Having Gay Sex Does Not Make You Gay

You’ve gotta do more than that to be gay…

Christopher Kelly

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Two gay men standing together with one unbuttoning the other’s jeans.
Image: christian buehner on Unsplash

Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung once said: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” And this is true, up to a point. You’re not a writer if you just say you’re a writer, you have to write. Of course, writers are not the only people in this world who write. Everybody writes on some level. From shopping lists to Facebook rants. But what distinguishes passionate writers from everyone else is their absolute infatuation with writing.

In saying that, those who don’t like writing could still write, they just won’t enjoy it as much as passionate writers.

The same can be said for being gay. A man having sex with the same sex is part and parcel of being gay, but what separates those who do it and those who are truly gay is the level of infatuation. I could have sex with another woman, but that will not make me straight. Even if I managed to climax, it still wouldn’t make me straight. This is because I am not attracted to women.

So What Does Make You Gay?

To answer this question, I spoke with Dr Joe Kort, a psychotherapist who specialises in sexology. According to Dr Kort, being gay is not something you do, it’s an identity. Only we get to decide if we’re gay.

“Usually there is an emotional, psychological, romantic and sexual interest in a person of the same sex as well as identifying with other gay men and the gay male community,” said Dr Kort.

Ultimately, being gay means you are attracted to the same sex, which is different to Straight Men Who Have Sex With Men.

Straight Men Who Have Sex With Men do not have the same type of attraction to another man, nor do they fit into the gay male community. They are attracted to the behavior with a man, not the man.”

More specifically, as Dr Kort notes, men are more interested in transactional sex — where sex is treated as a physiological service rather than a romantic adventure. And this tends to arise in situations that afford it to happen. Think all boys boarding schools (or, for lesbian sex, all girls boarding schools), jails, military. Think post-breakup, or even a sexual opportunity.

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Christopher Kelly

Just your friendly gay man setting the record straight.