How rigid are sexual identities? What happens to the men and women who are sexually fluid – and how are they viewed by their friends and the broader LGBT community? Gays.com talks to three individuals about their personal experiences. 

 

“I was trolled on Grindr.”

David, aged 28, came out when he was 18. “I spent years knowing that I preferred men, although I’d had some early relationships with women,” he tells me. “On balance though, I knew I was more physically attracted to men.” 

After he came out, David found himself living a typically urban gay lifestyle: “Long weekends clubbing, bars, hookups – I was the usual young gay man about town, and like a child in a sweetshop, I couldn’t get enough,” he says. But over time, David noticed things were changing. He found the drugs and clubs and increasingly meaningless sex unfulfilling. “I’d always had close friendships with women – they were my best friends, but eventually I found myself in an intimate relationship with one. Yes, we were having sex – and it was great – but this was more about the emotional connection, which I hadn’t found with the men I’d been with.”

David has now been with his female partner for eight months. Their relationship, however, is open – and they have agreed to play together only. David’s partner doesn’t define her sexuality but enjoys sex with both men and women. “I’m still on the apps,” David says, “but I make it clear that I’m in a relationship with a girl and we’re up for threesomes.” This has led to a range of responses, David explains. “Some guys are curious – and up for it! But others – and I’d say a significant proportion, troll me, sending me insulting messages, basically telling me that if I am ‘straight’, as they put it, I shouldn’t be on this app. I think it’s really sad that some gay guys are so threatened by someone who chooses to challenge the boxes we put ourselves in. Still, it’s their loss.”

Sexual And Gender Fluidity
Being queer means, by definition, that we're open.
 

“Then came the Fish jokes”

Wayne is of a different generation to David. Now aged 55, he has always considered himself an “outsider” in the gay male community. “I’m not even sure there is a community,” he laughs. “There’s certainly a lot of infighting and bitching among gay men.” David has had long and successful relationships with both men and women, though he is currently single – and quite happy. “What I found most upsetting,” he says “were the reactions I got from certain gay men when I told them I was dating a woman. Out they came with the ‘Fish’ jokes – so bloody predictable. One (formerly) good friend cornered me, after one too many Proseccos, and said, ‘do you like cock or cunt? It’s that’s simple. Make your choice.’” Unfortunately, David has encountered these issues repeatedly over the years – though in recent times he has found other gay men more accepting. “I think gay men – at least the decent ones, anyway – have grown up,” he says. “If they haven’t, I just walk away.”

“Then of course,” he adds, with a wink, “there are the reactions when I tell people that I have not only a son but a grandson.” David is rightly proud of his family, which he had before any of his subsequent relationships with men. “My wife always knew that I was also attracted to men. It was never a problem – and that wasn’t why we broke up,” he explains. “Relationships are not just what body part you put where, and I’ve found love – in its truest, most joyful sense – with the most unexpected people – male and women – over the years. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

 

“Being queer means, by definition, that we’re open.”

Jax, aged 33, defines herself as a “proud queer”. To her, sexuality and gender are fluid – and boundaries are there to be challenged. “I’ve had relationships with men and women and trans women,” she says. “I don’t define a person by their sexuality or gender, but on how they are as an individual, and what we can offer one another in the relationship we have – and it’s always different depending upon the person - that’s the really exciting thing.” What kind of prejudice has Jax encountered from the LGBT community for her choices? “You spend time with people who understand you, who get you, who don’t judge the choices you make,” she says. “I’ve never found anyone, within the queer community, who had a problem with who I chose to date, or got hung up on meaningless ideas of sexuality. Being queer means, by definition, I think, that we’re open. The best of us never stop exploring.”


Gays.com Forum


 


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