Ms. Behavior®: Neurotic Mess

Dear Ms. Behavior:

I have no clue how I got myself in this situation. All I can do is slap my forehead, and sigh.

You see, my friend since age 5 and I spooned on a cold night out camping. This led to some vague dry humping—a near-Brokeback Mountain moment. By the gravity of that sentence alone, I’m sure you now understand how I feel. And, if not, sooo awkward is the answer.

The culprits of this scandalous incident were freezing cold, hormones, and stupidity (I guess those last two are practically synonymous). The night was colder than we previously had thought, and our extra sleeping bag wasn’t offering much help. So, I asked if he was “awake and cold.” Once he said yes, we agreed to huddle next to each other for warmth. At one point in the night, I turned on my side. Shortly after, my straight friend slides in, and we’re spooning! I was shocked, turned on, and confused.

It doesn’t seem right, although I have found him physically attractive since junior high school, which I easily can get over. However, we’ve been spending more time together recently. I’ve found the urge to kiss him, but have chalked this up to misplaced affection. Now, part of me wants something to happen, as idiotic as that is.

To make things even more complex, he’s dating a very close friend since seventh grade. I don’t want to lose either of them as friends.

So, please stop me from doing anything stupid.

If I find the courage, I plan to bring up the matter of the camping trip sometime when we’re alone.

All he said about it the next morning indirectly was that he had some crazy dreams, and didn’t want to stay another night, even though it was warming up a lot. I took this to mean: Let’s pretend I was having this sexy dream while rubbing against you, but to be safe, fuck staying another night.

Really, I’d rather laugh about it than not say anything, because now, when we see each other, it’s just—well, at least, I get nervous as all hell. He seems fine.

Thanks in advance.

—Neurotic Mess

PS: I’ve realized how I’d feel much safer from any kind of grab-ass in a locker room full of gay guys than straight guys. Here’s another question: Are all straight guys repressed fags?

Dear Neurotic Mess:

Who hasn’t fantasized about a Brokeback Mountain encounter?

Practically everyone found that particular cinematic bump in the night to be raw and hot. Any sex that’s “forbidden” without being exploitative of children or innocent furry animals has the potential to be inspirational to the masses—regardless of gender or sexual orientation—and perhaps even to your best friend.

Your situation is confusing, because of your long history as pals. You sound like you’re embarrassed by what happened. You describe your wish to kiss him as “misplaced affection,” and your desire for more as “idiotic.”

Granted, he’s straight, so you feel vulnerable for even hoping that he shares your feelings. And the truth is that he may not. For your friend, the hip-thrusting may have been a momentary impulse, triggered by the heady combination of proximity, comfort, and affection for you. It could have been a one-time deal inspired by an errant boner.

Men under 25 (a category it sounds like you might fit) have been known to fuck watermelons, cows, and meat patties, so it’s probably best not to be overly flattered by your friend’s attention.

The truth is that you’re gay, and so far as you know, he’s not. It is, of course, possible that your straight friend harbors feelings for you, but has been too fearful to act on them.

If you want to find out more, you may need to broach the subject with him. But bringing up your humpy encounter means that you risk facing rejection. Your friend could laugh it off, pretend he was dreaming, or run screaming into the safe arms of his girlfriend.

Are you willing to take that risk?

That you’re spending more time together lately may suggest he’s waiting to see what happens next. But, he also may be trying to reassure himself that spending time with you is fine, and that he doesn’t have to worry he’ll end up inadvertently boning you.

You actually sound like a couple of lesbians, who are more prone than anyone to the Accidental Sex scenario.

As for your final inquiry: Are all straight guys repressed fags? The answer is yes. Or, rather, maybe not, but it doesn’t mean they won’t, under the right circumstances, dry hump another man in the dark.

© 2009 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to [email protected]. She is the author of Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette (Houghton Mifflin). Signed copies are available directly from the author.

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