Héctor Carrillo and Amanda Hoffman from Northwestern University, recently spoke to 100 men who identified as straight but sought out casual sex with men online, and they published their findings in the journal Sexualities.
Carrillo and Hoffman found that straight men who slept with other men believe that they are primarily attracted to women. In fact, they believe that they have no sexual attraction to men at all, as they define sexual attraction as a combination of physical and emotional attraction.
And when it comes to other men, they just want to have sex with them.
They're not into male bodies in the same way that they're drawn to female bodies. They're really only interested in the penis. They see penises as 'living dildos', disembodied objects of desire that provide a source of sexual pleasure.
All of this is why they see themselves as 'straight' even when they're sleeping with men. Privately they might think of themselves as bisexual but they see no social advantage to identifying as bi.
Most of the men in the study made it clear that they really, really liked women:
"I know what I like. I like pussy. I like women … the more the merrier … I would kiss a woman. ANYWHERE. I can barely hug a man … I do have a healthy sexual imagination and wonder about other things in the sexual realm I’ve never done … Sometimes I get naughty and explore … That’s how I see it," said Reggie a 28-year-old participant.
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"Women are hot … I can see a beautiful woman walk down the street and I instantly can become hard and get horny. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy walking by and got a boner. Also, I would not want to kiss or make out with them or love them. They would be more like a sexual experience," added Charlie, 32.
Although some of the men could admit they had bisexual tendencies, they weren't prepared to declare that in public:
"I think everybody is a little bi. Isn’t that what this research is about? There’s the Kinsey scale … It’s not like Bush saying you’re either with us or with the terrorists. I think I’m probably bi but what I present to the world is a heterosexual man. Internally I’m bi, but that’s not something most people know. I’m not ashamed, but the majority of people are ignorant and close-minded," explained Simon who is 27 years old.
"I am not openly bisexual to society except in sexual situations … I don’t have relationships with men; I am in a relationship with my wife and only love her. [I’m bisexual] only with men behind closed doors," 28-year-old Dustin added.
And for some of the guys sex with other men gave them the opportunity to explore different parts of their personality:
"For most of my sex life I’m in control of things. I’m not a boss at work anymore but I’ve been in situations where I’ve managed a hundred people at a time. I take care of my family. I take care of my kids. I’m a good father. I’m a good husband in providing material things for my wife … I’m in charge in a lot of places … There’s times when I don’t want to be in charge and I want someone to be in charge of me … that’s what brings me over [to] the bisexuals … it’s kind of submitting to another guy or being used by another guy," explained 54-year-old Russell.
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Carrillo and Hoffman reported that most of the men in their study where white American males who were in long term relationships with women.
They said the men saw sex with other men as a temporary fantasy, a way to enjoy the sexual excitement and pleasure of a same-sex relationship without threatening their identity.