True confessions

Gay guys share their experiences hooking up with straight men (Hint: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be)

A fascinating new exposé published by British GQ delves into the topic of straight guys who hookup with gay men on the DL and the impact it has on those men.

Of course, heterosexual men hooking up with other men is nothing new. There has been enough research done to confirm that many “straight” guys aren’t nearly as “straight” as people might think.

A study published in the journal Sexualities last month interviewed 100 straight-identifying men who say that, yeah, they sometimes hookup with other dudes, but they still identify as straight.

Then there was that paper by Tony Silva from University of Oregon published last December that explored the phenomenon of “dude sex.”

And, of course, Jane Ward’s explosive book on straight guys giving each other “bro-jobs” that had the Internet (and Amazon’s bestseller list) totally captivated back in August 2015.

So, yeah, straight guys hooking up with other guys is nothing new.

But GQ‘s article has a slightly different take on the subject. Rather than talking with the straight guys, they spoke with the gay guys who have found themselves ensnared in these complex, complicated, and often loveless relationships.

Let’s take a look at what the guys said, shall we?

A man named James described his experience dating a straight-identifying man as “crushing”:

It’s crushing during the relationship and after. Being with someone who doesn’t want to accept even the possibility they are bisexual certainly is difficult on a relationship, especially if they’re still happy at the time to pursue one. When we spent time together, generally indoors, everything was happy. Outside, there’d be moments: going to LGBT spaces and not feeling comfortable at contact; him being hit on by a group of girls when we were on the tube, and not him acknowledging me; not even introducing you to their friends.

James says that eventually the pressure his boyfriend placed on himself to appear “straight” go to be too much, “so he retreated to his heteronormative lifestyle.”

Another man named Robin had a similar experience. He describes his college relationship with a straight-identifying man:

I used to visit him with beers and a curry, and listen to him, we’d cuddle, and usually have sex. Before long, I was hanging out there three nights a week. … The first year was almost strictly a bedroom thing. The whole time, though, he wasn’t comfortable holding hands or kissing outside. … He absolutely had 100 per cent control over things; the code of conduct imposed on us was coming from him, not me. He always said he wasn’t gay, but he didn’t believe in bisexuality, either, and he said it so many times over the years.

And then there’s Simon, who first became involved with a straight-identifying man when he was 17:

It was purely sexual for him, mainly receiving oral, but because he was the first person who’d ever shown an interest in me, I fell in love. It was a tough time. He would always tell me he wasn’t like me, and couldn’t be, because he ‘had his whole future ahead of him’. The idea that my future was irrelevant and that admitting he was with me would ruin his made me feel worthless and I ended up battling depression for years. Gay men aren’t toys to be practiced on.

So what’s the takeaway from all this?

Well, they say a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. So it’s probably best not to get emotionally involved with an emotionally unavailable straight-identifying man.

Having a little laid-back, NSA fun with him, however, is a different story.

Related: More and more straight guys are giving up “bro jobs” and engaging in “dude sex”