by Dan Savage
on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM
Background: male, raised in a caring family, no issues there. Molested for six years starting at age six, family knows. Have fallen in love with women repeatedly.
This is the part that confuses me: I find gay porn hot as hell. I like male/female porn but images and video of hot guys naked and/or having sex turns me on. I have been drawn to hot guys for a long time. I have had experiences with guys as an adult. I was always drunk when I did. I would meet them on gay sites. I always was careful, condoms used. It was a total turn on until I came and then I felt like shit and couldn't wait to get out and home. I don't like kissing guys. I will suck cock and get fucked but anything else isn't of interest. I don't want to date or even know much about them. They have to be in better than average shape. I still find women attractive. I want to date and be with them, kissing and that sort of thing. I have dated women. I have never hooked up with a guy while I was involved with a woman. I still find women incredibly attractive.
I don't know if I am gay and in denial or bisexual or straight and just really fucked up from the abuse. I have gay friends and do not consider myself homophobic and think being gay is not the end of the world.
This is really weighing heavily on me. I want to move on with life, and get married, but I don't want to marry a woman if I am gay and confused.
I wonder if you may have an idea what the hell is going on with my sexuality.
Thanks For Reading
My response—and TFR's response to my response—after the jump...
It sounds like you're bisexual—but bi in a way that some people don't feel comfortable discussing, lest the conversation draw accusations of biphobia, but bi in a way that I've personally encountered more than once in my short life, TFR: You're into men, you're into hot bodies, you're into cocks, you're into fucking and sucking with other dudes. But you're not into other men romantically.
Not. At. All.
There are lots of bisexual folks out there who swan around saying shit like, "I don't see gender, love is love, I fall in love with a person, not just a set of genitalia that happens to be configured in a certain way." That philosophy—which I once labeled "bi-supremacism," but these days I just call "general dumbfuckery" (your partner is a person, mine is a penis?)—doesn't allow for the existence of bi guys like you, TFR. And there are lots and lots of you out there: guys who like fucking around with other guys but don't have romantic feelings for other men. None, zip, zero. One trait bi guys like you tend to share? No interest in kissing their male sex partners. Kissing, for many, is an act that signals romance and intimacy—you're pressing your lips together, you're sticking your tongues in each others' mouths, you're tasting his spit—in a way that fucking and sucking cock do not. Go figure.
Now let's try a thought experiment, FTR: let's imagine that you were never abused. Set your history of sexual abuse aside—a lot to ask, I realize, but go with me here—and just for a moment try to view your sexuality not through the prism of your history of sexual abuse, but as a stand-alone phenomenon. Like I said, TFR, I know and, ahem, have known (and liked!) guys who are just like you, guys with the exact same sexual interests and limitations, but who were NOT sexually abused as children. They saw themselves as bisexual but with a strong preference for women. They saw themselves as capable of having sex with men, capable of truly liking the guys they messed around with (and able to spend time with them sober), just not capable of falling in love with other men.
They saw themselves as bi. Not fucked up, not damaged, just bisexual in their own particular way. They didn't see their bisexuality as the only kind of bisexuality—some bi folks see no gender (and more power to them), some bi guys can fuck women but only fall in love with other men, etc.—but just as entitled to identify as bi as any other bisexual.
You can't undo the past, TFR, but you can accept your sexuality for what it is. And so long as you're expressing it in a healthy way—and it sounds like you are in some ways (using condoms, not cheating on people) and not in others (having to get drunk to get with other dudes, bolting as soon as it's over)—you're good. Now you just have to try to relax and embrace your sexuality. Work on ramping up the healthy and dialing down the shame, okay? Remember: there are lots of bi guys like you out there, some were abused as kids, most weren't. Your history of sexual abuse could just be... a coincidence.
Viewing your history of sexual abuse and your sexual identity as two separate and distinct issues would most likely help, TFR, and it's most likely true. So why not err on the side of seeing it that way?—Dan
I am stunned, in a good way. Thank you for not only reading my email but replying as well!
What you wrote makes so much sense I feel a little dense for not realizing it on my own. I try and set the abuse stuff aside and overall have done very well doing so. Thank God for therapy. I didn't think that experience had much to do with my own sexuality but didn't want to omit it or try and claim it didn't effect me, thus I included it.
I appreciate reading your comments and it has already made some things easier for me. I have a ton of things I can add but won't. Thank you again, this has really made a difference and positive impact on me.—TFR