It seems to be a recurring theme here at the LPSG. There are a great many genuine bisexuals whoc create mixed orientation marriages that work, and hats off to them. On the other hand, weve had quite a few men like Dees grad-student acquaintance in the "Complexities of Love" thread, who proclaim themselves bi. Theyre turned on by men but find it hard to get their intimate emotional needs met, and take refuge with women. It really disappoints me to hear this, but its kind of understandable. Women drop into an easy, natural intimacy through their verbal skills: they talk about their feelings. In our hunter-gatherer/warrior past, men had a lot to lose from letting their guard down quickly. How do two men get intimate when their reptile-brains train them to lock antlers? Lets start by talking to straight guys for a moment. Do you have male friends with whom youd say you were intimate? Long-haul friends who share a history. The kind with whom youve spent quality time over the years, whom youve come to know and trust. Would you say that you knew them intimately? That they know you in ways, perhaps, your wife or girlfriends never will? My guess is that you probably have one or more of these friends. How do you express your intimacy? Women express their intimacy with each other by talking about their feelings; men express it, often, by doing stuff together. Sports. Drinking. Cars. Politics. My oldest, most intimate male friend is straight. We went to school together, traveled together. Weve seen each other naked countless times. Im godfather to his son. OK, we talk a lot--in fact, he jokes that he suffers from Nell's Disease, a genetic condition inherited form his mother which involves not being able to shut up. Thos who know us say that we rabbit on "like old women". But our emotional exchange is really more by osmosis. Our stuff is wine, cigars, and tinkering with cars. The bond is forged by what we do together and the experiences we share. We joke that sex is all very well, but the true test of intimacy is helping each other move house. Imagine for moment that he was bi. Might not sex be one more shared activity we could add to our wine, cigars, and inept motor mechanics? Well, yeah. Now if I were his wife (or, rather, his ex-wifehes between wives at the moment) Id be far more worried about this kind of sexual exchange than a casual sucked dick in a back alley. Because it was using sex to create intimacy. In fact, his ex-wife WAS worried. Not about my sucking her husbands dickI suspect she would have felt relieved of the chorebut that he was actually closer to his male friends that he was to her. My observation is that some women grudge the time their partner spends with his male buddies as some kind of emotional infidelity. Theyre probably right. I know more about my buddys sex life that even the people who participate in it. The Australian comedienne Judith Lucy once remarked that she would rather her husband had a quickie knee trembler with his secretary in an elevator than an intelligent conversation with a female colleague over lunch. My own relationship taught me a lot. Though my partner speaks perfect English (on good days), it's not his native language. How do we forge our emotional intimacy? Not through words. But through doing stuff together. Our stuff is incredibly varied--music, art, architecture. But it's shared rather than discussed. And it's as satisfying an intimacy as I've ever had. Of course, we still lock antlers from time to time. I challenge any couple to assemble an IKEA bookcase together and not end up at each other's throats. But the simple rhythms of our shared days communicate more of our feelings toward each other than anything we could say. I think James Joyce referred to these moments as the "little sacraments of everyday life." So, to the gay men who find it hard to gain intimacy with another man, here's a thought. Don't force it. It takes time for men to earn each other's trust. It'll happen through deeds, not words.