Confused Musings: The Timeless Question of "Am I Gay?"

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by hunterofhaters, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. hunterofhaters

    hunterofhaters New Member

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    A confused 18-year old High School Senior. A big, confusing world. No one said this would be easy.

    I’m not exactly sure where to begin, so let’s start at the beginning. I can’t say, “I always knew something was different about me,” or anything to that effect; I have always been just “me.” The true question is…how do I fit into the world as “just plain old me”?

    For as long as I can remember, my interests have always been separated into two spheres: the desire to connect with women to have a relationship, and the physical/sexual attraction to men (only in the past two or so years have I questioned this, and I have given this particular thought over the summer).

    I had my share of “elementary and middle school crushes,” with most of those panning out in long-term platonic friendships. I have only had one girlfriend in High School (she was two years older, and we started dating in my Freshman year). She recently came out as a lesbian, and it is particularly interesting to note that at one point, while absently musing, we came to the conclusion that “I [me] like the male aspects of you [her], and you like the female aspects of me!” (we gave that little thought until the past few months, when we were thumbing through notes and generally reminiscing on how our relationship turned into an unshakable friendship). We only kissed (never any further), and though we both enjoyed that, we later both admitted that we never wanted to have any sort of sexual interaction with each other. Even now, I have an erratic feeling for a friend (who happens to be a girl). I feel that if we were to date, it would involve talking to each other a lot, going out to eat a lot, and maybe a little kissing (which is essentially what we do now as friends, save kissing). This fact is one that most perplexes me, and seems contradictory to what I will write below.

    Since the dawn of my “masturbation era,” I have never (not once in over a thousand times) become sexually aroused at the thought of a woman. I will admit that I got a little “excited” when kissing my now-lesbian girlfriend mentioned above, but I have never once thought about her or any female in any of my sexual fantasies. At about the ripe old age of 14, I did a little experimenting with a neighbor of the same age (and at the conclusion of one of our “sessions,” I spent a good ten minutes explaining to myself and to him that I was not gay). However, I have done nothing sexual with anyone since (male, female, or otherwise). I know that my sexual thirsts will be much better sated by a man, and I know that the thought of licking or penetrating a vagina disgusts me; at this juncture, I just can’t see myself in a committed relationship with a man (and I could see myself dating women). I often ask myself, “Wouldn’t it just be easier to run the ‘regular course’?” I have been reading through the archives on here to find answers to my questions, and, in my opinion, only a handful of threads that I have found particularly apply to me. (i.e. http://www.lpsg.org/10842-coming-to-terms-my-sexuality.html). And I think I drastically deviate from another recent post (http://www.lpsg.org/101015-am-i-bisexual-or-gay.html ) in the fact that I am not turned on by a woman’s body, and that I get excited at the thought of nearly every “convention” of gay sex.

    Perhaps one of my largest blocks is the fact that, at the age of 9-10, I was betrayed by someone I trusted. My mom’s then-boyfriend had a son (at the age of 15-16) who once took me to our back bedroom and “showed me how to wrestle.” This would involve him pinning me until I reached down his pants to touch his awaiting erect member. I will say that he never tried to touch me, and that I never saw him climax (I’m assuming that he would always finish up in the bathroom or somewhere else). The only person I have ever told this story to is my oft-mentioned lesbian ex (mentioned above), to whom I hold much trust. Perhaps the most perplexing thought in my mind is that I can’t say that I was repulsed by what he did. Even in my post-event dissection, I’m still not sure whether, if I had total control to change past events of my life, if I would allow this to happen or not. To my horror, if I ever get a whiff of the brand of cologne that he wore, or if some event reminds me of him, I begin to get aroused. Did he make me gay? Did he enlighten me (though at that time, only subconsciously) to what I actually preferred? Am I a freak for having these types of questions? I have spent many a sleepless night turning these questions over in my head.

    I just wish to get these ideas together in my own mind before I take any more steps. My family is liberal/progressive and accepting (my aunt is gay, my stepdad’s sister is gay, and my family readily accepts my newly-out friends, both my lesbian ex and one of my other best friends, who came out in October of last year), so I’m not worried in the slightest about being turned out onto the street without a home or a dollar to my name. But I’m not particularly hot on the concept of coming out while in High School (that is, if I decide that I wish to label myself as gay, bi, etc.). I’m not in a big rush to take steps, but I just want to know what (and who) I am into. Any thoughts and comments are appreciated. And whether or not you apply your $.02, thanks for taking the time to read my rather-long musing. One more thing: this took a lot of courage on my part to write and post this (even through the veil of anonymity that is the internet), so I would appreciate only constructive comments.

    Again, thanks!
     
  2. marleyisalegend

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    Sounds confusing, but only because society isn't always tolerant of anything other than "normal" sexuality.

    This could always change, but to me it sounds cut and dry, you're only attracted to men, only think about them, sounds gay to me. Dating women could eventually turn into a sexual attraction to them, but for the time being it seems to me like an attempt to live a "normal" lifestyle. Don't worry about labels, just do what makes you happy.

    Oh...welcome to the club.:wink:
     
  3. facetious8

    facetious8 New Member

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    I feel like sexuality is just becoming a large gray area. It seems like most people these days aren't 100% anything. The idea of "totally straight" seems to be fading more and more. Just in talking to friends and reading things online and such, it seems like more and more people are talking about deviations, whether it's thoughts of having sexual encounters with the same sex, or having minor experiences, or more substantial experiences. At this point, it seems like few people like one thing and wouldn't consider dabbling under any circumstances.
     
  4. Corius

    Corius New Member

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    Thanks for that introspective/reflective description of your present state of mind. I would wish for you a much calmer entering into the fullness of your sexuality, whatever that my furn out to be.

    My own experience tells me that there is only gain in learning how to relate to other persons, both male and female. My good fortune was in the arrival of a new boy in town. I quickly developed a firm friendship with him and when that deepened we found ourselves showing our regard tor each other in ways we had never associated with "regular guys", but it all seemed so natural and so right and confirmed the bond which had come to exist between us. Incidentally, the sex only became better over time. Yet, in the last two years of high school we never stopped thinking of ourselves as very normal guys. We
    did not stop associating with girls and the fact that we were acquainted with a side of our sexuality which we had not considered before did not prevent us from being open to relationship with the ladies when our relationship came to an end. My teen partner and I remain dear friends but we do not forget the continuing value to us of our two year relationship.

    When I was free to let the same kind of deep bonding happen with a woman, I joyfully accepted that as well. Obviously the "gay" side of my sexuality is not dominant; I, and my teen partner also, am a happily married man. I my mind it is all gain to have learned that loving a man can be a worthy relationship and loving a woman can also be a worthy relationship. The love expressed fully in sex with a man is still love as is the love expressed sexually with a woman.

    Faithfulness in any relationship to me is of the utmost importance. As I did not cheat on my male partners, I would never cheat on a female partner. I have had relatively few partners--all in what would be called long term relationships--and all of my former partners remain dear friends.



     
  5. idaho69

    idaho69 New Member

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    Maybe the wrestling thing caused you to imprint on the same sex. Don't know.

    I would avoid sex during high school with anybody. It's too soon to come out if you are gay and that will only complicate your high school life.

    I would seek counseling to help sort out your feelings. By not rushing into relationships you will have the time to work things out.

    If you eventually determine that you are gay, that is fine. Be a gay man who is happy with who he is and live a full life the way you are.
     
  6. Gl3nn

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    I wouldn't hurry anything. You're still in highschool and have more than enough time to think about things and finding out what you want to do with your thoughts and feelings.

    I think it's best to wait untill after highschool and to come out when YOU feel you're ready. Because from your feelings, I'm quite sure you're gay.
     
  7. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

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    I'm not a psychologist, nor a semantic, but I'll try to explain this as best and accurately as possible. There are two things I notice about your situation Hunter. The first is that you were sexually assaulted when you were younger. This kind of a traumatic experience can lead to a sexualization of the action, or especially certain aspects of it, during the formative years of puberty. It is a type of defense mechanism the body appropriates to traumatic memories and sensory connections. By sexualizing the "wrestling" with men and the genital contact and other things about that/those event(s) such as the smell of the cologne, the body is trying to deal with trauma by constantly coming back to it and associating good feelings with it (that of orgasm, endorphine release, etc.). Unfortunately anxiety is usually the result because we have consciousness of peresonal preference, memories, snippets of feelings, etc. I would suggest getting treatment for the psychological damage that was done by this irresponsible and selfish boy.

    It may also be the case that this boy did influence the development of your sexuality and gender preference for sexual expression, though it sounds like you were also curious about his genitals and sexual contact with another male, which is generally at most a one-time impulse in more heterosexual people. The fact is, nobody can tell you if that event "made" you gay, or if it merely influenced you a little, or if it served as your sexual awakening and psychological initiation into a sexual world that is hypocritical and intolerant of homosexuality. Realizing this, you developed a barrier to such thoughts and "homosexual behaviors" to protect yourself which is now being demolished by an influx of hormones and frustrations at your attempts at heterosexuality. A case could be made for any and all of these explanations, and more.

    The second thing that I notice is a confusion of what sexuality means. This is pretty normal, because nobody really knows if there is a universal definition to sexuality. There are many sites and books about sexuality, or more generally the desire for interpersonal intimate, sexual bonding. You just have to google "sexuality" or "homo/bi/heterosexuality". I think the important thing to note here is your pursuit of a single definition of your sexual preferences to blanket your past, present, and future actions. Personal sexuality can never be defined exactly, but more importantly it can never define the future. In many cases, it doesn't even consider any past or present actions either. My point here is that it's futile to try to define your sexuality, even if you believe yourself to be 100% hetero/homosexual. At most, those percentages can only describe past and present actions and thoughts, not future actions or thoughts. The most you can say is, for example, "I am 90% heterosexual and 10% homosexual at this moment in time because...." If you consider yourself "you" throughout the existence of "your" consciousness, then you must consider your sexuality a continual work in progress. Only on your death bed, in your last second, can you probably state with some confidence that you know what your sexuality is. Sexuality is never a constant, because we can never account for its consistency. Hell we can't even accurately define the term, and we came up with it!

    I know it's hard to live in a state of known ignorance, knowing your not one of the two socially-defined sexualities. I've gone through the same thing, and now I don't even know how sexual I am, much less how attracted I am to men and women. You're probably giving the group too much power, but as social creatures such group matters generally concern us. People might label what I've said above as "relativist" and mock and disregard it. I don't know how someone can when we live in a universe where light can bend, where time stretches depending on what speed you're moving in relation to another object. There are bigger fish to fry, even if it may not seem like it at this time. Spend those sleepless nights doing research on sexuality, define it yourself, but know that you will not know your own personal sexuality until the day you die. I hope you can take some comfort in this, and that you find a sort of peace in our limitations of knowledge and ourselves. I've always believed the things we don't know make life worth living.
     
  8. hunterofhaters

    hunterofhaters New Member

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    A few points to reiterate (or if I haven't yet mentioned them, to bring to the table for the first time):

    *I am NOT seeking to start a relationship with anyone in high school (for one, I'm much too busy with activities and homework; this also allows me to have a "free pass" if someone asks me on a date, etc. because I wouldn't have the time anyway).

    *I am NOT planning on revealing to the world any of the decisions make while I am still in high school. I figure I will be much more able to handle this with the freedom that comes with college and my adult life.

    I was thinking along the same lines; maybe now that I can actually analyze my intentions/feelings from a "more-objective-than-I-could-in-the-past" viewpoint, I am coming to new realizations.

    I'm torn. I simultaneously want a "group" to have an identity in while having the ability to keep my constantly changing opinions fluid. We'll see how this pans out.

    I appreciate the feedback (and if anyone else has more to pitch in, I'll definitely review it). I just want to be as sure as I can on what I want before I talk to anyone extensively. Like I said earlier, I am not trying to rush anything. And as one who is on the "scientist" track, I want as many facts as I can get before I "present my data." This may be a bad choice, as it appears that few "solid facts" exist on this topic.

    At least no one can say I'm not methodical.
     
  9. Refresh7

    Refresh7 Member

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    Hunter, first of all, I'm going to applaud you for posting this topic. I know it must have been very difficult, and I'm not sure if anyone gave you credit so far, but I want you to know that just by posting your feelings, you have already made yourself a stronger person and made yourself one step closer to finding out what you want.

    Ok, so as I was reading your original post, I couldn't help noticing how similar are situations were. I'm 18 as well and a freshman in college, though it feels weird because high school was only 2 months ago. Anyway, I identify with just about everything you've said: (you have this very dominant sexual attraction to men, but you want a committed relationship with a woman. You experimened when you were younger, you were sexually abused/scarred when you were a kid. You had relationships with girls throughout high school.)

    Now I don't have the facts, or the license to just tell you what or who you are and what your diagnosis is, but I can tell you that there is a big reason why you're confused. You were sexually abused. Whether or not you have identified that experience as such, it sounds like this traumatic effect has disabled you from carrying on with healthy sexual experiences. I was sexually abused when I was 6-7 yrs. old on a recurring basis by a slightly older peer. Growing up I always wanted to be in a relationship with a girl, and romance her and fall in "true love" but always had a slight physical/sexual desire for males. It started out as just physical, which is why it was hard to identify for so long. Whenever I felt bad about myself I relayed that trauma in my head again and again. I associated myself with feeling dirty, slutty, a play-thing, very comparable to feelings female rape victims may feel. I'm not sure if you felt this at all, but I'm just telling you my experiences/feelings to show you the experiences of someone else who was sexually abused. I also strongly urge you to seek professional help, and get therapy, as you can sort out your situation and your feelings with someone who is specifically assigned to your case.

    I do have some questions though:

    Do you feel more attracted to men when you feel bad about yourself?

    Do you think of yourself as a "masculine" guy?

    When you're fantasizing about another guy, are you the top (dominant) or bottom?

    To me, it seems like you could very well be straight, but something traumatic got in the way of your sexual growth, and has thrown you off course. Not saying it's wrong to be gay, but you could have perfectly well been well on your way to being a heterosexual male, and then the abuse happened, and now you associate the sexual behavior from that experience as stimulating.
     
  10. hunterofhaters

    hunterofhaters New Member

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    No, that seems to be the "status quo".

    Erm...I'm actually more of a "brain" but I have a pretty good self-image. I'm slender and I'm pretty happy with who I am (though I wish I had more time to do a little more physical activity).

    Well...it's in flux. Since I've never "really done anything" I'm not exactly sure what "suits" me, so it's changes from occasion to occasion.

    I can't say that I've felt the same way (part of the anxiety I have had is wondering why I don't feel more scarred; is something wrong with me that I appear to have handled it so well?). I've made peace with myself on this topic (for the most part). Like I said, I thoroughly discussed this with one of my friends, and while that may not be a psychiatric specialist, it did feel liberating to tell it to her (as was it liberating to tell it to the whole forum).

    Refresh, I truly thank you for your input. I thank everyone who has made a comment (and please, I'm still open for more). I think a combination of time, talking with my close friends, and personal reflection will allow me to cross to my solution (whatever it may be).

    Another note: I'm trying to be as candid, honest, and open as I can be (sometimes, that takes a little courage on my part). Thanks again to all for the input.

    A FINAL note: I was working today, and my mind began to wander, and I thought of this forum post. Then, one of my managers noticed a rainbow outside, and I looked out the window. For a good minute or two, I just stared at it. Then, I thought, "hmm...could this be a sign?" It promptly disappeared. Coincidence? (for the record, I don't believe much in signs, but I found this to be an amusing event)
     
  11. SpeedoMike

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    while you may feel confused at the moment, that you have opened your to your feelings is a very big step. "ventilating" is so important, whether with your female friend, a post, or whomever, because it releases tension you've been holding in.

    sounds like you are planning to head off to college before long. this will be quite a significant change as the world will be accepting and seeing you as an adult rather than a high school kid. college life is different because people are more mature, more open, etc. you step into a new environment where you are not who you were in HS, but a new person to everyone you meet. they will come to know you for what you are, not what you were. college is also a safer place to begin coming out.

    campuses usually have a gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered organization which you may find helpful. it gives you a chance to meet other GLBT people in a non-threatening manner. it also can be a place to socialize.

    finally, people develop socially at different rates, and some of us are/have been late bloomers. you are at the "questioning" stage which is quite normal. your sexuality will become more clear as you experience life.
     
  12. Dave NoCal

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    Hunter, from your description of yourself it certainly sounds like homoeroticism is a big part of what turns you on. One question I have is whether the "wrestling" was coerced or traumatic in some other way. The reason I ask is that it's my opinion that such situations are not always traumatic. With the oppression GLBT people still face in our society, we sometimes rationalize same sex fantasies and feeling as being due to some external factor such as abuse, early sexual experiences, overbearing mother, weak father, not having taken PE, having taken PE.........
    Being forty years on from where it seems you are, I think it's usually much more simple, sexual orintation is immutable. Early experiences can influence how we express and experience sexuality and relationships but probably has little effect on sexual orientation itself. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if wresting is a big turn-on for you.
    An excellent book on this topic is Being Homosexual by Richard Isay. It's an improtant book that should be in major libraries. Being the "brain" sort, reading may be really helpful to you.
    Dave
     
  13. mistergrasso

    mistergrasso Member

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    It's a sign because you made it a sign. The world is full of images and impulses. Which ones we choose to see and give meaning to says more about us than anything else.

    For the record, I don't think that the experience in your youth with the older family friend influenced the direction of your sexual orientation but it has obviously affected how you feel about your sexuality. I can't tell if you think of yourself as having been molested or not, which probably causes it's own confusion.

    The fact is, if 100% of your sexual fantasy is about other guys, you're gay. Say it out loud to yourself. That actually helps. Then tell someone. that helps, too. Then go out and have a great fucking life.
     
  14. hunterofhaters

    hunterofhaters New Member

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    Well...actually, yes. And I've speculated about a connection.

    I can't say that I feel traumatized. I'm not trying to say that it was a positive experience, nor am I trying to marginalize anyone who was truly abused.

    Of course, of course. I was just implying that I didn't believe that some divine sign appeared before me and told me everything I need to know. Those types of signs are the ones I don't believe in.

    You're probably right. I just need to convince myself before I can tell others. I think this is a process that relies only on time, communication with close friends, and introspection. Again, I truly thank everyone for the input. I would have to say that one of the most therapeutic effects of writing this post was, in fact, the act of writing it. I verbalized the feelings that I had danced around in my mind, and threw them to the public. I have to admit: that was quite liberating.
     
  15. D_Forrest_Hump

    D_Forrest_Hump New Member

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    Wow, I am in a very similar situation; 18, senior in HS, the want to be with a woman for life & the sexual attraction to men being far more dominant (although I do fantasize about women, just not nearly as much. I could never see myself being in a relationship with a man, but I am very sexually attracted. If anyone else has any input, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  16. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I suggest BCM, to write your own thread with your own story. It's the details that help people give the best advice and constructive criticism. :smile:

    There are a lot of good people here who are happy to help you. Many of us have been down this road.
     
  17. Smaccoms

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    Okay, QUOTE TIME, My chemistry teacher gave this one to me, thought it was cool so I copied, and I truly believe it fits this situation. So, HERE IT IS:
    Confucius--"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
    SO basically, what he's saying is that you can think and talk about it all you want, but something that will majorly help is actually going forth with actions. I can understand how you want to wait till college (really, I came out beggining of high school, it sucks, and it's paints you as one thing or another), but I feel like there are some people out there that are totally open to letting your "explore" your sexuality with them. I personally think none of it is a big deal, labels are bull shit and you are what you are. If you feel like experimenting, you should experiment. You know what they say about gay men right? In movies and stuff, most try a women at least once to see how they like it. I have not tried out a women yet, and this point I want to. Although, I have been a little afraid to try it out simply because of labels (which is why I call them bull shit). So my advice, if you unsure, be discreet and get out there to do some EXPERIMENTIN' I think that will really help you to sort some things out in your brain for what you like and what you don't like (like, how do you figure out if you like candy or not...try some candy, how do you figure if you liek karate or not, take a class about it). If your curious, experiment a little, and then come to a conclusion. At this point, it sounds like your in the observation and hypothesis stage (of the scientific method). Next part is the experimentation and results being compared to the hypothesis. If the results back it up, continue with similar experiments to back it up more, if it doesn't. go back to the observation and hypothesis stage (yea, I'm that scientifical, I'm sorry) It just seems like the closest metaphor to try and tell you what I mean...anyway, thats all I got to say
     
  18. B_jeepguy2

    B_jeepguy2 New Member

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    Hey dude, I totally understand how you feel. I grew up in a conservative christian family and always just assumed I would end up getting married, to a woman and having kids, etc. Then when I was about 13 I realized that I was sexually attracted to guys. I could never see myself in a relationship with a guy either. I also don't want to be the guy who gets caught cheating on his wife with a dude. LOL I am 35 years old and stil haven't sorted it all out. There are some women that I am attracted to but it is mostly younger 20 something guys that I am attracted to.
     
  19. titzboy

    titzboy New Member

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    Wow, just every post in this thread is really well written. Hater, those Q's are oh so normal. I'm going through them now, 10 years later than you! Your post is so mature and well written. You really are a smart guy.

    I really love the Confucius quote. That is very deep.

    How are you getting on?
     
  20. G_U

    G_U New Member

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    I'd just respond to this question with, "Does it matter?" If you are turned on by something, enjoy it. Don't get bogged down by all the labeling.
     
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