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Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

I Think He May Be Gay

Thu, Jan 31st 2002

I am a 30 year old female and have been dating a very wonderful successful 35 year old man for approximately 1 year now. When I say wonderful I mean he is caring, sensitive, ambitious, intelligent, loving man. In the midst of his wonderful qualities I have a very big concern, I think he may be bisexual/homosexual. The main reason I feel this way is because of difficulties in our sexual relationship. Our sex life appears to lack passion. When we do have sex, which is not that often, once or twice a month, he has difficulty maintaining an erection, but has no problem maintaining with oral sex. I am also concerned that he does not touch my body in ways that communicate sexual desire for me. He has dated other women in the past, and has told me that his previous relationship was very much controlled sexually. Most of his previous girlfriends have been older and divorced with children. They have also had voluptuous body types, while I am petite and thin and have never been married. I feel he enjoyed the "chivalrous" role he played with these women. I also know that he enjoys watching pornographic movies and often masturbates with these. He also went through a depression about 1 1/2 ago (did not take medication), but he feels this has nothing to with it. We have openly discussed his lack of sexual desire for me openly. Although he tells me he does not have a solid reason or solution and that he believes we will get passed this, he has mentioned that this relationship is the first one that seems so right, free of conflict or situations that could give him an easy outlet. He says that scares him and is very new for him, which can influence the development of intimacy. I also do not spend the night with him and he states that this prevents us from living our relationship and developing more intimacy. We have also discussed the body frame issue, which I sincerely don't buy and frankly upsets me that this would even be considered as an issue. I often question if I'm being just plain naive in taking any of these "explanations" into consideration and become angry with myself. When we have discussed homosexual themes he has told me he is not gay, although he doesn't blame me for thinking this. I wish there was a "how to know if your boyfriend is gay" checklist, I'm sure other women are probably in my same situation. Although he doesn't have any of the "stereotypical" gay traits, I don't want to marry him and years later find out he has been repressing his homosexual desires! Nowadays you just NEVER know. I should also mention that my previous relationship was with a younger man whose sexual libido was quite the opposite (very high). Have I lost sense of what normalcy is? Can I be so full of myself that I cannot consider the possibility that a man is not instantly aroused by me? When we discuss homosexual men marrying he states many men do this as camouflage because of their career. Can he be talking about himself? His father was very much "homo-phobic", and he greatly admired his father and his dad's acceptance is a big factor. He has also mentioned his parents sent him to camp when he was little so he could "toughen up" since they felt he was becoming to much of a "momma's boy", and he is a sensitive guy. I come from a Hispanic family where men really play the "macho" role. Can this be playing a factor as well? Am I reading too much into this? please help....

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