Dear Alice,

I'm worried about my boyfriend. A lot of people have told me that he is probably gay, because he looks good and most guys who look real good are. I didn't believe any of it at all because he doesn't act or talk gay. The ones telling me this are also guys. Could it be that they are jealous? Because I'm getting ready to believe it. I say that because every time we are alone, he knows how to get me really turned on, he gets me turned on, and then refuses to "DO" anything.

What's going on? Is he or is he not?

Dear Reader,

It can be difficult to know what and who to listen to when there are many people giving you their advice and opinion ­— whether or not you've asked for it! Keep in mind that you two are the only ones who are actually in the relationship, and that being honest and straightforward with each other are essential components of a healthy and trusting relationship. This may include asking questions and having discussions about things that you or he might not feel totally comfortable with, whether it's his sexuality or sexual preference, you not feeling satisfied sexually, or any other issues in (as well as out of) the bedroom. While you are within your rights to wonder if your boyfriend is into you, keep in mind that sexuality can be a difficult topic for some people to discuss he may not be willing or able to talk about his sexual orientation with you right now. Approaching any conversations you might have calmly and respectfully could help the two of you open up to each other.

There are many stereotypes of what a gay person "should" look or act like, but being gay, just like being straight, is only a sexual preference and should not be used to predict, dictate, or determine a person's behaviors, actions, or feelings. There is immense diversity in all parts of our society, and falling into stereotypes may negatively impact your relationships with others. Never fear, there are plenty of heterosexual men out there that take pride in their appearance. Before you talk with your boyfriend, it may help to clarify your own concerns. Do you have any reason to believe he is gay (other than your friends spreading rumors)? Do you have other issues with your relationship, such as having less physical intimacy than you would like?

If you are nervous or scared to start the conversation with him, it may help to role-play with a friend beforehand. Making a list or writing down what you want to say can also ensure that the conversation goes as smoothly as possible, and that you address the issue(s) to the fullest extent possible. You may also want to have a talk with your friends or those who tell you your boyfriend is gay to let them know that you do not appreciate or are uncomfortable with their comments. Your speculation that some of they guys may be jealous might be right on, or they are just enjoying giving you a difficult time. By asserting your right to be a part of the conversation, you can let them know that commenting on your relationship is not appropriate.

Finally, the fact that your boyfriend does not "do" anything after turning you on does not automatically mean that he is gay. Instead, he may not yet feel ready to engage in sexual activity past a certain point, or maybe he enjoys and is aroused by intimacy without intercourse. There might be many other reasons for him to not initiate sex (if that is what you mean by doing anything), but the best way to find out why is to ask him, and only him. Being frank, open, and caring of yourself, as well as of your boyfriend, will likely get you the information you need to make your best decision for yourself and your relationship.

Alice!
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