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Fantasy Vs Reality

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bastion, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Bastion

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    Everyone has sexual fantasies now and again. But transitioning from a place of imagination to actually following through on your desires can be different or some what tricky in reality. And I wonder how can one differentiate between it and full blown desire?

    Also is a fantasy similar in that way to a kink or a fetish?

    Why is it that sometimes we think a fantasy is more compelling than the actual reality of things.

    And If someone fantasizes about people of a different gender than they usually partner with, does that mean that they are trying to come out as bisexual or gay or is it just out of curiosity or a phase?
     
  2. out2019

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    I struggled a lot with this and still do. I did find this book helpful:

    Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies
    By Michael J. Bader

    Some fantasies are clearly not meant to be acted out - ones that cause harm for example - and some can't - some people have fantasies that cannot happen in reality. Others are the brain's way of allowing someone to enjoy sex.

    only you can answer but a good place to start would be how often the same sex fantasy is, how long it's been going on and how intense compared to others.
     
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  3. Nickw

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    @Bastion

    I think fantasies can be a way of "test driving" our desires. So, fantasizing of having sex with a man may not mean you are gay or even bisexual. But, when these fantasies become frequent, or you find that these fantasies are as powerful, or more so, than when you fantasize about opposite sex intimacy, then you, probably, should consider where they are coming from. It is highly possible (maybe likely) that you are not straight. With that said, some of us just need to try things out. I've met one person who was open enough to say he tried sex with a guy and it was not for him although he enjoyed it. He just never felt the desire to do it again.

    I wonder if a better indicator is to listen to your gut. For me, when I meet the type of guy that catches my eye, there is almost not a sexual fantasy at all. It is more like a hunger than anything else. There is not a conscious thought like "hey he's hot". It's just there.

    In your heart of hearts. Have you had that feeling for another man?
     
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  4. Bastion

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    Yes, I have. In the way that he’s attractive, good looking and handsome. It’s confusing in a way. I don’t necessarily immediately think about sex. For me chemistry, common interests and mutual attraction has to come first. I have had people in my life, that were there for different reasons, guys and girls, none of them were clear to me. Their intentions were not clear, I sort of kept receiving mixed signals, and I didn’t know what to make of them. Maybe i can be hard on myself and tend to analyze things or self analyze. When I get that way. It’s hard to make sense of what is real and what is just a fantasy. I get stuck in my head. Like should I act on it. Or maybe I shouldn’t and it will pass on it’s own.
     
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  5. Bastion

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    Also recently I came across two authors that caught my attention. Joe korts and Fritz Klein. Am reading up on that to know more about different kinds of sexuality, identity, and orientation. Am usually a very curious person by nature and whatever the matter is i like to know more about it to understand where my thoughts are coming from? What do they mean? Maybe then it would help me to reach a decision or to act on it. It would give more of an affirmation and certainty. Or maybe logic and reasoning doesn’t have to do with it. I should just go with my feelings or what my guy tells me?
     
  6. NotTooLoud

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    How long have you had the fantasies?

    For me, in started in high school. Later, I got married (to a woman) and blah blah blah.

    If you started in HS or junior HS, YOU ARE GAY! Sorry, but you are.

    I love you, and you are gay, and it's okay.
     
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  7. Spartan 117

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    That's a difficult one to answer, because it depends on the nature of what you call fantasy. There's the idle thought of "I wonder what this would be like" or perhaps it's more like "the thought of this is exciting/appealing to me and I think I'd enjoy it". While everyone has passing thoughts, I think if it's the latter - it does seem to hint that you might not be 100% straight. Bear in mind that not all bisexual people feel the same level of attraction for both genders. It's okay to say you "mostly like women" or "mostly like men". Of course, nobody can tell you exactly what your sexuality is - you know yourself better than anyone else, and it's up to you how you describe your own thoughts and feelings.

    The "curiosity" and "phase" thing is interesting. People do experiment with their sexuality to get to know themselves better, it's true. I'm open minded, but in my experience I have never encountered someone for which bisexuality/homosexuality was a phase. You might discover more about your own sexuality as you go through life: but it never really changes or goes away.

    Truthfully, almost all LGBT folks are in the same boat. While there are many theories about why sexuality is the way that it is, nothing has been proved definitively. It makes it very frustrating for someone with a scientific brain to wrap their head around. But nobody can really say for sure what your sexuality is, there isn't a test for it, and it's different for everyone! Sometimes not everything falls into a neat box - and all you can do is follow your heart towards whatever and whoever makes you happy.

    You're right to point out that when you have these feelings, they don't just go away. However, of course this is based purely on your own experience - the OP might not be gay necessarily! Sexuality is a broad spectrum and he could be anywhere on that spectrum.

    It's good to read other's experiences, do research and some soul searching - but at the end of the day, only you can say where your attractions lie. Just remember that it can take time, and to be kind and patient with yourself while you figure it all out!
     
    #7 Spartan 117, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  8. Bastion

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    Thanks for your input. Well put view on things. I agree it can frustrating and distressing at times I think mainly because of society’s negative views on anything they call “not the norm” or heteronormative. Most people don’t know about the spectrum but it exists. Also i believe the nature of people to change over time maybe is also valid.

    I mentioned the “the phase” because someone in this forum was talking about “the bi cycle” I don’t what that is. But maybe what they are referring to or what they mean is sexual fluidity.

    Maybe we are complicating things for ourselves. With labels and boxes. And figuring out what is what and who is what. When in reality things are simpler than that. Like we have a basic human need that we need to fulfill whether it was sexual or romantic and that can be with whoever is in alignment with our need at that particular time.


    Anyway, this is what I was thinking about today.
     
  9. don72tx

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    I agree as NickW said that fantasies are a way of test driving your desires. I know that for myself years ago, even after I had been sexual with other men, that i often had homoerotic fantasies. Sometimes they were scary because at that time the thought of being gay did scare me because it was so unaccepted and even potential dangerous to be so. In others though i could see how i felt to be with a man in more than a sexual way and that was helpful. I do believe that one's sexuality can be fluid and for myself that is very true. At times i have felt only minimal attraction to men and other times I have felt 100% into a man. i know that sometimes, even often, one's fantasy of something can turn out to be far better than the reality. I do know that when i met that 'right' guy what i had with him was so much more than any fantasy i had even had. It wasn't just sexual, it was romance and yes love. For the time we were together i was so totally into him and desiring him that nothing else mattered. Unfortunately i messed that all up and lost him to my eternal regret. I know i wandered some on this, but it just spilled out.
     
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  10. Bastion

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. No you didn’t wander. I also agree with nickw. But the real barrier here doesn’t just lie with fantasies or enacting them or for that matter living your truth whatever it is. It’s is little more complicated than that because we don’t live in a bubble. And a lot of people are judgmental and not accepting because they don’t understand The complicated nature of sexuality.
     
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  11. out2019

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    I am curious about that too - I sometimes wonder if its levels of anxiety and loneliness - but the cyclical nature of the desire make it harder to maintain progress- it can feel like going in circles and also makes denial (which doesn't feel like denial when you're in it and for some it may not be)
     
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  12. Chip

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    I have a lot of respect for Joe Kort, and recommend his book "Ten Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find REal Love" (quite a mouthful, even though the book has very little to do with finding love). That said, Joe is a clinician, not a researcher, and so some of his viewpoints would probably not hold up to scrutiny. One of the issues the LGBT field is facing that is pretty serious is that opinion and groupthink is starting to become as accepted as actual replicatable studies and research, and when we allow this to happen, we run the serious risk of completely losing a factual basis for much of anything. This is already happening with things like the (nonexistent) separation between romantic and sexual orientations, 5000 different genders, etc. So I suggest, if you want reliable information that can help you make sense of the world, that you be discerning about what you buy into. I'm not offhand familiar with Fritz Klein, but I'll look him up.

    Fantasies are in many cases related to hardwired orientation; for a guy who masturbates constantly thinking about guys, and finding that those fantasies arouse him, that's pretty solid evidence that he's attracted to men. It's not just fantasy for the hell of it if it is creating arousal. Other fantasies, such as specific scenarios (being tied up, imagining hookups in a locker room, or having sex outside and getting caught, or any of a million others) are not tied directly to sexual orientation, but usually have some root in some memory or experience or cue we had earlier in life that has imprinted as a memory that created some sort of arousal or excitement at the time.

    But what isn't particularly helpful when we start trying to split gnat hairs and look at fantasies as a way of avoiding acknowledgement of where our sexual orientation lies. All that really does is fuel denial, which, while I suppose there's no real harm to it, just slows the path to self-acceptance.
     
    #12 Chip, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  13. Nickw

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    @Chip

    Not to confuse the issue here. But, doesn't every action of a sexual nature start with a fantasy? If we don't imagine doing something, then how do we do it? So, we know that gay men can have sex with a woman and often marry and have active sex lives. One of my friends is "gay plus one" and really does desire sex with his wife. The fantasy that creates the appetite for sex does not make him straight. And, I'm not sure he would consider himself bisexual because, in general, he is not attracted to women. But, when we hear of a guy who has the same fantasies about sex with another guy, we, automatically, assume he is bisexual and maybe even gay.

    When do we cross the line with a fantasy and know that the fantasy is a manifestation of our sexuality and not some sort of curiosity that we find erotic? I know that for me, I dismissed the fantasies as a "kink" and that did prevent me from accepting my sexuality. So, I totally relate to your last paragraph. But, for others I wonder if that is always the case?
     
    #13 Nickw, Aug 4, 2020
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  14. out2019

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    Yeah I tried to rationalize it for a long time I guess the word 'fantasy' was the problem - my fantasies really are desires. And I begin to understand 'hard wired' my desire to be with a man sexually and romantically flow so easy and it seems so easy to visualize and imagine the pleasures - where with women it seems remote
     
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  15. Bastion

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    Thanks chip. What you are saying makes sense and makes one look at things more clearly. So i actually hit a road block awhile back and I find myself kind of stuck and questioning. I have reached an understanding that am different that am not completely straight. I tried to reach out to a couple of people from the lgbtq community in my area. But that hasn’t really helped. Or ended well. The judgment, negativity that included name calling that I received from the straight people also played a part. And in the end I was left with “ You are either one way or the other” from both sides. So am back to ground zero so to say.

    But I guess what bothers me the most is the negativity and judgmental attitude from people. Any advice on how to deal with that for starters?
     
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  16. LaraB

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    I guess a fantasy is something that turns you on in imagination but you might or might not want to do in real life, and is pretty common. I guess once you act on it it stops being a fantasy.

    A kink in a non-convention sexual practice or arousal - you can't put same-sex attraction in here, it's not non-conventional.

    I have fantasies but I'm generally pretty clear in my head about which I want to stay fantasies and which ones I'd want to act on. So I suppose that's the question you need to ask yourself.
     
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  17. Bastion

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    So I found this post by a member called @TheJack. In the orientation section. A thread that talked about the same issues I brought in this thread. It was a bit helpful cause I related to it. The thing about fantasy, porn, arousal and that stuff and how it relates to reality. Am not so clearer about it now and the issue is not really resolved but at least there are other people who went or are going through some of the same issues as me. I thought i was the only one thinking about this but am glad to know am not.
     
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  18. justaguyinsf

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    I think there is a reasonable amount of consensus among psychologists and the like that there is a spectrum of sexuality running from exclusively gay to exclusively straight, and that each of us fall somewhere along that spectrum. So I think there are probably a lot of people who could be classified as bisexual in terms of finding something attractive in both sexes, or more specifically in individuals of both genders. I also think that there's an unexplainable element in who you're attracted to at any time, and there's also an element of choice in both selecting partners and deciding on how you want to present yourself to the world. That's why men such as myself are able to marry women and father children through regular old heterosexual intercourse while having a fundamentally homosexual orientation. Fantasies are more spontaneous, but even there they can be shaped somewhat by conscious thought (unless you're asleep). So I think fantasies can tell you a lot about your sexuality, but not everything ... part of the struggle is what do you want to with these fantasies ... push them aside; act on them and see how they feel in real life (likely different); take them on as a full-blown identity or accept them as part of the joy and mystery of being human?
     
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  19. Bastion

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    Thanks for sharing this positive message. Another view i read recently says that no matter what sexual expression or orientation we are or choose. We we live in a continuum. Life goes on and we may or not may not change. There may be different possibilities but that can contribute and add to each person’s own uniqueness. While some people may take comfort in labels and it may help people understand each other or not. Insisting on them may be counterproductive in the sense that it may create added stress or confusion in a person wondering always am I this or that. Either or.
     
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  20. Nickw

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    I agree with you to a point. But, our sexuality is a baseline. Regardless of what we might hope to believe about fluidity in our sexuality there is not much scientific proof of that.

    I think it is more likely that we continue to learn more about ourselves and are more accepting and open. We are also creatures that react to circumstance and our environment.

    If sexuality is fluid, then one could make the argument that one could be full on gay and change to straight. Have you ever heard of that?

    I do agree that labels have a limited use.
     
    #20 Nickw, Aug 6, 2020
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