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'Reverse' Bicurious, am I kidding myself?
September 25, 2011 11:34 AM   Subscribe

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.

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
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Therapy. I know it's a metafilter cliche, but therapy therapy therapy.

I wouldn't be surprised if your libido issues and shame around your own sexuality has something to do with your strict religious upbringing--not necessarily that you were pushed toward heterosexual relationships, but that sex, generally, was something shameful and not spoken of, and it was looked at as virtuous to be disinterested in sex outside of heterosexual marraige.

You might be bi, but you really don't sound interested in sex with women except as a way to avoid sex with and relationships with men. And you don't sound particularly asexual, either. You do, however sound embarrassed by the possibility that you like sex with men. And there are men out there who want to raise and make children too. But I really think that discussion of sex issues with a qualified therapist is the best route to go.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:03 PM on September 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you find the thought of having sex with a woman arousing? Can you get off to such thoughts (or straight porn)? I don't think there's any problem in principle of trying out a bit of straight dating - there are plenty of women who'd have no problem with this if they liked you and thought you liked and were attracted to them as a person and physically (hell, there are probably plenty who'd be cool with the idea of being your trial run at a straight relationship). She's got to believe that you're actually interested in her though, there won't be many who'd be down with simply helping you perpetuate your genes.

I don't think I can offer you the best advice on alternative routes, but if you're into girls as well as guys, I think it's entirely possible to find one who's ok with your sexuality, including the amount of sex you want. Don't be afraid to try it; be honest with the girl about what you're doing, and it's not wrong to decide this route isn't for you either.
posted by fearnothing at 12:06 PM on September 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Are you friends with any women? I ask because when the topic of kids has come up, we have been offered surrogacy by one of our lady friends. Personally, I'm not sure I'm ready to be a dad, but hold out hope—if you're really inclined, you might yet get to spread your genes!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2011


PhoBWanKenobi expressed what I was trying to say in half the words, with his last paragraph. Use his answer.
posted by fearnothing at 12:10 PM on September 25, 2011


The world isn't just made up of 'Gay' and 'Straight'. Its not that simple. My advice would be to not let 'gay' become your identity or let your gay friends pigeon-hole you or stop you exploring that side of yourself (and it is just one aspect of the complex, multi-faceted personality that makes up every human being).

That being said, you don't mention being at all attracted to women - are you? If you want to have a heterosexual relationship, don't let your friends stop you. If you haven't properly tried it, you don't know if you'd like it but I think if you're not even slightly attracted to women, you're going to be even more indifferent to hetero sex.

I think a lot of women would be apprehensive, or perhaps more specifically, confused if you say you're gay so I wouldn't mention that part. 25 isn't that old, sure its above average for a 'virgin' but its not so extreme and unheard of that it should stop you from trying if that's what you really want.

Even if you're completely 100% fine with not being in a sexual relationship, if you've only been able to form strong emotional bonds with men, I don't think a relationship with a similarly inclined lesbian or asexual woman could ever be deeply satisfying for you. But there are all kinds of people in the world and all kinda of relationship dynamics that 'work'.

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 think you should explore (possibly with the help of a professional) why you seem to only find that kind of bond with other men. If its a certain personality type you're drawn to, there are probably women out there with similar personalities too. Even if they're attributes more often associated with men, there will be straight (or bi) women out there like that too. We're not all girly girls ;)

Do you have any close female friends? If not I think you should try to get some before attempting a sexual relationship with one, just to spend time being comfortable and being yourself around women.

Lastly, remember you're a man, you do not really have a biological clock ticking (and even if you were a woman you'd still have a few years of prime fertility left and plenty of perfectly adequate years too). I think the most important thing, before you even consider bringing offspring into the world, is to get yourself figured out first.
posted by missmagenta at 12:11 PM on September 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just read an article about Co-parents:
Catherine, 41, met Steve, 39, on the website co-parentmatch.com. He is gay and she has been single for two years. He lives in London for his job as an analyst but will join Catherine in Swansea if and when he gets her pregnant, through artificial insemination (AI).
It isn’t that Catherine doesn’t want to find love but that she wants a child more: 'I’ve stopped looking for a partner. Of course I need love, but I can have a partner at any age. I can only have a child now,’ she says.


Traditionally, fertility networking sites introduce anonymous donors and recipients and the relationship ends there. Yet co-parentmatch.com and its smaller competitor, coparents.net, have added a new dimension; men can either donate sperm anonymously or opt to share in parenting duties, too. Both sites report a marked rise in numbers ticking the co-parenting box.

Also, is it possible you are assexual? Or is it that you like men sexually, but dislike something about conventional gay sex?
posted by melissam at 12:12 PM on September 25, 2011


If not, how can I at twenty-five even go about starting to date women without any significant heterosexual sex/dating experience?

There are a ton of queer women who date dudes - dudes who identify as straight, and gay, and bi. One of my ex-girlfriends (I'm a woman) fell in love with a guy so gay that I'm not sure he ever had a closet to come out of. He fell in love right back, and they've been married 15 years now, and have a kid. If you want to try sex/relationships with women, you're not required to only date straight women.

That said, nthing that you'd benefit from therapy
posted by rtha at 12:13 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


At the risk of sounding cliched, I think you should see a therapist. You seem somewhat confused about your sexuality, and, although I believe that some people are just not that into sex, what you're describing (being too self-conscious to make out with your ex-girlfriend and not being into making out with men either) seems a bit extreme. I think the best way to sort things out is to see a therapist.

I don't think that donating sperm to a sperm bank is going to satisfy your desire to have children. I think what you want is to have and raise your own children, not just to pass on your genes. Be careful entering into agreements with people (such as a lesbian woman or couple) to father their children. Relationships (with the mother and/or mother's partner) can turn sour, and people end up embroiled in all kinds of litigation (parentage, custody disputes and so on) over this stuff. I'm not saying that these kinds of arrangements can never work, only that things could get really, really messy and expensive when they don't. You're only 25--there's no need to rush into having children. You still have many years to figure things out and raise a family.

I suggest that you see a therapist and figure out what you really want first. Then perhaps you'll find a partner (male or female) who is compatible with you and satisfies your needs. Then the two of you can figure out whether to have children, and, if so, how to go about doing it.

Also, if you decide that you want to try dating women, you shouldn't worry about not having much heterosexual dating experience. Lots of people are inexperienced, and 25 really isn't that old. (Besides, it's not as if you've had no dating experience whatsoever.) I think the important thing is to be honest and open with whomever you date.
posted by raynax at 12:24 PM on September 25, 2011


This is not a problem you can fuck your way out of, with a member of either sex.

I think the effects of what you've grown up with will take even more time and effort undo than you may realize. Along the way you will have many adventures, and hopefully some incredible beacon moments of sexual pleasure, and unfortunately some painful or awkward moments with people you are trying to get closer to. But please take heart in knowing that we are all doing this, or have done it, and no reasonable person will fault you for going through these growing pains.

Therapy is going to continue to be a crucial part of this, because you can't ask yourself the right questions or lead yourself to the right conclusions. You're on the inside, struggling, and when you feel or think someone you can't really trust whether it is a safe or true thing to feel or think. The parts of you that are damaged or afraid will flounder for control of certain impulses and ideas -- and even more insidiously, they will insist that they are objectively real.

We invent ourselves. You did this once already, using spare parts of other people's religion, other people's values. For some people it is preferable to incorporate those old spare parts into their new free identity. Others can't feel free until all traces of that old life have been scrubbed away. A good therapist will help you pick through the parts and decide what is safe to keep and what isn't. It will feel slow, but it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Also, please feel free to memail me, there are gays in the city who are far more open-minded about these things than others, and I'd be happy to see if I can help you meet some.
posted by hermitosis at 12:46 PM on September 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Honestly, you sound like a gay dude with a strong nesting and monogamy streak, with a healthy but not super high libido, with some family-of-origin issues to work out. You will be fine - set your sights on dating nice guys who want to settle down, get some therapy, be happy.
posted by yarly at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As rtha said, it is common to find gay or queer-identifying dudes who marry and have kids with women, whether straight, bi, gay or queer-identifying. Well, in big cosmopolitan cities anyhow.

It's a definite thing now.
posted by dontjumplarry at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an interesting post/answers on many levels.

I found it curious the way you phrased your deep need to raise kids as "I've got the biological clock of a middle-aged woman". Actually, middle aged men also have this intense yearning. To need to have and raise one's own children is obviously quite the norm in straight men, and I'm willing to wager that the more conservative an upbringing a man had, the earlier that urge sets in. This all gave me the sneaky suspicion that you've been around plenty middle-aged women in your life and not many men. Perhaps you should work with a therapist with disassociating yourself from middle age women (and that being loyal to your mom doesn't mean /being/ your mother, etc.. )

I'm also getting this vibe that you think you're "damaged goods" for a relationship with a women because of your past gay encounters. Firstly, you are not damaged goods for anyone by a long shot: your partners of either sex should count themselves lucky to have an upright, serious-minded and eloquent young man like yourself to share their life. Secondly, I see that what you seek from relationships is an emotional bond. Just like with guys, this takes time to build with girls. In short, I would advise against picking a woman up at a bar, but instead try to spend time and effort forming an emotional bond with a girl and see where that leads you (obviously telling her the truth, that you had 3 gay relationships in the past and you want to have a relationship with a woman now). Perhaps seek out girls that share your hobbies - that way you don't have to concentrate on each other but on that thing you both love doing: cooking, rock climbing, gardening, etc.. Thirdly, this being NYC, having past gay encounters is probably a huge turn on for many women. (They'll probably delude themselves along the lines of "He turned straight because of me" and love you all the more for it.)

In sum: I don't think you're wrong in wanting to date women. You spelled this out pretty clearly: you're not convinced that being in a lifelong gay relationship is for you, you're not sexually attracted to men, you don't really like making out with men, you're generally indifferent towards gay sex and that this has always been the problem in your gay relationships, while your straight relationships were only when you were young and immature (highschool/college + too self conscience to make-out).

Finally, you ask an important question, "what will be deeply satisfying for me?" It seems to me that you have already laid down what matters to you:
1. "emotional closeness and the validation" in a close relationship.
2. "I really, really want to have my own biological children + "raising them"
3. "I don't need a lot of sex and I could imagine myself happy in a largely sexless relationship."

You know what you want - that's good - and dating women makes sense in this light. Finding a deeply satisfying relationship will always take some trial and error, so I wish you the best of luck, young man.
posted by ruelle at 2:54 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds as if your upbringing and past relationships are greatly colouring your assumptions about male-male romantic/sexual relationships. You have dated people you were incompatible with in the past for whatever reason... but that doesn't mean you're incompatible with all people of that gender! I tried the same thing when my relationships with men kept falling apart and guess what? My relationships with women fell apart too.

However, I think the answer you're looking for is a little more complicated than just the children issue. Your post sounds like someone who is very resentful of their sexual orientation and who resists being gay while also wanting to rebel against their upbringing and embrace it; it sounds like your desire to date women is rooted in your concept of it being "easier" somehow or more acceptable instead of out of a genuine desire to date a woman! This is not the way to go.

I would encourage you to be a bit easier on yourself. You don't have to exclusively date men or women and then label yourself, instead search for someone with similar values whom you click with regardless of gender. If that happens to be a man, you can deal with the children thing when you get to that point. I would also encourage you to look into asexuality and platonic life partners if you think that might be something that works for you.

It is also entirely possible that you have a romantic orientation for men and your sexual orientation may differ. Just throwing that out there.
posted by buteo at 3:10 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're cating this in absolutes and the world is not like that. Gay or straight isn't the only option; there are a million shades of sexuality in between. Likewise, wanting children is not making a choice to be stright. I am the product of a gay family that continues to grow; my (semi-stright) sister just had a baby with a (totally) gay man. There are many, many ways open to you that you don't seem to be seeing. I would address this with a therapist.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:17 PM on September 25, 2011


Therapy sounds good and all but I suggest that you take a deep breath and then get out there and experiment with women. You seem disconnected from yourself as a sexual subject and you're looking at your choices from the perspective of other people. Get out there and do things just because they feel good to YOU.

(Babies are great, see if you can borrow one for a while! The legal and practical elements of fathering a child are a bit out of my league. )
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:15 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is such a difficult question to answer (for a non-heteronormative person living in our society) without all sorts of 'issues' creeping in, but I'll give it my best try. Note, I'm a 'bisexual female' such as the one you visualize being possibly ideal for your living arrangement. Well, I don't represent bi girls, but who does? Moving on....

It depends what your values truly truly are, and that's something you need to have some soul-searching for large-scale, not just about this kids issue. Even saying 'you know by trying things out' isn't entirely true; that's a part of self-knowledge, but not all of it; I'm not American enough to tell you this is what therapists are for. No, self-knowledge is what self-reflection is for. Long, and long-term, self-reflection. Journal. Think. Be honest with yourself about your desires, your values, your needs. It stands out to me that you talk about being concerned about not being 'sexual' with men, but so many straight women complain about the same thing-- it doesn't mean you're bi anymore than those women are bi (or lesbian), though of course it doesn't mean you're not. The fact that you jump to being bicurious and most of those sexless housewives don't is, in fact, a function of our heteronormative society, yes. It's not that you couldn't be bi-- it's that 1) you most likely would have known by now; 2) there's definitely the flavor of some sort of reluctance to commit to a man in principle, which-- yes-- is internalized homophobia. I mean, I think the same thing sometimes about committing to a girl-- I think, 'eh, unlikely'-- but I leave the door open, and it's not like I don'twant to. To you, while you think you're unlikely to have a long-term romantic partnership with a man, it's not like you think you could easily have it with a woman instead (like I know I could with a guy); it's more like, you cannot imagine this permanent romantic bond forming, period. Yes, that's your upbringing and social conditioning, and also personal experience so far.


But-- speaking of 'so far'-- you are twenty-five. Speaking from the lofty height of 33 year-old womanhood, with the attendant actual soon-to-be middle-aged woman's biological clock ticking, I have to say that's nothing. Twenty five? You're barely out of adolescence, in terms of romantic/personal growth, self-knowledge, etc. These are the years you need to figure out what you want. If you haven't gotten what you want in life yet, that's just called being normal. If your relationships haven't quite gelled, or if your first try was disappointing, or if you want things you can't seem to get, or if you're not quite what your partners wanted-- well, this also seems to be the norm among twenty-somethings. Especially for a former-Christian near-asexual guy, gay male relationships are bound to be fraught with difficulty. The need to prioritize self-awareness and being careful not to inflict any issues on other people is therefore high.

Which brings me to another point-- you sort of fleetingly mention a low sex-drive, as it has been a source of stress in a former relationship. You also talk about an interest in sleeping with women that's certainly a valid curiosity, but doesn't seem an especially sexual curiosity. A low sex-drive is hugely important to be self-aware about, so that you can filter potential partners to those that are okay with it. That is, you wonder 'what it's like' to be with girls the way I'd wonder what being an architect is like, rather than heatedly wondering whether girls' nipples feel hotter or softer than men's in your hand (or whatever). Sexuality (whether the level of interest or the direction of interest) isn't something you 'create'-- it happens to you, though naturally you can (and possibly should) experiment. No one could-- or should-- discourage you from sexual experimentation, especially if no feelings or expectations are involved. Nothing's easier than simply sleeping with someone 'just because' or 'just to see', though it doesn't seem to be your sort of thing. That said, you don't need to announce to any women you sleep with casually that you self-identify as gay; you don't have to say anything except 'you're cute, want to fuck?' (or, well, the socially-acceptable equivalent). If it doesn't 'work out', you can make her feel good, or you could say you have a headache, and if it's a one night stand, no one cares too much 'cause you sort of expect some duds if you play the game. It's only in serious romantic relationships that women get picky about whether the guy can perform long-term, especially if you're somewhat attractive.


Finally, I'll actually address the kids and possible relationship-with-a-lesbian thing. There are, no doubt, bi/lesbian women (or couples) who'd go for this, and I wouldn't rule it out (though again, I submit, give it awhile-- at least five if not ten years-- to be sure you've exhausted the personal/romantic-fulfillment angle adequately). Giving up on personal happiness this early on surely can't be good for you. Assuming your non-sexual life-partner would never find life fulfillment for herself either seems problematic as well. Living entirely for one's children tends to be advised again by various people, for good reason-- no child is really capable of fulfilling you if you center your emotional existence around them, since that is not their job. Their job is to be the recipients of all the energy, happiness, wisdom and fulfillment you'd already found in your life. Don't have a child because you need them. Have one because you can provide for them. Again, I say this as someone who desperately wants kids and has no romantic prospects and has had none for maybe 10 years so far.

Don't try to live your life before living it, and discount options that haven't even presented themselves yet-- I say this because I do this myself all the time. Try not to say what you will or won't like, and try accepting that you don't know, not without the situation having presented itself to you. That's why life is worth living, after all, isn't it-- because you don't know how it'll all turn out, and isn't that the point? This includes the idea of finding a guy you're dying to have sex with all day, every day. I mean, maybe it's not likely, but you don't know, do you?

Finally, there are women who'd be attracted to you because you self-identify as gay and not even in spite of it; there are all sorts of people in the world. I wouldn't recommend being with those women, but they're out there. Certainly, most bi girls are open-minded, but it's difficult to sustain any relationship-- sexual or sexless, and certainly, at least sex works to hold two people together. I don't think a sexless relationship with a gay woman would be magically inherently more stable. It all depends on the two individuals involved, and nothing says that gay women are somehow better suited to you long-term than gay men (and when you put it like that, doesn't it just sound silly?) By all means, explore your identity and don't assume you 'need' a guy to be happy, but by that token, don't allow yourself to assume you need a child, or any relationship for that matter. If you can't be happy as you are, then you can't be happy, period. And as a single source-point, I have to say a relationship that is inherently limited with a guy that can love me but only up to a point-- that definitely sounds less than fulfilling to me. I'd always feel like I'd settled, and after a child had grown up, I'd probably feel empty and depressed, like I'd lost some precious potential and now I didn't know where to go from here.

Being with the right person isn't about gender, and being in the right relationship isn't about having sex or not. Certainly, you can probably be sexless and happy-- if you're with the person that suits you. Sexual orientation, as you must know, isn't really about sexuality; on some level, if you are gay, then it doesn't matter that the relationship is asexual-- you'd just be more fulfilled in a gay relationship, even if you hadn't had such a fulfillment happen yet. The unfortunate fact of sexual orientation is that gender matters. Further, even for bisexual folks, gender still matters for many of us; I don't think saying you're bisexual is equivalent to saying you'd be equally happy in a relationship with either gender (romantic, whether sexual or not). There are always gradations, degrees, etc. I'd be differently happy with a woman. I am different with women. Men and women provide me with different (necessary) things; it's not interchangeable. Even if you haven't found a man that can fulfill you long-term, even if you never do, the fact is that the heart needs what it needs, and there are no easy substitutes. Of course, we can grow-- we can accept a wide number of variations. But substitutes? No.
posted by reenka at 4:34 PM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about this question since I first answered it, so I hope you don't mind if I chime in again.

For what it's worth, I'm a bisexual woman. There is no doubt in my mind that bisexuals exist and aren't some myth made up by liberal atheists, or whatever.

But I also had the experience in the last year of having a friendship with a former Evangelical Christian implode over issues of sexuality. And because of that experience, I know how deep the seeds of denial are sown in that community--and how insistent the Evangelical community can be about how easily you can change your sexual identity. Just return to the fold, marry a woman, have kids, and find salvation!

If you did all that, you'd be able to rejoin your community, reestablish your connection to religion, reunite with your mother. The problem is that you'd almost undoubtedly be living a lie--a lie that would be absolutely toxic to yourself and your family. The sexual dysfunction of your own childhood? The deep-seated Daddy issues? You'd get to play these out all over again, with a whole new cast of characters.

For this reason, I want to really urge you not to pursue dating women until you've at least considered therapy. The queer women I know might be interested in some sort of sperm donation--but dating? A formerly Evangelical, possibly gay man? It's unlikely. And I really don't want to see you end up with someone who is really in it to cure you of your homosexuality because they believe they can save you.

Instead, please consider pursuing a life of self-acceptance and love, rather than repression and denial. You've been searching for ways to excuse away your love and sexual tastes for at least a decade, by your account. It's time to not only "sort of" own your queerness--but whole heartedly embrace it. For yourself, for your future partner, and your future family. Be honest with yourself. And above all, love who you really are.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:29 PM on September 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi leaves little more to be said!
posted by jbenben at 7:31 PM on September 25, 2011


I agree with lots of the opinions above about therapy and self-acceptance. And also that you are young! Lots of time. So get yourself sorted out and while you are working on that, work on your "nest" too. Hormones are nasty little things that don't care much for the realities of life. However, if you haven't started saving for retirement and such, get your house in order. You might also save for a family considering that your future family may (or may not) be a little untraditional. Some friends of mine are pursuing adoption after 10 years of infertility and have set aside $30k for the endeavor! Just something to think about.

I'm sorry things are so confusing and painful for you. Just know that mid-twenties is made for figuring yourself out. You aren't the only one going through an identity crisis at this age.
posted by amanda at 8:26 PM on September 25, 2011


I'm a bisexual woman who seems to only crush on gay guys. Even if I think the guy is straight, and have a big old crush on him, I usually find out later that he's gay. In fact, the longest relationship I had with a guy was with a guy who I think was probably gay.
I also want children, etc., and I've thought about who I'll end up doing that with. I really enjoyed the relationship with the (probably) gay guy, and aside from a lack of physical intimacy, we had a good thing going. I think you could find a bisexual woman who would be willing to be your partner and raise children with you. And maybe you would each seek sexual gratification outside of that relationship, and maybe your relationship with each other would be mostly focused on friendship, cuddling, support, and child raising.
What I'm saying is there are lots of options out there for you, and that may be one of them, but I don't think you have to decide right now what you're going to do. I think you should go about your life, making yourself happy, and see who you fall for, either physically or emotionally. You've got PLENTY of time. Have fun.
posted by whalebreath at 7:09 PM on September 26, 2011


Why not try sleeping with a woman? I am a person who tried casual sex with both men and women in the process of figuring out how I wanted to identify myself (lesbian). I'm a curious person! I might never have felt settled if I hadn't experimented with both. I'm glad I did it.

But I am not recommending that you date. Make it about sex this time, not feelings. If testing the waters sounds like what you want, have one-night stand with some nice girl. (Be honest about what you want, and about who you are--I don't think this will make finding an interested lady impossible.)

When it comes to children, have you thought at all about adoption and fostering? These are things you can do with a man, with a woman, or on your own. Maybe thinking about those options would help you to feel like being gay doesn't restrict your chances to have a family... because it totally doesn't!
posted by snorkmaiden at 12:12 AM on September 27, 2011


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