Is he bi - and if so, should I stay?

My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years and the relationship has gotten very serious. He's my best friend, confidante and partner in every way.. he talks a lot about marriage, having a family and hints that he'll be proposing soon. Our lives are deeply intertwined (on both a personal and professional level) and we are very close emotionally.

From the moment we met, the sexual chemistry between us was fantastic. He is a talented, generous and attentive lover and our sex life is very enjoyable. That said, I also thought, when we first met, that he might be gay. I can't say I had good reasons, but my something peaked my intuition. It sounds silly, and maybe it is - but I noticed that he dressed impeccably, paid a lot of attention to his appearance (working out, etc). These are good things of course (and part of why he's so attractive) - but it did give me pause. On our first date, he told me about the places where he enjoys traveling and hanging out -- and they all happened to be gay capitals of the world (Castro in San Francisco, Soho in New York, to name a few). This prompted me to ask him directly if he was gay -- I told him (truthfully) that I was curious in part because I have many gay friends. He laughed it off and insisted that he was 100% straight. (Personally, I don't believe anyone is "100%" anything..) I took him at his word, though I kept looking for signs either way.

Since that time, there have been a few other incidents, and also some intangible personality quirks of his, that have made me wonder about his sexuality. My boyfriend very rarely notices women when we're out together, but will sometimes point out or talk about a guy who passes by. I've noticed that gay men have flirted with him unabashedly in my presence. He also has a streak of homophobia that is the cause of many arguments between us. He likes to say that he supports civil rights for gay people, but is against gay marriage and gay adoption. But more than this, he has used gay epithets more than once in my presence, and he knows how angry it makes me. I have always thought that homophobia can be a sign of latent homosexual desire.

At different times since we've been together, I've revisited the sexuality question -- in part, by sharing more about my own sexuality with him, in the hopes that he would open up to me. This was probably a mistake -- I know that no one wants to be badgered about their sexuality. I might also be paranoid because of my own background -- I had one brief experience with another woman in my younger days, which I was always honest with him about. At first, when I'd express curiosity about his sexuality, he'd laugh it off and joke about it. But when I brought it up again recently, he completely lost his temper and told me that he felt humiliated that after almost two years of living together, sharing our lives, making love - that I still wonder about his orientation. I definitely can understand why he felt so upset.

The reason I brought it up this last time is that we had a bit of a strange episode. I recently confessed to my boyfriend that the thought of two men being together sexually was actually arousing to me and I asked him to help me come up with a fantasy involving two men. Although it took a little coaxing on my part, I was surprised by his reaction -- he was totally up for it, saying "Sure, if it turns you on.. I can differentiate between fantasy and reality." He then proceeded to describe a very detailed homosexual fantasy, which I did find arousing. Afterwards, we made love, which was as fantastic as usual.

Two nights later, I asked him if he would share a fantasy with me about two women sleeping together. This time, my boyfriend totally froze up, saying that he couldn't think of anything. I was devastated -- in part, because it seemed to be some kind of validation that he found it easier to fantasize about men than women. His explanation was that he just was tired of coming up with fantasies. I didn't buy it, although it may have been true.

At this point, I'm not sure what to think. I would like to think that if my boyfriend did feel some attraction towards men that he would be honest enough to admit it to himself and to communicate that to me. And if he did tell me that this was the case, I think I could live with that, although I would worry that he'd be tempted to experiment with men one day. It seems unlikely, in my view, that any "100% straight" man would be able to come up with gay fantasy he described so easily and enthusiastically -- even if he was doing it to satisfy me. And if he were doing it to satisfy me, why wasn't he willing or able to come up with a lesbian fantasy?

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Should I just be satisfied with the fact that we have a very satisfying sex life and a strong love for each other, and leave it at that? Or am I crazy to remain involved with a guy who might be bi-curious, in denial, and feel the urge to explore his (mine/our) fantasies further down the line one day?
By Baker 15 years ago :: Dating
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