming out as bi or bi-curious or at the very least heteroflexible, your former friend weaponized the toxic stereotype of the predatory homosexual against you.”
“It’s understandable that you’re upset,” Savage says, adding a dose of sympathy. “If it’ll make you feel better—and it would certainly make me feel better—you could send screengrabs of the d*ck pics he sent you to him and his girlfriend. Because if anyone was making passes here, it was him. If anyone was taking advantage here, it was him.”
“You could send those screengrabs, but you shouldn’t,” he advises. “As wrong as it was of him to weaponize anti-gay stereotype against you, using his d*ck pics against him would also be wrong. And probably a crime under revenge porn statutes. But you have every right to push back against the accusation that you forced yourself on your former friend—and while you have the receipts and he knows it, you shouldn’t produce them. Maybe just knowing you have them will make you feel better.”
Seems like sound advice to us. Here’s hoping the gay dude patches things up with his female friend.