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"Gay Adolescence" at 20

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by vrocotamy, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. vrocotamy

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    It's kind of strange for me to be posting on a "coming out" issues forum...but I feel like I'm "coming out" all over again. I came out in 2002, when I was 12, over 8 years ago...and I'm now going through what I've realized is, in regards to sex, my "gay adolescence." When I came out, it was due to being seriously, unrequited-ly infatuated with a straight best friend. This set up a really painful pattern of self-punishment in my sexuality. This was also far, far before coming out in middle school was typical...I was at the vanguard of people who discovered what we were on the Internet. People took advantage of me through middle school, and due as well to serious family issues, I was quite depressed for the beginning of high school - but also kind of delayed sexually in some senses, in terms of my fantasy life. I couldn't even think of myself being kissed or touched. When I was 16, I lost a shit-ton of weight, started achieving more, and came to realize a lot of my issues came from being gay (and a misfit in many other ways) in a small town, where my public school graduating class only had 111 people. Yet, senior year, I became hopelessly infatuated with a straight guy two years my junior, A. (well, he was in musical theater and people thought he was gay), and kind of groveled after him for a few months, to the point that it again came close to wrecking my emotional life. However, A. was the first guy I imagined actually screwing, and screwing me...I remember walking around the halls of my high school feeling completely wet. After I went to college, I broke of all contact with him, but started up again, in my own way, with a straight guy a year older than me. His girlfriend was gone that winter, and so I kind of became his "surrogate girlfriend", and looked to him for guidance a lot my first year at college. I knew my feelings for him, but was so afraid of admitting them, that I tricked myself into believing I wasn't infatuated with him. Also, my first year at college, I had my first (very drunken) kiss and making out experience, and had sex for the first time - with a guy who J. (my first year infatuation) introduced me to, and who I didn't like much - that was unprotected, and made me think I had HIV for like six months (though, thankfully, I don't.)

    The summer after my first year of college, we lived together in an apartment. The same summer, before I came back to Illinois to take classes, my father almost died. Gradually, things broke apart with me and J. over his not communicating correctly over the time I was to leave in September with the guy I was subletting from. I broke off all contact with J...and started doing well, socially, academically, professionally, and otherwise, in college. Except for that, when I tried online dating with [name of adult dating site removed] and was crushed at rejection, I started realizing some underlying conceptions I had - that I was really unlovable, horribly unattractive, and completely unable to imagine myself with a guy in the future - that I'd be alone forever. A friend of mine got me to go into "gay affirmative" therapy of a sort, and it did help me a lot to get out of the stuck place I was in - where I was afraid of moving forward without damaging my emotional security, because of all the terrible experiences I've had. I started dressing a lot more gay - wearing tight clothing, short shorts, lots of jewelry, huge sunglasses, became more confrontational in general in my life, and started doing things like asking people out and kissing some guy at a party, though. At the same time, although I stopped thinking about J. a lot (and the need to tell him how I felt about him, which I never did), I still felt like I was under a lot of emotional strain from the changes I was going through - and really alienated from everyone I knew, including my gay best friend at school, because people - especially straight people - just didn't "get" what was happening with me. I started realizing, too, how people jump to conclusions about you in every way, including friends, when you start broadcasting your sexuality more. And, I started thinking about having sex with every attractive guy I saw - it was like I was 12 again.

    The summer I was home in the NYC suburbs, I tried online dating for a bit. I had a good date, and the guy didn't call me back. I was literally walking on air after this first good date - it was like something I thought could never happen happened. And then, when he didn't call me back, I was depressed. But, then, something else happened - I tried online casual encounters for the first time. I'd been into spanking (as a sub) mentally for years, but had been ashamed to try it. But, the first time I did, on a Craigslist ad on a lark, it was fantastic - the first decent sexual experience, including oral sex, I'd ever had. So, I started meeting up with other guys for that purpose and doing ads of my own. The third guy I met, I agreed to go into a hotel conference floor bathroom with and have oral sex with. I was deeply ashamed after that, and stopped with that activity. I kept online dating via [name of adult dating site removed] and met one guy who had extensive experience with[name of adult dating site removed], and made me feel somewhat better about those experiences, although things just stayed friendly with him. I kept feeling alienated from one of my best friends at home - a girl who was in a six-year LTR, the only guy she'd ever slept with, since she was sixteen - who, again, in my perspective, "just didn't get it." At the same time, I also started hanging out in gay neighborhoods more, dressing more over the top, etc.

    I went this fall to a study abroad program in Austria. Before arriving, I posted a Craigslist ad, and once I got to Vienna, I got an [name of adult dating site removed] account. My third day there, I had amazing anal sex with a 30-year old Austrian guy...I'd known I was a bottom before, but this was superb The next Friday, I bottomed again for a German guy who responded to my Craigslist ad. I also did things like going out on dates with 35 year old guys who liked "slim, nice, cute" boys....but, I remember one time, I started sobbing when I saw this video about a quiet little boy that I related to....and knew I just wanted to stop with the dating (by now, this was on the German-language website, [name of adult dating site removed], too.) A guy I hooked up with one night refused to finish after I came, and I was totally done with it, and felt terrible about it. I came early for a language component, and the 20 other people in my program came at the end of September. I made the mistake of telling people about my September promiscuity, which has followed me through the program. For October, I was mostly all right - but, this month, it's been getting emotionally bad, and I'm realizing how difficult it is to relate to some straight people, because I feel like their experiences are so far from mine....my one good friend in the program is a girl who's only been in one relationship, and will say things like "there's so much more of a gay hook-up culture"...and since, part of this phase of my life has been speaking up constantly about anything unfair said about gay men, I get pissed at that. Moreover, my suitemate referred to something as being "so gay", and I got really pissed at him. I just feel like no one can understand how I had to go through a phase of promiscuity....and it's compounded by alternating between being chronically sexually frustrated (and toying with setting up new encounters) and deep desires to have a boyfriend. I just want this phase of my life to be over!

    Sorry for the length of this, but I was wondering if anyone else has ever been where I am before (the overpowering feelings of sexual frustration, bursts of promiscuity, feelings of alienation) in the midst of feeling relatively adult otherwise, and has some words of advice for me. Being in a foreign country with only a small group of Americans for the next two weeks, and no one who's gay, I feel very alone in some ways.
     
  2. NoLeafClover

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    That's quite the story. While I can't relate so much with your experiences, there were a few sentiments that I think my experiences mirror, as far as general feelings go. The one major point that sticks out is this disconnect between straight people and myself. When I see the relationships they're in, and I imagine the kind of relationship I want, there's just no comparison.

    It's hard not framing what I would hope to be a good relationship for me, in the context of what a "good relationship" is for straight people. It's that we don't have a lot of down to earth, real role models to show us what a healthy gay relationship is. Granted, there are some universal good things - the basics, like love, respect, trust, loyalty - but the details seem to make the whole thing a nightmare when you're so used to thinking about relationships on straight terms.

    Lately, I've been getting much more angry with people saying dumb things about gays. It's a big difference looking back, how I used to not care so much, but something in me has changed. Sexually, I'm only much more interested in actually finding someone, though I haven't experimented. My thoughts make me out to be much more promiscuous than I actually am, lol, though I'm guessing that's true for even the most outgoing of us.
     
  3. Lexington

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    I can't relate to your post personally myself. My personal "voyage of self-discovery" was pretty linear. I realized I was gay, my first few attempts to hook up with somebody didn't lead anywhere (pre-internet days), my job moved me to a small town with no gay night life, I remained celibate, I moved to a bigger city, I started dating and having sex, and now I'm partnered. To wit, I didn't have to go through much of a "what am I" period. I had no "stretches of promiscuity" (I still can count my sex partners on the fingers of my left hand), I never felt that alienated. That doesn't mean I can't empathize - it just means my story was completely different.

    That said, you're living YOUR life. Not mine, not theirs. You're not there to be the positive gay role model. You're an adult. If you want to hook up with guys (or girls) for sex, spanking, bondage, or to coat each other in pancake syrup, that's your own business. Some gay guys think I'm sexually repressed due to my lack of sleeping around, but as far as I'm concerned, I just found what worked for me. This is how I enjoy it, that's how you enjoy it, different strokes and all that.

    But yeah, the frustration thing I can relate to. Living in a small town meant no sex for two years. I wasn't happy about it, but I could accept it. I just focused on my work, and focused on making myself a better person, so once I got into a bigger city, I was happy and confident and ready to meet guys. (And yes - I jerked off a hell of a lot.) :slight_smile: And it seems to have worked really well.

    Advice? Not much to give. If you enjoy the encounters, keep playing safe and keep having them. If the people you're with "can't relate", fine - don't tell them about it. If you'd rather hold off for a while and work on getting into a relationship (eventually), that's fine, too.

    Lex
     
  4. Moonstrike

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    I dont have anything to say but I really enjoyed reading along here. Thank you.
     
  5. TheEdend

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    I don't think you HAVE to do anything. If you feel like doing it then go for it. If you don't then don't.

    I can kind of relate to the promiscuity spark(?) I seriously didn't care who I was with as long as I was with someone. Did crap I'm not proud of and then decided that it simply wasn't for me.

    If sleeping around is affecting your life then maybe you should stop. Just my thoughts.
     
  6. vrocotamy

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    The thing is, the first few times I had casual sex or participated in some form of sexual experimentation, and I enjoyed the experience, I felt amazing afterwards - like I was walking around in a trance for the next couple of days, feeling absolutely great about what happened. Really "free", if that makes any sense. I remember on my way home from the first time this past summer, I felt like all the anxiety in my life just drained away. It's after (when the guy doesn't call you back, when you start feeling guilty about it), that it starts affecting your life. And, moreover, for me, it was when, in September, I felt like I couldn't stop seeking out casual sex even though part of me wanted to. Like, the idea aroused me, and flattered me, even though part of me was kind of pained by it. Even recently, after I swore off internet casual sex in Austria completely, I found myself pursuing it one evening when I had nothing else to do and was feeling especially horny - even though, for the past couple of days, I'd been feeling really lonely about not having anyone romantic in my life...Thanks for everyone's thoughts. It's nice to work this out with people so it's not just revolving over and over again in my head.
     
  7. vrocotamy

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    If this clarifies at all, I'm not just upset about having been crazy and promiscuous. I'm upset because the hook-ups I've had, haven't made me any more or less lonely than I was before...only more aware of it. I still feel like having the reciprocal, loving romantic relationship I long for, in my heart, is just as far away as before, even if I've become sexually experienced, and, because I'm more aware of it, it makes me feel even more alienated from people who can think in terms of its possibility. I still have no clue what one does in a relationship; when I get asked questions about, say, how I would feel if someone I was dating did something vaguely unfaithful, I have no idea, no frame of reference to pull from. I don't even really feel more attractive. I'm trying to look on the bright side of my experiences: sex is very demystified for me. I also feel, honestly, that I'm not as inexperienced or un-savvy anymore in terms of what makes sparks click between two people...I've been around the block more, at least.
     
  8. TheEdend

    TheEdend Guest


    This sounds like some sort of addiction more than anything else to me. I'm not an expert or anything close to that, but thats what I'm thinking. You are treating sex like a drug; you use it to feel good whenever you are bored or lonely. But, like a drug, you are building "tolerance" to it and random sex is simply not enough anymore.

    I think its time to get some professional help to get you through this.
     
  9. Lexington

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    >>>I still have no clue what one does in a relationship; when I get asked questions about, say, how I would feel if someone I was dating did something vaguely unfaithful, I have no idea, no frame of reference to pull from.

    Well, then, I'd say somebody needs to "de-mystify" relationships the same way you had sex de-mystified. If you've interacted with other human beings, you have the groundwork upon which to understand what a romantic/sexual relationship is like. Yes, the dynamics aren't exactly the same, but the components are there. If you've ever had a friend lie to you, you have an idea as to what it feels like to have a partner lie to you. If you've ever reconnected with a friend after an absence, you have an idea what it's like when your lover comes back from a trip. It's not precisely the same, no, but it's not like it's completely alien territory.

    Lex
     
  10. vrocotamy

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    I think calling it an "addiction" is a little strong. I never felt as if I would burst without having casual sex or casual sexual encounters. Maybe when I cut it off in mid-September, a little over two months ago, I was borderline dependent on it emotionally, and it definitely had habit-forming effects. I also was able to stop following through relatively easily. Although, my cessation of "giving in" doesn't eliminate the desires to have casual sex (I've gotten pretty close via the Internet a couple of times), and the mixed feelings of excitement and self-disgust that follow from it. However, I do definitely think that I've used it as a quick fix to feelings of loneliness, and to my underlying dejection about the hopelessness of my prospects in life - it's much, much easier to find and go through with a sexual encounter, and find satisfaction, than on a date, as I discovered this summer, even if the satisfaction granted is much less deep and enduring. I'm sad, and then I'm lustful. Before my phase of using websites to arrange actual sexual encounters, I used pornography in a similar way; last year, I would watch porn (relatively hardcore) to relax and get my mind off things in bed before going to sleep quite a bit, but not to get off. The intimacy it portrayed, at a very condensed level, I think, retrospectively, was very calming to me.

    About the professional help...that's not really possible until January, but I'm planning to go back to the old therapist I was seeing last spring, who helped me quite a bit. After I left therapy due to leaving the state to go home, I got kind of "out of control" with the sexual encounters.
     
  11. vrocotamy

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    I kind of had a revelation today, and now I'm walking on air. I've known for a long time my need either for a relationship, or for sexual fulfillment, and my feeling of emptiness without it, comes from a more deeply rooted self-dislike, about all sorts of aspects of myself. Yet, I've never been sure how to change - like, I know I need to love myself, but I don't know how that works. I was kind of toying around on my laptop while bored from lecture, writing about what I want to do in December when I get back to the US from Austria in German (auf Deutsch), and eventually I started writing about how I long for a boyfriend to care for and care for me. But, it came out while I was writing that I must first learn to make myself happy with myself again - which I haven't ever been, really, but how I found a refuge in imagination in my childhood - and how I need to get back to my old loves (writing, painting, reading for pleasure, etc.) That there needs to be something in me that produces happiness. And then, while I was writing this (and I've been intermittently really low for a few days), I really believed I could be happy with myself for myself, and not just for what I achieve. I haven't actually, firmly, in my heart believed that in a very long time, even as I've achieved so much in school, socially, professionally, etc. And then, I felt really overjoyed-ly happy with myself - like I really liked myself, and it wasn't an issue of comparison to others, and everything would be all right because of that. Although it's obviously going to take more work in the long run, all the dissatisfaction I've tried to work out in casual sex brought me to this myself - that it is just as simple, in many ways, as loving yourself. And only then will I have the kind of relationship I want. Thanks for listening to me about this and for your help!
     
  12. Miss Bubbles

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    I wen through this and still am. I am only seventeen. This is harder because i can't do the things you can lol. I find that when i think of my self as wantable and sexy it helps because i have had a boyfriend every year they may be different ones often time but they are boyfriends non the less. Plus some are long relationships some are short. It sucks with the ariability. But you have to put up with that to get to the good stuff.
     
  13. Lexington

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    >>>That there needs to be something in me that produces happiness.

    The thing is - there is. And it's innate in all of us. It doesn't matter how many trophies you've won, or how high you get your salary (although if that floats your boat, great). Everybody has things that bring them joy. And it doesn't matter if it's mountain climbing, or baking pizzas, or cup stacking, or writing Harry Potter fanfiction. If that's what you like, then like it. Love it. And love loving it. You don't need to flag down strangers to read your latest fanfic, necessarily, but don't feel the need to hide it. It's not an either/or proposition. All my friends know about the sometimes-oddball things I do for fun, and even though most don't share those likes, they accept them. Because they know I enjoy them. :slight_smile:

    Lex