Excluding both extremes of the spectrum (men who are exclusively gay or exclusively heterosexual) most men fit in the broad middle which can be defined by one of several levels of sexuality. Early in life most of these men become in touch with their attraction to females; they find the opposite sex enchanting, alluring, exciting and sexually desirable. They want to spend time with them, have a girlfriend, and they eventually recognize a compelling desire to get married. It’s simply a matter of crossing paths with the girl he’s attracted to, the one he’s in sync with philosophically, and the one that finds him equally attractive.
Within this broad middle, he may simply enjoy an extraordinary kinship with another male, or he realizes he feels a physical attraction to those of his own sex. The attraction may be compelling, or it may be fleeting and vague, which can be easily ignored though reoccurring given certain circumstances (the sight of a pair of extraordinarily well-fitting jeans). For the guy at this end of the spectrum, once he finds himself involved in getting his adult life started, he may come to believe these feelings have disappeared entirely, only to discover they haven’t at some point down life’s long road. It’s like the phantom inside him has gone into hibernation, though certain to reawaken one day. Near the other end of the spectrum, a young man will most likely be receptive to some kind of physical experience with another male, or he may even pursue m2m sex. The broad middle ranges from simple male bonding, to irresistible curiosity, to a recognized desire to explore something sexual.
Almost always a secretive characteristic, sexually developing teenage boys often experience an attraction to other males It’s not uncommon for boys to masturbate together or masturbate each other, or to explore each others body. At some point, for most boys, the weight of what he’s been taught about being a man intervenes and he learns to bury these natural desires. He moves on, shifts his focus over the years to life’s other circumstances: marriage, children, career. The innocence curiosity of his youth is buried under layers of responsibility.
Though his attraction to other men is suppressed, and has probably become conflicted, it never dies. It’s still there, waiting somewhere in his subconscious, resurfacing from time to time, perhaps when he meets an interesting or attractive man, or when he spends time with a friend who arouses certain feelings. Yet he remains silent, secretive, has thoughts that are never expressed, thoughts that may come with frustration or guilt or even self-contempt, all because of his lifelong indoctrination.
How many bisexual males are out there?
Considering the many levels or stages there are of male bisexuality, how many bisexual men are out there? Your uncle, your neighbor, your father, your husband, that guy at work; no one will ever know. So what percentage of males desire some kind of close connection to another male, physically or emotionally, or both? You might be surprised. I believe it’s perfectly natural for a man to want some form of special connection with someone of his own sex, whether it’s someone with whom he expose his soul, or someone he can touch.
The statistics vary from one study to the next. Some calculate the number as low as 7%. Others outline some degree of bisexuality in the majority of men, myself included, when you factor in the men who call themselves totally straight, when in reality they have been influenced by the overwhelming social taboos that cause them suppress their true feelings. Consider male prisons where these taboos are stripped away and alternatives are eliminated; or imagine two straight men stranded on an island for the rest of their lives. Will they not eventually reach inside themselves and discover a goldmine of new emotions? No one knows and probably never will. All we can do is try to grow into a more diverse, accepting society and maybe one day men will not have to hide behind facades.
The “straight” male.
Given all the ancient religious dogma, and the puritanical social mores of today, and the weight of how masculinity is so strictly defined, it’s hardly surprising most men suppress every microscopic scrap of desire to connect with another man. They will not even consider it, or allow themselves to think about it, no matter what might be whispering from somewhere within. In an article I read recently, concerning wives using strap-on dildos, most of the men who responded feared bringing it up because they believed the mere suggestion would make them look gay; never mind those natural urges. There are many who have recognized these urges, have secretly come to terms with them, and are leaving so many thousands and thousands of fingerprints all over the Internet; but of those who remain in denial, how many are really 100% straight?
What’s inside these men, these guys who insist they are 100% straight? Of course many of them are–they simply don’t have that certain gene–but what about all the others, possibly the majority? What’s inside them, beneath all the layers of denial that have built up over the years, beneath the macho and bluster required to be a masculine male? Peel away the fear of what others might think, peel away the religious dogma and what he’s been indoctrinated to believe it takes to be a man, and you may very well find a man who wants to reach out his hand, a special kind of vulnerability, a man who wants to be in touch with his unaffected instincts. You may very well find a man who wants a connection with another man.
The most conflicting dilemma.
The single man who has come to terms with his bisexuality can share his body with another man without conflict or guilt. He can date either men or women. He can have a girlfriend and six months later find himself involved with a man. In his own private world, he is free to consider any opportunity.
The married man has made a clear choice.
But it rarely ends there. Eventually he realizes his attraction to men is stronger than he assumed. The marriage may be only two or three years old, or twenty–the kids may be off in college. He has grown comfortable with his marriage. As much as he loves his wife, it seems like something is missing, something not related to his marriage, not related to his basic happiness, rather something deeply personal that’s an important part of him and outside of his daily life and his marriage.
He grapples with telling her, often for years. He fears losing her or damaging their wonderful relationship. Still, he’s not been honest, she doesn’t really know who he is, not this part of him anyway. She loves him, she’ll understand. Maybe she’ll love him even more if he’s honest.
My guess is most men stay quiet. The war goes on inside their heads until the day they die. Some live out their lives in quiet desperation, ignoring the phantom best they can, despite the endless and subtle reminders. Some resort to rendezvous with one-night stands, or form secret long term relationships with another married man.
Others will eventually tell their wives about their bisexuality. He may simply want her to know; he may be letting her know that he needs to do something about it. There are many directions the marriage can go, but one thing is certain: to one degree or another, the marriage has changed.
Want to comment on how bisexuality has affected your life?
If you’re a bisexual man: Has it been a negative or positive experience? Have you had a relationship with a man? Are you married? How does it affect your marriage?
If you’re a gay man: Can a relationship with a bisexual man be successful?
If your husband is bisexual: Does it change you feelings for him? Has it changed your marriage? Are you willing to have a m2m relationship outside of the marriage?
Your comments will help those who read this article.