LGBT DL Men & "Men who have sex with men, but don't consider themselves gay"

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by CoCo, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    :wtf: are you thinking??

    Sooo, the NYTimes ran an article on this about late last year, and even after being in a relationship with some low-level DL men (as in, they were NOT past that 'can't change them' threshold, and were not high risk), I must say that I don't like you people! I mean, being Queer has its ups and downs, but why would one want to live so high risk?



    MTV's Expose on DL Culture & Community showed the extreme of this way of life—a total disrespect of health and one's life, as the DL men just interfuck unprotected and then brought everything back to their homes, wives, and children. I think this horrific, and was curious if anyone had any experiences with such men?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2004
  2. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    I feel bad for their wives.
     
  3. Taylor

    Taylor Guest

    They're just fooling themselves... it's a shame that people do this to themselves, but that's what happens in a society like ours where there is such a stigma for identifying as gay. Hopefully with recent events in the media and society more people will be willing to come out.
     
  4. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    To me, it totally sucks (and not even a good suck) because on the MTV program, the MTV people were saying how the LGBTQ community rocked because it totally revamped it's EVERYTHING to improve conditions in the HIV/AIDs situations, and that numbers were dropping and all of that, and then ENTER THE DL MEN and all of the sudden numbers are at an all time high.
     
  5. TurboDerek

    TurboDerek My favorite meal is horsemeat and rice.

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    My wife nad mother-in-law were watching a talkshow about this last year. They asked me if i was on the downlow, I said yes.

    I was thinking about that Isley brothers/R Kelly song.
    "Keep it on the downlooowwwwww, nobody has to knowooooo.
     
  6. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    LOL
     
  7. Taylor

    Taylor Guest

    :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    :mamoru:
     
  8. Insey

    Insey I can feel my cunt contracting

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    wtf...first time I ever heard of this "DL" thing. Is it only for black people or does it apply to whites also?
     
  9. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...I think that Black men on the DL are getting the attention. NY Times primarily spoke about Black men, but MTV's thing was broader and said that all types of men do this, just for different reasons. Black men always use that double minority excuse...and I guess, that's more newsworthy...?
     
  10. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    It also applies to priests...

    When I was in my whole "spirituality and homosexuality" phase of my life (trying to mesh the two together until I pretty much abandoned my religion), I found out about this whole underground network of priests who sleep with each other for sexual satisfaction, but still claim celibacy since they aren't "with a woman".
     
  11. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    ...RIGHT!
     
  12. GND

    GND BBP! OT Supporter

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    sound like DL Sluts to me, sorry, but I call it like I see em. That's annoying as hell. :ugh:
     
  13. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    :ugh: Exactly. Sluts=bad. Mmmkay?
     
  14. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Sooo, I guess that 50 just single handedly was responsible for a whole push of Urban youth into the DL community... But he, probably DL himself, wouldn't realize it, or would...and luvs/wants it!:squint:

    I literally have lost the modicum of respect I had for the fool...:rant2: And just like Em with Elton, I guess 50 will perform with Boi George next...
     
  15. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Oprah is yet again doin a whole show devoted to this subject, as did Soul Food (although Soul Food's focus was official on HIV/AIDs, even though it went back to DL black gay men giving such STDs to women (a social commentary, I assume)).

    Soul Food is rerunning all week, & Oprah's DL show will be on Friday.
     
  16. Josey

    Josey Guest

    And don't forget the little boys, and girls occasionaly that they trick or force them to have sex. That has got to be the most disgusting thing in the world...I have a 6 yr old Neice that is like my own daughter and if that were to happen I would in jail for the rest of my life cause they would be able to keep my 6'2" 240lb self off of the freak that did it.
     
  17. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    :eek3: , but I understand...
     
  18. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Part One: The "DL" phenomenon

    Four little words are causing tongues to wag in the black and gay black communities: "on the down low."

    According to a widely published report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the numbers for HIV and AIDS are on the rise in the black community, particularly among black females.

    A different study found an increase of HIV infection among black male college students in the South. They, along with the nearly 75 percent of minority women who contracted the disease through heterosexual sex, were infected by men who are "on the down low" -- a statistic that troubles health officials and members of the black community.

    The issue is so widespread now that it's attracting the attention of the mainstream media. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and Showtime's African-American drama "Soul Food" both recently aired episodes in which characters were living, or suspected of living, on the down low.

    Men who are "on the DL" have relationships with women and secret sex with men. In many cases, the sex is often unprotected. Generally, they have no desire to have any sort of relationship other than physical with other men.

    While bisexuals generally consider themselves part of the gay community, men who classify themselves as on the down low do not. They reject any term that may "emasculate" them or place them within the gay community -- especially the word "gay" itself, which they often see as a "white" term filled with stereotypes and feminine connotations.

    J. L. King, author of "On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of 'Straight' Black Men Who Sleep with Men," seems to be the unofficial spokesman for the community. His openness in talking about the subject has led to a flurry of coverage, including articles in the Chicago Sun-Times and Jet magazine and an appearance on BET. But it was his April appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that got people talking.

    King says that he lived on the down low for years -- and that it's time for people to do something to stop the spread of AIDS.

    "This is something that can be stopped," King said in an interview from his Chicago home. "African Americans aren't getting the message: AIDS will kill you. Look at the numbers. Black women aren't protecting themselves, nor are they demanding that their men wear condoms."

    He says men on the DL don't practice safe sex because they feel as if a condom would show an awareness of the danger of the sexual acts they are engaging in. Their female partners aren't demanding safer sex because they are simply unaware of their man's side activities.

    Some believe men on the DL are in serious denial about their sexual orientation, but King offers a different view: A lot of these men are afraid. "Why would I want to be 'gay'?" King asked. "Gay people are oppressed and looked down upon. It's safer to keep my mouth shut and handle my business."

    King also says there's a difference between being DL and bisexual.

    "The difference between men on the DL and bisexual or gay men is this: A gay man will tell you he's gay -- no ifs, ands or buts about it. Bisexual men enjoy being with men and women, and they're upfront about it," he said. "But a DL man will have sex with a woman and then sneak and have sex with a guy, but will keep his mouth shut. And oftentimes, it's unprotected sex."

    His 208-page book gives readers tidbits of information, including where guys tend to hook up and how. He also gives personal accounts of the aftermath of being discovered and of learning how other men in the invisible fraternity have fared after testing HIV-positive. Since its mid-May release, the book has rocketed to the top 10 of numerous best-seller lists, including those of the New York Times and Amazon.com.

    King wrote the book after hearing about how the numbers were spiking in communities of color, particularly among African-American women.

    "Black women don't protect themselves. It's just that simple," King said. "Because if they did, we wouldn't see this rise in AIDS cases. The numbers are way up, and someone needs to do something about it."
     
  19. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Part Two: From "caught in the act" to "Oprah"

    J. L. King, author of "On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of 'Straight' Black Men Who Sleep With Men," has been dubbed the "face of the down-low movement" by the New York Times.

    It's a role he takes very seriously. That's because he knows the effects that living on the down low can have -- not only on the person living the life, but on the person's family.

    "In the past, I've put myself and my family at risk, all because I had to have sex with another man," he said in a phone interview from his Chicago home. King married his childhood sweetheart and later became the father of three children. He was also a successful marketing executive, but he was living with a secret: He craved men.

    In his book, King details an early sexual encounter with a member of his church. With the help of some cheap brandy and a gay porn video, King was baptized into the DL community.

    The two men continued their physical relationship until a friend tipped off King's wife that he was spending a lot of time at his "friend's" house. It didn't take long for her to unravel the painful truth: Her husband was having an affair with another man. She kicked him out and divorced him. But despite losing his family, King stayed on the DL.

    "It's not something I'm proud of, but it's something that needs to be talked about," he said.

    And King is definitely talking. A peek at his Web site, www.livingdownlow.com reveals that King is booked to speak through the end of the year in cities like Charleston; Washington, D.C.; and Tampa. Next February he's even scheduled to take his message to Germany.

    Add that to the thousands of copies the book has sold since its May 2004 release, and one thing becomes clear: People want to know more.

    A visit to the site's message board shows that some women are apparently finally getting the message and protecting themselves. One wrote that she couldn't put the book down: King's stories of men on the DL finally caused her to open her eyes and start demanding protection from her sexual partners.

    It's people like this, King says, who help him spread awareness about the DL life.

    He also said that messages on billboards, ads and commercials aren't targeting the right people or are not strong enough to get the DL man's attention.

    "When DL men see those gay safe-sex ads, they assume they aren't talking about them, because those ads feature 'fags' and 'sissies,'" he said. "They say to themselves, 'I'm not that, so you can't be talking to me.'"

    King's message reached millions after an appearance on "Oprah" in April.

    "They were familiar with my work, and they wanted me to come on as the DL expert," King said. He was under the impression that he would join a panel, but after reading an advance copy of his book, Oprah decided to make the show mostly about him and the effects being on the DL had on him and his family.

    On the show, King said that some people think men on the DL are having their cake and eating it too, but in reality, it's hard to manage and live with the lies.

    Winfrey agreed, saying that a lot of these men must be in denial and that they should face up to their responsibility.

    But, as King said, having sex with another man isn't about responsibility; it's simply about the sex.

    "When you're hooking up, you don't think about other people. You're just into the moment and into the pleasure."
     
  20. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Part Three: Is the "down low" message getting across?

    Author J. L. King's celebrity has come at a steep price.

    Since he came out as a voice for men living "on the down low" -- supposedly straight black men in relationships with women but secretly having sex with guys -- he's discovered that a lot of people don't want to hear his message.

    King now travels with a bodyguard because of threats made on his life. Some in the invisible DL fraternity don't want the group's secrets shared.

    Some gay advocates are saying that the DL doesn't really exist, that these men should just get a clue and embrace the fact that they're bisexual.

    Meanwhile, some religious people are attacking his message by saying that homosexuality is immoral, and that that's why HIV and AIDS are on the rise.

    And an anonymous e-mail recently went around saying King was HIV-positive. (For the record, he's negative.)

    Despite this, King soldiers on. He still sleeps with both men and women, but these days, he lets his partners know about his sexual choices.

    King says true DL men "prefer women over men every time. If he were in a hotel for a weekend, the DL brotha would handle his business with his girl and then go handle his business with a guy."

    For a lot of women, that's scary.

    King shares a story of helping one woman determine if her guy was on the DL. She approached King with doubts about her fiance and asked him to help quell them.

    King met both at a bar, and the woman left the two men to talk together. After they had hung out for a while, they exchanged numbers. Sure enough, the man called King later that night, and they ended up spending the night together. Armed with this knowledge, the woman opted to leave her fiance and move on with her life.

    While King said he couldn't go around providing this service to every woman, there are some signs all women should look out for. "Women should follow their intuition," he said. "Women know when something's not right in their relationship. Instead of ignoring it, they should just get nosy."

    Because women don't "get nosy," he said, the HIV infection rate is rising. "A lot of women are scared to challenge their men. They are desperate, and that's contributing to this."

    "You hear women all the time saying they are looking for a good black man. In a lot of women's eyes, I'm a good black man. I'm handsome, smart, educated, professional and go to church. But what they don't know is that I sleep with men," he said. "And that's a fact that could kill them."

    But a lot of women now go to his seminars and read his book to learn how to spot men on the DL. King said a lot of women who've never thought about the issue are now beginning to realize it's something they should be concerned about.

    He said there are many ways men on the DL meet. Of course, there's the Internet, but King says women should also watch for eye contact.

    "The eyes speak loudly," he said with a chuckle. "Men can tell when you are checking them out. I've met guys at the gas station, gone and had sex with them, then had sex with my lady the same day."

    King hopes that many women will use his book as a tool to protect themselves. "There are a lot of women who need to know this," he said. "I have a daughter, and I don't want her to marry a man like me."
     
  21. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Studies Attempt To Understand MSM Behavior

    Several studies presented at the World AIDS Conference documented gay life in India, China and other parts of the globe, and in many cases showed that gay men are missing out on HIV-prevention messages.
    The first thing to sort out, however, appeared to be what to call men with same-sex attraction. The acronym "MSM," for Men who have Sex with Men, seemed to be the usual conference term, in deference to societies that don't view homosexuality through the lens of modern "gay" culture, or to men who only had sex with other men in certain situations, such as in prison.

    But this abbreviation was criticized as dangerous and demeaning by HIV-prevention campaigners from the developed world, such as San Francsco's Frank Strona, who came to the conference to present his Web site SafeSexCity.com, a riposte to sites like Barebackcity.com. Strona had to fund Safesexcity with $10,000 of privately raised capital after U.S. funding for gay men's HIV information dried up.

    "HIV funders and providers need to start looking at us as men who have sex with men who love men," he said. Sexual behavior always includes the emotions, and concentrating exclusively on sex would miss out on the psychological drivers of much unsafe sexual behavior, Strona argued.

    Alex Carballo-Diéguez of Columbia University in New York is currently investigating the motivation of men who seek out bareback sex.

    He described how he and a team of racially diverse researchers posed as "regular guys" over a three-month period in the most popular chatrooms online to compile what he called a "cybercartography" of the use of the Internet to contact men for bareback sex. Having mapped the most popular sites, his team now intends to interview users to find out why they seek out condomless encounters.

    Whatever they are called, while "men who make love to men" seem to be discarding prevention messages in the developed world, they are missing out on them altogether in the developing world.

    There were several alarming studies from India, the Asian country where epidemiologists most fear an Africa-style HIV epidemic may take off in the next few years.

    There was much talk at the conference of the fact that married, monogamous women were now among those most vulnerable to HIV, and that they needed female-controlled prevention methods like microbicides.

    But there was less talk about where the men who infected them were getting HIV from. The answer, certainly in some countries, seems to be that they are getting it more often from other men than from women sex workers.

    A study of 6,661 MSMs contacted through parks and cruising areas in Hyderabad in central India showed that the vast majority of them (87 percent) had had unprotected anal sex, nearly half had had it in the last two weeks and 20 percent in their last sexual encounter. Although 85 percent had heard of AIDS and 70 percent knew condoms could prevent it, nearly a quarter of them had never even heard of condoms.

    The study gave fascinating insights into how the men regarded themselves. 46 percent described themselves as "Kothis," that is, bottoms; 43 percent were "Panthis," or tops; and only one in nine, 11 percent, called themselves "double deckers," the local term for what we would call "versatile."

    Thirty-one percent had never been to school, and less education, an income under U.S. $22 a week, being under 30 and, worryingly, being a Kothi were all predictive of not using condoms and/or not knowing about them. On the other hand, those who said they didn't use condoms because they couldn't get them were more likely to be "double deckers" and to be better educated.

    Evidence that their man/man sex could be a source of infection to women was provided by the fact that 41 percent of the men were currently married (though, intriguingly, 2.3 percent said "to a man"), and that half of them had had sex with a woman in the last three months, mostly without condoms.

    Another survey from Mumbai added another term to the list: MSHs, or Men who have Sex with Hijras, Hijras being the religiously castrated transsexual caste in India.

    This was a survey of 1,901 men presenting at several STD clinics in Bombay.

    Of these men, 431 (23 percent) said they had sex with men, and 185 (10 percent) said they had sex with Hijras but not other men. Nearly all of them had sex with women too, and though 55 percent used condoms with female sex workers, only 15 percent did so with regular female partners. The men who were what we would call "bisexual" were also more likely to have anal sex with women.

    The answers about who were "tops" and who were "bottoms" differed completely from those of the Hyderabad study, however. Ninety-eight percent of the MSMs said they'd had "insertive" anal intercourse, but only 13 percent admitted to having been penetrated. Whether this reflects a different population or just different questioning is a moot point.

    A final study from India stirred intravenous drug use into the potentially deadly mix, looking at men in the southern city of Chennai who were intravenous users (IVDUs).

    By Indian standards, there was a horrifyingly high HIV prevalence of 34 percent in men who were current IVDUs and 22 percent in men who had been. Twenty-two percent said they had sex with both men and women.

    Most were married, but so far the HIV prevalence in their wives was only 5 percent, which the researchers somewhat optimistically described as a "window of opportunity" to get HIV messages across to this group.

    A study from China showed a totally different take on homosexuality again, with Chinese men studied in Beijing apparently more likely to use westernized terms like "gay" (59 percent) or "bi" (34 percent) to describe themselves.

    The men were recruited in bars and via gay friendship networks rather than in cruising areas. And unlike the Indian men, they were much less likely to be married; 86 percent were single. This may have more to do with the current high rates of internal migration and migrant labor in China than the adoption of gay lifestyles, though; two-thirds of the men had no legal residence status in Beijing.

    Only 15 percent considered themselves at high risk for HIV, and only one of the 482 men already knew he had HIV. When blood samples were taken, it turned out that 15 of them were HIV-positive, or 3.1 percent -- a rate comparable with that of provincial areas of the U.K. So, although HIV has clearly found its way into the gay population in China, its potential to cause a generalized epidemic is less immediate than in India.

    In one reminder of the isolation and stigma endured by many gay men in the developing world, the Beijing man were "out" as gay to an average of two other people. None were out to more than 10 other people, and many kept their homosexuality a secret from everyone.
     
  22. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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  23. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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  24. coma

    coma New Member

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    I don't know why this is considered to be a new phenomena. Isn't this the same as closet cases (marrieds, clergy men, etc.) going to the park or a gay bar for some anonymous dick action?:mamoru:
     
  25. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Naw, this is different, as it is a completely different thought process.
     

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