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I wanted to respond to the advice you gave Tried Not to Fall, the closeted gay guy who was in love with his straight roommate. You advised TNTF to tell his straight roommate how he felt.

I am in the straight roommate's shoes, Dan. I believe my roommate is gay and that, judging by the many hints/jokes that slip from his mouth, he has some "special" feelings for me. I am not a homophobe in the violent sense; I do, however, feel very uncomfortable being hit on by other guys. As long as my roommate's attempts to bed me remain in the realm of jokes, then we can both pretend he's not gay and I can deal. If he makes the foolish mistake of coming on to me, however, it will definitely ruin our relationship.

If TNTF's roommate is straight, then TNTF should respect his roommate's professed sexual identity and refrain from making unwelcome, disrespectful passes. Isn't respecting other people's sexual identities what gay people are always telling straight people to do? --Not Open to Gay Advance Yet

As a general rule, NOTGAY, I agree that gay men shouldn't make passes at straight ones...buuuuuuut...not all gay guys are out, NOTGAY, and that complicates matters. It sounds good in theory to say that men should respect one another's professed sexual identities, but in practice exceptions have to be made.

It's like this, NOTGAY: Most young gay men are closeted and/or "straight-identified" and don't come out until after they start messing around with guys. So sometimes they have to act on a hunch and make passes at straight-identified friends and roommates. Yes, yes: some gay men's "hunches" are so much wishful thinking. (Wishful thinking explains why so many gay men have "hunches" about Tom Cruise and so few have hunches about, say, Al Roker.) But often a hunch proves correct and an "unwelcome, disrespectful" pass results in a "straight" friend dropping his pants, coming out of the closet, and becoming a boyfriend. When that happens, the ex-straight guy is thankful for the unwelcome, disrespectful pass.

In your case, NOTGAY, your roommate's hunch seems like the wishful-thinking kind. For the sake of your friendship, I hope he keeps his hands to himself.

I am an 18-year-old straight guy. When I was 14 or so, me and my best male friend messed around a lot. It started one day when we looked at porn on his computer. We began masturbating under blankets together, then in full view of each other, then sitting next to each other. Soon we were experimenting with different ways of holding each other's dicks and getting each other off. I always enjoyed these experiences, even if I felt horribly grossed out and shamed the next day. However, I was always ready to do it again the next time I slept over. One time I even got down on all fours in front of him and he almost accepted the unspoken invitation.

The thought of kissing, cuddling, or any other kind of "sensuality" with a guy repulses me. We were just two horny boys with hard dicks. I love my girlfriend, and I feel a closeness and an intimacy with her that I could never feel with a guy. On the other hand, I hope to get the opportunity to experience the sheer animal lust that drove me and my best friend back then. My biggest fantasy, I have to admit, is to be fucked in the ass by a guy.

--Straight Guy Who Likes Dick

I'm running this letter for your benefit, NOTGAY, because I think it's clear that Straight Guy Who Likes Dick isn't a straight guy at all--despite the girlfriend, despite the straight identity. Like a lot of closeted gay men his age, he twists himself into knots to avoid admitting what's obvious to anyone who reads his letter: he's a huge fag. (Feeling "horribly grossed out and shamed" immediately after you mess around with a guy is the oldest closet-case cliche, SGWLD; being ready for more just as soon as you're horny again is the second oldest.)

Like a lot of closeted guys--guys who are closeted even to themselves--SGWLD thinks that if he refrains from kissing and cuddling other men he can't really be gay (or won't have to admit he is). It seems to me, NOTGAY, that what SGWLD really needs more than anything in the world is for some nice gay guy his own age to make an unwelcome, disrespectful pass. Hopefully the lucky guy who helps SGWLD realize his biggest fantasy will insist on a little cuddling and kissing before and after the ass fucking, thereby helping SGWLD to break through his idiotic denial.

My boyfriend and I live next door to a nice woman who has a totally hot boyfriend (he's a coach at our local university) we call HB. My boyfriend and I see HB out and about, mowing the lawn, doing stretches on the porch before he goes for a run, playing with his girlfriend's dog--all the usual straight guy stuff. The other morning when I got up, HB was in his girlfriend's kitchen naked! He looked right at me, smiled, turned to open the fridge, and bent over with his legs spread, giving me a free show! Now when we see HB, he winks at us when his girlfriend isn't looking! Should we invite him over for a little man play the next time his girlfriend is away? --Men Out and Naughty

I'm also printing this letter for your benefit, NOTGAY, just to show you that sometimes straight guys make unwelcome, disrespectful passes at gay men. Well, I guess it's not really accurate to describe HB's behavior as unwelcome. His actions, however, have clearly unnerved MOAN and his boyfriend.

Since HB isn't an 18-year-old, odds are better that he isn't a closet case who needs a nice gay guy--or a couple of gay guys--to come along and make the pass that brings him out. So what the fuck is HB up to? I'd say he's either bisexual and looking for some action on the side (maybe the girlfriend wants to watch?) or, more likely, he's straight, knows the effect his extraordinary good looks have on gay men, and enjoys prick-teasing the ones who've been ogling him since he moved in next door.

So what do you do about it, MOAN? Since it wouldn't be very neighborly of you to hit on your next-door neighbor's boyfriend (who probably isn't interested anyway), I would advise you to sit back and enjoy the show. HB has you two figured out--and he doesn't sound very shy. If he's up for a little "man play" (ugh! to that phrase, by the way) the next time his girlfriend is away, he'll invite himself over.

Dan Savage's new book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah (Dutton), is on sale now.

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