How To Identify Men “On The Down Low”

October 18, 2010 ‐ By Anthony Jerrod

According to recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ‘More than 3 million women are, or have been wives or girlfriends of men who secretly have sex with other men.”  The Family Pride Coalition has recently estimated through their studies that at least 20 percent of all gay men in America are in heterosexual marriages.  These are pretty alarming statistics and are indicative of the many hypotheses that have been formulated on men “on the down low.”  That is, men that engage in same-sex infidelity, while being in a heterosexual relationship- whether it’s marriage or courtship.

As reported in these research studies, many women who are in relationships with these “down-low” men typically are unaware that their partner is engaging in “brokeback” activity.  And, sometimes, these respective women are the last to know and are harsh on themselves for not seeing the warning signs.  In fairness, I think that it can be somewhat difficult to pick up on these signs, especially when you love and trust these men.

Although there are myriad studies on “down-low” behavior, most case analyses do not place emphasis on the warning indications.  Thus, I think that it would prove beneficial and value-adding to discuss at least five ways you may be able to tell if your man could be possibly engaging in “brokeback activity,” without being intrusive.  As a caveat, no human is perfect, so the presence of one of the following signs does not necessarily indicate that your man is engaging in this type of clandestine behavior.  However, the more indications of these anomalies that you observe, it is very likely that you may be married to or courting a “down-low” man:

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  • Jazmine

    Quentin Palmer, Atlanta

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  • David Butler

    You know, if the woman gained 90 pounds and didnt wear make up id hang out with my friends more often too.

  • TheUnknown

    1st , I’m not going to write the people’s real name or mine or the state that we live in due to since this is on the internet so you’ll see (“”) for names and states and i don’t want to be blame for this, but it’s just my opinon and I really want to ask so bad but I’m afraid of the outcome and I don’t want to lose my best friend, since we’re seperated already by state I live in “Washington DC “.

    2nd, I really am angry at my best friend’s step father, because he took the only close friend that I had and I’ll never forgive him for that, and one day I will tell him face to face.

    3rd, to the subject in matter, I think my best friend’s “Leslie ” dad is gay…he looks like it and I can spy a downlow brotha miles away…I may have seen him once due to them living in another state “New York”, but his pictures on Facebook gives me the gay look…he has a son (don’t know his name because I’ve never met him ) from a previous relationship and a daughter “Candace” with my best friend’s mom, but that doesn’t mean anything…I really think that “D’wayne” should be honest and open with his wife “Karla” if he is indeed gay, like I said, I really don’t know I just think he is. Sincerely, “Monica”

  • Lisa Perez

    Daniella Pal

    My husband is back!!! I had a problem with my husband 8 months ago,which lead to us apart. When he broke up with me,I was no longer myself,I felt so empty inside .Until a friend of mine told me about one of her spells that helped her in same problem too that she found on a television program. i emailed the spell caster and I told him my problem and I did what he asked me. To cut the story short,Before I knew what was happening,not up to 48 hours,my husband gave me a call and he come back to me and told me he was sorry about what has happened, I’m so grateful to this spell caster and i will not stop publishing his name on the internet just for the good work he has done for me.If you need his help,you can email him at (OGAGALOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM)

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  • The Nautical Starr

    This article I disagree with… This could apply to anyone who decides to cheat Gay or straight. Alot of this is an unnecessary witch hunt and creates homophobia in the worst way.

  • splodge

    If the black community weren’t so homophobic these brothers could come out as gay and be themselves. The church preaching its hate is responsible for this, forcing people to pretend to be straight whatever the cost.

  • EllisJ16 .


  • Jean

    Why do you think there’s not a rise in HIV infections among gay guys who sleep with DL dudes? Maybe you girls should take a page from their handbook.

  • marnie

    I have been married for 15years. Caught my husband in a relationship with a man. He had the nerve to start bringing this guy over to our home. They were pretending as if they were buddies. My husband was really acting strange in my eyes. Then when they thought I was sleeping, they had sex downstairs. My heart dropped to the bottom of my feet.
    I knew if I confronted him he would tell me I am crazy. So I set up a program on my phone call “spy recorder”. I hid my phone went to bed. The next day I listen to the recording. He was talking about things he loves doing to him and being proud of himself for getting that booty.
    I am really hurt, he still denies it even though I have it recorded. So, my movers will be here on the 28th..

    • Tony Williams

      WELL THAT SUCKS, did you get checked for all STDs? and i am sorry to hear that hope we move on and get a better gay radar/

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  • the1upay4

    Evelyn Lozada said she eats azz on an interiview

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  • LayOffTheSugar

    I have a question for all the ladies out there: If he admittedly told you he had sex with men before you, is he gay? What about if it’s a woman who admittedly has had sex with women before the relationship, is she a lesbian?

  • i wish i would’ve known

    Theo Gradford

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  • Geezwhyme

    My husband and I have not had an intimate encounter in two years. He had a high school guy who is or was homosexual in high school look him up in 2010. He claims he did not know why because he cracked his jaw in high school for sexually harassing him. My husband claims he had been texting him and was avoiding him until he invited himself to town to have lunch with him. The procrastination was driving me insane so I started my investigation. My husband then got extremely angry. Then claimed he took care of it but he never let me witness not even the phone call. We have not had sex since. He claims I did not trust him and emasculated him. WTF?? He wears shirts that hug his body. He talked a lot about Eddie Long but he acts and look like him. He spends so much time with long time ex-football buddies. He is constantly constantly on facebook. I touched him on his a** and he damn near jumps out of his skin.

  • anonomus

    I hav recently found out that my husband is gay. After marrying him. I hav never been so crushed in my life. He’s never yet admitted it to me. But the signs r ALL. But a prophet came straight out n made me aware of it. I’ve only been married for 3 n a half months and it was a nightmare. I hav taken al the blame for the divorce as I hav not exposed him to friends n family. He can’t care less abt how I feel.or about me in general. I dnt know why sumone wud go to that extrem of marrying u. Sufferin in silence is a terrible thing

  • Mike S.

    other men luvs da blak banana.

  • Denymstarrz

    So true I understood everything but how do I make him prove his manhood?

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  • Sheena1


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    This article is informative. I was married for over 15 years before I found out. At the time i was angry and hurt but after thinking things over I realized that I saw the signs early on. What tips this article do not give is this. If your man does not introduce you to people he hangs out without or if he’s extremely homophobic then that’s a sign. Today Im friendly with my ex and he schools me on who is down low. LADIES DON’T BE FOOLED!  THERE ARE MORE DL BROTHERS OUT THERE THAN YOU EXPECT….PROTECT YOURSELF…ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE 

  • Cchigbu23

    It’s not all about AIDS- this is a lie that these men feel comfortable telling to women that they say they “love.” I don’t want to commit my life to someone else’s lie- AIDS or no AIDS

  • Cchigbu23

    Please! I really need help! I think the guy that I am dating is on the DL. Today was the first time I have heard this term. I have some history with this- my first boyfriend (white) whom I met at Church turned out to be flaming gay. We dated for three years and I am still not completely over the betrayal. BUT, at least he came out. (We never had sex because I believed we were both waiting together) / Now, I think I have a brother on my hands whom I suspect to be on the DL – military family, from virginia, went to an all male university, very concerned with appearances – seems like he is trying to be very masculine but it feels like an act. He calls me all the time, visits me- but does not seem to be interested in me sexually. (He has told me more stories about him telling girls “no” when as he says, “she was just getting to freaky for me,” then he has about sexual encounters. I don’t know, I’m wondering if I have a true blue southern gentleman on my hands or a DL guy who is trying to use me to cover up his lies. I’m super freaked out- I really don’t want to be used by another man that can’t figure out his sexuality!

    • Www Happilydivorced

      Dear CCHIGBU23… It sounds to me that your beau is definitely suspect… The charteristics of this man sounds identical to my ex-husband.  I am recently divorced after 16 yers of marriage and two children later when learned that I was married to a DL Brother.  A word of warning to you…, a relationship and/or  marriage based upon this type of deception and fraud can have very devasting effects in and upon your life… Please trust your intincts and not his very ” it makes sense” explanations because in the end you will regret that you trusted what he said  more than what your inner voice is speaking to you… pay very close attention to EVERYTHING and take NOTHING for granted!!

  • Lon

    i have no respect for black men on the "down low" they disgust me

    • tmw

      I have no respect for anyone on the downlow it’s disgusting and deceitful. just sick!

  • jerry

    love how all the photos of 2 men include a white guy.. after all, that gay stufff came from them right

    • Cchigbu23

      you’re an idiot and probably DL yourself


    There’s a host of social pressures for Black gay men to marry and stay mostly closeted. Their career, belonging to church or a conservative family.

    But what’s surprising is that not all wives/ girlfriends/ babymothers choose to leave their gay or bi- partner’s side.

    Everyone should be who they are without secrets, without lies.

    For truth and consequences, check out:

  • sctranny843

    From my experiences I find that most black men play around with other men and trannies on the DL. But they prefer a more manlier or more masculine partner for their DL activities. If your man overly laughs at everything your gay or bisexual male friend or family member says then he could be suspect. Also sisters, check the friends list of these men on the social network sites. U may find gay dudes and trannies on his friends list. RED FLAG

  • sweets

    B what u want but u dont have to involve me. I belive my husband on the downlow. He was going to the gym with anther man that is gay but he say he his friend. I found out not from him but someone else i confronted him and he said we can get a divorce if i dont trust him. He went out of town wit ths man also say they went clubbin. Also he was wearing his dl gay mans friend earring. Also we dont have sex as much im scared to let him touch me. And he still goes out to eat wit ths man. I dont My instincts are strong i need solid proof so everyone a stop thinkin he just a nice a guy. Naw yal havent seen the signs i been seein. Please help! I need to know

    • lisa

      well miss lady he is for sure gay , you have enough signs dont you think? you are married to this man and he spends more time with his gay male friend then you if he not he will be at the rate he is going,

      Gay men love to turn out straight ones but in his case i bet he has always been gay. NO , no no if you sleep with him protect yourself let him know he is being to secretive so you are looking out for number one YOU.
      i know i am a DL female trust me.

      • Not too

        Gay men love to turn out straight ones??? Are you on crack? Gay men don’t turn out anyone who doesn’t want to be turned out. The idea that gay people recruit straight people is as stupid a stereotype as thinking that all black men want to rape white women!

  • Natasha

    I think my boyfriend is on the DL, and he is white. I checked out men 4 men on craigslist, and you will be shocked at all the guys that are married and on the DL.

    They are saying that 1 in 10 men are gay, but I think its even higher then that. Just check out craigslist. They are lying to their wives, like my BF is lying to me. Women, most men are gay, they just want a woman so no one knows.

  • Freedom

    This reads like you took an article on how to find out if your man is cheating and replaced "men" with "other hoes."

    How about this piece of advice: Trust your gut and ask questions later (or never)?

    • lisa

      sorry about the earlier statement agreeing wth the frat thing but trust the gut it is for sure the number one way of knowing if your man is with another woman are man.

  • ken ken

    the black community should not judge men so harshly that choose to live an alternate lifestyle then maybe many of these men would not hide who they are and begin relationships under false pre-tense. Even if we do not agree with the choices of a group of people we should not condemn them with are words and actions. Many of us know we have a male friend, or cousin , or maybe co worker that we suspect of being homosexual and the pressure that some of these men under go is insane. I def do not support the choice of being "DL" but I can see how they choose this lifestyle based on the ignorance and stereotypes that are placed on the homosexual community.

    Very Sad Topic….

    ** it kills me how people love to say these topics are long as something is present it makes sense to communicate about it i thought thats why we blog

    ** Confused lol 😉 great day

  • SAM


  • StacyAustralia

    Really are we still talking about the DL?!? Maybe if our community (meaning blacks) weren't so judgmental people can be honest about their sexuality. Some people are bi-sexual and like both men an women. But it seems black men better not dare say they like both men and women. All hell done broke lose!!

    I feel if people felt they had the support of the community to admit their sexuality; men (and women) would not have to sneak around on the DL. They would not feel shame to say "hey, baby I love being with you but I have been with and/or like men/women in the past" We need to stop using DL and men interchangeably because their are also women living these double lives too.

    Also stop equating DL to AIDS/HIV!!! Anybody can contract this disease if they are not getting tested and using protection. Really?!?

  • Shilona

    This article was a little hilarious to be honest.

    As a black woman I feel that other black women have taken the "downlow" thing and blown it totally out of porportion.

    I don't date black men personally, however even I know that most black men aren't gay or on the "downlow"

    being gay isn't a black male issue. I constantly see black women engaging in homosexuality as well yet that seems to get ignored for some reason.

    I personally have no issues with gay people, but there is a double standard here. Why is it ok for females to be gay, but if a man is gay he is condemned to hell?

    maybe if the double standard was lifted the few "downlow" men wouldn't exist.

    • Lashuntaylor39

      I agree with you about the double standard, however, its a known fact the anal sex is the EASIEST way to contract HIV/AIDS. I’m not sure where u have been but black men practicing in homosexual activity is more than u could ever fathom.

  • lisa stevenson

    if he smells like [ban], he's probably gay.

  • lisa stevenson

    Also ladies – If he likes his booty played with, he's probably gay

    • Singinsagg32

       i’ve heard a women say she ate her man’s a**……

    • Singinsagg32

       I heard a woman say dhe ate her man’s booty

    • Marvin Buddy Threatt Wilson

      wow. You know, women know absolutely nothing about men.

  • Bronze

    @ OMG!!!!!

    OMG…… Only Bi-sexual men enter into hetro relationships…….That is pure Bull. How do you explain all of these gay men with kids???? Men are under much pressure to follow the script just like women. You don"t have any gay friends AT ALL to make a statement like that.

  • Mina

    I agree with the gym thing, or if he wears tight muscle shirts like Eddie Long, those are other possibilities. Black women need to assume that all men are on the dl, and not sleep with them until they get an hiv test, or use protection at all times.

  • True Lady

    Thanks for the article. DL activity is nothing new but it still causes problems for a lot of sisters. If CDC and other stats are cited, then you don't get as factual as that. Where is the fear? Please keep up the great work.

  • Nicole

    @BlackBarbieDoll. I co-sign with you. We as Black women have become the new face of HIV/AIDS and we should make these men PROVE their manhood. Great article and much needed reminder.

  • Asea

    Oh my geez the pictures are KILLING ME!! O_o

    Women just pay attention. I liar, is a liar is a liar. That's all. A man could lie to you about anything! Just go with your intuition. And most of all LISTEN. Women hear things men say but don't really listen and let it digest. And God forbid if it happens, don't blame yourself for not seeing the "signs" or whatever. A liar is a liar is a liar.

  • understandingoverign

    Some men and women are bisexual so its no big deal. I think its all about honesty with your life mate. Men especially needs to be more honest. A ton of gay black males use the wife thing as a front but endanger there wife's because of their homosexual encounters. So its all about being honest because gay doesn't mean your thing don't work anymore or you can't love a woman so black folks needs to become more honesty with themselves. And black men in the ATL have a high likely hood of being homosexual…Ha Ha

    • Singinagg32

       all the southerners,,,,

  • BKAllDay

    Thanks for the warning signs. Good piece.

  • tt

    @ Bayo

    your statement is beyond stupid & homophobic. why would you say that being in a fraternity makes you possibly gay? hell, that's like me saying that for a man to be a black man in america he's automatically assumed to be on the DL since blacks have run rampant with that belief or that if you're a black man living in the ATL you ARE gay. do you see how stupid those accusations sound? please with the [ban] already.

    • Singinsagg32

       What do u think hazing is????

  • Yawn

    This was such a pointless article! How many times do we have to hear the whole "Is on the DL?" BS. How many years have we been hearing about this? People cheat Straight or Gay. This article could have applied to anybody.

  • Rina


  • Bayo

    Sisters particularly beware of brothers who are part of fraternity. This is one group that may have initiation of same sex as a method to secure loyalty amongst the group. If he spend more time calling and checking on his brothers, then RED flag alert!!!! Also, the gym is another hang out, if he's spending more time at the gym during his spare time, then you may need to accompany him and check things out.

    • carolyn

      yes so true of this one guy i am dating now he is ina fraternity

    • BlackPegasus

      Hate to admit but you’re right. If he’s always saying things like “frat brothers” coming to town and he’s the host, beware. Most of his so called frat brothers are DL too. and most of them will be good looking and inshape.. Listen, I’m a gay black man, and I can’t stand other gay men who LIE to women and go as far as marrying them. So just know this, if you see a MASCULINE Gay Blk Man like me, don’t think we’re trying to be DL or hide it, only the ones who actively date women are the ones to watch out for..

    • Tina

      You are so right!