Gay men married to women in 21st century Ireland ‘exist more than we will ever know’, according to Fluffybiscuits.
My phone rings at home on a Tuesday evening more miserable than the previous evening, surprising the weather given it is August. At the end of the line is a nervous voice that asks me “Say, ‘you are calling about the car'”.
Attempting to remember, I cop it, this is a a call on foot of a personal ad I posted looking to meet a lad for coffee and a chat and perhaps more than Friendship.
Hushing his voice down a notch, he quietly tells me “the wife is in the other room, would you be up for a bit of fun”. Straight away I have to play along as he follows up with “yeah so will I call over about the car” expecting me to go along with the ruse.
I hung up – cardinal rule, don’t mess around with other relationships, do not be a home wrecker. Lads like these are ten a penny, you couldn’t swing a large fat overweight cat for fear of striking one of these ubiquitous types.
The demographic tends to be men who are 40+ and just as being gay became acceptable/fashionable at the start of the century, there was still too much of an unwelcoming atmosphere for a lot of them.
Men at that time were feeling compelled to enter into a straight relationship with women, have children, dote on them, provide for said family. Weekends certainly came and go and these men would drop up to the park to satiate a lust for the same sex that straight marriage did not provide. These trysts 99% of the time never really became anything more than a casual hook up.
This post came about via a conversation with a man from a particular website and curiosity more than ever prompted me to ask him about his life and what his story was. Let’s call him D.
D got married at a young age going on to have three kids and said love making with his wife was extraordinary but he knew at the back of his mind that he was gay from a young age , engaging in trysts however the wife will never find out as he has too much to lose.
Growing up he suffered abuse at the hands of a family friend so love and sex perhaps became intertwined in ways that deviated from standard norms. Messages came from D either late at night well after midnight or very early in the morning, always a tell tale sign that they are trying to attempt to not let the wives find out their minor indiscretions.
TV presenter Philip Schofield came out at a time when it was reported that there was a potential kiss and tell story coming in that Sunday’s papers. The sympathy was certainly pouring out at how brave he was at coming out but there appeared to be little sympathy for his wife at the time.
I parked this article as I was writing it as I needed to run a few errands and popped back home last night to settle down with a bit of TV and a take away, standard midweek fare. Unsurprisingly my phone rang again and this time was a chap we will call B from down the country.
Married for 14 years and living in a small rural town it was fairly easy to read between the lines. B was engaged and was due to get married to the love of his life who he had been with for a few years.
Bluntly and directly I asked him was he gay, the poor lad stuttered: “No, I just like sex with men”
‘Sex with men’ was a term brought into common parlance for such men, something coined to avoid demeaning their masculinity if you were to ask me.
Every time a lad like this rings me he usually blocks his number. B then asked “you are not going to out me are you”…heavily I reassured him no as that was not what I was about but said firmly married men are not my cup of tea.
Unfortunately I have the bad habit of trying to be their friend when at the end of the day and attempting to urge them not to get married and giving numbers for helplines so they avoid future unhappiness.
Then there is the man who I met for a coffee after he insisting in calling into my place. We agreed to go to the Spar up the road from me and once we sat down he told me about his wife. He left her September last year for a man he met down the Phoenix Park, a young chap that made him realise he was truly batting for my side and took it upon himself to move into the chap’s bedsit.
Asking after the welfare of the wife and kids, he shuts me down (and perhaps rightly so, I’m nosey) he tells me that he no longer talks to them but that he is happy now, grabs his coffee gleefuly informing me of heading down the park that evening.
Ask any gay man who is out and on the prowl or on the pull and they will tell you that they have different and varying ideas on their approach to married men.
One friend of mine avoids them at all costs, scoldin’ them for their infidelity, pouring scorn on their cheating ways. Many though will accept that they are homme fatales, liaisons should go ahead because if it’s not them getting the married man then it’s going to be someone else thus they may as well enable the behaviour.
There is no right or wrong answer in any of this. Just men finding their feet among many different realities they cannot accept.’
Previously: Fluffybiscuits on Broadsheet