Saturday, August 17, 2013

How Can I Put His Porno Past Behind Me?'


I recently found out that my boyfriend of two years appeared on a pretty well known "college jock" porn site a few years before we met, and it's causing me a lot of anxiety. First of all, I learned about it from a good friend of mine, who admitted he recognized him the minute I introduced them but never mentioned it until now because it didn't seem like a big deal to him. Second of all, my boyfriend also doesn't think it's a big deal, which is why he never mentioned it, and told me I had no reason to be upset.


Well, I wish I didn't think it was a big deal either, but I do. I feel like he's been keeping this big secret from me, and it's embarrassing to me that all of my friends (not to mention complete strangers) have seen him up close and personal having sex on camera. I know everyone has a past, and I watch just as much porn as the next guy, but it really does bother me. Am I silly for feeling this way? How can I put his porno past behind me?

--XXXtremely Conflicted

In this age where sexting is considered foreplay, celebrities are born from homemade sex tapes, and cellphones are practically portable pornography devices, is there anyone who hasn't snapped a scandalous selfie and sent it out into the Internet ether? Seems to me that the only difference between those people and your boo is that he was smart enough to get paid for it!

One of the biggest challenges of being in a relationship is learning to separate "his shit" from "my shit." In my opinion, worrying about what your hot-enough-to-be-in-porn boyfriend did before you met him definitely belongs in the latter category. You said it yourself: Everyone has a past filled with moments that they might not want to run out and tell the rest of the world about. And after seeing how you handled the situation, can you blame him? He might not have been completely truthful when he said that he didn't tell you about it because he didn't think it was a big deal, but he sure as hell thought you would.

You can't expect your boyfriend to share the most intimate or vulnerable parts of himself with you unless you demonstrate, through actions and words, that you're not going to judge him for them, no matter how "shocking" they might be. So he sucked some dick on camera. Big deal. One person's scandal is another's Sunday funday. As for what your friends think, who cares? If they're throwing shade, it's only because they're jealous that you landed the kind of guy they can't even get close to without having to fork over a credit card.

If you really care about your boyfriend, then step up, act like a man, and assure him that he should never be afraid to tell you anything he's done in the past or is planning to do in the future. Heck, share some scandalous stories of your own while you're at it. Remember, porn doesn't kill relationships. Secrets do.

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Dear MR. Carl,

I know this is an advice column for gay men, but I think you might be able to help me. I'm a 26-year-old straight girl who's been dating this really great guy for the past few months. The problem is I think he might be gay. I feel like I'm pretty intuitive when it comes to reading people, and ever since I met him, he's "pinged" a little bit to me. Nothing overt, just little gestures he sometimes makes or the way I see him interact with gay friends of mine (who totally think he might be gay, too!). We have sex and are very physical, but he doesn't have that animal lust in the bedroom that I'm used to feeling from guys.

Last week we were talking about our sexual pasts, so I asked him if he'd ever been with a man. He admitted that he made out with a guy once and even questioned his sexuality when he was a teenager, but that he just "doesn't feel it" when it comes to dudes. I want to believe him, but like I said, there's just something about him that gives me pause. I'd be totally fine with it if he was -- everyone should be allowed to find their happiness -- but I'm starting to have real feelings for him and don't want to fall in love with someone whose heart will inevitably lie elsewhere. Is there something I can do -- some test or something -- that will let me know for sure?

--Straight Girl With Gaydar

Your question brings up a very important issue I've faced in relationships many times: At what point do you bring up uncomfortable, embarrassing, potentially awkward conversations with the person you're dating? The answer: as soon as you can!

I'm glad to hear you've already had such a conversation about his past experimentations with guys, and that you seem to have gone about it the right way -- that is, without judgment, and making him feel comfortable enough to share his feelings openly and honestly. It may be time to broach the subject again and explain that your fears about his sexuality, and the past he was so brave to share, are holding you back from loving him more fully.

Your boyfriend seems refreshingly forthcoming about his past and able to share intimate details with you that someone less comfortable with his sexuality might not be able to do. Does this guarantee that he's 100-percent straight? Not necessarily, but his apparent honesty and willingness to be open and be vulnerable with you is a pretty good indication that his feelings for you might be true.

As for not treating you like a porn star and pounding you like a jackhammer in the bedroom, maybe he just doesn't know what you like, or he's the "sensitive" type. Tell him what you want in the bedroom and how you want it before judging him for treating you like a lady.

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Thanks for reading "Ask MISTER CARL." I'm Carl Sandler, the founder of the gay mobile appMISTER. You can also find me on SiriusXM Radio OutQ's The Morning Jolt discussing gay dating and relationships. In this series I invite readers to share challenges that they encounter in their dating and love lives. Remember, there are many ways to look at every issue. If you disagree with something I write, be positive and share your own strategies or suggestions in the comments.

AskMrCarl@misterapp.com