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Is Ricky Martin in the Bi Closet?

Is Ricky Martin in the Bi Closet?


Ricky was cagey about liking guys back in the '90s; now he’s giving mixed messages about his feelings for women. Seems like being bisexual is now the big taboo, writes Mike Szymanski.

What goes around comes around, so it seems. I remember when the rumors were swirling that Latin pop star Ricky Martin was "Livin' la Vida Loca" with guys and gals soon after his 1999 song hit big.

It didn't seem to be too much of a surprise. He was so sexy. He could really sway those hips, he flashed the sexiest eyes, he knew how to purse those kissable lips, and he simply could make everyone swoon.

He certainly had a flurry of hot, sexy ladies around him at the time. He was canoodling with social butterfly Gabriela Sabatini, Mexican TV hostess Rebecca de Alba, Latvian model Ines Missan, and stylist Maital Saban, and he had a longtime girlfriend, General Hospital starlet Lilly Melgar -- not to mention a flirty friendship with Madonna. But it seemed like he mostly loved brunettes until he went out with Shallow Hal actress Adriana Biega.

It was Biega who gave details about how he loved kissing and fondling her breasts. After they broke up, she told tabloids about Ricky's "La Bomba" firsthand and insisted he was "really the ideal man" and the "genuine red-hot Latin lover."

On his left shoulder, the "She's All I Ever Had" singer has a tattoo of a busty, naked woman. Would a hunky naked man just be redundant?

As it turns out, the rumors that he was playing around with guys were true as well. He came out to his mother, who gave him a big hug, and he had a steady boyfriend.

In 2000, Barbara Walters uncomfortably asked him flat-out if he was gay, and he danced around the answer. A decade later he told Oprah Winfrey he wasn't bisexual but a happy gay man.

Now the tease is telling Mexican magazine Fama! that he could be into sex with women again. He's saying, "I know that I like both men and women, I'm against sexual labels, we are simply human beings with emotional and sexual needs. I like to enjoy sex in total freedom, so I'm open to having sex with a woman if I feel desire."

Ricky has two children and for three years had a handsome boyfriend, Carlos Gonzalez Abella. He is now linked to cute Spanish artist Pablo Alboran.

Will the paparazzi have to sneak around in bushes to see what women Ricky Martin may be caught fooling around with? Oh my, times have changed.

Unfortunately, just as he felt the pressure to say he wasn't gay back then, he may feel the pressure to stick to saying he is gay now. It's more controversial to say you're bisexual than anything else these days, because people don't want to understand the label. Even Ricky doesn't understand what it means.

You see, Ricky, you can be more attracted to men and still have sex with women. You can still fool around with women and want relationships with men only, as you say you prefer. That means bisexual.

And you see, Ricky, there are guys who are married to women who love to have sex with guys. They love to fool around with men, but want relationships with women only. It's kind of a reverse down low (the up high, perhaps?). Anyway, that also means bisexual.

That's the amazing thing about bisexuality. It encompasses people attracted to any and all genders, and rarely is it ever equally so. It can be monogamous or polyamorous or an array of sexual possibilities.

The other thing about bisexuality is that it depends on a self-identity. That means you may call yourself anything you want, Ricky, but if you're still attracted to women and you prefer to love men, that means you're bisexual.

Ricky admits he was confused in the past. "I was confused because when I was with a woman everything was perfect. ... I felt passion and it felt good. I never lied when I told her it felt amazing."

Then, Ricky added, "And I'm sure I'm not the only gay man that felt attraction towards women."

I've always said, if you walk like a duck and quack like a duck, you're a duck. Ricky, you're a duck.

And, you're the most handsome 44-year-old bisexual duck I've ever seen.

He recognized his attraction to men at a young age. He had successful relationships with women, then secretly hid his interest in men. Then, he came out about his relationships with men, and is now discussing his desire in women.

Welcome back to bisexuality, Ricky. Enjoy.

mikeszymanskisnowMIKE SZYMANSKI wrote for The Advocate back in the 1990s and more recently interviewed Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Michael Caine about bi issues for the magazine. He writes for and is the national bisexuality examiner. Tweet@MikeTheBiGuy.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Mike Szymanski