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Can you help me with my sexual identity?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Engdood1, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Engdood1

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    Hello I am a new user. I have been confused with my sexuality for a number of years now but am too scared of the repercussions if I experimented with a man. I’m 39 and honestly never seriously thought I could be gay until maybe 4 years ago or so. I still don’t think I am but I constantly fantasise about men. I have a girlfriend but have real trouble with performance in the bedroom and have done with all the women I’ve been with. Can anyone give me advice? Does this mean I’m gay? Thank you.
     
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  2. masterofnone

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    when you masturbate without porn what do you think about?
     
  3. Engdood1

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    Hello. I masturbate thinking about one of my friends that kind of hinted that he likes me in that way. Or I think about another good looking guy I know or make up a story in my head about having sex with a man. I would say it’s been about 6 or 7 years since I’ve thought about a woman when masturbating.
     
  4. QuietPeace

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    Welcome to EC.

    These are pretty good clues that you are likely attracted to men and thus possibly bisexual or gay.

    These things might be clues that you are not really attracted to women and thus might be gay. Are you attracted to women that you see? Has the performance trouble always been there? Is it different at the beginning of relationships and possibly just due to the natural drop off that occurs in longer relationships? Was your background highly heteronormative with a lot of shaming that might have caused you to repress?
     
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  5. Engdood1

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    Yes very much so. Basically just casual homophobia but in a way I don’t know if I could ever come out if I really am gay.
    I find women attractive when I’m out and about and look at them. When it comes to sex though I have always had a problem. I get aroused when we kiss but when we take our clothes off I lose it, or if not quite often lose it while in the act. It happens on one night stands as well so I guess the answer is no to the last bit.
    Similar to other people here I don’t look at men in a sexual light when I’m out in the ‘real world’ which is something that confuses me.
     
  6. QuietPeace

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    This could mean that you are gay but repressing it. Have you tried therapy?

    Well, there are plenty of men who do look at other men. (as well as women who look at women, I do) You could try this as a first step in exploring your identity more.
     
  7. Engdood1

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    I have never been to therapy but it’s probably a good idea. Maybe when I’m next out I’ll look at guys in a different way and see what happens. The gym is the only place I catch myself staring at a guy in that way.
     
  8. Chip

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    Reading the above, I concur with QuietPeace, though I'd be a little more resolute. While at the end of the day, nobody but you can know what's inside your head, what I take away from the above posts is
    • At least for the last 5 years most or all of your non-porn masturbatory fantasies are about guys
    • You consistently have problems with arousal when having sex with your wife, but not when you are masturbating
    Now, looking at those alone, it's pretty hard to make any credible argument you're straight.

    Let's look at a second at this:
    So most gay men can look at a woman and notice she's attractive. Think Tim Gunn on Project Runway, for example. He's as gay as they come, but he sees the beauty in the women he dresses for the runway. But there's a huge difference between finding women attractive and imagining or wanting to have sex with them.

    If you never find yourself imagining the attractive women you see as sexual partners -- and that seems likely, given what you've said about your masturbation fantasies, then it's really hard to make a credible argument that you're straight or even bi.

    I second QuietPeace's idea to spend time when you are out and about looking at both men and women, and see what doing either does for you. Think about them as sexual partners. Try the same thing when masturbating: think of having sex with your wife (or another female you find super attractive), and then, maybe in a separate session, think about a guy you find attractive. Usually you'll get a pretty strong indication that one is much stronger than the other in terms of arousal.

    One other thing you could try: Simply take a day or two and pretend that you have already accepted that you are gay, and made the decision to be OK with that. Spend your day imagining how it feels to be gay. Go out and look at guys and think about them in a sexual way. Masturbate thinking that you're gay. See how it feels. And then compare that to your current day-to-day where you think of yourself as probably straight. Which feels more authentic? Which feels like the real you?

    This isn't to say that pretending your gay will necessarily feel comfortable. You've got years of convincing yourself you're straight, so if you aren't, then you're likely to feel anxiety (you may feel anxiety just from the answers you're getting in this thread.) That's normal, because factual information is contradicting what you have experienced and thought about yourself, and that's going to cause a fundamental shift in how you view yourself. As we confront any loss (in this case, loss of self-perception as straight), there are stages we go through: denial-anger-bargaining-depression-acceptance. They aren't always sequential -- one can go back and forth -- and they can take minutes or months (or longer) to go through. But (assuming that the messages you are getting in this thread are correct), likely as you begin to process things, you'll find yourself experiencing these things.

    If you do find that your primary attraction is to men, the next step is... what do you do with that information? I don't recommend acting on it without first figuring out what's up with your marriage and being authentic with your wife. You don't need to have sex with a guy to know you're gay. But if you do get to the point of figuring out you're gay, then you need to think about what this means for your marriage, and you'll need to have a discussion with your wife about that. But all that can come later, once you have a clearer picture of where you stand.
     
  9. Engdood1

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    Great post. Thank you.
     
  10. Engdood1

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    This could be where maybe I’ve eroticised the whole thing. Just imagining that I am gay makes me aroused. Not to be too graphic but my erections and ejaculations are way more powerful if I am imagining I am gay and thinking about men. I figured that’s because in my mind it’s taboo in some way and that explains it but what do you think? Thanks.
     
  11. QuietPeace

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    It really does not sound like you are straight.
     
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  12. Engdood1

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    I know it sounds terrible but that scares the life out of me. I haven’t told you everything yet either.
     
  13. QuietPeace

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    I understand, being cisgender and heterosexual is so much easier.

    Share as much as you are comfortable with. People here are supportive so it is safe. Besides, no one knows who you are IRL so that makes it even safer.
     
  14. Engdood1

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    Well, one thing I’ve been doing to help my performance with my girlfriend was to pretend she is a man when I have sex with her and it worked. She even commented on how hard I had stayed throughout.
    I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to discuss here but basically my fantasies involve being a sub for a man. During masturbation I use toys on myself and am able to orgasm from that, so I basically haven’t even touched my penis in a year or so. Sorry if this is tmi but for some reason feels good to get off my chest.
     
  15. QuietPeace

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    That is not inappropriate here. I have no idea what the fantasies with your girlfriend means.
     
  16. Engdood1

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    Apologies. Can’t seem to delete it. This may seem ridiculous now but I had read that what you fantasise about and your actual sexual identity can be very different things and I figured that perhaps that was the case with me and I was just somewhat adventurous or unusual in my private moments.
     
  17. QuietPeace

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    They can be very different. The fantasies that I need to masturbate are things that I would never consider doing in real life.
     
  18. WindyMom

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    Perhaps you are bisexual? Figure out who you are first before putting a label on it.
     
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  19. Engdood1

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    Thanks for your answer. It’s very deep and actually quite hard to implement!
     
  20. Engdood1

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    Thank you to everyone for commenting. I think I have taken whatever fantasies I have too far, and am going to try and embark on a period of abstinence from masturbation or fantasising of any kind. Hopefully this will help me reset to some extent and clear my mind because I still feel quite confused at present. Once again, thank you everyone.