Charlie’s story on sexuality
Discovering my sexuality
When I was 11, I stumbled upon one of my older brother’s Playboy magazines. There were all these pictures of naked ladies, and I remember thinking “Whoa. Naked.”
Pretty common for a boy at that age. These dirty magazines also came with a few erotic stories, and being a voracious reader, I went through them. Most were about a man and a woman, but there was one story that was about two women.
“Weird,” I thought. “Where’s the guy?”
It didn’t make sense. If there’s no penis, then what goes inside of what? And how?
“Does this mean… two women can have sex?”
Over the next two years, I slowly discovered my sexuality, just like any other teen. I figured out how people have sex, what an orgasm was, what homosexuality and heterosexuality were and how pregnancy happened. It was all pretty vanilla, until I was fourteen years old. One day, I hopped on the Internet and saw a picture of two guys kissing.
And I realized I found men attractive.
“Uh oh,” I thought. “Am I gay?”
Being a teen confused with sexuality
From then on, I was mired in sexual confusion. There wasn’t much literature about what I was feeling at the time, I just knew I was really into the idea of having sex with men. But it was tricky, because I also wanted to have sex with women. And maybe have sex with both at the same time. I had read a bit about bisexuality, but most people said that those who identified as bisexual were just denying that they might be gay. Was I in denial? Was I lying to myself?
Being a teen isn’t easy to begin with. Being a teen confused with sexuality is even more complicated.
I had a girlfriend when I was 16, and fooling around with her was awesome. I was super turned on by her, and couldn’t wait till we had sex, but we broke up before that happened. Was I in denial with her?
All the way until I graduated and moved away, I was confused about what I wanted.
So the moment I went to college, I decided to try it all out myself. First chance I got, I had sex with a fun girl I met in line at the library.
“Naked!” I laughed. Some things don’t change. It was great, and I was really happy with the way it turned out. I didn’t give men a second thought, until she and I broke up.
“Hmmm,” I thought. “Still into the idea of two dudes. Why not?”
Not caring about labels
A few weeks later, I was in bed with a man, trying out the other side. It was also good, and fun!
And that’s the point where I decided I didn’t care about labels. I wasn’t going to limit myself sexually because I couldn’t find a word that fit. I wasn’t going to lie to myself about what I wanted, because I didn’t fit into other people’s boxes.
I was attracted to both men and women, and that was that.
I’m really glad I gave myself the freedom to explore, or I always would have had so many unanswered questions.
Over the years, my attraction to men waned. It’s kind of like when you want to try something because it’s taboo, and once you experience it, it becomes ordinary. Funnily enough, my attraction to women soared in a big way.
At this point in my life, I’m in my 30s, and dating a wonderful woman that I’m planning on spending the rest of my life with.
But I don’t think I could’ve gotten to this point if I hadn’t given myself the chance to explore and experience what was out there, with both men and women.
It seems like the world is still very homophobic, and hard on men who are curious about other men. I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s easy. Exploring your sexuality is a personal choice, oftentimes a scary and even risky one. The only advice I have is this: be careful, be safe and be true to yourself.