*Warning: Sexual content follows. Keep reading if you're into that sort of thing.
There's a growing number of straight men having sex with other men.
While it's easy to oversimplify and label these men as gay, sexologist Dr. Nikki Goldstein explored the topic for News.com.au and found other reasons why otherwise heterosexual men might explore a sexual relationship with other men.
Sexual pleasure over sexual attraction.
Goldstein found that many men were simply looking for sexual pleasure, regardless of the source. She spoke to a gay man named Max who received a text from one of his male hook-ups:
You give head as good as my wife does.
Another man described to Goldstein a glory-hole setup in his apartment where men could come to receive pleasure without any knowledge of the identity of the person on the other side. Max commented:
The majority of straight men who are going to a glory hole are going because they don’t want to see who is on the other side. It is about just getting off.
Is it that easy to find another girl who is just willing to give a blow job and say nothing more? Guys know what other guys are like. Guys just want to (get off). It sounds harsh, but it’s true.
A different sexual experience.
Some men are simply looking for a different sexual experience than what they're used to. Though Goldstein notes it was much more difficult to find straight men who would admit to sleeping with men, one, whom she refers to as "Paul," explained his feelings to her. She explained it this way:
He had an occasional urge to have a different sexual experience, one you can have with a guy.
Paul explained it for himself:
Try to understand it and embrace it. I think there are so many more men out than the world realises, than woman realise, that enjoy a different type of stimulation.
I would think that society would be amused by the number of men that are out there that seek a slightly different adventure and it doesn’t necessarily mean in any way shape or form that they are gay or bi. They are just wanting to experiment and have a bit of fun just like we see girls out there on the dance floor.
But many wonder whether even having the urge to try something with a man would classify one as bisexual. What does it mean to be straight or bi?
We're too obsessed with labels.
Dr. Jane Ward, author of Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, found that homosexual contact is a "normal part of the male experience." In her book, she also explored the way we treat women who experiment with their sexuality versus how we treat men who do the same:
If you look at this belief that women's sexuality is more receptive - it’s more fluid, it’s triggered by external stimuli, that women have the capacity to be sort of aroused by anything and everything - it really just reinforces what we want to believe about women, which is that women are always sexually available people.
With men, on the other hand, the idea that they have this hardwired heterosexual impulse to spread their seed and that that's relatively inflexible, also kind of reinforces the party line about heteronormativity and also frankly, patriarchy.
She also connected the topic to race:
I would argue that because white men have been understood as the idealised, most normal, sort of exemplars of normal human sexuality, there's a lot of work and attention that goes into excusing anything they do or rationalising anything they do that might disrupt that view, and that's not the case for women or for men of colour.
At the end of the day, it's important to always be understanding of others and to resist labeling them in ways they don't agree with. We all live our own lives -- there's no point in trying to figure out others' when we often can barely figure out our own.