I am a 25 year-old gay(-ish?) male living in New York City. Perhaps uncharacteristically, I have a really strong drive to have kids (of my own) and really want to do so in the next five or ten years. I'm torn about how to get there though, given relationship difficulties that hinge largely on unresolved issues relating to my sexuality. Warning: TL;DR potential, but significant context is necessary.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Background: I grew up Evangelical in the Midwest being taught that lusting over my saintly Christian sisters was a grievous offense. Apart from that message, sexuality was taboo in my mother's household and spoken of only in dirty jokes in my father's. Early same-sex encounters with a member of my stepfamily intensified during my early teenager years and abruptly halted a couple of years later, leaving me wrestling with a great deal of shame and confusion. I had a few girlfriends over the course of my teenage and college years, but they were the sort of relationships that were more friendships than anything else. During the closest thing to a serious straight relationship I had, I found myself too self-conscious to be able to make-out with my girlfriend.
For a long time, I shelved the possibility of my being gay (especially because, given my religious convictions, it was not an option) despite the fact that I'd begun looking at pictures of shirtless then naked guys (and eventually gay porn) online when I was fourteen or fifteen. I attributed any homosexual urges to the fact that I was raised primarily by my mother who won full custody of me when she and my father divorced before I was old enough to form memories. Even though I only saw my father summers and holidays, I was loyal to him, rejecting my stepfather in a lot of ways despite his attempts to fill that role. I always identified more with my mom and have a lot of her personal quirks, shortcomings, and also strengths. Then, of course, add the complication of the same-sex encounters and you have the perfect (rightwing Christian) textbook explanation of why I might be this way.
During a summer toward the end of college, I found myself attracted to a guy I worked with. Toward the end of our summer together, we had a few sexual encounters that, for me would turn out to be really emotionally charged and contributed to my having really strong feelings for him. While he cared about me and saw me as a friend, it was a much more casual thing. I struggled with the disparity in our feeling over the next few years--we saw each other sporadically and I tried to play it cool, not sharing the depth of my feelings with him until I finally sent him a letter following a trip he took to visit me at grad school. He confirmed that he cared about me, liked me, but didn't want to date me, that the casual sex was fun, but that was it. I moved on and since then have had two more balanced gay relationships (of about six months and nine months each). During the course of these, I find it's much more about the emotional closeness and the validation that I seem to find only from other men than an actual sexual attraction. I find men attractive visually speaking, but am not particularly into making out or sex. I'm not grossed out by it or, at this point, ashamed of it, it's just not hugely stimulating to me, a fact which led to problems in my most recent relationship that met its demise because my boyfriend felt I wasn't attracted to him.
Having come out to almost all my friends and to my mother (which ended really, really poorly and has put significant strain on our once-close relationship) and having been in a couple relationships and having sexual experiences with a handful of different guys besides, I've come to sort of 'own' being gay.
Problem(s): I still wonder a lot about what it would be like to sleep with a woman and to be in a straight relationship. I'm discouraged by my general indifference to gay sex. Nearly all my gay friends all roll their eyes when I say I want to date and sleep with women and make me feel like I'm deluding myself. On top of this, I've got the biological clock of a middle-aged woman--I really, really want to have my own biological children. When I think about raising them, the prospect of going the expensive route of finding a surrogate and raising them with a male partner seems daunting, especially when I'm not convinced that being in a lifelong gay relationship is for me. I've long joked about marrying a lesbian or bisexual girl and having and raising kids together, but part of me really believes that would be a good fit. I like getting off and all, but I don't need a lot of sex and I could imagine myself happy in a largely sexless relationship.
Question(s): Am I deluding myself? Am I just giving into the extreme pressure of the hegemonic, heteronormative values I've been inculcated with? If not, how can I at twenty-five even go about starting to date women without any significant heterosexual sex/dating experience? I have the impression a lot of women would be really apprehensive about getting mixed up with me. And then, long term, do any of you think an unconventional relationship would have any potential to be deeply satisfying for both parties?
Bonus Question: I can't stifle the thought that helping a lesbian couple or a single woman conceive might help at least partially alleviate this urge to reproduce, but I understand that's incredibly complicated legally, emotionally, etc. Does anybody think looking into that is anything other than a really foolish idea? Keep in mind, I can't donate at a sperm bank in the state of New York given my history of homosexual activity.
Feel free to contact me at AnonyMeFiteNYC@gmail.com