Someone wrote into Dear Patricia, an Irish advice columnist, asking if her boyfriend is gay or just "European." I don't know much about Patricia, but she sounds rather conservative and her advice was for this woman to tell her boyfriend not to share so much about himself.
Great advice. Honey, could you please stop being so honest with me? It's not like we're in a relationship or anything.
Anyway, here's her letter. I think Bilerico readers could give her a lot better advice than Patricia did. My response and a gay letter to Miss Manners, after the jump.
PLEASE help. I am scared of ending up as one of those poor women who are married for several years only for it to emerge that her husband is actually gay.
I am in a new relationship with a lovely guy. Both of us were looking for someone special, and appear to have found what we wanted in each other. We get on very well and the sexual spark between us is good. This is definitely the most successful relationship I have ever had. I keep praying that he is a straight metrosexual. He is from a European background, where appearance is a priority.
He has qualities or traits that are gay. He notices when I change my hairstyle. He is more interested in moisturisers than the average man. He remarks on it if a very good-looking male waiter serves us, likes girlie movies, and is interested in having anal sex with me. I caught him peeing sitting down once and he explained that his mother made him and his brother do this at home for hygiene purposes. He sometimes showers after sex but tells me this is just to get clean. And since I wash myself afterwards too, why shouldn't he?
He does have typical male characteristics too, and he is crazy about my body, can't get enough sex with me. I know that sexuality isn't black and white, and that we should be open to accepting people and not narrow-minded. I have teased him about being bisexual at opportune moments and he shrugs it off without getting upset. He admits he would like to be penetrated anally, but as part of sexual play and not by another man.
He has always told me the truth about things. I've never caught him out in a lie. I sometimes think that he is strong enough and mature enough to face up to being gay, if he were gay. And that he wouldn't hurt me by doing this to me. Or would he? I'm not sure.
Most of the cues you mention are "metrosexual," and there are plenty of straight men who indulge in things like moisturizer, girlie movies, and cleanliness. A man sitting when he pees isn't a sign that he's gay, by the way, nor does it mean that he was raised by a feminazi, as a certain Irish advice columnist may tell you. Gay men generally stand too.
I'm guessing the biggest sign, for you, that he's gay is his hankerin' for anal sex. There are plenty of straight men who are into anal - having a certain sexual orientation doesn't mean that a man doesn't have the equipment necessary to enjoy it. Despite what certain Irish advice columnists tell you, it's not that scary, you don't have indulge if you really don't want to, and sharing sexual fantasies with a lover is a good thing. Part of being in a relationship is intimacy, and if he "admits" that he would like to get fucked, he's probably feeling you out to see if you're into it too (which means he wants anal with women, which makes him straight or bi). Since he's mentioning this early on in your relationship, that makes me think that he's done it with a woman before.
What you're really asking is if he's attracted to you, if he can really love you. All the clues in the world won't give you 100% certainty that he's straight or bi, and even him saying that he's straight or bi doesn't mean that he won't give you a different answer one day. And even if you were 100% certain he was straight or bi, that doesn't mean that he'd have to be attracted to you or love you.
If he's given you no reason not to trust him (like boy magazines under the bed, random trips to park bathrooms, a cock in his mouth) and shows you that he's attracted to you, then it sounds like you're on solid ground here.
On another note, here's a gay letter to Miss Manners from yesterday with a great response, as usual.
My partner of 18 years and I traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, where we were married. I am overjoyed that our relationship is recognized legally, even if it is not in our home state.
When we crossed the Mississippi River on the way home from our wedding, we were once again single, at least in the eyes of the law.
I have always introduced Rick as my "partner" but would now like to use the term "husband," just like the rest of the legally married world.
Is it appropriate for me to say "husband," even when we are standing in a spot where that is not true? Is it a term I should use only in places where our marriage is recognized? Am I wrong in wanting somehow to indicate that the legal status of our relationship has changed?
Please calm down -- wedding jitters should be over by now.
If you are going to consider yourselves married or unmarried every time you cross a border, you are going to drive yourselves -- and everyone you meet -- crazy. You got married, and are each other's husbands. Miss Manners congratulates you.
I'm in the "If you say you're married you're married" camp, which includes "I'll use whatever term you like to describe your significant other." Turns out that when it comes to the terms "husband" and "wife," the Census Bureau agrees that you can choose what you are yourself.