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The Blowjob that Changed our Friendship

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Anonymous asks:

My best friend gave me a blowjob and I don't know what to do about it. It started off at some college party a few months ago. We got drunk and had to get a ride to my place. He stays far away in the boondocks and the designated driver didn't want to drive that far so I told my best friend he can sleep by my house. While we were laying down and watching TV I told him about how my girlfriend gave me head for the first time last night. Next thing I know, he's giving me an example of when his ex-girlfriend sucked him off and he starts nuzzling his nose in my pelvis area. One harmless example lead to another and my penis ended up in his mouth.

CJ replies:

Anonymous' question continued

At the moment, I didn't think much about how it will affect us. I just let him and he did it for a very long time. It was almost about a full half-hour when I came. He swallowed and everything. And then it hits me that my BEST FRIEND just gave me a blowjob. He went to the bathroom to wash his mouth and stuff and while he was doing that I just laid down and fell asleep in order to avoid talking about it.

When we woke up the next morning he was already awake and playing Playstation. We started laughing about how trashed we were last night and he sneaks in a question about how much I remember from last night. I told him not much and then I left it alone. I don't think he believed me. Ever since then, it's been extremely awkward between us. Whenever he comes over we never really talk about stuff like we used to and most times I'd find reasons to uninvite him. I even went as far as saying I have to walk my dog. There's no way he can't tell I'm purposely avoiding him.

Honestly, I can deal with the fact that he's gay. I always wondered about him because he can never really keep a girlfriend and he seems more attached to his guy friends than his own flavor-of-the-week girlfriend. Speaking of his "girlfriends", he's recently been parading his heterosexuality around me. He's supposedly having sex with different girls everyday. It's not that hard to believe since the girls he mention are attracted to him and they're also promiscuous. It's just that he's really starting to lose respect for me. I don't know how to tell him that without him thinking I'm secretly crushing on him or something. I really do miss him. We've been best buds since 4th grade and now he's a stranger in every sense of the word. I'm scared that if I force him to admit that he's gay then he's going to shut me out forever.

How should I confront him about our friendship and everything else that happened over the past few months?

It seems like there are a few layers going on here: your concern about your friendship with this guy, confusion about what happened between you and whether/how to address it, and some thoughts about your friend's possible sexual orientation. The first thing I want to let you know (even though you did not quite ask it) is that same-sex experimentation with adolescents and young adults is really common. Young adults are still forming their sexuality and figuring out what range of behaviors and attractions feel good for them. Experimentation between friends--regardless of any party's sexual orientation--is a common part of growing up for many folks. Unfortunately we still live in a heterosexist society and that can keep people from really being open and talking about their same-sex experiences.

But now on to more of what you're actually asking! When thinking about sexuality I often break it down into smaller categories: orientation, behavior, and identity. Orientation is who we're attracted to. When we're fantasizing, who are we thinking about? Who are we emotionally and physically drawn to? That might give some insight into at least a piece of our orientation (though it's not always so cut and dry). Behavior is different; it's what we're doing sexually. Finally, identity is what we call ourselves, what labels we choose (or refuse) to put onto our own selves. It's easy to imagine how those things would line up: you're a guy, you are attracted to women, you engage in sexual behaviors with women, and you think of yourself as straight. Awesome! You identify as female, fantasize about women, have sexual relationships with women, and identify as a lesbian. Super! But it doesn't always line up like that for everyone.

Perhaps you're a guy, you think mostly about women but sometimes about guys, you've had sex with women but also experimented sexually with men. What does that make you? It's a trick question, actually--I can't tell anyone what or who they are. Each of us gets to identify for ourselves how we feel and what we want to call ourselves. Is your friend gay? Behavior alone does not make someone gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, queer, or any imaginable sexual orientation. For example, if you know you're straight but you've never had sex, can you not call yourself straight? That would be silly. Behavior is one piece of a larger picture that includes orientation (who you're attracted to) and identity (what you call yourself).

So maybe it's possible to try to let go of the firm notion that your friend must be gay. There's no way of knowing for sure without having that conversation with him and finding out how he sees himself and how he identifies, which leads nicely to the part of your question about how to approach your friend. Communication can sometimes feel very complicated and tricky but it's great that you are recognizing the impact of the last few months on your friendship and that you want to take some steps to resolve things.

What do you think it would look like for you to admit that you do, in fact, remember what happened the night that you had oral sex? What sort of reaction(s) do you think he might have? What reaction(s) are you nervous about? You mentioned that you don't want him to think that you have a crush on him, but even if your friend does identify as gay, remember that does not mean that he would be attracted to every single male person in the world. Just as straight folks aren't automatically attracted to everyone, gay folks aren't, either. I also have to say that sometimes these conversations can be hard for guys because we get a lot of media and societal messages about "being a man" and what "real men" do or don't do. In my experience men don't always get a lot of positive messages about communication, particularly about feelings or emotions, so sometimes guys can feel weird about initiating these conversations. I assure you, however, that friendship between people (regardless of their gender or sexual orientation) relies on good communication.

Perhaps you can find a time when the two of you have some time together and you can let him know that you feel like what happened between the two of you has really impacted your friendship. It's ok to let him know if you feel a little weird bringing it up again but that your friendship is important and so you want to try to work through the weirdness. You didn't actually mention what you would like to see happen with your relationship with your friend, whether you'd want to do anything sexual with him again or whether you want to make sure that does not happen again. Either way, communicating that is important so that you've clearly put that information out there, as well as whatever limits you have around sexual behaviors.

As for "forcing him to admit he's gay", as I said, maybe he is and maybe he isn't. You might want to ask yourself what difference it would make to you and your friendship with him if he does identify as gay, what it would mean if he doesn't, or what it would mean if he is not sure. It sounds like you're more worried about your friendship with him than his sexual orientation. If that's the case, the conversation does not need to be about making him "admit" anything; you can just talk about the aspects of your friendship you feel need to be fixed. Sometimes the best thing you can do is open the conversation and create a space for talking about sexuality and then let it happen in its own time, when everyone is comfortable. You can mention to your friend that you will support, respect, and like him no matter how he identifies, but that does not mean that he needs to tell you in that moment how he identifies. As your friendship builds and grows, maybe he'll share that information with you, but it's hard (and not really useful) to force.

Growing into one's own sexuality can be a trying time, so we all need friends to support us without judgment. I'd urge you to be patient with your friend--and yourself!--as you each move through your journeys. There are infinite possibilities out there and sometimes it takes a bit of time to figure out what feels right and good.

Here is some additional reading that might help you out:

written 30 Sep 2008 . updated 21 Jan 2014

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