Q I'm a 21-year-old gay male. My friend "Marcelo" is friends with "Chad." Everyone who meets Chad assumes he's gay. Never had a girlfriend, a dance major, dyes his hair blond/green/purple, got up at 2 AM to watch Kate marry William—I could go on. Over four years at college, this situation has gone from funny to sad, as we realize he may never come out and could pull a Marcus Bachmann and live a miserable life with a miserable wife. Last night Marcelo was on Grindr and got a message from a guy who turned out to be Chad! Chad sent a face pic, Marcelo sent a faceless one back, they chatted. It turns out that Chad is experienced enough to know his homosex likes and dislikes and carry on a detailed conversation about them with a guy on Grindr. Should we say something to Chad? Would letting him know he's been outed be the best course of action? Should we have a gayvention? —Closet Case Confusion
A Chad hasn't "been outed," CCC, Chad outed himself.
Before Al Gore invented the Internet and ruined everything for everyone forever, a college-age closet case had to work up the nerve to visit the campus gay bar if he wanted some dick. (Or visit the cruisey bathroom in the undergraduate library, but let's leave that one alone for now.) The closet case knew he was running a risk by showing his face in the campus gay bar—even the gay bar three towns over—but going to the bar was the only way to get some dick. So the pre-Grindr college-age closet case would slip into a gay bar and, after pounding shots in a wildly successful effort to self-medicate against his inhibitions, wind up shirtless on the dance floor making out with some random dude.
There was a code of conduct for friends of closet cases when I was in college—which was, I'm sorry to say, just a couple of years before Grindr came along (cough, cough)—and a section that dealt with dance-floor make-out sessions: if you saw a guy who'd told you he was straight in class on Friday morning making out with some random dude on the dance floor of the campus gay bar on Friday night (or in the gay bar three towns over), you had a right—no, you had a responsibility—to tap him on the shoulder, smile, and say, "Welcome out, dude."
And if you'd engaged in a little subterfuge—if you, say, ducked behind a post when you saw the closet case come in so he wouldn't spot you and flee the gay bar pre–shots/shirtless-make-out-session—that was an understandable impulse and forgivable sin.
What Chad is doing on Grindr—sending out face pics, chatting about his homosex preferences—is the Grindr-era equivalent of making out with a random dude on the dance floor of a campus gay bar. What Marcelo did was the Grindr-era equivalent of ducking behind a post. And now Marcelo has a right—no, a responsibility—to tap Chad on the shoulder and, without any sense of malice or triumph, say, "Welcome out, Chad."
Q I'm an 18-year-old male who's weird in the way of a bit of cross-dressing and pegging. My girlfriend endorses these interests, and I love her for that. Recently a hot 22-year-old gay guy told me he was interested. I tried to tell him I was in a relationship, but we kissed. It sucked ass. His stubble hurt, he used too much tongue, and I got nothing out of it. Do I tell my girlfriend? I worry that telling will make her worry, and the worry will cause distrust, and that distrust will ruin a great three-year run. —Now Over Transient Bisexual Interests
A First, after reading your letter, NOTBI, I was left wondering what would've gone down (you perhaps?) if the gay dude you made out with—after you tried so very, very hard to tell him you were in a relationship—didn't have a rough beard and use too much tongue.
Second, a girlfriend who endorses your interest in cross-dressing and pegging is a girlfriend who might have endorsed your interest in a boy-on-boy make-out session. If you'd had the decency to ask for her permission, NOTBI, you wouldn't now be in the position of having to ask for her forgiveness.
Third, I think you should discuss this with your girlfriend, but I don't think you must. You're 18, you're not married, you (briefly) kissed a boy, and you didn't like it. If you think coming clean would destroy your relationship and you're sure it's never going to happen again, stuff this one up your memory hole.
Fourth, if you do talk with your girlfriend, NOTBI, you might not wanna emphasize the beard/tongue details. Not unless you want your girlfriend wondering the same thing I did after reading your letter: maybe if it had been a different guy, with a different tongue, a lot more than his tongue would've wound up in your mouth.
Q I (middle-aged, married, straight guy) recently attended a boring business conference where I ran into an old friend (middle-aged, married, straight guy). He came to my room for a moment, noticed a camera on a small tripod on the desk, and asked what I was shooting. Emboldened by a few beers, I told him about my hotel room routine: shoot myself naked and masturbating, then upload pics to an amateur exhibitionist website. Since I'd shared my little secret, he shared his: he gets naked in hotel rooms and masturbates while spanking himself with his belt. You can see where this is going. I whacked his ass while he took photos of me. There was no sucking or fucking—no physical contact at all—but his Catholic guilt came out afterward, and he started going on about how he had just had gay sex and cheated on his wife. To me, it was masturbation with a few toys (camera, belt, and, OK, person). So here's the question: Did we have gay sex and cheat on our wives? Or was this just a wank with a few toys? —Spank and Wank
A Yes, dear readers, this could be a fake. Every letter could be a fake.
OK, SAW, two guys beating off in a hotel room? Sounds pretty gay to me. I mean, if a woman offered to help me out with my solo hotel room routine—mostly blogging and watching MSNBC, I'm sad to report—I'd take a pass, as that scene would be entirely too straight for me to get aroused.
Now, it's possible that your enjoyment of exhibitionism is so pure that the gender of the person or persons involved is irrelevant. That's not the case with my kinks, SAW, nor does it appear to be the case with your new spank buddy. And considering your friend's kink (punishment) and his faith (Catholic), I'm thinkin' the odds that your buddy has a few forbidden desires—perhaps gay ones—that led to his erotic obsession with being punished seem . . . oh, I dunno . . . kinda high. It may not have been gay for you, but it was gay for him.
As for whether what went down in that hotel room constitutes cheating, SAW, you're asking the wrong person. Show your wife the pictures and ask her.