Gay/Lesbian Issues/Advice about my sexuality
Hi sorry to trouble you but I'd like to seek some advice. I am a 22 year old virgin and I am 99% sure I am not straight. Things really arenít that simple though: I donít think Iíve ever actually fancied either a boy or a girl. In fact up until about two years ago I had never kissed anyone because I simply didnít see any point because I never had sexual and/or romantic feelings for anyone.
So why am I writing this now? Well since I have been at university, my lack of these feelings has really come to the forefront of my mind as I see many of my friends in seriously relationships or meet new people who hook up with random people for the hell of it. Also being at university has allowed be more freedom to live a less rigid lifestyle, for example, joining a sports teams and going out on socials.
Anyway I was on a social with my rugby team and have been drinking a bit and me and some of the girls ended up having a conversation about our sexual orientation. Now this was something new to be Iíve never discussed my sexuality with anyone -because I do not know myself what I am-anyway a couple of the girls came out as bi so I decided that since theyíd obviously been fine with it that I would Ďcome out as bií too because that way I could start to be a bit more honest and open about myself. Anyway as the night when on my curiosity got he better of me and I made out with this girl on my team for a bit. Now I donít think I had a full-blown crush on her but for the couple of weeks Iíd known her I had some sort of mild crush-like feelings and that for the first time I might want to try kissing someone. Anyway it wasnít great- all tongue and sloppy-sheís was rather drunk too, I didnít dislike it as such -it just did nothing for me.
Anyway I got teased for my endeavours my some of the team and though embarrassed at the time I felt kinda happy that the knew I wasnít straight and they were okay with it. As for the girl I kissed well we havenít mentioned that but I do know now she has a tendency to make out with lots of people when drunk, and we get on well enough -I donít know her that well but we chat and all, though I did feel a little disappointed when she told me last week that she now has a girlfriend.
So my team Ďknewí and since I have shared this information with both my flatmates (though I really donít remember doing so) and one of my best friends. However, I very much downplayed the situation to them -not indicating that this was my first kiss. I still donít know why I did this. Maybe it was because I didnít want to admit that at 21 I was having my first kiss. Maybe it was that it was with a girl. Maybe that because this is the first time Iím sharing information pertaining to something so personal and confusing to me. I honestly donít know.
Iím also not sure about whether my lack of sexual identity comes from an inherent and subconcious fear of possibly being gay or just that Iím not at the stage where I have the sexual and/or romantic feelings. Certainly there is confusion in my head but maybe in reality it is quite simple really. For around 6 years I have persistently read femslash fanfiction, afterellen, religiously watched lesbian storylines and kisses of youtube etc. So if anyone were to look at my internet history I have no doubts that they would say -yep sheís a lesbian/bisexual. But am I though? I donít really have any sexual/romantic feeling towards boys or girls yes I enjoy following gay news and stories but is that just because I want to feel part of a community as feel I have no specific identity, sexual or otherwise? Iím inclined to say not but how can one be a lesbian without fancying girls? I have perused the possibility that I might be asexual but I donít think I am -I do (forgive the crudeness) get wet from ready femslash porn or from watching erotic scenes though I have also read straight porn which has done the same. As you can see -confusion!
Anyway last year I was out at club with some friends and I have been chatting to a lovely guy for a bit. He started to buy me drinks and was obviously looking to get friendlier so I thought, why not, letís see if I like kissing a guy. Well, to be honest my feelings were pretty similar to when Iíd kissed my team-mate (except his stubble was annoying!). So maybe I just donít like kissing or is it that I need to start having sexual feelings before I can enjoy kissing? If someone asked me which kiss I preferred, Iíd have to say the girl, not because of the kissing itself but because I think I had preferred the idea of kissing a girl, or maybe it was that I knew her better, or that by kissing her my team-mates would know I was Ďnot straightí and my Ďsexualityí would be more out in the open, allowing me to possibly open up about my possible feelings for girls. I quasi-dated this guy for a few weeks- we went for coffee once and made out a couple of time whilst drunk and, whilst I Ďenjoyedí the teasing from my friends as to whether we were dating and I enjoyed his company and found him very sweet, I didnít develop any feelings for him so quickly broke it off. In retrospect, I am sure I was more in love with the idea of being Ďnormalí than in him.
Why do I even need to label myself? I am forever seeing posts and articles regarding peopleís irritations regarding about being labelled and how labels are similar to stereotypes in that people are put in a box with other people grouped together by one thing which is perceived to define their existence but which doesnít necessarily. And I guess this is where I struggle because I cannot define myself but any of these criteria and while I guess many (particularly those whose writing I have read within the queer community) would say-thatís normal because labels are not for people, the majority still feel the need to define someone as straight, gay or bi. I find it makes me feel an outsider and alone because I cannot fit into a category, hence the appropriation of the word Ďbií as I mentioned earlier as it is the term out of those three which I would possibly categorise myself under. But you see this is my problem. Surely mostly everything I have said so far would indicate that I should identify as a lesbian rather than bi, no? And I have considered it. Coming out as a lesbian, that is? But Iím not sure what I am, why should I have to undergo the trials and tribulations of coming out when Iím not sure that I am gay? Not that Iím saying my family would definitely react badly, to be honest I have no idea how theyíd react, but talking about my sexuality is not sometimes I even been comfortable thus far doing on an anonymous blog post! So what would I do if my parents straight up asked Ďare you gay?í Well I think Iíd definitely say no. If they asked Ďare you straight?í I probably wouldnít say yes -when weíve sort of broached the topic before (Do you like any boys? Girls?) I have simply said I donít have, and never have had, any romantic feelings for anyone Ėsomething which my mum is keen to instead will develop in time.
Mostly I think that there is something wrong with me for not having these types of feeling and I feel different and abnormal for not having these feelings and being able to define myself.
Am I simply getting ahead of myself -Iím only 22 ĖI have plenty of time to develop these feelings. Or am I subconsciously afraid to let myself have romantic/sexual feelings? I canít imagine fancying a boy but I can a girl, Iíd much rather follow a lesbian storyline than a straight one, so do I have an inherent fear that, I only like girls, which is preventing me from actually liking girls?
As I said I am seeking an understanding of how I am (not necessarily way of defining myself) it is my lack of actual feelings which confuses me in light of my interest in the gay and lesbian community. Do I want these feelings? Yes. Do I imagine that I could be in a relationship with a girl as opposed to a boy? Yes. Doesnít coming out scare me? Yes!
Anyway, just thought Iíd try and seek some advice this has all been confusing me for nigh-on 8 years! And whilst I have read blogs and discussions and watched vlogs I have not seen anything in the queer-sphere of the Internet that I can personally relate to so I have decided to write down and send it in in the hope you can offer me some advice and reassurance.
Many thanks, F.
Greetings and my apologies for not answering in a timely manner. I was away on professional leave then holidays.
Thank you for your very thorough email. Firstly, what you are experiencing is not unheard of and is more common than popular culture leads us to believe. We live in a very sexual and label centric society. Labels regarding our sexuality are important for many people to help make sense of who they are and help find community. There are people where labels aren't as important, or simply don't fit what they are currently feeling. Also, our environment, culture, religion, shame, guilt, physical health and other factors can play a role in our sexuality; all that can be explored. No matter what, what's important is that whatever identity you are, or not, it should be your decision.
Regarding your sexual and romantic feelings, there can be many possibilities. What's important is that sexuality is on a continuum/spectrum and there are more choices other than gay, lesbian, bi, queer and straight. There are people who are asexual - as you noted. Those are individuals who do not have or have varying degrees of sexual feelings with the key being that they don't have a 'drive' for a particular feelings. In fact, many asexuals have sexual feelings but for different reasons. There are those who have what is called 'romantic' feelings towards a particular sex or gender without sexual attraction. I know many who are call themselves "queer on the asexual spectrum". Here is a link to a great website of information: http://www.asexuality.org/home/
. In fact, asexual people often get into relationships with people with degrees of intimacy negotiated. Some asexual people have very strong intimate bonds with those of the same gender, or different gender. A colleague of mine may also be able to help answer some of your questions about asexuality:
She's very generous with her time, so feel free to reach out and grab her perspective. She's withing queer circles and can offer lots of insight.
Sexuality can shift and wane throughout the years. Some people's feelings can indeed develop later on in age but if not, that's okay too - remember it's other people's judgement and popular culture that may be the problem. Not your sexuality and identity. Our bodies change and so why not our sexuality evolve? Your past may or may not have an impact on your sexuality as it is right now. We all don't have to be in relationships and we all don't have to have a label.
Again, you are not alone in your feelings. One last website I recommend is: http://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com
There you'll find a lot of neat things about sexuality including what I shared with you now.
I hope this email has provided some insight, useful information and reassurance.
Should you need more information, I'd be happy to help find additional sites and insight.
Dr. Reece Malone