Archive for the 'homosexuality' Category


initiating a threesome

Reader S. R. writes:

I want to have a threesome with my girlfriend. How can I initiate this?

Dear S.R.:

The first rule about threesomes is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT THREESOMES.

Okay, that’s not really true, but the fact is, if you ask your girlfriend directly to have a threesome with you, you are very likely going to get a drink thrown in your face.

So my advice is that you wait for her to bring it up as her own idea.

yeah right

See? Her idea. And he's not happy about it. Image: graur codrin /

Of course, you can plant the seed in her brain and let it take root. Ask your girlfriend if she’s ever considered a threesome before. Gauge what she thinks about it.

Note that by suggesting you want a threesome, you could really hurt your girlfriend’s feelings. She may wonder if you don’t think she’s enough for you. And if you are a complete idiot and say you’d love to have a threesome with one of her friends, she will never ever trust you ever again. You’d basically be saying that you check out her friends when she’s around, and that is a huge no no.

Not everyone is open to that kind of sexuality. In fact, from my highly scientific IM research, most of my friends are generally opposed to it. Even the dudes. The most common answer to my scientific study via IM (“Would you ever participate in a threesome?”) was: it depends. Most of my friends who would be willing to participate in a threesome would only be willing to do so if it was with two people they’d never have to see again (i.e. not your girlfriend or boyfriend). And many of my friends said flat out that they don’t like to “share”. Furthermore, the ones who have done it say they’d probably never do it again.

As I’ve mentioned time and time again, not everyone is cut out to be polyamorous. It sounds fun and exotic, until you get down to how much hard work it really is. Dealing with feelings of jealousy and inadequacy and feeling like you’re comparing yourself to someone is really difficult. And don’t forget the awkward mechanics of a first threesome. It may just be a total bust.

You’ve also got to consider that she may not be into girls, if that’s what you’re thinking. Most of my girlfriends would only participate in a 2 guys, 1 girl kind of set up. So what if your gf only agreed to a threesome with another guy? How would you feel about that?

If you do find out that she’s open to having a threesome, remember that most of the time, these sorts of things have to be totally organic. Scheduling a threesome takes all the fun out of it, unless you’re going to join a swingers club or make this a regular part of your lifestyle. You can post an ad on Craigslist that you and your gf are looking for a third, but don’t be surprised if you get a lot of unsavory responses.

If you’re going to have a threesome without pre-arranging it or hiring someone to join in, you’re going to need to be in a setting where it’s probably going to happen. Your best bet is to play spin the bottle with a group after a night of drinking at a house party somewhere. Or something like that. The point is, don’t force anything. Let it happen. If your girlfriend wants to make out with another girl (or guy), then encourage it. You may find at the moment of truth that you’re too jealous to go through with it. Again, let her initiate it,

But realize that really desperately wanting a threesome is the worst thing you can do to yourself. The more you want it, the less likely it is to happen, and the less likely it is to be enjoyable if it does happen. And if your girlfriend isn’t open to it, you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble.


coming out as bi-curious

Reader W.S. says:

I recently told a friend of mine that I was bi-curious, i.e. I think I’m interested in girls, but I don’t think I’m necessarily a lesbian. Ever since I told her that, she’s been acting really strangely: she cringes away if I touch her in a friendly way, and she’s kind of standoffish. I think I need to confront her, but I’m not sure what to do.

Dear W.S.:

pool time!

Just 'cause I think you look hot in a bathing suit doesn't mean I want to sleep with you. Image: ahmet guler /

Congratulations on being honest with your friend about your sexuality! I think it is often very hard for bisexuals to “come out” in our society, because certain groups have couched the whole gay-straight thing as a battle. It’s as if you have to “choose a side”: if you’re gay, be gay; if you’re straight, be straight. The existence of bisexuals points to a sort of middle ground that can make some people very uncomfortable. According to several studies, it’s actually rather normal for a woman to be attracted to both sexes, at least on a physical level. And you’re totally not alone — several famous starlets have come out as bi recently, including Anna Paquin and Vanessa Carlton.

Still, having science and Hollywood telling you you’re probably okay does not mean that your nearest and dearest are going to agree. However, I don’t necessarily think your friend believes you’re weird or crazy for being bi-curious. In fact, I don’t even necessarily think she’s homophobic or biphobic. She may not realize that she’s been acting differently.

I am guessing she doesn’t think that you have a crush on her or are trying to seduce her by telling her about your sexual orientation. If she does, she’s way immature and probably a bit narcissistic, and there’s no way you can fix that.

But she may be concerned that you don’t know what you want. She may believe you are creating a very hard road for yourself and not want to see you suffer. She may think you need space to figure yourself out. She may think that she’s being a good and helpful friend.

I definitely think you should talk to her about her reaction in a non-confrontational way. Couch your statements in “I feel” terms, and make sure you’re not saying things like “I feel you are homophobic”. Say instead, “I feel that things have changed in our relationship since I told you I was bi-curious.” Tell her you feel that she’s been backing away and you’re afraid you’re making her uncomfortable. Ask her to tell you how she feels about it.

If she does tell you she’s uncomfortable because she thinks you’re going to start hitting on her, I’d recommend telling her that’s not the case, but be aware there’s not much you can do to convince her otherwise. If she’s already got the idea in her head that you’re attracted to her, any friendly thing you do is just going to reaffirm that idea in her head. You may have to lay low in the friendship for a while.

You may have to educate her on what your sexual orientation actually means to you. Bisexuality is not the same orientation as homosexuality, and there are different rules that play out. Things are even more complicated when you admit you’re bi-curious and not even definitely bisexual. Keep that in mind — you are presenting her with some cloudy labels that she may not know how to parse.

I personally believe every person’s individual sexual orientation has its own rules, and labels can be very detrimental, but we use them in our society, and that’ not going to stop any time soon, so you’ve got to learn how to use them to your advantage. Your friend may not know all of the nuances regarding bisexuality versus homosexuality or heterosexuality, or even what bicuriosity entails. Be ready to explain what you think your bicuriosity is about. But remember that you can’t force an understanding of your feelings or convictions on someone else, particularly someone who isn’t willing to listen or learn. If your friend already has a lot of prejudices against bisexuals (or, more likely, homosexuals), it’s going to be a long, hard road.

If your friend is really worth being friends with, she’ll be willing to talk to you about how she feels, and she’ll be willing to hear your side of things. Mature, sane people don’t dump their friends based on sexual orientation, and if she’s still talking to you at all, that’s probably a good sign that she’s one of those sane, mature people who’s willing to learn your point of view.


homoerotic fantasies

Reader G. J. asks:

I’ve been maried for five years, and my sex life is pretty good.  But I can’t stop fantasizing about having sex with another man.  I don’t think I’m gay, since I love my wife and am very turned on by her.  But I’m not sure if I should tell her about my fantasies about men.  What do you think?

Dear G.J.:

I have to preface this by saying I’m not a psychologist or a sex therapist. But I have read a lot.

Many religious institutions posit that thinking something sexual is tantamount to doing said sexual thing, i.e. if you’re fantasizing about committing adultery against your wife, then you’re basically doing it. If you or your wife subscribe to this religious point of view, you’ve got a world of counseling ahead of you that I can’t help you with.

Outside of the religious sphere, most sex therapists and psychologists agree that sexual fantasies are a natural, healthy part of life. Part of what makes human beings so interesting is that we can have an entire world going on in our brains that never has to come out in the “real world”. In fact, many people enjoy sexual fantasies in their minds that they would never participate in, even given the opportunity to do so.

Sleeping woman

Who knows what she's dreaming of? Image: Danilo Rizzuti /

You’re not weird for having homoerotic fantasies while still maintaining an attraction to your wife. If these fantasies were stopping you from enjoying sex with your wife, then I’d say there’s something else going on. There are studies out there that would tell you that men are only turned on by the kind of sex they enjoy — either homosexual or heterosexual — leaving no room for bisexual men. But I think that there’s a lot more going on in the individual psyche than these studies allow. I don’t think you’re gay, either. You may be bisexual, or you may just have homoerotic fantasies. Sexuality is a spectrum, especially when you get down to each individual and his or her own preferences. I firmly believe no two people are alike, and categorizing people, while it may make it easier for us to find partners (you’re straight, I’m straight; you’re gay, I’m gay), doesn’t necessarily help us in our sex lives.

In terms of telling your wife about these fantasies, I endorse it wholeheartedly. An intimate sexual partnership only gets stronger when you divulge your inner life to your partner. Sharing fantasies is one reason people have intimate sex in the first place. Maybe your wife has always had a fantasy about a threesome with another man. Who knows what her fantasies are?

Of course, as I’ve said in other posts, most people don’t get married so they can have sex with other people. (Some make arrangements to that effect, though.) She may, however, be willing to indulge your fantasy in other ways. Perhaps she’d be up for getting a strap on? Or maybe she’d be up for watching gay porn with you? (Those same studies that say there are no bisexual men have shown that women are turned on by any kind of sex. Like, watching animals have sex turns women on. The only problem is, most of the time the women are just not aware that they’re turned on. Go figure.) It depends on how open your wife is to experimentation, and how comfortable you are including her in it.

Furthermore, if these fantasies are bothering you, talking about them with her can only help you. Getting them out in the open is the best way to decide what to feel about them. There may be something else going on in your head you’re unaware of. While homoerotic fantasies are not unusual or unhealthy in a straight man, they may not be based on something as simple as attraction to other men. Is there a specific man you’re fantasizing about? Are they fantasies about dominance or being submissive? These are all things you may want to discuss with a real therapist.

In terms of how to tell your wife about this, it all depends on your relationship. You have made it clear that you’re not dissatisfied with her, and I would make sure that she knows that when you divulge this information to her. Some women are very touchy about this sort of thing — if you’re having fantasies about someone else, how can you possibly be satisfied with her? Let her know that these are fantasies, and have nothing to do with reality. Let her know you haven’t acted on them, and that you’re not planning to, but that you wanted her to be part of your interior life. Sharing your fantasies should be an intimate, warm time, not a fight. She should be aware that this sharing makes you completely vulnerable. In fact, I would set it up so she has to share an equally intimate secret with you in return.

I wouldn’t be surprised if your fantasies regarding men change after you tell your wife. They may grow stronger or they may dissipate completely. That’s another interesting thing about the human interior life — it is constantly morphing, often without our notice or permission. It’s actually rather wonderful.

Good luck!


pushing someone out of the closet.

Today I’m asking guest blogger and high school friend Pete Henne to add his commentary on the question and the issue in general.

It's Pete!!

Pete Henne, wonderful guest blogger.

A quick bio on Pete (culled from his Facebook page):

Pete grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and went to high school in Albuquerque, after which he spent a year at UNM for college. He ended up in Oregon again eventually, and studied architecture and environmental studies. He currently lives in Washington, DC, where he enjoys beer snobbery, photography, rock climbing, politics and public policy, and (sometimes) job hunting. Some day, Pete may share his story about coming out with us.

Shall we begin?

Reader G. S. writes:

My sister is gay, and my siblings and I all know it, as do most of my cousins. However, my parents and our aunts and uncles don’t know, and are continually nagging her about getting married, having a boyfriend, all that stuff. Most of the time the family just says, ‘Oh, she’s young, she’s just sowing wild oats.’ They think she hasn’t brought a guy home because she hasn’t found one yet. But she’s 24. It’s not a phase. It’s really hard for me to bite my tongue and not tell them why she’s never going to bring a boy home. My parents are open-minded people and they’d probably deal very well with my sister coming out; she just won’t do it. What should I do?

Dear G.S.:

It’s wonderful that your sister is out with you and your cousins. (Unless you’re just assuming she’s gay, which is another post entirely.) However, you have to respect her needs here.

out of the closet and into the fire

Don't open that closet door! Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

I know many a friend who is out in their own community, but not with their parents, and for several (horrible) reasons, including the fear of being disowned, the fear of causing discomfort, and the fear of being chastised for such a personal choice. These are terrible reasons, not just because a gay person should never be ashamed of who he or she is, but because they are valid fears — some parents just aren’t ready to accept their child’s sexual orientation. Accepting that a child is sexual at all can be hard, and if the parent has prejudices against homosexuality for religious or stigmatic reasons, well, the child’s fears are completely understandable.

However, even if your parents are as open-minded as you say, and even if you suspect that your sister’s coming out would be welcomed with opened arms, it is never acceptable to out a loved one. (Whether or not it’s okay to out a hated one is also another post.) Your sister may have her own reasons for not coming out to them. Or she may have her own plans.

So you should keep your big mouth shut. By all means, support her. And support gay rights politically. And talk with your parents about homosexuality in general, if you can do so without letting the cat out of the bag. But let your sister do her thing on her own time.

Pete says:

I can understand the motivation to just want your sister to live honestly with all the people around her. That feeling is love. But if you truly love your sister, you will talk with her and hopefully give her the confidence to do it.

Your relationship with your sister will be better for it. Both of your relationships with your parents will be better for it. The “main event” will be that much easier for it (hell, be there, ready to offer support and/or stiff drinks). It’s really win-win for all involved.

Not to sound like a health class documentary, but coming out is a very special moment in every queer’s life. It is not something that can, or should, be forced. You are literally sharing your inner truth with the people who you think should know.

In fact, Coming Out is especially important for us queers. Besides the underlying reason for doing it, it is the ONE thing that binds us all together. We literally get together and compare Coming Out notes (well, at least with close gay friends and, god willing, love interests). Where, when, why how, other salient details. Its a source of bonding for us that should not involve the phrase, “Well, my asshole brother/sister couldn’t keep their mouth shut.”

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