Am I Gay or Just Curious?
Sexuality is fluid and complicated. No matter how much society tries to fit people into neat and compact labelled boxes, the truth is that things like sexual orientation are difficult to compartmentalize in this way. For some people, their sexual orientation is fixed and does not change during their lifetime. For others, this changes over time and is more flexible throughout the different stages of their life.
Are You Questioning Your Sexuality?
So, you are at a stage in your life where you are questioning your sexual orientation and wondering where you might fit on the spectrum of sexuality. You might be wondering if you are straight, bisexual, gay/lesbian or just curious. The most common period for one to start questioning their sexuality is during their teenage years. It is a normal process that occurs while growing up as we start being exposed to people of the same and opposite sex.
Here is where many people start questioning who they are romantically and sexually attracted to. This is also an important part of exploring one’s identity as you start figuring out what you like and don’t like. Many others may experience questioning their sexuality later on in their life, and this is okay too! There are so many different types of sexual orientations, and it can take time to figure out what feels right for you.
The Fear, The Confusion and Time to Process
As you question your sexuality, feelings such as fear, and confusion may be common. If you have been questioning your sexuality, know that you don’t have to do something about it straight away. Take the time you need to figure out what these feelings mean to you. Remember to go easy on yourself and know that there is no rush to figure it all out immediately. Read up about sexuality and get to know about other people’s experiences of exploring their sexuality.
Managing these strong feelings is all a part of questioning and understanding your sexuality. You may be concerned about what the people around you might think if you need to come out to them, and this might all be very overwhelming to bear.
Myth-Busting: Questioning Your Sexuality
It is also important to dispel some myths that surround questioning your sexuality. Having romantic or sexual feelings towards someone of the same sex does not necessarily make you gay. You might simply be interested in pursuing a platonic friendship with a particular person whom you find interesting.
Another thing is that having sexual fantasies about someone of the same sex or watching same-sex porn does not automatically make you gay either. This might simply be a sexual fantasy which you might not actually want to live out in real life. It could be another part of the puzzle in trying to understand what it is that intrigues you sexually as a person.
So- Are You Gay or Just Curious?
Exploring and understanding your sexuality can be an exciting experience if managed well and with the right support. Take it slow when figuring things out and know that you don’t need to have sex with someone of the same sex to figure out whether or not you are gay. Do not feel obliged to put a label on yourself – you can even choose not to label yourself at all if this makes you feel more comfortable. Whatever you do, always ensure that you are safe and comfortable, and remember that your sexuality is nobody else’s business but yours.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.
Melwani, N. (2021). How to explore your sexuality. Retrieved from: https://www.themix.org.uk/sex-and-relationships/gender-and-sexuality/how-to-explore-your-sexuality-3353.html
ReachOut Australia. (2022). Understanding your sexuality. Retrieved from: https://au.reachout.com/articles/understanding-your-sexuality
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