Monday, October 02, 2006

Scores of White men are "on the down low"

Tips for Those Affected by Men on The Down Low
Do you suspect your boyfriend or husband of being on the down low (or on tha low)? Many men in heterosexual relationships have sex with other men unbeknownst to their wives or girlfriends. Below is a guide for those affected by a loved one on the down low.

1. Only You Can Make a Determination About Your Relationship.

Take a step back before confronting your significant other about being gay or "on tha low." Of course, suspecting your partner of cheating is one thing, but being gay or bisexual is another. Without discounting your current emotions, it's important that you keep your cool and think about why you have your suspicions. Be weary of advice from family or friends, as sometimes they tend to exacerbate the situation or point out signs that don't necessary lead to your man being on the down low. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how this will affect your relationship or if it will even continue. This is up to you and your significant other.

2. Do Your Research.

Know that there are different degrees of sexuality, which was highlighted many years ago by Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his Kinsey Scale. It is possible your husband or boyfriend is bisexual, gay or simply curious. Nothing in life is simply this cut and dry. Know where he stands!

o What Is The Down Low?
o Myths About Bisexuality
o Tips for Family and Friends of Gays

3. Ask Him About His Sexuality and Sexual History.

o Pick a time when you both can be alone.
o Let him know you are concerned about his current behavior (talking in male chat rooms, hinting towards a sexual attraction to men, etc.) and that you suspect he may be gay or bisexual.
o He may get angry or defensive, so assure him that you are asking because you care and deserve his honesty.
o Ask him if he's ever been with other men or if he has a desire to be with them.
o Inquire about his sexual history. Even if you already know, ask again with detailed questions.
o Tell him you would like to practice safe sex from this point on for your own protection.

4. Be Open to All Possibilities.

This doesn't mean you have to accept his bisexuality or homosexuality, you should simply stay open to the possibility that it may just be a curiosity or fantasy. It's understandable that this doesn't ease the situation, but it will keep your emotions level in order to make the proper decisions about your relationship. Also be aware that he may not have been aware of his own sexual preference until the present moment. Part of gay men coming out of the closet is a revelation to themselves that they are attracted to the same sex.

5. It's Not Your Fault.

Often women think they "made" or "turned" their husband or boyfriend gay or bisexual by someting they did or didn't do. This is not the case! Rest assured, your significant other's present display of homosexual or bisexual feelings were there before he met you. They were simply repressed until now. Some men come out at 13, others at 30. Each circumstance is different.

6. Protect Yourself, Practice Safe Sex!

One of the unfortunate side effects of unfaithful men on the down low is the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Outside of this issue, It's important that you always practice safe sex (remember, women carry STD's as well!) This is especially important for the protection of you and your children. Get tested for HIV!

7. Talk With Others Affected by Men On The Down Low.

o "The term [down low] may have been termed by black men, but the phenomenon is hardly only in the black community. There are scores of white men who are also on the down low." Join This Discussion!

o "My first experience with someone on the dl was my very first boyfriend and sexual partner, whom I always suspected as being gay." Join This Discussion!

o "I told him that I understood he was bisexual, and that if he needed to be with a woman [or man], fine. Just make sure to do 3 things..." Join This Discussion!

Suggested Reading

Reasons to Get an HIV TestIs He Gay?Family & Friends of Gays

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