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Questioning Orientation at 41yrs old

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by 41confused, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. 41confused

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    Hi, All,

    I'm a married man with kids. I've identified as straight my whole life, never having had same sex attraction until about a month ago. It came up during sex with my wife. I've been encouraging her to explore her fantasy life to revive her sex life (she has been low drive for years). So, during the act, she playfully said she'd like to have a man penetrate me from behind. Long story short, I basically took that as permission to consider same sex attraction for myself. I don't think this is something I'd ever given myself permission to do prior to this, in part due to a religious upbringing and in part due to the culture in which I've existed. I'm no longer religious and am still in the process of de-converting although I've acknowledged my own atheism for a few years now.

    After a month of giving myself permission to explore my sexuality in my fantasy life and porn viewing, I'm quite confused. Watching gay porn is becoming increasingly interesting, but I still seem to prefer porn with a woman present (MMF is perhaps most preferred). My fantasy life is much more gay. Fantasizing about giving oral to and being penetrated by another man is intensely pleasurable for me. I fantasize primarily about a childhood friend who came out to me as gay maybe 7-8 years ago. When I'm out in public, my eyes still go to attractive women, but I am starting to notice attractive men more.

    I guess my questions are as follows. Is it possible that I have been gay my whole life but never allowed myself to explore my true sexuality? Can I know my true sexuality without having sex with a man? I don't think my wife would be ready for me to try that, and I want to be honest with and true to her. Any input would be greatly appreciated, as this is dominating my mind at present.
     
  2. out2019

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    Hi check out the later in life forums - there are lots of threads about that but the short answer is yes, though when most of us look back we start to remember 'signs' that we probably ignored or rationalized.

    Yes! Looking back it was more about acceptance for me. I came out to myself later in life and haven't 'done' anything yet but I am gay I don't doubt my sexuality.
     
  3. Unsure77

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    I was 41 when I finally accepted I was gay. But, like out2019 said, once I ever looked myself in the mirror and said the words it was almost like watching “The Sixth Sense” when the big plot twist happens and he runs back through previous scenes in the movie with his new knowledge. My brain started going back to all these events earlier in my life that seemed odd at the time that actually make perfect sense knowing I’m gay. (If that makes sense). Crushes I’d had as a teenager. Reactions I’d had to men. Things that had made me uncomfortable in college.

    I think I always sort of knew. It’s like it was always in the corner of my eye. I just couldn’t make myself turn my head to look at it straight on until a couple of years ago.
     
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  4. out2019

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    For many this was the single most powerful exercise you can do to 'know'. I hesitated to say the worlds. Three words. Why was I so scared? I could look the mirror and say "I am a eggplant" and I would laugh it off or disregard it. But looking to the mirror and saying "I am gay" literally changed my life. I was not prepared for the powerful rush of positive emotions. I was so powerful my knees were shaking and I and was trembling but at the same time it felt so warm and joyful!
     
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  5. Unsure77

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    It was definitely terrifying and emotional to do. I basically had a huge anxiety attack after I said it and lost 6 lbs that week. lol. But, it was a first step towards starting to heal from some things. It put me on a path towards getting healthier.

    41confused, something to hold in mind is that there's a whole lot of gray area between gay and heterosexual. Sexuality is a whole spectrum. Not everyone is purely gay or purely straight. It's possible you're pansexual or bisexual.

    I'm a lesbian, but what it seems like a lot of gay dudes on here describe (and what the admins have said is common for gay men) is thinking they were attracted to women, having the dam break and realize they're gay, and then having their attraction to women fade to nothing. If that's not what happened with you, you may be somewhere more in the middle. You might see if you can find someone's story of realizing they're bisexual/pansexual and see if that matches you more.
     
    #5 Unsure77, Jul 12, 2021
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  6. fdfsdf

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    Yup. The whole whatever attraction I had towards women fade once I really admitted to myself that I am gay happened for sure.
     
    #6 fdfsdf, Jul 12, 2021
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  7. out2019

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    Once I accepted myself and 'allowed' myself to enjoy thinking about this..... any interest in women faded very quickly.

    Yes This definitely happened to me too, never realized how much i was trying to 'force' myself to like women.
     
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  8. PatrickUK

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    Many people have latent feelings towards members of the same sex for years, but don't really make the connections, and if we've been brought up in a deeply religious family or community those latent feelings get buried even further in our subconscious. The fact that you have now moved away from that religious background and been given permission to explore these ideas and fantasies has maybe allowed room for those latent feelings to surface and begin to develop.

    So yes, it is possible that you have had same sex attraction (not necessarily gay) for many years, without giving yourself room to really think about these feelings.

    As to your second question, no it isn't necessary to have sex with another man to understand your sexuality. First time I had sex with another many was only confirming what I already knew and had worked out in my mind.

    Give yourself time and space to explore ideas and fantasies without jumping to conclusions and pay more attention to your feelings than porn. Porn isn't the most reliable indicator, no matter how much we watch.
     
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  9. 41confused

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    Thank you very much for your replies. I will definitely take a look at the Later in Life forums.

    It seems right now I'm somewhere on the bisexual spectrum. I can still enjoy sex with my wife without visualizing a man, though I often visualize her with or having been with another man. The hotwife fantasy has been big for me for maybe three years or so and is almost always present when I'm having sex with my wife. Maybe I just want to be dominated, by a man or woman? Since exploring same sex fantasies I have zero issues with "lasting" in bed. Not sure if this is due to less interest in women or prostate massage (new to me over the last few months). My wife still can't cum without a vibrator though, which does bother me. I really want to be able to please her with my penis, hands or mouth. I definitely still notice attractive women when I'm at the gym. I do notice men now, but that seems to be secondary and more select at this point. Maybe the reason the gay fantasies are so intense (with and without masturbation) is the "newness"?

    A few questions for those of you who thought you were straight for a long while but now identify as mostly gay. Were you intensely attracted to women, and did you enjoy fantasizing about and having sex with them? When you did start to acknowledge and allow your same sex attraction, how long did it take for that to develop into the dominant (or exclusive) sexual desire? I'm only four weeks into this, and a bit anxious to know where my desires will finally land.
     
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  10. I'm gay

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    Some of us had a different experience. I had no trouble identifying that I was attracted to other boys. For me the issue was the shame surrounding what I was feeling, and the need to keep it secret in my environment. This ultimately led me to bury these feelings and enter into a denial phase that lasted over 30 years.
     
  11. Engdood1

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    I assume you meant ‘intensely attracted to men’? Anyway I’ve been on my own path of discovering my true desires for a few years now. It took perhaps a year or so before I completely stopped using women in any masturbation or fantasies. It has now been several years since I have *ahem* finished when thinking of a woman or watching straight porn. I still have not been with a man however. Some of the repression and shame takes a while to shake off and it’s been hard for me to do that. I am not out to anyone and am still coming to terms with this possibility myself. I hope this helps you somewhat.
     
  12. Contented

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    Looking back honestly now I know I was not intensely attracted to women. I always thought as if something was missing. Sex seemed almost mechanical in nature. After my first sexual experience with another man I was blown away. The sensual, erotic nature of man to man intimacy was so far superior to that with a woman I was shocked. The emotions I experienced was nothing I had ever felt with a woman. The figurative and literal connection was so intense I knew right then I was gay. Within weeks my attraction to women faded to zero. The idea of being with a woman just seemed so gross and unnatural. (This was strange to me as up to that time I had only been with women) At any rate shortly there after I left my heterosexual relationship and began the process of coming out. Despite all the ups and downs my changing sexuality caused it was so so worth it. I have been living as an openly proud gay man for almost 3 years now and love every minute of living honestly without shame, any reservations or regrets.
     
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  13. 41confused

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    Thanks for your input. I really don’t recall much same sex attraction as a kid, but I do recall being attracted to plenty of girls.
     
  14. 41confused

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    I meant “intensely attracted to women”. Was that the case for you?
     
  15. 41confused

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    It sounds like you had to try sex with a man to “really” know? Sex with women has been enjoyable for me, but given my enjoyment of masturbating while thinking about men (with prostate play a bonus), I’m wondering if I would need to try it to see which I truly prefer? Probably a little early to jump to that, but that has been a thought.
     
  16. Contented

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    It is a tough situation as you have your wife to take into account. Would it be fair to do so behind her back. Can you go through the rest of your life not really knowing. Experimenting can certain give you a clear understanding of your preference of course. You may quickly find out as I did that your preference points toward gay. As you read the comments on EC, you find many of us later in lifers come to the party after heterosexual relationships and then become exclusively gay.
     
  17. 41confused

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    That's the million dollar question, I guess. I can't go behind her back. She's a good person, and I don't think I could keep that from her in good conscience. She may give me a hall pass at some point though. It's still early, so no rush here. I'm very grateful for all of your input.
     
  18. Engdood1

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    Yes and no. I felt attraction to women for sure. When I started having sex however, it was not fulfilling. I found it hard to get an erection and began to dread it with my girlfriends.
     
  19. Contented

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    This is exactly how I felt. Towards the end of my relationship with my then GF I dreaded physical intimacy of any kind with her. I could no longer get an erection let alone maintain one. I avoided all physical contact until I just had to end it. Frankly don’t miss it at all. Intimacy with another man is so much more satisfying on every level.
     
  20. 41confused

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    Checking back in on this. The gay fantasies continue and gay thoughts often intrude into daily life. I am still very confused. I know this will take time, but I really want clarity on where my true sexual identity lies. I am currently in therapy (I started prior to any sexual questioning). It seems every time after talking with my therapist I feel a little more gay. Sometimes I wonder if she wants me to be gay? That doesn't sounds terribly rational upon typing it out. Is it just that I am giving myself more permission to truly feel what I feel when I speak with her (over the phone therapy)? I'm still attracted to my wife, but is it more of an aesthetic attraction than sexual? I am starting to look at men differently, though I can't discern exactly how or why. Is it simply because this sexual questioning is occupying a lot brain space currently? Or is it a slow revealing of true same sex attraction? Am I simply bored and attracted to anything novel?

    Thank you all for your input, I greatly appreciate it.