I'm a 26-year-old gay male who has finally decided to be in a relationship with a 22-year-old. He is my first serious boyfriend.
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"You slept with girls! OMG! I can never forgive you!!" WTF?!?
It's not like he voted for McCain or something. Jesus.
Otherwise, Dan's answer is spot on. If HMFT has so little experience with reality that he cannot understand what is still the day-to-day existence of most gay people in the US, then he really should find a boyfriend closer to his comfort level.
In your next relationship, maybe you'll accept that your partner is a human, with real failings, just like yours, and somehow you can live with those failings, and not go looking for extra trouble besides.
The boyfriend should buy the letter writer a mirror to kiss, since that seems to be what he wants. LW needs to get over himself and do some soul-searching for why this is such an issue, and/or let the poor kid go find someone a little more self-assured who won't continually harass him for his perfectly normal past.
Like the farmer and the cowman, the Kinsey Six and Five-Plus should be (boy)friends.
And LW? Grow the fuck up. If you're making your lover cry, on a regular basis, you have no business having a lover till you clean that shit up. I'm not saying you have to be perfect, but there's a lot of space between "not really perfect" and fucking making your lover cry on a regular basis because you're an asshole.
I have no patience for this shit. I've been there, and I'd still ream the guy out with a hot poker if I had a chance to, and it's been decades later. Stop it before he winds up hating you.
And to LW: I don't know how many gay guys you've known (and presume that you've only had sex with guys if this is your first relationship), but that does not give you the right to prejudge what someone did before he even met you, especially if he grew up in a town where he would have stuck out if he didn't have a girlfriend (not to mention his family situation or personal safety). Having a girlfriend didn't give him cooties, so you should tell your brain to grow the fuck up to match your otherwise adult person. The "finally decided" shows that you may definitely be overthinking rather than going with what your emotions tell you to do.
Besides, your boyfriend may be having his own doubts of being in a relationship with someone your age who's never had a boyfriend before. Meet him half way by accepting his past as he should accept your lack of one.
Then everyday in the real world must be a big surprise to you. Life isn't an oil painting. Don't just grow up, get real.
Watch it again.
My husband wouldn't touch a woman with a 10-foot pole- never has, never would and never will. Cannot understand how anyone ever could. But he's never once laid any mind-trip on me for having been straight-married with two kids before we met, and he knows *damn* well that I didn't just have sex with her twice...
Get out there and find yourself a perfect Kinsey 6, and leave your boyfriend to find someone decent. He deserves way better than what you can offer him.
To the letter writer: you are way too old to be *that* immature. Grow up.
"Let's go get Mexican."
"We always get Mexican, how about something else?"
"No, I really want an enchilada."
"We always do what you want, why can't we try something new?"
"Well, you can always go fuck a woman if you don't want to be with me!"
So maybe you aren’t curious about sex with women, or you were never sufficiently curious about sex to take whatever was easiest to hand — or maybe you were just so out you were hanging out in your local cruisy park from the age of 12.
Fine. But you should be curious about your boyfriend.
Lesson number one about love: you can’t love someone for who they aren’t. You have to love them for who they are. So love your boyfriend for being the person he is, with the past he has.
Seriously--how many times have we heard a woman describing her boyfriend or husband this way? Someone who is hyper-angry and hyper-jealous about things she did before they even met? And how many times does this end up with the husband or boyfriend spending years cruelly manipulating her emotions and/or beating her for her alleged infractions?
To hell with the advice to HMFT. Mind goes straight to the 22 year old boyfriend: DTMFA, and get the Hell out. Now!
And if HMFT is reading this, my advice to him is: Get thee to a therapist and stay there for the next five years or until you can control your anger and jealousy and act like an adult. Whichever comes first.
HMFT is having pre-abandonment issues, not "girls are gross" issues. He's afraid when he and his BF are in the foxhole together fighting the Good Gay Fight, the BF will one day scurry away and leave him there all alone.
Comment on that, because that is his issue.
Exactly the same as a guy asking his girl how many other men she's been with, and slut-shaming her for whatever she did before she met him.
LW, your boyfriend's past is NONE of your fucking business. Instead try to look on the bright side: someone else in the world is naive enough to put up with your bullshit and be your boyfriend!
Yeah, I did that too. Once, and never again. I've been with my girlfriend for almost five years now, and I have no fucking clue how many men she's fucked before me, or even how many boyfriends she's had. She is equally clueless about my past, and we both prefer it that way. There really isn't anything good that can come out of that conversation.
Dan has said before that young gay men restart their sexual adolescence upon coming out... sounds like the LW is an average 16 year old boy.
That is just bullshit. It is good that you realize the problem might be with you. It is in fact with you. See if you can get some therapy to turn you into a healthy person. Otherwise in five years you will be writing a similar letter:
"Dear Dan, I love my new boyfriend so much. I just can't get over the fact that he has so many more men in his past than me. He came out in Junior High and slept with at least (I can't get him to tell me the real number) five guys in High School. Then he became a club kid and claims he doesn't even know how many guys he had sex with in the next five years. It is tearing me apart. All I can think of is what a slut he was. I had my first relationship at 26 and now at 31 he is only the second guy I have had serious relationship with and the sixth I have had sex with. How do I get over his past?"
That was 8 years ago. It sunk in eventually. We're pretty settled. Got the little girl's 2nd birthday this weekend, and our 6th wedding anniversary in a couple weeks.
Listen, LW. Stop torturing this great guy. Get over it, once and for all. FFS, it's not a big deal. What exactly are you projecting? If you seriously can't (and you'll regret this later, trust me) then let him go, so he can find and be with someone who he can be happy with.
Also, I hear they cloned mammals a few years ago. If you want someone just like you, how about you clone yourself?
It bugged me, but I can't do anything about it.
It's the past.
Now if he was still thinking about sleeping with girls that's a whole different story.
But relax dude, he's into you. What happened, happened.
I am going to have to go against the general trend here, although I share the same conclusion. The 22YO needs to DTMFA.
But at the same time, while I don't understand what the big fucking deal is with the fact that the boyfriend once slept with a girl in order to pass in high school, I don't agree with those who say it isn't any of his business or that he just shouldn't care.
The idea that the relationship past of someone we are currently involved with isn't our business just isn't so. If we were talking about someone who had a history of abuse we would not be telling this guy that his boyfriend's abusive past isn't his business because it is in the past. We would be telling him to run for the hills.
Now of course these things aren't the same, but the idea that we just shouldn't care about the past of our romantic partners is not realistic.
And if this is what this guy wants, someone who has the same exact background as he does and has never hidden his sexuality for any reason, that is his right.
It will make it much harder for him to find someone, certainly. And in a practical sense, if he wants to have a reasonable number of chances to meet compatible people, he would do well to do something about his expectations in this regard. But if he doesn't want to and is willing to accept the consequences of that then that is his right.
I think that in relationships we should have the freedom to discriminate as much as we want. It may be detrimental to our success, but if there is something you don't want in a partner... really don't want... then it isn't going to work to force yourself to be with someone who you don't really want to be with for what ever reason.
So while I think this guy is going to have a much harder time finding someone who meets his criteria, still, more power to him in finding the guy who does.
No, the problem isn't that he is being so discriminating in what he wants and has such an issue with his boyfriends past. The problem is that if this thing is a problem for him then he should have asked about it up front, and if what he found he didn't like he shouldn't have gotten involved with him in the first place.
And if he is going to get involved anyway then bringing it up and making the boyfriend cry about it every time they have an argument is just a scummy thing to do.
Where this guy is an asshole is for getting involved with someone who doesn't meet his own criteria for what he wants, and then making the other guy feel bad about it every chance he gets. That is a rotten thing to do.
If you don't want to date someone who has slept with a girl in the past, then fine. But then don't date someone who has slept with a girl in the past. And if you do don't try to make them feel bad about something they can't change now even if they wanted to.
That's what makes this guy an ass, and that is why, in the end, the 22YO needs to DTMFA!
Also, see Six Feet Under where Keith had been with tons of girls before he came out as gay. And, it's an issue that becomes a non-issue.
Also, if it continues to be an issue for you to the point you keep bringing it up and up and up, I hope your bf will DTMFA because his high school sexuality should not be of your concern. Not all gays were born with cocks in their mouth and rainbows adorning their school hallways.
@29 --- That's exactly it. He's afraid when the going gets tough, the BF will go all "scared teenager" on him (even if they're in the 50's or something) and leave him there all alone. That was my foxhole analogy (do people no longer know what a foxhole is all about?). Okay, make it a train being loaded-up for the concentration camps...he's afraid the BF is going to grab a random fraulein (and a gentile one at that, to complete the analogy) and say "Me? I don't belong on that train...so long fagots!" because he went pussy diving before under similar circumstances.
They were on him for his sexuality, that he wasn't straight enough. Now here you are, on him for his sexuality, for not being gay enough. That basically makes you one of THEM.
My recent ex (male) and I (female) were together for over 7 years. I'm sure he's told me the names of more than one of the men he'd slept with and it's likely I even know some of them, but I can't remember who. They weren't significant relationships for him so we didn't talk about them much. The hardest part about knowing this history is that the one man I can specifically remember that he slept with, I'm not supposed to mention in public. They were not public with the fact that they'd slept together, for whatever reason--I didn't ask--so I have to remember to filter that information. It's hard to filter information that is as insignificant as that. It's like keeping a secret that your ex once had a pet fish.
Step 1) Get a pad of paper, and write lines, 100 of each of the following:
-- There is nothing wrong with sleeping with girls
-- There is nothing wrong with experimenting in your youth
-- There is nothing wrong with attempting to pass camouflaged in order to survive a hostile situation.
Write a two-page essay on that last one, too, so you can wrap your head around the fact that the fault in that situation lies squarely with the abuser(s), not the person trying to survive the abuse. In fact, if refusing to stand for abuse is the only honorable course of action, your own rules dictate that he should have dumped your ass several fights ago.
Step 2) when you feel a fight coming on, get out the roll of duct tape and tape your mouth shut, because you can't be trusted to hold back from uttering the same cheap shots in the heat of the moment. Then get out the pad of paper from Step 1 and conduct your argument on it. Hopefully the act of writing down your words will allow you enough time to realize which of them are valid points, and which are that same stupid argument yet again, and you can wad up the sheet containing the latter instead of handing them over.
Personally, though, I think the most effective way to get over it would be for your 22-yr-old to DTMFA. You desperately need to learn that mistreating your partner is not acceptable. But most likely you aren't going to stop until several of them make you.
To HMFT: Please stop treating your boyfriend badly for his sexual past. My husband and I are celebrating 26 years together this year. He's 9 years older than I and I'm in my 40s. He slept with women before he came out. He's not proud of it, doesn't look back on it fondly, and did it because he grew up thinking that was what he was supposed to do. I'm like you. I never soiled my body or gave into societal rape by being with a female. I wasn't bothered by my husband's sexual past because he made it clear it was in the past and it meant nothing to him. Now had he told me otherwise and/or had baggage as a result of his past, things would likely be different today. I suspect that if you're throwing his past back in his face and it hurts him it's because you both are not making it clear as to what that past really means to each of you (but especially to him). If this is a relatively young relationship, then talk this out clearly, now, before it's too late. If you and he really do love each other, then you owe it to him to give him the benefit of the doubt. You say you trust him with all your heart--then trust him if he tells you his sexual past with females means nothing to him now.
HMFT, you may want validation for your own purity. Fine. I award you the Lavendar Star, an honour accorded to only the sixiest of Kinsey Sixes. I shall go so far as to say that, if there were no people like you, the people who hate us all would have a powerful weapon in their arsenal.
You have done what very few are able to do. Some don't find themselves so quickly as you did. Some yield to curiosity, or go through a genuine phase. For the unluckiest, a genuine threat to safety or life exists. And yes, some just choose a convenient lie.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that your boyfriend has always habitually told lies of considerable magnitude as a way around minor annoyances. That is just about the worst case scenario. Or he could have faced genuine peril. You can't really find out, but it's prudent to err on the side of safety, and gracious not to press too hard in this area.
But you make him cry? After the first time, you should have been far more eager to rip out your tongue than to repeat the incident. Stop it yesterday. Get whatever help you must, but STOP IT YESTERDAY or the Lavendar Star will self-destruct because you hurt its heart terribly.
And in future, make sure you know going in whether this is really a dealbreaker. If it is, be up front with it and accept with grace that many otherwise compatible people won't be able or willing to cope with it.
His past is his past. He cannot undo or change the past. There is nothing he can do to fix this. You must accept it or not. Your choice. This is entirely on you.
If it is any help…
1) You've heard of the Kinsey scale, right? Please tell me you have. You understand that there is a whole range of sexuality, and not all gay guys are 100% gay. I am a perfect Kinsey 6 (100% gay). My boyfriend of over 20 years is more like a 4 or 5. He's mostly gay, but has leanings toward being bi. He mostly digs guys, but his head will occasionally turn for a woman. That has not stopped us from having a healthy relationship since you were in diapers.
2) Even if your BF is a perfect Kinsey 6, 100% gay, it is ridiculously common for gay teenage boys to sleep with a girl to pass. With very few exceptions, there is still huge social pressure to play that roll. Or maybe he was just curious, and wanted to see if he really was gay. Now he's tried it, and he knows what he likes: you.
You are insane and cruel to judge him for his past teenage experimentations. Stop it now, or let him go.
God, I hope you are trying to be all, like, hip and ironic.
Need to define "thinking about." If by "thinking about" you mean "intending to go through with it" then yes, there is a problem there. (assuming you are monogamous)
On the other hand, if you mean "still possessed of the same sort of attraction to them as previously" then the problem is in your head. Having an attraction to women in the past, and continuing to be attracted to them in the present, is not functionally different than continuing to be attracted to men. I assume you believe he hasn't lost the attraction to (other) men, and that doesn't seem to be a big deal to you.
Either you are monogamous or you aren't. If you are, then the operative number is "one" and the sex of anybody else on the planet is irrelevant. If you aren't monogamous, the difference between being potentially attracted to any of three billion people of one sex, or to any of six billion people of either sex, is largely academic.
People who want the free pass because they claim women and men are such a different experience just want the damn free pass. PEOPLE are so very different. My wife is nothing like my past girlfriends.
He's afraid he can't compete with some esoteric magic pussy power lurking latently in the BF's subconscious recesses, just waiting... and waiting.... for the BF to panic and catch the next bus to 'ginatown.
I'm not giving him a pass, though. He has a serious issue, but it's not as silly as "cooties" like all the other commenters here seem to think.
I do think, though, that the experience of a bisexual partner is so widely different for a K0 than for a K6 that it's extraordinarily difficult for one extreme to feel attuned to what the experience is like for the other.
It warms my heart in a really good way.
Did you not capitalize Milk for any particular reason? Or is it just an oversight?
As far as that goes, people react both ways. In the case of a married man wanting extramarital male action, some women say, "At least when it's another guy, I know he isn't trying to replace me." Other women in the exact same situation say "Another woman I can understand, and compete with, but another man just makes me think maybe he doesn't want women (and therefore me) in the first place." Same situation, opposite reactions.
Yes, I see that Letter Writer is having the equivalent of the second reaction.
And then there is the third reaction, which is "What part of 'forsaking all others' did you not understand?"
Our LW is handling it disgracefully, and comments about his capacity for a relationship are spot on. This is not the way to handle disappointment over lack of affirmation.
Mr Avast - It does seem reasonable to suppose that the relationship is monogamous, but, if it weren't, how would that change the variables?
I just want to add another MEEE TOOO to your point about not getting into someone's sexual history. In my experience, a deep need to know extensive details of sexual history is a sure sign of major insecurity - and that is why you see this in straight and homo couples - it's not really about orientation. I'm a basically straight guy but a hetero-flexible kinkster who had some same-sex experiences which didn't traumatize me or start me down the path from straight to gay.
I got dumped by an insecure girlfriend who found out about that past by snooping. The thing is: it's not about the sex, this was a pattern of every aspect of our relationship...a need to know a lot of gory detail about all aspects of my relationship history. Of course, it didn't help that she was a lousy lay - I had let her know that we weren't connecting sexually the way I wanted to - I'm guessing that was the source of some of the anxiety. So much easier to blame it on my lack of disclosure about my sexual past and run away.
I think folks are harshing on LW too much - it is his first relatioship outing and he at least recognizes he's got an issue - it's not like he's in denial. That said, if the 22yo is reading this, don't invest too much emotionally in this guy; it hurts like hell when they run away from you like you're a leper - even if it is because of their own insecurities.
I agree with everyone who is saying the the lw is immature, and I am having a difficult time with the misogyny inherent in both his reaction and that of #45.
I understand the fears someone can have of being left for a partner of the opposite gender, but I also see avast2006's point that @61 made.
But can't the lw just say to himself: "he could have anyone else, male or female, and he chose *me*--aren't I lucky?"
As a straight nerd who didn't start getting laid until several years after *college*, this gives me a whole new perspective on how people may have perceived me. Especially after I participated in that gay rights rally when I was in college. I'm just as glad I didn't realize it, as I couldn't have gotten laid to save my life (and I mean that quite literally) even if I had known.
You need to apologize profusely to your boyfriend ASAP because your hounding him about something he did under duress in high school - HIGH SCHOOL - is fucking immature and pathetic. Also, do you think your bf is the only one who shares this experience? A good half of every guy I've been with has tried a girl or two on for size before coming out. It's part of growing up, something you clearly have yet to do. Try it sometime!
@45 - "soiled" your body"..? "societal rape"? FFS! I'm glad you & your husband got past your issues w/ his experimentation, but way to be misogynist. WTF. It's terrible that there are still parts of the country where gay youth face being bullied & other bigotry, but you have your nice hubbie now. No need to woman-bash to make your point.
LW/HMFT: It's okay to feel threatened. It's okay to ask your partner (respectfully) about their past, if it comes up & it's not the Inquisition. It is 100% NOT OKAY to judge them, berate them or MAKE THEM CRY for things they did before you. As long as they are being true to you, why should it matter..?
You sound like A - you're not really ready for an adult relationship, & should maybe just have some casual fun while sorting yourself out or B. you need to take out a personal ad to find someone who's never, ever slept with women. Most of my gay guy pals have.
I have another friend who's actually bi, has been w/ both men & women, but his husband is hella threatened by that. They've worked through it, but my friend identifies solely as gay for that reason.
With so many near-apologists about, though, it's made me wonder how much pressure one ought to be able to resist in that situation, even if just from the viewpoint of moral appeal. Where's the tipping point when yielding to the pressure becomes no longer the least bad of evil choices but more a potential sign of weak character?
Yes, in hindsight, I do blame her insecurity - she's the one who is a commitment-phobe with a string of 18-20 monthers (like me) in her wake; I'm the one with the amicable divorce following a 14 year marriage.
It is like the old cliche about affairs: they are not really about the sex, and they don't cause the relationship to break down; the relationship breaks down and causes the affair.