I’m Gay and in Love with my Straight Friend
A dilemma that we all face at some point in our life and one that has also become a sort of “challenge to conquer” in our little gay worlds. Sure, we all love to think that everyone is gay, and sure we all like to believe that we are the one that can turn that straight boy homo, but this is a simple recipe for disaster…for everyone!
I have heard it all from “I can’t help who it is I fall in love with” to “I am doing him a favor by helping him find the homo inside of him”. I understand the “ego” and bragging rights that comes from sleeping with a straight man, but as with most sexual conquests that ego ride is short lived and can often lead to self doubt, hurt, destroyed relationships, and internal conflicts on behalf of both people involved.
If we are looking for affirmations of our own sexuality this makes no sense either. What aspect of this conquest, as that is all it is, is a positive reflection of an individual, of our sexual self, of our own identity as a healthy gay man? Isn’t it our goal to develop healthy sexual relationships, for both partners, and that provides internal and external reinforcement for who we are?
Sexuality plays a strong role in the gay culture and a strong part of our external reinforcement as a gay person, but as we know it is destructive on many levels from self-efficacy to health ramifications. We act out sexually to fulfill this identity and to feel accepted by peers with the expectation that we will internalize such things and develop into a secure individual who is seeking out positive and healthy relationships with self and others.
Thus comes the conflict of either falling in love with a straight man or simply just wanting to fuck one. It will be impossible in either scenario for this relationship to be healthy. We may be able to get them in bed with us through experimentation, drugs and alcohol, or simply healthy curiosity on their part, but the fallout is going to be drastic. Take their perspective for a minute when they wake up or sober up from the situation. How are they going to respond? Fear? Anger? Self-doubt? At the least, extreme confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed. Think about how hard it was for you to come to terms with being gay at the start…and now this hetero defined individual is plunged into this. Easier when it is a hook up and they walk away, but not so easy when it is a friend who you had a crush on, things went too far, and now you all have to figure out how to deal with it. A recipe for disaster and a recipe for the end of a friendship!
Now for the gay man involved…you guys! I think having a crush on your best friend is cute and fun and sure, a nice fantasy for masturbation or a good wet dream. But to turn that crush into an obsession is destructive to you as a person and within your own identity. We have to have boundaries, both internal and external, in order to develop our sense of self. And our relationships are supposed to add to that and reaffirm it…not mess with it! Wanting what you truly cannot have is only leading you into a direction of personal unhappiness, feeling unfulfilled and feeling like a failure in relations, not to mention potential destructive behaviors.
Lastly, let’s just say that your straight best friend is struggling with their own sexuality and you are the one that “helps them find their way.” What then? You get them in bed, sex is hot, your dreams seem fulfilled and you are happy. But are they? Next comes their issues of being confused, of coming out, of struggling with their sense of self, trying to find their identity, fear, emotional issues, family issues and all the rest of the gamut of “coming out” to self and others. Admirable if you can help support them through it as a lover and friend, but again, likely destructive for both!
Being gay is hard enough even as times change and our identity becomes stronger as we feel more accepted by society, friends and family. It is these things that allow us to be safe and develop in a healthy manner. But we must remember that suicide, stress, alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and other at-risk behaviors are far more prevalent in the homosexual population. Why? Because it is hard enough already…why make this more complicated?