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Gay vs. Ace/Aro

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by BoltYourBirds, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. BoltYourBirds

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    Okay, so, first off, the obligatory, "I know I'm 15 and even though things change and this is a tumultuous time and even though you don't have to decide right now and yada yada yada… I've been spending too much time brooding over this issue, and I'd love if someone could help me put my kind at ease." Be sure to ignore my grammatically sketchy use of quotations.

    So, here's the gist of it. I'll try to keep it short since I have a habit of writing too much. Essentially, I'm torn between the labels of 'asexual/aromantic' and 'gay' (of course, coming out is it's own problem at a catholic school, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there). For as long as I can remember, relationships and even sex have seemed unappealing, I think they're far too much work. Everyone else going around with their boyfriends and girlfriends kissing and 'doing it' left and right, and I'm too lazy to even get off my potato ass and decide *if* I'm even going to hit on someone. So, yeah. I've started to think I may be asexual and/or aromantic, since I've no sexual or romantic attraction to anyone I've ever formally met.

    On the other hand, the male body is extremely aesthetically pleasing (wow, that's a strange thing to write), and I have found myself attracted to various male celebrities/random strangers at the park. Before I get asked this question, yes, I do masturbate on occasion, though I am reluctant to disclose that information in person. Half of the reason why is to avoid the awkwardness of wet dreams, and the other half of the reason is because Ryan Gosling is just too damn attractive. And, on another tangent, I've never been sexually attracted to women, nor do I find the female body aesthetically pleasing, especially after I was told at a young age that boobs are just flesh balloons that occasionally house milk.

    I'd like to think my problem boils down to this: am I asexual, or are high school boys just ugly and not worthy of the almighty me in all my nerdy glory? Obviously, I'm young, and obviously, I likely won't find the answer to my questions soon, but I really wish someone would help me put my mind st ease…

    Hey look, another tangent! Everyone at my all boys Catholic high school seems convinced I'm gay. It's some combination of the fact that I have a 'gay' voice, whatever that means, that I have highlights in my hair, and that I wear skinny jeans from time to time (and forget the extremely strict dress code exists). Since I'm writing this thread, I might as well throw this question in here as well: once I'm confident of my sexual identity, is it worth even coming out in an environment as toxic as the one I have to spend my days in? The day after Trump was elected, Latino kids were told to go back to Mexico, Trump stickers were slapped on their backs, and white kids promised to adopt them. Also, my friend (who will be a senior) came out as gay his sophomore year and was harassed so much for the entirety of that year that his GPA fell from a 3.7 to a 1.5. I'll likely be subjected to these issues if I come out in high school. Is it even worth it?

    Thanks for all your help in advance!

    P.S.: Sorry for all the only semi-related tangents, I find it very difficult to focus on only one single thing, especially when given no parameters on what to write. I'm sure this thread was difficult to follow.
     
  2. Angus44

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    In my opinion (just based on what you have written here) it makes sense that you are gay. Even though you aren't attracted to anyone you have met in person, I think that the important fact is that you are attracted to some guys even if you haven't met them. This would lead me to believe that you are not asexual, but rather you just haven't met the right person yet. However, here are a few questions hat might help myself and others understand your situation better: are relationships and sex unappealing to you just because it's a lot of work or do find yourself disgusted by them? If a guy you find attractive asked you out and there were no consequences to your relationship would you reject him? Are you sexually attracted to male celebrities and other strangers or do you just find them aesthetically pleasing? Anyway, sexuality is complicated and you definitely aren't the only one trying to figure things out (myself included), but I hope this helped in some way.
    -Gus
     
  3. Myles Kramer

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    Alrighty.
    Hi, I identify (tenuously) on the aro/ace spectrum. Sexuality is fluid and when I was 15 I swung towards VERY VERY ace and very heavily closeted biromantic. Now that I'm older (20), it seems to be the other way around, I'm pretty much hanging out on the aromantic and pretty much happy with the bisexual side of things.

    I don't doubt that my demi aro/ace identity is real and valid but I think that fluid shift had a lot to do with the dating pools that I have been in.

    In high school I was not at all in a sex positive pool of people, let alone accepting of bisexual people and I couldn't even begin to think of being sexually attracted to a bunch of people who wouldn't want anything to do with me. I identify as demi, which demands that there some sort of longish (5-6 months at least) basis for knowing them to develop attraction, so if I spend all of that time establishing relationships whose basis includes degrading people who enjoy sex... yeah.. on the sex side of things I wasn't really sure of what to feel.

    Now that I'm in college and figured out my sex life around some other sex positive people, I'm real damn happy with claiming bisexual as a label to describe my sexuality! But romantic relationships... dang now that the group of people I'm in are older, relationships that are romantically attached are dating for an end game. I don't feel like I desperately need to look for partners to have a fulfilling life in general at this very moment (I want, and I need are very different) and I don't have enough experience to know who I want to settle down with either. Yet again, I can't see eye to eye with the level of attraction that the general dating pool I'm in has and I'm not about to develop romantic attraction to someone who doesn't want to casually date me when I already have someone I have a good friendship with or have someone I have good, uncomplicated sex with.

    Point is, in my experience, I don't need romantic attraction to have a lasting friends with benefits relationship and stay friends, and I don't need sexual attraction to nurse ten million gay crushes and date a few couple of them. So I identify on the aro/ace spec because for most people, those things go hand in hand and it certainly doesn't for me. But attraction is situational.

    The biggest criticism of the split-attraction model (SAM) is that internalized homophobia, biphobia, transphobia all that shittiness, are things we need to work through that straight people don't ever have to think about to feel attraction, so the way everyone has been taught that attraction looks like, doesn't actually feel the way that many lgbtq kids and teens feel when getting to know ourselves. And then the idea that you might not be attracted to people crosses a person's mind and they don't see any reason why not to believe it bc they don't feel the way that we've been taught that uncomplicated, straight, coming of age attraction is supposed to feel like.

    So. I don't think you are wrong. But you seriously need to get some experience to nail this down. I think it might be just be possible that you feel low romantic or sexual attraction overall in the first place (grey, demi aro/ace are good labels for that identity) and then being in a dating pool full of unattractive prospects of romantic and sexual relationships doesn't make it any easier to develop attraction to anyone . Or it could be that you fully feel romantic and sexual attraction when presented with a real dating option and none of your relationships involve any lack of romantic and sexual attraction. It's normal not to feel significant romantic or sexual attraction to straight dudes if you're gay. I think you aren't wrong to feel sure that you have some lack of attraction to women, and therefore you can conclude, that you have some definite level of attraction towards men already and gay might be a good label to jump off of while you get into the right dating pool to figure out if you experience anything beyond aesthetic attraction. Or maybe you date some guys and you find that all you want is a close friend and you really don't need romantic or sexual attraction to want to have someone who really understands you and enjoys being with you and you are aro/ace. Or you date some guys and you find out that you are somewhere in between gay and aro/ace like I figured myself out.

    As far as coming out. Thats a really shitty environment, I'm gonna advise against coming out to your school unless you have some really tight group of queer friends who can back you up, that you forgot to mention. Next up, straight friends, that's up to you but you already seem to have rumors, you'd need to be coming out to the people you can really trust. Family, yet again that's up to you and your discretion, personally I would want to date around and be more sure before doing that, but you might not get the chance to date without being accepted by your family so, it's up to you. And lastly, if you don't have any queer friends irl, for the love of god, find some way to join a local lgbtq support group so you can come out to some people and hopefully find some potential partners too, that will likely be easier once you have your license at 16 tho.
     
  4. Chip

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    I hear nothing that would indicate asexuality and lots that would indicate you're gay. However, only you can know for sure.
     
  5. BoltYourBirds

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    Gus:

    1). Not necessarily disgusted, I just think very little about the prospect, though it might just be because I'm an extremely lazy person in general.
    2). I'd never really thought about anything like that, but if there were absolutely no consequences, then I suppose I would not reject him.
    3). The line feels a bit blurry to me personally, but I guess I find myself sexually attracted to them.

    And thanks for taking some time to read my post, I really appreciate it.

    Miles Kramer:

    Thanks for all the insight, I really appreciate it! I'll be sure to take your feedback into account, and follow your suggestions as much as my situation allows.

    As far as coming out, it is a pretty crappy environment, and as far as I'm aware, there's only like 1 queer person I know of at school, since most of them just graduated, and my straight friends are all pretty shitty. I do have some pretty okay friends from my old school, though they'd probably tell everyone and their grandfather. My family would probably be pretty accepting since they're fairly liberal, but they're just about as loud-mouthed as my friends, and can't keep a secret for the life of them, so that's probably out of the question until I can find some way to avoid bullying. As far as LGBTQ support groups, I'm not sure if there's any near me, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to do some research and see if I can find anything. Again, thanks for the insight.

    Chip:

    Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate it.
     
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  6. Chip

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    You might seek out PFLAG. While it's primarily focused on parents and friends of gay people, they tend to be well connected with resources in the local area, and there's a PFLAG chapter just about everywhere.

    I can agree that if you're in a situation where people can't keep a secret... letting people know is unwise until you're ready for everyone to know.
     
  7. Patrick7269

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    BoltYourBirds,

    Your "semi-related tangents" are a fascinating read, and I think they're evidence of an active, intelligent mind. You seem to be seeing a few things come into focus while not yet having a full understanding, which I can totally understand would be frustrating.

    In my opinion you're possibly struggling with a few things at once. First, the way you write about your reactions to men versus women, I think your orientation seems gay. Not all gay feelings are overtly sexual and many take the vague form of "I find this as opposed to that aesthetically pleasing". Being gay can simply mean that you crave the presence of a boy or man instead of a girl or woman. It's not all overtly sexual.

    Second, I think you may be trying to understand how to [ - safely - see next point below... ] express your unique sexuality. You don't seem especisally fascinated or preoccupied with sex right now, so that (to me) is somewhat different than many teens. However, it doesn't automatically put you in the 'asexual' category either. Your expression of your sexuality will mature into something just as unique as your sexuality itself. I know you don't like hearing it, but give it time.

    Third, you are clearly seeing signs of overt homophobia and even hate. These are signals from a system that's much older than you that gay people aren't welcome. You could be very rightfully concerned for your own future or even your safety after coming out. This would only be natural and I remember these same concerns. Is it possible that because you sense this homophobia around you that you might be suppressing your gayness?

    Those are just my random thoughts at the moment; sorry if I'm rambling. I hope you find comfort with yourself and safety in your surroundings. Please have faith that there is nothing wrong with you and that sometimes being an individual takes a lot of courage.

    *warm hugs of encouragement*

    Patrick
     
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  8. Patrick7269

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    Also, to sum up my high school experience as a gay guy in Iowa:

    My twin brother (and everyone else in school) knew that I was gay because I was trying so hard to hide it. Unlike you I knew I was gay, knew I was hiding, knew I was just biding my time until college. I had -zero- interest in sex during high school but lots of interest in guys privately.

    Here's the good news - I had lots of friends. I had popular friends, unpopular friends, music friends, jock friends. Girl friends, guy friends.

    For some unknown reason (that I still can't put a finger on) I was completely safe - in the late 80s (yes, I'm older than dirt *lol*) and in Iowa. I knew I was in a glass house so I cast no stones, and none were cast at me.

    If people know and love you for who you are then your sexuality won't be a problem. I had no idea how obviously different I was, but I also had no idea of how accepted and loved I actually was.

    Patrick
     
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  9. Nils

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    ^^^ patrick knows whats up
     
  10. BoltYourBirds

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    Wow, thank you all for the help! I really wasn't expecting this much. x3

    Chip:

    There is in fact a PFLAG in my area, so I'll be sure to check it out as soon as I possibly can! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Patrick:

    Thanks so much for everything, I really appreciate you taking the time to write all this for me!

    I see what you mean about not everything being overtly sexual, I'd never thought about it like that. I will definitely give it time, I'm sure I have much left to learn, other than pre-calculus, because there is no hope in that area.

    As for suppressing my gayness (that's an interesting phrase to write), while I suppose it is a possibility, I actually find it pretty unlikely, since I've never particularly cared about the opinions of others. The main reason I think coming out would pose a problem is because it could very well be a threat to my actual safety. Though I could see it as a subconscious thing.

    As for being loved and accepted for who I am, I have lots of friends, and no one (barring one person) actually actively dislikes me, the only problem is that teenagers are vicious. Many of their opinions will change in a second when posed with a new characteristic of someone they've known for a long time.

    Yay, hugs!

    Thank you all so much, and sorry if anything I wrote sounded weird (I'm tired)!
     
  11. Humbly Me

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    I have extreme confidence that you are just young and the internal conflict about how to deal with your sexuality has lowered your libido to the point where you are not interested in a relationship. And, it is probable that you are not attracted to the normal teenager persona of highschool guys, and that is perfectly normal. We decide our attractions with a large emphasis on personality, though for some it is more important than others.
     
  12. BoltYourBirds

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    Myclosetisfull:

    That sounds extremely likely to me, and that's probably what's happening/has happened. Thanks so much for the insight.

    Regards,
    Birds