Men who walk on the wild side

Published: June 21, 2013

David says he is looking forward to married life. In fact, the 32-year-old banker has been in a serious relationship for two years with a woman he fondly describes as his “soul mate”.

Yet three to four times a month, David has sex with men. All of them are strangers; men he picks up in bars and nightclubs on drunken evenings. “We never exchange particulars,” he says.

“Part of the thrill is the anonymity.” David believes women are for relationships and men are for sex. But ask him if he is gay and the conversation could easily degenerate into a fistfight. “Gays don’t like women,” he insists. “I’m in love with a woman!” Does his girlfriend know about his secret life? “No!” he says emphatically, “and she doesn’t need to.”

Welcome to the secret society of men who live largely heterosexual lives but also have sex with other men. Jeffrey Moses, communications manager for Ishtar MSM, a community outreach programme that works with men who have sex with men, says that men like David are torn between two worlds.

“They don’t want to deal with the stigma that comes with being openly gay or bisexual. They want to live like normal guys, get married, and have children because they feel like that’s what they owe their families and community.”

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