To me the most interesting thing—and probably the only interesting thing—about NBA basketball player Jason Collins’ announcement that he’s gay, has been ex-fiance Carolyn Moos’ statement that she hadn’t a clue about it in the 8 years she’d dated (and presumably slept with) him—and the resultant mockery she’s received to the effect of what kind of idiot wouldn’t know a thing like that?
But it happens quite frequently, and it’s not always because the woman is stupid.
And no, I’m not saying that from personal experience—except the experience of friends. Some men who are primarily gay are quite capable of having normal sex with a woman, and even loving her. That was true for a friend of mine who married her college sweetheart and was divorced a couple of years later when he announced he was gay, something neither she—nor any of the rest of us, for that matter, although we lacked the inside info, as it were, that she possessed—had suspected for a moment.
His explanation? He loved her. Yes, he loved her, was attracted to her, and thought their marriage would be a successful one. But as time went on he realized that he wasn’t just bisexual, he was primarily gay, and felt he had to tell her and leave even though it would devastate her (they were quite young and had no children, by the way).
She went on to meet and marry someone else, quite happily, and have a family. And believe me, she’s never been a naive dummy about sex. There just was nothing to notice during the time she knew him, according to her, and I believe her.
Being gay is not a unitary thing. Some gay men never have sex with a woman in their entire lives and can’t even imagine doing it, it’s so repugnant to them. Some do it a few times and find it all right but not worth repeating. Others, like my friend’s husband, can have a meaningful and somewhat satisfying sexual relationship with a woman, and yet their strongest feelings are for men. My guess is that the latter was the deal with Collins.
People like to think they would know if it was their sexual partner; that they couldn’t be fooled. But as with a lot of other things, that’s often just wishful thinking.