Dating

Should You Ever Ask Friends About Their Sexuality?

Below Deck's Josiah Carter is open about how he identifies, but not everyone is. 

After Caroline Bedol revealed which Below Deck crew member she's interested in dating (Chandler Brooks) to Josiah Carter, she posed the same question to him. First, she wanted to know his sexual preference. After calling him "a tough nut to crack,” she asked, “Do you like boys or girls or both?”

While Josiah has no trouble revealing he is gay (and tells Caroline as much), he did admit that in the small village where he comes from, people can be uninformed about when/how to ask about someone’s sexual preference. 

"I like guys,” he tells her, adding, “I hate talking about this stuff so much. Where I live, it’s a very old-school village. When I say that I’m into whatever, they say, ‘Oh, well you don’t look like you are [gay].'”

“What does a gay person look like?” Caroline asks him.

"It’s very different for each and every person. A lot of people think ‘oh you don’t look it.' My family’s very loving and kind so I was never scared. But regardless, I never felt the need to come out to people, I don’t think people should come out, you should just live your best life being who you are.”

Josiah’s open to offering up his sexual identity, but many people aren’t. We asked a therapist if you should ever ask someone about their sex life … is it ever OK? What if you're asking a friend?

Nicole Avena, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says you should always wait until the other person approaches the subject.

“You shouldn’t ask someone about their sexuality because it is not your business,” she tells Personal Space. “Sexuality is private, and not something that everyone feels open about discussing, even with close friends. If someone wants to talk with you about it, they will bring it up to you.”

She adds it can be quite awkward if you bring it up, and you assume wrong.

“It can make both you and the other person feel awkward and uncomfortable if you assume their sexuality and are incorrect,” she says. “Unless you know for yourself (meaning they have discussed it with you themselves), try to avoid using phrases that presume one type of sexuality over another. Stick to general comments (bring someone along, if you like, instead of bring your boyfriend/girlfriend).”

And as curious as you are, don’t ask behind their back. Just stay curious, OK?

“It is not a good idea to ask about someone’s sexuality behind their backs,” Dr. Avena adds. “It can be hurtful to the person if they find out.”

Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates. 

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