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Gay Life/Need help, I'm confused over sexuality


I prefer not to reveal my real name, hence the John Doe.
I'm 20, live in Stockport, Manchester, and study business systems and marketing and aspire to work in PR or marketing for Manchester Airport when I'm older.

I've been confused over my sexuality recently.

Although I want a relationship with a woman (or think I do), including the sex and living together, security of relationship, y'know, all that stuff, the living together, mortgage etc, etc. I worry about my attraction to men - it's more emotional than physical, not really sexual, I was once emotionally attracted to a gay friend Mark (not his real name) [I don't see him that often now as he's moved away with his job]. but stopped myself short of going any further with him thinking that women wouldn't want to go out with a man who'd slept with another man, there's a double standard, men find it hot if a woman's been with another woman, but the reverse is considered offputting by women. At the same time, I was told you only live once, go for it, but then I read about trying to fit in with society. I don't really know where I stand. At the same time I don't really use porn ; unless you count me sneaking the odd peek at women in the M and S Catalogue's (not in lingerie, though, just in nice dresses and that).
I'm a little bit confused over my sexuality, really.

My parents told me they didn't care if I was gay, as long as I was satisfied with my life and got pleasure out of it, that was the main thing.
I feel a bit guilty about having emotional attraction to men, and in our area it is considered "wrong" (believe me, in Stockport, it's considered a bit of a joke or target for ridicule in our area - people have a preconceived notion gay people are all camp or wear leather, or speak like Julian Clary). Homophobia is verbal, rather than physical.

I get pleasure out of my life and my work, but my sexual orientation is the one bit of the jigsaw that I don't know where it fits, everything else is in place in my life.

What should I do?

Hi John Doe

First let me tell you that what you're feeling is not at all uncommon. I don't know if you find that reassuring or not, but you're certainly not alone.

Human sexuality is not as simple as we typically think of it. That is, in three neat, tidy categories... gay, straight and bi. The reality of the matter is that human sexuality is far too complex to be described by such limiting terms. Yet people still have a tendency to want to simplify matters by placing them in such categories, even where they don't apply. Most people are not strictly gay or straight, but rather fall within a range of emotions and behaviors.

If you think of it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being completely straight and 10 being completely gay, some people are indeed a 1 or a 10, but the majority of people are not.  Different people fall into different ranges. A person who ranges from 1 to 4, for example, is primarily oriented to the opposite sex, but may have no discomfort watching and enjoying gay porn. A person who ranges from 3 to 7 could be considered bisexual, where they would actually engage in physical contact with either gender. To make it even more confusing, our ranges can change over a lifetime, AND we can have physical attraction to one gender and emotional attraction to the other.

And that's where you find yourself. The good news is that unless you have a girlfriend who is pressuring you to get married, or another guy that you're emotionally attached to, there's no need to feel like you have to get this figured out tomorrow. For a lot of people, this process takes a while. And as I said, your feelings can shift a bit over time. If there is no external pressure to figure it out, I would just take one day at a time, just decide that you are who you are even if you can't quite define that, and just enjoy whatever relationships you find fulfilling. If you do that, you'll figure out where you fit in. You've got plenty of time.

Best wishes,


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Tedd Adams


I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

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I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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