Down Low men keep their bisexual behavior a secret from their female partners because they’re uncomfortable with homosexuality and are afraid of the negative consequences of coming out. They don’t want to be judged, ostracized, or have their masculinity questioned. J.L. King, a self-professed former down low man, gives signs a man might be on the down low in his book, On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of Straight Black Men Who Sleep with Men. But what I found bothersome is that a few of his signs seem to reinforce homophobic stereotypes, which might only encourage prejudice. In addition, the generalities of some of these “signs” could lead to paranoia in a relationship, which isn’t healthy either, especially if it’s, uh, unfounded. It’s true that women need to protect themselves from unsafe behaviors and men that put their health at risk — and that’s true of cheating in general — but I’m not so sure believing stereotypes is a step in the right direction. According to King, the seven signs your man might be on the down low are:
- He spends an extreme amount of time with his male friends.
- His sexual appetite has decreased extremely.
- He’s really homophobic to the point in which he refuses to be around gay men.
- He has “overly feminine gestures.”
- He really enjoys giving and/or receiving anal sex.
- He has been imprisoned for long stretches of time.
- He has multiple email addresses and phone numbers.
Do you think he’s on to something? Or is all of this misplaced stereotyping? [Clutch]