Go ahead. Call me a fool, an idiot, an imbecile, a moron. I’ve articulated those same self-incriminations and worse. But, here’s the truth: I’m not alone in my foolishness. If men like me were rare, I’d be less challenged to make wiser choices. I’m just one in millions of bisexual men who secretly cruise for and engage in casual sex with strangers. I can’t produce hard data to verify my guesstimation of “millions.” It’s a calculation based on years — no, decades — of personal experience. And, as it is the survival instinct of nearly every male bisexual to keep it on the downlow, reaching an accurate tally would actually be impossible.
The fact is, we’re everywhere and we have no trouble recognizing each other. We’ve learned the secret codes, the subtle, surreptitious gestures. We speak and hear the subtext in mundane language: “How’s it goin?” “Nice day.” “Just getting some fresh air on my way home from work.” Our highly developed internal radar is always homing in on locations where we’re likely to meet a willing partner: the park paths, the public restrooms, the adult bookstores. An encounter might begin with eye contact in the supermarket aisle or a side glance after Sunday service in the parking lot of a megachurch.
Clandestine male-male hook ups are taking place every day in cities and suburbs and at highway rest stops in between. You’d be hard pressed to pick one of us out of a line up. Surprisingly few demonstrate effeminate affects, sport the hippest haircuts, wear pencil-legged jeans or snug shorts. The likeliest suspect might very well work in construction, drive a diesel pickup, and belong to the NRA.
My bisexuality is no secret. Although I don’t go around advertising it, I’ve been out for years. My pattern of risky, aberrant behavior, however, is something I’ve confided only on a need-to-know basis. Ironically, I have shared this, my most guarded secret, as well as my most intimate moments with countless nameless strangers. And, presumably, those guys also go through their daily lives bearing the same private burden on top of the emotional stress that inevitably comes with hiding isolated in the closet. Dishonesty, however, always takes its toll. Compartmentalization is an essential skill. (And, believe you me, I’m an expert in that department.) However, for any non-sociopath, living a double life eventually manifests itself in unhealthy ways. For me, keeping my compulsive behavior to myself has repeatedly spun me into bouts of exacerbated clinical depression and…