Posted by: Arthur | 2009/04/24

Clarity required

I' m a 45 years old and happily married with 3 kids. I teach at a prestigious school in Johannesburg. In the afternoons, I coach rugby. My problem is one that troubles me deeply. My enite life, I' ve only been attracted to women. However, a 17 year old boy started at the school recently and made it into the rugby team that I coach. The general consensus amongst the teaching staff and many girls is that he is a very good-looking boy. After games, during showers, I get very turned on by watching him. I cannot understand it. This has never happened to me before and I am very worried. please could you help me to understand what is going on here and what I should do about it. Thank you. Arthur.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello Arthur,
This must be puzling and worrying for you. There are potentially many aspects to such situations. One is that contrary to popular belief, relatively few people are 100 % heterosexual or 100 % homosexual, but many are somewhere on a continuum between them. A surprisingly ( for most folks ) high proportion of people have some same-sex interests or even experiences at some time in their lives, even if not predominantly so for large parts of their lives. So it is possible that though you are predominantly heterosexual, and sincerely love your wife and children, you may be capable of homosexual arousal in some circumstances ( which doesn't mean one ought to act on such episodes of arousal, of course ). There can also be a sense in which an older person feels a strong sense of wistful admiration for the youthful attractiveness of a younger person, in a way that isn't entirely sexual, but includes envy and other emotions. You seem to be responding in part to his attractiveness to others, to the fact that others are turned on by him.
Clearly, for many good reasons, you cannot act on the attraction you feel --- you're an adult, he is not ; you're a teacher, he's a pupil ' and of course you are married and with children. I don't think that is what you are sasking, but rather what to do about these feelings. A simple part of the solution is to avoid these admiration situations --- do NOT shower with him or be around when he showers. Keep contact with him strictly within professional bounds --- and if there are other coaches, see if they can become more involved with his sports activities, and se if you can be less involved. Don't see him off the rugby field. Some attractive youngsters sense when adults fimnd them attractice, and may even learn to cultivate and use this, and this is not to be encouraged. And for yourself, consider seeing a counsllor or preferably a specialist psychologist --- not because there is something wrong with you, but because you need to responsibly explore, understand, and decide about how to respond to this new experience ; not to change your sexual orientation or cement you to the old one, but to understand, and make more informed choices about how to respond in a broader way to this.

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.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009/04/26

Thank you very much for your advice. I feel a deep sense of relief. I have done some research and will be seeking counselling this week and will do as you suggest. Arthur.

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