Human sexuality is pretty complex – we don’t have to put a label on everything.

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
05 June 2024

Life is kind of simpler when we can put everything in neat little boxes. It makes communication faster, if something has a label that we understand then that brings with it some context about what that label means.

That’s often why when we meet someone new or when we’re having a conversation, we’re keen to try and define everything against the norms that we’re familiar with.

For example: “Cool, you’re queer? Which bit of the LGBTQIA+ umbrella are you?”

Men who have sex with men are often confronted with something like: “You have sex with guys? So, you’re gay, right?”

While labels and boxes might make communication more efficient, what we lose in the process is some of the nuance, the uncertainty, and the fluidity which is the reality of our lives.

Human sexuality is complex. Sure, lots of research has been done and we know more today than we used to know, but there’s still lots of things that are still a bit of a mystery about how and why we have the sex we have.

From an LGBTQ equality perspective, it’s really powerful to have more and more people identifying as queer and identifying as gay. It helps to demonstrate our existence, it increases visibility, it provides role-models, it helps us to build community. But we also need to give guys space to figure out who they are and to find a way to describe their sexuality that they’re comfortable with.

We’re talking about a headspace beyond bisexuality. Lots of guys identify as bisexual, or polyamorous. We know what that is – we’ve got a box for that, a label that fits it neatly. But in your dating adventures, you’ll encounter guys that have sex with other guys but don’t identify as either gay or bisexual.

There’s lots of reasons why guys might not be comfortable in describing their sex lives in terms of sexuality. Often, it’s because there’s cultural, religious, or societal restrictions which means that they have to publicly present in a certain way – this can often lead to a disassociation between your identity and your experience. For example, you consider yourself – and present yourself – as a straight man who is married and has kids, the fact that you sometimes have sex with men doesn’t change the reality that you’ve created.

There’s other guys who just seem to enjoy the no-strings encounters that can be found on gay hook-up apps and at cruising hot-spots. They get off on the raw sexuality of it – when they’re horny, they know that they can find a guy who will suck them off or that they can fuck, no questions asked. If they’re married or in a relationship with a woman, they see hook-ups with men as a no-risk sexual outlet – they’re not cheating, because it’s with a dude. It’s just sex.

While hook-ups with “straight” guys or with men on the down-low can be a lot of fun and even a bit sexy because you know that their sexuality is a bit complicated, it’s important that you don’t compromise who you are in order to make life easier for them. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should identify or how you should present publicly, just because they don’t want anyone to ask them difficult questions. But also, try and be respectful and understand that everyone is on their own journey in figuring out their sexuality – it’s not your job to force anyone out of the closet if that’s not on their agenda.

Ultimately, while sexuality can be quite complicated, sex doesn’t have to be. If a guy wants to have sex with you, don’t waste time trying to figure out labels and boxes, just get down to business.

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