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Dear Mary: I’m a married man and considering sex with my male masseur. Am I bisexual?

‘What exactly does that say about me? Am I just a dirty old b*****d or am I bi or what am I exactly?’

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Mary O'ConorSunday Independent

I have a big problem. I am married with grown-up children and was always good to them and worked hard, as did my wife.

The problem has arisen over the last while, in that sex has gone very scarce and I don’t know why. I do know I’m begging lately and still nothing is happening. I am now looking outside the home for what I want but it’s with other males.

I’m going for male massage and getting great satisfaction out of it. I was recently in England on business and a friend of mine was telling me about the massage he gets, so I decided, along with a little push from him, I would try it.

Oh God Almighty, I cannot explain to you how much I enjoyed it. We had no sex but we had everything else, and I’m afraid that the next time I will have the rest.

I cannot get my mind around how I was so faithful to my wife and family for all of my married life and now I’m feeling really good about a male massage and it looks like a bit more the next time.

What exactly does that say about me? Am I just a dirty old bastard or am I bi or what am I exactly? Maybe I should not be writing this letter to you but it’s on my conscience night and day.

Mary replies: I don’t know enough about you to say categorically what you are, but I can give my thoughts on your problem, which is twofold. Firstly, sex with your wife has almost disappeared and, secondly, you are considering using a male masseur for sexual purposes. They are interrelated because I’m presuming that if you were having regular sex at home, you wouldn’t be going outside for sexual fulfilment.

It may help your understanding of yourself if you look at your sexual being as being on a continuum. Some people are very definitely heterosexual, others are and have always been homosexual, and they would be at opposite ends of the line. Others experiment at some point in their lives and they veer from one end to the other before ultimately deciding what they are.

It would be very interesting to hear your wife’s reasons for not wanting to have sex with you. Because there must be a reason why things have changed. Perhaps she is bored, maybe she feels taken for granted, she may be menopausal or postmenopausal and finding sex painful. She may no longer find you attractive or she may have taken a lover. There are lots of possibilities, including that she is unhappy about the state of your relationship. But only she knows and you should be told, although if she doesn’t any longer find you attractive she may not want to hurt you by telling you.

I’m asking about the relationship because you have no emotional content in your transactions with the masseur, which is purely sensual and/or sexual. You are even paying for it, so it is quite different to your relationship with your wife, which has both emotional and sexual components.

However, even though it is transactional, what you are doing is causing you a lot of mental grief and so the obvious thing to do is to stop. But you will need to find something that will replace the thrill of what you have experienced with the masseur. For instance, a lady I know took her first tandem skydiving jump to celebrate her 80th birthday and found it exhilarating.

You are considering having full sex with a male. This would take things to quite a different level and you need to consider this very carefully. For a start, ask yourself how you would feel if your wife and children were to find out. I’m staying away from the moral aspect of all this, because that is not for me to say.

I feel that you would benefit from speaking with someone professionally regarding the dilemma that you find yourself in, because an unbiased, non-judgmental listener would help you make sense of it all. Consult iacp.ie to find a therapist in your area.

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