Indeed, here, the term ‘men who have sex with men’ is favored over ‘homosexual’ since only a small portion of men into guy-on-guy action self-identify as gay.I always laugh a sigh when I tell a Cuban friend someone is setting off my Gaydar and they respond: ‘But he’s married! I’ve limited this diatribe to the bio-medical effects this has on health.Let me tell you: machismo here is as far from that as a Miami Cuban sandwich is from its Havana counterpart.Cuban machismo is more subtle (and therefore potentially more dangerous, since you’re not always quite sure what you’re dealing with).In short, many of the fairer sex here replicate damaging stereotypes and patterns which prop up the macho paradigm (see note 2).Tolerating mistresses validates machismo for a simple reason: it is not a two-way street.
As is common of a people under constant watch of the government, Cubans find great satisfaction in the relaxed environment of a social context.
Lest you think I’m about to malign an entire country and culture, let me clarify: there are exceptions to the rule – always – and if you’re in a relationship with a Cuban and reading this, you may be one of those lucky few. I know men who have been married 20 years (or longer) and have kept the same mistress all the while. In many cases, there’s little care taken to hide it – friends, family, colleagues are all hip to the scenario.
Upon first analysis, it seems logical to say: if everyone’s ok with it, what’s the problem?
Machismo also muddies the health picture since some married Cuban men like to get out and savor their own flavor.
And this can increase risk of HIV infection for wives since machismo-cum-homophobia is a condom-adverse state of mind.