my name is [omissis] and I’m writing to tell you about a few things that happened in a quite transitional period of my life.I’m warning you right now that these are rather personal considerations that should be taken with the proper detachment and lucidity because probably they are not very common. I begin by telling you that I’m 24 years old and around 15 I started to think about being gay. I was a boy rather lonely and insecure, full of fears and phobias that prevented me from living so carefree as everyone else.
The answer to all these discomforts seemed to be only one, homosexuality, a feature with which I tried to justify my diversity and, at the same time, to meet needs that I could not satisfy in any other way. With the awareness of being gay, having a huge need to give and receive affection, I have been for years looking for a human contact. From the beginning I realized that the majority of gays were different from me, both for the sex-centrism and some effeminacy of their features, so through sex-chats and dating-sites I was moving in search of another guy, gay in a different way.
What is really amazing is that with perseverance and intuition I really met people like that, but in live meetings almost always something was missing. Although I often felt psychologically satisfied by acquaintances and friendships (what in my normal living environment had not happened yet) nevertheless a real transport always was always missing to allow me to physically love another man.
I arrived to do something anyway, but I never felt really satisfied and was always looking for excuses about it, I would blame the circumstances of the moment, or it was something about my partner that did not convinced me, or even I thought I might have some sexual physical problems, but the reality was probably quite different. Over the years, I felt that something important was not working because I had not a physical response such as to justify a certain kind of inclination, and so, while in the life of every day I was gaining more and more security overcoming many of my problems, in the same time emotionally and sexually I continued to have huge doubts.
Only recently I’m increasingly realizing that, most likely, the search for another man was nothing more than a desperate attempt to get me to be accepted by someone else in a period already perceived as problematic as adolescence. It’s hard to admit these things, and it is even harder to have understood that I was moving in the wrong direction until a short time ago, but I have identified a number of issues that led me on a path rather than another.
Let me be clear, I do not regret anything in my past, I did what I felt to do so and I am convinced that there are no boundaries so clear in terms of sexual orientation, but I’m realizing that putting apart my old doubts I’m not as gay as I had taken for granted. The thing is obviously destabilizing and it is not easy now to make the final step towards this new awareness.
I have some good friends to whom I confided something before and even now and no one but them knows about me nevertheless no one of them would think that I have had pseudo gay experiences, perhaps gay feelings, yes, but never gay real sexual experiences. Among other things, usually girls fall in love with me and, even if I never had sex with girls, I admit that in this period, beyond my wondering why and how so many things happened, I start to feel a certain interest toward girls that somehow attract me and at the same time scare me …
I do not know why I tell you all this, I realize that it’s also quite difficult to condense years of life and feelings in a few lines, to tell the truth I fear it is difficult to understand my story trough a single email, but I feel the need to express my experience and maybe hear your opinion. If you decide to publish this email please omit my name. I wish you a Merry Christmas, a greeting and thanks for reading.
I begin by thanking you for wanting to contribute to the discussion of issues concerning homosexuality with your own personal testimony. I will try to answer on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project.
First of all you’re certainly not the only one to feel moments of sexual disorientation. Based on what you say there are two fundamentally different interpretative hypotheses. Let’s start with the first.
You could not really be gay and your pseudo-gay orientation may have been caused by the need to identify a specific and well defined reason for many uncomfortable situations that maybe had nothing to do with being gay. You used to consider yourself as a quite different gay guy because your life was not polarized around sex and because you are not effeminate (note that the equation “effeminate=gay” is wrong in almost all cases). You searched among gays for someone like you and you have not found, this led you to think that maybe you were not really gay, also because in a homosexual intercourse you always felt a substantial dissatisfaction.
This is a possible hypothesis, of course, but to support this hypothesis, we would need more evidence. If next to your search for another guy like you in a gay chat room, feeling a sense of sexual dissatisfaction, I don’t say you tried to woo a girl, but you just masturbated thinking about a girl and in this case with a real sexual satisfaction, well in this case the hypothesis would have been more concrete.
Sexual orientation is demonstrated not through the couple’s behaviors but through the sexual desires and through the sexual fantasies that accompany masturbation. I should add that the very fact of searching insistently in chat for gay guys who could feel like you, putting aside for years the hypothesis of heterosexuality, suggests that you have not a really straight sexual orientation.
You could tell me that there’s bisexuality, but the true bisexuality in some cases alternates long periods of exclusively gay sexuality with long periods of exclusively heterosexual sexuality or in other cases leads the live together in a satisfactory manner both heterosexual sexuality and gay sexuality, if not in the couple’s relationship at least through masturbation, which is not oriented in a single direction and is rewarding in both directions.
Frankly, reading your e-mail, that anyway offers little evidence to get a concrete idea of the situation, the interpretative hypothesis that came to my mind is another.
I often see gay guys who are looking for easy answers to their emotional needs, denying that they are really true emotional needs and transposing everything in terms of sexuality. In this way, these guys convince themselves that they “must” find as soon as possible the solution to their problem, which is essentially the fact that they do not have a boyfriend to live a sexual experience with, then they start a frantic search for that boyfriend to finally break the ice and try. For them the guy is not a guy to love but a way to solve their own problem.
On this basis, through sex chats so many guys start a series of sexual experiences, almost always unsatisfactory, but in fact they neglect the only thing that matters, i. e. the building of a deep emotional bond. I’m not surprised at all that those who have lived the experience of being gay through a sex chat, at the end, do not feel at all satisfied, but those things have very little to do with homosexuality “as it should be”, that is lived at deep emotional level. I often say that being gay does not mean have sex with a guy but fall in love with a guy.
When we fall in love there is obviously a physical and sexual basis but it is far from exhausting the full meaning of being in love. If gay sexuality is lived with a guy who you love and who loves you, then it has really a deep communicative value because it has a strong affective valence, that is not a way to solve your problems through an experience in which the other, after all, is not the essential element, on the contrary is a way to love, to understand and realize the needs of the other, in respect even of his fears of his timing and of his reluctance.
Maybe it’s true that the your way to see life is not centered on sexuality, nevertheless your mail ends up to focus only on sexuality “as a problem”, the true problem is that misses the essential element, the emotional one, what lacks is the true falling in love, both for a guy or for a girl.
The real world is not that of gay dating sites but that of the real and reciprocal affective relationships that grow over time and it is the experience of the gay “emotional” world that you’re missing, it’s living with a guy a real emotional falling in love. Keeping account of the sexual dissatisfaction you have experienced in your gay intercourses and of the lack of gay deep affective relationships, it is obvious that you are looking for “solving the problem” in the straight field.
But I have to tell you something else, I have spoken often recently with a guy who had lived gay experiences and then ended up returning to exclusive heterosexuality. Well, when that guy was talking about his girlfriend did it with enthusiasm and emotional involvement that left no doubt that, despite the gay experiences, that guy was straight: being straight does not mean having sex with a girl but falling in love with a girl and that guy was really in love.
Of course, in making my second hypothesis, according to which you would primarily be a gay disappointed in his expectations of affective reciprocal involvement, which has known only places where it is extremely unlikely to create personal relationships on a real affective base, and is now escaping towards heterosexuality, I rely primarily on analogies with apparently similar situations I met in Gay Project, but of course I miss the concrete elements in order to understand something more. But I would not take for granted now that you’re discovering your true straight sexuality because it would seem rather that you’re running away from a series of negative experiences in the gay field. If you found a guy who truly loved you and whom you loved, do you think that living with that guy, sharing with him all aspects of life, including sexuality, not only as an experience but as a form of love, would still be unsatisfactory? I think not.
A hug. Happy holidays!