Savage Love: Straight man, queer relationship

Sex and love advice from Dan Savage for July 10, 2024

person stands at entrance of green maze

I am a 45-year-old married straight guy. After more than a decade of dipping in and out of the swinging lifestyle, my wife and I have decided to open up to dating other people. I’m trying to catch up with the language of dating apps. 

I am open to dating people of various genders and orientations so long as they don’t have a penis. I am attracted to lots of different kinds of people along the masc/femme continuum, but I know from personal experience that I’m not interested in D. 

Any suggestions on how to convey this in a way that doesn’t sound awful? Also, if a “straight” man has sex with or dates a non-binary-identifying AFAB individual, would he be considered bisexual? Oh, and you don’t need to tell me this is all moot. I am aware that middle-aged and married cis dudes don’t pull a lot of likes from beautiful, non-binary folks anyway.

— Concerning Intimate Semantical Meanings And Nuances

An AFAB person who identifies as non-binary is queer, but having sex with a queer person doesn’t automatically make you queer. Like a straight guy with a bisexual girlfriend, CISMAN, fucking or dating a non-binary AFAB individual doesn’t magically make you something other than straight. But since a non-binary AFAB is queer, a straight guy in a relationship with a non-binary AFAB is in a queer relationship, just like a straight guy with a bisexual girlfriend is in a queer relationship. But I would argue — this is a hill my gay ass is prepared to die on — that straight guys who are only interested in AFAB persons, regardless of how they identify or present, so long as those AFAB persons have vaginas and want dick are and always will be straight guys.

“Exclusively attracted to AFAB people, however they identify,” is not only a perfectly respectful way of asking the Internet for what you want, CISMAN, it’s a good way to avoid wasting the time of people who don’t have what you want. Despite what you may have heard from some loud people online, “genital preferences” are not bigotry. Sexual orientations are real, and primary sex characteristics are something our sexual orientations orient us toward. 

Finally, CISMAN, don’t sell yourself short! You may not be overwhelmed by the response you get online (most men aren’t), but you’re gonna be someone’s jam. To optimize your odds of success, you’re not going to wanna rely exclusively on dating and hookup apps. Head out to bars and clubs where you feel comfortable, go to or throw parties and invite your friends to bring friends, join a few clubs, and volunteer for an organization whose mission you support. Because you never know: a hot AFAB person — binary or non — who would’ve swiped left on your photo might actually wanna fuck you after meeting your straight cis married ass in person.

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