A Place of Safety
I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love.
Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking, not the person giving!
We have had to make new membership moderated to combat the huge number of spammers who register

You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi
icon5.gif Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68065] Wed, 23 October 2013 22:28 Go to next message

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13757

I don't mean as alternatives. I mean the basic question. You are homosexual, or you are bisexual. But, in the same way that a heterosexual knows they are heterosexual, how, with precision, do you know what you are, sexually?

I choose to give low marks to "Duhh I just am!"

[Updated on: Thu, 24 October 2013 12:32]

Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68066 is a reply to message #68065] Thu, 24 October 2013 05:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869

timmy wrote on Wed, 23 October 2013 18:28I choose to give low marks to "Duhh I just am!"

--Hell's bell's; but that precisely is my answer.  I've said time and time again, here and elsewhere, when asked that I came out of the closet in fire-engine-red diapers, with that being my story for the past 60-odd years and I'm sticking to it.

About the diapers bit: that was if and when my mother could actually keep them on me at all; my being somewhat of a nudist-at-heart from the very get go. Growing up as a child in lumber-jack country (for reasons related to my father's and his father's ability to live with one another which I won't go into here) and my being a precocious child at best, and downright unmanageable at worst, my mother usually had me trussed up in a harness attached to the washing-line so that I could wander up and down it's some 300-yard length without my getting lost somewhere in the under-brush that abutted our property line.  I spend most of my day-light hours minimally if at all covered, sun-bleached blond hair and nut-brown skin in an all-over tan that in later years many an acquaintance would kill for.  I will say this though, it proved to be a good training ground for what would in my pre- and post-pubescent teens a profitable endeavour to say the very least of it.

Now the little matter of my being gay, my first knowing about it, and whether it had any impact on me:

1) I've never been anything else; although I dare say that in subsequent years I have dabbled in one flavour or another of the sex act, heterosexuality to be sure included in the mix.  I simply have been more interested other people's (read boy or youth or man) penises than I have ever been in vaginas; my constantly wanting to play with (insert here: touch, caress, fondle, lick, suck, chew-on, and anything else you could add that would best describe my having a prurient interest in penises as a whole) anyone else's rather than my own, this from my earliest memory.

2) Being the aforementioned precocious child, it should be stated that my earliest cognitive and consensual participation in a truly sexual act would have been at around age-seven or thereabouts when I first started to suck-off all of my brother's (he and they being age-thirteen or thereabouts) friends when ever they came to the house to see him.  Soon thereafter I would willingly graduate to doing him as well whenever the occasion arose, with this pattern of behaviour continuing for the next half-dozen years, and my going away to boarding school at my then age-twelve.  I loved, or better yet I should say I craved, all of their their cocks and quite frankly couldn't get enough of them, with my supplementing their availability with any others that I could reasonably get my hands on whether they be school-chums or in the local neighbourhood.

Hope this helps

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada
Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68068 is a reply to message #68065] Thu, 24 October 2013 23:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

Likes it here

Registered: March 2012
Messages: 215

I think a distinction needs to be highlighted between being what you are and knowing what you are. Part of knowing involves labels. For example, babies can see the colour blue before they know the word blue. They can experience 'blueness' before they can have a concept of 'blueness'. As the baby learns the language he finds out that the colour and experience are given the word-label 'blue'.

What can be confusing is that the label 'blue' covers a wide range of shades, some of which are very different. Some of the different shades have descriptive labels such as light blue, dark blue, teal, azure, baby blue, cerulean, cobalt, sky blue, prussian blue, etc. etc. So a child can experience many more blues than it can give names to. However, because of the way the human eye and human brain work, it is unlikely that in our society any nameless shade of blue will be confused with a shade of red.

I say 'in our society' because studies have shown that language can affect the perception of colour at a very basic level. For example, a person who grew up with a language that frequently uses different words for different shades of green will be able to detect and react to seeing a slightly different shade of green on a background of a similar shade of green more quickly than a person whose native language does not have distinct words for those shades.

Similarly, as a child grows it experiences different stages of sexuality that may or may not lead to or coalesce around a particular 'shade' of sexuality. At any particular stage word-labels may be be applied (possibly inaccurately) to the sexuality. The young person may be homosexual and may have experienced homosexual acts but if the he has never been exposed to any words that mean homosexual, to what extent can he know he is 'homosexual'?

If our society didn't differentiate between different shades of blue, it wouldn't have different names for the shades. If our society didn't differeniate between different types of sexuality and sexual activity then it wouldn't have invented different word-labels. What makes things more difficult with sexuality is that the different shades have emotional and judgmental connotations that are not associated with shades of a colour.

A child will have experience of 'blue' before it learns to associate the experience with the word-label 'blue'. Only then will it 'know' that it has blue eyes. There will be no problem accepting the blueness of the eyes because there is no social stigma attached to it. A young person may be 'homosexual' and have experience of the feelings such as Warren describes before it learns to associate the experience with the word-label 'homosexual'. Only then will it 'know' its sexuality. There may well then be a problem accepting the homosexuality if there is a social stigma attached to it.

Thus there are three different aspects: being homosexual; knowing you're homosexual (i.e. that the word-label applies); accepting that you're homosexual.

Back to the question: "how, with precision, do you know what you are, sexually?"
My answer would be that you are what you are (as Warren said), that you can experience what you are and that you can feel precisely what you are as your sexuality develops. However, you can only know what you are when you have a particular word-label that fits and the precision of the knowledge will depend on the precision of the word-labels available. Then the acceptance of what you are will depend on the emotional and judgmental connotations of the word-labels.
Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68069 is a reply to message #68068] Fri, 25 October 2013 08:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nigel is currently offline  Nigel

On fire!
Location: England
Registered: November 2003
Messages: 1756

By the age of 7 I knew I was homosexual although I didn't have a word for it.  During my time at grammar school my sexual attraction to boys developed and by the sixth form I'd admitted to myself it was a phase I was going through.  At that time homosexual activity was illegal and there was no expression such as 'coming out' or even 'gay'.  During university and work I was in denial.  When I retired I admitted my homosexuality to myself (again), because it no longer mattered and I was no longer going to get sacked for being gay.  The closet door has since been opened an inch or two.  How did I know I was gay?  Because I found boys sexually attractive in a way I didn't girls; also I never particularly enjoyed sex with girls.  It always seem to be just an advanced form of masturbation.

I have been through Kitzyma's three aspects.


I dream of boys with big bulges in their trousers,
Never of girls with big bulges in their blouses.

…and look forward to meeting you in Cóito.
Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68070 is a reply to message #68069] Fri, 25 October 2013 23:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

Likes it here
Location: the burning former USofA
Registered: July 2010
Messages: 399

Because my first sexual attractions were to other boys.
Because changing and showering in gym was an enormous turn-on, but the jokes about even sneaking a peek into the girls' locker room didn't interest me nearly as much as going on ahead into the boys' locker room, but I had to play along that "sneaking a peek into the girls' locker room would be kick-ass!"
Because I wished and dreamed that I could hide in the boys locker room/showers all day long.
Because when I thought of naked boys I got an erection and felt desire, but when I thought of naked girls I got nothing on the same magnitude of an erection or desire.
Because I ached to kiss and touch the boys I found cute, but was terrified that a girl would want to kiss me, and that I would have to fake being interested back or risk exposing that I wasn't interested.
Because when I went to eighth-grade prom with my few friends, I was horrified that a girl might ask me to dance or something, but I kept sneaking glances at the boys and wishing that it would be okay to dance with one, together, arms around each other, smiling at each other, kissing and holding each other.
Because I was open and willing to any sexual possibility with other boys, fantasized about it endlessly, but when a girl asked me out on a date, I only went out with her so that no one would know I had turned her down and suspected that I wasn't interested in girls. And because I was intentionally overbearing and nearly demanded sex, knowing that she wouldn't like that and would drop me like a rotten egg and tell everybody that I was a sex-maniac and I would get out of dating her again. But she went through with it, which horrified me, but I had to go through with it too. And because I had to force myself to paw at her, feeling guilty about doing so, and that what I felt wasn't very interesting or fulfilling. And because I kept wishing it were the boy I was so interested in at the time instead of her or any other girl. And because when it was over, I was relieved that it was over, and because I felt like I imagined a straight boy would after being with another boy. And because I was so hugely relieved (and felt so rotten) when she said I was a bastard for making her do it and she didn't want to see me again. (I told her a few years later and she shook her head and said "Figures." She had since been interested very much in a guy she worked with who said he was not interested and eventually told her he was gay. LOL)
Because I stopped thinking of naked girls at all after fumbling around with a boy.
Because to this day I have distinct and strong feelings of attraction only to men.
Because I have only ever fallen in love with men.
Because men catch my eye on the street or television in a way that women just don't.
Because when I masturbate, I think of men.
Because if I use video-media masturbatory aids, they always include males, though if the guy(s) is(are) cute enough it's okay if there is a woman there too.
Because such aids, when they include two males, are preferable to one male, or one male and a female. Or any number of females.
Because the idea of placing my mouth on a vagina gives me a grimace, but the slightest thought of placing my mouth on a penis creates an erection.
Because I'm gay.

And this is my message #144, the grossest so far!
Vagina! Ewww!

[Updated on: Fri, 25 October 2013 23:38]

Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68071 is a reply to message #68065] Sun, 27 October 2013 12:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1560

I've known since the age of four that I was interested in others boy's bits. That didn't coalesce into trying to define myself until I was 12, in 1967, with the massive media coverage of the Bill to decriminalise adult male homosexuality in private: at that point, I was sure that sex with other males would be important to me for the foreseeable future, but had no fixed views on whether I'd grow out of it or not. A couple of years later, I had my first boyfriend and first real sex, and knew that, whatever happened with women, men would always be an interest of mine. I self-identified as "bisexual" for the rest of my teens, but eventually found my interest in women waning.

By this point, at the end of the 1970s, the word "gay" was coming into use, and there began to be a specific social identity of "out gay man", far removed from the clinical label of "homosexual". And, after one particular night when I had sex with a good female friend, which was technically competent but deeply emotionally unfulfilling, I decided that "bisexual" (adjective) really no longer fitted me - and I'd embrace the social role of "out gay man" that has suited me ever since.

So, really, I think that when the label "gay" became available, I responded to it and knew that it fit: it gave me a vocabulary and social role that seemed appropriate, in a way that I never would have for "homosexual" and the social disapprobation that implied.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Obvious question time: How do you know that you are gay, or that you are Bi  [message #68145 is a reply to message #68071] Sun, 17 November 2013 20:22 Go to previous message
kiwi is currently offline  kiwi

Likes it here
Location: New Zealand
Registered: August 2009
Messages: 317

I've been thinking about this & really have no better answer than this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BsLd4Y060Q

(turn the volume right UP!)


Previous Topic: This news item absolutely sickens me.
Next Topic: A bit of an update ...
Goto Forum: