My name is Alexander Cheves. Some people call me Beastly.
I am a sex writer, worker, and educator, and I am the author of My Love Is a Beast: Confessions. I am best known for my “Sexy Beast” column in The Advocate, and I am currently a sex columnist for Out Magazine.
LOVE, BEASTLY is a shame-free blog where I answer your questions on sex, love, kink, and everything else. No topic is off-limits.
Answers are 100% free and anonymous — always.
I stumbled upon your site after some soul-searching. Pretty new here, but already really appreciate what you’ve done. Great site!
Anyway, long story short, I’m a guy (he/him) that’s attracted to both men and women. Most of my
sexual fantasies involve other men. I find myself sometimes longing to be in an intimate relationship with another guy. I’m nearly 30, and I’ve barely dated anyone except for two girls. Mostly because my career is challenging and I went to graduate school while working it during my 20s. I’m also religious. Still a virgin.
Should I start dating women before deciding that it’s really another man I want? Part of me still hopes that the gay attraction will go away, but I’ve lived long enough with same-sex attraction to know it probably won’t. Thoughts?
Though I do not know you personally, I’d say from your question that you are bisexual. A bisexual is someone attracted to two genders — usually men and women, though not always.
I’m not bisexual, but friends who are bisexual have explained that desire and romance often take different forms depending on the gender of the person they’re connected to. A bi guy might have more casual sex with men but more intimate relationships with women — or vice versa. Your sexual fantasies are about men. Your attraction to women might be more romance/connection-focused.
Your question makes it clear you think you have to choose: men or women. You don’t. You can have separate, tandem journeys with men and women. Date whoever you connect with next and try not to get hung up on their gender. You’ve dated women, so you know you can. If the next person you connect with is a woman, great! If the next person is a man, great!
The “gay attraction” is not going away. You can put that fantasy to rest. You’re thirty. You’re an adult — puberty has been over for more than a decade. You are fully formed. A hundred years ago, you’d be halfway through your life. All the shame and hand-wringing — plus a lifetime of religion — have not changed you. Nothing has the power to rewrite your genes. You are as you are.
So you have two options. You can live in self-denial for the rest of your life and wonder “What if?” forever, and work very hard (and be miserable) trying to ignore your attraction to men — or you can accept it, see it as a good thing, and work to satisfy those desires.
There are more ways to satisfy those desires than ever before. You have smartphone apps like Grindr and Scruff at your fingertips that give you anonymity while providing unprecedented access to casual sex with men. There are a million websites like mine providing information on how to have gay sex and prepare for it. There are countless chat rooms, social media platforms, dating sites, and more where you can chat with gay and bisexual men all over the world. It’s shockingly, stupidly easy to trade nudes and talk about sex with a homosexual. You should do it.
Hi Alexander, I read about your article “How do I know if I am a bottom?” recently and you say that “You’d enjoy helping others to discover what they love”. So here I’m 🙂 25 y/o cis male, my preferred pronouns are he/him. I know you’re neither a sex therapist nor a psychiatrist. And I don’t know if you’re into answering messages but I’m just trying my luck. Because I don’t have any experienced gay man in my life to talk to. Before I start, I’m aware that my story can be childish, ridiculous, boring, or even rude. And also English is not my native language. So my apologies. I hope you’ll have time to read and answer. First, I can say that I find girls attractive both romantically and sexually (except for their vagina part). I had two girlfriends so far and two attempts to have sex with them. But for each time, I was kind of nervous, I couldn’t get even fully erect and thus ejaculate. These experiences weren’t pleasurable at all. On the other hand, at the time that I met with straight porn, I suppose I was 13 or something like that, the penis immediately took my attention compared to women’s parts. I found the penis like it’s a symbol of dominance, power, and a source of pleasure. Then while watching porn, I started to imagine myself as a woman there who was craving joy because of the penis. I discovered gay porn before long. And I decided to try the same act with vegetables like cucumber and oil at that time 🙂 I had zero knowledge of prostate massaging or something about anal sex at that age. But when the cucumber slid into my anus and I start to penetrate myself, I remember that moment very sharply, I thought, “Oh God, how can something be more enjoyable than just masturbating with my penis, this is heaven”. Also very surprised at leaking sperm while penetrating myself, having no idea the term “milking prostate” at that time. Fast forward, from that time, I find the male body sexually very attractive (but not romantically), especially masculine and older ones, (I don’t have body hair or beard, so I imagine myself as feminine and submissive while having sex with my dominant partner, by the way) I was happy with my dildos and to talk with men on the internet. But as soon as I ejaculate after thinking of men or penetrating myself with my dildo, I immediately felt disgusted and shame for a while, even months, like it was a guilty pleasure. (And also masturbating with thoughts of gay sex feels ten times pleasurable compared to thoughts of straight sex.) Recently, I was again talking with a guy on the internet and I picked my courage and I met with him. I was nervous like I was before with my girlfriend, but this time I was so excited that my heart felt like it was going to explode. We did some foreplay and I gave him a blowjob. Of course, sucking a body part has nothing to do with my erogenous zones but while I was sucking his penis, I felt euphoria like a “new unlocked sensation” for me. And I was fully erect all the time I was sucking him. After he came in my face, I left his house like a drunk high. I masturbated while I was thinking of blowing him and I came with all my body shaking. And after that moment, I felt, how can I say, “tremendous” shame, guilt, and disgust like never before. I thought, “Why did I do that, why did I bring myself into such a position for a temporary lust, I betrayed my parents, they just wanted me to be a decent son but I acted recklessly.” and so on. I blocked the number of that guy, I had a bath and I threw away all my dildos, and I deleted all my gay meeting accounts. And after a while, gay thoughts came back again 🙂 So here I am and I’m very unhappy with this situation. If you’ve read thus far, thank you and I hope you give me some advice. Am I bisexual, am I gay or am I just an ordinary straight guy with some curious thoughts? Why am I having such guilty feelings after those experiences? Thanks in advance, Murat
Yes, I’m into answering messages. That’s what I do here. I’m glad you sent me one.
A cursory scan of this blog should show you that there are others in your situation — others in the world trying to figure out what they are and what they like while navigating deep feelings of shame.
You’re probably gay, Murat. You might be bisexual, but since you’ve not described any fantasies or satisfying relationships with women — you have, in fact, described your experiences with women as “not very pleasurable at all” — I’d say you’re gay. Like the gentleman above, you have a choice: You can accept these feelings as a reality that is not going to change, or you can’t.
You have no power over how you were born. Your parents have no power over how you were born. You were born this way and there’s nothing you can do about it now. So why not enjoy it?
Homosexuality is natural. Some people are born with it. And it’s beautiful. My father once spent a lot of energy trying to convince me that homosexuality was the work of evil spirits or the Devil himself, perhaps not realizing how profoundly this would backfire. If Satan made me gay, I’m a Devil-worshipper. I would thank Satan and his evil spirits every day for this gift if I could.
I don’t know what your parents’ views of homosexuality are, but I assume they think it’s “evil,” “unnatural,” or a host of other bizarre adjectives. But it doesn’t matter what they think. At some point, you will leave home, have your own life, and have a job, and what they say or think just won’t matter. I know this might sound harsh, but someday they will be gone and you will likely still be here — you will probably outlive them — so on the full timeline of your life, your parents’ views of homosexuality cease to matter at a certain point. You have a lot of life left (or at least I hope you do, though no one can be certain of time) so your allegiance must be to your happiness, not theirs.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t love your parents — I hope you do — but you must divorce your perspectives from theirs’. They are of a different generation and can be expected to have different views and values from people your age. You can love them without agreeing with them — no two generations of people see eye-to-eye on everything.
Your biggest challenge to overcome is the same one that countless other queer folks face: shame. Shame is the enemy. Shame is a disease: it infects every part of your life, destroys the things that make you happy, and — given enough time — will cause anxiety, stress, and even physical sickness. There is no “good shame,” as some silly folks argue there is (these people say certain kinds of shame are necessary and keep us in our social lanes, so to speak). All shame is toxic.
You have to work very hard to overcome shame. And you can only do that by meeting more people — people who are out, queer, happy, and brave. You need gay friends. You need friends from across the queer spectrum — bull dykes, fag hags, nonbinary kinksters, radical faeries, and more. You need to immerse yourself in queer culture, which is a pretty reliable guidebook on how to overcome shame. We have done great things in the name of self-liberation and self-love.
Get fucked in the ass. You’ll love it. It will empower you. Do it again and again and again until it gets easier. It will make you a stronger, better, happier person. Getting fucked is so much fun.
Enjoy your hole. Make it big and puffy or loose and sloppy. Ride cock like a power-bottom or get railed like a submissive little schoolgirl, whatever you want. If you unleash your desires from the constraints of shame, you will have an awesome sex life and be a pretty awesome person.
I love your work. My story is a bit graphic, so bear with me. A few years ago, I had bareback sex with a guy I met on Grindr. We were both drunk and most likely didn’t use enough lube, so I got a tear. I thought it would heal by itself — I’d had that happen to me before — but instead, it became infected and evolved into a painful abscess that had to be lanced and drained (a pretty painful procedure).
At this point, I’m quite an expert on perianal abscesses, but I’ll try to keep it short. When the anal canal experiences trauma, such as when taking a dick, the tiny spaces connecting anal glands can collapse and cause abscesses. I was careful every time I had sex after that episode, but the same thing kept happening every few months. Each time I had to go through a similar surgical procedure. I saw several doctors in the span of two years or so, some better informed than others. It wasn’t pleasant.
The fourth time, a colorectal surgeon I was lucky to find diagnosed me with a fistula, an abnormal tunnel-like connection between tissue in the rectum that seemed to be both the cause and the consequence of my recurring abscesses. It could only be fixed with a much more complicated surgery that involved cutting through the sphincter and letting it heal from the inside out. Thankfully, my fistula was relatively superficial, but it still took almost two months to heal. After the operation, I experienced the most intense physical pain of my life and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.
I’m sexually active again after almost a year of not bottoming, but I am hesitant to fuck without a condom, even on PrEP (I’m HIV-negative). If I can minimize the risk of a potential tear getting infected, I am going to do it. Still, I’ve found that a lot of guys turn me away when I ask. I understand wearing a condom can be a turn-off, but I wish there was more awareness that this can happen with anal sex. You can’t really prevent it with STI testing. When I was doing regular visits to the surgeon, I saw gay men walk into the clinic more than once, which suggests I wasn’t the only one dealing with this type of issue.
I’ve read your great article about healthy bottoming tips but was wondering if you have any suggestions to navigate a sex culture where (let’s face it) bareback anal sex is almost the norm and I frankly don’t feel comfortable doing it anymore.
There are many things about anal sex and sexual health I wish were more talked about among gay men, though I can’t blame us for our ignorance. Gay sex isn’t taught in school.
It’s baffling that most doctors doing STI screenings don’t suggest testing MSM for intestinal parasites like Giardia and E. coli. The sheer number of sexually active gay men I know with GI issues suggests that gut infections and conditions — caused by parasites, STIs, too many antibiotics, and other things — run rampant among us and are badly undertreated.
You’re being smart. More than smart, you’re doing what you must to take care of yourself. You don’t have a choice. I never use condoms, but if I was in your shoes, I would religiously. Your experience sounds awful and I’m sorry you had to go through all that, but congrats on your continued fight to have great sex. You still got back on the saddle. You’re a sex champion.
You’re right about condoms. Bareback sex — or what I call “sex” (all gay sex was bareback before the mid-1980s when we learned that condoms were effective at preventing HIV, at which point the term “bareback” was coined) — is again the norm in the U.S. and in other countries where MSM have access to PrEP and PEP. The stigma used to be against bareback sex and now it sometimes seems the opposite. (I’m sure I’ve exacerbated this in my past writing.)
Since you can’t change your body, I suggest approaching your condom-only rule the way I approach being HIV-positive. I use it as a test to weed out the sex partners I don’t want. All potential playmates must be unafraid of my status. No sliding scale, no gray area: they pass or fail. As a result, my sex (and sex partners) got better. Consider having a similar rule. “Use condoms without a fuss or you don’t get my butt. I’ve had surgery in the past that makes infections more dangerous for me. If you’re not cool with that, you’re boring and I can do better.”
Take it from someone who had to navigate sex before PrEP, when the stigma against HIV was worse: People will reject you, but when you can’t change something about yourself, you have to stand by it with the fiercest loyalty you can muster, and those who pass the test with flying colors will be better fucks than the ones you have to wheedle and convince.
Don’t debase yourself to try and convince someone to do what you have to do to be safe — you’re worth more than that. He should be a fan of condoms or you’re just not a match.
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