Gay/Lesbian Issues/Sexuality Confuse


To Reece Malone

I am 22 year old virgin and at one point I always thought I was a closeted gay who swore to myself never wanting to come out. But just recently I am getting confused and I need help clarifying things. I think I have put enough hints in this message to tell you how confuse I am - from porn, to body attractions to my hobbies.

Yes, I watched porn and I do get aroused seeing male bodies but I feel disgusted imagining myself doing it. And although I am sexually frustrated at times, I do not have any sexual feelings with any guy I know. As the matter of fact, I enjoy being with girls more - not in the talking about fashions and celebrities (which I have no interest in, I also have no interest in sports and cars as well - my main attraction is my writing hobby, watching action movies and playing online games)and many times I think I actually like a girl but I can never imagine myself having sex with any girls as well so I never pursued it. Don;t get me wrong that I think all relationships must have sex. I can imagine kissing and holding hands but I am always too shy to admit it or simply give myself reason that I can't do this right now.

I like to admire guys from a far but I prefer talking to a girl and mostly because I feel insecure with the guys cause I am not as big or athletic as them. However, I also don't usually get aroused when a hot girl with skimpy clothes walked pass me. I usually get attracted to girls whom I know and gotten close to. Another funny thing is that although I once in a while imagining touching and kissing breasts, I never get turn on with them unless they are big and in a bikini. See my confusion now?

I go for gay porn almost all the time with occasion straight porn to satisfy some fetish and I still get turn out with the flirty part but the whole loud moaning part turns me off. But I know I used to start watching porn with straight porn and I was actually turn on in someways until someway somehow I founded gay porn. Until recently, gay porn turns me off too. Again I like the flirting and stripping part but after the strip I would just fast forward to the ejaculation.

I am suspecting I am gay but I only like the romance part. I am small and used to be flamboyant (which I changed enough that not many people suspect me as gay - at least not to my face). I like the idea of a man protecting me, hugging me and i fear that I am not strong enough to protect the girls or provide them enough comfort.

One last thing is that I have always like being the girl. Even when I am young. I tend to dislike action movies when there is no female actress who can kickass. Is not because I want an eye candy, but I always just prefer watching them in action. Some guys likes to imagining themselves as the male characters in a movie, well I tend to imaging myself as female. In online games, I sometimes try to be a female character and thought about releasing sexual tension by flirting with guys online but I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. It felt so wrong. As for writing, I tend to focus on character development on the female charterers even though the lead is male.

To be honest, the more I type this message, the more confuse I get. Although I always fantasized about having sex with guys, I can never imagine myself actually doing it and one of the main reason I can't imagine doing it with a girl is because I am embarrassed of myself. That and I am worried what if I couldn't get a hard on.

Sorry for such a confusing message. This message is 100% impromptu so I just wrote all my problems up. Hope you would be able to clear things with me. Thanks.

Hi Gary,

Thank you for your thoughtful email. I can certainly understand the confusion you may feel about your sexual orientation and identity. There are a number issues that are in your message and when all of them mesh together, it can be challenging to feel grounded. Know that while you may feel overwhelmed at times, you aren't alone in your feelings. There are a number of individuals who have many uncertainties and the act of even writing them out can be therapeutic.

Here is what I gather from your message:
- You are a 22 yo individual who hasn't had a sexual relationship (and sexual can mean many things to many people)
- You feel aroused by male bodies but feel disgusted imagining yourself 'doing it'. I'll assume you mean having sex or being intimate with another guy and are not, as you mention sexually attracted to other guys
- You enjoy being with women socially but are feeling a bit insecure socially with men
- You don't necessary have sexual feelings for women either but your attraction grows with getting to know someone
- You enjoy different porn with an inclination to man on man porn
- You have intimate inclinations to men and appreciate being taking care of by a masculine figure
- Gender wise you have an inclination to imagine yourself as the female role

I certainly can't tell you whether you are gay, bisexual, straight or prefer to not identify at all. You don't have to identify as anything; unfortunately our society has pressured us to choose a label even though we may not want to (especially if the traditional definition associated with that identity doesn't necessary fit our sexual scripts). So you're aware, there people who are 'asexual'. Individuals who have intimate and romantic inclinations without the sexual desire. Example, someone may identify as bisexual but doesn't have any sexual feelings for either person however can feel close with either sex. Or someone is gay but has strong emotional bonds with men without wanting to have sex with them.

You clearly have stated that you don't have sexual attraction to men. Your disgust can mean many things from internalized homophobia: "I don't want to face the possibility of being gay because gay equals negative things." to you are just not attracted to guys in that manner. It's completely fine that your attraction grows by knowing the person first. In your case you mention you do have feelings for women after you know them better. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Perhaps you're body isn't ready for anything sexual, maybe that instant sexual attraction that some people feel isn't how your body responds, or maybe there is a different reason altogether. Know that there isn't one way of being sexual or no exact age when your body responds. Each person is different and responds when its ready.

Some virgin men I know feel socially awkward around other guys. Not feeling a part of the team can certain undermine one's self esteem. I would feel a bit awkward too if I didn't have commonalities or can't relate with a group that 'I'm suppose' to be similar with. If I had negative experience with a similar group while growing up, that too can undermine my social interactions with them.

Regarding the porn, did you know that many people with different sexual orientations have watched different porn that is different than theirs and have been turned on? Example, many lesbians watch gay porn. Many gay people watch straight porn. Many straight guys have watched transsexual porn, etc. The brain is one complex organ and too often we shame ourselves for being turned by visual stimuli. Watching sex is hot. For many, it doesn't matter what kind of sex.  

Regarding the gender role reversal, again, very common. A number of guys don't allow themselves to admit it to others for fear of shame, stigma, embarrassment, judgement, etc. Many women have seen themselves in the male hero role too. It doesn't make them necessarily confused. Individuals may identify with a character's role - and that's okay. If you feel like a women in your own body, then we're talking about a potential transgender identity. Role play such as flirting in a different identity can be an act as an escape for some and for others, a way of exploring their identity. I'm glad that you are writing - even for yourself. It's a great way of taking a time out from a world that forces people to box themselves in.

So the moral of my response to you is to try to be gentle with yourself and think about what's right for you. It's perfectly okay to embrace your own identity even though it may not be exactly what society expects of you. Human sexuality is complex. What's most important is how you feel about yourself. I hope that me sharing with you that others have walked in similar shoes gives you some solace in knowing that you're not alone. I recommend you research the terms: asexual and even read the book "The Erotic Mind" by Jack Morin.

I hope my thoughts have helped. If you have a sexuality resource center in your area, I recommend that you check it out.  They may even have free counselling available. Also, If you don't know of one in your area, contact your local Planned Parenthood. They may have contacts and resources. A local lesbian, gay, bisexual center may have counselors too. They see all kinds of folks who are questioning their sexual identity and gender.

Should you need anything else where I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Dr. Reece Malone

Gay/Lesbian Issues

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Reece Malone


I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.


I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit:

American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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