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Question
Posted by: Mike | 2011-07-05

My sexuality complicates my desire for a heterosexual relationship

Hi Doctor

I’ m a 29-year-old man. When I was a very young boy, I can remember that I was attracted to women –  I remember specifically that I used to get sexually turned on by seeing a sexy leg, or a breast, etc. My father was away from home often, and when he was home, he was either emotionally absent or drunk and he was physically abusive but his swearing &  belittling of my mother and I was worse than his physical abuse. My parents divorced when I was 11 because my father had an affair. My mother is a very responsible, kind-hearted and generous mother. I used to hate my father intensely, but as I aged, I''ve mellowed and we actually get on now, although his selfishness and irresponsibility irritate me now and then. When I was 13, I remember seeing a male friend of mine at a swimming gala in his Speedo and I was sexually turned on by him, in the showers later that day, I saw another friend, a black guy who was much more physically developed than I and I remember the sight of his penis turned me on very much so. Over the years, I’ ve found that I get more turned on physically by men but the attraction seems to be mainly when I see a naked man, or a part of a well-developed naked man and not necessarily a personality, character, etc. My first sexual experience was with a woman, though, when I was 23 (I waited this long for what I thought were religious reasons but once I''d been to varsity I realised I was stupidly conservative, I find I am more liberal now), I had been dating her for a few days before we had sex. I actually enjoyed having sex with her, but I do recall I wasn’ t keen on cunnilingus, mainly because she didn’ t shave. Our relationship lasted a few months and we broke up because we had diametrically opposite views on many things which caused conflict. After her, I arranged to meet a guy through a dating website largely because I was horny, I performed fellatio on him and him on me but when the time came to have sex, my penis went completely limp. I met him several times after that and the exact same thing happened - it''s as if fellatio/heavy petting isn''t an issue for me but anal sex with a man/rimming absolutely disgusts me and turns me off completely. I had another casual encounter with a man afterwards, but not anal sex for the same reason. I haven''t been with anyone forsix years now. In my mind, I am excited by the idea of a fulfilling relationship with a woman, there are many things about women that I appreciate and I just don’ t think I could have the same level of fulfillment from a man. But it’ s confusing that I get turned on by seeing a naked man and not always a naked woman (although I did get turned on when I saw a woman stripper dancing in a movie I watched a few years ago), although in the heat of the moment I can perform with a woman but it requires manual/physical stimulation. I want to be in a relationship with a woman but I don''t know what to do then about the fact that I do also get turned on by guys (not every guy obviously and not all the time, sometimes I feel asexual)... I mean, if I had a girlfriend and then told her that I get turned on by guys, she would dump me on the spot, most women don''t seem to be keen on dating guys who express a sexual interest in guys. I am not effeminate, and I don''t show signs of effeminate gender performance that would ordinarily make people think I were gay - on the contrary, I seem straight to most people. And quite frankly, I don''t think I am gay otherwise I''m sure I would''ve had sex with a guy by now. I am often mentally attracted to women, like sometimes I am very attracted to a clever, witty woman with lots of personality but even though she''s pretty I don''t get an erection necessarily around her. I don''t find myself to be mentally attracted to men, but often when I see a semi-naked/naked man I get an erection or I masturbate while thinking of a man. What on earth is going on? How can I find happiness - it''s really the only part of my life that really depresses me? I mean, I don''t get depressed about being attracted to men and women, it''s just, I feel guilty that if I were dtaing a women I would be sexually tuned on by men or vice versa. Regards Mike

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmmm. Effeminacy has, perhaps surprisingly, rather little to do with sexual orientation. One comes across some cloyingly effeminate men who are devotedly heterosexual, and some dramaically butch guys who are exclosively gay.
And few people are 100 % homosexual or 100 $ heterosexual in tastes and behaviours. Some have various combinations of interests, some are confused.
Seeing a good local counsellor or psychologist for a chance to explore your mixed experiences and feelings could be really useful.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jake | 2011-07-19

I have to say, while reading your post I could really identify with you, to such an extent that, it felt like your words could have so easily been my own. I am one year younger than you and have been haunted, or intrigued, by the same issues your facing. I also find the odd sexual (but no penetration) encounter with other guys exiting, but am not interested in having an emotional relationship with one. I am not gay. I long for a relationship with a girl and I''d like to have kids, but at the same time, I have this physical attraction to guys that just never went away. At first I only liked girls, even had a girlfriend. But at the age of 14 I started noticing that I would become aroused thinking of cute boys at my school and seeing them naked in gym class. I now think of myself as being bisexual. It is funny how we always find the need to label ourselves in some way, so keen to know where we fit in. I clearly remember the day I first found out about the term bisexuality. I was so excited, finally, after all these years of being totally confused, I knew where I belonged. I had found my label. I have accepted my tendencies, although many people would not be so understanding about the matter. I have accepted that I am who I am, and that I cannot change it. I don''t want to either. Because one knows how such a matter could complicate a relationship, I find myself refraining from getting involved emotionally. It is an interesting subject. We can''t really have our bread buttered on both sides but, at the same time, you''ll never be satisfied with an exclusively gay, or exclusively heterosexual relationship. I have a feeling that a lot of guys get married with the hope that the " problem"  would go away. It seems that it seldom does. I myself found that, during my (two) relationships with girls as a young adult, that I did forget about my man to man fantasies, for a while at least. As soon as the " new girlfriend"  buzz wore off, I found my mind wandering again. So what is a guy to do? Do we not marry? The idea of growing old alone really does not appeal to me, but at the same time a divorce later in life, and loosing the kids because the wife found out you performed cunnilingus on the neighbour (or his son) is even less of an option. Like I said, it''s an interesting subject this one, one that there does not seem to be an easy answer for.

Reply to Jake
Posted by: Mike | 2011-07-08

Thanks to you both!

Reply to Mike
Posted by: Sam | 2011-07-06

HI Mike

It seems you''ve got it in your head that anal sex is necessarily a part of a gay relationship. This is not the case (many gay people never do this). Heck you may even prefer to be the receptive person - but I imagine that will be fraught with all sort of mental hurdles for you at the moment.
I am gay but, as a male, I get turned on by anything sexy really, from female strippers to lesbian porn to hot guys! It''s just that I prefer the companionship of another guy and a " masculine"  home environment.
Ciao
Sam

Reply to Sam
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-07-05

Hmmm. Effeminacy has, perhaps surprisingly, rather little to do with sexual orientation. One comes across some cloyingly effeminate men who are devotedly heterosexual, and some dramaically butch guys who are exclosively gay.
And few people are 100 % homosexual or 100 $ heterosexual in tastes and behaviours. Some have various combinations of interests, some are confused.
Seeing a good local counsellor or psychologist for a chance to explore your mixed experiences and feelings could be really useful.

Reply to cybershrink

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