Ladies, wouldn’t it be nice if, when you first start dating a guy, you could give him a test to see if he matches up to your criteria for a mate? Perhaps you could gauge whether he wants kids, or wants to get married, or he'll remember Valentine’s Day? Alas, we still have to rely on the old-fashioned method of asking a man about himself and hoping he’ll cough up truthful answers.
But word has it there’s one thing we can measure in advance: sexual orientation. Woah. Now this could really come in handy. Listen to this: Chris Birch, the Welsh rugby player who suffered a stroke a year ago and "woke up gay," could have really been gay all along, says Dr. Qazi Rahman, who gave Chris a series of sexual orientation tests.
Dr. Rahman says Chris’s homosexuality might have just been "lying dormant," and it wasn’t really brain trauma that caused him to "turn" gay. Chris's tests came back half positive for an underlying bent towards straightness, and half positive for a born-that-way gayness.
Er, so doesn’t that make him bisexual? Could another health issue swing Chris back around to the hetero side?
Dr. Rahman has done lots of studies on how gay men and women differ from straight folk. For instance, gay men are much more fluent in synonyms. That means they like The Pet Shop Boys. Joke!
Waking up gay must have been traumatic for a straight guy, but it worked out for Chris, who says he is much happier as a gay man -- he's even now engaged to a man. Congrats!
But I wish this test had existed 15 years ago, when I met the man who would become my fiancé. Ten years into our relationship, I found out he was really gay and secretly cheating on me with men -- a life-changing experience that inspired me to write Can’t Think Straight: A Memoir of Mixed-Up Love.
Imagine how much time I could have saved if Dr. Rahman’s test was, say, available at a local pharmacy. On our first date -- or maybe the second -- he and I could have had dinner and then swung by the drugstore and picked up a sexual orientation test. Sure, it might have been a somewhat awkward request, but is it that much more awkward to ask for a SOT than an AIDS or STD screening? Some dating experts will even advise you to ask for a partner's FICO score. I personally think that knowing a guy’s true sexual orientation is equally as important as knowing if he has good credit. But maybe that’s just me.
Sure, you’d think sexual orientation is a given. If a guy wants to sleep with you, he’s probably straight, right? Wrong! My fiancé and I had plenty of sex over the course of our decade-long relationship.
Says Dr. Rahman:
The bulk of the evidence in the biological sciences of genetics and psychology and neuroscience suggest that sexuality is something you are born with and it develops later on through life.
In other words, although a person might be born gay, it could take him or her years to figure that out. This is why a test could really come in handy. The screening could be cute and fun too -- like if a guy is straight, there’s a blue line. Gay? A rainbow line.
I'm headed to CVS to stock up!
Would you ask your romantic partner to take a gay test?
Image via National Museums Liverpool/Flickr