6 Signs Your Husband Is Not Gay

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Over the years I've received numerous questions from wives and girlfriends who wonder if the men in their lives are gay. I can understand why there is suspicion. In the last few years, gay rights have skyrocketed from a hush-hush subject to an everyday topic. You would be hard-pressed to find a young person or adult that does not either have an openly gay family member or friend or know someone who does.

More people are open about their sexuality than ever before, and that's decidedly a good thing. But with so much talk about gay life, it can be hard to distinguish what information about gayness is based on perception and what information reflects real life. This confusion has some women running for the panic button, especially if their partner behaves in ways one might interpret as gay.

Sifting Through the Misconceptions

Let's start by separating the myths from reality, and buckle up, you may be surprised by what you learn:

He Likes Gay Porn

Porn isn't a gay thing; it's a man thing. His new obsession with the red screen can be rooted in many things and is not a clear sign that he's struggling with his sexuality. However, if you discover that the porn he's watching is guy-on-guy action, this may be a red flag. Then again, it may not. Sexual curiosity doesn't go away once we move beyond puberty. It's not uncommon for heterosexual-identified men (i.e. straight men) to have same-sex fantasies or curiosities.  

He Loves The Mirror

It's odd that we associate things that have nothing to do with gender (like vanity or sports) with our sexual identity. Most of the time the way we behave in our gender 'roles' is not because we are men or women. It's because that's how we have been taught to behave. If we all took a moment to count how many times we've been taught how to act according to our gender, we'd be astonished by the number. For example: "women take forever to get ready" and "only gay guys wear pink." The same applies to sexuality. Using vanity as an example, you man's love affair with the mirror is more an indication that he's feeling confident about himself than a sign that he's gay. So. the next time your man brings home an expensive face cream, I suggest you take as a sign that he cares how he presents himself to the world and wants to stay attractive for you.

He Wears Gay Jewelry

I was once asked by a suspicious wife if her husband was gay after he ran out and bought a bracelet he saw one on a gay fashion designer on  Oprah. The designer may have been one of Oprah's gay friends, but jewelry is not exclusive to gay men. Do you associate your sexuality with the products you buy? Surely you don't purchase something you're straight. At least I hope not. Donna Karan's jewelry line may appeal to you because you appreciate the chunky style and natural fabrications. I doubt you would rush to her nearest store because you connect with her as a straight woman. Give your man some credit. Style is an expression of the self, not sexuality.

He's Not The Bull He Used To Be In Bed

Sex in relationships is tricky because our sensuality is more fluid than we allow. It's understandable to question what's happening with your man's sex drive if he used to be eager and is now sleepy under the sheets. Does this mean men are his new best thing? No. Attraction is only one of many factors that contribute to sex drives. Stress, fatigue, drinking, age, and medication all affect sexual desire and performance. Some experts even claim that spousal anger can be a major contributor. It may be true that your husband or boyfriend is more attracted to men than women, but don't assume that sexual attraction is the only driver of sexual performance.

He Has New Sex Habits

If your husband has gone from conservative to kinky in the sack, it may just be that his new sex habits aren't new to him at all. Perhaps he's always wanted to try but never felt comfortable enough to ask—until now. Trust me, this is a good sign for your relationship because sex is about comfort. Mark Epstein, MD and author of Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life, says, "the paradox of sex is that you have to totally become yourself. But it also strips your 'self' away." Epstein goes on to remind us that "safety is a big factor" in sex. If your husband is introducing new things, it means he's built a higher level of comfort with you. I suggest going on this journey with him. 

He's A Little Effeminate

I love using the old TV show Will & Grace as an example of cultural thoughts about gay people. One thing that typically stands out is what most people remember about the show. For instance, when I ask people who the main character was, typically the first person that comes to mind is Jack, even though his character was the supporting role. The main character, Will, was the more masculine male figure. Gay is usually associated with a lack of masculinity, weakness, or something I call "not straight looking." Foolishly, we identify the masculine gay men (the Wills of the world) as not being gay. This relates closely to the performance of the gender roles we explored earlier. Masculinity and femininity are qualities that are specific to the individual. This is why many assume masculine gay men have something to hide and feminine gay men are just being themselves. What this means is that your husband or boyfriend's level of masculinity is no more than how he expresses himself. It has nothing to do with his sexual preference.

Talking It out Is Always a Good Idea

Many of the wives that I speak with have gut feelings that propel them to a search for answers. What they all have in common is searching for signs instead of dealing with the root of the problem. My advice to you is not to wallow in a sea of speculation, but to go to the source—your husband. Allow the two of you enough time to address your concerns one by one and give him space to open up to you about what's going on.