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Can your orientation change over time?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Mysteria, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. Mysteria

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    When I started having same sex desires i was also having opposite sex desires. I was married 18 years to a man and for most of the marriage was sexually attracted to him, but even in the marriage I noticed that over time my same sex desires and fantasies were increasing, and now, I can't even picture being with a guy, I have no opposite sex desires or fantasies whatsoever. I'm a 4 on the Kinsey scale.
    I call myself bisexual because I can't say that I spent my entire married life faking it- there was honest sexual/romantic desire there. But it almost feels weird to say bisexual when I now have no attraction to men. Can your orientation change over time? Or is it something else?
     
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  2. ThatBorussenGuy

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    Yes, orientation can be fluid. People will solidly identify one way for most of their life and then one day realize they're, say, a lesbian, whereas for most of their life they thought they were straight. That's been documented.
     
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  3. DecentOne

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    Yes, I believe there can be a change, especially in the Kinsey 1-5 range. As I became aware that I needed to switch my label to “bisexual” (formerly identified as “straight”), I came across some reference material from the late 20th century which suggested a couple point shift on the Kinsey scale had been observed among some in the populations being observed. There is more study now, mostly on women, showing fluidity.

    I don’t find our current concepts and vocabulary to be a perfect fit. Bisexual works for me.
     
  4. TrevinMichael

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    Yes I would say so.

    My life took many turns.

    for me this is true
     
  5. Chip

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    There's little to no credible evidence that sexual orientation actually changes over time.

    What does commonly happen is people can remain in denial for a very long time about same-sex attraction, and thus, when something eventually happens that pierces the denial, all the feelings come flooding out, and it appears that sexual orientation is changing. But in fact, it isn't really changing; it's just that all the energy protecting the current belief and rejecting the unconscious core reality eventually gives way, and creates the perception that the orientation has actually changed, when all that's really happened is that we've gotten in touch with our core self.
     
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  6. Lexa

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    No, although I think bisexuals do not necessarily stay the same number on the Kinsey Scale. Our orientation can not be changed but I think it can be slightly influenced (for example a 3 ends up being a 4 or a 2) contrary to that of gay and straight people. I have a whole theory around it actually.
    I also think most people are bisexual but not all of us! When different genes and hormone influences come into play it is very likely that most of us but not all of us are bisexual (because to be straight or gay the genes and hormones have to point in the same direction!). When different genes play a role and point in different directions the environment also could have an influence but it would only be a slight influence. It's not a proven theory but I think it's a plausible one.
     
  7. Nickw

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    I don't know that our core sexuality changes. I think @Chip explanation makes sense.

    But, that doesn't mean that as a bisexual you don't have the ability to have one part of your sexual orientation FEEL stronger due to stimulation unique to that part. In my case I am attracted to a limited number of men. If they didn't exist my same sex desires would be limited to fantasies and easily ignored.

    It could be that having a loving relationship with your husband stimulated your opposite sex desires and they need that?

    I do find it interesting that we never discuss how a bisexual could just as well be repressing opposite sex attractions as same sex attractions.
     
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  8. alwaysforever

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    This is one of those things that can be very confusing, especially for women, who are told constantly what they supposedly should want.

    Does it matter if your sexuality has changed or not as long as you know what you want at present? More importantly, if you don't want to be with a guy now, does who you were with in the past matter? If you know what you want to be happy, don't let doubt prevent you from pursuing that.
     
  9. JToivonen

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    That makes it all harder for me to come out. Since I'm in a straight marriage, I keep thinking "okay, now I'm gay...so what if I turn back straight in the future?". Right now I honestly want out, but the fear of regretting it later (not to mention all the other fears, plus guilt, plus internalized homophobia) keeps holding me back.
     
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  10. Zerak

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    I'd say yes given the poster right bellow yours, people with OCD that makes them question their orientation, as the existence of camps that exist for the sole purpose of trying to invoke changes in someones orientation. Now it might seem like that it given that people studying this 'fluidity' still call it unchangeable but if it can happen on it's own than it comes with the in built implication that it can be induced which is something I think people need to be very careful letting happen... or even in the case of the poster bellow you could have someone ending up afraid to accept their feelings on the off chance that they'll turn back because if it can happen once it can happen again, and why loose out on a loving relationship when you can just wait it out and be attracted to your partner again? Why even seek out a partner in the first place if even when both of you do everything right they'll just randomly change and not be able to love you, why do it when you could just randomly change and not love them any more?

    That's not to say bisexual people can't have shifting preferences but chances are that's a built in feature of it's own, but I have agree with Chip because I can tell from personal experience that this sort of information can ruin someone in the head badly and people need to be very careful about making sure that the information is accurate before they start pushing things like this.... I've been tortured by own head for months on one account of this misinformation and still am suffering from it.
     
    #10 Zerak, Jul 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  11. IslandMama

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    Hi, there's an excellent book on this topic called Sexual Fluidity by Lisa Diamond. She did a long term study of women, and concluded that fluidity was definitely a thing, and furthermore, it almost always increased to expand the range of possibilities the woman was into.

    Food for thought! Good luck to you
     
  12. Chip

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    Rest assured, as I said above, there's no credible evidence (nor is there any significant amount of anecdotal evidence) to indicate that people "turn gay" and then turn back. It simply doesn't happen.

    As for Lisa Diamond... she is literally the *only* person claiming any research supporting her ideas, they have not been replicated by other researchers, and her work is not considered credible by most professionals. Her work is also really widely misconstrued and misquoted.

    The common thread here is people who identify as straight early in life, and later discover that they have same-sex attraction which either joins with their opposite-sex attraction or eclipses it. This isn't actually flluidity; it was always there, as I said above, it just was deeply buried under layers of denial and suppression as a result of messages from organized religion, media, parents, and others. And it confuses people because it looks like fluidity... and it needlessly upsets people like yourself who fear that "it's a phase" and they'll one day wake up and not feel the same-sex attraction that they've suppressed for so long.

    The credible research actually doesn't show this at all. It gets really tiring having to constantly refute bogus research, but unfortunately, these people get a platform and manage to convince people who don't take the time to deeply look into the work.
     
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  13. JToivonen

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    Even though I rationally understand that, I'm right now stuck in life - I'm too merged into sadness, wanting to live like a gay man but scared to death to break free, afraid of regretting it later - and ending up lonely, anger and filled with anguish.

    So right now I feel desperate, wishing to die.
     
  14. Benway

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    So wait, gender can be fluid but not sexuality? That doesn't seem very... politically correct for lack of a better term. I was very attracted to girls when I was young. Hell, I even had sex with a girl. But now I don't think much of women, sexually. These days I'm practically asexual, I haven't had sex in almost two years and I have no real drive to have sex. I masturbate, but mainly for the dopamine that keeps me going in between psychiatric medications. I feel like sexuality can be fluid.
     
  15. Zerak

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    From what I understand transgender people, including non binary folks aren't actually chaning their gender so much as making it so their biological bodies look more like their acrual gender. A transboy was always a boy they just had a mismatch that gave them a female biologil sex. Even with nin binary folks that aspect of them it probably hardwise o far as actual attraciton goes, though I can say anything about people that choose the laber for other reason.

    edit: Oh right currently on anxiety meds so if my spelling ain;t up to stuff the drawseymness is da reasin,
     
    #15 Zerak, Jul 20, 2019
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  16. Chip

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    The position of those who seem to set the tone on such things is that gender is a social construct; it is how people dress and identify. So someone can identify and present in a masculine way one day, and a feminine way the next, and an ambiguous way the next. That's entirely in the realm of personal perception and expression.

    Sexual orientation, on the other hand, is more hardwired; this is evidenced by the voluminous studies and the large metastudy that APA commissioned some years ago when coming to terms with the ridiculous "reparative therapy" movement promoted by ignoran Christian bigots. The APA study, looking at every credible study in the past 60 years (and included some of questionable credibility) was pretty unequivocal: There's no way to change sexual orientation, and it is usually harmful to attempt to do so. Thus, gender and sexual orientation, while easily confused, are completely different.
     
  17. Benway

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    Gender seems pretty hardwired to me. I don’t see how having exclusively male parts couldn’t be considered hardwired. This is why I don’t get involved with the whole transgender thing, I always sound ignorant because I have a more conservative stance on it. I don’t understand how turning one’s penis inside out makes them a woman. It seems like make believe to me. On the other hand I think of sexuality as something than could change because it’s not hardware like genitalia. Sexuality seems more like software, it’s in your brain, in your thoughts, not hardwired to your body.
     
  18. Kwekie

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    Yeah this was my experience. Started off thinking I was straight and attracted to women, denying my attraction to men. Gradually I came to terms I was attracted to men and acknowledged I was bi, only to realize as my internalized homophobia fell away that I was never really attracted to girls at all. All of my opposite sex fantasies the women were just a place holder for me having sex with a man, or thinking about a kink more broadly [domination/submission].
     
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  19. Zerak

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    You brain is far more hardwired than you'd think it (Who you are attracted too appears to be one of these hardwired aspects) is and the few things that can ten to involve learning (the parts of your brain responsible for that appear to be among the most plastic) recovering from damage (The girl born with half her brain who survived anyway.) as well the strengthening of some pathways (Like serotinin in OCD sufferors) I have never heard anything that the major structures believed to be responsible for either sexual orientation or gender identity are among limited parts of the brain capible of change. In reality it may be better not gender being

    A better way to put this Biological sex is in the genitalia but your gender is in the brain (and just as inflexible) and the two don't always match u because the parts responsible for gender identity and how you think of yourself are in the brain and not the genitals.
     
  20. Kwekie

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    With that being said, why is it the case that the self perception of a particular identity should be considered coterminous with it being the case? Is the only thing inherent to being a woman is thinking that its so? How does one think oneself a female if the definition is that ambiguous? Surely there is something to the 'experience' of having a female or male body? I know in neurological terms there are differences between men, women, straight, gay, and transgendered, and none of these are synonymous with one another. Likewise the personal experience of being a female from birth versus the experience of a gradual realization of body dysmorphia and the attendant psychological/personal exploration of what that means, they're very different experiences. All together I think the -unless im mistaken?-- indian notion of transgendered people being something akin to a third gender is probably more accurate.
     
    #20 Kwekie, Jul 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
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