Study Finds One in 10 M4M Craigslist Ads Seek Guys Who Don’t Identify As Gay

The heterosexual male. He’s like forbidden fruit. So alluring. Yet so unattainable. Of course, anyone who’s actually hooked up with a straight guy knows they’re really not all they’re cracked up to be, but the fantasy lives on.

Dr. Eric Schrimshaw (try saying that five times fast) and his gaggle of researchers at the University of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health noticed an interesting trend among gay men looking for sex on Craigslist: A surprising number of them sought straight men. And so, like any team of curious, well-funded researchers, they decided to conduct a study on it.

The team looked at more than 1,200 Craigslist personal ads, analyzing 282 of them. Roughly half of the 282 specifically said they were seeking straight men, or as Schrimshaw’s team likes to refer to them, NGI (non-gay-identified) men.

“Among the ads studied, 11% were placed by men seeking NGI partners,” a press release from the university reads. “Although men who posted NGI-seeking ads were more likely to self-identify as bisexual, married, and/or discreet and to seek out an anonymous encounter relative to the ads of comparison men, only 24% of online advertisements seeking NGI men were posted by men who were themselves non-gay-identified.”

The press release continues: “This suggests that many of the posts are placed by gay men seeking NGI men, perceived by some gay men to be more masculine, dominant, or ‘straight-acting.’”

That’s quite a bit of verbiage to say something that we’ve known for years.

Schrimshaw’s team also found that only a slim number of ads placed by gay men seeking NGI men mentioned anything about condoms.

“The analysis revealed that men seeking NGI partners were significantly less likely to mention that they wanted to have safer sex/use condoms (15% vs. 33%) and were more likely (66% vs. 42%) to omit mention of condoms or safer sex in their advertisements,” the press release reads.

“Although few advertisements posted by men seeking NGI partners specifically sought anal sex without a condom (1% vs. 2%), they were significantly more likely to seek oral sex without a condom (14% vs. 5%),” the press release continues.

“This suggests that these men are more likely to be looking for and willing to engage in sex without a condom,” Schrimshaw says, “which may place them at greater risk for HIV/STI transmission.”

Engaging in sex without a condom increases one’s risk for contracting an STD? Who knew?

“Future research on NGI-seeking men could lead to better understanding of their risk behaviors which, in turn, could be helpful for developing and targeting HIV/STD prevention and intervention efforts,” the doctor continues.

Schrimshaw says he’s hopeful further investigations will offer answers as to how successful NGI-seeking gay men are in their quests for finding willing partners.

“Regardless of any study limitations, the research has allowed us to document the existence of a subgroup of men who actively seek out sexual encounters with men who do not identify as gay,” he concludes.

What do you think? Do you ever fantasize about hooking up with a straight man? And would you be more willing to do it without a condom simply because he identified as straight? Sound off in the comments below.

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  • Curty

    Isn’t it illogical to have sex with people with the same sex and not be considered at least bisexual? I mean you can’t possibly be straight if you engage in sexual activity with some of the same sex and enjoy it! This whole “straight”ephenom is confusing and play kinda stupid. I understand people fantasize about sleeping with supposedly straight men but if they willingly have sex with someone of the same sex they obviously aren’t straight! It is not logical.

  • loren_1955

    Hey Curty, it’s not where we put our dick that determines our sexuality. A majority of men have had some form of same gender sexual experience, be it mutual masturbation or all the way anal and enjoyed it. What’s not to enjoy about sex. Part of it is simply sexual exploration to see what fits best where. Many of those then return back to the opposite gender world. Rightfully so we don’t identify them as gay. Now I agree with you that more than likely many of those that cross over into our world are closeted and using us for their exploration, be they married or otherwise and apparently there is a fair number of us gays willing to entertain those of that mind set. I have been with such a fellow, he is married, wanted to explore his other side, if you will, before getting much older. We got together had fun and he went back having learned of our world and seemed to be more into his hetero world.

  • Billy Budd

    I’ve had sex with more than 10 “straight” guys. Most of them were married. The fact is, they are actually bisexual but are afraid of admitting. I had very good sex with some of them and very bad sex with others. One of them wanted to be the top and I let him do it, but he was so excited by finally being able to have anal sex (his wife didn’t let him do it) that he had a VERY premature ejaculation. I was furious.

  • Nickadoo

    We develop our sexuality at a very young age, and for most gay young boys, we have little experience of the existence of other gay people. Naturally, our fantasies are going to revolve around the unattainable straight men we’re surrounded with.

    I would imagine the “don’t tell anyone” no-strings-attached jerk off fantasy with a straight guy is relatively common among most, if not all, gay men.

    This is a difficult fantasy to shake, even as we mature, come out of the closet, and surround ourselves with many real, out, available (not to mention incredibly attractive) gay men.

    Hell, many of us have even eroticized homophobia to some degree or another. Consider how those anti-gay Russian attack videos closely resemble so much gay pornography.

    Craigslist personals are about fantasy fulfillment, role playing and instant gratification. I would imagine that quite a few of these so-called “NGIs” are gay and bisexual men simply playing out a fantasy.

    There are even probably a fair share of truly straight guys whose “gf is out of town” profiles are legit — and for them, a mouth is a mouth is a mouth. And they subscribe to the view that eatin’ ain’t cheatin’ — particularly if it’s with a dude and they don’t swing that way.

  • Ben Dover

    The risk of HIV transmission during oral sex is infinitesimal, perhaps even non-existent, so it’s depressing that Dr. Schrimshaw seems ignorant of this fact. The toxins you’d ingest from sucking on latex (yuck) are probably more dangerous than NOT sucking on latex!

    As for the gay guys looking for “straight” on M4M, my first reaction was that it sounded like an immature & self-hating fetish. But I guess there might be other motives, like trying to avoid certain tiresome, stereotypical gay male behaviors – sarcasm, bitchiness, smoking, etc.

    @Nickadoo: That all makes sense.

  • vive

    LOL, as an actual scientist I always get a laugh at what people in the humanities get away with publishing. The idea that mentioning condom use in an ad means anything regarding safe sex is laughable. That is something people bring up later.

    And I also have to laugh at the gay men who think “straight” men are more dominant. In my experience, all the “discreet” guys who have “girlfriends” ever want to do is bottom. And no wonder.

  • MMDD

    This just fits into the fact that gay and gay-identified men continue being the most highly stigmatized of all the sexual orientations. Bisexual and non-labeled guys who seek sex with men are the going rage…oh, along with the ever-popular, unattainable “straight” guy.

  • ladnek

    Lol if you think those guys on craigslist are truly straight. It’s just self-loathing gay/bi men. I have a friend who is a big ole bottom, yet he escorts an advertises himself as straight/gayforpay. Why? According to him if you’re “straight” you can charge more for doing less. And a large portion of his clients identified as straight and MARRIED. In those cases, he’s gone on to discover his clients were lying about being married. He says he barely ever gets out and open gay men as clients which I think it’s a good thing. They’re just so self-loathing they want to believe the fantasy even if it’s beyond obvious it’s fake.

  • mgmchicago

    @Nickadoo: Thanks for a well-considered and intelligent comment.
    In Chicago, I would say that close to 25% of the m4m Craig’s List ads refer in some way to wanting/being a straight man. I am confident that most of this is simply role play.

    I have also had sex with several “straight” guys over the years and, to a man, they were all pretty bad in bed.
    If all you wanna do is suck them off, well fine, but any reciprocation they may be up for is very unskilled.

    BTW Dr. Schrimshaw, who has oral sex with a condom? Have never experienced it even once in over 40 years and I am still neg at age 60.

  • tardis

    I don’t know…this study sounds like a huge waste of time.

    “NGI”? LOL.

  • misterhollywood

    It’s all about the word “gay” and what that means to people. Interesting study!

  • MMDD

    @mgmchicago: “If all you wanna do is suck them off, well fine, but any reciprocation they may be up for is very unskilled.”

    Fact is there are a lot–and I do mean a LOT–of gay guys who seek out straight guys specifically for this purpose. Reciprocation isn’t necessary, and in many cases it’s even discouraged. For both of them it’s a win-win situation: The gay guy gets to suck off a hot straight guy and fulfill that fantasy, and the straight guy get the satisfaction of getting a really good blow job and having his dick appreciated and worshiped in a way that he will likely never get from a woman.

    But if you’re wanting a full sexual and emotional relationship with another man, you need a gay man who’s relationship-oriented and comfortable in his own skin and in his own identity. You’re never gonna get that from a straight guy who just “lets you blow him.” Been there, done that…the story always ends the same.

  • Billy Budd

    MMDD is right. Some of the straight guys I had sex with refused even to give me a hand job. I prefer to date real gay guys. It is more fun, a more complete experience.

  • seaguy

    Hooking up with straight dudes is great if your into bad sex with people who will only meet and communicate with you in secret like you are some kind of pariah. No thanks!

  • Sebizzar

    Here we go again, gays worshiping the “str8” man. I have seen those ads, and I wish I could reply to each one of them telling them how ignorant they are, but I’d be wasting my time.

  • MMDD

    @Sebizzar: Yet for many years this whole “gays must worship straights” thing has been strongly encouraged by the gay porn industry, where practically none of the performers are actually gay in real life. Straight men are idolized and put up on a pedestal, while gay men are degraded and considered much less desirable. It’s totally fucked up and, at its very core, seriously homophobic.

  • Stache99

    @MMDD: You’re absolutely right. However, there would be a core audience that would be immediately turned off if their “straight” star gave any affection back or acted like he was enjoying it.

  • MMDD

    @Stache99: I don’t doubt that you’re right…and that is even MORE fucked up!

  • Sebizzar

    @MMDD: Exactly. It’s a problem that is still a long ways of being fixed.

  • Curtispsf

    @seaguy: Absolutely…and “don’t call me bra…I’ll call you” . I remember a straight guy who asked me if I wanted to blow him, saying “I let guys do things to me but I don’t do anything’ When I said I no thanks, I prefer reciprocal sex, his next question was “Then do you want to fuck me”? “That works for me”, I said. And all so-called straight/bi guys want to do is bottom. Most of the time.

    I personally find the term “straight acting” to be repugnant when used by gay men. And what the heck does that even mean? And I don’t care what YOU call yourself, but if you don’t have a clue about how to kiss and give a good blow job, I don’t have time for you. Is that clear, bro?

  • captainwho

    I think its all about how and where people are raised that determine how open they want to be with their sexual actions. I am “straight acting,” most of my friends still ask me if i’m sure that I am gay, joking, of course. With that said I am not attracted to people who burst out of the closet and tend to almost conform to the “typical” gay scene. I do not like straight men, I do like other gay men that are like me, guys that are not ashamed and that do not repress their feelings. If you like dick, you like dick. I understand that some “straight” men just want to explore because we are all just human beings and who fucking cares about orientation. I think that those ads are posted by gay dudes, who do fantasize about straight men, but I think that the so-called straight men responding are in fact bisexual, or gay, they just don’t want the attached stigma to go along with it (due to some fucked up shit they grew up with) I think that in the future we all really need to focus on a way to get these NGI guys to be as open as possible about liking guys, in turn it will cause a lot more younger people that identify being gay as flamboyant and having a high pitched voice to be able to just be them selves. Sorry for ranting, but this shit has been affecting my life for quite some time now, I think they should study me, I’ll be glad to be a test subject, cheers.

  • darrinddd

    I totally understand this issue…I am a straight man I do not identify with being gay or bi….I don’t find men attractive or appealing…BUT I want to act out sexual fantasies with men…I would enjoy giving head or even allowing a man inside me…but have no desire to get head or perform anal on another man…I feel I don’t fit the category of gay or bi..its hard to explain but im telling the truth and im not ashamed of wanting to perform those sexual acts…email me if you want to discuss more I am very interested in this topic…[email protected] elmd51077 at gmail

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