Monday, September 13, 2010

Confused About Orientation

Hey Dr. Bill, I was reading one of your posts that said "bisexual or lesbian" and it struck a cord with me because some of the self identified bi-women sounded like me, when it comes to men. I like women and at least 98% of the time I am attracted to women. I think about women when I masturbate, when I watch porn I always look at the women, and I long to have a girlfriend. I consider myself to be a 5.5 on the Kinsey scale but I don't know if that's gay or bisexual. One of the only reasons I don't call myself gay is because I have slept with men before(two) and you can never really know what the future holds. I thought I was gay when I was about 13-14 and I came out to my friends and told them I liked girls (I didn't use labels). When I was 15 I told my mom and that didn't go too well. Ever since then it's been a bit of a struggle. I believe if my mom would have been more supportive I would never have been with men at all. I even had a boyfriend for a little while and I even told him I liked women and wanted to have a girlfriend lol. I was even about to ask him if a girl I liked was gay so he could hook me up. Throughout high school I had crushes on sooooo many girls and wanted to be with them but I was too scared to do it. I kinda envied those women who had girlfriends. I'm in college now and I'm still somewhat scared. I'm intimidated by women I like. I find men attractive but I don't find the sex or the relationships to be too satisfying. I get bored with them really fast. As a matter of fact I told a guy that I slept with that I wanted a wife. I don't know...but when I do talk to guys I still think about girls the majority of the time and how I wish I was with them. I'm convinced that if I get a boyfriend I'll end up meeting a woman and I'll leave him. So...I don't know -- am I bisexual or a conflicted lesbian? I notice when I look at a woman's body I'll get turned on but then I'll turn away because I don't want anyone to notice. Am I ashamed? I don't believe I'm self-hating but I'm confused. Also people say that sexuality is 'fluid' and it will change, especially for women. So I don't want to call myself gay and then ten years later I'm really straight. Any advice would be nice. Thanks.

First let's get one thing clear. When people talk about "sexual fluidity" they may mean that someone who is essentially gay may wind up -- for one reason or another -- in bed with a member of the opposite sex, but anyone who tells you that a person's sexual orientation can change -- that a gay person can magically become genuinely straight [at any age] -- is just dead wrong. Someone as attracted to women as you clearly are will not wake up some day and suddenly [or slowly] become heterosexual.

You also have to remember that sexual orientation isn't just about who you sleep with, but who you really desire on both sexual, romantic, and emotional levels, so your two experiences with men don't really count for much. It very much sounds to me that you want to be with women. Some homosexual people with a very tiny attraction to the opposite sex [as opposed to a whopping big attraction to their own sex] often call themselves bisexual for varying reasons, but in reality they are basically gay. I think this is the case with you.

I'm glad you don't feel full of self-hate, but it's possible that your mother's negative attitude may well have influenced how you see yourself and your sexuality. Based on what you have told me, I would have to say that you are definitely a lesbian, and much closer to a 9 or 10 on the Kinsey scale [if we must talk about the Kinsey scale] than a 5.5. And that's okay! If you feel you are consciously or sub-consciously ashamed of this, you can seek counseling or therapy from a gay or gay-friendly counselor or therapist.

Remember that there is nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong in being gay.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my question. I really do believe that I am gay but I might just have a lil hard time accepting it. I feel I need someone to kind of hold my hand. I guess the path of acceptance just takes longer for some of us.

Bill Samuels said...

That's true, but it will happen. If there's any kind of gay community or center where you live, you might find a support group for people just coming out who are experiencing the same thing you are. I think once you meet the many very happy gay people out there your attitude will change. best of luck!