STUDY: At Least 5% Of American Men Are Gay, Millions Closeted, Many Married To Women

United We StandUsing the national census, Gallup polls, Facebook, dating sites and porno searches, a study from The New York Times estimates that at least 5% of American men are gay, while many are in the closet or quietly suffering in heterosexual marriages — particularly in traditionally conservative states.

Times opinion contributor and economics smarty-pants Seth Stephens-Davidowitz set out to figure out how many men in this great, gay land of ours practice the love that dares not speak its name. Stephens-Davidowitz found that Rhode Island was the most tolerant state — despite being relatively late to the marriage equality party — and (surprise, surprise) Mississippi is the least tolerant. Here are some key findings from his research:

* At least 5 percent of American men are “predominantly attracted” to men.

* Millions of gay men are still in the closet to some degree; one-tenth of gay men say they haven’t come out to most of the important people in their lives.

* Gay men are half as likely as straight men to be open about their sexuality on social networks.

* More than one quarter of gay men hide their sexuality from anonymous surveys; about 3.6 percent of American men tell anonymous surveys they are attracted to men.

* While some gays move out of less tolerant states, it’s not as many as you’d think. The openly gay population of those states would only be about 0.1 percent higher if they stayed.

* In all states, about 5 percent of porn searches are for gay porn, suggesting that there are just as many gays in less tolerant states as anywhere else.

* For every 20 percentage points of support for marriage equality, about one-and-a-half times as many men from that state will identify openly as gay on Facebook.

* A “large number” of gay men are married to women. Google searches suggest wives suspect their husbands of being gay. Like, a lot. Especially in the super Bible states:

In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.” The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

*  Among the states with the highest percentages of Craigslist ads for males looking for “casual encounters” are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.

Read up more on Stephens-Davidowitz’s research over at the Times.

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  • mawbinatl

    I’m going to file this article under NO SH*T!

    I think they may have low balled the 5% number and having lived in the south for 12 years, I can totally see why women would want to know if their husbands were creeping out with another man.

    I was hit on by many alleged straight men with wives and kids. It was ridiculous. I’m calling you out Alabama!

    It’s a shame that intolerance and fear has embodied such an environment where people aren’t free to be themselves. Hopefully the tides are a changing.

    But then again, Mississippi just ratified the 13th Amendment this year. So who knows.

  • estemonte

    They should include the ratio of faceless profiles to profiles with faces on Grindr per state. Although there are several reasons for having a faceless profile, not being out is a big one. So I would predict that conservative states have a higher ratio of faceless to with face profiles.

  • stadacona

    MSM (men who have sex with men) is not equal to “Gay”, and many if not most men who have sex with men do not identify as gay. 5% MSM is plausible but they are most certainly are NOT gay.

  • starwatcher

    it is more like 40%, truth be told

  • litper

    @stadacona, real MSM numbers are much much higher, most of them (now married with kids) won’t admit that even in anonymous surveys

  • Deepdow


    “Certainly not gay” ! You sound like a hysterical nazi on the hunt.

    If you have sex with ANYONE there is a chance that you are or could be romantically attached to them. I guess if love happens, then so does the gay? What the fuck do you actually mean by your statement?

    This study just proves the massive hypocrisy between the illusion of appearance and reality.

  • frenchjr25

    This doesn’t fit with other long standing studies. Since the 1950’s the averages have been very clear – at least 10% of men are gay with another 80% being bisexual to one degree or another. It really is this simple. I’m not sure what no wants to accept these simple truths.

  • Deepdow


    The numbers are off, but the meaning is clear : Stigma punishes truth.

  • LAman

    The last two bullet points are rather interesting because it shows that being gay in the least tolerant states is not rare. It’s just rare to be open about it. It’s sad though that women have to question their husband’s sexuality, which is why homosexuality should just be accepted already, then people won’t have to hide from who they are as much. This would save a lot of people from a dysfunctional marriage.

  • jimbryant

    This article is yet more homophobic nonsense from the New York Times. It’s one of the most homophobic newspapers in America. Remember a couple of years back when it said that male bisexuality doesn’t exist?

    The thing that the New York Times fears most of all is the idea that men can have sex with both men and women, and be happy about it. It thus seeks to portray bisexual men who are married to women as being “closeted, homosexual, tortured”. LOL. Has it ever crossed the mind of the New York Times that men who are partly attracted to men are quite happy about being married to women?

    As for numbers, I would say that about 90% of American men are attracted to men. Most straight-identifying men are attracted to men in some way. The New York Times won’t admit it because it wants the male homosexual act to be associated with the perpetual “minority under siege, hiding in a closet, tortured by the Right, and prone to diseases”.

    [email protected] the New York Times.

  • jimbryant

    The other concerning thing is that Stephens-Davidowitz cites porn searches in his quest to determine how many gay men there are in America. LOL. Since when does porn equate to sexuality?

    Furthermore, he completely fails to mention that great big “grey” area where most men exist – ie between the extremes of the Kinsey scale – with various strengths of attractions to both men and women. Why does he fail to mention this? Is he afraid of men who are into both men and women?

    Keep in mind that Stephens-Davidowitz has a PhD in economics. Since when does having an economics degree qualify one for great insights into male sexuality?

  • viveutvivas

    @frenchjr25, that 10% was just a ballpark estimate Kinsey made based on a small selected sample in his college environment but he didn’t do any seriously randomized study to confirm it, and it has never been confirmed subsequently. The truth is that nobody knows.

  • viveutvivas

    Some of these commenters should actually read the NYT article before shooting off their mouths and making fools of themselves.

  • GeriHew

    The problem with statistics is that they are always open to biased interpretations.

    For example:

    * In all states, about 5 percent of porn searches are for gay porn, suggesting that there are just as many gays in less tolerant states as anywhere else.

    “about 5 percent of porn searches” correlates exactly with the percentage of men they estimate are gay. But anyone who thinks only gay men search for and watch gay porn is very much mistaken. For that matter anyone who thinks only men search for gay porn is very much mistaken.

  • Rockery


    90% of men are gay or bisexual? No way. That is wishful thinking. Even taking into account closeted men etc…

  • viveutvivas

    As for Queerty, these are not “findings” and it is not in any way a scientific study. The NYT article was just amateur sleuthing. I read it carefully this morning and almost every assumption it makes can easily be refuted or has simple alternate explanations.

    the author of the NYT piece give it the old college try, though, which is fine.

  • jimbryant

    The only constructive and interesting thing I found in Stephens-Davidowitz’s article is that women often ask questions like “Is my husband gay?”. Do you wanna know why they ask this question?

    It’s because women are intolerant. Women don’t tolerate male homosexuality if it exists in men who are also attracted to women. In contrast, men are far more tolerant of female homosexuality if it exists in women who are also attracted to men. Indeed, the latter is considered a plus for couples who attends swingers’ clubs.

    The intolerance of women is what drives a lot of men to deny the presence of any same-sex feelings within themselves. This intolerance also causes divorces.

    Make no mistake – women are the culprits here. Unless male homosexuality is segregated away into a nice little box called “you’re either gay or you’re not”, women become very resentful of it.

  • jimbryant

    I would say that 90% of American men are easily attracted to men to some degree. Easily. It’s been the job of liberals to deny this figure because liberalism is based on propping up the idea of the persecuted minority – you know, the perpetual 5% under siege from the 95%.

    The reality of male sexuality is that it is very powerful. In fact, it is the most powerful human force known on earth. If women are absent, men who are only attracted to women will turn to men. Male sexual behavior is, to a large extent, determined by environment.

    Simple equation: where there are more women, male homosexual behaviour is reduced.

  • viveutvivas

    @GeriHew, ““about 5 percent of porn searches” correlates exactly with the percentage of men they estimate are gay. But anyone who thinks only gay men search for and watch gay porn is very much mistaken. For that matter anyone who thinks only men search for gay porn is very much mistaken.”

    Yes, those two assumptions would cause an underestimate of the percentage of gay men.

    On the other hand, it could also be that gay men tend to be in more porn-tolerant environments (straight men have to hide it from GFs and wives) and therefore are able search for porn much more than straight men, in which case the NYT author’s assumptions would cause him to overestimate of the percentage of gay men.

    Either way, what it comes down to at the end of the day is that there is little reason to believe his estimates.

  • tada-no

    I feel very sad for the closet cases that feel stuck with their fate. And it is even more tragic that these closet cases get married to women and form families that they can’t emotionally sustain with honesty. The women and children in such marriages are also the victims of the closet. I hope we will be doing more as a society to make men feel safe and honest about their sexuality so that they won’t have to resort to anonymous Craigslist glory-holes for life to experience true love and connections.

  • jimbryant


    Porn does not equate to sexual orientation.

    You’ve also got to consider that many gay men prefer to watch straight porn.

  • Deepdow


    I find your deeply held misogyny to be pedestrian. Just say you hate women and you want to kill your mother and call it a day.

  • jimbryant


    I’m sorry but women are NOT victims at all. Women are the ones to blame.

    The only reason these husbands remain “closet” cases is because their wives won’t tolerate them saying “I find men attractive too”. The closet is created by the wife. She find male homosexuality offensive if it exists in men who are also attracted to women.

    Women are NOT victims. They are the perpetrators of the closet.

  • jimbryant


    Oh, go f yourself. Women need to be called out. I’m doing it. Deal.

  • Deepdow


    You are disgusting and although – although – you have very interesting points at times, the fact that you blithely generalize women as inhumane beings is – QUEER. Dare I say evil.

    Get Fucked.

  • Deepdow


    You idiot. You are not allowed to behave in your manner towards half the population of the human species in your manner. It is uncivilized, ill born, and dreadfully ignorant.


  • Pistolo

    Sad, sad, sad. People say “Oh, now you see gay people on TV, you see gay people in movies, and some states let gay people marry. Homophobia=over”.

    But no one can understand what it’s like to be gay and to experience the 90 million ways in which someone can be presumptuous about you, discriminate against you, or just flat out hate you if they even slightly detect you -may- be gay.

    This is why I find I’m always coming down hard on people who say “everyone’s bi” or “I hate labels” on Queerty. I just feel like some people desperately need something to identify with and feel safe in self-identifying and feeling apart of something. Because I’ve seen and known men who tear themselves up over being gay, try to act like they can just have sex with or marry or use women and it’s terrible for them.

    We clearly still haven’t de-stigmatized the word “gay” and we clearly are only in the first stages of acceptance. People need to understand there’s no two ways about it. Some men will fuck and fall in love with men ALWAYS and it’s NEVER gonna change so everyone should grow accustomed to it.

  • viveutvivas

    @jimbryant: “You’ve also got to consider that many gay men prefer to watch straight porn.”

    Yes, there are many reasons why the author’s estimates may be either under or over. All we can conclude from this is that it may either be more than 5% or less than 5%.

  • viveutvivas

    Just from what I see in my daily life, I would guess that it is less than 5%. I hardly ever meet or see gay people in daily life, the gym, the market, the coffee shop, and I live in the most liberal part of Providence, the capital of the “most tolerant” state, RI, where people would presumably hide it the least.

    The 2.5% estimate sounds about right to me, and I would write down the higher number of searches for gay porn to gay men having more opportunities to watch porn, since we don’t need to hide it from wives, girlfriends, or families.

    People who live in places where gay people concentrate, or who have large networks of gay acquaintances, would be prone to overestimating the numbers.

  • jimbryant


    What you see is not necessarily reality. You see what you want to see.

  • jimbryant


    Oh, go away.

  • Deepdow


    God you’re an insufferable faggot. Yeah, no. Staying put.

  • jimbryant

    Put it this way: if there were no women in the world, the world would be a mass orgy of men. Virtually all men would turn to each other. It would be paradise.

    Women see themselves as guardians of morality, protecting the world from male homosexual interactions, particularly of the casual kind.

  • Sebi

    It seems like the ones behind this study and presumably most of those distressed wives never heard of something called bisexuality.

  • mawbinatl


    I am confused as to how you come to these conclusions.

    Women see themselves as guardians of morality?

    Have you never seen a pornographic movie, Miley Cyrus gyrating on stage or a Playboy magazine? And what about Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Rick Santorum and the other articles on Queerty about males who claim to be the guardians of morality?

    As far as paradise, if that kind of society existed, wouldn’t we all eventually die off because we are not capable of procreation?

    As for women being turned off by male homosexuality, I could see it if it was a woman’s husband. These women are not to blame for anything. It wasn’t them who tried to suppress their true feelings and get married knowing full well that they weren’t interested but did it anyway. Can you say Kelly Klein?

    I would think that a woman would be totally turned off by it, but many women are champions of gay men. Women like Judith Light, Barbara Streisand, Charlize Theron, Jenny McCarthy, Chelsea Handler and the plethora of alternative lifestyle companions who we see with their gay BFF’s in gay bars, at gay prides and the like.

    Although many a gay man fantasy, how would you feel if you married a straight man believing him gay only to find out that he is sleeping with women behind your back? And what of those wives and girlfriends who encourage and support their ‘gay-for-pay’ partners?

    Women are a gift. They give life to homosexual men like you and me and are more excepting of their gay sons and daughters than their patriarchal male counterparts.

    Also, women stepped up to the plate during the early days of the AIDS epidemic (gay and straight).

    I implore you to think carefully before making nonsensical statements like women are intolerant of gay men. It’s just not true at all.

  • Ruhlmann

    I have been asked by women many times if their husbands are gay because they like a bit of finger or vibrator up the ass action hen they are getting blown.

  • scott747

    Any of us who have profiles on Daddy Dater or Silver Daddies know very well that the number of married “heterosexual” men who search for man on man sex out there is vastly under reported. Which is not to say that these men are “gay” per se, just that many more men than the “data” indicate are quite willing to have sex with other men.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Funniest thing about this is that 5% of men needed a search engine to find gay porn. You can type just about any domain name you think would have it to find it. So, based on the article, regions that outlaw marriage equality hate their children because they condemn not only their gay children but also their straight children to marry people they truly don’t love.

  • Deepdow


    Why do you hate women? It’s weird.

  • Tackle

    While mabey not the correct number, I think the 5% is a good middle number, with the truth being, ( my opinion) more likely around 7%. But what is true in this report, are the Many many men (millions), out of the US male population, in some type of hetrosexual relationship, yet to come out, or come to terms with their sexuality. So now hopefully we can stop using that silly term, (DL). Which is nothing but closeted bisexual behavior. With the majority not being Black.

  • jar

    @jimbryant: You sound ridiculous. Men marry women who would not be comfortable with their sexual feelings for men, but it’s the women’s fault when they cheat because she was too intolerant. You’ve created a nice conundrum for women there. How about blaming the men for marrying women with whom they can’t be honest?

  • jimbryant


    I’m simply saying that a woman would feel resentful if her husband merely said “I find men attractive”. Thus, even without physically cheating on her, she would still be offended.

    Contrast this with how a man would feel if his wife said “I find women attractive”. He’d probably say “goodie, we can go to swingers clubs”. Why do you think that lesbianism is a staple of men’s magazines and adult movies?

    This double standard is very important because it highlights the extra prejudice that exists towards bisexual men, and which is due to women’s intolerant attitudes.

  • jimbryant

    Kinsey’s findings were fascinating because they indicated that a majority of American men had same-sex feelings and fantasies. Yep, a majority. This research was conducted at a time when male homosexuality was a punishable crime.

    The mere fact that Kinsey was able to get a majority of men to admit to same-sex feelings at a time when it was universally illegal is strongly indicative that his results were accurate. They might even have underestimated the number of men with same-sex feelings.

    I maintain that the figure is close to 90% of American men having same-sex feelings and fantasies.

  • cave

    i’m not gay but thank god my boyfriend is.

  • AuntieChrist

    Honey, You can’t swing a dead cat in Oklahoma or Texas without hittin a closet case…I see all kinds of anonymous looking ads with guys claiming to be bi or married looking for NSA fun.

  • GayTampaCowboy

    CLEARLY AT LEAST 5% OF AMERICAN MEN ARE GAY! Like other’s in this thread, I believe that number to be at least 3-4 percentage points higher, but I think it’s important to frame the wording properly. The percentage of men who identify as gay (in our out of the closet) I think is between that 5%-8% number. However, the real question is how many men in the US are in denial about their true orientation. That’s a number I don’t think we’ll ever get our arms around due to the decades of social, familial and religious programming that makes it impossible to ever fathom.

    Another thing to consider is the impact of gay marriage (and gay rights in general) on sexual orientation statistics. I firmly believe that as the domino-effect of states allowing gay marriage, the number of men identifying as OUT and GAY will increase – and at numbers much larger than could ever be expected.

    Many “gay” men who live in heterosexual marriages do feel trapped – for many reasons. But, the feelings of “legitimacy” that comes with gay marriage (and gay rights), i believe, will make it easier for the younger generations (Gen X, Y, Millennials) to come out. Why? Well, it’s the power of love!

    That’s right. When you fall in love with someone (whether you’re single, bi, str8, curious, questioning, in the closet, etc) the desire and need to want to proclaim the love you feel – changes the dynamic!

    I’ve lost count of the number of men i’ve met over the past 5-6 years who came “out” after they fell in love. Love is a unifying and powerful force. Thank GOD for that!

    As far as the statistics of men having sex with men – that’s simply sexual activity. Yes, it does mean that there are millions of non-out-men cruising adult bookstores, theaters, sex sites and craigs list to get sexual release from a same-sex partner. Is sex (and the gender of the partner) a strong indicator of orientation. I think that’s a safe assumption.

    But, when you count the number of posts, ads, etc for guys wanting NSA (no strings attached) sex – i believe this is because many closeted (and guys in denial) men want the “release” but fear getting emotionally connected with someone of the same sex – because they KNOW it will change their life dynamic.

    Ok, I’ll say it. I think the TRUE percentage of American men who – if we could wave a magic wand and every truely gay man could declare their orientation without fear of rejection, abuse, discrimination or judgement – would be more like 15-20%.

    Not sure if i’ll live long enough to see that day – but i have hope that LOVE will conquer all!

  • the other Greg

    @jimbryant: What is YOUR Ph.D. in? I’ve always wondered. Unless the University of Phoenix now offers a Ph.D. in internet trolling, I can’t guess what your credentials are.

    @viveutvivas: “I hardly ever meet or see gay people in daily life, the gym, the market, the coffee shop, and I live in the most liberal part of Providence, the capital of the “most tolerant” state, RI…”

    You’re simply wrong. Your gaydar is off somehow. (I won’t even get into what your perception is of what a “gay person” supposedly looks like?) I totally sympathize, because I’m not the most perceptive or intuitive person either. But you pass openly gay people every day without realizing it.

  • robirob

    Do studies like this one deliberately try to declare the Gay Community insignificant and therefore businesses, shows, artists, and markets shouldn’t pander to it?

    However sexuality does turn more and more into this muddled mess where people refuse to label themselves in order to avoid a clear, almost confrontational stand.

  • Daggerman

    …this whole subject is quite interesting because if the whole world really knew the total amount of homosexual men I feel it would come to a complete stand still, due to ‘shock’ of honestly knowing who is truly GAY..I believe that most men are gay but try and hide it by getting married—using the woman as a shield…! HA! Or a gay man could marry simply, for convenient reasons…

  • Windsor519

    Well, this explains why it’s so hard to meet someone, and why it seems like the same dozen or so guys are in the local chats, bars, etc for years and years. Because that’s all we got to choose from. Here’s what I think happened…and I don’t have a righteous need to prove anything, this is just what I see.
    Most of us have very little to no social skills when it comes to being around other gay men. We are terribly rude, rejecting and judgmental of each other, which is what I think really drives gay suicide. It’s a very dark time when someone finally works up the courage to come out, then is rejected by the very people he waited years to be a part of because he isn’t under a certain age anymore, or isn’t affluent, or doesn’t have an expensive home or perfect body. Ironically, we end up more constrained after coming out than before. We don’t care what happens to each other. We are still a very anonymous people who has little interest in other gay men unless he’s their type. And with our choices coming from less than 5% of the male population, our lives, compared to that of non-gay people, who have a much greater chance at a future with someone, social and community support, it’s no wonder our community suffers from the rate of substance abuse and suicide that we do. Most gay men have no safe place in this life; straight friends can’t imagine our lives because they could never visualize not having their children, spouse and community, while other gay men simply don’t care what happens to one another because we’ve never been taught how to really be there for someone no matter what. Yet we celebrate the right to get married at a time where so few of us even know how to meet someone or say hi, and if we do, it’s over within six weeks and we never speak to each other again. Unless that’s fixed, the only people really benefitting from gay marriage will be divorce attorneys and mediators. As a community we don’t want to talk about our shortcomings or things we need to work on. And that might not be you, personally, but with less than 5% of our choices coming from these men we need everyone as included and emotionally healthy as possible.

    At a time when it’s never been easier to locate and meet each other, mostly online, I’ve never seen our community as disconnected, isolated, and alone as it is now. Young men and those closeted read these boards and don’t bother coming out now – they know they’re never going to find anyone, what’s the use? Unless they believe it themselves, which will take a lot of work, I don’t see this getting better. No matter if you’re in a progressive big gay city or small town, people are people.

  • James

    Wow, Windsor, that’s very grim. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience, but it isn’t mine at all. I can’t speak to digital hook-ups (beyond the AOL chat rooms of 15+ years ago!), but I don’t find communicating with other gay people in the least bit difficult. I think if you’re having that difficult a time finding friendly, decent gay people, change where you’re meeting them. I’m very lucky to have been with my husband for 15 years, but I was no underwear model when we met, but I managed to find (and keep someone).

    My husband is in an industry with a lot of gay co-workers. Though there are surely those who go through men like Kleenex, there are also lots of very long-term couples. It ain’t all that bad.

  • viveutvivas

    @the other Greg: “You’re simply wrong. Your gaydar is off somehow.”

    I disagree that I am wrong. My gaydar is probably off but my straightdar is not. For example, take my coworkers in two industries I have worked (IT and academia) where people would go for the obligatory work drink and talk about their families, wives, children, and so on. It is easy to identify who is “out” as being straight.

    I would say in my professional life maybe one in 40 of my colleagues hasn’t been an “out straight” person. Since, as you rightly observe, my gaydar sucks, I actually don’t know if this 1 in 40 is actually gay, so that would be an upper bound. So in my life, that would be an optimistic estimate of about 2.5% gay men.

    I concede that perhaps my set of colleagues is for some reason an outlier. But my point is that I do think I can make a reasonably accurate estimate of the percentage of straight ones.

  • viveutvivas

    But why is everyone arguing about this? Does it really matter if it is 2% or 10%. Apparently it deeply matters to some gay men here that there be a large percentage of gay men, and I am trying to understand it. Is it perhaps compensation for feeling lonely and isolated growing up, as many of us did? Whatever the percentage is, it is not going to make any difference either way to any past traumas we may have had.

    In any case, the percentage can’t be very high, and I base that on the time so many of the commenters here spend on the internet interacting with other gay men here because they can’t find real life ones. :)

  • James


    I’ve always thought the percentage of gay men was higher than the 1% – 3% that the religious right always wishes we were. While 5% – 10% might be too high for “out and proud” Kinsey 6s, I think the percentage of “measurable gay” in the population (guys who like sex with guys enough to seek it out) must be quite high. I’ve known too many gay men who are prolific “straight guy” magnets. Those guys aren’t REALLY straight guys by most peoples’ definitions. I’ve also known guys on the straight-bi-gay trajectory who at one point would have insisted they were straight, then curious, then bi, then fully gay. I’ve quizzed a couple, who have conceded they were gay all along, and that it just took them a while to “get there.”

    So, the percentage really depends on what you consider to be “gay.”

  • viveutvivas

    @James, but why would it matter if it were 2% or 10%? I don’t see how what the religious right thinks has to do with it. Are you saying they think it would be justifiable to disrespect the rights of a 2% minority but not of a 10% minority? It is not, you know. But is that why some gay people think it is important that the percentage be high.

  • cosettaxfc735

    my friend’s mother-in-law makes $65 hourly on the internet. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her pay check was $15045 just working on the internet for a few hours. see it here…

  • the other Greg

    @viveutvivas: Oh I think James is onto something there. The religious right does think exactly in those terms and they try to low-ball the figure.

    @Windsor519: Hell may have frozen over because I’m going to agree with you, SOMEWHAT. Yes, we are at a disadvantage because we are dealing with 5% (give or take a few %) of the population. Yes, it tends to be a lot easier for straights to meet each other.

    But as I’ve tried to explain to you before, it’s important to learn to make NON-sexual gay friends. Among other things, this gives you more of a real-life vantage point on what other people’s romantic histories have been. Otherwise you’re working from an entirely solipsistic point of view (in your case, a totally negative one).

    For instance, after living in Massachusetts for many years I was pretty dubious about all the marriage hoopla too. I thought, “Where are all these gay married people? Provincetown? Cambridge? I never run into them.” It’s only been in recent years that my partner & I have widened our social circle a bit, and voila, there they are, gay married people. They were there all along and they’re fairly ordinary, but yes they exist.

    Aside from that, if you’re truly concerned about young &/or closeted gay men reading incredibly discouraging internet posts and giving up… uh, dude, you are part of the problem.

  • James


    I just read, not half an hour ago, on, a post on this very subject. Along with some staggering ignorance and homophobia, over there, they’re convinced we’re .2% of the population, statistically insignificant, over-represented, etc. So, to some, the percentage does matter. Psychologically, it also makes people IN that group feel much less alone.

  • the other Greg

    @viveutvivas: I’m genuinely puzzled by your situation. (Not for the first time, as you know!) I’ll give it some thought.

    @James: “I’ve known too many gay men who are prolific “straight guy” magnets.” – oof, you just described me in my 20s, unfortunately. I got pretty tired of it and wished I could turn off the “magnet.” No doubt some readers here think it sounds “hot” but it has its drawbacks.

    “Those guys aren’t REALLY straight guys by most peoples’ definitions.” Yeah, I wonder how many of them, years later, eventually got divorced and came out into gay life, more or less openly. (I only know of one, for sure.) Maybe a lot more?

  • jimbryant

    This is my theory, and its based on research:

    About 5% of men are exclusively same-sex oriented.

    About 5% of men are exclusively opposite-sex oriented.

    About 90% of men are somewhere in between, with various degrees of same versus opposite-sex orientation.

    What I have referred to above is basically feelings. That’s what orientation means – feelings.

    Now, here is where the complication arises. It arises with behaviour. Male sexual behaviour is determined by environment. For instance, in the environmental absence of women, men turn to men much more easily than they would if women were present.

  • the other Greg

    @jimbryant: “This is my theory, and its based on research:”

    Research conducted at highway rest stops?

  • Sebizzar

    I don’t need research to know that at LEAST half of the entire world population (male and female) are gay, bi, or anything non-heterosexual. I mean think about it, despite our progress, this gay generation is still the beginning. It’s going to be a very long time until all people are 100% honest about it.

  • ho

    @Sebizzar; I have to agree. Most people possess some degree of same sex attraction but are so overwhelmed by what religion has done to them that
    they will never be able to experience the wonder of it in this one life they have. Sad.

  • kayman

    I’m not really surprised by this novice study’s results. Birmingham is one of the biggest cities with a larger than average gay & bisexual male population, but nearly half of them are deeply closeted. It’s like its neighboring major metro, Atlanta, all the down to the demographic make up of its gay & bisexual male population.

    Anyways, I hate that things are the way they are for gay/bisexuals in these places, but the courage to be yourself regardless of the opposition says or does goes a long way for many.

  • LadyL

    @jimbryant: Really? You’re blaming women? Would that be all women, including lesbians like me? Or just the straight women you know? Or just straight women everywhere?
    Your accusation is not only offensive and misogynistic but wrongheaded and self-serving.
    The reality is that in marriages like this there is plenty of blame to go around.
    Let’s begin with the culture in which we’ve all grown up. Some women–especially older generations and/or women reared in repressive households and communities–do enter marriages with no idea their husbands are gay.
    You could argue that if they do figure it out they should confront their mates and leave, but most of these women have neither the courage or the resources. Nothing in their lives have prepared them for what they’ve learned about their husbands. They only know what their parents, schools and churches have taught them–and nobody taught them about this.
    They feel isolated, betrayed, confused. They are afraid of being judged by everyone–her family, his family, their pastor, friends and neighbors–as being to blame for their husbands’ “unnatural preference” (and indeed they may blame themselves) and are desperate to keep up appearances in the hopes that he will change. Maybe it’s a “phase” he’s going through. Maybe it’s a sickness and the right doctor or ministry will “cure” him. If there are children, that only deepens her sense of feeling trapped and guilty and determined to keep a lid on things.
    So is she responsible for keeping him in the closet? Yes, in the sense that she is trying hard to hold on to what she thought she had. These wives are not monsters. They are selfish and destructive and pathetic.
    Closeted husbands are not helpless children. They are grown men who often enter these marriages knowing damn well they are using these women (and the children they bear) as social cover to protect their careers and their reputations, and to bolster the narrow definitions of masculinity they’ve been taught from infancy. They are victims of societal hypocrisy and social policing from other men, and in their turn they victimize others.
    It’s a much more complicated issue than you insist.

  • Edison

    Maybe it’s me, or maybe it’s true when they say: ” all gay men think everyone is gay.” Every time I read articles about the estimated number of gay men; I always find some junk statistics detailing the gay population between 3-7 percent. I mean, seriously, I find that number hard to believe on personal experience.

    For most of my life, I have been considered a reasonably attractive guy. And having lived in the deep South for much of my life, I have run into quite a few men that I believed to be gay but proclaimed to be straight. Even when dealing with complete strangers, or when my gaydar (which is excellent) didn’t off, I have still had many moments with men who did everything but walk up and approach me. They look gapingly into my eyes, they stare, they look at me and then quickly look away (several times), they suddenly are at the gym at the same time as me everyday- I change my routine- there’s change.. I just find it crazy that these studies cite our numbers as so low.

  • GeriHew

    @LadyL: Jim is misogynist to an absurd degree.

    He’s OK with lesbians though as long as they look and behave like he thinks lesbians should look and behave and are not remotely bisexual or fluid in their sexuality, because he absolutely loathes bisexuality in women.

    But he loves bisexuality in men.

    Go figure. As they say.

  • iDan522

    I love how guys are blaming women for the innacceptance of homosexuality and why “they have to remain in the closet”. Get over it. If you like sleeping with both, then don’t get married. If you’re open about your sexuality and all you want in life is a live-in fuck buddy that allows you to sleep around then state that early on while dating. Of course WHILE already being married your spouse should have known your sexuality BY THEN so that they know who they are marrying and what they are getting into. You can’t be surprised that if a spouse that doesn’t know who you are wants to divorce you when they find out the truth. You based the whole marriage on lies. It is NOT the woman’s fault that causes divorce in this situation. Even if society is unaccepting of gay sexuality, gay/bi men do not have the right to not disclose who the are to their partner before marriage. If she believes in swinging then the husbands sexuality shouldn’t matter. But men are more likely to want to be in a swinging relationship than most women. So maugre the male sexuality when a husband tells his wife he wants to swing, I’m sure she’ll say it’s time for a divorce. Women are victims of society’s intolerance on homosexuality and man’s inability to be honest with them. If men were capable of declaring who they are while dating, they could find a like mind partner in time. But instead they date covertly and hope to be able to either fuck around on the side and not get caught or try to entice or persuade their spouse to having an open marriage. Then they find it a shock or “homophobic” if their spouse doesn’t cooperate. Well chances are its because she mainly isn’t into swinging. She’s only homophobic if she were into swinging but not be married to a male that wants MSM swing and not MSF. Just because you married a partner that is into monogomy discovers she has a bigomist in her bedroom doesn’t make her a “perpetrator.” It means she married someone who lied to her and wasn’t at all what she wanted in life. When men can accept responsibility for their actions and be honest. The world will be a better place. Cause if they were honest upfront, they’d find like minded partners into swinging and then their wouldn’t be divorces and ruined families down the line cause one day he approaches his spouse and says “Hey honey, now that it’s been 5, 10, 15…. 20 years, I gotta tell ya somethin’? So what do you think?” And then be taken a back when she wants a divorce and is infuriated you’ve been cheating on her. The women ARE the victims because the enter the marriages unknowing their husband true sexuality. I am a gay male. I don’t find women sexually attractive. Should I find a guy to marry I’d be upfront with him about my feelings of “an open marriage” with the terms being specifically only with eachother at the same time then an additional partner here or there is ok but only if it’d be another guy. I believe that marriage is the unity of two people. So sleeping around seperately is a deal breaker to me and very much cheating. But a joint threesum now and then is ok if both are participating. Marriage is about unity and equality and love. How can you say you love someone if you go out alone and sleep around. Problem is men are unhappy with finding relationships they really want and end up in a “good enough” relationship and still do what they want on the side. They shouldn’t be flabbergasted when that relationship ends due to their dishonesty and relationship failures. Just grow up and be honest and find a relationship that IS what you are looking for. Otherwise stop b*tching that you’re the victim cause that’s NOT the case.

  • ass eater

    We will never know. I think the percentage is higher. Does this survey includes gay male senior citizens, gay men who are married either to a man or a woman, and gay men in prison. If so the 5% is false. How many men actually admit they’re gay. this survey must be based on true blue gays, if they surveyed how many men have gay sex, or has had gay sex the stats would be sky high. I might get flamed for this but i believe almost all men had some gay encounters, no matter the race or ethnic background.

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