My Husband Is Gay for Pay

I recently discovered that my husband is having sex with men for money so he can buy marijuana. I don’t allow him to use our money to buy it. He likes anal sex, but I never had it with him because it’s against my beliefs. He does not know that I know that he is having sex with men. My friends know him and the men he is having sex with and their children. Is he homosexual? Should I ask for a divorce? What should I do? I am confused, very disappointed, and upset.

Your brief message contains a lot of different questions to address, so I’ll tackle the questions that may be the most difficult for you but are the easiest ones for me to respond to. First, just a word about terminology. Gay is the preferred word to use for people who have an enduring physical, romantic, and emotional attraction to people of the same gender. The word homosexual is considered an outdated term, and many gay people find it offensive.

It would be unethical for me to try to define your husband’s sexual orientation, and in fact, a person’s sexual identity is something that only he or she can define. Your husband is the only one who knows if he has an enduringphysical, romantic, and emotional attraction to people of the same sex. Perhaps the most important word here is enduring. If he is having sex with someone of the same gender—whether for money or any other reason—that does not necessarily mean he is gay. A gay identity is a statement of “This is who I am.” It penetrates deeply into every aspect of one’s being but doesn’t make up the entirety of one’s identity. You and I and your friends cannot know how he perceives his sexuality.

Next, I cannot give you advice on whether to ask for a divorce, nor do I think you should accept anyone’s advice on that matter. This is a personal choice for you to make, based on your own values. If I were to advise you in one way or another, my recommendation would be based on my values rather than yours. What I can tell you is that you have only three choices: (1) change the situation, (2) put up with it, or (3) get out. Only you can decide what is in your best interest and the interest of your children, if you have any.

If he is indeed having sex for money, sometimes called “gay for pay,” he is a sex worker. For most of those in the sex work industry, sex is a job that they do for pay, and many of the men in the same-sex porn industry are straight men, not gay. Their primary motivation is pay, not pleasure. Sex for pay doesn’t answer the question about whether someone is gay.

If you don’t believe in anal sex, you should not participate in it. Any sexual acts between two people should be based upon mutual consent.

Finally, I am very uncomfortable with secrets in a relationship. Have you confronted your husband about what his and your friends are saying about him? Good relationships are built upon honesty and trust, and your relationship seems to lack both. If you cannot tell him what your friends have told you, you are being more loyal to your friends than you are to him. If you keep this secret from him, you are denying him the option of making changes that you seem to want him to make. It seems like perhaps the biggest issue here is that rather than talking to each other, both you and your husband are talking to others about your concerns.

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