Thursday, September 16, 2010

When the self-hatred ends, then what?

Thoughts are not actions.

Once you realize that your same sex attractions are not going away, and you make the decision to stop hating yourself for having those attractions, you should be at a place in your life where you feel calm. Self-acceptance is a wonderful thing.

What happens after self-acceptance?

Many guys want to take action.

If you've only imagined sex with a man, you probably want to try it out, to see if reality matches your imagination.

If you've already experimented with men, but have lived in some form of denial, self-acceptance can lead to just about anywhere - from coming out to celibacy.

In an ideal world I think the best move is to completely understand your attractions before making any major decisions. It's called "thinking before you act" and it's something easier said than done. The good news is, even if you've fooled around a lot, it's never too late to do some soul searching and decide who you are and what you want.

Among the bloggers I follow there are two guys who appear to have accepted their same-sex attractions and are now trying to figure out what that means for their lives. One is 30 and married, Christian of Confessions of a "Straight" Guy. The other is 25 and single, Blurred of Closet Case #3498. It's been a genuine pleasure witnessing their transformations as they've come to accept their same sex attractions. I think both guys feel that they have regained control of their lives now that they have made peace with themselves.

Christian and Blurred are now in the process of figuring out exactly how important men are to them. Are they curious, bi, gay, or some other derivative? Christian is figuring himself out by thinking, blogging and talking to two former fuck buddies. He's made the decision to avoid having sex with men until he figures out who he is and what he wants.

Blurred is single and unattached. He has decided to figure himself out by living one day at a time. He's open to experimenting with men and women. He's open to the idea of a casual relationship with a man or a woman. The one situation he is NOT open to is a serious girlfriend. He knows that he needs to get his shit together before he gets serious with a girl. Like Christian, Blurred is thinking and blogging. Through blogging he's made some friends with whom he can honestly discuss his feelings. Having friends is crucial. It's nearly impossible to figure out your complex sexuality unless you are forced to explain to others exactly how you feel.

I think both of these guys are taking very healthy approaches to understanding their vague sexualities. Both realize that getting seriously involved with new people or hooking-up with random guys are ways to cloud their minds and distract them from understanding what they truly want from life.

If you want to know what can happen if you ignore the big questions and live from hook-up to hook-up, read Fraternity Memoirs. It's a true story written by a guy using the pseudonym John Walsh.

John got involved with a guy his freshman year of college and although it was a casual relationship, it caused his life to spin out of control. He had a lot of hot fun while it lasted but a decade later he realized he was still in a fog about what he wanted: men, women or both. John eventually quit writing because he reached the point where the fun ended and the regrets began.

Despite their similar quests to understand their sexualities, the fact that Christian is married and Blurred is single puts them on different paths. Taking action with men while you are already in a relationship with a woman gets very complicated. Love, sex, truth, lies, and a million other factors weigh on you as you try to decide what you want from life. If you're in that situation, I have some suggestions that may help clear the fog in your head but that requires a whole separate post. The remainder of this post, therefore, is directed toward those who are single and might be bisexual or gay.

Getting involved with women while you're in the process of figuring out your sexuality is generally bad news. Yet it can happen so easily! Women are much more eager than men to get serious, and, your friends and family are always happy to see you coupled with them. I recommend avoiding women altogether, even when you think you're bi, if you are young and single. As my story shows, it's entirely possible to end up married in a very short time, even if you have no intentions of ever being in that situation.

In addition to avoiding a serious commitment, there are other reasons to avoid women when you are young, single and might be bi. First, gay life is very youth-oriented. If you want to find out how important men are to you, you need to experiment. Men are all about looks. The better you look, the more chances you'll have to experiment. Second, from a peak sexual performance point of view, if you do 'men first, then women' you'll be fucking each gender near their sexual prime. Third, the dating advantage for men really hits its stride in mid-life, if you are pursuing women. Women of all ages are happy to fuck you. Fourth, transitioning to women from men is not such a big deal. Going from women to men, depending on the circumstances, can be a real nightmare.

The big objection to men first, then women, is "I'm bisexual! I want both!" If you're young and single and you can juggle multiple partners and you know you're not going to get tied down, go for it. The reality, however, is that you put yourself at risk for falling in love with a woman. And, if you haven't been upfront about your bisexuality with your woman, you will almost certainly find yourself in a very messy situation.

If you truly are bisexual and you avoid women for an extended time, there will eventually come a day when you will have had it with men. You'll be burned out for one reason or another and you'll be clear-headed about wanting to start a serious relationship with a woman. Having done the man-sex thing, you are far less likely to have regrets or face a midlife crisis. Of course there's no guarantee that you won't fuck up your life by wanting men again later, it's just that your chances of doing so are a lot less if you stick to men when you're young.

As always, any feedback, especially contradictory opinions, are appreciated.

3 comments:

  1. I so appreciate your ideas about how younger men who have bisexual urges need to consider becoming very clear about their real identity, and experimenting early to know exactly how their attraction to or love of women fits in with their attraction to men. It is true the research shows we men are very body oriented whatever our sexual orientation and our sexual proclivity is to want a lot of sex with different partners and be visually driven by exterior signals, while women are more emotionally driven and seek steady, secure relationships. These are generalizations of course, and part of figuring out your orientation and maturing toward seeking longer term intimacy is to know for your own self, what do you want not just sexually, but what fulfills you emotionally. Sex is powerful and orgasms are extraordinary and memorable, but partnering is driven by feelings and soul mate connections that are more than just sex.

    One generalization you do make I have to disagree with, both from my personal experience and the tales of so many men I have heard from or read about. A significant number of "bisexuals" have a fluid sexuality--- can feel and believe they are completely into women for instance, then find attractions to men or a specific man seems to emerge from nowhere and take them over. The movement can be from men to women too. The research suggests those fluid men are more likely to find their early to mid years can be very wonderful with women, and this happens to coincide with the years of having children and building careers and one fits in nicely to the model of hetero monogamy. Then new urges for men come out and you have to confront the situation of being married and truly at the time not being attracted to men, then later it takes you over. That is my life story - I did decades of experimentation and thought I was totally over sex with men and fell in love completely with a woman and felt no need to ask her to see me as bi, because I did not see myself that way.

    Now I am coming out to myself as bi after years of growing awareness that is really who I am. And as a "fluid bi", I may be one of those, the majority actually, who is headed to being mostly gay on the Klein scale.

    Sorry to write so much, but you are a serious writer trying to reach other younger men to pass on lessons to them, and you miss the point that unlike you, many of us really were not gay or bi in our hearts or in our hard-ons when we married, but now confront a new dimension of ourselves.

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  2. Jayson!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It appears that when I shifted my focus in the post to young single men I wasn't clear. I made some changes that hopefully will prevent any future misunderstandings. Your comments are ahead of their time, as they apply to married men. When you see my next post I think you will see that we agree, perhaps completely. We'll see.

    Your life experience can be very helpful with respect to this post. Prior to recent years, the idea of being an out bisexual was pretty much unheard of, except in certain liberal places in the 70s.

    As a young bisexual in San Francisco in the 70s, do you mostly agree with my advice above? Or disagree? It seems to me, if you agree, you'd be saying you either were still in denial of your bisexuality OR you acknowledge it would have been better to stick with men until you felt 'done' with them. If you disagree, I'd love to know why. Perhaps bisexuals are screwed no matter what they do? There's no way to ever be clear-headed and happily committed to one person if you are bisexual?

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  3. I did stick with men from the mid 70's to the early 80's in SF and New York and was completely open in my circle of friends, sometimes dating women then men, and evolving to several years of only men, before like you say, tiring of the gay scene, getting less and less sexual pleasure, and yearning for the deeper emotional feelings I only ever got with women. My last year before I gave up on men altogether I had a steady, wonderful affair with one younger man, then in midyear started an affair with a woman, and saw both and they each knew one another - it was the times when it was not so unusual for people having these "open" relationships. So when I settled on women and gladly wound down with men, I felt so sure I had "worked out" my attractions to men. Only later, watching gay men find longer term emotional love as a model that I had not considered, did it even dawn on me one could actually love a man, and I still do not imagine that for myself. But heavy lust I once had, and it has come creeping back after I thought it was all over with guys, in about the tenth year of marriage, then roared back after sixteen years of marriage when my son became an independent teenager.

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