Do my fantasies mean i’m bi-curious or gay?

Dear Suzie,

I am a 31 year old male and have been in a wonderful relationship since I was 18 with a woman whom I adore. However, since my early twenties, I’ve also had frequent homosexual fantasies. Normally, I just pass it off as being curious, but over the last two years, there have been about 4 occasions where I have almost panicked about being gay. I do enjoy heterosexual sex with my wife, but often, I prefer my homosexual fantasies. Every now and then, my gay ‘yearnings’ are very strong and if I wasn’t married, would probably look to indulge in some experimentation. We are looking to start a family and I am terrified that in a few years, I will become more ‘gay’ than straight. I also feel extremely guilty when I have these fantasies – almost like I am lying to the person I love most in the world. Should I tell her about these fantasies – a little voice in my head keeps telling me I should, but I think she would find it incredibly difficult? While I have these gay fantasies, I could never see myself living a gay lifestyle, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to try it once. I am extremely upset about this and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Gay fantasies are one of the most common sort of sexual fantasies for straight people of both sex. Just, you may be surprised to hear, as are straight fantasies for gay men and women! Which underlines the whole issue of what is a sexual fantasy. It’s something you dabble with in your mind that gives you a frisson, not something you necessarily think about as rehearsal. It can be argued that the whole sexual kick of a fantasy is that it needs to be something you wouldn’t like to do for real.

Another common one is rape fantasies and you aren’t going to tell me that the fact that someone dreams of being tied up or beaten or humiliated and taken against their will in any way means they’d like it if it actually happened to them. What you think about in a fantasy is often a code; if you feel slightly embarrassed about your desires or hear the “Tut, tut” of a parent or feel the slapped hand of childhood, you may imagine being forced as a way of denying responsibility. “Look!” your mind says “I know I’m enjoying being a complete sexual pig but it’s not my fault! I can’t help it!”.

If homosexuality was held up to you in your development as being the big fear, the great and ultimate degradation and sign of being a sexual outlaw it may have achieved in your mind not just a taboo but the appeal of forbidden fruit. It excites you. It gets you going. And what’s wrong with that? When you imagine it, you aren’t actually doing it. I know Jimmy Carter famously berated himself for having been unfaithful in his mind, but it isn’t infidelity and it isn’t really happening.

Consider this – how do you know your wife isn’t thinking of someone lese or something else when she makes love to you? It doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be right there, right then – it just means she employs a little extra to add some spice to the proceedings.

OK– having said that; yes, it is possible that you have a part of you that wants to explore your gay side. I’m not a believer in the theory that people are one side of the door of sexuality – one gay, they other straight and once through you can’t go back. I think everyone is strung out along a continuum from completely gay to completely straight, and that depending where we are we may stick with one sex, or swing from wanting to have sex with someone of the same or the opposite sex at that time. And many people do change over time, back and forth.

What might help is this. You need to think about what sex and sexuality means to you. Does the thought of gay sex scare you or arouse you because of the messages you were given about sex and sexuality when you were growing up? Is it something you’d actually like to explore in real life, or safely in your mind where you have control of the script? You may find it especially helpful to talk this through with someone sympathetic and professional such as a counsellor or someone from Lesbian and Gay Foundation, on 0845 3 30 30 30 .

Depending on what you decide, you may relax into accepting these feelings as no more than the fantasies of many straight people, and then it’s up to you as to whether you share them with your partner or keep them to yourself. I explore all issues about sexual fantasies, including how to use them to spice up your love life, in my book Sexual Fantasies – go to my Books page and follow the link to Amazon if you want to see more.

Or, of course, you may decide action is preferable to dreams. In which case please note it’s just as much infidelity if it’s gay sex, and any sex is dangerous unless you use protection. Not going wholly gay and just playing around on the fringes puts you at risk of sexual infections just as much as taking the plunge and coming out. Good luck!

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