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You did the gayest thing a guy can do, but that didn't make you gay.

I'm a straight male. I love women, I've always loved women. However, here and there I've jerked off to transsexual porn. One night, after drinking and smoking some hash, I arranged a date with a trans sex worker. She was totally womanly, nothing manly about her, except for, you know. She licked my butt, gave me head, and fingered me. I've been on the receiving end of anal play before from girls, but somewhere during this encounter, I became the receiving partner during anal sex. At the time, I was too fucked up to care. But the next day, I started to feel REALLY bad. She was very safe and used condoms, but I can't get past the fact that I did the gayest thing a guy can do. I feel really depressed, even somewhat suicidal. (I would never kill myself — I wouldn't do that to my family and friends.) I still want to date women and have sex with women. I don't regret being with a trans woman because I wanted to experiment. I've been tested to make sure I didn't catch anything. What I regret is her sticking her thing in my butt. Can a single act like this make me gay?

Wrong Side Of Wild Side

Give yourself a break. Yes, yes: You did the gayest thing a guy can do — you let someone put a dick in your manbutt. But now you're doing the second-gayest thing a guy can do. You're being a huge drama queen. Repeat after me: One dick in the ass does not a gay man make. 

Look at it this way: If the woman's finger was fine — to say nothing of the woman's tongue — why freak out about the woman's dick? You don't sleep with men, you're not attracted to men. You made an exception for this woman's dick because it's attached to a woman.

Fortunately, your sex worker was responsible and used condoms. So you didn't emerge from this encounter with anything more devastating than a touch of gay panic. Be a man about this — be a straight man about this — and walk it off, as the football coaches say.

Maybe this will help: Like a lot of gay men, I had sex with a woman before I came out. I did the straightest thing a guy can do, and it didn't make me straight. You did the gayest thing a guy can do, but that didn't make you gay.

If nothing I've said has made you feel better, maybe this will: Wanting to be with a woman who has a dick is an almost exclusively straight male kink/obsession/wild side. Gay men are into dick, of course, but what we're really into is dudes. There are gay men out there who date and fuck trans men — men with pussies — so not all gay men are after dick. What we're all after is dude.

If our gayness can't be defined solely by dick, then your straightness can't be undone entirely by it.

I'm a married straight man. I recently spent a lovely day snorkeling with my wife in Mexico. We were grouped with three men who were obviously in a committed three-person relationship. They had an extensive travel history together and lived together, everything was "we" this or that, and there were various PDA pairings during the day. Several questions: (1) What do gay people call such a union? (2) Does the gay community think it's odd? Unremarkable? Sensible? (3) How does a union like that form? A couple adds a third? (4) Do these relationships last?

Three-way Relationship Intrigues Oblivious Straights

1. Such unions are referred to as "throuples" by gays and straights. For a picture of the inner workings of a gay throuple, check out Molly Young's profile of one in New York magazine's most recent "Sex Issue." Benny, Jason and Adrian are the men behind the popular "gipster" porn site CockyBoys.com; you can read Young's piece about their lives at tinyurl.com/gaythrup.

2. Some gay people think throuples are odd, some think they're unremarkable, and some think they're sensible. And some gay people — dumb ones — think gay throuples are bad PR when gay couples are fighting for the right to marry. But our fight is for equal rights, not double standards, and no one argues that straight marriage should be banned because of all the straight throuples, quadles, quintles, etc. out there.

3. In my experience, yes, that's usually how it happens.

4. Throupledom presents unique challenges. Major decisions require buy-in from three people, two can gang up against one during arguments, etc. But throupledom presents unique benefits, too: another set of hands to help around the house, another income to pay the mortgage, another smiling face to sit on, etc. And it's not like coupledom is a surefire recipe for success. Half of all traditional marriages end in divorce. Yet discussions of throupledom all seem to begin with the assumption that coupledom is self-evidently more stable. I'd like to see some research before I accept that premise.

I recently used the term "saddlebacking" to indicate when a man rubs his penis between his partner's ass cheeks as either foreplay or nonintercourse sex. My girlfriend, a regular reader of yours, insists that I used the term incorrectly. Did I?

Rubbed The Wrong Way

You did. "Saddlebacking," as defined by Savage Love readers (the Académie Française of sexual neologisms), is when two straight teen-agers, endeavoring to preserve an evangelical girl's virginity, engage in anal intercourse. This really happens. Since anal sex isn't really sex, according to the abstinence educators evangelical teens are exposed to, many Christian teen-agers rationalize that getting fucked in the ass doesn't really count against a girl's virginity.

The act to which you refer — rubbing your penis between someone's ass cheeks — is known variously as frottage, outercourse, the Princeton Rub or "the pearl tramp stamp." But in Chicago, it's known as "the Cardinal George."

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

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