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Gay/Lesbian Issues/Confused about my sexuality?

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Hi,
Like the subject line says, I'm confused.
I'm a 19 year old girl, in college, and I was raised in a more traditonal indian household, so I didn't have a lot of exposure to dating boys throughout high school, my parents would never have allowed that. And it never really bothered me, I mean I had crushes on boys but it was never really an issue that I couldn't date, I just never cared for it that much. I do get turned on by boys (I think?), I've encountered porn at points in my life and I think the guy/girl action is pretty hot, but again, never actually done anything with a boy throughout high school. Well this year, things picked up, I was kissed by 3 boys, and well, I'm confused. When I kissed them, I felt nothing. At all. I mean, they're nice boys, and the last one I was flirting with for a while and I did kind of like him. So why can't I feel anything when they kiss me? I mean, its not bad or anything, I just feel no passion, no desire to kiss back or whatever. And I mean, I may have no experience with relationships, but that's not supposed to happen right? And sometimes I think about kissing girls, and I don't know, I don't seem to mind it as much, I'm just more familiar with women, I've grown up and hung out with them my entire life, boys are something new that I've just started to explore. But to be absolutely honest, I could not imagine having sex with a vagina, it seems too strange. But penises kind of freak me out too. So what am I??? boys are strange and new, and that scares me, I'm so comfortable with girls that I can't tell if I'm attracted to them and THAT scares me. I've had opportunities to date all through high school and college, but I said no in high school because I know my parents would have been unhappy. And I've abstained from the college hook up culture because I think that's kind of reckless and dangerous, but what if I'm actually a lesbian or something and the reason I've been finding faults in every guy who asks me out is because I don't even want a guy??? I'm so confused and I'm a little worried that I am lesbian, not that theres anything wrong with being gay, its just that my parents are very very VERY traditional, if it turns out that I'm gay, my life is going to become a lot harder. But I'm so frustrated, I just need to know, what am I?

Answer
Hi Sheena,

Growing up in a traditional household can be very tough when it comes to making up your own mind about sexuality.  Sexuality in itself can be confusing, but when a household forces certain ideas with no room for alternatives, it makes the process that much more difficult.

The "porn test" isn't always 100% accurate.  This hasn't been explained in detail, so I'll try (this will be explicit).  Looking at heterosexual erotica is not really a good determinate because even many gay people enjoy it (for the same reason that many straight men enjoy lesbian pornography).  Ironically, the same numbers don't seem to be in for straight women who enjoy gay male pornography.  Others say you could consider masturbation scenes -- and ask yourself, which is more stimulating, a male or female?  Even then, it isn't clear because some heterosexuals are turned on by sounds and images of their same gender in self-pleasure.  So, in my opinion, it's really hard (and I think harder for women) to determine their sexuality relying solely on their response to erotica (it's a nice thought, and worth a try, but not always determinate).

The irony is that sexuality is more than just about sex.  It is about our deep level romantic connections to other people, sustaining a love relationship over a long period of time, and of course, in the end, with which gender you could "see yourself" having sexual relations.  Very few people coming out of traditional households are able to quickly label themselves as gay or straight.  So, why not approach this the way so many do at this stage of your life -- that is to consider yourself "bisexual" or even "unsure."  Certainly, there are people who are equally at home (or not at home, as the case is here) with either gender.  I think, in the back of your mind, you may be curious about "experimenting" with another woman.  As long as you are careful, and clear about your intentions, I think that could be a good idea.  That doesn't necessarily mean sex (although it could).  Although experiences won't immediately give you a simple answer, they will force you to reflect upon who you are and what you feel deep inside as a person.  However, if you don't feel comfortable with this route, that is also fine, because as I said, this will not solve the nagging question in an instant way.

For me, gay sex and gay relationships no longer hold the same strange, dark, and mysterious cloud around them as they had during my "self-discovery" period.  I now know that my sexuality is my own, and "gay sex" can mean whatever you need it to mean for you (after all that deep level love connection is in the end more powerful than any physical act).  I also realize that gay relationships do last and work out fine -- but they take just as much work (if not more, due to social pressures) than heterosexual relationships.  See how the label "bisexual" fits you for the time being (even if later you determine you aren't).  Say "yes" to boys and girls who ask you on dates.  Listen to your heart and the yearning inside you.  In time, you will discover your true sexuality.  Unfortunately, it is a journey of the soul, but making the decision to go on this journey is very worthwhile.  Start now while you are young -- some have waited until the end of their lives and have regrets over it.

Best wishes,
Brandon

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Brandon

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Sometimes a person feels that he or she cannot accept being gay because of his religion or his culture. I can answer questions related to religion, coming out, and society/culture in either English or Spanish.

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I am a gay Christian who has lived in both the U.S. and Mexico. I was raised Southern Baptist.

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None in this particular area.

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