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I feel like I always post the same things, but it helps just to get it out there.

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by skloorrpt, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. skloorrpt

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    I'm so glad a place like EC exists for me to get all this out. I also kind of like the idea that this account and my posts almost act like a way of keeping track of what I'm going through and what stage I'm at when it comes to me figuring out my sexuality.

    I mentioned this a couple of times before on here in comments and threads. I'll just mention it again here. I've recently had a few sexual experiences with my closest friend. The last few times we've hung out we've cuddled/spooned a bit, and I really like that a lot, I want to do it again, and a lot of nights I wish he was around so we could. It's maybe a bit NSFW, but more recently, we've fooled around a couple times, not sex, but we've given each other handjobs a couple of times. However, I'm pretty sure he wants to have sex or wanted to the last time it happened.

    The thing is I don't know if I'm ready to do that, or if I will be. I don't want to lead him on at all. There were a few times when we were spooning and I think if he had asked if I wanted to have sex I might have said yes. I've also fantasized about sex with him, and I enjoy that, but when it came to it maybe actually happening I didn't go for it. I don't know why, maybe I just need to take things more slow, I still think it's kind of weird that we've done anything. Especially considering I like to fantasize about it. When things started getting more sexual it was a bit awkward, not necessarily unenjoyable. I suppose I'm still getting used to the fact that it actually happened. I guess I want it to happen more, but the couple times it has happened its been a little weird. I think I might just be uncomfortable with myself sexually.

    As I've said, he's the only person I've felt like this about, but I don't have experience with anyone else. It's even more confusing because I've never been this close emotionally with anyone before. I wonder if I just don't know anyone else (especially a woman) well enough to feel that strongly about them. I wonder if I did get to know a woman as closely as this would I feel even stronger about them as I do about my friend. I wonder if I'm somehow confusing a very close friendship for something else, but I guess if I'm feeling it, some aspect of it could be real. I'm confused because it seems like there might be some some sort of dissonance between how I feel about the fantasies vs when it actually happens, and I don't know if that's just because I'm still getting used to this.

    I don't want to get into this again, because I've mentioned it a few times before. I don't think a straight guy would feel this way or do things like what have happened between us. One of the things that I struggle with is that I still seem to think that there is something attractive on some level about women, but I don't think I'm interested in sex with a woman. On the other hand sex with dude seems interesting and more intriguing, but I don't know if I'd say I'm physically attracted to men.

    I also think that there might just be something in the way of me accepting that I could be gay. Although, over the last few months to a year I think I've been getting more used to the fact that I'm probably not 100% straight. I'm a little scared to be gay, mainly because of what other people might think. I don't want other people to know because I don't want it to change how people will think about me. Unfortunately my mom found out that I don't know my orientation a couple of weeks ago which was really awkward. I still feel a little uncomfortable around her. It's this awkwardness that she knows. It's this weird vulnerable, or exposed feeling even though it hasn't been brought up again. I'm uncomfortable and sort of scared just by the fact that she knows.

    I was raised Catholic and I think that has been detrimental to me when it comes to sexuality. Sex was always this taboo thing to me. Obviously Catholics think that sex is this special thing that is only supposed to happen between two married, opposite sex people. Sex and sexuality has always been an awkward topic for me, and I've never been very comfortable discussing it. Obviously I've also never really felt comfortable or confident enough in myself to explore it either. I also think that because of my upbringing I have had a stereotypical view of gay people in the past, and I don't see myself as fitting with those stereotypes. I think those stereotypes still stick with my unfortunately. I always felt that being gay was something "different" or like gay people were not the same as me. Back then I was "obviously straight", but now it's not so obvious. I guess these are just some of the things that confuse me the most about this.

    I really appreciate that a place like EC exists because it lets me get all this out. I don't want to bring this up with anyone in person, so this forum is a good place to look for some outside input or discussion that I can't really get in person. The only person I would even come close to telling any of this is my friend, but obviously I don't feel comfortable saying ALL of this to him, particularly the stuff involving him.
     
  2. AnxiousJB

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    Do whatever you feel comfortable with. If you feel like going further with sexual activity is not yet right for you, don't force yourself into it. I'm sure your friend would be understanding.

    Make your wellbeing your primary focus. Ensure that you're happy in yourself and then you will feel comfortable. From your post it seems like you're not fully comfortable in your own skin, and if you're not fully comfortable you're bound to have anxieties about certain aspects which you're not yet comfortable with.

    It sounds like a lot of your confusion and anxieties are driven by a lack of confidence in being gay at present. Have you considered trying to reach out into social activities which would help you meet like-minded people? I appreciate with coronavirus this is difficult, but there may be ways of joining virtual quizzes or other such activities where you get to speak to people and potentially form new friends. Through this you might understand your attractions better.
     
  3. skloorrpt

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    I don't plan on doing anything that I'm super uncomfortable with, though the first time it happened it was a little outside my comfort zone, but I wasn't unwilling. The thing is that I have fantasized before about having sex with him, but when he basically offered to have sex I didn't go for it. It may have just been anxiety though. It's weird because I don't think I've ever felt like this with anyone else.

    I don't have a lot of self confidence and I need to work on that, but I'm not really sure how. I wish I was more comfortable with myself because I'm pretty sure it does cause a lot of anxiety for me. I feel like there are days where I start to convince myself I could be gay, and I'm almost sure of it. Then there are days where I feel like I'm probably straight, so I don't even know if I have to be confident in it yet. It's like some weird mental gymnastics I do where I convince myself I'm gay of ther course of a few days then I undo all of it within a week or two later.

    I don't really know where to find groups like that or if I'd really fit in. I think I'd just feel a little out of place, but maybe that's just the anxiety, I'm really not sure what to make of it. I might look for something like that though, thanks for your response!
     
  4. AnxiousJB

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    I had that feeling of see sawing between the two, but it settled down after a while, once I realised I wasn't actually getting aroused by the women I had 'crushes' on and through experience in dating where I never wanted to go that extra step like I do with men. I'm sure you'll have a similar experience, either way, and come to a realisation.
     
  5. skloorrpt

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    I hope I will too, but I'm getting sick of waiting for it. Part of me is starting to doubt I'll ever be 100% sure of my sexual orientation.
     
  6. Chip

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    @justinf this sounds a bit like your experience. Any thoughts here?
     
  7. justinf

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    Why yes I do.

    I’ve actually read a few of your other posts and your situation definitely sounds very similar to my own a few years ago. I can relate to many of the things you’re going through.

    First off, let me say that you seem to be handling this exceptionally well. I know trying to figure yourself out can be confusing and at times incredibly frustrating, and I also know that it may sometimes feel like you will never find the answer. But I promise you that you will. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can rush. So take a breath, and try to accept the fact that it will simply take some time.

    That being said, let’s dive into what you’ve said here more specifically.

    It seems like a lot of your confusion stems from the fact that the way you feel in your fantasies isn’t the same as how you feel in reality, but that is actually normal and completely understandable. The amazing thing about fantasies is you can fantasize about whatever you want, without having to explain to anyone - including yourself - what those fantasies mean. You can simply tell yourself that “they’re just fantasies” (which, of course, they totally can be). Once the fantasy turns into reality, however, it becomes a little harder to do that, and you’re more or less forced to think about what it all means. As a result, in our fantasies we are generally free to let go completely, whereas in real life we are held back by all sorts of (unconscious) restraints placed on us by the outside world and, by extension, ourselves.

    Add to that your inexperience, the anxiety, the confusion, and the expectations derived from the fantasies that have been building up in your head... and it’s only natural that you would have a hard time actually “being in the moment”.

    So as hard as it may be, try not to worry too much about feeling a little differently than you thought you would. That’s totally normal, and it certainly doesn’t have to mean anything about your orientation, so it’s not worth stressing over.

    The one thing you do seem pretty sure about is wanting to cuddle and be close to your friend. So instead of focusing on what it all means, try and just enjoy the cuddling, and see where it goes from there. Once you’re ready to take things a little further, go for it. If you decide that you’re not ready for that, or you’re not sure if you are, then that is perfectly okay too. There’s no need to rush. You can do this at your own pace, at whatever speed feels comfortable for you.

    As for possibly confusing a friendship with something more: although of course only you can know for sure how you feel about your friend, from what you’ve described, I would say it’s highly unlikely that this is just a close friendship. Close friends wouldn’t feel drawn to each other to the point they want to be this physically close, and they certainly wouldn’t fantasize about having sex with each other on a regular basis.

    One particular part of your post that I’d also quickly like to point out in that regard is this:

    This is a struggle I can relate to a lot, and actually one that I’m sure many people on here have dealt with at one point or another. You’re basically struggling to decide the difference between sexual attraction, esthetical attraction and friendship. I know the lines between those can get blurry, especially if you’ve only just started questioning, but they will become more clear over time. Remember that you’ve only fairly recently started to try and figure this all out, so there are simply a lot of new feelings and experiences for you to process.

    I wish I could tell you there was a magical solution to making this easier and finding the answers to all your questions, but there isn’t. It really is a matter of taking a deep breath, trying to relax, and giving it time. For some it only takes a few weeks to figure it out, for others (including myself) it takes years of going back and forth on all the different labels, jumping between moments of complete clarity and moments of utter desperation. It’s all part of the process, and absolutely nothing to worry about or get worked up over (although I know that’s easier said than done).

    In any case, definitely keep talking about it here if it helps give you some peace of mind. We’re all happy to listen and offer advice wherever we can.

    But in my opinion, you’re doing great!
     
    #7 justinf, Jul 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  8. skloorrpt

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    Thanks for taking the time to read this post as well as some of my other ones. Sorry for the late response, but I haven't checked EC in a while. I know I'll probably figure all this out eventually, but I'm just sick of waiting when everyone else seems to just know this about themselves. It's a little funny to me that you think I'm handling this well because I really don't feel like I am. I think it's been making me feel very anxious and depressed lately. I know it is something I will likely figure out with time, but unfortunately I'm not a very patient person, so that's something that I'm having trouble with.

    I think this whole situation has gotten a little less weird as time has passed, but I still have trouble with it. The first time my friend ever asked if I wanted to snuggle was weird and I was hesitant. I actually turned him down at first, but eventually accepted. I'm glad I did because I really did like it. When things started getting a little more sexual though it was weird at first. Now that it's happened a few more times since I've made this original thread it isn't as weird and I've actually found myself looking forward to it. I feel like I'm actually starting to get used to it all, even some of the more sexual stuff. Unfortunately, my friend is going back to school and I'm finished with college so we won't get the chance to see each other for a while, probably at least til he has winter break. I'm really bummed about that because, like I said I was just starting to get used to all of this and now we won't be able to for at least a few months.

    I think the part of my original post that you pointed out is the thing that confuses me the most. I think I had this idea in my mind about what attraction was supposed to feel like. The problem with that is now whatever this attraction I feel towards my friend doesn't line up with that, and it confuses me. I wish there was some sort of quick solution to this, but I know there isn't. I just hope I can figure this out before too long.

    Thanks again for reading my post and taking the time to reply. Also, thanks to @Chip for pointing you towards this thread. It's nice to hear from someone who's had such a similar experience. This is probably one of the most similar I've heard of on this forum.