THE BLOG
07/25/2014 08:24 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Gay for Pay: Straight Men Having Gay Sex for Money

A new reality show about straight men who have sex with other men for money, titled Broke Straight Boys, is coming to television later this year. Most people don't believe these men are straight at all but gay or bisexual. But the fact is that many men -- gay, straight and bisexual -- can be sexual with the same sex or the opposite sex if money is involved. "The cash gets me hard," these men will often say. Most people, however, think that if a man engages in sex with another man for ay reason, he cannot be straight.

Straight men who have sex with men are punished by the prejudices and stigma attached to the act, with people judging them to be gay when they are not. Anything seen as non-masculine in a man (and gay sex is seen as non-masculine in our culture) is deemed "effeminate" or "gay" and is punishable under patriarchal standards. Straight men even direct this homophobia at themselves for engaging in sexual behavior with other men, and the results can be brutal.

Gay men are often the most critical of these men, believing that they are closeted gay guys who need to come out. And many women won't date men who have sex with men and will often end relationships if they discover that their partner has had sex with another man in the past. Some women will even avoid men who have even the slightest curiosity about gay sex, even if they never do it. "You must be bisexual or gay," they say anxiously. Their worry is about being left for a man; they don't believe it is simply a sexual behavior and not about their partner's sexual identity as a straight man.

The case of "Josh" (a composite of many clients I have had) illustrates a deeper understanding of men who can be "gay for pay."

The Case of Josh

Josh, a 32-year-old fitness instructor at a local gym, came to me because he was having sexual problems with women he dated. While he was able to have intercourse with them, he was no longer able to enjoy them giving him oral sex. His problem was that most women he met didn't like him being verbal during oral sex: "talking dirty," directing and guiding them, or even just telling them how he liked it. He simply couldn't enjoy oral sex because of these reservations.

"I don't experience them as being into it, and that is a turn-off to me," he told me. "I feel selfish being the only one enjoying the sex act, and it takes away from my pleasure."

Josh was keeping a secret from these women: He was receiving oral sex from men for money. Josh said he was not gay and insisted that he couldn't tell the women about these experiences or they would judge him harshly as being gay or bisexual.

As an older teenager, Josh realized that both men and women were attracted to him. His working out gave him a tight, muscular, carefully sculpted build. He wasn't homophobic and denied any sexual interest in men, but he did enjoy being looked at and desired by them, as well as by women.

"Men express their desire differently than women do," he told me, meaning that men were more sincere and could openly express their aesthetic appreciation for his body.

Another man at Josh's gym offered him $100 to let the man watch him pose and show off his muscular physique. Josh politely said that he was not gay. The man insisted that nothing sexual need come from it; he just wanted to see Josh pose. Enticed by the money, Josh ultimately agreed. While he posed, the man watched and complimented him on his good looks.

Over time this man offered Josh more money if Josh would let him masturbate while watching Josh. Ultimately he asked if he could see Josh naked and, later, if he could perform fellatio on Josh, with no reciprocation. For months Josh refused, until the man started buying him gifts and giving him even more money. Josh made it clear that he was not interested in reciprocating in any way and wanted no romantic or emotional ties, that he was doing this just to earn some money.

Josh found himself enjoying it more than he thought he would and appreciated that the man was interested in Josh's own enjoyment. In Josh's experience, women merely tolerated fellatio, though he wanted them to desire giving it as much as he enjoyed receiving. Josh was able to talk dirty to this man and tell him how he wanted to be serviced. The man was also willing to swallow, which increased Josh's excitement.

In time the man sent other male friends to Josh; they offered money in return for him letting them sexually worship him. What Josh loved was that these men pursued him and honored the body he had created. Beyond appreciating the money he received, he felt desired.

It is important to note that Josh was not attracted to any of these men sexually or romantically in any way -- and no other man either, for that matter. He was attracted to women sexually and often said that if he could find a women to "service him" the way the men who paid him did, he would be less inclined to have men do it.

We also learned that, for Josh, directing women and guiding them verbally and otherwise was his way of being in control of receiving oral sex. He was aroused by being in charge and a bit dominant during oral sex. Knowing this helped Josh recognize the importance of telling women his sexual interest in taking some control during oral sex.

In fact, Josh was straight from the start. It is not necessarily the straight men who have sex with men who have a problem but everyone who judges them.

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