I am into old-school monogamy and have been married to my husband for 3 years, together for 4 years. Both during courtship and marriage, with the exception of my two difficult pregnancies we have had an active and what has appeared to be a mutually satisfying sex life. Recently it has come to light that he engaged in a string of same-sex one-night stands. He says he isn't gay or even bisexual. Rather, he says that he has a fixation with penises that began with an interest in hermaphrodites/transvestites. Independent confirmation verifies these encounters consisted mostly of my husband being flaccid while blowing other men. Any ideas what that might be about? If he is flaccid it doesn't sound like sex for the sake of sex. I’m just trying to wrap my head around where my husband might be at and what this might mean for us as a couple long-term.

Old School Monogamist

My response after the jump...

Here’s where your husband is at, OSM—possibly right now, at this very moment: in a public rest room on his knees unzipping the pants of the stranger he met on Grindr ten minutes ago, preparing to get the next hit for his peculiar “fixation.” And here’s where you should be at right now: the offices of the nearest divorce attorney.

Psychoanalyzing your husband’s sexuality is only delaying your inevitable sad separation. Is it possible to be in a happy, healthy marriage in which one partner is bisexual and the other is heterosexual? Absolutely, and there are countless such success stories. But they are successes only because both parties are willing to maintain an open line of communication about their sexual needs, share their intentions or interest in having other partners (or not) and, most importantly, they show a mutual respect for one another. Your letter is conspicuously absent of every single one of these necessary ingredients. Although you seem to be more than willing to explore with him his cryptic phallic attraction, the image I get of him is of a manipulative man with a demonstrated pattern of flagrantly taking advantage of your tolerance and loyalty while he’s busy battling his, erm, addiction to male genitalia.

This may come as a surprise to you, OSM, but adult men don’t blow other men because they’re just curious what it might be like or because they saw it on the Internet and thought it looked like fun. At least, they don’t do it over and over again in a “string of same-sex one-night stands.” Unless your husband has a rare case of OCD manifesting into truly the most unfortunate obsessive compulsive symptom ever to afflict a heterosexual male in the history of our species—one demanding that he, say, suck a penis three times a day to avoid catastrophe—you’ve got yourself, at best, a deluded bisexual husband and, at worst, a closested homosexual one. (I don’t mean worst as in “least moral,” but simply irremediable for your marriage.)

I can tell from your tone that you want to save your marriage and that you are looking desperately for some type of subconscious, Freudian-like answers that would enable you to brush off his fellatio-driven behaviors as being relatively insignificant. But note that your relationship as a happy, monogamous heterosexual couple probably only ever really existed in your head. For every secretive priapic affair that has “come to light,” as you put it (which suggests to me that he didn’t offer you an unbidden confession out of guilt, but instead you discovered his sordid activities through some other means), just imagine how many of them you haven’t been made aware of.

On receiving “independent confirmation” of his being flaccid while sucking on penises, I’m puzzled much less by the latter than I am by the former. Either you’ve had a very odd, very awkward, very detailed discussion about your husband’s limp cock with some guy who’d been personally fellated by him, or a similarly weird conversation with someone who watched one of these wacky oral sex escapades unfold. Anyway, leaving aside that bizarre claim, not all men who are attracted to other men experience intense erections, every single time, while performing oral sex. That doesn’t mean that we’re not sexually motivated in putting men’s shafts down our throats, nor that we’re not thoroughly enjoying it. A person’s degree of arousal waxes and wanes during any given sex act and, of course, it is more pronounced with some partners than it is with others. Without applying a penile plethysmograph to your husband while systematically exposing him to specific homoerotic stimuli, it’s impossible to know what type of men or aspects of gay sex gets him off the most.

If he’s deeply conflicted about his same-sex desires, he could also be experiencing so much anxiety while giving head that it’s interfering with his ability to maintain an erection. Then again, for all you know, he’s reliving those male-on-male encounters in the theater of his mind each night just so he’s aroused enough to penetrate and ejaculate into you in the safety and comfort of your marital bed. His frequent Craigslist hookups might provide him with enough mental fodder to keep up the impression of a “mutually satisfying” sex life and his public persona of being straight.

There’s no evidence that straight men’s viewing of transsexual porn is a gateway drug to gay blowjobs. There’s the common denominator of the penis, sure, but there’s also the common denominator—with you—of the female traits. Since he’s deliberately seeking out men, rather than other women or even transsexual prostitutes or escorts, for his carnal dalliances, it’s the unambiguously male capturing your husband’s fancy. In other words, smoke and mirrors about his transsexual fixation claims. He’s trying to distract you from his full-blown MSM desires. And it sounds like it’s working.

Anyway, OSM, we can spend years speculating about your husband’s psychosexual issues. But this much I know is true: your husband sucks dicks. He’s doing it behind your back. And as the dark past of “sexual reorientation therapy” has taught us, a “fixation” on penises (colloquially referred to as “homosexuality”) isn’t a phase and doesn’t go away. I fear the only real sucker here is you, if you stay in the marriage.