Ashamed of thinking one was straight?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Joseph, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Joseph

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    Ok some people are right off sure what they're sexual orientation is. Others take their time discovering it, and they either are totally open to what they might be or... just assume they are straight till proofed otherwise.

    Now it's common knowledge that if a person discovers that he/she is not as straight as assumed, even should the family and friends around accept that, some people still feel uncomfortable about the whole thing... BUT that's been done and talked about (even on this board) before...

    What I wish to talk about is something different. I know a guy, he's gay and he's comfortable with it. That's how he is and he feels great having a boyfriend. However when I used to be not sure about my sexuality , we talked together about it and how he discovered he was gay. He told me he is extremely embarrassed of the fact he assumed he was straight.

    Now OKAY! I know it's a lot better that he's embarrassed of that rather than of being gay.... but still, I feel sorry for the guy. There's no reason to be ashamed of that. I'm not ashamed I wasted many years crying over whenever I'm straight or gay only to end up bisexual... sure it was a pain in the ass, but the end result is what counts, now I know. But I guess I can't understand it that well because going from straight to gay isn't the same as straight to bi.

    Anyways, I felt like discussing this with you people. Does anyone here have anything to say on the subject? Is anyone here actually ashamed of being wrong or not knowing his/her orientation right off?
     
  2. Vestigial

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    Well I've heard that orientation can change as time progresses, what I'm rather wanting to know is how many people attempt to forcibly change their orientation?

    I'd use the term Heterosexual instead of Straight / Gay / Bisexual / whatever etc. now. Though there was a time I'd have to adjust my %'s for an accurate reflection of my status.


    As an early experiment I took "one of those quizzes" off the internet that tells you your orientation. Landed as a Pansexual on that one. So I carried that label for a while, if only to freak people out.


    I think some people wonder if I'm gay because of my apparent lack in staring at females. Or the fact that I don't have a girlfriend, despite my age and all the attention.

    In that way, I guess, I haven't come out that I'm "straight".
     
  3. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    You should be ashamed of yourself.
     
  4. D_Percival Puddleford Pukehorn

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    i'm 80% straight and 20% gay. *rolls eyes*
     
  5. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    You should be ashamed of yourself.
     
  6. Joseph

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    Look I'm sorry, I really didn't want to offend anyone. I really just asked, should I delete the topic?
     
  7. Contour

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    I think Nick8 was refering to Marluc.
     
  8. Joseph

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    he made a reply like that... but now that I think about it, he could have been sarcastic........ but I rather not take risks

    :frown1: I seriously don't want to offend anyone, I'm always asking to discuss things, I never wish to offend anyone nor question their ways of living
     
  9. ActionBuddy

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    Don't worry about it, Joseph... You are OK... You were just being honest.
     
  10. Joseph

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    Well I am but also worried about going too far...

    I really don't want to sound like one of those bastards on this board who claim to know everything about every gay person in the whole world and bring theories on how they know everything.

    I really just ask questions which are based on my experience with my homosexual friends and some thoughts of mine. I really don't mean anything wrong here. I just don't have any other place to talk about this, I know on a board such as this all I should do is take part in discussions about seeing a fathers erection and comment on other guy's dicks how sexy they are but.... I find that boring and rather study the human psyche... I'm a weirdo sadly.
     
  11. D_Petherick_Poundlouder

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    Hold no fear in being honest...You only ostrasize those who really don't care in the first place. Words I, and others, should heed.
     
  12. D_Percival Puddleford Pukehorn

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    yeah, stop confusing the poor guy! :biggrin1:
     
  13. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

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    There's a really insightful book called The Velvet Rage that was written pretty recently. The author, a clinical psychologist who's treated gay clientele for over 15 years, details the toxic shame that many gay men experience as they grow up and live in a hetero-normative culture, as well as its detrimental effects. Although it's somewhat broad, as not everyone goes through everything he describes, the book sets up a respectable 3-stage model for the progression of shame in a gay man's life, and it's littered with tales of sorrow and joy from the experiences of actual gay men.

    Here's an extremely simplified break-down of the model:

    First he discovers shame (usually in childhood, when coping strategies haven't been developed). The shame of being different is internalized, and roots itself as a belief that their core self is fundamentally, irreversibly flawed. The boy then grows into adolescence and adulthood, where he consciously or unconsciously copes with it by avoiding situations where he may feel shame (through substance abuse, befriending different people, joining the hyper-masculine arena of athletics, becoming reclusive, etc.), or by seeking extreme validation to compensate for his shame through a pursuit of perfection in academics, financial standing, style, fashion, culture, body image, etc. Then at some point he hopefully overcomes it, usually after an event where feelings of shame become so overwhelming that his normal coping strategies don't work. He is forced to confront his deeply-held, toxic belief that he is a fundamentally flawed and failed human being for not being a "man". He lives with that until he realizes that he isn't a failed "man", just a man. He is in fact, human, and he will make mistakes. He must accept that he can lead a normal, healthy, happy life as a gay man, and that his sexuality is not a defining characteristic. It's just one component, one aspect of many.

    It's not every gay man's life, but there's a wealth of information there about growing up different. I would even say some of this stuff applies to other men and women of any gender or sexuality.

    Also, I've noticed something startling while researching this subject. Our society seems to be incredibly heterosexual, yet there are tons of stories (many not so publicized) about "straight" men that engage in some form of homosexual activity on more than one, "curious" occasion. There is rampant intense and irrational homophobia, many married men have hidden homosexual encounters, and I've gotten quite a few lustful (or at least interested) looks from guys with their arm circling the waists of their girlfriends. Not to mention there is the law of averages to contend with, as well as humanity's murky recorded history with sexuality. When it comes to the distribution of sexuality in the general population, I think there is a massive discrepancy between the what is generally accepted and promoted and what it is in actuality. This spectrum is probably more accurate than even the most liberal estimates:

    Heterosexual: 20-25%
    Bisexual: 45-55%
    Homosexual: 15-20%
    Transsexual, Pansexual, Intersexual, Nonsexual: 0-5%

    Where --> Heterosexual = exclusively attracted (physically and romantically) to the opposite sex; Bisexual = attracted in various ways to both sexes; Homosexual = exclusively attracted to the same sex

    Ignoring situational sexuality (ex. prison sex), instances of sex being used for domination rather than pleasure/procreation, issues of sexual identification (which are self-reported and can be influenced by culture, groupthink, repression, and fear), and theories about fluid sexuality, we see that something's not right. About half of the population should be comprised of bisexuals, and heterosexuality should be a minority group. That's a lot of people feeling shame about their core selves. It also might be (at least partly) why there are so many social and psychological problems in society. Ugh, good grief what an utter mess. I'm totally having a Charlie Brown moment.

    Btw, did you guys know that Abraham Lincoln was at least bisexual?
     
    #13 sam_solo26, Oct 8, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  14. widenine

    widenine New Member

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    I didn't know that orientation could change over time. I rather thought that our behavior changes as we learn to accept who we truly are. Just a thought.

    So if this thought has any validity, Is it safe to say the following:

    If a person who historically considered him or herself totally heterosexual changes to some percentage homosexual, he never was totally homosexual at all. And if he or she possesses homosexual impulses, however slight, it cannot be said with credibility that he or she really knows what a totally homosexual perspective is.

    Are we born heterosexual and then learn to be otherwise?
     
    #14 widenine, Oct 8, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009
  15. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    At the age of 5 i started first school and used to hold hands with a girl during playtime and at hometime we would have a quick kiss on the lips, she was officially my first girlfriend.
    By the time i was 11 years old i had 3 other girls that i used to 'go out with'. One was a nextdoor neighbour who's parents had a mock wedding ceremony for us because we were forever playing together and seen kissing. It was sweet.
    One girl i actually tried to have sex with, it was mutual but embarrasing because at that age i had not started puberty and so nothing happened.
    My last girlfriend i had when i was 17, the relationship lasted an hour! Why?

    It was because at the age of 14 i started to change and however much i tried to pass things off as a phase i just coud'nt stop noticing guys and being attracted to them.

    The rest is history but i can tell you that the hugs and kisses and sometimes rude childhood playing arounds were meaningful at the time and i loved the feeling of being intimate with another person, it simply was'nt sexual. I'm certainly not embarrased about believing i was straight and realising eventually that i was'nt.

    I think it may be harder for a guy past his teens to make the realisation and so feel embarrassed perhaps.
     
  16. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

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    Did you mean heterosexual here?

    As for your question, sexuality is a complex interplay of hormonal, chemical, neural, muscular, and bodily fluid activity, and each can be influenced by internal or external sources and therefore have an effect on sexuality. It can change, but we don't learn it. The learning process is involved with fundamentally different biological structures and systems than the reproduction system (though I don't think the two are completely isolated).

    I think it's safe to say we learn of our sexuality as we continue to live. We learn how it works, and when it works. We also learn about expectations and gender, about what is acceptable and unacceptable, and about what brings glory and shame. But this all takes place after the biological processes of sexuality. It is discovered, and then it is dealt with in some manner. We don't control the process itself (at least not yet). We do control how we process and present that information in a social environment.
     
  17. Joseph

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    Thank you so much Sam Solo! I of course would like to thank others for their contribution to this discussion as well!

    Well I can say that I agree with the book. I’m from Poland, so in an old fashioned place like this the mere thought I liked guys was like a nightmare, first denying with excuses, then shame. I always felt I was different from the rest, for which I also got bullied. I later understood that I’m not lesser than them, I’m actually (intellectually) superior than those bland macho idiots, I’m bisexual and happy about it.

    I actually agree with his entirely and had that feeling from some time already. In history admitted I never noted a case where homosexuality as a whole would be completely tolerated and gay marriage would be allowed, but throughout the ages I noticed many instances where casual sex between 2 guys wasn’t seen as anything bad. I even heard in ancient Greece it was common for a guy to loose his virginity to a man, some saw it as something “beautiful”… now I won’t put my hand into fire to claim that’s how it really was, but I would find it funny to live in a society where that’d be a typical thing and then it’d turn out how little 100% straight guys exist who wouldn’t participate in such acts and be seen as weirdos… An amusing irony, but as said I don’t claim that’s how I really was.

    No, but thanks for letting us know. How did you find that out? Hmmm Lincoln was a great politician, pacifist and open minded… shame his followers the republicans seem to not go that way at all (I’m from Poland, excuse me if I’m wrong on some details about American politics)



    Sexuality is indeed a very complex matter. But of course many think it’s a simple thing. That it’s a choice or that there doesn’t exist anything such as bisexuality…

    I definitely can say it’s not a choice, genes play a very big role in it all. But I also agree it can change as we live, as said it’s a complex thing so as life passes and we learn more, it can change. But it’s not a matter we control.

    Sometimes it’s a matter of discovery and experimenting. And that doesn’t have to mean sex….. but of course that’s the fun part ;)
     
  18. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

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    That's the thing. When we say "history", when we use the word in everyday life, there is often a confusion about what is meant because it can mean two things. Either we mean everything that has happened in the past, or more commonly, everything that has been recorded and preserved.

    Both are flawed, and imperfect. We can never get the whole picture. But this latter meaning, the documentation and preservation process, is particularly flawed. It is subject not only to the limits of humanity and epistemology, but also to the limits of society and groupthink. Ethics, acceptability, social engineering, repression and domination, natural or intentional disaster, politics, economics, interpersonal relationships, survival tactics; all of these impact what gets recorded and preserved, as well as what information is valued and therefore cared for and passed on to future generations.

    So, when it comes to the topic of sexuality (and in particular bisexuality and homosexuality), I'd say the controversy surrounding the issue bars us from knowing anything close to an actual representation of the past. Most people assume that heterosexuality has been the dominant sexuality in human history, and in surviving history that is correct. We record marriages, famous love affairs, and events of extreme masculinity and femininity and perpetuate these accounts far more than those which run counter to them because we value family, reproduction, and societal roles that can be easily passed through generations of offspring. As an effect, people generally assume that heterosexuality has been, and therefore is, natural for humans, and that anything else is aberrant and threatening.

    For example, it always amazes me how regulated high school textbooks are. Marriage is commonly mentioned, even if it had little bearing on the topic, and homosexuality is commonly, deliberately ignored because it's "inconsequential" or "too mature" for teenagers. You know, the same teenagers that may be struggling with their own sexualities and aren't able to find many role models like themselves in history. It's demoralizing. If you want to look at the roots of shame, try picking up a commonly-circulated history textbook and imagining all of the homosexual relationships that aren't being talked and written about because they weren't (and apparently still aren't) validated.

    You'll find out quite easily that Abraham Lincoln was married. But I only accidentally found out he also had frequent male lovers, even during his time in the White House, from this book:

    Queers in History | 900 Amazing True Stories

    I wonder if anyone thinks Lincoln's decisions and philosophies, his dispositions and mentalities, were not affected by that male companionship. How would he have been if he did not have that outlet for his homosexual desires? "History" gives the impression that it didn't matter, but I think we know better than that. The past has already been altered, and I'm just thankful we're afforded the freedom and opportunity to change it back. :wink:
     
  19. LeeEJ

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    I wonder if he meant that he was embarrassed about what he did with other people -- tried to have girlfriends, etc. I might equate it to looking back at one's past behavior and realizing, "What was I thinking?? That wasn't me..." Maybe he's embarrassed about feeling that he misled friends and family, too.

    Has he explained his comment further since then?
     
  20. Joseph

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    no actually the whole discussion ended with him literally saying
    "I feel like an idiot for thinking I was straight :frown1:"

    I'm quoting here, that's what he said.
    I don't know if he had a girlfriend or not, I didn't ask him cause he really seemed sad about the whole situation, so I decided not to go deeper... But perhaps I should have at least asked him and stop if he said no...
     
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