Monday, February 16, 2015

The older I get, the less I'm attracted to men

If there's one thing that married bisexual men seem to agree on, it's that their attraction to men has grown stronger as they've aged.  Some say that if their attraction to other men was as easy to control as it was in their early 20s, they never would have acted on it.

"Experienced" straight wives agree that their husbands' attraction to men increased over time.  When they advise young married women in their 20s and 30s on how to cope with a husband who is attracted to men, they invariably say something like, "It's only going to get worse.  'Bisexual' men only become more gay as they get older."
I'm less attracted to men, not dead.

If that's true, then I'm definitely not bisexual - my attraction to men has lessened as I've aged, not grown.

Maybe I'm straight?  After all, if Gabbie had gotten over her infatuation with Charlie in four years instead of seven, we'd still be together.  And I'd be happy to be monogamous with her.

One of my formerly married friends finds it hard to believe that I'm less attracted to men at 48 than I was at 26.  "Maybe you have low testosterone?  Or maybe you're depressed?"

I had my testosterone checked a few years ago and it was fine.  If anything, it should be higher than average now that I exercise so much.

As for being depressed, if I am, it's at a pretty low level and my libido hasn't been affected.

Although my friend thinks my reduced interest in men is odd, I disagree.  I think it's completely normal.for someone who has never repressed his sexuality.

Think about it....aren't most guys, who freely explored their sexuality in their teens and 20s, ready to settle down before they're 40?  Ultimately, the hook-up life is pretty empty, and that's something you realize when you've been around the block a few times.

On the other hand, men who repress their attraction to other men in their younger years eventually reach a boiling point.  And while a few of them "break like a floodgate" and go crazy with hook-ups, most continue to fight the attraction as forcefully as they can, even as they indulge in it  The result is they're perpetually unsatisfied, except for those brief, adrenaline-filled moments when they get to have uninhibited sex with another man.  The thrill of the sex, and the freedom, create a drug-like craving for more sex and more freedom   This causes the attraction to men to grow.

Yet, the interior battle rages onward.  Immediately after sex with a man, most married men stuff themselves back into their compartmentalized lives.  They repress the attraction until they can't fight it any longer, then they give in again.  It's a vicious cycle of suppression and manic freedom...and it works, sort of...until their wives stumble across gay porn or incriminating messages.

What's ironic (and never discussed) is that repressed bisexual men in their 20s have absolutely no idea that their allegiance to living a straight life when they're young sets the stage for drama and divorce when they're middle aged.  Instead of living as straight when they're young, they should have as much unrepressed safe sex with whoever they want.  That way, when the time is right, they'll have no problem settling down with someone they genuinely want to spend the rest of their life with.  (And they'll do so without regret.  Men never regret being safe and slutty, especially when they're young.)

The problem for me is that I reached the point where meaningless sex was no longer compelling twelve years ago.  Now I only want emotionally-connected sex and that's not easy to find.

When I look at pictures of men on dating sites, what I'm searching for is someone who looks smart, warm and approachable; basically someone who inspires me to be open and emotionally vulnerable.  Having said that, I'm well aware that appearances are often deceiving.  You can't actually know if someone is smart, warm or approachable based on their picture.  And you can't really believe what they say in their profile either.  Everyone says they're an awesome catch, but are they really?

Thoughts like these create a catch-22 situation.  I want an emotional connection but the only reliable way to find that is to meet every prospect in person.  That's a daunting task.  So daunting that when I look at rows and rows of pictures on dating sites, I quickly get overwhelmed.  The very best looking guys catch my eye, but other than being genetically blessed, they and every other guy are just a face.  A mask, really.  Rows and rows of pictures are actually rows and rows of question marks and it's exhausting when I imagine the time and emotional energy it would take to contact, bs with, and finally meet each guy face-to-face.  Hot or not, charming or not, shared interests or not - none of that actually matters.  Only spending time together does.  Therefore, only men who are interested in doing that are attractive to me.  Every other guy?  Meh.

Inaction due to being overwhelmed is a problem that applies to many aspects of life.  It's probably the number one reason people get stuck in jobs and relationships they don't like.  The solution is to break down the process of change into small, achievable steps.  I tried that with dating (proactively contact at least one new guy a week) but I wasn't getting enough of an emotional payoff to continue.  At some point I'll try again.  I just need to feel ready to endure a lot of frustration for an extended period of time.  I need to recharge my dating batteries, for however long that takes.

I'm sorry I'm rambling.

My main point is to say to men who are fighting their attraction to men
The more you repress your attraction, the more it will haunt you in the long-run. 
It might seem counter-intuitive, but the best way to become unimpressed by men is to fully indulge your fantasies. 
The sooner you can do that, the happier you'll be.  Both today and every day in the future.

7 comments:

  1. Very insightful.....I think you are right in your assumptions. Thanks for this thought provoking post....Adon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's back up a bit. There's a difference between being physically attracted to people and being mentally attracted to them.

    I would agree that for most people, over time, physical attraction wanes as a driving force. But that doesn't mean attraction as a whole is waning. It's not that you're less attracted to men: you're less attracted to appearance.

    I've never really been attracted to looks. I mean, yes, there's a small amount to which people's appearance matters, but I've never chased the models or guys who look like they're at the gym two hours a day. I've always been attracted to guys with a specific kind of personality far more than a specific look or style. That may have put me in a singular category when I was younger, but it's more and more common as I get older.

    So, it doesn't sound like you're going through anything unusual. I'd bet there's probably at least a bit of anxiety/stress in there inhibiting you/reducing your drive, but that's not uncommon either.

    On a minor note, you said: "Think about it....aren't most guys, who freely explored their sexuality in their teens and 20s, ready to settle down before they're 40? Ultimately, the hook-up life is pretty empty, and that's something you realize when you've been around the block a few times."

    Uhm, no. It may not be for you, but "the hookup life" is still very important to a lot of over-40 gay guys. I mean, the proliferation of open relationships is pretty much case-in-point here: even having the "settled down" commitment, a lot of guys still want the freedom to go play around. I've been "around the block" more than a few times: I came out at 13 and have lived my entire life openly gay. I'm no more ready to "settle down" now that I was 20 years ago; in fact, my ideas of sexual exploration and compatibility have if anything gotten slightly less rigid over time.

    And please don't assign a value judgment to this behavior. It may not be for you, but that doesn't mean it's "wrong" or immoral or immature or "empty" or anything of the sort. It's a bit odd from my perspective to go through the process of rejecting society's notions of "acceptable" sexuality, only to adopt and impose them again in a slightly different form.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting points. I think most gay gays are restless, and even if they do have a strong emotional connection with someone, they will happily hop in the sack with another hot guy if the opportunity presents. This is a personal choice issue -- as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, then who cares.

      Delete
  3. "a few of them "break like a floodgate" and go crazy with hook-ups"

    I can't even imagine this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes you don't have to use your imagination ;-)

      Delete
  4. I can't help wondering if your issue is something different -- maybe a mild depression? Are you interested in anything? You haven't had the greatest luck meeting someone you really connect with, so perhaps that's contributing to a blue state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'm depressed. My attitude about men clearly shifted about 12 years ago - several years before Gabbie's mid-life crisis began.

      My issue might be something different but depression isn't it.

      Delete