The Married Man

Connecting through Romance (and Committing to Reality) Note: It would be careless of me to blog about lovemaking with married men without mentioning my beliefs around “faithfulness” in a culture that is mostly monogamously insistent. The majority of animals are not monogamy-oriented. However, the overwhelming bulk of human civilizations have inherited social models that link read more..

 

Connecting through Romance (and Committing to Reality)

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Note: It would be careless of me to blog about lovemaking with married men without mentioning my beliefs around “faithfulness” in a culture that is mostly monogamously insistent.

The majority of animals are not monogamy-oriented. However, the overwhelming bulk of human civilizations have inherited social models that link sexual fidelity with emotional faithfulness and relationship longevity, as though romantic love is a limited resource and, hence, must only be reserved for one person – all the while presuming that the sexual act is a tried-and-true indication of this individualized love.

I believe all those studies that, indeed, indicate that most wedded American men will engage in one or more extramarital affairs. I also observe, lover after lover, that if a vow of sexual exclusivity has been made to another, I am not being sought out as a mere dalliance or employed in some recurring pattern of dishonesty. On the contrary, I serve as a sort of muse to support a man in coming to terms with a suppressed part of himself so as to romance it to a present reality. From there, he can make sense of it and act accordingly – and responsibly.

For the minority of my espoused clients who are, in truth, stepping away from a covenant, I respectfully form a space with them for healing as they, more often than not, feel compelled to recommit to their husbands and wives – though with a fresh appreciation for their bond given a better understanding of themselves. On some occasions, time with me functions as a catalyst to make a healthy split from a stagnant association – frequently provoking the coming out process of a gay man who is married to a woman. Flesh and sweat give a voice to what these conflicted and confused men cannot quite interpret.

Everyone settles on the premises of their respective promises. And then time marches onward and attitudes change. And while I think it’s clear that followed-through-with “faithfulness” does not come naturally for most, I respect others’ commitment to this customary model as a sign of assurance to their significant others. Though following all the freedom I’ve witnessed a break from it can bring forth, I believe we could all benefit from focusing less on the deception of cheating and position our energies toward being honest about human nature and designing a more holistic definition of commitment.

As for me, far from abetting in any offense, I view my relations with married men as abutting love’s absoluteness. That all being stated –

It’s not unusual for me to find myself connecting deeply with a man who is otherwise committed. Whether he is partnered with a man or a woman, is in an open relationship, or is breaking a spoken vow – or abiding by an unspoken agreement – he is undoubtedly extending himself to me to demonstrate a side of himself he has either not come face-to-face with for some time or to reveal it for the first time. Sometimes I accept an anxious handshake from a gentleman who wants a gentle life push through a quickened, forceful thrust, which finds me facilitating one fuck of a fling. Oftentimes I am a secure container for an affectionately accommodated affair. Always, “the married man” is coming to me to confront a deferred part of himself while satiating a delayed pleasure.

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As a poverty-stricken 19 year old who was sex-starved for anything that smacked of the explicit, I casually ventured in off-and-on, unofficial escorting. My clients were primarily married men, typically in their 50s, who would drive into Kalamazoo from out-of-the-way cities such as Traverse City, Muskegon, and Toledo. Despite my self-absorbed impulsiveness, I’d be picked up from my residence hall at Western Michigan University to become profoundly moved in some hotel room as I developed rapports with my pursuers. In my inexperienced, ebullient youth, I had only a vague awareness that I represented a recapturing of a time these love-repressed men could never fully regain. And while, given our differently prioritized lifestyles, I learned to be intentional in our discretion so as to allow them to be effusively desirous – I could not help but organically reciprocate the craving. But at that time I was all expressive, and their embodying passion’s postponement as they showed me photos of children who were my age and stowed me away to country cottages – well, it was a put off to my blind belief in a free-for-all liberty, and I proved myself a touchdown moment in lives that couldn’t be realized in the ways mine was.

Solid years of work in the field of sexual health and an overall growing up are sandwiched by a once-teenager dipping his toes in the waters of sex work and a now-full-grown man immersing himself in the fact of life that regardless of well-intentioned pledges, again and again, a man must unite with someone else to recuperate a sense of who he is and what fulfills him. For the man who is espoused to a woman to realize his attraction to men as he receives me inside him, uncertainly looking into the eyes of one so like him… For the man who is wedded to another man and spanks my bare boy bottom, evoking a time when he was younger and sex was a more recognized symbol for the fieriness and appetite he had for a lover he still loves and the life he once lived… For the man who has his wife’s consent to wrap himself around this aspect of himself as he heaves in my arms, his nakedness next to mine, a mound of flesh and frailty… Some are straight, and are perhaps contending with boyhood abuses; many are gay, and are possibly eager to graciously end an arranged marriage; and an increasing mass of men somewhere in that undefined in between are coming to me, usually to acquaint themselves with the facet of their nature that gravitates toward the masculine.

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Tight-lipped with fear of the new or wide-eyed with the newness in the familiar, it is my personal experience that an amassing number of men in same-sex pairings are choosing hetero-styled monogamy and men coupled with women are going back to a pre-1950s faith in social fidelity if the facts of life can be acted upon with others behind closed doors. Either way – and every way in betwixt – I meet you where you are at and offer an integrative experience in the belief that it will serve your needs as well as those of society at large. And being that we tend to damn that which we desire, it’s especially freeing for those of you who have signed up for a social model that sometimes stifles more than serves you to find yourselves embraced by a man who is in one of the most socially outcast professions, yet is beaming with love of self while teaming with a love-fueled process. Maybe it’s in this enlivening approach that a widening of positions on romantic relationships might best be prompted.

Whether you are committed to a relationship for the sake of your children or are tending to an ill spouse… sex-deprived and needing something more than what your husband can provide or enjoying stupendous sex with your wife, but seeking virile expression… anywhere in the middle of newlywed bliss and accrued misery… Sometimes to be fulfilled you must seek an amorous affiliation with someone outside of your sphere. And I am honored to co-create a contained experience with you to make the kind of meaning two men who not long prior hadn’t known one another from Adam can envision. It’s you who had hungered for a moment of grace that texted me “I credit my time with you for saving my marriage,” and you who had hoped for a call to action that emailed me “I’ve moved forward and set her free.” A moment in time with a like-spirited man called you out on the reality that you can strengthen and sustain yourself and the one you are dedicated to outside the bounds of our brief bonding.

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Through giving up what is conventionally accepted and giving in to a revolutionary acceptance of the man I am with, as we both invite sex to be an inciter of love, I find myself his capable guide only so long as I stay his vulnerable equal. It’s in this surrendered equality that I refuse to work around the reality that my fellow man – out or in, open or closed – daily contends with the shame society sheds on men who love men. I consider it a calling to shift some clients’ self-image away from an oft-unaware closed-heartedness and both of us apart from any adopted narrow-mindedness into a free zone where a hungry body is sated and a thirsty spirit is quenched.

Uncontrolled in lust, the married man comes to me to be unabashedly unbridled, granting his abundance of love a sweltering outlet to capture his smoldering wholeness. And while discretion is a given, an encounter so realized is not for the cautionary, and my lovers know this. They are here to commit themselves to surrender, often in order to reassess old commitments afresh.

For the man who is committed to a woman, conscious sex with another man unquestionably empowers him to be outside of the societal construct of patriarchal power, as it collapses the structures of his social life and self as identified by others. And for the man who is committed to a man, to simply be with a secure, loving fellow in such a short-lived instant involves him in an opening up to his purer self and to a repeatedly overlooked beauty in the world at large that we generally allow time to tear us from. For all married men, I provide a punctuated hour or two or… – a sort of full stop in our departing that transmogrifies in both of our lives into an extension of personal possibility.

Astray from social sanction and enclosed in sexual sanctuary – and having lost his caution in caving into love – the married man touches on true happiness. How much he is willing to sacrifice to recognize such joy is then up to him.

Add a Response 32 thoughts on “The Married Man

  1. Your beautiful essay and responses from various men reminds me of my own journey. I was so deep in denial that it took me being married to two different women before I finally came out. But I’m grateful to still be in good relationship with both wonderful women.

    I’m reminded of these words of Anais Nin: “And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    Ah, the joy of living an undivided life!

    Thanks for your important work.

    • Thanks for this thoughtful response, GG. I’m glad you are moved, and have been seen in the light of your truth. To taking risks… and blossoming anew. To being whole. You’re welcome. 🙂 Adam

  2. Adam
    As a bi-curious married male, I struggle with all you describe…the commitment to my vows on one side, and this other side of me that constantly fights for attention. Combining it with your First Timer posting, I see myself even further….having given Into some of the locker room hand jobs, and semi public groping…but never truly submitted to a man…to these inner desires. You have touched something deep inside me with your words. Perhaps you are the one to set it all free.
    Thank you.

    • I’m honored that you are so touched, Bill – and, yes, perhaps I’ll have the pleasure of being one of your guides along the way. 🙂 Thank you. Adam

  3. As you were a “teenager dipping his toes in the waters of sex work” in college, I was on a path to marry my college girlfriend simply due to self-perceived family pressures. At the time I felt sexual attraction to her, but my feelings completely lacked the emotional fulfillment I felt with even the men I only had crushes on during that same period. As our relationship progressed, I knew it would be self-destructive to my true self and I could tell that eventually I would begin to resent my attachment to her. I thankfully convinced myself to cut ties with my girlfriend then, but I so easily could have become one of those unfulfilled married men you write of if I had not listened to my conscience. Even so, until I began to seek amazing and knowledgeable professionals such as yourself, I never truly felt I was a completed gay man! Your blog continues being eye opening on so many subjects I have thought about for years. My time spent with you, yourself, gave me an unforgettable experience of feeling truly comfortable with the gay man I am, exploring more aspects of my sexual desires and needs! Thank you for that, and thank you for the nurturing, insightful thoughts you so generously and openly share regularly for our enlightenment here on this blog, beautiful Adam!

    • What a meaningful message, Tru One – thank you! I’m going to re-read this… so encouraging and connective. Bless all that you are, and here’s to all that lies ahead, dear man! Adam

  4. Another meaningful, thought-provoking read, Adam. Wish I had read this interesting installment earlier to familiarize myself more with your uniquely personal philosophy on this thorny issue. Inspiring, brilliant and deeply moving (not to mention convincing:) words handsome sir!!

  5. Thank you Adam for this wonderful website. Your insights into the gay married man is finally pushing me to acceptance that I need help. At 61 I find myself trapped, impotent and extremely lonely. I believe there can be some hope. I need a mentor.

    • I believe there is hope too, Bob. We’ll connect when I return from Morocco. In the meantime, keep the faith that you’re on your way. 🙂 Warmly, Adam

  6. Some say that genius’ genesis lay in the practice of written word. These writings lay bare the raw honesty of that saying (no pun intended). Adam’s writing is wrought with wit and wisdom. While I first came to this site seeking sex, I am valuing the intellect and spirituality of this wonderful man’s word. Smart and sexy without a doubt!

    His world travels have clearly expanded and extended his understanding of man, men and their relationships. He has useful thoughts and insights for any man who chooses a single state of being or for men who confront the realities and challenges of relationship.

    Simply Adam he is…but simple he certainly is not! What a complex nature certainly underlies this interesting individual. He must be a scorpio!

  7. Your comments on suppressed men married to wpmen tells the story of my life. When I was married in 1974, marriage seemed the only acceptable option, despite other feelings. I Had lived my life denying my feelings to myself and the rest of the world and thought I could continue to do it.

    I was married for over 30 years when I knew rhat I could no longer deny my feelings or live my life in the closet. My first experiences were with professionals who taught me to accept my feelings and deal with them, and ultimately be proud of who I am. Many factors contributed to my coming out, one of them being my experiences with professionals. I came out 8 years ago and for the first time in my life I am comfortable in my own skin. I have friends who know me for who I am and like and respect me for who I am. My grown children have come to respect and support my decision as has my former wife, who I consider a life partner no matter our legal status. Neither of us could or chose to walk away from our relationship. The difference now: it is honest and there are no unachieved expectations.

    I admire your insights and sensitivity.

    • Thanks, Michael! I’m grateful for all that you shared. You are far from alone, as you now know. It’s so terribly important to not feel isolated in our circumstances – and in who we are – and I’m delighted that you are allowing life to conform to you and not the other way around. Adam

  8. Adam, it can’t be easy being blessed with such sensitivity and empathy and being able to translate that, so exquisitely articulately, into both words and actions that are so meaningful to so many of us.
    While you and I have not yet met–and we will very soon, I’m sure–we have spoken briefly on the phone, which has left me very eager to explore my gay, erotic self more deeply–and without guilt–than I have allowed myself to. Your words are truly inspiring as I begin, at 71, to come out at last.

    • Bob – what a watershed moment this must be for you! Thank you for sharing. And, you relate with experience – no, it isn’t easy. But if we’re honest with ourselves, would we really have it any other way? 🙂 Eagerly… Adam

  9. Very moved by the seriousness and care with which you both do, and think about, your work; you’re an extraordinary model of the sexual healer, and New York, and the world, are fortunate to have you.

  10. My dear, sweet, wise Adam,

    This latest post is simply magnificent. It demonstrates such a profound understanding of the angst that many of your married clients have experienced as we give expression to a desire, a love that so many of us have kept buried for years ( or in my case, decades). And you joyfully connect with us on such a deep level as you share in the liberation we feel as we finally let go of internalized homophobia and our past practice of conforming to society’s expectation of men, rather than becoming whole, living a life filled with integrity and authenticity. Some may question my choice of the last two words. And I understand because I struggled mightily with for many, many years. Yes, I am deceiving someone that I made a solemn vow to – and I didn’t have my fingers crossed at the time. I was in such deep denial about my sexual desires. I would beat off to pictures of the guys on the swim team in my high school yearbook, but I didn’t acknowledge that I was gay. So yes, there is deception in my life, but I am no longer deceiving myself and that is the kind that I believe is most harmful. So yes, I have become more whole by giving expression to all of me. And what a difference it has made. And Adam, thank you for being such a skilled, understanding, vulnerable, and wise guide on this journey. Oh yeah, and HOT! ;- I look forward to our next time together. Tom

    • You have warmed my heart yet again, Tom. Thank you for giving further insight into a many-sided subject as it relates to one multifaceted life. I will see you soon. 🙂 Adam

  11. Between the lines of this amazing blog, which basically posits radical acceptance as your approach, Adam, is how much damage, how much sheer unhappiness, how much violence has been thrust on either partner chained or attempting to engage in a mostly unworkable monogamy. I suspect that, historically, monogamy had from its very beginnings more to do with property rights, the church, and the subjugation of women than any idea of wedded bliss. I love your positive, relational approach that basically neutralizes the shame, guilt, and hopelessness of so many married men who come to you. All of us have to struggle with our own values as we navigate the gray areas in our partnered lives. My most serious longer-term relationships have been with married “straight” men, and I will say that in many ways these secret relationships, preserved rather than tore asunder the marriages. For both good and ill. There is a wonderful line in a Delmore Schwartz short story. A group of intellectuals are all sitting around talking about a friend’s upcoming marriage and showing off with one metaphor after another of what being wedded is. The hostess for this mostly male group of friends is busy in the kitchen, listening as she works. Finally, she angrily speaks up: “Let me tell you something. If the whole world is a wedding, then let your conscience be your bride!”

    • Radical indeed, Chris! Acceptance and honesty. An honesty that starts with oneself and then extends to all. And then can shine a light on those gray areas. (And I know I’ve gone astray if my conscience becomes a nagging husband, for sure.) 🙂 Adam

  12. Thank you for articulating so well some of the ideas that I have been struggling with for so long. I am well past newlywed bliss and headed towards accrued misery. Your concept of a more holistic definition of commitment has the potential to avoid that. I’m not exactly sure of my path forward yet but you’ve given much to think about. Well written Adam!

    • This means a lot, Ben, and I feel privileged that we made such a rich connection a few days ago. Always, always “take it with you.” Keep pondering and redefining – and engaging in dialogue with your husband, who you love so much. Solidarity. Adam

  13. Adam: “Only by glaring into the depths of ones own reflection can we find our true selves. It is here where the mirrored voices of our souls speak and can be heard.” This subject ,personally know is a topic that most of us would like to ignore. I think you brought heart, and sympathy to the matter, while simultaneously confronting our uncontrollable predicate of shame. Your job as a healer is to nurture and counsel(and you use words so effortlessly to do them both). Unless we create our own meaning of a relationship and virtues, we will continue to hold the societal shame thrust upon us.I think reflection is a great thing to do in order to really learn what we want, without it we do not have anything to guide us forward.

    • Reflection is quite underrated, no, “L”? I’m eager to spend plenty of time reflecting with you in the Big Apple in a few short weeks. 🙂 Adam

  14. I so admire the thought that you put into this subject, and the dignity with which you treat all who you encounter. Only four more weeks!

    • The trick is to keep thinking about it and feeling it out (and up!), Mike. Accepting being unsettled, and settling for being gloriously human. 🙂 Those four weeks are going to flash on by! A lingering hug… Adam

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