Gay/Lesbian Issues/Sexuality confusion

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Question
Hello,

I am a bit confused about my sexuality. Sorry beforehand for a lengthy question.

Just for a background, I am a 21 year old female, still virgin. I have never been in a relationship. I guess thatís because Iím shy and donít go out much. In my teens I was even afraid of having a relationship, but not because of the physical aspect, I just thought it would consume too much time and cause more trouble than pleasure. Itís different now. And even though Iím still very shy, my mind isnít like that at all. I have no sexual experience that includes other person, so I can only speak about my thoughts and observations. I am willing to experiment in sex and I have a lot of fantasies. When I think about that, it just seems that plain sex wouldnít be enough for me, Ďcause there are so many things you can do.

Now the thing is, I get turned on by both genders. Itís not like I see someone and think about having sex with them. I can acknowledge personís sexuality, but thatís it. But when Iím watching or imagining any sexual activity Ė then I get aroused, doesnít matter if those are straight people, gays or lesbians. And when I masturbate, imagining any gender does the trick.

I have always considered myself straight, but Iím more open-minded than ever before. I have a friend, Iím very relaxed and loose next to her, but sometimes I get a bit aroused. Itís not like I want to have sex with her (though I have masturbated thinking about her just to see how it would turn out, and even though I felt a bit embarrassed, it didnít kill the arousal at all), but I really wouldnít mind if we kissed or fondled.

And recently I have been watching quite a lot of gay erotica. Iíve always been tolerant of them, but it was an area I havenít been exploring much, so I tried that to see how I would feel about it. I loved it. I saw unique beauty in the menís love and I liked it so much I even wanted to become a man so I can do it with another man. Iíve been masturbating imagining just that, and thanks to my good imagination it goes pretty well and I get some amazing feelings, not only physically, but psychologically as well. Itís not like Iím unsatisfied with my gender, Iím simply enjoying new area. But the fact itself confuses me a bit.

So, given all that, Iím wondering. Am I just experimentative, or could it be something more?

Thank you

Answer
Greetings Margo,

Thank you for sharing your sexual and desire journey with me. I appreciate the detail in order for me to get a sense of your sexual identity.

Firstly, I want to mention that our human sexuality can be quite complex; that includes our sexual and erotic fantasies. Different and robust fantasies that includes being with different people (one on one or more somes), fantasizing about embodying a different gender, role playing, and exploring the unknown or the 'naughty'. All are very common regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It heightens our sexual desires and arousal, and can help exercise our erotic creativity. There are many scientific studies that confirm these findings so you're in good company.

I think you've answered your own question whether you're being experimentative. It certainly sounds like it but the larger question you may want to ask yourself is whether you are allowing yourself permission to psychologically, emotionally and/or sexually 'go there' without feelings of shame or guilt. We have been highly exposed to restrictions of what we can and cannot do sexually; so much that it can carve a psychological pathway that can prohibit the idea of sexual and erotic permission. A fantasy is simply a fantasy. For some, it may not mean anything and to others it may provide a different kind of insight to their sexuality.

From your message, you sound pretty solid with your gender identity; you self-pleasure - which is a healthy and positive thing; and your eroticism has a kind of pansexual quality to it. Unless your fantasies and erotic desires is causing any stress or distress, I encourage you to give yourself permission to enjoy the diversity of your fantasies and sexual awareness. You seem sexually open minded which may help you prepare for a future sexual relationship or encounter where your partner may be as experimental and/or as open minded as yourself.

I hope this message provides you with some solace and in sight. If you enjoy reading, I highly recommend by the book, The Erotic Mind by Jack Morin. The book provides more in depth insight to people's diverse sexual desires.  

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Reece Malone

Expertise

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.

Experience

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: http://www.reecemalone.com

Organizations
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.

Publications
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.

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

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