Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How is it that gays can play it straight, even in the bedroom?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21539 points ) October 25th, 2011

Reading this question here, this passage in particular, I did grow up, got married hoping it would cure me, and had three wonderful children, and it was not the first time I have heard such a thing, it always makes me wonder how do they do it? As a straight male, I could never play gay. You could tell me I had to play gay for just a week for $100,000,000,000 I could not do it. There is no place mentally I could put myself to swap spit with another dude much less get freaky in the sheets. How does a lesbian or gay man find a way to play it straight, even to the point of having children and raising them as a nice straight couple? If you know you are gay and want to be with another woman or another man, how do you get intimate with someone from the other sex, and do so, on an ongoing basis?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

whitetigress's avatar

It’s kind of a fake it until you don’t make it attitude. Those who engaged with the opposite sex might just be bi-sexual. Humans, Bonobos and Dolphins are one of the rare species that have sex for fun, so one could fake it just be pleasure of the ‘hole’ sensation.

Buttonstc's avatar

For starters, how familiar are you with the Kinsey Scale ?

If not much at all, doing some further reading about it may fill in some of the blanks for you.

While you might be (from your description) an absolute Kinsey Zero, (exclusively hetero) that applies to a surprisingly SMALL percentage of males in the entire population.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone who is an absolute Kinsey 6 (as a few of my gay male friends have described themselves, ie: exclusively homosexual) many many fall somewhere in between. This means that they have had (at various times and points in their lives) sexual experiences, encounters, or relationships with both male and female partners.

I’m sure that the “How” or “Why” varies from one person to another. And many others will contribute their personal experiences and insights on this Q.

But there is no doubt that a vast number of gay people have had experiences with both genders (and/or transgenders).

Just because YOU PERSONALLY can’t even imagine yourself ever doing (or even desiring) sexual interaction with a male does not necessarily mean that there are not plenty of other straight guys who do both in fantasy and reality.

And the reverse is also true for large numbers of gay guys as well.

If you’re extrapolating from a sample of one (yourself) that can’t give you an accurate conclusion on ANY subject, much less something as complex and intertwined with emotion and varied cultural influences as love and human sexuality.

As others will contribute their personal experiential answers in this thread, it might aid in your understanding if you have a glimpse into the overall picture detailed by Kinseys research.

It was done quite a while ago and while it is imperfect, oft criticized and incomplete, it has not been discredited. As imperfect as it is, it’s still a very good jumping off point from which to learn further.

There is lots written about the Kinsey Scale (both pro and con) to choose from and I think you’ll find it very interesting.

marinelife's avatar

You probably could if the prevailing culture was gay and not being gay meant being ridiculed or worse.

If, with every fiber of your being, you wished that you could be gay so you didn’t have to be different. If, being gay, meant being able to procreate.

MrItty's avatar

If you had heard and been taught all your life that being straight was an abomination, and if everyone you knew was gay, and it was expected of you to be gay as well, and had in fact grown up being taught to hate yourself for being straight, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to “play it gay”.

gailcalled's avatar

There is no place mentally I could put myself to swap spit with another dude much less get freaky in the sheets.

There is confirmation bias built into that statement. Do you mean to label homosexual behavior as “freaky”? This is one form of attitude that has historically driven gay men to marry, sire children and pretend (for as long as they could) to be straight.

Most of the time, the sham marriage ends in disappointment, unhappiness or real misery.

No one is asking you to change your behavior (I would bet also that no one is prepared to offer you 10^12 dollars to try).

Here is a newborn question that discusses this very issue from personal experience.

http://www.fluther.com/132897/lgbtq-jellies-would-you-care-to-share-something-of-your-experience/

downtide's avatar

I think a lot of gay people forced into this position are extremely miserable about it. I know a woman who’s exclusively lesbian, married with kids and no way out of the marriage as she has no other means of financial support. She doesn’t have any choice but endure it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Buttonstc While you might be (from your description) an absolute Kinsey Zero, (exclusively hetero) that applies to a surprisingly SMALL percentage of males in the entire population. I would suspect, off how they present, many other men whom I know personally, or have met are zeros as well. I rarely have a conversation where a man admits to wanting to do the ”Brokeback Mountain”, or having dreams where they are doing the horizontal mambo with other men. Are they lying? With out proof they are, I guess I have to take them at face value.

If you’re extrapolating from a sample of one (yourself) that can’t give you an accurate conclusion on ANY subject, much less something as complex and intertwined with emotion and varied cultural influences as love and human sexuality. There it is there. As with anyone what and how I feel about it is greatly unique to me, in spite of any other science, etc. That is part of the wonder. It can transcend not just partner choice, but why people purposely want to be addicted to chemicals they should know will ruin their lives, unless they were living under a rock and knew nothing of them. I could no more fake that anymore than I could fake being Catholic, LDS, or Muslim.

@marinelife You probably could if the prevailing culture was gay and not being gay meant being ridiculed or worse. Just because I grew up in an area like the Castro, etc. I can’t see how that would make it more likely I would have less than laser hetero thoughts. I have been told you can’t teach gayness. If I grew up in an area like the Castro the ick factor might not be there but the desire would not necessarily be there either.

@MrItty If you had heard and been taught all your life that being straight was an abomination, and if everyone you knew was gay, and it was expected of you to be gay as well, Why? Is that not what many gay children are told? That being gay is wrong, het they are still gay? Either you are gay, or you are taught, or choose to be gay. If I were straight and that wasn’t the usual, I would no more feel gay just because I was in a community of 30,000 or 300.

@gailcalled Do you mean to label homosexual behavior as “freaky”? I would not say freaky, I would go with a more clinical, abnormal, which to me, simply means outside the norm. Many people want to take offence of that even in light of all the facts smacking them in the face. I have had and raises more than 6 litters of cats that I can remember. Never has any two toms or any two queens forsook the other the opposite sex to be with another Tom or another queen. I never have seen any people I knew who raised dogs to have two bitches want to couple up forsaking a male mate or vise versa. Most of all animals I ever learned of less than ½ of 1% could be said to have same sex leanings. To me it is about as natural as eating raw meat. I am sure there are humans who do eat raw meat, but you can’t say that was normal. I bet you cook your meat until it is no longer raw, as well as all your family and most people you know. If you met someone who ate raw meat you would say they did not eat their meat normal. That doesn’t mean drag them out back, douse them with gas, light ‘em up, while trying to string them up by the neck.

No one is asking you to change your behavior (I would bet also that no one is prepared to offer you 10^12 dollars to try). I know, I never said there was. That was just to illustrate there is no incentive, or amount of money I could gain that would short circuit, surpass, or cover my being hetero enough to convincingly act gay or even step remotely to behaving gay in any fashion. I could not do it under the threat of death, if that sounds better. If I were told to have a gay encounter or die, I could not do it. Send me to Jesus with the quickness. I simply physically, mentally could not take me there anymore than if I killed wild game and started to devour the beast raw right there where I felled it.

gailcalled's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central : I was quoting you, remember? “Freaky” was the word you chose.
There is no place mentally I could put myself to swap spit with another dude much less get freaky in the sheets.

And I am having trouble, as I often do, with your analogies. I and most of my family eat no meat, no chicken and no fish.

You have made your position very clear.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

“Freaky in the sheets” Wild “monkey sex” Give a better picture?

[In addition] If they did eat fish, poultry, or meat, do you think they would eat it raw?

Buttonstc's avatar

We all get it HC. You are totally straight. That’s fine.

And here I thought that you actually wanted some input on how gay people can possibly function with the opposite sex. Silly me.

It happens in the exact same way as many straight guys having sex with another guy.
Just because no guy has ever admitted his secret to you does NOT mean that there aren’t plenty of presumably straight, married men with families sneaking in a “nooner” with another guy. He most certainly wouldn’t be bragging to you (or anyone else) about it.

In the African American community it’s called “on the down low” while others simply call it cheating.

Plenty of anonymous men DID speak about their experiences with members of both sexes to members of Kinseys research team. Both gay and straIght men contributed to his surveys. Hence. the scale.

Both gays playing it straight in the bedroom and otherwise as well as straights playing it gay part time or full time happens routinely all the time. As long as gays continue to be looked down upon by significant parts of the rest of society, it will continue to happen until people are free to be who they are without judgement.

You’re asking how it’s possible. Because as long as so much societal pressure is put upon gays to appear to be straight, it’s a necessity for some and they adapt accordingly.

There is a clear majority of the population which falls somewhere between a Kinsey 3 to a Kinsey 5 so it’s happening far more than you think it is. It’s a lot more “normal” to be somewhere in that middle range than you realize. It really is as simple as that.

Granted, I’ve vastly oversimplified the total picture for the purpose of answering your Q, but nuance is not everyone’s strong suit.

Human sexuality and love is an extremely complex issue. More complex for those who are gay because they are a clear minority.

BTW

You’re conflating the words infrequent and the phrase “in the minority” with the word “abnormal”. That’s not valid. Abnormal and infrequent are two separate issues.

Minority representation in anything (height, sexual orientation, ethnicity, hand preference etc. etc. ) does NOT make something abnormal.

Is it abnormal to be left-handed? No. It is clearly uncommon, but any left handed person (such as Obama) would not find it accurate or pleasant to be called abnormal because of it.

There are relatively few people of Eskimo (Inuit) descent compared to the rest of the world. Does that make them abnormal ? I hardly think so. They are merely uncommon. But it’s as “normal” to be Inuit as it is to be Asian or Caucasian.

Just a little food for thought.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Buttonstc Both gays playing it straight in the bedroom and otherwise as well as straights playing it gay part time or full time happens routinely all the time. That lends me to believe that they were neither hetero or gay but some varying degree of bisexual. If you pull your thick towel from the dryer and it is not dry but it is not wet either, you end up with damp, no matter how you look at it. If these people can waffle back and forth, even on a small tacit way, it can be explained that they were bisexual, even if they favored one way more heavily than the other.

You’re asking how it’s possible. Because as long as so much societal pressure is put upon gays to appear to be straight, it’s a necessity for some and they adapt accordingly. There are some things one just cannot adapt to. If you were in a society that mostly ate raw meat, or maybe raw meat on the verge of being rancid, because it was seen as beneficial, it is not the usual for people to do, unless their body was trained to endure such all their life. To allude society can influence a persons natural attributes would be to say you can condition gayness into someone, or condition it out of someone. That would defeat the whole ”born that way” argument.

You’re conflating the words infrequent and the phrase “in the minority” with the word “abnormal”. That’s not valid. Abnormal and infrequent are two separate issues. I have, and for a greater sense and common usage, you have to look at and apply it to a logical standard. Would one say blindness is normal? For those who were born without sight should we tell them, it was normal for a minority of people and you just happen to fall in that minority so just embrace it? Furthermore, because blindness would not be abnormal, but a normal thing for a small minority of people, trying to improve their condition, or prevent it from happening to other people would be a waste of time, and money, because it is normal, and thus be expected that some will fall in that minority, with no real difference than seeing people. From a scientific standpoint, it is more common, baring any health anomaly, humans are born with sight. Something that is abnormal being in the minority is a byproduct that not many people fall into that category. Hair, eye color, etc, fall within the normal rage of most human races. If a group of Asian were to start being born blonde, it would be abnormal because genetically they don’t have the gene naturally for blonde hair. Until such a time that maybe 30% have blonde hair, it would be outside the normal range of hair color an Asian child would have.

Linda_Owl's avatar

A lot of people are bi-sexual, meaning that they are able to enjoy sex with either gender. Many of the gay people that I have known, were very caring, had a great deal of empathy, & a great deal of compassion – as well as a marvelous sense of humor. All of these things would go a very long way in creating a lasting relationship. Possibly, the gay individual referred to in your question chose to go the route he did due to a reluctance to put himself at cross-purposes with the main stream of society (which, unfortunately, is still anti-gay to a large extent). That possibility & the possibility of him being bi-sexual, coupled with a strong desire to have children, could have led to his decision to marry & father children.

MrItty's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I don’t understand your comment to me. Yes, they are still gay. As you said, they are playing straight. Pretending to be something they’re not. What is your source of confusion here?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrItty If you had heard and been taught all your life that being straight was an abomination, and if everyone you knew was gay, and it was expected of you to be gay as well, I guess I was a bit thrown off, because I am not sure of the context “be gay” entailed. Would that be the gay people who didn’t know you were not gay, but one of those hideous straight people? I just see there are some things that are innate to one’s humanity (for lack of a better word) such as having to have your meat cooked that you cannot fake it no matter what. Just as you could not fake having an allergy if watery eyes and constant sneezing was seen as a sign of weakness, there would be no way to fake that.

MrItty's avatar

Now you’re talking about biological conditions that you have no control over. I have no idea why you’re talking about them, as they’re not relevant to anything else.

Originally, you were talking about performing acts contrary to your desires. Everyone is capable of doing them. Physically capable. Yes, including you. Just because you claim you wouldn’t doesn’t mean you can’t.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MrItty Now you’re talking about biological conditions that you have no control over. I have no idea why you’re talking about them, as they’re not relevant to anything else. The biological goes to the whole deal. If you are gay, you like the sex you are (romantically speaking). You did not make the choice to like other females or other males, that is just the way it is. With that construct, how is it a gay man can reconcile himself to be with a woman? It would be (or should be) the same as if he were among a community of people practicing necrophilia or zoophilia, something that you are not biologically disposed to do. You would have to reconcile with your mind just to be able to fathom boinking a dead corpse or a bull mastiff. There has to be some mental process for a true gay person to train themselves to be with a partner they should not be able to stand being intimate with.

MrItty's avatar

Yes, I agree. And I’ve already told you what that “mental process” is – it’s the years of being told, constantly, that who they are is “wrong”, that they are not supposed to be that way, that they are going to hell for it, that their families will disown them, that they need to be cured. If you don’t think the constant barrage of these kinds of things being thrown at them – every day of their lives – will have a mental impact, and make them try like hell to go against their nature, I don’t know that we have anywhere else to go in this conversation.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther