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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Unsure how to figure myself out

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Author Topic: Unsure how to figure myself out
Member # 102038

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I'm a 24 year old cisgender male, I have never been on a date or even kissed anyone. Dating girls was always something I knew I should do, but I just never got around to it. The idea that maybe I wasn't 100% hetero has passed through my mind more then a few times, but the last month and a half or so has left me really confused.

The idea of going on a date with another guy left me incredibly excited at the start of this period, even browsed a few online dating services, I think it was the novelty of it somewhat though. The frustration of having this question in my head constantly has kinda put me off everyone at the moment, I think.

My complete lack of any sort of relationship or sexual experience makes me feel like I am incapable of judging what my orientation actually is I guess. I spent around a decade going "Yeah sure, girls.", but I don't know if I was ever really into it. I have been trying to look around me and background analyze how I feel about different people, but it always just leaves me feeling like I am watching a swirl of colors flow by.

The obvious solution is "Date people of both genders and see what clicks", dating girls has kinda died on the leaf for me at the moment, and I think actually taking action and trying to date a guy kinda scares me. What if it goes horribly, or if it goes really well but it turns out I'm not gay and I have to destroy some poor guy. How would I know I'm not gay as well? I don't know what I am supposed to be looking for or feeling to prove it either way.

Just want to vent I guess and hope someone has some insight.

Posts: 4 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Welcome to the boards. [Smile]

I'm not sure how one date could destroy another person. All a date is, ultimately, is time we spend with someone for each of us to figure out if a) we might want to spend more time, and b) if a romantic or sexual relationship might be something we want to pursue with that person.

So, it seems to me that if you want to try dating, with people of any gender, you really don't have to front-load it the way that you are and worry about hurting anyone, you know?

I hear you saying you've always thought you "should" date girls, but that what you're actually excited and interested about doing is dating men. Why not give that a try then?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 96015

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You don't need to be totally sure of your orientation in order to go on dates. If someone is obsessively insistent about having you describe and justify your sexual orientation to them on a first date, there probably shouldn't be a second date, anyway. There are lots of friendly, low-pressure kind of outings you can go on with people you think you might be interested in. You can just ask someone if they'd like to get coffee (or smoothies, or bubble tea, or insert another drink you like here) with you, or go to a free/low priced local event (museums, coffee shop open mic nights, walks on pretty bike or hiking trails). In my town, we even have some small local art galleries that are open to the public - scope out some fun, simple activities that are available in your area.

A good way to lift some of the pressure it's easy to feel around dates is to maintain personal clarity about your goals. Realistically, the first person you date is probably not going to be your ultimate soulmate who you will be with forever and ever - they will just be a person who is in your life for some as-yet unknown amount of time and may help you learn a bit more about yourself and the dating process. You don't need to go on dates with the goal of forming an intense emotional connection, or of finding someone who will instantly clarify your orientation for you. Just go on dates with the goal of seeing what it feels like to date, spending some pleasant time with new people and building up your personal skills at asking folks out, turning folks down, and generally navigating the dating experience. Then, if you start to realize that you really are feeling an intense attraction to someone, regardless of their gender, you'll be better equipped to potentially ask them out.

If it would make the process feel more approachable, try having some conversations with platonic friends of yours who have dated people. Ask them about what they think makes a good date, things they've enjoyed doing, or gestures dates have made that stood out to them, positively or negatively. There isn't a perfect, universal guide to what makes a good date, but hearing some stories about the variety of dating experiences others have had may help you form a clearer picture of what a good date would look and feel like for you. Other folks on the forums may have input on what a good date feels like for them, too.

Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 102038

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I have been reading a lot of other posts on the forums and these as well and it basically seems that I need to calm down and just do whatever feels right .

The most illuminating thing has been the idea that my sexuality could be a fluid thing, and that it is okay for it to be. I have always just assumed it was a set in stone thing from birth basically, and that I needed to figure out it's absolute position.

Also, thank you very much for all the suggestions Cricket! All of that makes sense and most of those do sound like a good time.

Posts: 4 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Sexuality is absolutely a fluid thing. We get a lot of messaging from the media and such that it's set in stone ("born that way," etc.) but for many people, it shifts and changes over time, and it can take awhile to figure out. Going with what feels good and right to you now, and being honest with potential partners about where you're at, is really the best thing you can do.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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