If you’re looking up “how to tell if your boyfriend is gay,” you’ve noticed things in your partner that have raised important questions.
And however much the truth of your situation might hurt, you need to know.
Maybe you’ve asked yourself, “Is my boyfriend bisexual? Or is he even into me at all?”
Because, as far as you can tell, he doesn’t look at you the same way you look at him.
It’s time to get some answers.
Why Do I Feel Like My Boyfriend’s Gay?
You’ve been picking up little hints along the way that your boyfriend may not be as into you — or women in general — as you thought he was.
Then again, you tell yourself you’re being paranoid or jumping to conclusions. Just because your boyfriend doesn’t act like every straight guy you’ve ever met doesn’t mean he’s gay.
That said, because you’ve noticed the following, your mind just won’t let this go.
- He doesn’t really seem attracted to you specifically;
- Nothing you do or say turns him on—or he sure doesn’t seem turned on;
- He seems more interested in male bodies than in female ones;
- He seems nervous around other men (particularly attractive ones);
- He’s unusually interested in physical descriptions of your past boyfriends;
- He takes an unusual interest in fashion, skincare, and beauty routines;
- You get the strong impression he’d rather be platonic friends than bf-gf.
Is My Boyfriend Gay? 17 Signs Your Suspicions Are True
Read the following signs carefully for insights on how to tell if a guy is gay. The more signs you see, the more likely your suspicions are correct.
1. He’s not super-interested in having sex with you (ever).
You thought you were with a guy who was crazy about you and couldn’t look at you without wanting to tear your clothes off with his teeth and ravish you until you both passed out.
This guy? He’d rather challenge you to a video game marathon or take you shopping. Or he seems more interested in having company over to avoid being alone with you.
It’s also possible he’s asexual. He may have tried to be more forward when you met, but now that he’s got you, he’s less motivated to appear more sexual than he is.
2. You’ve noticed an underlying theme in the kind of dirty talk he enjoys.
“Talk dirty to me” has a different meaning for him than for you. You want him to talk about all the naughty things he wants to do to you when you’re alone together.
But when it comes to dirty talk and role play, he seems more interested in scenarios involving two men, with or without a woman (i.e., you).
It’s a bit deflating when your boyfriend would rather talk about his fantasies about being with a man than about straight guy fantasies he has whenever he catches a glimpse of your chest or your backside.
3. You’ve noticed him flirting with other guys.
Not that he’ll admit it, but he totally flirts with other guys. In fact, he’s far more likely to flirt with a guy than with a woman. With guys, flirting just comes more easily to him. It never feels forced or like he’s putting on a performance.
With you… you’ve felt yourself near tears when he tried to make up for ignoring you by suddenly mauling you in front of everyone.
Nope, thanks, bud. That window has now closed. Something is definitely off. And you’re ready to get to the bottom of it.
4. You catch him checking out or staring at other guys.
That look you wish he had when he saw you – you’ve caught that look on his face when he looked at another guy. You checked. It wasn’t the stunning brunette at the door or the women at a nearby table.
It was a man nearby in a suit that he wore like a second skin. And your boyfriend couldn’t seem to take his eyes off him (or keep them off).
Meanwhile, you were wearing that dress — the one that accentuates all your positives. At that moment, though, he only had eyes for the other man.
5. He has friends who are closeted gays.
You’ve noticed more than one of his friends are gays — open or closeted. He tends to be closer to the closeted ones, and they spend a lot of time together. And you wonder what they talk about and whether you should be concerned.
If he ever talks about his time with this friend, he discusses it with the air of someone who “personally can’t relate,” even though the topic has come up more than once.
He’s thinking about it. And so are you.
6. He floats the idea of a threesome — with another guy.
Maybe he does this jokingly, but he’s watching you closely for your reaction. It’s as if he’s actually hoping you’re into the idea. On the one hand, you wonder if he’s setting a trap, and he’ll break up with you if you express an interest in having another man in your bed.
But he doesn’t act like a jealous boyfriend. He likes the idea of taking your relationship in “new directions” and stresses the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone.
But it is outside his? Or is he just hoping he can have it all?
7. He seems to prefer the attention of other men more than that of women.
When you’re out together, he seems to thrive on the attention of other men, seeking them out and spending more time among other guys than with you. He doesn’t notice other women in attendance except to greet them when introduced.
If he has guys nearby giving him the attention he craves, he’s in his happy place.
Sure, he’s happy to see you and to spend time with you. But there’s a look you only ever see on his face when he’s getting attention from other guys — and maybe one guy in particular.
8. He’s way more interested in fashion than you are.
He cares about his appearance, and you love that about him. But he also has strong opinions, and he’s not afraid to share them, even when it involves constructive criticism about your clothing choices.
He hates to see you content with clothing styles that don’t make the most of your gifts.
Truth be told, he’s got you rethinking your attachment to some of those styles. And while he doesn’t have to be gay to have a gift for fashion or design, he shows more interest in and aptitude for it than any of the straight guys you’ve ever known.
9. He’s more interested in your (adult) toys than your body.
Maybe he’s asked to borrow one of them, and you don’t know what to say. Why would a straight guy want to use one of your toys by himself?
After all, it’s bad enough he seems more into exploring your toys than exploring you.
Sometimes, you’ve indulged him, but it feels more experimental than intimate. He may not even be aware of how his interest in your toys comes across to you.
To him, you’re just having some fun together. But it’s getting less fun for you. Because you suspect there’s more going on behind this fascination of his.
10. He’s into or curious about gay porn.
This is a big one. A gay bf may be fine with watching or looking through porn with you, but he’s more interested in gay porn than in the hetero kind you typically prefer.
If you’re watching straight porn together, he seems more interested in the guy than in the woman, who is there more as a placeholder than anything else.
Maybe he’d like to experience what it’s like to be the one who’s taken rather than the one who’s taking his partner. He’s open to both. But he’d like to know what he’s been missing.
11. He seems overly curious about other guys that you know.
He asks questions about your past boyfriends, your male coworkers, and other guys you both know, especially if you have a reason to know more about them than he does.
With another guy, you might explain this away as somewhat normal for a boyfriend who wants to make sure he’s the number one man in your life.
But he seems more intent on learning about these other guys than in sussing out your feelings toward them.
And if he ever gets to meet one of those guys, your boyfriend seems fixated on them.
12. Or he doesn’t talk about other gay men at all.
If he thinks for a second that you wonder if he’s gay, he’s quick to take offense. It’s not that he hates gays, of course.
But he doesn’t like to talk about gay people, much less how they realized they were gay.
It all sounds too painful for him even to discuss. So, he’d rather avoid the topic and try to convince himself and you that he’s 100% straight and proud of it.
You suspect he’s avoiding the issue because being gay and coming out would upend his entire life. He’s not ready to pay that price.
13. He’s more touchy-feely with guys than with women.
He’s quicker to touch other guys than to touch other women. He’s the guy who offers to give shoulder massages to the other guys in the room to “practice his skills” or help them relax and have more fun.
He might ask for a hug when one of his guy friends departs—and not a lame side hug.
There’s real camaraderie going on, and there’s beauty in that. But he lingers a bit too long with the hug. Maybe he even inhales the other guy’s scent and smiles.
Whatever it is, you get the strong impression you can’t compete.
14. Alcohol makes his behavior toward other men less inhibited.
Straight boyfriends who get drunk are more likely to get handsy with their girlfriends — or even with another woman who’s nearby, depending on how drunk he is. On the other hand, your boyfriend gets more demonstrative toward other guys in the room.
He’ll make the rounds, touching and gushing as he goes, or he’ll get cozy with one guy, in particular, hanging on his every word, sitting closer, and even letting his head rest on the other’s shoulder. But it’s okay, right, because he’s clearly wasted. No harm done.
Except it happens a bit too often to ignore.
15. He buys expensive gifts for his male friends.
I mean, he goes all out when it comes to their gifts. He finds out what they like and goes above and beyond to send the message that he sees them.
Sometimes, all he wants is a smile of genuine warmth and gratitude. But it probably wouldn’t take much for him to do more.
With your gifts, he’s more likely to get something generic like flowers, jewelry, or perfume than to really tap into your more unique interests.
With his guy friends, he knows just what they like. And money is no object.
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16. You walk in on something that feels intimate.
You walk into a room and see them standing a bit too close together or even sitting close enough to touch at multiple points.
It feels seconds away from something you wish he was more interested in doing with you.
It’s hard to write this one off as “Oh, we were just looking at something together,” or “We just don’t need as much personal space as you do.”
The more he tries to rationalize it as something normal, the more you suspect there’s more going on.
It doesn’t help that things have been different between you since then.
17. He spends a lot of time at a friend’s place.
In most cases, it’s better than him crashing at a female friend’s place on the regs.
But you can’t shake the feeling that something is going on between them — something neither one wants to talk about when you’re around (if ever).
You can’t go anywhere and not have your boyfriend text the other guy or keep a lookout for him if he shows up. And if this guy does show up, the look on your boyfriend’s face is the kind you want to see when he catches sight of you.
And it breaks your heart.
Signs a Guy Is Pretending to Be Straight
If you’re at the point, now, where you’re thinking, “I think my boyfriend is gay… but I don’t know how to tell him,” it could be because he’s also (consciously or not) pretending to be straight. Maybe he wants to believe he’s straight because it’s easier.
So, what are the signs he’s pretending to be straight when he’s not?
He’s trying a little too hard to appear straight.
He feels like he has to convince people of his straightness continually, so he’ll make his comments extra straight with a side of T.M.I. Or he’ll be even more of a player than his straight guy friends.
If he’s in a relationship with a woman, he’ll try to convince himself and others that he’s straight by having loads of sex, though he may get himself drunk first. It’s easier that way.
He may be outwardly homophobic.
He may openly declare he doesn’t “understand gays” or that he doesn’t feel comfortable around them. He just doesn’t feel like they have enough in common. And he doesn’t want to become someone’s “secret gay crush.”
Of course, he can avoid that by avoiding any association with gay guys. Gay women are okay (they don’t pose a threat), but they’re unlikely to enjoy his company, anyway.
He watches porn (with or without you) — but focuses on the guy.
And you know this because when you recall certain details about a guy in one of the videos, he’s quick to confirm or correct what you remember.
On the other hand, ask him what he noticed about the woman, and he’s more likely to give a generic answer like, “She had a nice butt” — with a shrug. Truth be told, he doesn’t remember much about her. You both remember the guy, and for similar reasons.
He tries to impress other men but writes it off as “just being a guy.”
When you’re with other people, he seems more interested in impressing the other guys in the room than any of the women (including you). He might even invite other guys to some sort of competition involving strength or other “manly” qualities.
He might justify this as “guy stuff,” but you can’t shake the impression that he seems to care more about what the guys think of him than about what you think.
He spends a lot of late nights “at the office.”
So much for enjoying your evenings together. He’s always staying extra late at work for one reason or another. You can’t reach him when you try to contact him while he’s working or send him a thoughtful text.
He either doesn’t see those texts or is too busy to answer them. And you suspect he might be cheating, but he’s never shown much interest in the women he works with.
He pretends to be interested in having sex with you, but…
He’s obviously distracted throughout and keeps asking to “mix it up” with things that make you uncomfortable. He might also ask for porn to get you both warmed up, and he’s clearly very interested in what the guy is doing.
He may tell you it’s all about trying new things and satisfying you, but you’d rather he just take control sometimes and let his passion for you guide him.
What to Do If You See Signs He Is Gay
If you’ve noticed several of the signs described above, it’s time to have a sit-down with your boyfriend and get some answers from him. Don’t make this a confrontation; make it a chance for him to be honest about what he’s going through.
The following steps can help you with the conversation that needs to happen:
- Approach him with honesty and without judgment, and be prepared to listen.
- Tell him what you’ve noticed — just the facts — without drawing conclusions.
- Try to understand the situation from his perspective.
- Be open and honest about your feelings and what you want to do.
- Let him know whether you’d like to remain friends or if you need some space.
If you learn from this conversation (or others) that he’s been sexually active with men, thank him for being honest.
And, as with a straight (ex-)boyfriend who admits to infidelity, get yourself tested for STDs — just in case.
Now that you know the key signs your boyfriend might be gay, we hope this leads to a conversation that will ultimately serve you both.
Remember to be kind to yourself as well as to your boyfriend. You deserve compassion, too.