I was asked repeatedly to clarify precisely how a guy can identify his sexual orientation.
I start with an observation. Most of the guys, both straight and gay, don’t have real problems in recognizing their sexual orientation because they are driven or only towards gay contents or only toward straight contents both at affective and sexual level, i. e. they experience both emotionally and sexually or exclusively heterosexual or exclusively gay feelings.
When a guy is deeply emotionally involved exclusively by the presence of girls, wants their presence, not only on at psychological level but also at physical level, feels aroused just thinking about a girl or standing next to a girl, masturbates thinking exclusively to girls, develops sexual fantasies about girls, looks for opportunities to be with them in privacy, or he wants to have satisfactory sex with them, and all these things do not change over time, that guy has no reason to doubt his sexual orientation and justifiably feels completely heterosexual.
When a guy lives similar experiences that do not change over time oriented towards guys he can feel without any doubt exclusively gay.
The problems of sexual orientation arise when those experiences are not uniformly oriented in a direction exclusively gay or exclusively straight or when the guy feels over time an instability in the identification of the object of his sexual interest.
I have spoken several times about the he typical path to come to gay identity by guys who consider themselves heterosexual and who have had heterosexual sex life. In reality, in this case there isn’t any real problem of uncertainty, but there are just difficulties of identification due to the fact that heterosexual behavior can be unconsciously assimilated by imitating the social environment. For a guy who has always identified as straight and also has had sex with the girls, be aware of the gay emerging identity is certainly not easy. Awareness can be late, even after 25, and acceptance can be problematic but the path is irreversible and the deep sexual identity, however, ends up to assert itself. In essence it is not indecision about sexual orientation, due to the fact that those guys, could also have sex with girls. They masturbated thinking of the guys and were gay from the beginning because their free sexuality manifested itself, however, in masturbation. Often, guys who will manifest a definitive gay sexual orientation, in the problematic phase of acceptance of their sexual orientation, use define themselves bisexual, but if their free sexuality that occurs in masturbatory fantasies is exclusively gay, we can talk about bisexuality only improperly.
Much more delicate is the situation of guys whose free sexuality (manifested in masturbation), is not uniquely geared to girls or to guys, or whose sexual orientation does not remain stable over time. In the first case we can speak of intermediate bisexuality, in the second of swinging bisexuality. In these cases, a guy can live in situations of deep distress because an intermediate bisexual does not feel completely at ease neither in a gay nor in a straight environment, and a swinging bisexual (periodical bisexuality) when he perceives the change of his sexual orientation sees the collapse all over the affective world he had built previously. I should note that in general a guy who is aware of his bisexuality has more problems than a gay guy. For a gay guy the acceptance may be difficult but it is not a problem that lasts for a lifetime, the condition of displacement is transient, for a bisexual on the contrary is permanent and constantly lurking. A gay can build stable emotional relationships with another guy, for a bisexual such things thing are more problematic, and the relationship in the long run is still not 100% satisfactory. The guys who are consciously bisexual, which are not many, but really exist, struggle much more to find other guys with the same sexual orientation to create friendships with them. A bisexual in the reality of everyday life is not easily accepted neither among gay guys nor among the straight ones, but in any case the awareness of bisexuality really helps these guys to get rid of anxiety conditions that might otherwise be heavy conditioning.
Based on experience gained in the chat I see that many young people, in particular young people up to 21/22 y. o., are often faced with a problem: “I’m straight, gay, or bisexual?” And guys try to answer this question with conviction and permanently. The presence of masturbatory fantasies typically gay is not usually sufficient, from their point of view, to give the certainty of sexual orientation, then they try other ways, the most common, and so to say the alleged proof of the pudding is to create concrete opportunities of sexual contact with another guy in order to evaluate their own reactions in front of such situations. Typically such experiments lead to sexual disappointing that weakens even more the gay identity and creates even greater uncertainty. These sex experiments have anyway a basic flaw, because don’t come from a real affective need toward another guy but only by the desire to put yourself to the test. These sexual experiments, in the case in which are inserted into true emotional relationships (prior friendships or new affective interests characterized by substantial reciprocity and sincerity) are blocked before reaching the realization of any sexual contact because the guy who thought of implement them feels that they may be destructive with respect to the true emotional relationship on which are grafted. Often, sexual experimentation, identified as the litmus test of being gay, leads guys who live the sexuality in a strictly emotional dimension to true reactions of sexual indifference. Let me explain with a speech typical in these situations: “I had longed to see him but then when it happened I felt completely indifferent, just as if I was straight.” Well, sexuality is not a matter of mechanics. What at masturbation fantasy level seems almost obvious and easy, in the true affective couple sexuality is actually very difficult to achieve. In a previous article about sexual embarrassment I sought to show that sexual contact between two guys in love has nothing mechanical and obvious. Hesitations, uncertainties, the postponement of explicit sexuality are not signs of uncertainty of sexual orientation, show on the contrary emotional involvement which covers the whole of the person. The most typical characteristic of being gay is not technically sexual, but emotional and can be found in the deep emotional involvement that is created with respect to another guy. When a guy is deeply in love with another guy, anxiety is something usual like forms of strongly emotional waiting, the masturbation is constantly oriented toward that gay and mostly is followed by feelings of guilt. Guys deeply in love sometimes fear they can ruin everything with reckless behavior.
What I want to point out is that it makes no sense to explore deeply sexuality in order to obtain confirmations of your sexual orientation, because the very idea to test is the negation of affective sexuality. Sexual orientation emerges already quite clear from masturbatory fantasies but the guys must be aware that couple sexuality requires a considerable maturation of emotions/sexuality. Sexual orientation, whatever it is, is a manifestation of the innermost self of a person and is irreducible to patterns. Words like gay, straight or bisexual are generalizations and abstractions. What matters is the degree of acceptance of self, not the greater or lesser compliance with one or another abstract model of behavior. We must be very clear on the concept, well known to gay guys: the statistical frequency of a behavior does not define that behavior as normal in comparison to other behaviors statistically less frequent. Trying to be forcibly locked in a definition like heterosexual, gay or bisexual means to force sexuality.
Statistical models must be built on reality and not vice versa. Therefore no anxiety when we almost doubt that our sexuality cannot find a precise definition.
If you come down in detail you would see that there are between heterosexuals and gays so many different ways of conceiving and living sexuality, that you might even doubt that the abstract categories of heterosexual and gay actually have a precise meaning. Let us always remember that anxiety is the first enemy of sexuality and that what matters is real life.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=50