The Down-Low Men I Left Behind


man walking in the night

When I think about what I did — getting into men, separating from my wife, divorcing and starting a new life on the gay side — I was either very brave, very stupid, very crazy or all three.

Would I do it again? Mostly in hindsight I say yes but then at other times I doubt myself.

But then I look at guys I have interacted with who are still down-low and doing the same thing. Remember, almost a decade has passed since I started this blog. I was in my early 40s. Now I’m in my early 50s.

And there are men out there my age and older who are still doing the DL song-and-dance.

There is Gerald, 70 years old and still creeping. Remember him from this 2014 blog post? His wife had a stroke and he wanted me to come and lay up with him at his house while she was in rehabilitation. I just couldn’t do such a disrespectful thing.

Now Gerald is recovering from prostate cancer treatment but is still as horny for man sex as ever. I have heard sexual desire really does not fade as we age — just the ability to perform.

Gerald is staring mortality in the face (we all are now that we are middle-aged) and he texted me something very poignant. He said sometimes he looks back and knows he would have been happier if he had come out as gay in college instead of just getting married to meet other people’s expectations.

To be 70 years old and regret not being your true self is profoundly sad to me.

Remember Samuel, the older Caribbean man who came to me for advice about leaving his marriage? It’s six years later and he is still with her and sneaking around like an undercover agent searching for dick. Just stuck in a rut.

Then there is Lamont — the DL businessman with the big house who creeps on his wife with men, even boldly doing so while vacationing with her on cruise ships. Well,  last month his wife and child went on a vacation together and he had the house to himself.

Like Gerald he wanted me to come lay up — and bring the condoms and lube too because he couldn’t keep stuff like that around the house where wifey could find them.

I politely turned him down. I like sex as much as the next person and he has an amazing body but the whole thing — sneaking into the house while the wife is away — just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s not sexy or exciting. It’s just kinda pathetic.

Married guys still hit up on me online. DL men my age who have been swinging with men on the sly since high school and college and are still doing that same shit at 20, 30, 40 and even a half century later. How they keep that from their wives for so long amazing me unless their wives really don’t give a fuck.

Sometimes I envy them, I gotta admit. They have the hetero-privilege, the respectability, the public persona of being upright family men. They didn’t disrupt their families and have to rebuild relationships with children, friends and other family members like I did.

But when I really sit down and think about it I’m happy and content and free. And my life is not a half-lie. So I guess I’m good.