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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011, 01:26 PM
SurrenderDorothy SurrenderDorothy is online now
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So... gay dopers: how did you know?

I know for a lot of people, this is a stupid question. It was just obvious. It's pretty simple. That isn't the case for everyone, though. So for those who didn't find it obvious, how did you know you were gay?

How did you know whether you were straight or in denial? How did you know if you were gay or some subconscious part of you wanted attention? Or wanted to shock your mother? Or wanted to be different, or to be like people you admired? How did you know if your level of attraction to the same sex was more than would constitute "straight" when straight girls talk about other women and their bodies and how hot they find them all the time? How did you know it wasn't a reaction to bad experiences with the opposite sex that made you wary of them and you're mistaking wariness for disinterest? Or that you weren't just going through a phase?
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:50 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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My first crush was in kindergarten, my earliest "pre-sexual" fantasies were about super heroes. I also learned early on that my feelings toward other guys were out of the norm. It really just never occured to me that I was anything other than gay, although I didn't have a word for it or knew there any others until I was in my teens.

I'm interested in the responses you're more looking for as well since the idea of not knowing is rather foreign to me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:06 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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I always knew. I had no doubts about it. Although, when I was going through puberty and started to have those urges was right around the time my dad was trying to quit smoking. The Jetts sent out free t-shirts to join the "Smoke-Free Generation" and my dad bought a set of hypnosis cassettes to "cure" him of smoking while he slept. I remember looking at the back of the big black box that had words like "cancer" and "dragon breath" on it and noticing all of the other things that other boxes could cure; being overweight, anxiety, lack of confidence, et al. I hoped that there was one that would cure "the gay" but since it wasn't listed, I gave up hope.

I even remember my first moment of arousal was watching Elvis (the younger one, not Vegas Elvis, tyvm) on TV and getting wood. Personally, I'm a Kinsey 6, never had any attraction to the opposite sex.

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I'm interested in the responses you're more looking for as well since the idea of not knowing is rather foreign to me.
This. I've met people who said that they 'didn't know' and that doesn't make sense. I guess if you're bisexual it would make a bit of sense to me because "hey, you can be attracted to the same sex, sure, but you're also attracted to the opposite sex and that's what society would seem to want, so you ignore the other impulses". But to not know, that's a headscratcher for me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:09 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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In 5th grade I suddenly realized that my favorite part of gym was the locker room change and boobs had no appeal to me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:22 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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I'm interested in the responses you're more looking for as well since the idea of not knowing is rather foreign to me.
I'm not gay so I couldn't tell you.

But years ago I was on a different message board, and there was one poster there who had no interest in sex. Nobody really judged him for it or questioned it, it was just taken at face value that he was not sexual.

I left that board for a couple of years. When I returned, he was talking about all the great sex he was enjoying -- with guys. And everyone was applauding his courage in coming out.

He was in his early-mid 20s at the time.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:30 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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Well, there's an expression, "Coming out to yourself". Even if you aren't out to your message board, that doesn't mean you're not out to yourself. It might seem like a big epiphany to the guys on your message board when you finally out yourself, but I bet you five dollars this guy didn't out himself to the message board the day after he figured out that he was gay.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:32 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Well, there's an expression, "Coming out to yourself". Even if you aren't out to your message board, that doesn't mean you're not out to yourself. It might seem like a big epiphany to the guys on your message board when you finally out yourself, but I bet you five dollars this guy didn't out himself to the message board the day after he figured out that he was gay.
That's possible, but I got the impression that his coming out was a process of discovery. That's the way it was talked about, anyway.

And people on that board are pretty open about what's going on in their lives.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:03 PM
Peeta Mellark Peeta Mellark is offline
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I had my first crush on another boy when I was around three or four. At least, that's the first one I can remember. Life before three is fairly fuzzy. But as far back as I can remember, I liked boys. I didn't necessarily know what I wanted to do with them at that point, but I knew I wanted them.

I applied the word "gay" to myself when puberty kicked in and I fell prey to jaw dropping, pants ripping, painful lust about every ten minutes. But I'd known I liked boys long before then. I just didn't quite see the connection between my romantic, passionate friendships and this gay thing.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:30 PM
sachertorte sachertorte is offline
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I read the OP with a bit of a WTF are you talking about view, but I'll try to express something of value. The OP lists several questions that I don't think need to be answered to realize one is gay. If anything the questions are means to deny a gay sexuality. While it is true that one can rationalize same sex attraction as 'admiration of the human form' the realization of orientation comes from the fact that one is admiring men and not giving a rats ass about the female form.

As for the other questions (seeking attention, going through a phase), these are blocks to prevent one from acknowledging the truth -- not the other way around. Seriously, if someone gets to the point where they are self identifying as gay, they aren't going through a phase. I suppose seeking attention might happen, but it seems backwards to me. The phrase "oh he's just seeking attention" is a way for someone to deny gayness not a way for someone to become introspective.

If you are clinging to the idea that it's just a phase or that you are seeking attention, then you are gay.
  #10  
Old 01-04-2011, 06:37 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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Yeah, another early bloomer here, in my case I was seven when I realized. I didn't develop actual crushes, though, until I was 11 or so and on the cusp of puberty.

I knew it was the real thing because I didn't want it to be true, I was thoroughly ashamed and as much in denial as it was possible to be. There was no confusion.


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  #11  
Old 01-05-2011, 01:01 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I can't ever remember not liking men. I used to be 4 years old and watching old Tarzan flicks and wrestingling to see guys without shirts on etc etc

In fourth grade when we had sex education and we learned how to "make a baby" I knew that was something I had no interest in. I guess I was in the 6th grade before I was able to apply a word to it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:29 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Are the people saying that their first crushes were at 3 or 4 years old remembering accurately? I'm straight - Kinsey 0 in action, maybe a 1.5 in my head - and had no romantic, sexual, or crush-like feelings until I was about 8 or 9.

Yeah, I know, everyone matures differently. But it seemed like my friends were on the same track, developmentally.

Joe
  #13  
Old 01-05-2011, 03:02 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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My first sexual fantasy was at the age of 5, and there were elements of that fantasy that have remained constant ever since. But at that age I had no knowledge and no vocabulary to understand that fantasy, yet I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. And in all the 60 years since then, I have never had that kind of feeling toward anyone female.

Of course I wasn't "out" at that age; it would be a couple more decades before the concept of "out" came to be. Yet I knew I was attracted to other boys; there was simply no way to deny it.

In the years since, I've know people who had no idea they were gay until their 40s, 50s, or even later. I know all about peer pressure and repression, but it still amazes me.

And a question to the OP: How did you know about your sexuality?
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:29 AM
SurrenderDorothy SurrenderDorothy is online now
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post

And a question to the OP: How did you know about your sexuality?
I... kind of don't.

I guess I didn't realize that was quite so unusual.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:25 AM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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OP, when I was 18, I would have told that I was straight, and believed it. When I was 20, I would have told you that I was bisexual. I "came out to myself" when I was 21. I think if the prevailing culture had been less homophobic, that would have all been unnecessary.

I had fantasies about other guys from puberty on, but I liked the idea of romance and marriage and family and all that, so I had a strong emotional investment in the idea of being straight. I had no other models. I constructed elaborate rationalizations for why a straight guy never dated and only thought about guys. They wouldn't have stood up to scrutiny, mine or other people's, so I just didn't scrutinize them. It was only after meeting other gay people in college and realizing you could be "normal" AND gay that I came to terms with it.

For what it's worth, my family had no specific problems with it, it was just a subject that never came up. In the silence, I took on the attitudes of the general culture. Later I found out that my father had a gay cousin who had been out to the family since before I was born, and that large swathes of the family suspected I was gay. It just never occurred to them that it would make a difference to acknowledge the subject.

So yeah, I think most gay people know quite early, but at least in a homophobic environment, even a mild one, it's quite possible to be in self-denial in the face of overwhelming evidence for years. I thank the gods that I didn't wind up becoming a televangelist or a prominent republican.

Last edited by Dr. Drake; 01-05-2011 at 10:26 AM. Reason: added important "most"
  #16  
Old 01-05-2011, 03:24 PM
lee lee is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
Are the people saying that their first crushes were at 3 or 4 years old remembering accurately? I'm straight - Kinsey 0 in action, maybe a 1.5 in my head - and had no romantic, sexual, or crush-like feelings until I was about 8 or 9.

Yeah, I know, everyone matures differently. But it seemed like my friends were on the same track, developmentally.

Joe
I remember crushes for both female and males starting when I was 3. I can still picture their faces to this day. I remember telling everyone that this one particular airman was my boyfriend and thinking he was about the best thing ever. I don't see what is so unbelievable about it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:58 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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I've had crushes on different boys since I was in kindergardern (though I never went through the "girls are icky" phase until puberty). As long as I can remember I've been facisinated about what men & other boys look like naked (& indifferent to grossed out by naked females). In fact one of my earlist memories is of watching some raunchy sex comedy from the 70s/80s where college guy got caught in a sorority house, stripped buck naked by the sisters, and had to make his way across campus back to his fraternity. Where all this frat brothers were lounging around in tighty-whities. (Damn I wish I knew what the title was).

In grade school I had a crush on a pair of indentical twins (almost indentical, one had a bit more skin than the other ). And at 10 I went off to summer camp (bible camp) and was surrouned by naked boys in the showers, in our non-airconditioned tents. Some of the counselors also showered with use (including our tent counselor). Then of course I started ready those guide to puberty books. My favourite was It's Perfecty Normal which had illustrations of naked boys & men off all ages.

By then of course I was at that tender age when I'd just discovered masturbation, and all my friends, classmates, cousins, and neighbors thought various ways of ejaculating was just the funnest activity and most interesting topic ever. Started playing Truth or Dare (which most boys wouldn't play unless a girl was present), skinnydipping (same deal). By middle school I was certain. By the time I did come out all I did was confirmed what basically all of my non-senile relatives long suspected. Except my mother, who was completelyshocked and somewhat offended that every else had already though so.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:58 PM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is online now
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Interesting, wha those gay dopers who felt considerable pressure from a young age 'not to be gay' due to the environs they grew up in? Though I'm sure as the World is majority hetrosexual and society is geared that way it may well be that all felt pressure to different extents.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:03 PM
Zyada Zyada is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
Are the people saying that their first crushes were at 3 or 4 years old remembering accurately? I'm straight - Kinsey 0 in action, maybe a 1.5 in my head - and had no romantic, sexual, or crush-like feelings until I was about 8 or 9.

Yeah, I know, everyone matures differently. But it seemed like my friends were on the same track, developmentally.

Joe
I'm straight as well, but I know that I was interested in guys at least as early as kindergarten.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:01 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Basically, I was attracted to women and not men, not at a physical level, anyway. Then I kinda fell in love - with a straight woman - and that gave me the courage to try something physical (with someone else), and then it was like 'woah, so this is what I've been missing!' Until then sex had been sometimes a bit nice and sometimes just something you do for your boyfriend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
Well, there's an expression, "Coming out to yourself". Even if you aren't out to your message board, that doesn't mean you're not out to yourself. It might seem like a big epiphany to the guys on your message board when you finally out yourself, but I bet you five dollars this guy didn't out himself to the message board the day after he figured out that he was gay.
I came out to my online friends pretty quickly after I'd come out to myself. Besides, if they were applauding him for coming out, that could just mean being pleased that he'd come out to them. As I'm sure you know, coming out isn't a one-off thing.

Actually, five days after I'd come out to most of my online friends I went out on a big offline meet-up from a lesbian messageboard. It was just a friendly board like this one, not a dating site, and the club was supposed to be an ordinary nightclub, plus me accompanying someone purely as a friend to a play beforehand.

On the night, I got a text saying the venue had changed to One Night Stand, which was a fetish club. So it ended up that, within a few days of me coming out as gay, I was also talking about a fetish club. A slippery slope it was - must have been all that lube.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:08 PM
Peeta Mellark Peeta Mellark is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
Are the people saying that their first crushes were at 3 or 4 years old remembering accurately? I'm straight - Kinsey 0 in action, maybe a 1.5 in my head - and had no romantic, sexual, or crush-like feelings until I was about 8 or 9.

Yeah, I know, everyone matures differently. But it seemed like my friends were on the same track, developmentally.
My family moved out to the farm and away from that neighbor boy when I was four, so I know that my crush had to have started when I was four or younger. And it was most certainly a crush. I pined after him and wanted to kiss him.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:24 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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I didn't know. Not until I was in my late 20s and had a marriage behind me.

It seems funny looking back there were so many signs. I was a big tomboy as a child, captain of the hockey club, hated dresses and Barbie, had a very clear crush on a female friend that, reading my teenage diaries, looks so blatant now, yet I didn't realise.

Dating boys was just part of the fun of growing up going to discos, snogging a boy at the end of the night, laughing with my girlfriends about it - but I was never wildly excited by any of the boys or remember having any strong sexual feelings towards them. I had a great relationship with my eventual husband, but don't remember heart pounding, crotch throbbing feelings. I didn't know that I was missing anything.

Until I was seduced by a female friend. It literally threw my life upside down. The sex was A-MAZING and I fell headlong into a passionate, all consuming affair.

When that ended (she went off with a man, obvs), I thought 'well, that was exciting, one for the memoirs, now back to finding a man'.

I never did. The next relationship was with another woman, and then another, and I finally admitted to myself that this was who I was, all along. As soon as I accepted it, I never looked back.

I couldn't imagine sleeping with a man now. It holds no interest to me whatsoever.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:21 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is online now
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I knew I liked girls as much as boys when I was still a little girl. My first and most of my crushes were all girls/women but I liked boys/men too so I just thought I was stupid because being queer is just nasty and only nasty people do it.

Until my daughter's friend came out, then she admitted she was bi. I didn't tell anyone until I was almost forty and now in my real life only my daughter knows. I love my Mig but I don't think he'd understand.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:50 PM
waterj2 waterj2 is offline
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For some of us, it can take a really long time. As a teenager, I just figured that at some point, I'd start liking girls like most people do. I mean, I knew people who came out of the closet back then, and that didn't seem like me. My interest in guys wasn't like that.

In college, I pretty much figured it out, but managed to keep it in the back of my mind. I mostly just wasn't interested in anyone. If you're content with being celibate for the foreseeable future, why describe yourself, even to yourself, as gay? It wasn't all that important to be concerned with the fact that it was always cute guys that caught my eye, if I had no particular inclination to do anything about it. If pressed, I'd say that I was asexual, which was largely true. Many years ago there was a thread on here about National Coming Out Day, and I described myself as "questioning" (someone's got to put that last letter in LGBTQ).

That state of affairs lasted a while. Around 29 or 30, I got a bit more restless about it, and decided that regardless of whether I was planning on doing anything about it anytime soon, it was important to me to at least be honest with myself. And slowly started to let everyone else know. I'm still just about the least horny gay guy on the planet, but I'm OK with that. I'm not trying to pretend I'm something I'm not (other than when I pretend I'm Batman).
  #25  
Old 01-07-2011, 04:41 AM
AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet is offline
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fell in love with my best friend at an all girls camp at 15. Talk about CONFUSING! I remember lying in my bunk thinking "OMG this feels amazing.but aren't I supposed to be feeling this way towards GUYS?"
  #26  
Old 01-09-2011, 04:00 AM
SurrenderDorothy SurrenderDorothy is online now
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thank you for the replies in this thread and the other (for nongay dopers, even if I didn't start that one).

the questions in the op weren't meant to be insulting or... wtf or anything. it's just that I know several people who came out as lesbians and then changed their minds later and said that it was one of those things... a phase, a way to shock people, etc.

I mean... I don't want to tell my mother something that will hurt her or make things weird in my family and then go back later all, "just kidding!". And I don't want to get involved with some girl and do the same to her. And I kind of never had that burning lust sensation for anyone, really, but boys are just so boring and not pretty at all. I don't get it. I've really tried, and I always figured I would get it eventually, but I just don't.
  #27  
Old 01-09-2011, 04:41 AM
Claude Remains Claude Remains is offline
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thank you for the replies in this thread and the other (for nongay dopers, even if I didn't start that one).

the questions in the op weren't meant to be insulting or... wtf or anything. it's just that I know several people who came out as lesbians and then changed their minds later and said that it was one of those things... a phase, a way to shock people, etc.

I mean... I don't want to tell my mother something that will hurt her or make things weird in my family and then go back later all, "just kidding!". And I don't want to get involved with some girl and do the same to her. And I kind of never had that burning lust sensation for anyone, really, but boys are just so boring and not pretty at all. I don't get it. I've really tried, and I always figured I would get it eventually, but I just don't.
Yeah... Lots of us have stood on the precipice and then realised I'ts not the big bad, or shocking thing that we thought it was and then stepped forward or took a step back into our comfort zone.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Illuminatiprimus Illuminatiprimus is offline
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SurrenderDororthy - something that's worth considering is that female sexuality can be more fluid than male, so if you're saying you have same sex desire now but don't know if it'll last or not then maybe it won't. But maybe it will, and surely better to be able to live your life the way you want to rather than repress and bury your desires and needs for the sake of others (who, if they really cared about you, wouldn't want you to do that).

If you came out to your family you're not doing that to hurt them, even if that's the way they end up taking it. You can't be responsible for how others feel about it.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:37 AM
waterj2 waterj2 is offline
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I mean... I don't want to tell my mother something that will hurt her or make things weird in my family and then go back later all, "just kidding!". And I don't want to get involved with some girl and do the same to her. And I kind of never had that burning lust sensation for anyone, really, but boys are just so boring and not pretty at all. I don't get it. I've really tried, and I always figured I would get it eventually, but I just don't.
How old are you?
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:43 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
Are the people saying that their first crushes were at 3 or 4 years old remembering accurately? I'm straight - Kinsey 0 in action, maybe a 1.5 in my head - and had no romantic, sexual, or crush-like feelings until I was about 8 or 9.

Yeah, I know, everyone matures differently. But it seemed like my friends were on the same track, developmentally.
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Originally Posted by SurrenderDorothy View Post
I... kind of don't.

I guess I didn't realize that was quite so unusual.
Shrug, if my 97yo grandmother is a lesbian she sure hasn't figured it out, but she says (and we believe her) that the reason she didn't take lovers in her teens like her coworkers did was that she wasn't interested in sex until she met Grandpa, and that she has never ever wanted anybody else. She was 21 at the time.

I had to think hard to realize I was straight (like Joe above, Kinsey 0 in action and something like a 1 in my head), and I was 12 at the time - I wouldn't even have questioned it if my taste in guys hadn't differred from that of the people writing teen mags, though. "Straight" was the default; the word "gay" had entered my vocabulary in 5th grade Sex Ed and I didn't know anybody or of anybody who was.

If figuring out one's sexuality was easy, there wouldn't be people trying to cure the gay, or people who need help from relatives to go beyond the missionary, or people who can orgasm on their own but who have never orgasmed with a partner...
  #31  
Old 01-10-2011, 12:20 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I never developed an interest in girls when other boys in the class were starting to hook up, but the guys on Dukes of Hazzard, Eric Estrada, and Saturday Night Fever era John Travolta were making odd and wonderful things happen.
  #32  
Old 01-10-2011, 12:23 PM
Illuminatiprimus Illuminatiprimus is offline
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If figuring out one's sexuality was easy, there wouldn't be people trying to cure the gay, or people who need help from relatives to go beyond the missionary, or people who can orgasm on their own but who have never orgasmed with a partner...
I contend that figuring out one's sexuality is easy, it's people who don't accept that it's anything other than "sinful urges" and attempt to pray it away that make it harder.
  #33  
Old 01-10-2011, 01:06 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is offline
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I contend that figuring out one's sexuality is easy, it's people who don't accept that it's anything other than "sinful urges" and attempt to pray it away that make it harder.
I contend that you are wrong. I was a pretty intelligent teenager and my nuclear family was not explicitly religious or overtly homophobic. I still had a hard time figuring it out. Why? Because of the prevailing idea that if you don't like girls there is Something Wrong. No one ever said, "if you don't like girls, you're gay." I didn't really know what gay was how would I? By the time I learned, I was already in deep denial.

Sorry, it's just that being told it's "easy" to figure out makes me feel like you're calling me, and others like me, a fool or an idiot or something. It wasn't easy. I wish it had been.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:50 PM
lorene lorene is offline
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SurrenderDororthy - something that's worth considering is that female sexuality can be more fluid than male, so if you're saying you have same sex desire now but don't know if it'll last or not then maybe it won't. But maybe it will, and surely better to be able to live your life the way you want to rather than repress and bury your desires and needs for the sake of others (who, if they really cared about you, wouldn't want you to do that).
I think this is an excellent point. My cousin asked me the very same question a few months ago, having gone through what seems like similar questions to the OP. I told her that, for some people, falling in love (or lust or infatuation) is less about gender than about the person who makes you feel safe and wonderful in the world at that time. I really believe that is true for some people.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:15 AM
SurrenderDorothy SurrenderDorothy is online now
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How old are you?
I'm 19.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:00 AM
waterj2 waterj2 is offline
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Originally Posted by SurrenderDorothy View Post
I'm 19.
You've got plenty of time to work things out, then. I certainly wasn't sure I was gay at 19. Just accept it as a possibility, and do what feels right. I have no real first-hand knowledge, but it's a pretty common idea that there are plenty of college-age women who experiment with lesbianism. If you're interested in exploring relationships with women, they'd likely be understanding of the fact that you're not entirely sure what you're into.
  #37  
Old 01-11-2011, 03:26 AM
Miller Miller is offline
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I strongly relate to this comic, although I'm a guy, and it took me about ten years longer to get to panel six than she did. (Or panel 1, for that matter.)

BTW: other comics on that site are NSFW, so be careful with it.
  #38  
Old 01-11-2011, 03:32 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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Originally Posted by SurrenderDorothy View Post
I'm 19.
I don't think you should put too much pressure on yourself to make a decision. There's no time pressure to tell your family, and anyone you might hook up with at that age is unlikely to be looking for long-term commitment so you shouldn't worry about having relationships and then letting people down. That's what happens at your age - whether you're gay or straight.

Just go with the flow, go to some lesbian bars/groups if you want to explore that side of you, but don't be hard on yourself if you find it's not for you. Experimentation amongst young women is astonishingly common. In ten years time, you'll be amazed how many of your straight female friends will finally admit to that fling they had with a girl at college, having kept it secret for years.

Many people take a long journey to coming out and take many years before they tell friends, let alone family.You'll know it when being straight seems ...odd to you. I'm not sure how I can better express it. But that state of mind can take some time and may never be the case for you.
  #39  
Old 01-11-2011, 04:00 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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There was a long period of time in which I like to say that I knew, but I didn't know I knew, so to speak: as a boy I definitely found men attractive (including a big crush on my grade 8 French teacher), and I followed gay rights stories in the news, but it all went on on a sort of unconscious, unintegrated, not quite sure why I was doing it and barely even aware that I was kind of level. I wasn't in denial; I wasn't even really aware there was anything to deny.

As stupid as it sounds, I finally put it together after a dream I had in December the year I was 15. Not even a sexy dream, either, just a dream where I saved another boy in my class (who I didn't even like all that much IRL) from getting bullied, and he gave me a hug, and I liked it. It wasn't that that convinced me I was gay, but just when I woke up, for no good reason I was finally able to put words to it and know that I was gay. It wasn't a matter of coming to a conclusion, or deducing it; it was a matter of finally coming to know it, and I knew it as a certainty then and there.

Any doubt I had was about how to proceed. Happily I was spared any self-hatred on the subject; I know people who prayed for months not to be gay, or who slept with people of the opposite gender to try to make themselves straight. I never had a "questioning" phase, really; I moved right from "clueless" to "know I'm gay and accept it" that morning. (In the earlier stage I've described, I wasn't even aware enough to ask questions.) The question was how to keep myself safe and come out in a way that worked for me.

As for the OP's questions, as to how I knew I wasn't doing it for those reasons, some of them are easy (I know it wasn't a bad reaction to women because I was a virgin and had never dated anyone; I didn't want to shock my mother, and moved into my "shock my parents" phase a year or so after I came out to myself; etc.) and others have a little bit less satisfying answers: I just... knew that those things weren't the case, and I wouldn't have put myself through the hassle if they had been.

It may well be that if my sexuality had been more fluid and/or I had been significantly interested in women sexually, my attraction to men might have been more confusing to me and have taken longer to realize and know what to do with. As it was, I knew, for a fact, that I thought I was gay because I was: I very strongly, inside myself, wanted to love and make love to men.

Last edited by matt_mcl; 01-11-2011 at 04:00 AM.
  #40  
Old 01-12-2011, 05:10 AM
AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet is offline
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Quote:
any people take a long journey to coming out and take many years before they tell friends, let alone family.You'll know it when being straight seems ...odd to you. I'm not sure how I can better express it. But that state of mind can take some time and may never be the case for you.
Ditto. It took me YEARS to try to figure out who I am. I remember going up to M at camp, (when she got a special award at campfire) for what I thought would be a hug. Then she kissed me on the cheek....and I was like "omg that feels good...OMG I'm GAY?!?! I remember walking back to my cabin in a daze, and my counselor going "you look happy" when she was giving us our goodnight hugs.
Unfortunatly I was trying to come to terms with my identity in another way, as well as dealing with the HELL of high school. I kept thinking " Maybe that was a stage. Maybe my feelings for M were just a manifesation of how awesome the camp was. The camp was one of those places where a straight girl might find herself falling in love with another straight girl....and it was NORMAL?!?!
I kept thinking " maybe I'll meet a nice guy" ... I wasn't very popular in high school to put it mildly
dated a bit in college, (guys) but nobody who made me go "wow"...and in a lot of ways I think I'm still trying to figure out who I am sexually. Keep thinking that "Oh i haven't had a lot of relationship experiance (after all when you're the weird deaf fat girl who wants to date you?) with guys or met the right guy"...this when I mainly fanatize about being with girls, and most of my erotica consumption is lesbian.
I was still trying to figure out who I was back then......so don't worry.
  #41  
Old 01-12-2011, 06:25 AM
Illuminatiprimus Illuminatiprimus is offline
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In fairness as much as female sexuality is fluid, male sexuality isn't completely rigid either. It appears to be less the case for men (whether this is cultural conditioning or physiological we don't know) but they can also develop romantic/sexual feelings for other men, either a specific man or men sometimes.

Personally I think we'd all be better off if we just chilled the fuck out about the subject and not get so het up about where people put their genitalia (particularly if it's nothing to do with them).
  #42  
Old 01-12-2011, 11:04 AM
Chopper9760 Chopper9760 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurrenderDorothy View Post
I'm 19.
I'm 25 and when I was 19 I knew I was a lesbian but I was in major denial. I absolutely did not want to be gay and I was terrified at the prospect of coming out.

I took the foolish step of sleeping with a few guys just to...hell, I don't know, just to see what would happen. With the exception of the first time, sex was great but I felt very guilty about having one night stands and I still felt gay - I managed to stretch this ill-conceived experiment over thee years.

I was really stubborn and decided I might be bisexual so I picked up a couple and had a threesome. That bit of empirical evidence did it for me, I was definitely into girls. I was still horribly guilty about having safe but NSA sex and being gay.

My mom was really worried about how depressed I was and just flat out asked if I was gay. It was a tearful conversation but I admitted that I was and I quietly came out to a few friends. Later, my cousin was taking flak from the grandfolks for being a lesbian so I came out to my extended family too.

After the family knew I decided to just be honest if asked. I think everyone I work with knows and one gal is always asking me questions. I feel pretty darned good about being gay and I feel SO good about not hiding.

I was in extreme denial and I dealt with it by not talking to anyone and experimenting in the most emotionally detached way that I could. If I could go back in time I would have been way easier on myself, I would have talked to people, and I would have tried to just date a girl like a normal person.

Good luck, feel better, you're totally normal
  #43  
Old 01-12-2011, 06:30 PM
lee lee is offline
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I disagree that at 19 people won't be looking for a long term commitment. By that age I had made a longterm commitment.
  #44  
Old 01-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I have a friend (who knows I'm telling this) who developed crushes and even had some lesbian kisses in the dorms at her college- the uber Fundy unaccredited Bob Jones University- but she put it behind her, prayed for forgiveness and convinced herself it was just girls being silly. She married a guy she met on campus and dropped out, dropped a couple of kids, and then didn't finally admit it until she was a grandmother (albeit a young one- early 40s) and her marriage fell apart for other reasons and she started dating again for the first time in 20+ years and when he started making moves she realized she wasn't attracted to him. Friends she shared it with first told her it was because she probably felt like she was committing adultery, but she knew "Nope, that's not it". They asked her "What sort of man would you be attracted to?" because the guy she dated was attractive as most would define the term.

This started her soul searching and she finally admitted that though she'd enjoyed sex with her husband sometimes (just as gay men can enjoy sex with women sometimes) she wasn't really and never had been attracted to men.
It was her married daughter who set her up on a date with a woman- the daughter had somehow always suspected and the woman was one of the daughter's in-laws. For the first time since being in a dorm she felt real sexual chemistry.
It took her years to work through the baggage and guilt. Now she's in a long term relationship (she's in her early 60s or so) and says she doesn't regret marriage because of her kids (one accepts her relationship, the other one loves her but is disapproving/unaccepting of the relationship) but says she regrets that so many women continue to go through this and not really understanding what the problem is.
So for women especially I think it's possible to be middle aged before you really clock it. I've known a couple of men who didn't come out until they were grandfathers. I think on some level even if they won't admit it they've got to know what side their bread is buttered on long before, but denial is super powerful.

Last edited by Sampiro; 01-12-2011 at 06:38 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-13-2011, 04:50 AM
Illuminatiprimus Illuminatiprimus is offline
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Okay - let me approach this from another angle.

I get that there are stories here (first and second hand) of people who didn't come to the realisation that they were same sex oriented until much later in life, maybe until after a long term heterosexual relationship. But people in this thread (unless they're posting from Scandinavia/Holland) must accept that they live in a heteronormative society, and this is even more the case in the past than now (case in point Sampiro's late-blooming lesbian). Heterosexuality is considered to be the default, homosexuality is considered by many to be an aberration or, in some cases, a flaw. A lot of people are either given no information about what homosexuality is, or are given information that ranges from "being gay means liking your own gender. Okay, next topic" to "being gay is an abomination unto the LAWD and if those sinful thought should enter your mind then the power of prayer will save you". Hardly conducive to a realistic appraisal of one's own sexuality.

If one grows up in a society where this is the case, isn't it entirely possible that one would find it hard to classify one's self as gay as one might not even know what that is? (As seemed to be the case with Dr Drake) If society treated same and opposite sex attraction as equal whilst accepting one is far more prevalent than the other, do people really contend that with all the additional information and affirmation and minus the fear, denial and condemnation they wouldn't know what got them hard/wet?

Really?
  #46  
Old 01-13-2011, 06:05 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Too lazy to search, but I remember even sven talking about women she met in Cameroon who by sven's definition were clearly lesbians but, because of the way gays are perceived there (which includes, among other things, "rich" and "witches") would never in a million years perceive themselves as lesbians. It makes sense: if all gay people are rich and I'm not rich, I can't be gay.

At the same time, there are different levels and develompment speeds for both emotional-ness (is so a word, I just invented it) and libido. I have no problem believing that some of my classmates and some of the responders here were dreaming of romance (in either the sexless or sexed definitions) by age 3, whereas I only started being vaguely interested some six months after menarche.

Last edited by Nava; 01-13-2011 at 06:08 AM.
  #47  
Old 01-13-2011, 10:53 AM
Chopper9760 Chopper9760 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illuminatiprimus View Post
If society treated same and opposite sex attraction as equal whilst accepting one is far more prevalent than the other, do people really contend that with all the additional information and affirmation and minus the fear, denial and condemnation they wouldn't know what got them hard/wet?

Really?
If we could truly chuck our cultural baggage about sexuality, kids would grow up with an entirely different framework. In such a world I expect that people would discern their preference much sooner and that sexuality would be considered fluid, something that emerged out of personality traits rather than genitalia or gender roles.

The effects of heteronormative society cannot be overstated. Nava's points mesh well with my own experience. I feel like a complete ass looking back, I absolutely should have known that I was a lesbian. But like Nava said, it wasn't an option. The politics of being gay really tripped me up. In high school I would have told you that a lesbian was was a liberal, activist bitch.

I know that I was interested in romance/sex/masturbation from age seven. I read all kinds of books, all hetero, of course. I always felt informed and a little ahead of the curve when it came to sex. I recently read a blog wherein another woman shared a similar childhood experience. She said that she read romance novels and other more adult literature almost compulsively and that looking back, she feels that she was searching for something.

That definitely rings true for me. A big part of coming out to myself was reading massive amounts of lesbian-themed work. I've always been a voracious reader and if that material had been available in my formative years I don't think I would have been able to live in denial as long as I did.

I am sometimes grateful though that I'm so stubborn and slow. I can't imagine how stressful and occasionally terrifying it would have been to attend my small northern Idaho high school knowing that I was a lesbian.
  #48  
Old 01-13-2011, 01:45 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is online now
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It's entirely possible that if we dispensed with the cultural baggage, Person A who is attracted to Dolores would self-identify as a "Doloresexual" regardless of Person A's own sex; that is, people might think of it as entirely about the specific person they've got the hots for and not bother to make any large generalizations.

Or perhaps somewhere in-between, observing (but not self-categorizing in a big Identity-Factor way) that their attraction tends to be towards females or to males. The way someone today might observe that they tend to be attracted to blonde people or muscular people or whatever, where it doesn't become much of a big deal to anyone and doesn't tend to become a proscriptive attitude that strongly shapes who one is willing to consider in the future.
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  #49  
Old 01-13-2011, 02:32 PM
Chopper9760 Chopper9760 is offline
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
It's entirely possible that if we dispensed with the cultural baggage, Person A who is attracted to Dolores would self-identify as a "Doloresexual" regardless of Person A's own sex; that is, people might think of it as entirely about the specific person they've got the hots for and not bother to make any large generalizations.

Or perhaps somewhere in-between, observing (but not self-categorizing in a big Identity-Factor way) that their attraction tends to be towards females or to males. The way someone today might observe that they tend to be attracted to blonde people or muscular people or whatever, where it doesn't become much of a big deal to anyone and doesn't tend to become a proscriptive attitude that strongly shapes who one is willing to consider in the future.
I like that theory a lot. I'm sure you're right, preferences would be more in the "what's your type?" vein than anything else and definitely secondary to individual personalities.

Our society is shaped around gender/sex roles to such a degree that it seems impossible to unpack all of our motivations for a realistic "what if" conversation.
  #50  
Old 01-13-2011, 03:50 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Too lazy to search, but I remember even sven talking about women she met in Cameroon who by sven's definition were clearly lesbians but, because of the way gays are perceived there (which includes, among other things, "rich" and "witches") would never in a million years perceive themselves as lesbians. It makes sense: if all gay people are rich and I'm not rich, I can't be gay.
I think I've mentioned before that one reason I had trouble realizing I was gay was because queers were men who liked to dress up like women and have sex with little boys. I never wanted to do either of these things, but I wanted to bang the hell out of a 1979 era Eric Estrada, therefore I was a bisexual who didn't like women, and really, aren't all people bisexual?
I don't really believe all people are bisexual now. I know bisexuals exist but I think true bisexuals, especially bisexual males, are probably more of a minority than gays. This isn't to say that most guys might not be able to get aroused under peculiar instances to members of the sex outside their norm (pardon the TMI, but I have had hard-ons for a couple of women over the years and I consider myself pretty solidly gay) but most people are attracted to one gender over the other in at least 99 out of 100 times. However I did subscribe to the everybody's bi, I just like guys a bit more than most- mode of thinking when I was in my late teens.

When bullying became such an issue a few weeks ago I was asked by some people if I was bullied in high school for being gay. My answer was 'No'. I was bullied in high school for being 'different', but at the time I didn't even realize I was gay. There were no openly gay kids in my high schools- there were some who were obviously gay but they certainly weren't open, and those who could conceal it did, and at least a couple of bullies in high school were- later- openly gay.

In my teens there was Three's Company [where Jack wasn't really gay anyway] and SOAP [where Billy Crystal was a gay man who wanted a sex change and then becamse straight somehow] and Tony Randall's character Sidney Shorr, who was intended to be openly gay but this got really watered down til he was basically an asexual fuss budget, a Felix who just didn't date. Today I've long since lost count of the openly gay characters on TV and in movies and visibility is through the roof, and while in some ways it makes society as a whole perhaps more accepting of gays it also makes it much more of an issue than it was when I was a teenager and probably more likely to get you identified and bullied. While I still maintain that too much correlation is made between school bullying and gay (gays can be bullied but not all are and I'd wager the majority of bullying victims aren't gay) it's probably more of a problem now than in the 1970s/1980s. In a way I think it was possibly easier in the '70s/'80s (not making it a golden era by any means) because it allowed you to concentrate on other facets of your development, and any straight person I'm sure recalls their teen years with angst galore without having to deal openly with the 'gay stuff' simultaneously or to the exclusion of the other teen crap.

Last edited by Sampiro; 01-13-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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