Thursday, June 11, 2009
MSM: Is It Wrong for Straight Men to Have Sex with Men?
SMSM - The phenomenon of Straight Having Sex with Men, is there something wrong with this behavior?
This last part of the MSM series from glbtq.com has the answer:
Is SMSM Behavior Pathological?
While some SMSM behavior has pathological roots that need to be understood, straight men having sex with other men need not be pathological or even motivated by pathological reasons. Gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men are drawn to certain sexual behaviors, fantasies, and desires that they usually experience with little psychological trouble.
Moreover, as Kinsey and his associates documented in the 1940s and 1950s, men and women are capable of a much wider range of sexual behavior and fantasies than is usually recognized. Homosexually-identified men and women frequently have heterosexual fantasies and heterosexually-identified men and women frequently have homosexual fantasies.
Whatever drives a man to have sex with another man, as long as he is aware of the consequences of his behavior, has his and his partner's informed consent, harms no one else, and is mindful of his partner's integrity, sexual pleasure is its own justification. Moreover, it may even facilitate self-understanding and broaden one's perspective.
However, leading a life on the "down low" can be risky in a number of ways. The secrecy and shame involved may lead to such psychological fallout as depression and low self-esteem, plus many other dysfunctional behaviors such as chemical dependency, sexual addiction, suicide attempts, affairs, and unprotected sex that may result in STDs, including HIV infection.
A good rule of thumb is that if SMSM behavior prevents the development of deep personal relationships or otherwise adversely affects an individual's self-esteem or sense of himself, or causes emotional distress to loved ones, therapy may be helpful. SMSM who do end up in therapy often learn that it is not their sexual behavior that is the problem but how they feel about it.
Some learn that their sexual behavior expresses non-sexual issues or aspects of themselves that need to be addressed or emotional wounds that need to be healed.