We talked to the self-identified gay men who sleep with women, but don't see it as a contradiction to their sexual identities.
Image via Mattia Pelizzari/Stocksy
My junior year of college, I went on a date with a guy named Chris. He had a reputation around town for being a hot commodity, with his lean runner's build. All the college's gays wanted to screw him. On the date, Chris asked me, "Have you ever slept with a woman?" I hadn't, but he said he had screwed three girls and liked it. "Are you bi?" I asked, confused. Nope. Chris identified as gay, but occasionally had sex with girls.
He's not alone. Many gay males fuck girls, but they stay quiet about their sexual interests because a stigma surrounds gay men expressing their sexuality beyond an interest in sucking dick or spreading their legs. Online, guys turn to forums like EmptyClosets to discuss their fluid sexuality.
"A lot of 100 percent gay guys I know have had sex with women in the past, but that's only because society told them that was the right thing to do," one user writes in a post. "All of their peers were losing their virginity and sleeping with a girl was probably a way of them denying their sexuality or fighting against it."
When society constantly sexualizes women, it's natural for gay men to be curious what all the fuss is about, but experts believe gay men turn to women for more complicated reasons. According to Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist and the author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment, self-professed gay men seek women for two reasons. "First, our age-old inability to consider sexuality as a complex, multifaceted, and evolving dimension of humanity," she tells me, "There is no one way to be gay, for example. Second, our deeply embedded cultural desire for an answer. It may be that there is no answer. Or, it could be that the answer is 'complex sexual desire.'" We could write off these boys as bisexual, but they insist on identifying as homosexual. Some gay men may turn to heterosexual sex because our culture prefers manliness, and masculinity is connoted as straight. (See: all the guys identifying as "straight-acting" on Grindr. Tibbals explains: "As we know, even in 2015, our world is still fraught with judgment, discomfort, and a litany of inequalities related to power, gender, sexualities, and identity."
It's actually one of the harder things about coming when you're fucking a girl: [a vagina's] not nearly as tight [as an ass].
Despite their dedication to sleeping with girls, most gay men recognize that their sexual pleasure from sleeping with women is limited. I asked three gay men if they enjoyed more pleasure from fucking a vagina or a guy's ass, and they all gave me the same answer: "ass." According to Randy, a 31 year old gay men who spends his days toiling away on Wall Street, a woman's vagina is the ultimate detractor of sex with girls.
"An ass for sure [feels better]," Randy explains. "It's actually one of the harder things about coming when you're fucking a girl: [a vagina's] not nearly as tight [as an ass]."
As an openly gay man since his early teens, Randy has never been shy about getting his dick wet. He tells me the first time he sucked a dick was in an empty movie theater with a girl who had promised him and his friend blowjobs if they jerked each other off. Later, he used the same girl as a way to get into his best friend's pants more often. In 2015, he regularly fucks one girl, but continues to see himself as gay. "Sex itself is sexy," Randy explains. "People are sexy. Sometimes you meet a girl and you've got chemistry and you're horny, it doesn't seem like a bad idea if she's into it."
You can only take so many dicks before guys get boring.
Randy and the two other men seek out women because they want to put on a show in the bedroom and perceive women as less sexually aggressive. "I'm typically more gentle with a woman than I'd be with a man," Randy says. "That said, once you get pounding a vagina can really take it." All three men said they dabble in pussy when dick grows boring. "You can only take so many dicks before guys get boring," a 23-year-old boy named Lucas explains. "Females are a nice departure from the norm."
Lucas works as a male escort, primarily sleeping with men for a living. For years, he says, he found "copulating with different genders" unfathomable, but once he "started viewing people as just being human beings, there was no problem." Lucas's answers may sound like he considers himself bisexual, but many gay men continue to have sex with women and identify as homosexual. When I asked gay guys why they did this, their answers varied from because women feel "soft" to because females seem more emotionally "open." They screwed women, but in their hearts and dicks, they remain primarily interested in men.
Years after our lunch, I asked Chris if he would still sleep with a woman even though he has since settled down with his boyfriend in a house with a dog. Even now, he seems to find my question naive and humorous.
"Yeah," he says through laughter. "I'd say I'm still attracted to women, but not necessarily in a sexual way. I like the idea of sleeping with women more than the act itself. Does that make sense? Like it sounds kinda fun until you look at a vagina."