Just a little over 12 years ago, I would have said, "I'm not gay, I just like having sex with men!"
Excuse me, that sounds pretty homosexual to me. Granted, if you're a male and having sex with other males, you could be bisexual, but whatever you are, you should just admit it. But I didn't do that 12 years ago. I was caught in a dysfunctional sexual limbo that made no sense. Of course, things have changed and I'm a happy homosexual now. I've also joined the ranks of the "happily divorced" and I'm no longer messing around with other married men, disengaging from the experience and pretending to be something I'm not. However, contrary to popular belief, there are more "married men looking for married men" out there.
Shocking as it may seem to some of you, this phenomena is not new. Of course, I have no cold hard facts to prove this statement, but I don't need them. All I need is a computer, an Internet connection and an hour of free time. There are numerous sites where "married men for married men" lurk. There are also online groups where these guys exchange their stories, get support for their dual lives and find the occasional hookup. And then there are online chat rooms, gay hook-up sites, and gay apps that are also used by men who are married and "just having sex with men," even though they're "not gay." After all, why not fish where you're most likely to hook one, especially when you can do it incognito!
To this, I say, "Bless them!" I support my brothers and sisters who still haven't come to terms with their sexuality for one reason only. Society's lack of education and understanding towards alternatives to heterosexuality has forced people, men and women, into hiding in mixed-orientation marriages. This leads to people not living their authentic lives, nasty divorces, children who question their own sexuality after a parent comes out and numerous other problems, not to mention unhappy endings (not the massage kind). Which leads me to wonder why, after I came out of the closet, I would never date a married man:
Screwing up someone else's marriage is not my responsibility. While I was married, it gave me a false sense of security to mess around with other married "straight" men. Now that I'm out, I realize how much work fooling around with a married man is and I refuse to be the scapegoat for his inability to get real with himself.
Married men who are pretending to be straight, but having sex with men, are talking out of both sides of their mouths (provided they don't have something else there). This double-talk taught me that a majority of these guys are just in it to get their rocks off in ways they aren't getting at home. That includes everything from oral sex to bondage, from clamps to anal sex. No harm, no foul. Every guy has his pleasure preferences. Just don't plan on walking down the aisle or living together when his philosophy is clearly just about sex.
The truth is, married men have too much baggage and too many rules! Some gay men are going to disagree with me about this, but others will shout, "Amen!" I've heard something like this all too often: "Meet me on Thursday between 1:42 p.m. and 2:12 p.m., behind the half-burned building on 12th and Oak. Park your car on 13th and make sure no one sees you. And make sure you wear something that makes you blend in! Oh, and bring lube and condoms because I can't get caught buying those things. What would my wife think?" If I wanted to play by someone else's rules, I'd be throwing myself at Christian Grey. And if you don't know who that is, you should be turning 50 shades of red right now in shame!
Married men who are just having sex with men often don't think clearly. Okay, maybe all men who are playing around on the side are thinking with their penises instead of their heads. Not sure if it's the thrill of the adventure or what, but I've encountered—both in my personal life and among the clients I've worked with—married men who take sexual risks, have sex more frequently than the average gay man and seem to see themselves as invincible because they're "married and only playing with other married men." Last time I checked, STDs don't discriminate between single, married, gay and straight.
I've probably said enough to turn many "married and straight but having sex with men" types away from ever working with me, if they ever finally decide to come out of the closet. If that's the case, I find that sad. After all, who better to help someone finally find his truth than a man who has been on this journey himself? I'm your ally, your confidant, your brother. I'm neither your enemy nor your tattletale. Often, people tend to seek help from those who haven't traveled a similar path. That can work too! Just remember, you need to understand not only how you've hidden it for all these years, but how to come clean and be authentic about who you are, so you can someday become a married gay man ... at least in a few states!
Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach: Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leader Index, Master Practioner (ELI-MP), International Coach Federation, Associate Certified Coach (ACC). Rick Clemons is a Certified Professional Coach who has been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, and is a highly sought-after radio show guest, blogger, author, and Sex Coach U faculty member, who lovingly addresses the many facets of coming out for all who are touched by this journey. Rick has also hosted his own radio show, The Coming Out Lounge, and has been an expert guest on numerous other radio shows, plus featured in national print and web publications.
Sign up for Rick's free video series, "Coming Out Without Coming Unglued!" Connect with Rick through his Coming Out & Life Coaching Newsletter. Want to chat with Rick? Schedule a complimentary session! Sessions are available via phone, Skype, and in person (in Los Angeles, California).
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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: "A Gay Man's Perspective: Why I Won't Date A Married Man"