Gay/Lesbian Issues/is my boyfriend gay?


My boyfriend looks at porn on his computer. Sometimes I secretly check what he has been looking at to make sure he isn't looking at anything weird like rape or children or animals (not that he has ever given me a reason to think he's into these things). I recently came across something that concerns me. He has these anime-style drawings of women with penises. I have never seen gay porn on his computer, but I'm concerned that these pictures mean he's gay or bi-curious. We have been together 7 years and I've never suspected that he is gay, until now. Otherwise we have a wonderful relationship and sex life. However I haven't been able to have sex with him since making this discovery

Greetings Erica,

Thanks for your message. I can see why you may have this concern however I can only share my insights about sexuality.

When it comes to porn/sexually explicit media, you can virtually find endless images, scenarios, stories and videos. If you can imagine a non sexual image, know that there's a sexualized image of it somewhere in cyberspace. Also, the context of how one views porn may be different for the next person. Some people enjoy the erotic story lines however the next person may see the same flick and prefer to watch the actors while the next person may enjoy watching the close ups. They are all watching the same thing but for very different reasons.

The imagery of women with penises can be found in real time and in anime. If you may be referring to a transgender person, 'she' may be someone born with a penis however lives and identifies as a woman. Points to know:
1. Gay men are typically not attracted to women (including whether she has a penis or no penis).
2. Gay men are typically not in satisfying erotic and sexual relationships with women.
3. Gay men who aren't out about their sexuality may watch gay porn as an outlet

From a human sexuality perspective, it is not uncommon for anyone gay, lesbian or straight to have curiosities, thoughts or fantasies about an image that does not align with their sexual orientation. In many cases, it may amount to nothing at all. For example, if someone likes watching a certain genre of movie such as sci-fi, drama or action it doesn't mean that is that's person disposition. Someone can be the nicest most passive person in the world yet enjoys watching crime or horror movies.  

For many people, they watch different genres of porn for different reasons including:
- It keeps the sex life feeling less predictable
- It helps a person to relax without the stain and energy towards coming up with a fantasy
- It's a way to escape from daily stressors of life
- Because it's simply better and more ethical to watch than play out an unrealistic and unwanted scenario in real life
- Because watching sex is hot regardless what kind of sex it is

Outside the content of the porn: As each of you have the right to a private life as individuals as well as a private life as a couple, you may want to ask yourself what feelings comes up knowing that he's watching porn that compels you enough to check on matters in his private life. Even if you find something questionable, remember he may absolutely want nothing to do with it in real life. If you're checking in on something that is very private to him and he has given you no reason to think he's into non consensual acts, why keep checking up on him? Are there other unspoken issues that needs to be addressed? If you suspect there may be, perhaps a third party counselor or marriage and family therapist can help navigate those feelings. If you too are into porn, perhaps this may be something for you to do together - as some individuals feel a sense of jealously, insecurity, and exclusion when their partners are watching porn without them. For some couples watching together enhances the erotic energy for that couple.  

When it comes to sexual orientation, only he can answer what that may be. A sexuality professional is not in any ethical position to speculate a person's sexual orientation without hearing from the person themselves. What you've shared with me is that you are in a wonderful relationship and sex life. Sexual orientation is the foundation of being attracted to another person. Before the porn content discovery, and as your relationship was at a good place, chances are is that he truly loves, committed and is attracted to you - which is what matters most. You may want to gently ask him about curiosities or be upfront and truthful that you found his porn and are needing to know what his sexual orientation is. If you are unable to have sex with him, he has the right to know why so both of you can make informed decisions as to what to do next. Depending on how much sex you had before, no sex/intimacy/eroticism/passion can be a clear communication message that can be interpreted as: I don't love you. I'm rejecting you. You are no longer attracted to me. Without the communication, it may leave the person wondering what they did wrong. Facing difficult issues in your relationship will only make your relationship stronger. The strongest couples have the ability to endure crossroads in their relationship and address issues openly and honestly.

I hope this insight has provided you with food for thought.

Please be gentle with yourself and with him.

Kind regards,
Dr. Reece Malone  

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Reece Malone


I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.


I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit:

American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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