A bit of good news hit my Inbox. This from the guy whose friend abandoned him after a sexual encounter the evening of his wife's death:
Anyway, long story short as I went to leave, he grabbed me into our old familiar bear hug, kissed my cheek and invited me for dinner the next night. I went and we talk every day again just like we used to. Your readers were right I guess. I just had to wait it out. it hurt like hell to do it but in the end it worked. So, thanks for the advice."
That's a heart-warming Christmas story, eh? But the dude has got to let go of those demons called labels. If it made him feel better in the moment, when he needed the comfort and closeness, accept it and move on. According to Tony Silva's latest paper on the subject, Bud-Sex: Constructing Normative Masculinity Among Rural Straight Men Who Have Sex With Men, it's an ability to compartmentalize that sex as just that, sex.
They can then continue with their straight relationships with a clear conscience and no labels.
If you want to read the paper you can download it here: ResearchGate