Home Culture Are Women No Longer Afraid Of Men “On The Low?”

Are Women No Longer Afraid Of Men “On The Low?”


I have a coworker who came into my cubicle area one day and did what bothers me the most. She asked an obvious question as if she needed someone else to confirm something bright as day. It went like this:

Betsy: Jay, can you do me a favor real quick?

Jay: Why are you crying?

Betsy: Can you just do me a favor?

Jay: [Thinks these women need to stop coming into my office crying like I’m a shrink.] Fine, what is it?

Betsy: Read this email.

Jay: [Reads email…] Wait, WHO IS THIS?! I don’t talk to none of my boys like that, plus this sounds like a response to a Craiglist ad.

Betsy: My soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.

Jay: Wow.

I had just read an email that her boyfriend was sending to another man in another state about a possible rendezvous. Betsy was under the impression that he was traveling for work to various places in the country. But in reality, he was traveling to obscure places in the country for homosexual encounters.

There are few things to note about Betsy’s reaction:

  1. She was crying and upset – I can understand this, she was lied to in the worst way possible. He was unfaithful.
  2. She was breaking up with him – I asked her one question, “Is it because he’s gay or because he cheated on you?” Her response, “UM, BOTH.”
  3. She was leaving work early to go get an STD test – This is typically the same reaction most women have whenever someone cheats on them. I just think they move a little faster when they find out they’ve been having sex with a man who has sex with men.

Admin Note: While I was doing research for this article, someone actually tried give me some statistical analysis about how homosexual men are more likely to have HIV than heterosexual men. I told them that’s bullsh*t. I don’t give a damn about that statistic, Black people are catching HIV at way too high of a rate for me to worry about that stat.

The fact of the matter is Betsy reacted the same way that many women react when they find out the same news. When a man is dating a woman and he reveals to her that he is bisexual or gay and faking the funk, she’s upset. She doesn’t go on Twitter and start a trending topic about why she’s happy her man came out, and she surely won’t be buying his next mixtape, book, or anything else he puts out. (Yes, that was a shot.)

One of the top ten questions I’m asked when I’m trying to connect two people I think will be great for each other is, “Is he gay?” It’s almost as if that’s become a common concern in our network and a blatant indicator that it’s not widely acceptable for a man to be bisexual and be in a relationship with women.

Let me make a quick statement. I have friends who are homosexual or bisexual and are either openly gay or in the closet. I believe that no one should be told when to come out. Therefore, I notice their behavior and just make observations to myself. Openly gay men do have opportunities to and will, on occasion, sleep with women. Women will knowingly have sex with a man they think is gay if they find him attractive and only think the nature of the relationship will be sexual. THAT’S A RARE OCCASION. I can count on my hand how many times one of my friends that I’ve known for 20 years and is openly gay has told me he slept with a woman. The friends that I have who are “on the low” are constant victims of the rumor mill. They meet women, they start dating them, and sometimes even end up in a relationship. But once that rumor mill hits the woman, I get a phone call and it goes a little something like this:

Antoinette: Jay, can I ask you a question?

Jay: Hello to you too.

Antoinette: Is Tony gay?

Jay: I am not dating that guy, so why would I know his sexual orientation?

Antoinette: Because that’s your boy and the fact that you didn’t answer my question means yes. He can lose my number.

Jay: Well, damn.

Full disclosure: Of course, I know Tony is “on the low.” I only have an obligation to keep his private life, private. But I’m not lying for anybody.

And that’s pretty much how the story goes about 95% of the time. That’s why a couple weeks ago when Anderson Cooper came out, we all said, “Good for him.” When Frank Ocean came out, we all raved for him on Twitter. Privately, most men would agree we all said the same thing: “It’s great to see all these women in support of Frank Ocean, they’re not dating him though.”

Honestly, I don’t know how women who are currently sleeping with or have slept with him in the past few months felt about him coming out of the closet. However, in my opinion, there’s a 95% chance that she didn’t like it one bit. She felt that she had been lied to. She felt that somehow he found her inadequate. She felt embarrassed. She felt ashamed. And moreover, she felt like she couldn’t ever tell a soul.

“Hey girl, remember when I said I hooked up with Frank Ocean in Vegas last summer? That was a lie. Yeah, I’m just feeling like being honest. I saw him in VIP, but we didn’t really have sex. I was just chilling at his hotel room.”

That’s the problem with this “on the low” phenomenon. Publicly, since we’re all radically liberal on Twitter, we rave. Privately, we’re faced with those things that we really believe. It’s easy for women to support a brother coming out of the closet when they’re not with him. I’ve witnessed it with couples that I knew very well. Only once have I witnessed a woman who didn’t walk away with her head held down or frustrated. In that case, she admitted to herself that she kind of knew all along and just continued to lie to herself because he was a great guy. All the others have gone like this:

  1. She wanted all her male friends to beat his ass. (Not realizing this would be viewed as a hate crime because you can’t just go around beating up gay men.)
  2. She disappeared off the face of the earth and never returned. She took down her Facebook and changed her phone number. There’s no record that she exists and no one has a clue where she went.
  3. She beat his ass like he was riding round with Keisha and broke the news in his Altima.
  4. She passed out. Yes… I witnessed a girl pass the hell out when she found out. It wasn’t because she had the Holy Ghost either, it was because she found out her boyfriend was on fire and it wasn’t for Jesus.

I’m sure if all of those women could have the relationship back, they would take it back in a heartbeat. Nobody likes to carry around a learning lesson like that. It just makes me think of the larger female audience out there who’s looking for men to date — straight men to date. They’re struggling with this and while we’re becoming more accepting as a society, this is still a point of contention. My personal opinion is that it’s less about the homosexuality and more about the lying. Women aren’t upset because men are gay. They’re upset because men are gay and purporting themselves as straight. Focusing on the real problem might lead us to middle ground.

– Dr. J

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the “down low” brother. Do you think it’s unfair to women? Do you think it should be the man’s choice for how he wants to play it? Are you comfortable with men who are dating on both sides of the fence, provided their honest with both? A few things about today. I’m not going to argue with anyone unless you act crazy and I have to go all moderator on you. I know this can be a sensitive topic. Additionally, I’m not homophobic and I’m comfortable in who I am as a heterosexual male. That said, these are my thoughts. I sleep through the night.

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  1. Do you think it’s unfair to women? Absolutely
    Do you think it should be the man’s choice for how he wants to play it?
    Even though I wish there was full disclosure ultimately it is up to him. Keep in mind that rarely does anyone practice full disclosure; many people disclose what they believe to be pertinent information while hiding what they will be judged harshly on. An analogue for women would be disclosing items like selling a$$, abortions, etc.

    Are you comfortable with men who are dating on both sides of the fence, provided their honest with both? Unforunately, I am very biased against this despite honesty. I have the opportunity to have gay male friends and their sexual practices are wild in comparison with the majority of hetero guys I know. I am definitely not saying this is exclusive to sexuality but without the threat of pregnancy and the fact that homosexuality trumps promiscuity when dealing with social sigma, there is really no social pressure to remain in long term monogamous relationships.

  2. Funny, I blogged about this recently. See below if you care to. You're right, the problem isn't that the guy is gay, it is that passing himself off as straight is deceitful and grounds for dismissal and in my book subjects him to whatever physical trauma he experiences, call it violence against gays if you want. He's going to get beat down by SOMEBODY.
    There's a guy I've known for like 5 years that I honestly believe is gay who has been trying to get at me, who claims to not understand why people thinks he's gay! He seems truly hurt by the assumption. It's amazing. It has made me question whether he really is or if he's just effeminate. But, my rule is, if I think you're gay, you might as well be because I'm not going to date you. I don't care how good of a man you are.
    As long as he's honest, he's good. Some women are ok with dating a guy that's bi (times are that hard I guess lol) or even gay. I'm not that girl. The whole idea of being on the down low is dishonest, obviously and is morally reprehensible and irresponsible. THOSE guys can kick rocks!
    My recent post Signs He May Be Gay

  3. The lie is the biggest issue. You misrepresented yourself to your partner as something you weren’t. In the ideal world, no man should have to choose to be on the “low” to protect his image, professional life or standing in the community.

    Though society as a whole has a long way to go towards accepting bi guys. Bi girls run across prejudice too but it’s nowhere near what bi guys face. There’s the belief that any guy who would allow himself to be touched by another man must be gay. I still haven’t met any women who would still date Frank Ocean after his announcement. There seems to be that fear that any guy who could touch another man couldn’t truly be with a woman.

    1. I would do all sorts of things with frank if given the opportunity. I'm actually way more attracted to him now, not because he's bi but because of the way he talked about love and his profession was so real and romantic. So attractive.

  4. Straight women open your minds and maybe men who have had relations with men wouldn't have to proport to be straight.

    Take the case of a bisexual man…What about his feelings?…He is attracted to both males and females but now must choose a side because women (some women) are not comfortable with being with a man who has been with another man? or he just lies to you and you call him "down low".

    Gay/bisexual men are fine with being with a man who has been with a women…And, straight men have no problems with women being with other women. hmmm.

    1. Gay male sex =/= gay female sex.

      That penetration thing is always an issue in the former in the minds of most heterosexual.

  5. Whether or not straight women need to open their minds, men who are gay or bi should not lie. That's faulty logic. "Well if you just open your minds, we would tell you the truth." Da fug outta here.

    If you are bi then you are bi. You have to deal with that and the possibly small dating pool just as people who will only date people who are 6'5" have to deal with the limited dating pool. You don't LIE to people though, how is that a way to start a relationship?!
    My recent post Hey! *waves*

  6. I'm not comfortable with gay/downlow men being secretive about their sexuality when it comes to dating. If I'm not dating them, I couldnt care less about what they identify as. However, If you identify as gay, why would you want to date the opposite sex anyway?

    When I found out about the Kappa from Brooklyn(that I mentioned a while back), I was shocked and embarrassed for him. I know some of his frat brothers and friends he went to school with, but I've never felt compelled to out him. I kind of feel sorry for him. As a result of that experience, I have no problem asking a man early on if he has ever slept with a man/is attracted to men, etc.

  7. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the “down low” brother. Do you think it’s unfair to women?
    I think its intentionally deceptive. The reason men typically hide this is because they feel that the woman would not date them, so rather than tell them and give them the choice they hide it and they take that choice away from her. That's the unfair part, its no different from heterosexual men who hide their kids, hide their wife (no intruder), they are intentionally misleading, that is never ok.

    Do you think it should be the man’s choice for how he wants to play it?
    I understand its perhaps something you don't want to lead with, however i think waiting until they get caught up, or after she loves the ground he walks on is just wrong.

    Are you comfortable with men who are dating on both sides of the fence, provided their honest with both?
    As a heterosexual male, i could care less. The difference between an openly bisexual woman and a openly bisexual man is that a bi chick wont have too much trouble getting a man while a bisexual man …not so much. I'm sure chicks are more likely to still give Frank the pink matter before Donte from up the street.

  8. I have no problem with him being gay. I have a problem with him lying and making me look like a fool. Just like of a man left you for another woman. Of course not many women are going to support their boyfriend coming out of the closet, especially if they’ve been togther for 2 or more years, he wasted her time. Heck for two years he wasn’t really into to her, she didn’t even start of on a stron foot because all along he was into to men. To me if you not sure about your sexuality, you shouldn’t get serious with anyone and waste their time. If you want to date around and figure it out that’s cool, but don’t get a woman or mans hopes up of your not sure what side of the fence you want to be on. now if he comes out about he’s sexual orientation in the early stages of the relationship (3 to 9 months) I won’t be as mad, I would still be upset by I might be more supportive and even offer him friendship.

    Sorry if I’m not open minded enough but I will not knowingly date a bisexual man. I would give him props for being honest, but I couldn’t handle that. It hard enough finding a good non cheating heterosexual man and trust him fully with having female friends and not chasing skirts. Now Once I trust him not to chase skirts and be a one woman man, I have to worry about him bringing new guys around and hoping theyre just a friend and he’s not having a (man) withdraws.

    1. Smilez_920: "Of course not many women are going to support their boyfriend coming out of the closet, especially if they've been togther for 2 or more years, he wasted her time. Heck for two years he wasn't really into to her"…

      I don't know. He technically wasted her time because it didn't work out, but I'd assume he was into her. He may have thought he genuinely wanted a woman when they first started dating, and realized his feeling for men was stronger.

      I can't say I know the psyche of a gay or bisexual man, but I'd imagine they may be actually attracted to women, especially due to societal pressures and norms, but realize although they may love a certain woman, and trying it out for years and decades, they just gravitate towards men.

      It's completely understandable why a woman would feel betrayed and perhaps a bit disgusted though.

  9. Claps up this post.

    Do you think it’s unfair to women? – YES!!!!

    Do you think it should be the man’s choice for how he wants to play it? – Not when he's involving someone else in that choice…

    Are you comfortable with men who are dating on both sides of the fence, provided their honest with both? – Uh…no. Call me whatever you want. But, I'd NEVER EVER knowingly date a bichexual man. That's my choice and it best be respected.

    1. I have an ex (preteen, puppy love ex) that I suspect is either gay or bi now. That's all the second guessing I can handle in this here lifetime…

      So, I agree…I'm sure there are some chicks who were none too impressed with Frank's coming out party…and I feel them.

  10. Bisexual men not being honest and upfront with women about their sexuality……..see that's that ish I don't like

  11. she had the Holy Ghost either, it was because she found out her boyfriend was on fire and it wasn’t for Jesus.

    Classic, for some reason I think I seen you write this before.


    It is my firm religious belief that an attractive (enough) man can overcome any perceive flaw women think he has, and homos*xuality is no different. Uncorfirmed gay male celebs prove that all day, everyday. I forgot that BW in general are a very (Christian) religious bunch, and I think that plays a huge role in the reluctance to entertain a bi-sexual male.

    I was at McDs yesterday, my friend & I was talking about this guy who allow this chick on the first night to handcuff him stomach facing the bed & "allowed" her to lick his backside area with whipped cream, he was handcuff. He was anonymous, and this came from his mouth. (One of @Passport_Cutty's shows)

    Another girl was mad that her boyfriend was upset that she offered to do him with a strap-on. (Same Twitter girl, different show)

    My point is, is that they is a market for at least bi-sexual males & BW to win out there

  12. And another thing, for everyone who is saying, oh it is not because he is gay, it is because he misrepresentated himself… FULL STOP

    Y'all sound like bitter Cleveland fans. It is BECAUSE he left, not how he left

  13. "Do you think it’s unfair to women?"

    Yes I think it's unfair to women if a man is keeping his sexual preferences a secret from her, if you want to switch hit THEN FINE but at least let that women know upfront what your about so that she can decide FOR HERSELF if she wants to continue dating you or not because from what I've been reading as of late in these e-streets dude might be surprised because for some reason — alot of women are cool with it.

    I AIn't About That Life Though!!!

  14. Being deceitful is very wrong. In a relationship or when getting to know someone, you definitely should be honest and upfront. This situation happened to a family member and after 20+ years of marriage, she found out he was on the other team. Really devastating situation.
    As a heterosexual man, I really don't care how a bi or gay dude handles his business (it definitely expands my dating pool of potential ladies), but in all serioussness these dudes need to be upfront about how they get down. My ex gf has a few female friends, who might I add are FINE!, that were cool dating bi men. I never really knew it was that bad out for women, but yeah they didn't mind the men they were giving the "pink stuff" to was getting "plugged out."

  15. Do you think it’s unfair to women? Of course it is.
    Do you think it should be the man’s choice for how he wants to play it? I think the most impnt thing is that the man give the woman a choice and let her choose whether she is cool with him being bi or whatever.
    Are you comfortable with men who are dating on both sides of the fence, provided their honest with both?

  16. I wouldn't say I'm comfortable with it. But grown folks are gonna do what they wanna do. There are some women who are ok with knowingly dating a bisexual man, just like men knowingly date bisexual women all the time. I would never knowingly date a gay or bisexual man and if it came out that he was with another man while we were dating there would be hell to pay. I would be pissed because of the lie and because with AIDS and HIV being so rampant I would be very concerned about my health and well being. I know how careless and irresponsible men can be when it comes to sex and not wanting to use condoms. I think my concern for my health would piss me off and hurt me more than him cheating. Not every woman gets tested after finding out their man cheated with another woman, but I damn sure have. I don't take no chances. My life and health is nothing to play with and I take it serious as a heart attack.

  17. I think if men are bisexual and like to dip their sticks in men and women they need to be honest and let Every woman they date and want to sleep with and plan to try to sleep with that they are bi or gay or whatever. They owe it to that woman to let her know the truth. If she chooses not to deal with him then so be it, there are women who will. But don't knowingly deceive a woman and have her fall in love with you and possibly compromise her health because your horny and greedy and irresponsible and childish.
    Cause if that woman was to end up HIV positive or get some other STD that is on that mans conscience and he has to live with it for the rest of his life.

  18. By the way, these are the same women who will not keep it 1 million about how many men she has slept with (aka s*xual history), but feel like it is unfair when a bi-sexual male misrespresents themselves, sigh

    1. Just like alot of men don't keep it 100 about how many women they are seeing or sleeping with in rotations……..

      We can throw Salt ALL DAY, but this topic right here is a totally different beast.


    2. How many people you slept with and who you have slept with can be two different things one having more importance over the other, but it all depends on the person.

  19. i saw this post on my FB wall and ironically the article right after it was this "Young, Black, Gay and Bisexual Men in U.S. Are Becoming Infected with HIV at Three Times the Rate of White Counterparts": http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news/young-black-

    To answer your question about if gay black men are more likely than straight black men to have AIDS–it doesn't seem like it's something that's reported on. However, the stats by the CDC suggest that they are a high risk group: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/

    Nonetheless, being homosexual in my opinion is not what's unfair. Risky, reckless, and irresponsible sexual behavior is what's unfair–if you happen to be straight and reckless, that's no better than being gay and reckless. If you're f-ing everyone who has earlobes, you're simply selfish. As a straight black woman, I think about this probably more than my white female friends but I do my best to separate the politic of homosexuality and the reality that there are people who are just sexually irresponsible–people will like what they like, sexually, I just wish more were responsible about it.

  20. I completely agree with GirlSixx. I wish I could post that pic of the sex chart that you see everytime you go to the clinic. You know the one where more than 1 person you've slept with represents like 50 to 100 people. The one that reminds you that when you have sex with someone your also having sex with all the people they had sex with before you. I had a friend, (God rest her soul) who died of full blown AIDS. Her and her infant son. I don't think her son lived to see a 2nd b-day, he was lucky to live to see 1 yr old.
    At any rate she got it from a "so-called" straight truck-driver. Now if this guy was straight he could've caught it from any one of the 20 people that he could've possibly been with or any one of the 5 people. How many people you sleep with is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is you can sleep with only 1 person, but if that one person slept with 40 people, it becomes irrelevant that you only slept with that 1 person. All it takes is 1 person to give you an STD. One sexual encounter with the wrong person at the wrong time. Just like all it takes is 1 time for a woman to get pregnant.

  21. What woman in her right mind wouldn't be upset if her man was gay? Maybe after a long while I could support you, but that would make me feel shitty and disturbed especially if he wasn't into women at all. And yes it's because hes gay that I'd be upset. also y'all don't know if frank ocean was on the down low, I'd be wiling to bet he was upfront with women he seriously dated, he was pretty open with the world fairly early on in his career.


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