I have a question for you guys... I don't have many, if any, male friends. Never had, for many reasons I guess not least of all straight men frighten me and I've never been able to replicate the instinctual 'straight' language men use to bond. (Which boils down to sports, cars and women, lol.) Not that I'm openly or outwardly gay, I'm a bit of a closet case I guess and though straight men ask if I'm gay after a while of knowing me, it's not their first assumption or question when they meet me. Comfortably discreet I'd call it. Anyway, recently I seem to have befriended a couple of guys. Neither know I'm gay and I am not attracted to either of them, they are just mates and it's really nice to have male company around me. One of them is a cool drinking buddy and I'm really grateful for his friendship. He seems really non judgemental yet I know he doesn't really like gay men and has openly slagged people off for being gay. (Not to their faces though.) I've always kept my mouth shut as I've wanted a friend and someone to treat me like an 'ordinary' guy without the 'gay' label over my head. I don't want to be the token 'gay' mate. The other seems to kinda pick up that I'm gay and is always dropping the question or making comments like, 'that's what a gay man would say, or do'. He has a more distinct sexual predatory straight male instinct about him and when I am unable to communicate with him on that level, he gets very suspicious of me. I've been out drinking with him a few times now and he always wants to go out and pick up women and I seem to get dragged into it. Whilst I've it's never lead anywhere with the women I've met (as I just don't know what to do with one once I've caught one) I've managed to throw off his suspicion. The thing is, I feel really shallow and ashamed for lying, or perhaps omitting the truth, to them both for the sake of being treated like an 'ordinary' straight guy... it's a nice feeling to have platonic male companionship and I've never really had that in my life. I've struggled to accept my sexuality for a while but now I feel comfortable with myself I feel uncomfortable with others knowing, in fact I've never told anyone for fear of the abuse I've seen forced upon others. The first guy I know would not want to socialise with me if he knew but I am actually a little worried the second would slap me for openly lying to him. If I ever braved telling them, I would not know how to apologise for telling them upfront. Yes, I know this makes me a coward. Not all gay men are born to champion homosexual equality and I am really enjoying having such male friendship. My question is, how do you balance the whole wanting honest male friendship without issues of orientation inequality? Help? Luv, pup, x.