Am I Gay, Straight, or Bi?
I am a married man and my wife recently found out that I enjoy watching gay porn and wearing women’s underwear. She is wondering if I am gay or even bi. I love my wife, I don’t want to be with anyone else, and I don’t really think that I am gay or even bi. I don’t understand why I like these things, I have hidden them from all of my previous partners because I am so ashamed of them. Can you help me understand her questions? Am I gay, straight or bi?
What Am I?
Dear What Am I,
I cannot tell you if you are gay, straight, or bi; only you can answer that questions. However, it is incredibly common for straight men to watch gay porn. It is also very common for men to wear women’s underwear. It often makes men feel sexy and some have even told me that they feel powerful when wearing women’s underwear. Enjoying these things are nothing to be ashamed of, they are a part of your erotic map. Erotic maps are formed through genetics, hormones and erotic experiences during adolescence. They can change slightly as we age and experience different types of sex and can still be mildly influenced by environment, stress, health and dynamics with various partners. What I would encourage you and your partner to do is to move towards acceptance, rather than shame. The two of you can discuss how your two erotic maps can work together for mutual pleasure and understanding.
Another aspect that I think we are going to be seeing more is the idea of sexuality versus romanticism. As it currently stands, we tend to define our romantic relationships by our sexual desires, i.e. heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, etc. However, this is only one piece of our identity and who we desire and choose to have sex with, may not necessarily always be the same gender we desire and choose to have as a romantic partner. When I discuss the questions of sexuality with my clients, I always break it down into at least two categories. For example, it is very common for cis-gender persons to be bisexual and desire to have sex with either cis-gender, but would only romantically date or marry someone of their opposite gender and would therefore be heteroromantic. There are obviously multiple combinations that can occur here, as we include all the gender and sexually diverse variations.
Ultimately, I want persons to be able to view their own and other person’s sexuality through a sex-positive lens. When we decrease shame, we often increase pleasure. And we become more sexually healthy and well-rounded persons.
*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatic coherency.