Hi, Dan. I'm a happily married, 42-year-old straight guy. I work in an office with a number of professionals like myself and have struck up numerous friendships. One guy I have befriended... let's call him James... is friendly, funny and we get along quite well. James is also gay. The thing is, I can't stop fantasizing about making out with him. I think about us kissing in an office, a storeroom, the washroom... just kissing. Nothing else, deep making out. I'm confused by this as I haven't had thoughts like this before, I am not interested in men, I am not attracted to men yet. But I want James to grab hold of me and put his lips on mine and stick his tongue in my mouth.

I'm not silly enough to think that a gay man is even interested in me just because I'm a guy. I don't know what to think. One part of me says to just tell him and see what happens, the other part says I'm crazy and need to just stop these thoughts. I think I have some sort of crush on him. What do you think? What do I do? This is driving me crazy.

Keeping It Sexual, Stupid

If straight masculinity wasn't so goddamn fragile—if it weren't two negatives madly humping away at each other for all eternity (not a woman, not a homo)—your dilemma wouldn't be, well, it wouldn't be
a dilemma.

Does wanting to kiss a dude make you gay? Or not straight? Does your urge to kiss—JUST KISS—your gay male coworker cancel out by your long and straight sexual history and override your heterosexual identity? It doesn't need to and shouldn't have to, KISS, but everyone—gay, straight, and bi—seems convinced it must. But only for straight guys: If I had the urge to make out with a woman and acted on that urge (right here in the Delta Lounge), no one would look at me (and I certainly wouldn't look at myself) and say, "Savage has gotta be straight. I mean, he couldn't do that if he weren't straight, right?"

Gay is made of stronger stuff, it seems, than straight.

Anyway, KISS, you ran across the the one dude—or the rare dude—you wanna make out with. But unlike me when I found myself wanting to make out with a lesbian firefighter a few years back (my attraction probably wouldn't have outlasted the doffing of her uniform), you're having an entirely needless meltdown about a wholly anomalous erotic impulse. You're totally-to-mostly straight—that doesn't mean you'll never, ever see a man you're drawn to. (Or your tongue's drawn to.) I mean, I'm totally-to-totally gay but every once in a while even I see a woman I want to kiss.

My advice: I think if you wanna kiss a guy, kiss a guy. Maybe not this guy, seeing as you work with him and that could get complicated quick. And nothing about his behavior seems to indicate a desire to kiss you back. So either find some other dude or be open to some other dude coming along that you feel the same pull toward and let yourself do it—provided, of course, that the dude wants to do it too. And fear not, KISS: If my gayness didn't collapse under the weight of the straight sex I had as a teenager, KISS, your straightness won't collapse under the weight of a single make-out session with a dude. And if you kiss a dude and you really like it—and if you find yourself doing more than kissing the dude—then you might wanna reconsider whether you're totally straight. But even if you're a touch bi, KISS, you're free to keep identifying as straight. (See "Savage's Heirachy," aka "the sexual identity layer cake.")

Basically, KISS, I think you should take this advice I gave to BIBFAULT about cheating and adapt it to your circumstance...

You may have an easier time not cheating—an easier time not going out there and actively seeking out sex with other men, an easier time not seizing the first opportunity to cheat that comes your way—if you give yourself permission to cheat if an opportunity to cheat discreetly and with minimal deceit comes along.

You may have an easier time not kissing this dude—you may have an easier time not obsessing about kissing this particular dude—if you give yourself permission to kiss some other dude if and when the opportunity comes along.

And now, because it's stuck in my head...

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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