Getting down low

So he pops his head up from under an ocean of bath foam and the two of you fight over the mirror, but that doesn't mean he is gay and covering up his leaning by sleeping with you.

But you may never really know a man. There is an overwhelming meltdown of relationships and one of the major causes is bisexual men having it both ways and denying they are actually gay men still sealed in the closet.

Though these men lead lives with successful careers and marriages, they are so drawn to their dark side that they will risk their most precious relationships. They will even pay for what they want to keep their rendezvous secret.

The attraction comes from the thrill of tapping into the forbidden, as JLKing, author of On The Down Low from Broadway Books, puts it.

"There is something indescribable about being with a man," says King in his book. "Sex with a man is like sex with a mind- reader, someone who knows exactly how you like it. I've had brothers perform oral sex on me so well that I almost passed out."

He says sex between two men is about power. W hen a man forgoes his power to another and the one has the upper-hand, it is something that men who have never experienced such sex can only dream of.

So the DL (down low) guys go hunting for the uninitiated and they often get lucky, even in areas you wouldn't ordinarily associate with the "obscene", such as church and family reunions.

By King's admission these alliances are demonic.

"When I get it with the brother and I'm feeling it, I'm not the same person . And when you're through, you roll over, or get up and nine out of 10 times you say, 'Yo dude I gotta go'. You're thinking to yourself, 'What did I just do?'"

Does this mean then that men on the down low are more likely to rape their objects of fixation?

The media has recently carried a number of stories about straight guys being raped by men on the DL.

"I have heard such enthusiastic tales from gay guys that it's hard for me to take these stories seriously," comments Lungile April, a single mother.

"Fully fledged gays tend to come up with dramatic stories so that you even begin to question your own son's true orientation," she says.

But April is relinquishing what King describes as women's best weapon - intuition.

And she is not alone. Women with DL men choose to stick it out, hoping the man is going through a phase.

"And that's because there's fewer prey for women on the prowl, so most of them are in denial. It's going to get very dry on women's shores," says openly gay model PJ Sekeleni.

But there is no absolute proof that a man is cheating with another until a woman witnesses it for herself.

"With some guys you can tell right away, and with others they hide it very well.

"There's a guy who lives next door to my grandparents, and he's always working on trucks and construction and stuff like that. I found out he is gay," says Sekeleni.

Some signs that might indicate if the guy is gay:

l He takes long walks at night or walks the dog at night in the park.

l He has very private Internet habits.

l Spends lunch alone.

l Hates gays with a passion and can't stop expressing hatred for them.

l Has drunkenly confessed that his ultimate fantasy is anal sex.

l He over-compensates his masculinity to the point of insanity.

l He enjoys watching bisexual porn, though he says he's only looking at the girls.

l He won't go down on you and says he finds the act revolting.

l He likes fashion, musicals, men's fragrances, decorating, shopping by himself and loves dancing. All of these together is a sign, not just one or two instances.

l Can't stand to be in the same room with a gay person because the gay man is holding a mirror up to the side of him he's trying to hide from.

l Homophobic statements, snide remarks, cruel comments and violent words are sometimes a sign of being in denial.

l Doesn't like to do things that might classify him as gay.