Why are some gay men attracted to straight guys?

Why is it that some gay men are so attracted to straight guys? I asked some of my crew and the answers were varied and interesting.

One of them said, “because straight men don’t remind them of themselves.” I told him that it sounded a lot like internalized homophobia to me. He said, “We don’t like who we are ‘cause we spend our time trying to be someone else (the straight guy) and that’s what goes on when you’re in the closet. Self-deprecation. Homophobia? Maybe a little I guess, it’s just a really strong word.” I’m sure that could be an explanation for some cases if it’s severe enough to keep them from becoming involved with another gay man.

Another answer was, “I am just so attracted by all that testosterone and manliness, especially if they are wearing a uniform!” In my mind this explanation has more to do with all the gay porn out there where the gay man is being dominated by an authority figure such as a military or police officer amongst other authority figures. It says to me that this gay man might be looking to alleviate any guilt he may have about being gay, well, at least in the case of this friend.

My favorite answer was from my best friend from childhood, he said, “Ain’t all our issues just Daddy issues? Not that I want to f*#k my Daddy, but I want him to accept me!” I get this. The need to belong and be accepted, especially by our father is important whether we’re 16 or 45.

Out of all the answers I got, not one of my gay friends mentioned that they might be attracted to straight men because they are essentially unavailable.

I see this quite a lot amongst my straight friends, where they are attracted to someone who is married, someone who lives a country or continent away, or someone who is just emotionally unavailable. They seem to have issues with committing long-term to any one person and so choose only those people who they are unable to have.

I wonder if this can’t also be an explanation for the gay men amongst us who are so obsessed with straight men that they can’t sustain a long-term relationship with another gay man. Maybe this is a fear of intimacy where becoming close to another person feels dangerous and they know that won’t happen with a straight man?

In my experience, we all work out our biggest challenges in our most intimate relationships and come to know more of who we are through them. I find posing these types of questions to myself and my friends helps me to grow and expand my knowledge of not just about who I am as a gay man but who we all are as a community in all our weird and wonderful ways of relating.