DETERMINING SEXUAL IDENTITY
For many people, there is no question at all about what their Sexual Orientation and Identity are, starting at a very young age. But for many others, it can be very confusing and traumatic. ALL of us are a blend of Straight and Gay. People who are almost completely Straight or Gay usually know how they are different from very young ages. Everyone else will have some someone degree of Confusion and Questioning. Many young people have a small amount of latent homosexuality, enough to confuse them, but not enough to be a Bisexual. Others can be confused by having a friend they love dearly. Some young people are late bloomers, becoming sexually aware later than most others. For others, there is also confusion about Gender. For others, they may not have sexual feelings at all.
Some people may not become aware of their homosexual nature, or may not recognize, realize, or acknowledge their homosexual attractions, until their late teen years to their mid-twenties. Girls tend to be later in recognizing their homosexual nature. For girls and young women, determining sexual orientation can be much more confusing than for boys. Sexual development can start later or develop more slowly in some people. Some people may slowly beacon aware of their homosexual nature, while others will suddenly start having homosexual feelings or fantasies.
Sexual Orientation is NOT about WHO YOU ARE PHYSICALLY ATTRACTED TO OR HAVE SEX WITH, it is about WHO YOU ARE ROMANTICALLY ATTRACTED TO and WHO YOU ROMANTICALLY LOVE. Ricky Martin, the famous Puerto Rican pop singer and actor, had relationships and sex with a lot of women in the years he was trying to hide his homosexuality, saying that he even enjoyed most of it. But he now says, "I am NOT Bisexual, I am a Gay man." Relationships with women were not fulfilling for him, but relationships with men are fulfilling for him. Sex regularly crosses Sexual Orientation boundaries, but not Romantic Love.
Sometimes Straight men have sex with men, Gay men have sex with women, Lesbians have sex with men, and Straight women have sex with Lesbians. Given the right circumstances, all kind of things can happen around sex. For example, some Straight men will get oral sex from a Gay man, or be the penetrator in anal sex with a Gay man, simply for sexual relief between girls, or on a Navy ship, or in a prison. He will feel no attraction to the gay man, he is simply being serviced by the gay man.
For the vast majority of you, what matters is who you fall in love with and want to share your life with. For some people, the initial attraction may be zero, low, or up to intense. In my case, I was not physically or sexually attracted to my current partner at all. I pursued a friendship with him, liking his personality. After spending some time together as freinds, I suddenly found myself both physically and sexually attracted to him. LOVE keeps your partner looking beautiful and hot for a Lifetime. LOVE keeps sex with your partner great for a lifetime. Without Love and sex being bound together, sex becomes boring and your lover no longer turns you on.
I did not even know what straight sex was until age 19, and gay sex at age 20 (I was Autistic and very innocent). Nor did I know anything about Sexual Orientation, or what those words meant, like Fuck, Fag and Queer. At age 11, I consciously recognized that I was attracted to boys the way I was supposed to be attracted to girls, because I was following cute boys around at school. At age 12, I fell in love with Anton Wild, although I did not really know it at the time, because I had no reference point for it. But I knew I had a kind of ache and yearning around him, missing him even after just an hour apart, and I got HARD around him a lot. It all felt much more INTENSE than any friendship I had ever had. Out by the pool, Anton almost kissed me once, then my Mother burst out (she kept spying on us through the window). At age 13, I confessed to my Aunt, "I feel about boys the way I am supposed to feel about girls." She dismissed it as a "Phase boys go through." My youthful fantasies were not sexual, because I did not know what that was or looked like. My fantasies were all around hugging and kissing other boys, and doing romantic things with boys.
CLUES TO HELP YOU DETERMINE SEXUAL ORIENTATION:
A big CLUE about out your sexual orientation is notice who you find yourself strongly attracted to in non-sexual situations, like when you are at school, out with freinds, grocery shopping, etc. ROMANTIC FANTASY, is your biggest clue of all about Sexual orientation. Romantic Fantasy is NOT Sexual Fantasy. Romantic Fantasy is about LOVE, being in love, loving someone, being in a relationship, sharing your life with someone, imagining yourself living together, etc.
Within your sexual orientation, we are sexually attracted to other people based on a number of factors. For example, the pitch and timber of a person's voice can affect attraction. But one of the biggest factors of all are PHEROMONES, which are hormones exerted in our sweat and smelled by others. Each of us are only attracted to certain Pheromones. When two people have "Good Chemistry," this is what is being talked about.
You can be a Gay boy, but only find certain kinds of boys attractive, and maybe only guys your own age, or older guys, or younger guys. Maybe you are only into bigger, more muscular and hairy guys, or maybe you like them more svelte and smooth. You may be attracted to only certain personalities too. If you are a Lesbian, Straight, or Bisexual, the same things apply. Who you are attracted to in life often changes as you get older. My first love set who I was attracted to for a long time. If you are Straight and have a good relationship to your father and brothers, you may find yourself attracted to their body and personality type, because you associate good things with that. Or it can go the opposite way if you have a terrible relationship with them. I got picked on by jocks a lot, and to this day am totally turned off by guys who look or act like jocks.
WHAT NOT TO USE TO DETERMINE SEXUAL ORIENTATION:
HAVING SEX with someone is not a good way to determine sexual orientation. You might be a Straight girl, have sex with a boy and have it be awful. This does not mean you are a Lesbian. You might be a Straight girl, have sex with a girl, and have it be nice, but it does not make you a Lesbian. You can be a Lesbian, have sex with a girl, and have it be awful. You can be a Lesbian, have sex with a guy, and have it be nice.
PORNOGRAPHY is not a good way to determine sexual orientation. Girls and young women can be sexually aroused by Straight, Lesbian and Gay Male Pornography, regardless of her Sexual Orientation. Boys and Young men are often sexually aroused by any pornography at all. Straight guys tend to get really hot over seeing Lesbian kissing and sex. But a Gay guy can get easily excited by Straight porn, and not bother to notice that he is ficus on the guys. A gay guy might have an aversion to seeing Gay Porn, due to internalized homophobia, guilt or shame.
SEXUAL FANTASY can be misleading. Boys can sexually experiment in fantasy, and may fantasize about gay sex, or even fantasize themselves as a girl. Girls and young Women can especially do a lot of sexual experimentation in fantasy, and can even imagine themselves as the man having sex with a woman, as a man having gay sex with another man, as a woman having sex with another woman and even have rape fantasies (experimenting with control, domination, submission, etc.).
SEXUAL AROUSAL: If a boy is wresting around with another boy and gets an erection, this alone does not make him Gayit is actually natural. Teenagers get sexually aroused very easily, due to 'raging hormones.' If you are only getting aroused by one gender, this can be a hint about Sexual Identity, but you still need a lot more evidence before drawing conclusions.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING ROMANTIC FEELINGS OR FANTASIES?
You may simply need to get older. Sexual arousal develops first, before romantic desire and attraction. Also, stress, DEPRESSION, anxiety, or other mental issues can be shutting you down around romantic matters.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING SEXUALLY AROUSED BY MUCH OF ANYTHING?
Everyone matures sexually at a different rate. If you feel little or no excitement or arousal by either boys or girls, then:
Your sexuality may not finished developing yet.
STRESS, DEPRESSION, anxiety, or other mental issues could be shutting down your sexuality. Stress at home (like a messed up family or abuse) or in school (like being bullied) can shut down your libido. If you were or are a victim of rape, incest, or other form of sexual abuse, this would shut you down too.
You could have low Testosterone (both boys and girls) or other medical conditions. It would be a good idea to see a doctor, just to eliminate medical causes.
Medications, such as SSRI Antidepressants, some other antidepressants and antipsychotics, can shut down sexual desire, and in some cases it can be permanent (post-SSRI sexual dysfunction).
Fear of Intimacy, of AIDS or STDs, Body Shame, or raised to believe that sex is evil/dirty/disgusting can shut down your libido.
Males reach the peak of their sex drive in their teens, while women reach it in their thirties.
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN DETERMINING SEXUAL ORIENTATION:
Probably the biggest problem of all in determining Sexual Orientation for a lot of people, is the conscious or subconscious suppression or denial of their homosexual nature, due to Internalized Homophobia. Homosexual feelings, fantasies, and dreams can be suppressed, dismissed, ignored, or justified in another way. The emergence of your homosexual nature might be dallied by a few years, for decades (sometimes as late as age 50 to 70). The desire to be NORMAL can be extremely powerful. I was so Queer that I had no choice but to face it, but it was not easy and I tried to kill myself at age 13.
When kids are subjected to homophobia from birth, the message can be constant and clear that being homosexual or bisexual is a horrible thing. You face being an outcast, vilified, rejected by family and friends, thrown out of your home, and harassed and bullied at school. If you are raised in a Christian, Jewish or Muslim family, you might face religious condemnation, being told that you are a sin, evil, disgusting pervert, an abomination in the eyes of God, and that you are going to go to hell for being born Homosexual, Bisexual, or Transgender. For some kids, the first awakening moment of attraction to the same gender can be so horrifying that they are subconsciously or consciously suppressed, and thus the pattern can get set. If they can feel ANY attraction for the same gender, they may run with it.
Many HOMOPHOBIC men are Bisexual or Gay men with extreme Internalized Homophobia, acting-out against other Sexual Minorities. In a study at the University of Georgia, it was shown that homophobic men, claiming to be straight and claiming to have always engaged in heterosexual sex, got erections looking at Gay pornographic videos 30% more than non-homophobic straight men. When youth are raised in a homophobic environment, or otherwise become homophobic, and they start to experience homosexual feelings and attractions, some respond to their homosexual feelings with HATE, despising that part of themselves. They then blame homosexuals for making them have these unwanted feelings, hating other homosexuals, OR sometimes just feeling very uncomfortable around homosexuals and having negative feelings about them.
Sexual Orientation is the Biological Sexuality Orientation that you are Born with.
Sexual Orientation is defined by your Gender Identity, what Genders you Sexually and Romantically Desire, and how much you desire each Gender.
Sexual Identity is how a person CHOOSES to identify their own Sexuality, and is not necessarily the same as their biological Sexual Orientation. A Bisexual man who is both sexually and romantically attracted to both men and women, may decide that he feels most comfortable living with men, and choose a Gay identity.
A woman I know says that she is sexually attracted to both men and women equally, but only Romantically attracted to women. She chooses to identify her self as a Lesbian. Rickey Martin was sexual with women for years, but now identifies himself as completely Gay, because his only romantic attachments have been with men.
BIOLOGICAL GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, SEXUAL LIBIDO, & MASCULINE/FEMININE SPECTRUMS
A person's Biological Sexual Orientation is NOT defined by discreet values like Heterosexual, Bisexual, or Homosexual. Instead, a person's Biological sexuality will fall anywhere across a continuous spectrum between 100% Heterosexual at one end and 100% Homosexual on the other end. The frequency of human sexuality across this spectrum is distributed over what looks like a bell shaped curve, with relatively few people being 100% Heterosexual or 100% homosexual, and with the greater majority of human being biased towards Heterosexuality.
Gender itself is also variable and distributed across a spectrum. The amount of Sexual Desire (LIBIDO) we experience is also on a spectrum from no desire to extreme desire. When it comes to masculinity and femininity, this crosses the boundaries of both Gender and Sexual Orientation. Some Straight men are effeminate. Some Straight women are masculine. Some Gay men are very masculine and some effeminate. Some Lesbians are very feminine and some masculine. Almost all Transvestites are Straight men who cross-dress for sexual pleasure, while Drag Queens, Boy Drag and Female Impersonators are almost all homosexuals who cross-dress for non-sexual reasons.
During fetal gestation, when the fetus is sexing-out in the brain first and then the body, with sexual organs, etc, many different things can happen in this process to create this wide diversity of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Libido, and Masculinity/Femininity. There are very real differences between the brains of men and women and homosexual men and women and Transgender men and women.
WE ARE ALL MADE UP OF All OF THESE SEXUAL SPECTRUMS:
—> SEXUAL ORIENTATION
—> SEXUAL DRIVE
—> & MASCULINITY/FEMININITY
It is people themselves who typically desire labels for their Gender and Sexual Identity. The problem is that human sexuality does NOT divide itself nicely into set groups. LGBTQ or GLBTQ do come even close to including all of our community. I much prefer to refer to us as SEXUAL MINORITIES. I know there is a craving by some who seek ever more exotic labels to call themselves by, but there is NO label that exactly describes any of us. We are this amazing and wondrous mix of spectrums, all unique in our own ways.
Human sexuality is a combination of Spectrums for Sexual Orientation, Gender, Sexual Drive and Masculinity/Femininity:
Sexual Orientation Spectrum:. . . 100% Heterosexual —> to Bisexual to <— 100% Homosexual
Gender Spectrum:. . . . . . . . . . . Male —> Transgender1 —> 3rd Gender <— Female
Sexual Drive Spectrum: . . . . . . . Asexuality2 (0) —> to Average to <— Hypersexuality (∞)
Masculinity/Femininity Spectrum: Masculine —> to <— Feminine: Applies to ALL Straight & Gay Males & Females3
Some Straight men are effeminate and some Straight women are masculine. Gay men & Lesbians run the entire range from hyper-masculine to uber-feminine.
ALL HUMANS fall somewhere within ALL of the above Spectrums of Sexual Orientation, Sexual Drive & Masculinity/Femininity.
1 TRANSGENDER is NOT a Sexual Orientation, it is a Gender. Gender Identity is based on the gender of the person's brain, not their body. After Sexual Reassignment, the gender of the brain can match the gender of the body. A Transgender person can have a:
- Straight, Gay, or anything in between MALE BRAIN in a FEMALE BODY.
- Straight, Lesbian, or anything in between FEMALE BRAIN in a MALE BODY.
3 For more information on Gay Mannerisms and on being Masculine, Feminine or Effeminate, see the section further below.
THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION SCALE (used by some sexologist): View the chart below as 7 columns:
Exclusively - - - - -Primarily Strait- - - - - Primarily Strait- - - - - - Bisexual- - - - - - - - Primarily Gay- - - - - - - -Primarily Gay- - - - - - Exclusively
Straight - - - - - - Incidentally Gay- - - - -Secondarily Gay- - - - - -Bisexual - - - - - Secondarily Straight- - - -Incidentally Straight- - - - - - - -Gay
-< 1 >- - - - - - - - - -< 2 >- - - - - - - - - - - - -< 3 >- - - - - - - -< 4 >- - - - - - - - - -< 5 >- - - - - - - - - -< 6 >- - - - - - - - - - -< 7 >-
MORE SEXUAL IDENTITY LABELS:
PANSEXUALITY is a sexual orientation characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire towards people of all gender identities and biological sexes. Basically this is saying you are a bisexual who does not want to be constrained by other labels, so you give yourself another label.
GENDERQUEER is a catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman. People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as being both man and woman or as being neither man nor woman and therefore falling completely outside the gender binary. There are more labels people use, but there is not enough room here to describe them all.
NOTE: Sexual Identity and Relationships are actually very different things. You can be any of the of the sexual identities, including asexual, and choose to either be in a relationship, or to be single.
You are a Bisexual when you are able to:
- Feel Sexual and Romantic Desire for people of both genders;
- Be Sexually and Romantically Fulfilled by people of both genders; and
- Feel ROMANTIC LOVE for people of both genders.
You could also be Bisexual Leaning Straight or Leaning Gay:
Exclusively Straight [100% Straight, 0% Gay]
Primarily Straight, Incidentally Gay [87.5% Straight, 12.5% Gay]
Bisexual Leaning Straight [62.5% Straight, 37.5% Gay]
Bisexual [50% Straight, 50% Gay]</b>
Bisexual Leaning Gay [62.5% Gay, 37.5% Straight]
Primarily Gay, Secondarily Straight [75% Gay, 25% Straight]
Primarily Gay, Incidentally Straight [87.5% Gay, 12.5% Straight]
Exclusively Gay [100% Gay, 0% Straight]
Anyone within 6.25% of any of the above categories, would fall within that category.
If you are on either side of Bisexuality, and not exclusively Straight or Gay, it can get very confusing to you about what your Sexual Orientation is. You may have SOME Sexual Attraction to both genders, and can received SOME Sexual Pleasure from both genders, BUT, one gender is Just NOT Fulfilling Enough to desire regular Sexual or Romantic contact with that Gender. When this happens, your Sexual identity and Sexual Orientation may be different. For example, you may be technically a Primarily Gay and Secondarily Straight woman, but if you only date women and form relationships with women, your sexual identity will likely be Lesbian.
HAVING SEX WITH BOTH MEN & WOMEN DOES NOT MAKE YOU BISEXUAL.
Just because you CAN have sex with both Genders does not make you BISEXUAL. Ricky Martin, the famous Puerto Rican pop singer and actor, had sex with a lot of women, and said that he even enjoyed most of it, but that only men romantically fulfill him. He says, "I am NOT Bisexual, I am a Gay man."
If you are a boy and you had sex with a girl, this does not make you Straight, not in-of-itself. In the Navy, Straight men have sex with Gay men on a regular basis. It is simply a way to release sexual energy, to fulfill a need. It is sex only, with no emotional component. It does not make the Straight men bisexual, simply because they had sex with a Gay man. Sexual Orientation goes far beyond who you have sex with.
17% of Heterosexual adult Men & Women admit being attracted to someone of the same gender! Of those respondents who indicated they have been attracted to someone of the same sex, a surprising 36% said they had acted on that attraction in a sexual way.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control concluded that "There's growing evidence that many men who have sex with men aren't all gay or bisexual more than 3 million men who self-identify as straight, secretly have sex with other men "
A 2006 survey in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that nearly 1 in 10 men say they're straight and have occasional sex with men. In addition, 70% of these men are heterosexually married. In fact, 10 percent of all married men in this survey reported engaging in same-sex behavior during the previous year.
As many as 46% of all guys, whether they identify as Straight, Gay, or Bi, have had sex of some nature with another guy to the point of orgasm (includes Mutual Masturbating). Many guys are curious and experiment. Some do it again and some don't.
A Straight man CAN have sex with a Gay man without Sexually DESIRING the Gay man, without being AROUSED Sexually by him, and without any ROMANTIC interest in the him.
A Gay man CAN have sex with a woman without Sexually DESIRING the woman, without being AROUSED Sexually by her, and without any ROMANTIC interest in her.
A Straight woman CAN have sex with a Lesbian without Sexually DESIRING the Lesbian, without being AROUSED Sexually by her, and without any ROMANTIC interest in her.
A Lesbian CAN have sex with a man without Sexually DESIRING the man, without being AROUSED Sexually by him, and without any ROMANTIC interest in him.
How do you have sex with a person, if you do not Sexually Desire the person?
The answer is that the other person can get you sexually aroused, and/or you can make yourself sexually aroused in other ways, such as:
You and/or the other person can sexually stimulate your body and sexual organs, using things like fingers, tongue, mouth, sex toys, objects, etc.
You can be aroused using Pornography.
You can fantasizing about someone else who sexually excites you, or you can fantasize about a person of a different gender.
You can be aroused just from being in a sexual situation, and/or because you are very HORNY, and maybe you are intoxicated.
You can be very easily aroused when you are young (Raging Hormones), by just about anything, especially when you want to experiment.
Anything TABOO or exotic feeling can cause arousal.
Sometimes your body will even respond sexually when being raped, unless high pain levels prevent it. This can add to feelings of shame, which are not justified. Your body can react even against your will, when stimulated in certain ways, like when the prostate is being stimulated.
Fear and suffocation can cause arousal, but using this is just plain idiotic and extremely dangerous.
Technically, the vast majority of all human beings are attracted to both genders, but just not enough to ever notice. If you are 80% Straight and 20% homosexual, you would probably never notice an attraction to someone of the same gender.
Straight men will sometimes use Gay men to service their sexual needs, as a convenience, or out of need, when women are not available for periods of time, like on navy ships, in Prisons, or because of the culture you live in (Some Muslim countries). On Navy Military ships, after months at sea, many straight men penetrate gay men orally and anally, but this does not make them Bisexual. A man having sex with a man does not make him Bisexual or Homosexual. There are even circumstances when a primarily heterosexual man can be sexually excited by another man, but that does not make him Bisexual.
It should be noted that some people might be biologically Bisexual, but are mentally and emotionally unable to maintain a relationship with one of the genders. For example, some Bisexual men and women may succumb to the pressures of society to not live a Homosexual lifestyle, and choose to live as Heterosexuals. Some Bisexual women may have been abused by men so much that they choose to live as Lesbians.
HOMOPHOBIA & BISEXUALS
Unfortunately, boys and men who are borderline Bisexual or Homosexual, are still under great pressure to live as a Heterosexual. They will get married and maybe have kids, but be barely able to function sexually with their wife, so their sex life dries up, and it is the wife who really suffers, believing she is undesirable and unlovable, while he is slipping out having sex with men, but also not at all happy. I know men who waited 30 to 40 years before divorcing and coming-out as a Gay man. Often the men love their wives, but just can't be sexual with her. When you are young, you can make it happen a lot easier than when you pass age 30 or so.
BISEXUALS WHO SEXUALLY DESIRE BOTH MEN & WOMEN BUT ONLY ROMANTICALLY DESIRE ONE GENDER:
If you sexually desire both men and women, but only romantically desire one Gender, then chances are your Sexual Identity will end up being based on the Gender you Romantically Desire. If you are a bisexual woman, but only romantically desire women, then your sexual identity will probably be Lesbian. But it might take you time and dating both genders to figure this out.
Fantasy can be a clue, such as having sexual fantasies with both men and women, but having romantically fantasize with only one gender. When we fantasize, sometimes it is purely sexual, and sometimes it is more romantic. Fantasizing about doing fun things together, like swimming, hiking, and dancing, and fantasizing about non-sexual intimacy, like kissing, hugging and holding each other in bed, shows who you who you would probably be happier sharing your life with.
ARE YOU 15 YEARS OLD OR YOUNGER?
If you are around age 15 or younger (this is a very loose number), and reading this paper still leaves you very confused about your Sexual Orientation, you may very well need more time to let your sexuality develop and emerge. Give yourself some more time to see if your Sexual Orientation becomes more clear. Meeting a special person and falling in love can help make it clearer too.
NOTE: Your body and brain (particularly in the Frontal Cortex) continue to develop until around age 25. For boys, your penis may continue to grow past the age of 18, slowing to a stop at around age 25.
ROMANTIC & SEXUAL FANTASIES REVEAL YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION
The best way to determine your own Sexual Orientation is to note which gender or genders you FANTASIZE about and DREAM about ROMANTICALLY, EROTICALLY or SEXUALLY. Looking at Pornography to see what turns you on is not a very good indicator, because seeing nakedness and sex of any kind will turn you if you are not accustomed to it, and you might be turned on by only one aspect of the pornography, like if you are Gay and watching Straight porn, it could be the guys who are especially arousing you. I cover Pornography further below. Romantic Fantasies are different from Sexual Fantasy, although Romantic Fantasy might turn into Sexual Fantasy.
Romantic Fantasies & Dreams tell us a lot about our Sexual Orientation & Identity, about who you are more likely to share your life with. Romance is linked to Feelings of LOVE, wanting a Romantic Relationship, wanting a Boyfriend or Girlfriend, or wanting to Share Your Life with someone, like imagining yourself seducing someone, or being seduced, falling in-love with someone, going on romantic dates, doing romantic things together with him or her, like going on a picnic, laying on the ground holding hands and looking up at the stars, seeing the world together, living together, and so on. Romantic Fantasy can include SENSUAL and EROTIC Foreplay, like cuddling, kissing, rubbing bodies together, tongues on skin, bodies together, exploring each other's bodies, feeling loved and showing your love. Romantic Fantasies and Dreams are Non-Sexual, but can turn into Love-based Sexual Fantasy.
If you are not yet having Romantic Dreams or Fantasies, it is because you are still too young, but if you give it some time, they will start to happen. After Puberty starts, Sexual Dreams and Fantasies happen first, followed later by Romantic Dreams & Fantasy. The age when Romantic Dreams and Fantasy start can vary a great deal, based on how early or later a bloomer you were.
If you are not remembering your Dreams, it is because you are dreaming before going into Deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep, unless you happen to wake up before you go into REM Sleep. Those who remember Dreams are Dreaming after their REM Sleep.
Sexual Fantasies & Dreams are also a good indicator of Sexual Orientation, but for some people, they can be deceptive and confusing. Homosexual Sexual Fantasies may be either consciously or subconsciously suppressed by internal and/or external homophobia. Sometimes, young minds may sexually experiment through fantasy. For various reasons covered later, you can get sexually excited by pornography that is not in your nature, like a Gay guy getting aroused by Straight Porn, and the memory of this arousal can carry forward into fantasy.
Dreams and Fantasy are a safe way for our minds to Sexually Experiment and Explore, as well as seeking erotic experiences. There can be a lot of sexual role changing and experimentation in your mind, especially when you are younger. Sexual dreams should not be immediately interpreted as literal expressions of sexual desire.
BOYS & MEN:
Straight Guys Can Have A Gay Sex Dream. If this only happens occasionally, then it is not saying you are Gay or Bisexual. BUT, if it happens a lot, then you are probably Gay or Bisexual.
Gay Guys Can Have A Straight Sex Dream, but it will be a rare thing.
Guys Can Change Gender In Dreams. This is not as common, but does happen, and again it is your mind exploring and experimenting. Some say it is you getting in touch with your feminine side.
GIRLS & WOMEN: It is relatively common for Girls to dream about being a Guy having sex with a Girl. This is because the male role is often seen as dominant, the one in control, and one of power, and it is your desire to be in that role. These dreams and Fantasies seem more frequent in girls and young women who are Lesbian or Bisexual, but can also happen more frequently in straight girls and women who have issues of feeling dominated and controlled in her life. Both Straight and Lesbian women dream of sexual encounters with another woman. If you are heterosexual and you dream that you are having sex with someone of the same sex, it may not signify homosexual desire, but rather a need to be in better touch of your feminine or masculine side, or if you are in a relationship with a guy, it may reveal a need for more sensitivity or creativity from your partner, since we associate females with sensitivity and nurturing. Some Girls even dream of being a Man having Gay sex with another Man. Look at the kind of Dreams that are most frequent. The younger you are, the more confusing it may seem.
VIRGINS: When you are a virgin, your mind has no reference point for sexuality, as to what things feel like, what would feel good, what would feel bad, what would be healthy or unhealthy. Even worse is when you use Pornography, because pornography is keyed to specific audiences and everything is done is to maximize angles, shots, and specific things that turn most people on. Even how sex is performed is heavily skewed, as is the size of breasts and penises. So porn can fuel some strange fantasies that later will be corrected naturally. There is no harm done, as long as you realize that the real experience may be different from what you See or Read in pornography.
Just under 50% of Boys and Men say they have fantasized about being raped by a woman, and sometimes by a man, and if you are Gay, have fantasized about being raped by a man.
50 to 62% of Girls and Women have Rape Fantasies, more at younger ages and less at older ages (a 2009 study).
But it is very important to make a distinction about what is really being fantasized about. When women fantasize about forced-sex or rape, it is not really rape they are fantasizing about at all, it is about surrendering, submission, power, domination, and more rarely, sexual desire without responsibility, and sexual guilt. BUT it is ALL PRETEND and you are STILL IN CONTROL. I have been raped, and the real thing had nothing to do with sex. Rape is a hate crime motivated primarily by Gender, Power, Dominance, and Control. You really have zero control, you are POWERLESS. But in dreams and fantasy, we do have control, so it feels very different and it is a very different thing because of it.
ROMANTIC SEEMING FANTASIES, especially at younger ages, can be confused with feelings of high friendship, because friendship is about love too, and you can deeply love a friend. It can be easy to imagine yourself sharing your life with your best friend, when everything else is there, except for sexual intimacy, which the mind can skip over.
This can be two boys who are best friends, and one boy wonders if he is Bisexual, because he is so fond of his friend. Confusion can also happen with a boy and a girl as best friends. For example, a boy has a girl for a best friend, someone he loves dearly, and his family is homophobic, so being Gay is the last thing he wants, so he believes he is Straight for many years, until he starts having intense Gay fantasies and dreams at 20 years old. He comes to realize that he really does not sexually desire his friend, and now has a Gay sexual identity and is in a long-term relationship with another man.
FOR BOYS, first ask yourself which gender or genders you FANTASIZE about and DREAM about romantically, erotically or sexually. Then ask yourself if any of the boys and girls you have know or seen in your lifetime have sexually turned you on by giving you (not counting pornography):
- Romantic fantasies and/or dreams with specific girls or boys,
- Sexual fantasies about specific girls or boys,
- Desire to touch or hold specific boys and girls in a Romantic way,
- Desire to have sex with specific boys and girls,
- Erections when around boys or girls, or from their casual touch (separate from unrelated spontaneous erections)?
WHY LOOK AT FANTASIES ABOUT SPECIFIC PEOPLE?
Sometimes fantasies about a specific person may be in conflict with your Sexual Orientation. For example, a boy who is primarily Gay, might sexually fantasize about his best friend, who is a girl, out of his need to see himself as "Normal." If he loves her as a friend on many levels, his subconscious mind can superimpose the sexual fantasy. This can greatly confuse him. The pressure that our society imposes on us all to be CONFORM and be NORMAL can creates a lot of problems in young people figuring out their sexuality.
It can go the other way too. For example, a boy who is primarily straight, with only some Homosexuality, who is very close in friendship with another boy, might have flashes of desire or fantasy for him in a sexual way. Yet if he were able to act out on it, he would not find it particularly satisfying.
You might think that sexually experimenting with a guy and/or girl would tell you if you are Straight, Bisexual, or Gay/Lesbian, but it can actually be very misleading. For example, a Gay guy might have his first sexual experience with another guy, and have it be totally dull, a horrible experience, or can't even get an erection (due to anxiety or nervousness).
A good way to avoid this confusion is to wait and have sex only with a person you have strong Romantic feelings for, and sexual desire for. If you just Hook-Up with someone and have anonymous or indiscriminate sex, it might just confuse you even more, or lead you down the wrong path.
FEMALE SEXUAL AROUSAL:
Sexual Orientation can be much more difficult to figure out for Girls. This is because sexual arousal in a girl does not necessarily match her Sexual Orientation. Recent research as shown a fundamental difference between male and female sexual arousal. This is important because for men, sexual orientation is more alined to sexual arousal, but in women, it is different. In the research, most of the young women were sexually aroused by watching videos of heterosexual sex, gay male sex, and lesbian sex, regardless of their sexual orientation. No, not all women are bisexual. What it means is that sexual arousal in females has little to do with sexual orientation.
Female Sexual Orientation is mostly determined by Romantic Feelings and Fantasies, and Sexual Desire. However, if her Sexual Arousal is markedly greater toward one gender, then that is a valuable clue.
GAY MANNERISMS & WHY WE ARE MASCULINE, EFFEMINATE OR FEMININE:
Gay Mannerisms are different from Masculinity and Femininity and are like an underlying layer to those things. There is a subtle to not so subtle Gay mannerism language throughout the LGBTQ Community. The more you are around other GLBTQ people, the more likely you will be to acquire this, like you would an accent, no matter how masculine or feminine you are. Some Gay youth and those new to the Community will sometimes acquire exaggerated Gay Mannerisms on purpose, as a way of expressing their Gay identity, or as a way to fit-in with the others. This should not be mistaken for Effeminacy.
BORN WITH A PREDISPOSITION TOWARD BEING MASCULINE, EFFEMINATE, OR FEMININE:
We can be born with a predisposition to be Masculine, Effeminate or Feminine, and/or it can be acquired later in life.
People can be born with a disposition towards Masculinity or Femininity, regardless of their Gender and regardless of their Sexual Orientation. This is due to the same reasons for why we are born GLBT. It happens due to fetal exposures to hormones while in the mother's womb, and depends on which hormones changed and at exactly what times during the two sexing-out phases of fetal development it happens. The result can be any mix of Gender, Sexual Orientation, Transgender, Masculinity/Femininity, and all of those to any degree.
This means that a Straight man can be effeminate, by a little or a lot, or masculine to hyper-masculine, by a little to a lot. A Straight woman can be masculine, by a little or a lot, or be feminine or hyper-feminine by a little of a lot. The same is true of GLBT people.
ACQUIRED MASCULINITY, EFFEMINACY AND FEMININITY:
Gay Men and Lesbians can acquire Effeminacy, Masculinity or Femininity in a few ways.
You can acquire Effeminacy like I acquired a British accent from the first boy I fell in love with, a foreign exchange student from the UK. When you hang-out with other effeminate guys, you may acquire their mannerisms even without you realizing it. Lipstick Lesbians and Strait women can have their feminine traits reinforced and even increased by hanging out with hyper-feminine women. This is also true of Lesbians who hang out with masculine Lesbians. Who you hang-out with a lot or work with a lot can make a difference.
It can work the same way towards masculinity for Gay men. I was influenced to be more masculine by association for 17 years of living in tight quarters with almost all masculine men, but I was also under threat of my life if my being Gay was discovered, so there was a lot of pressure to be perfectly masculine and even hyper-masculine. I went to an Academy and then out to sea on supertanker ships. If my shipmates had discovered that I was Gay, they would have killed me by tossing me over the side of the ship to drown. It was done and it was joked about. For 17 years I had to watch every word I said, how I said it and how I moved my body. I made a mistake once when I sat down and crossed my legs, one knee of the other knee. It was joked about for a week, about how I sat like a girl or a Faggot. When I talked about my family life, my partners, I had to keep changing 'him' to 'her' and 'he' to 'she.' This resulted in me becoming a bit towards the hyper-masculine, despite living with two effeminate husbands for 10 years, one a Drag Queen.
Finally, and especially for youth and young adults, you can acquire mannerisms of masculinity and femininity from those who are your Role Models, people you really respect or love, or those who mentor you. I had a mentor and best friend, for many years, and I acquired some of his mannerisms, especially being able to maintain absolute calmness in face of crisis at sea, to lead my men. He was a very masculine man.
MY QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DETERMINE YOUR SEXUALITY
- What do you daydream or fantasize about, sexually, when not Masturbating? You are looking for naturally occurring involuntary ones, not ones you try to purposely create in your mind.
- What do you fantasize about when you are Masturbating? This does not include where you are FORCING YOURSELF to fantasize about a specific gender.
- If you watch Pornography, do you watch Straight Porn, Homosexual porn, or both, and if you watch both, which do you enjoy the most? If you enjoy watching Straight porn, what do you focus on the most in the Straight porn, the male body parts and action, or the female body parts and action?
Porn is not always a good measure of what is going on, because younger boys especially can get super-turned-on by anything sexual, which can be confusing to them. But over time, the stuff contrary to their nature will really boring fairly quickly.
- Do you remember any of your dreams, and if so, can you remember the sexual ones? If you do remember them, are they Straight or Gay dreams, or both? Remembering dreams depends on if you dream before or after REM sleep. If it is after, you can usually remember dreams.
- BOYS: Do you get spontaneous erections from seeing hot looking women, or thinking about them, particularly in the nude or in a bathing suit? Do you get erections thinking about a woman's body parts? Do you ever fantasize about running your tongue over her entire body, or sucking on her breasts? Do you ever fantasize about giving and/or receiving oral and/or vaginal sex, with a woman, or more?
- BOYS: Do you get spontaneous erections from seeing hot looking guys, or thinking about them, particularly in the nude or in a bathing suit? Do you get erections thinking about a guys body parts? Do you ever fantasize about running your tongue over his entire body? Do you ever fantasize about giving and/or receiving oral and/or anal sex, with a guy, or more? Note: Some virgin Gay guys may think certain gay sexual acts sound disgusting, until they actually do it, then can't get enough. Therefore, if one or two things do not seem like a turn on to you, it does not mean you are not Gay.
- GIRLS: Do you get sexually aroused from seeing hot looking women, or thinking about them, particularly in the nude? Do you get sexually aroused thinking about a woman's body parts? Do you ever fantasize about running your tongue over her entire body, or sucking on her breasts? Do you ever fantasize about sex with a woman?
- GIRLS: Do you get sexually aroused from seeing hot guys, or thinking about them, particularly in the nude? Do you get sexually aroused thinking about a guys body parts? Do you ever fantasize about running your tongue over his entire body? Do you ever fantasize about sex with a guy?
- If you are sexually aroused by both men and women, is one more intense than the other? If so, is one considerably more intense, or just a little more?
- Who would you rather wake-up cuddled up to and spooning with, a man or a woman? If you are trying to force yourself to be Straight, I want you to make an effort to remove your conscious drive to be heterosexual and live happily ever after with a woman. What does you heart say, not your mind?
- What kind of ROMANTIC dreams, fantasies and day-dreams do you have? Do they involve men or women or both? If both, which feels more comforting and fulfilling.
- Do you feel any guilt, shame or self-hatred around your sexual attractions, cravings, and feelings, and a desire not to have those sexual feelings, and do you feel like you are letting others down by being homosexual or bisexual? I ask this question because it can show a motive for why you want to be straight, or why you are trying to force yourself to be straight, which can distort some of the answers you already gave above.
STRAIGHT GUYS & ANAL/PROSTATE STIMULATION
Straight Boys may be confused about their sexuality if they have discovered that playing with their anus is fun, including digital penetration, massaging their Prostate, or even using toys. This is very normal and records of it go back thousands of years in Chinese and Indian texts, where women did this to men as part of normal sex. The Chinese considered the Prostate to be the third male sex organ (1-penis, 2-testicles/scrotum, 3-prostate) This area of the body is an erogenous zone, no matter if you are Straight, Gay, or Bisexual. Some straight men even enjoy having their wives use a strap-on toy.
STRAIGHT GUYS GO WILD OVER LESBIAN INTIMACY & SEX.
STRAIGHT GIRLS GO WILD OVER GAY MALE INTIMACY & SEX
This is NORMAL to human sexuality. Obviously not everyone conforms to this, and religious and cultural training can interfere with it.
WHY PORNOGRAPHY CAN MISLEAD YOU
First of all, remember that pornography is designed to please as many customers as possible, so the things you see may not be typical of real sex at all. For example, in Porn, ejaculation is always outside the body, because that is what people want to see, not because it is normal. Anal penetrations are rapid in Porn because the models are already cleaned-out, prepped and stretched, otherwise you could really hurt someone. Oral sex may be very lacking in technique, because it is not easily filmed doing it right, etc. There are also things in porn that are not typical at all, like porn with scenes involving urine, which is actually rather rare in the real world.
I am about as homosexual as you can get, yet when I was a boy, seeing pictures of a naked man or woman could arouse me, because of the TABOO factorForbidden fruit can be particularly arousing. As a Gay man, I can find the nude female body to be beautiful, but it does not sexually arouse me at all. I did not even know what sex was until I was 19 years old, when another cadet smuggled a pornographic film and projector onto the ship. It sexually aroused me because of the Taboo factor, and because I focused on the men and their erections. I had never even seen another man aroused before. When I went to sea (not military), there was a lot of straight porn in our staterooms. After months at sea, I could use it for stimulation by focusing on the men, and with stories I could switch the woman to a man, most of the time.
What I am trying to show here is that Pornography alone may not tell you much. Young people who are in Denial, or are subconsciously or consciously pushed to be straight because of a homophobic environment, will use being able to be aroused by straight porn as absolute proof of being Straight. I must be straight because straight porn turns me on.
For girls and young women, pornography may not tell help you at all in determining sexual orientation, because most women can be sexually aroused when viewing Straight, Lesbian, or Gay pornography, REGARDLESS of her sexual orientation (based on a series of studies).
After viewing Straight, Lesbian or Gay pornography and finding it sexually arousing, it is possible that memory of that arousal and excitement might carryover to FANTASY and DAY-DREAMS, further confusing you. What is much more significant is if you have a sexual response to real men or women you have met.
If pornography is confusing you about your sexual orientation, break it down and discover what is turning you on and what is turning you off. If straight and homosexual porn sexually excites you, but you are unsure of your sexual orientation, ask yourself exactly what part of it is exciting you. Do you find naked male bodies, without erections, to be sexually stimulating and arousing? Do guys only become stimulating to you when they have erections? Do you find naked female bodies to be sexually stimulating and arousing?
If it is the act of penetration that is stimulating and arousing to you, and not necessarily WHO is doing it, this can be significant. A straight guy seeing a man penetrating another man anally might find it exciting, but it is not the gay part exciting him, it is penetrating someone anally that is exciting to him, and he can do this in straight sex, assuming she is willing (many women vend it pleasurable). On the other end, Straight men have been getting-off on anal stimulation for thousands of years, as found in ancient texts, although it is typically with fingers, toys, or a woman using a strap-on. For Lesbians, seeing penetration in Straight Porn might turn you on, but it is not the men that are the turn on, but rather the sexual act of penetration that is the turn-on. If it is the act of penetration, this is something that can be done is Lesbian sex too, using toys, strap-ons, etc.
Finally, what if you think you are gay or lesbian, but after watching some gay porn, part of it turns you off or even seems disgusting? Particularly if you are a virgin, certain acts might seem like a real turn off, but in the real world it will feel very different when you are crazy about a person and want every part of him. Some things like anal sex might seem dirty and disgusting, but it is typically very clean because the receptive person cleans himself out, and if you are crazy about the guy, who cares? At the same time, some things might turn you on in a video that you would not want to do for real. Like maybe being spanked or bound and gagged turns you on to see it, but you would never want to actually do it. This is normal, because FANTASY is often about things we would not do for real.
WOMEN OFTEN FIND GAY MEN TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE TO BE AROUND
Some women and girls get frustrated because they fall for guys who turn out to be Gay. Women and girls can often sense the underlying sexual tension of straight men and boys. Some thrive in it, but it can get old, especially when women are working in a male dominated workplace, and especially so when women and girls have been sexually harmed by men. For a woman or girl, being around a Gay man or boy can feel more comfortable and safe, even if they have no idea he is Gay.
Many Gay men and boys have women and girls as their best friends or a very close friends.
WHEN MEN or BOYS ARE RAPED
When Boys or Men are anally raped, especially when done over a period of time, like when kidnapped, in Juvenile Detention, or in Prison, or any time that the pain of forceable penetration is low, they may end up getting erections, orgasming, and ejaculating, which can cause an even deeper shame and a questioning of their sexuality, thinking they must be Gay. Further, most Boys and Men can experience an erection when feeling great fear. Unfortunately, boys and men almost always keep rape a secret and never learn the truth about why their body reacted that way.
When the prostate gland in boys and men is being rhythmically impacted or massaged during anal sex or rape, it is a natural response of the male body to get an erection, experience pleasure, and sometimes even orgasm and ejaculate without ever having touched himself during the sex or rape. If you are being raped, this can really make a guy think he is Gay, but again, it is purely mechanical.
Even worse is when the rapist or others accuse the victim of liking to be raped, further increasing feelings of guilt and shame, and questioning of their sexual orientation.
If you know any boys or men who are victims of rape, be sure to explain this to them. There is no cause for shame or the questioning of their sexuality.
WHEN GIRLS or WOMEN ARE RAPED
Something that can greatly add to the shame and guilt felt by Girls and Women who are raped, is if their body responds with an orgasm. This is most likely to happen if held over a period time, or any time the pain of forceable rape is low. It is again a Natural response of the body, and can happen to her even when she is terrified, feeling horrified, and in mental anguish.
Many people falsely assume and ACCUSE women who experience an orgasm in rape that she must enjoy being raped, which is a disgusting and outrageous thing to say, or accuse a woman of. Even worse is when the Rapist himself is taunting her with the fact. Even other women can be judgmental about this when a woman is raped, but is again a natural body response. Different women will respond in different ways, and fear and terror can affect people differently.
FORCED CHANGING OF SEXUAL IDENTITY
Sexual Identity can actually be changed against one's nature, but it is debatable about how much so. For example, a person who is primarily heterosexual, but secondarily homosexual or incidentally homosexual, could be forced into changing sexual identity to homosexual.
In prison, rape is common, BUT relationships are also common, typically stemming from "protector" and "protected" relationships. It is NOT just a matter of sex. Most human beings will crave and NEED intimacy to survive. Additionally, there is chemistry involved. The hormone "Oxytocin," is secreted by both sexes during orgasm. Oxytocin, is the key to monogamy and long-term attachment. It has also been dubbed the "cuddling" chemical, which also helps new mothers make milk and bond with their babies. The longer two men or two women are having sex, even just out of necessity, the more they will bond and form a loving relationship.
When Straight men are incarcerated for very long time periods, or for life, they engage in homosexual sex out of necessity. Many of the smaller less strong men do not do so out of desire, but do so out of the need for protection from rape and violence from the general prison population. But over time, there is also a need for intimacy and bonding for both, helped by the hormone Oxytocin. These relationships can become strong and loving. But on release from prison, they revert back to heterosexual behavior.
Some women are so brutalized by men that they cannot bring themselves to ever be intimate with a man again, and sometimes cannot even bear the touch of a man. But they still have a need for intimacy and bonding. Which is why some women adopt a Lesbian lifestyle, despite being primarily heterosexual. There needs to be enough homosexuality in her sexual spectrum to allow this to happen. If you encounter a Man-Hating Lesbian who even discriminates against Gay men, chances are she became a Lesbian by choice, due to abuse at the hands of men.
It is easier for Straight women to become Lesbians or Bisexuals than it is for Straight men to become Gay or Bisexual. This is because women can be sexually aroused by either gender, regardless of her biological sexual orientation. Male sexual arousal is driven by their biological sexual orientation. Therefore, conditions have to be more extreme for men to change their sexual identity.
ASEXUALITY is when you permanently lack a Sex-Drive (Libido). Asexuality is not a Sexual Orientation. Asexual people have a Sexual Orientation, and can have Romantic Attraction and Desire for a person, but have no Sexual Drive. If you never desire sexual intimacy, and never feel sexual attraction or arousal to anyone or from fantasy, then you are Asexual. You are not Asexual if you abstain from sex due to a fear of intimacy or sex, or aversion to sex, for other intimacy issues, for religious reasons or for psychological reasons. People who are Celibate-by-Choice or who are Autosexual are not Asexual. [Autosexual: Those who prefer masturbation over partnered sex.]
You are either born Asexual, or it can happen later in life, from problems in the brain at birth or that develop later, due to injury to the brain, tumor, etc.
THINGS THAT CAN LOWER OR SUPPRESS LIBIDO, BUT ARE NOT ASEXUAL:
TESTOSTERONE: Sexual Drive (Libido) is driven and regulated by Testosterone in both males & females. If you have a low or zero sex-drive, Testosterone levels should be checked. If Testosterone is too low, Testosterone supplements can be used to regain your sex-drive [available in gels, underarms (like a deodorant), patches, etc.].
MEDICATIONS: Some Medications, such as SSRI Antidepressants and antipsychotics, some hormonal contraceptives, opioids and beta blockers can suppress Libido, and in some cases it can be permanent (post-SSRI sexual dysfunction).
Sexual libido can also be completely shut down for psychological reasons—this is not Asexuality. Some of these reasons can be obvious, and others more hidden and subtle.
- FEAR: Fear of Intimacy, fear of sex, fear of being hurt and fear of the emotions and vulnerability of sex can easily shut down Libido. This can be especially true if you have already been emotionally damaged in dating, or witnessed it in others. Most are not even conscious of this process. You might fear AIDS or STDs. Body Shame can shut you down.
- STRESS, DEPRESSION & ANXIETY in your life can easily shut libido off in some people. This can happen from your home or school environment, from tragedies in your life, stress from growing up LGBTQ, a dysfunctional family, home problems, living with an addict, being bullied, pressure for grades and career, and physical, mental, emotional and psychological abuse. VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE can also get shut down sexually.
The human body will at times show sexual arousal as part of a normally functioning body in all people. For example, boys and men, including asexual ones, experience erections in their sleep every single night, unless something is medically wrong. Sometimes sexual arousal can become uncomfortable, and if you can, you masturbate to relieve it. But this is very different from a Libido generating an imperative urge and desire to masturbate or have sex on a regular basis.
When you truly have No Libido, you typically have no desire to masturbate—I experienced this when drug treatments shut down my libido—but one may sometimes do it to alleviate discomfort. However, some Asexual-identified people say that the mechanical process of masturbation gives them physical pleasure, without experiencing desire or using fantasy or pornography. Because sexual nerves are only one component of the sexual pleasure equation, nothing but mechanical masturbation yields a lot less perceived sensation, and thus it tends to happen less and less frequently over time.
Some people who only engage in masturbation, tend to think of their sexuality as nonexistent. Many call themselves Asexual, based more on a psychological aversion to sexuality, rather than a lack of actual Libido. Some people say they feel Sexual Desire, and use sexual fantasy or pornography to masturbate, but have no desire to be sexual with anyone, but this is really a fear or aversion to being sexual with others, and is not Asexuality.
©Matthew Barry 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014