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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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: Lymis | Apr 6, 2012 8:03:13 AM

  2. 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)

    Posted by: DanSwon | Apr 6, 2012 9:03:33 AM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: mike/ | Apr 6, 2012 9:05:08 AM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: wimsy | Apr 6, 2012 9:44:06 AM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 6, 2012 12:26:12 PM

  6. "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?

    Posted by: Jack | Apr 6, 2012 1:14:52 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: LiamLiam | Apr 6, 2012 2:40:26 PM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: jim | Apr 6, 2012 3:13:37 PM

  9. she should be more concerned about him going to ANY bars every night.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 6, 2012 3:20:48 PM

  10. 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?

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Apr 6, 2012 4:11:02 PM

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