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18 Apr 2006

When is someone gay?
I saw the responses to post 355, from No Name, which says that not every man who has sex with men is gay. OK, so then when does someone become gay? If I, as a man, have sex with a man about once a week but lead a straight life, am I gay or straight? If a gay man has sex with a woman, is he still gay? Please explain to me how this works, I'm married and have fiddled with two other men and it bugs me that I could just maybe be gay? But according to you guys I'm not.
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Expert
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Just Wondering, welcome here and thanks for posting.

The fundamental fact is that we're all located on a continuum between being 100% straight and 100% gay. We're all in there somewhere so we're all both straight and gay to some extent. Many men who sometimes have sex with other men (referred to as MSM, and WSW in the case of women) do not consider themselves gay on any level at all. The term MSM therefore generally refers to men who have sex with other men irrespective of their sexual orientation and is not limited to men who find themselves without women (such as in prisons, boys residences or male military facilities) - most MSM choose to have sex with other men.

If you led a straight life but had weekly sex with another man I wouldn't consider you straight - that 'weekly' thing would be a touch too regular for a straight man to justify. And what does a "straight life" mean anyway? Invariably it means being heterosexually married and pretending to be straight. But in your instance, if you've only had sex with two other men in your life, I would think of you as straight unless you're more attracted to men (both sexually and emotionally) than to women.

It feels as if we’re getting caught up in complex terms here – at the end of the day does it really matter what you want to call yourself?

I hope this clarifies things for you - if not, please post again.
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