Well here goes – the big one. The issue I am sure is at the heart of most of my problems. I’ve been putting this one off since I started this blog a couple of months ago, but I know if I want to move forward I have to confront it. This really isn’t something I am comfortable talking about – even as an anonymous blogger, but I will try and force myself to be as honest and candid as I can.
Since the age of about 13, I’ve known that I was gay. I’ve never ‘come out’ to my family or most of my friends – even gay ones. I’m sure some of them suspect it, but it is not something that is ever discussed. Although I have had numerous sexual partners since about the age of 17, I have never had what would be termed ‘a relationship’ with anyone – serious or otherwise. Between the ages of 14-17 I had three girlfriends, one of which I even had sex with – it was ok, but I knew what I really wanted.
The reason I’ve never had a boyfriend, is that I have only ever been attracted to older men. Guys my own age or younger do absolutely nothing for me at all and the whole gay ‘scene’ thing horrifies me. So sexually I am attracted to older guys, but there has never been any interest in forming a relationship with them because of the age gap. I don’t feel I have anything in common with guys 10-20 years older than me. I have spent my adult life satisfying my sexual needs with one night stands – occasionally I have seen a guy 4 or 5 times, but ultimately it would never go further even if they wanted it to, because I seem to be unable or unwilling to form that kind of connection with anyone.
I have grown up in a society where ‘the norm’ for a guy is to get a girlfriend, move in together, get married, do cozy coupley things with other couples, have kids, do cozy family things with your other friends who by now have kids as well etc. There is such a large part of me that yearns for that – to fit in with what is deemed ‘acceptable’ to the majority – to fit in with my old friends lives – to fit in with my brother & sister’s lives. But instead I have to accept that this is not going to happen for me. I watch my old friends disappear off to raise their families, go on holidays with other friends who also have families, and I’m left standing on the outside looking in – It feels like I have become a spectator of life rather than a participant.
When I go and visit my brother or sister (whom I love dearly), I increasingly feel like an outsider – like I don’t belong. When the whole family get together I am surrounded by people who love me and care about me and who I love and care about in return, yet it makes me feel miserable because I can’t join the ‘happy families club’; I feel like I am being selfish in depriving my nieces and nephews of cousins, my mum and dad of grandchildren, my brother & sister of more nieces and nephews. I never even have a partner to bring to the party – of either sex. I know this is the result of social conditioning, but knowing that doesn’t make things any better or change anything.
I always told myself that I would ‘come out’ when I got into a serious relationship with someone. I didn’t want to announce my sexuality before having a partner, as I figured I would need their support to get me through the difficult ‘coming out’ process. I never for a moment considered I would get to the age of 41 without ever having had a serious relationship.
My feelings towards my sexuality are complex and somewhat confusing. I made a post in March called Contradictions, Self-Deceit and Confusion and I realised as I was writing the post, that most of the contradictions I wanted to talk about revolved around my sexuality, but I was not ready to talk about it at that stage, so the post never really quite got to the heart of the matter. I have always told myself that I’m comfortable with the fact that I’m gay, comfortable with the fact that I am permanently single, comfortable with the fact that I’ve been withholding the truth from my friends and family. More recently I am not so sure that this isn’t just another self-deceit. The problem is that I’ve said it so often and for so long, that regardless of the actual truth, I actually believe it now… so I end up with statements like; ‘I’m comfortable about my sexuality – but I’m not comfortable about my sexuality’. In my head both statements are correct. Is one just a learned response though? I’ve spend hours, days, weeks, years pondering this and I honestly just don’t know. I don’t care what other people think, but I do care what other people think. I love living alone and can’t imagine having to live with anyone, but I want to share my life with someone…. these types of paradoxes infest my mind are without doubt rooted in the issue of my sexuality.
So what do I do? Stand on the rooftop and announce to the world that I’m gay? Not my style. And I don’t really see what it would achieve apart from probably more misery and paranoia for me – convinced (and probably right) that everyone is talking about me and judging me. If ever there was proof that homosexuality is NOT a lifestyle choice, I’m it. I don’t want it, but I have no choice – I am what I am and I have no alternative but to accept that…. only trouble is, as I get older I seem less and less able to accept it.
Some gay men hide/suppress their sexuality and enter into a heterosexual relationship in order that he can have children and lead a ‘normal’ life. How nice for him. How appalling and crushing for her when the truth finally outs. I could never do that to someone… although I sometimes wish I could.
I don’t feel like I have any choices available to me – I can’t have a heterosexual relationship which is really what I want (due to my social conditioning), as that would just be a lie. I can’t have a gay relationship because I’m only attracted to older men and I have nothing in common with them. To make things even worse, I only seem to be attracted to older men who are straight/married. So the only option left to me is to carry on living alone and rely on my cats for companionship. Great. What a future.
For years I was content – even happy – with my situation. Having the occasional one night stand to satisfy intimacy/sexual needs, relying on my friends and family for the social contact & interaction, and my cats for companionship. Recording music and playing computer games filled in any gaps. It doesn’t seem to be enough any more though, and I think the feeling of helplessness about the situation has slowly broken me down. I’m no longer interested in sex – I occasionally appreciate a handsome face, but nothing more. I’ve been celibate for over a year – and before that about a year & a half. The whole notion of sex just doesn’t seem to interest me any more and even when it does, the object of my desire is always just an impossible dream.
Self-imposed or otherwise, it feels to me like I have been denied the ability to ever have a lasting, intimate relationship with anyone – like I have been condemned to spend my whole life as a single, reluctantly gay man. It doesn’t feel very good knowing that I am utterly trapped and there’s no way out.