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Her Sex: my husband is attracted to men

HerCanberra Team

Sometimes sex and relationships can be tricky. Despite the ‘highlights reel’ you may see on Facebook, no relationship is perfect and there are always going to be a few niggling questions. That’s why we’ve recruited Canberra sex therapist Nina Booysen to answer the tough stuff for you (discreetly, of course) as part of a new monthly series. Our second reader question addresses attraction to the same sex.

“Is it normal for a heterosexual man in a loving relationship with his wife to become curious about experiencing a sexual encounter with another man, even though he sees himself as completely straight?”

Nina

Thank you for this interesting question. I often come across clients who are confused when the areas of gender and sexual orientation (attraction) appear to be more fluid. We have been lead to believe that everyone can fit into simple binary boxes like male or female, heterosexual or homosexual. As we are becoming aware, there are far more variations such as transgender, gender variant, intersex and bi sexual, pan sexual, a-sexual and men who have sex with men (MSM)but who don’t identify as gay. This question refers solely to sexual attraction or orientation and so I will focus on that.

Attraction is as fluid as our moods however we all tend to have a core orientation of who we are sexually attracted to. In your case your husband has expressed an interest in exploring a sexual encounter with another man. I have had many clients who have experimented and realised it was not satisfying for them and continued in their healthy loving relationships. In different scenarios there have been clients who have been consuming gay porn for some time and are quite sure that homosexual encounters are a part of their arousal and attraction and they have begun the journey of “coming out” or incorporating their bi sexuality into their relationship. Then there a high number of men who have sexual encounters with men but do not identify as gay, MSM. The majority of these men keep this side of their sex lives a secret never revealing it to their partners. Your partner has voiced his desire and it is worth exploring.

Here are the core issues at hand here:

  1. You may have a fear that this expression means your husband may turn out to be homosexual.

The popularity of the song by Katy Perry “I kissed a girl” shows how our society makes us feel far more comfortable about woman exploring same sex interactions than men. Some men have the same curiosity as woman. So yes, it does happen. The reality is that your husband may be wanting to explore his orientation to better know himself. These things don’t pop up out of nowhere. By the time he had built up the confidence to express his wishes to you, his loving wife, he had most likely been thinking about this for a long time. It does not necessarily mean he is homosexual.

  1. There is also the level of discomfort you may be experiencing depending on your feelings about homosexual or bi sexual men.

Many heterosexual women are supportive of the LGBTIQ community but want to be married to a purely heterosexual man. Try to explore your attitudes and values surrounding different sexual orientations. Ask yourself how you came to those values and what role are they playing in your thoughts about your husbands request.

  1. A desire to understand this request and how it could affect you.

It is very brave to ask for assistance in understanding this as it has impacts for you and your relationship. It is not just a simple request to buy a piece of pie. It would be advisable to be clear about what you feel and why. It could have implications for your self esteem and how you view yourself sexually from your husbands perspective. If you are secure in these areas then you are in a great position to negotiate.

  1. What does this mean for the relationship going forward?

Depending on the strength of your marriage and its foundation you could incorporate this encounter into your relationship and come out the other side stronger. Perhaps speaking to a relationship counsellor could help you both explore the options, avoiding as much damage as possible.

Good luck,

Nina B

Got a sex or relationship question? 

Do you have any tricky questions for Nina on sex or relationships? If so email them to [email protected] if you’d like a reply to acknowledge your question has been received. Your name and contact details will be withheld and Nina will answer all questions in our new monthly seriess. Alternatively, you can submit your question below using the anonymous form and we’ll pass on your questions to Nina. 

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  • Ms Jennifer

    Her Sex: Great informative article!

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