Wise Guys: Should I Be Threatened by My Girlfriend’s Gay Male Bedmate?

photo by aralbalkan

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight man asks, “A girl I am dating has a gay best friend. He is coming to stay with her for a few weeks and they are sharing the same bed. While I know he is definitely gay, it still makes me uncomfortable that she is sharing a bed with another man, gay or otherwise. Is this just me being insecure or should he be sleeping on the perfectly good couch?”

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): What, you’re worried he’ll give her a perm? The only thing to worry about is that if he’s gay he’s probably in shape. Which means she’ll notice muscles on his body she forgot the male anatomy was capable of. Which means she’ll ask why your lazy ass can’t make it to the gym every once in a while.

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): This is actually a very difficult question without one right answer. I don’t think your girl’s pal’s sexual orientation is the issue. What seems to be the issue is that her friend is a dude. With a penis. And whether he is gay or otherwise, thinking of another man in bed with your lady is off-putting. Be honest with your girlfriend and explain that her sharing a bed with ANY guy but you makes you uncomfortable. Ask her if she would mind you spending the night next to a lesbian friend. My guess is it would make her uncomfortable as well. She should respect your feelings in this case, even if it is a perfectly harmless sleepover.

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): Gay, straight… male, female… all of this, and your insecurities, aside — how is this going to work exactly? If you want to stay over, will you have to ask the best friend’s permission? Are you going to end up feeling guilty about kicking him out of bed? Will you have to take turns sleeping on the couch? If you do get your “turn” with this girl, is she going to wash the sheets first? You may not normally be a clean freak, but all that will change the second you find one of his pubes. The more I think about this, the more it seems like your date is trying to tell you something. She hasn’t invited a friend to stay, so much as installed a friend-shaped cock block. Maybe marriage is making me view the dating world with paranoia and suspicion, but don’t be surprised if the “few weeks” turn into months, and you find yourself on the couch — and then out the door.

Honorary Wise Guys (Em & Lo): Assuming he is 100% gay (and not the teensiest bit bisexual), then this is just you being insecure. If her best friend were a straight female, would you insist she sleep on the much less comfortable couch? No way. Some gay men can be cuddly, so make sure your girlfriend knows that you’re not cool with them platonically spooning in bed (though there’s not much stopping them from cuddling on the couch in front of a chick flick, ya know?). But again, if he’s 100% gay, there’s no chance any friendly affection will turn into something sexual — they’d both be grossed out. So try to let go of your irrational macho instincts and prove to your girlfriend that you trust her — she’ll really appreciate it.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is James Glazebrook, a British writer/illustrator working in Berlin with his photographer wife on their cool blog, Überlin; our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter; and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett of Tyler Barnett PR in LA. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Thank you, gay single guy, for confirming every stereotype anyone ever had about gay men being smug and assuming things about straight men, like we don’t keep our bodies in shape, and just being that vomitous, catty cliche el faggote.

  2. F-that nobody’s gonna cuddle with my girl except me. Total disrespect to think otherwise. They start drinking and suddenly it’s ok to touch or more. Respect your guy and if you don’t wanna be committed then dump him

  3. My girlfriend has a gay friend too. I am sometimes uncomfortable when i see them kiss each other for hellos and good byes, but i know he is 100% gay and has a boyfriend. That makes me feel more at ease. But if he said: “I want to come and sleep with you” to my girlfriend. I’d tell him to sleep with his boyfriend, or if he comes to visit – sleep on the couch! The only thing i dislike about him is that he asks me stuff like, why do i find women attractive… Cause i’m straight, thats why! Why would he ask me such questtions?

  4. I have to agree with the argument that it’s not at all about trust, it’s all about respect and crossing boundaries.

    There seems to be a double standard when it comes to staight men and womens’ interactions with gays and lesbians.

    Women are allowed to be all touchy-feely and cuddly with their gay friends, and it doesn’t seem to be a social norm for men to do the same with lesbians.

    My girlfriend has a ton of gay friends, and time and time again when we’re out with her friends they are all over her. They hug her really tightly and for way to long and kiss her way to much. They spin her into their arms and hold her there, infront of everybody…and me.

    And to Jay Dyckman saying that I’m probably worried that the gay guy is in better shape than me I say that I’m an exception to your generalization. I bust my ass in the gym to be and stay in good shape and I’m not worried or intimidated that her gay friend(s) are in better shape than me. And again, it’s not an issue of me being insecure, it’s that I feel disrespected.

    What if I took a lesbian girl and I spun her around into my arms as a big hello! And I gave her a nice tight, close, loooong hug and finished it up with a nice kiss or two on her cheek, BUT SHE’S A LESBIAN REMEMBER! Or what if a lesbian did that to me?

    I think the answer is pretty simple. And I think that girls use their gay friends as an outlet to get some kind of “safe” affection from other men.

  5. I have to agree with Ed, she may have thrown the comment about sharing the bed out there just to get a reaction out of the guy she is dating. If he is irritated but says nothing, she knows he’s a push over. On the other hand if he overreacts she’ll brand him as “jealous and insecure.” There is no way for the guy she is dating to “win.” It’s a set up.

    Bottom line – it is manipulative on her part. She is intentionally creating a situation that will put him in a tough spot. If she was in any way serious about pursuing a relationship with the guy she is dating, none of this would ever even come up, the “gay” guy pal would sleep on the couch or elsewhere. Otherwise she’d spend the night with the guy she’s dating and allow the friend to have her bed to himself.

    This is the sort of behavior and thinking that shows some one cares about how you feel. They know you, they understand you, they accept you, they are concerned about you… they do not set you up to be the bad guy and then stand back and laugh while you are alienated and uncomfortable.

    She’s playing mind games. Drop her and move on.

  6. I have to agree with the guys on this one… I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with my boyfriend having a sleep over with another girl, even if she were a lesbian. So I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it if I had a sleep over with some dude, even if he were gay. It’s really just a matter of respect.

  7. Personally I think that as long as he is not encroaching on your time together it is no big deal. I know my boyfriend does not mind if I have platonic sleepovers (usually because it is either too late, not safe, or not possible for one of us to return home) with my male friends, whatever their sexual orientation. Likewise, if he wants time with his female friends and it turns into a sleepover, I do not mind. It is never for an extended period of time, as in this case, and it is hardly a frequent occurrence, but it does happen every once in a while.

  8. Em and Lo, I am afraid you are wrong and James is right. Intimacy is intimacy and if another man is having it with your girlfriend and you’re not, something odd is going on – unless you have an open relationship and it’s all discussed and worked out upfront of course – but it doesn’t sound like this is the case.

  9. Funny to think that I lose little sleep over the idea of my girl actually cheating, which I consider normal, yet if I found some dude lounging in bed with her – even innocently, platonically, gay-ly – I’d go all man-box over it. Hm. The psyche is a strange place.

  10. There are no couches? There are no futons? There are no convenient inflatable mattresses? Please.

    There is subtext here. People do not share beds with “friends” for several weeks because it is too hard to find another option.

    It makes you uncomfortable, so she shouldn’t do it. But there is something else going on.

  11. As I think Tyler was implying, it’s not a trust thing – it’s a territory thing. The idea of any man in bed with my girlfriend raises my hackles. That spot in bed next to her is mine whether I’m there or not.

    And, as Jay suggested, just because she doesn’t turn him on, doesn’t mean he doesn’t turn her on. What if he’s jacked with a huge schlong swinging in his silk pajama bottoms? Aw man – physically, I do compare unfavorably most gay dudes I know.

    So there it is: territoriality and insecurity. That’s why I don’t want my girlfriend sleeping with her gay friend.

    Now, her GIRL friend on the other hand…

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