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Author Topic: Gay? Bi? What?
Saturn88
Neophyte
Member # 98000

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I'm out to everyone in my life as a gay man, and I'm perfectly happy with that. There's no doubt I feel attracted to guys, I've been intimate with a few, I currently have a boyfriend, and all my family/friends know about that. So just to clarify that being gay for me is not an issue. I'm also completely happy in my skin as a guy.

Recently though, I've been a little confused as to whether I also feel things for girls, and I thought I'd just post this to see if any other gay/bi guys could relate or not, and see what they think.

Basically, I have never felt like I have ever "fancied" a girl, I've felt "romantically" attracted to some in the past but I've never been with a girl and wished to have sex with them, whereas I have with guys. So it seems obvious I'm gay, right? That's the conclusion I reached a few years ago.

Why then, when I fantasize, is it often straight vaginal sex that I think of? If its me in it, its never a specific girl, just a "generic" one, if that makes sense. I also fantasize as if I'm looking on (with a guy in mind, but again, a generic girl) and straight porn also turns me on. And, even more strangely, sometimes I imagine myself as the girl (even though I'm not, and I'm completely at ease in my gender). The thought of having sex with a girl is not repulsive to me either, I think I'd probably enjoy "the act itself", but I just never feel attracted to girls.

So what is this all about? Does anyone feel like this at all? Or am I just strange Part of me has hypothesized that - since I'm not all that willing to try anal sex (at least not yet) - my sexual side still desires the "thrusting side" (sorry for being explicit) and seems to legitimize this by thinking about vaginal sex. But then, I've fantasized about anal sex with other guys before, its not like I feel its necessary, or I'm against it or anything. Its not really an issue with me at all. I just don't understand why I'm gay and yet a lot of my fantasies turn to girl on guy Maybe fantasies are just messed up.

I don't know, I'm just a little confused. I'm comfortable with my sexuality but my fantasies confuse me sometimes. Just thought I'd share to see if anyone else could relate to this, or had an opinion on it?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey Saturn: I'm not a gay guy, and it sounds like that's really who you want feedback from.

If you'd like my feedback on this regardless, just let me know, and I'm happy to weigh in.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Saturn88
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Hehe, I'm sorry! Of course I would love your input! I guess I should rephrase that.... ok, ALL can give me any insight they like, no matter what gender they are or what sexual orientation they identify as! [Smile]
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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No need to be sorry, just didn't want to step in when you were looking to hear from someone else. [Smile]

So, a few things.

1) One the whole, homosexual, as a term (or whatever slang you use for it) means someone who is solely (only) or primarily (mostly) attracted to people of the same sex or a similar gender to them. And I'd say that when we're looking at peoples whole lifetimes, that "primarily" tends to be more the norm than the solely. (This is the case for heterosexuals, too.)

2) Our sexual identities are really something formed over a life time, though there are times in our lives when we'll tend to have/experience more fluidly and change than others, and the biggie? Our teens and twenties. That's when our sexuality and sexual identity as a whole, including our orientation, tends to be the most fluid; when we're most rarely in anything that will be static.

3) The same is true about gender identity in both these respects as it is with orientation.

In other words, you experiencing fluidity as a young person? Not at all unusual. Completely typical, actually. I'd say this time of life is one where we should never get too tied to any part of our sexuality, because it's so very likely it might change or at least shift. Like I said, that can tend to happen through all of life, but it's practically a given that it will now.

At the same time, I think you land on some important thoughts with some of this. Why someone might feel attracted to, interested in, or fantasize about certain sexual activities isn't always so clear. And I'd certainly say, for someone of any orientation, that having an interest in a certain sexual activity should always be presumed to likely be about more than just their orientation. At the same time, I don't think you really need a "why" here. Especially since I hear you saying that your sexual identity as a gay guy, and your life as a gay guy, still feels very much like a fit for you.

Lastly, fantasy isn't reality, and it often isn't even indicative of what we actually want or want to do in reality. Sometimes it is, sure, but even more often? It's not. It's just what we want to explore in our heads.

Does any of that help?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Saturn88
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Sorry for not responding to this sooner; I've been swamped with work! But now i have a tiny bit of free time, so I'll come back to this [Smile]

I never thought that the reason why someone might be interested in a certain sexual activity could be something larger than your sexual orientation... there have been so many times where I've heard that if someone is questioning their sexuality, they should just think of what gender the masturbate to, and therein would lie the answer! I guess some people's sexualities are more complex than that.

It's funny... one of my friends, who is pretty sure she is lesbian recently confessed to me in one of those late night deep talks that she fantasizes--a lot--about male penetration and ejaculation, and that's what gets her off, but she's never attracted to men. Her fantasies bother her, because she doesn't know if she could be a "true lesbian" if she keeps fantasizing about that but I think that part of her problem is that she has never had a sexual relationship with anyone... she said that she kind of had a boyfriend a couple of years ago, but that it was mostly about societal expectations, and she never loved her boyfriend like she has loved girls. I couldn't help drawing similarities to our situations though, despite the fact that I'm older than she has and have more experience. Since you have such awesome insights, what do you think of her situation? Is it kind of like mine? Are there just whole groups of gay people like me and my friend who fantasize a bunch about hetero sex? [Razz]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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No worries. [Smile]

I do think this sounds similar, and I'd also say this so isn't just the two of you.

Let's face it: gender is pretty much the biggest cultural binary we have. People, and our world as a whole, tends to focus on it intensely, and tends to reduce a lot of very, very complex, multifaceted things down to merely or mostly being about gender. Sex and sexuality is certainly no exception, even though those of us who work in the field have run out of breath trying to make clear what an error that is, and how very much more complex sexuality is than that.

To give you an example to think about, what's "heterosexual sex?" If someone said that to me, as someone working in sexuality, I'd assume is whatever kind or kinds of sex people are having who all identify themselves as heterosexual. And yet, people use that phrase to often describe, say, penis-in-vagina intercourse, despite the fact that we know plenty of people who have had or have that kind of sex, ever or often, aren't heterosexual or don't identify that way. Catch my drift?

As well, fantasy isn't reality. There's a reason that we have two different words for those things. And while sometimes fantasy is wishful thinking, other times it isn't. Only a given person can say if whatever they are fantasizing about is a wish for that thing to be real or not.

AND, while what gender of person a person fantasizes about -- when it is but one gender -- can, for some people, be one thing in a list of many that can help them to identify their orientation, it'd actually be something those of us who study sexuality would say should be one of the LAST things to consider, not the first, given that we know how frequently sexual fantasy has nothing to do with reality.

Any of that help?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Claire P.
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Saturn,

As Heather noted, sexual fantasies do not have to relate to real-world, concrete desires.

An example: porn and erotica that focus on themes generally culturally taboo (incest, large age differences, a relationship with a superior) have a large audience base. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are a whole bunch of people out there engaging (or hoping to engage) in taboo. Rather, people are often attracted to certain elements or themes- I haven’t read any studies on this particular example, but I’d say a possibility here is that certain people find their arousal is heightened by a feeling of risk/danger, or simply exploring something that is forbidden. Perhaps they feel restricted by society in certain aspects of their real-world life, and while that is not a theme at the forefront of many erotic stories, breaking out of society’s/our communities’ expectations can easily be an identifiable subtext that appeals to certain viewers/readers one might initially identify as not the target audience.

I have a female ex-partner who never fantasized about female-only sexual situations. She found that her singular attraction to women was one where sexual attraction was deeply intertwined with a highly personalized emotional experience she found essentially impossible to manufacture false versions of for her own solo-masturbatory purposes. So her fantasies took different forms- ones it seems you might be surprised by- with focuses containing certain elements of sexual arousal and activity that appealed to her, in spite of their context seeming at odds with her orientation and *real* sexual activity inclinations.

For another example, one of the most popular fantasies for straight males is to be totally dominated/controlled by a female partner. Can you see that rather than this factoid revealing some secret truth about heterosexual men, it could be related to a number of other factors- possibly including, for example, the fact that a particular kind of thrill could be elicited from an interaction/idea that flips the real-world reality on its head? As Heather said, fantasy is very often just things “we want to explore in our heads”- many of these men could easily not actually enjoy acting such a fantasy out, as concrete actions derived from an appealing CONCEPT don’t necessarily preserve the factors most/at all titillating to the one fantasizing.

It’s not uncommon to be turned on by something and not be able to put your finger on exactly why. I personally do not think it is necessary to identify the “why”- but it seems that question may be disturbing your lesbian friend? I do not think she needs to be worried. (Fantasies vs. realities aside, studies show that women are generally more likely to experience arousal when they encounter sexual situations, regardless of the male or female genitalia involved- e.g. see http://www.canyons.edu/faculty/labriem/psych230/sexdifferencesinspecificitysexualarousal.pdf)

I find it interesting that your automatic response to orientation questioning has included a jump to “what gender they masturbate to.” (I’m not sure if you picked “gender” over “sex” on purpose, but they aren’t interchangeable terms.) It’s understandable for people to use their own experience to make generalizations re other people’s experience of sexuality (particularly if that person is a member of a sub-group, and is making the assumption for others of the same sub-group)- but, like it sounds like you are mulling over, I’m not sure how actually valid and sound that method really is, particularly in this case.

So, I am not sure if it is your own experience that led you to feeling “part of her problem is that she has never had a sexual relationship with anyone,” but where do you see this “problem” exactly? While it would seem an eternally favorite question for non-queer individuals to ask is, “How do you know if you haven’t tried it,” I would think that you as a gay male would know better than to steer the convo towards that kind of point- so, I think I might be missing what you are trying to say here? I am unconvinced by the idea that your friend may not know what she is attracted to, just because she hasn’t *tried* it- especially as it also inches a bit close to that “lesbians just haven’t had good straight sex” perspective. So, while you seem to be drawing a line between your situation and your friend’s, I personally find them to be essentially parallel. The fact that she hasn’t been sexually-active with any partner does not make her “straight”-seeming fantasies any more or less threatening than yours. Similarly, I am not sure where/how you being older than your friend lends your situation more or less legitimacy/weight...

In response to the closing question in your last post (sorry I just wrote such a novel!), there are definitely a whole bunch of people who fantasize about a whole bunch of different stuff that may or may not reflect the forms and attractions their sexual orientation takes in real life. And that’s all okay!

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