Ask Jake

My roommate is obsessed with luring straight guys into bed with booze. Should I be upset?

Hi Jake

My roommate and I are both gay. We’ve never hooked up but we do talk pretty openly about dating, relationships, sex, etc. It’s never been an issue. Until recently when he mentioned all the straight guys he’s hooked up with.

I don’t really care about that. But it was another thing he said that made me feel differently about him. He bragged that on more than one occasion he’s gotten these guys drunk in order to sleep with them. He also said a lot of straight men just need alcohol to “take the edge off” and then they’re down with having gay sex.

I feel very strongly that a person can’t give consent if they’re drunk and that my roommate is being predatory. I’m also not OK with this happening in our apartment. It’s one thing to bring a guy home. It’s another thing to lure him into doing something he might not otherwise do by supplying him with alcohol.

Ever since he told me all this, I’ve been super uncomfortable. He hasn’t brought anyone home that I know of, but just the thought of it bothers me. Am I overreacting?

Predator Hunter

Dear Predator Hunter,

It’s nice to see someone concerned about the wellness and safety of others, so that no one is being taken advantage of.

There are certainly gay guys out there, such as your roommate, that have a thing for straight guys. For some, it’s almost a fetish. Could it be your roommate gets off on the challenge of “turning” a straight guy gay, as a way to validate his own attractiveness or sexual prowess? Is it internalized homophobia he’s not aware of, and he’s turned off by gay guys? Could it be an unconscious drive to regain power over a group that once marginalized him? Or, is it simply an attraction for the straight bros in school that never dissipated?

Regardless, the issue you are writing about here revolves around consent. No matter what your sexual orientation is, or where your partner falls on that scale, it’s never okay to have sex with someone who doesn’t willingly agree to participate.

Some guys that identify as “straight” actually fall somewhere on the spectrum of sexual orientation that isn’t all the way on the “hetero” end of the Kinsey scale. For them, even if they have some curiosity or attraction towards guys, their inhibitions might take hold because they are afraid to allow that part of themselves to surface, for fear of judgment and shame.

Alcohol can take the edge off, and allow them to let go of those defenses and seek the pleasure they want. In this sort of situation, where someone willingly has a drink or two in order to give them the liquid courage they need to satisfy their desires, I don’t believe anyone is being taken advantage of.

That said, it is absolutely NOT okay for your roommate to be getting his bros drunk to the point where they can’t be making responsible decisions for themselves, and forcing himself on them.

According to The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, consent does NOT look like, “Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol.” This means that if someone is drinking enough to lose control of their actions, they are not actually able to give “enthusiastic consent” to someone who is wanting to sleep with them. If they are coerced when under the influence, it is not actually a mutual sexual encounter, and is considered assault.

I completely understand and validate your uncomfortable feelings being so close to this situation. Because of this, I wouldn’t take any chances with what is happening under your roof, and strong boundaries may be necessary.

You may not be able to control what your roommate does outside the home, but you do have a say in what happens in your shared living space. Talk to him about your discomfort, and suggest that any hookups take place outside your home (perhaps unless one of you is in a committed relationship). That way, at least you’ll know this kind of behavior is not happening on your turf.

You might also share with your roommate that intoxicated consent is not consent, and that what he’s doing could actually be illegal. Perhaps he simply doesn’t realize what he’s doing is wrong, and this is the first time he’s heard this. It may be a difficult conversation, but you could be doing a him a big favor.

Talking with a therapist about how to assert yourself and your needs can be really helpful. You might even let him know that if he continues this behavior, it may cost your friendship. Lastly, if you ever hear of a situation that feels like hard lines have been crossed, it is within your right to call the police and report it.

The straight boy fantasy is a tale as old as time, but getting that jock to submit by removing his ability to make sober decisions is not okay. Online LGBTQ therapy could also really help your roommate, or anyone reading this who relates, to work through this need to control or dominate to get what they want. Note, there is no shame at all in fantasy, and it should be celebrated and enjoyed. But when you turn fantasy into reality by removing someone’s agency, it’s a different story, bro.

Jake Myers is the Founder of LGBTQ Therapy Space, the first national platform for online therapy for and by the LGBTQ community, matching clients with quality LGBTQ therapists and providing a secure, easy-to-use platform for sessions. Have a question for Jake? Follow LGBTQ Therapy Space on Instagram and send him a message, or simply stay up to date on LGBTQ mental health tips and trends.

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