Is It Unusual For Straight Guys To Frequent Gay Bars?

Gaybar2A newlywed woman wrote to Dear Abby to ask whether she should be worried that her fit and attractive husband is hanging out with the gays at drinking establishments.

Dan has been going out with Harry to gay bars where he gets “hit on” often. I can tell he likes the attention. I should also mention that Dan seems to be considerably less interested in sex lately.

His going to gay bars every night is beginning to worry me. If I say anything to him about it, he guilt-trips me about my travel.

Is it normal for a straight man to seek out the company of gay men?

Abby replies: "It is unusual for a straight man to frequent gay bars. But would you feel better if Dan were going to straight bars every night and being hit on by women while you’re away?"

Just because a man hangs out at a gay bar does not mean he is into guys, okay? Some of my best-friends are straight, and, yes, they venture out to the homo pubs with me. Never have they been "turned." And if this "Dan" is indeed of the gay variety, it's not because he's chilling at gay bars.

Read more here:


  1. Bart says

    Uhm…the woman states her husband is going to gay bars every night, not every once in a while as you comment on in the subsequent pargraph.

    She should be worried. I would bet ‘Harry’ has ‘Dan’ picture next to his bed. :)

  2. says

    I think you may have missed the boat with your comment about this letter. I don’t think she is worried the gay bar is going to turn her husband gay. I think she’s worried he already is. It’s not homophobic for a woman to want her husband to be straight.

  3. Matt26 says

    Difficult to say, but every night and wife at home, he likes the attention, less sex at home.
    I think they need to talk, honestly and openly. They both deserve to be happy. Talk and make the decisions needed.

  4. sara says

    If a married man is hitting any kind of bar every night means she should be worried. Bad advice from Abby (I thought she was dead) telling her it could be worse, he could be getting hit on by women. Not sure about the last comment in this column. The bar doesn’t have to turn him, he may have not been all that straight to begin with.

  5. Paul R says

    One of my brothers has been going to gay bars with me for years. He and his girlfriends and now wife prefer them. But every night is a little much. Even I couldn’t go to a bar every night.

    The husband is clearly a mess. Not because of the drinking at gay bars. But because he and Harry are going at it, and the wife is an idiot. I’d be surprised if they even make it to the bars.

  6. wwolffus says

    The gay bar I go to after work around 5ish has a mixture of gay and straight people getting off work, having a drink and leaving. Around 8, the bar becomes, ummmm, significantly “more” gay. If he’s there after 9 or later, he’s not just hanging out. He’s cruising.

  7. Roland says

    The first line of the woman’s letter about her husband was: “He’s bright, sweet, outgoing and very good-looking. He is in excellent shape and works out at the gym daily.”

    My first thought was, umm, gay.

  8. takingpillsinthedark says

    I was a married closet case for 25 years. I went to gay bars once in awhile when I could get away with it, but my wife never knew.

  9. Ninong says

    According to her letter to “Abby,” her husband is good-looking and in great shape and all of his friends at the gym, where he spends a lot of his time, are also good-looking and in great shape. And, by coincidence, they’re all gay. One of those gay friends is “very close” to her husband and takes him with him to gay bars every night. And, by coincidence, her husband hasn’t shown much interest in sex with her lately.

    Was this letter dated April 1st? Because it sure sounds like some sort of April Fool’s joke. Lady, if all of your husband’s friends are gay and he goes with them to gay bars every night, he might be gay. Just sayin’.

  10. J.J. in the Navy says

    My straight shipmates want me to take them to gay bars cause they think yheir chances of picking up women are better there. This is kinda off- topic but is that true?

  11. sara says

    Now that I’ve read the whole letter; “Dan has become friendly with a group of men at the gym. Like him, they are all good-looking and in tip-top shape. They are also gay. One guy in particular, “Harry,” has become quite close to my husband. He often jokes about “recruiting” Dan and comments on Dan’s popularity with “the boys.” It looks like it’s more about who he’s spending time with, “Harry” , than spending time at a gay bar. She already knows the answer.

  12. TEC says

    JJ – I don’t know that their chances are any better, but I know that they aren’t the first to try. When I was in grad school I used to go to this one gay club with a friend of mine often and we always got hit on by straight guys and almost never got hit on by any gay girls.
    I actually did have a lot of straight female friends who used to like to go to gay clubs with us because they didn’t have to worry about being hit on and felt like they could relax more.

  13. David Hearn says

    “Is he gay?”
    “Is he in the closet?”

    How 70’s and boring. I’m with Sargon, he’s probably an alcoholic. Just because you are in “great shape” (to most straight women this means HWP) doesn’t mean you aren’t an alkie.

    I don’t go to bars- they are full of drunks. When I went to bars, I was a drunk. Through the miracle of not drinking and reclaiming my time, I stopped drinking and reclaimed my time. Other people replace one addiction with another, ie alcoholism with alcoholics anonymous. How 70’s, how boring.

  14. Roger Givens says

    My son-in-law (I’m gay, his father is gay, he’s not) likes to go to gay bars for the free drinks the gay guys offer up to him. We call him a “faux-mo”. He loves it, but loves the free drinks even more. And NO he’s not gay in the least just loves to drink and get attention. Maybe this guy is a faux-mo too! :)

  15. NY2.0 says

    Could the wife just be exaggerating when she says he goes to gay bars every night? In any case there are a lot of straight guys that do frequent gay bars and are quite comfortable in their own skin.

    However the lack of interest in sex with his wife is definitely a warning sign on its own. He may be getting some elsewhere.

  16. Lymis says

    Ah the joys of lack of nuance.

    He’s friends with guys at the gym. Is this a matter of going to the bar next door for a quick beer with them after the workout and the home to the wife?

    Or is it a matter of coming home, cleaning up, and heading out the the bars every night?

    Is he going with specific friends, or is he hanging out and meeting new people there?

    And, of course, Abby has it right – the concern over whether he’s gay may or may not be justified, but the concerns that he’s developing an increasing social life that doesn’t include her should be.

    Now, the writer says that she travels often and that her husband is hanging out with these guys while she’s away.

    I’m surprised that Abby didn’t make the obvious suggestion – offer to join him at the bar sometime when she IS home. If he says “great! I’d love for you to meet all the guys, they keep asking about you” it’s one thing, but if he gets all weird and makes excuses why she shouldn’t, then we have a different (and pretty obvious) answer.

  17. DanSwon says

    my straight guy friends have been with me on occasion. they weren’t uncomfortable with it in the slightest, but then i’m blessed with open-minded friends. it’s far more often my straight girl friends going and dragging me along even when i don’t want to go. so yeah i’d say it’s a bit unusual. i’ve only ever had one straight guy friend who frequented gay bars for pretty much every night out. he was very straight though (and i had a massive crush on him)

  18. mike/ says

    gay bar? straight bar? going out every night is the bigger problem as some others have said above. is he totally wasted when he comes home? she doesn’t say.

  19. wimsy says

    The fact that she gets her marital advice from a newspaper columnist says a lot about this woman.

    Rather than listen to her, I’d go to a saloon, too.

  20. BobN says

    Abby’s advice seems reasonable but she should have added:

    P.S. If he comes home tonight and tells you he read your letter in my column, it’s time to discuss who gets custody of the yorkie.

  21. Jack says

    “Is It Unusual For Straight Guys To Frequent Gay Bars?”

    To answer Andy’s question, my experience in West Hollywood and San Diego over the last few years is that while straight guys in gay bars may not be prevalent, it’s not unusual either. Most of the straight guys I’ve met in gay bars are in their 20’s and are there to hang out with their brother or cousin or best friend from grade school. They are comfortable with themselves and if I make the assumption that they’re gay, they correct me in a very polite and non-defensive manner and we end up having a great conversation. They’re there because they’re having fun with their friends.

    I also know of a group of straight guys who are all married or with girl friends. When they want to have a guys night out they go to a gay bar, play pool, drink some beers, enjoy the attention and it eliminates a lot of drama with their wives and girl friends.

    But with this particular guy from Dear Abby – who knows?

  22. LiamLiam says

    If you read the actual letter you see that her husband met a bunch of guys at the gym and became friends with them. She travels all the time and he goes out with his friends when she is out of town. Which is a lot. Since his friends are gay they go to the gay bar. She is upset because she thinks he is going out too often. Sounds like they are fighting about this. When ever she brings it up he says you travel too much. No wonder the sex has fallen off. I think she is projecting the gay thing onto this so as not to look at the real issue: that she is never home.

  23. jim says

    Orrr, it seemed like the perfect solution for a closeted gay man at the time: marry a woman who’s never home. Have to wonder if all this hangin’ with the gaze stuff only started after they were married, or maybe he was more successful at keeping it from her before they were married.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s all innocent (as far as orientation) and maybe maybe he found, over time, that SHE turned out to be someone other than the person he thought he was marrying–as she seems to infer about HIM in the letter–and he simply doesn’t like being around her…easy to handle when she’s traveling, but more an issue when she’s home.

  24. says

    Dear Married to Closet-Case:

    What’s the difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual?

    A six pack… and I don’t mean abs.

    Ahh, the memories. Let’s see, how many straight boys have I peeled off the floor of gay bars throughout the South and West… hmmm. Sorry, missy, but even with a Bachelor’s Degree in I.T. and a genius proficiency in math, I can’t count that high. His frequency of visits to the bars, and in the company of gay male friends not withstanding – his lack of sexual interest in you is a warning sign in and of its own. Though NOT, I venture to guess, of his sexuality. More likely it has something to do with those frequent “travel” occasions of yours that you mention. Sounds to me like the boy feels more like a potted plant than a husband. Or is it that he’s codependent and has abandonment issues. Or have you just not shaved your legs lately?

Leave A Reply