That was it? I can’t really be Gay!!!
I was discussing old dating stories with some co-workers and realized that I’ve got quite a few stories worth telling. Why not start at the beginning? Throughout high school, I was still discovering my sexuality for myself, but I kept everything private. On the outside, I was a happy-go-lucky teenage boy. I loved to have fun and make people laugh. I was constantly on the go with a good group of friends, and maintained fairly good grades. Inside, I was struggling to accept the fact that I was/am gay. When I was about 14 I realized that I was different from most boys my age. I accepted the fact that I was bisexual; however, certain religious beliefs I held at the time let me know very clearly that this was wrong. At the time, I was convinced that I could fight it and still date women. By the time I was 16, I realized that I wasn’t merely bisexual, I was full out gay. (As the saying goes, ‘Bi now, Gay later’) Again, due to religious beliefs, I was still determined to fight these ‘urges’ and press forward in faith that I could lead a heterosexual life. That being said, I dated women all through high school. There was one particular girl with whom I had a very close bond, so close in fact that we’re still friends to this day. I cannot deny the fact that I did love her, and that when we kissed, there was romantic chemistry behind those kisses. I’ve been told that people admired our relationship because we were able to be so close and yet still keep up the strong moral values of our religion. In my mind, crossing the moral boundary was never an issue. I never had a desire to even push the limits of these boundaries and was more than happy to keep things down to a PG-13 rating.
Shortly after my 17th birthday, I came out of the closet to two friends and tested the waters, so to speak. Just over a year later, I came out to my entire immediate family, all my close friends, and several people within my extended family. At that time I began dating men. The first guy I dated was still in the closet, and it worked out perfectly because both of us wanted to take things slowly. It wasn’t until our 3rd date that we shared our first kiss. I had enjoyed getting to know him over the past few weeks through internet chat and our various dates, and a kiss seemed to be a natural next step. On the way home, I was nearly in tears over the way I felt about him. The problem was, I didn’t feel anything!! I had just spent the last few months explaining my feelings to everyone in my life who mattered and defending the fact that I am gay. Virtually everyone had questions for my newly honest choice of life. What if I wasn’t gay after all!?! Going back a few years, to when I dated women, I felt a strong, passionate, loving connection, especially when my lips met with hers, yet here I was, kissing a guy and there was no emotional feeling, in fact there was no feeling whatsoever, aside from his lips on mine. Where were the sparks I’d been expecting? What if I had just come out to everyone for nothing? I didn’t know what to do, or where to turn for advice. As I mentioned before, the girl I dated throughout high school is still, to this day, a close friend of mine. I didn’t care that it was nearly midnight, I needed help, and I needed it now! I pulled out my cell phone on the drive home and dialed her number. I don’t recall if she actually laughed out loud when I told her my dilemma, but my memory serves that if she wasn’t outright laughing, it was clear that she was struggling to hold it back. She explained that what had happened was completely normal. No one has a romantic connection with everyone they date, or everyone they kiss. I don’t know why this hadn’t occurred to me before calling her. I suppose it’s because I was still young and naive to the whole dating game. Even though I was 18, the straight people my age had been given years of getting to know the ins and outs of romantic interaction. Going back all the way to grade school when they’d pass notes to people they had crushes on. Though I’d participated in these juvenile games, my heart wasn’t really in it. I mistook close friendships with girls as crushes. Furthermore, as an adult, I’m able to recall several crushes I experienced throughout adolescence, I just thought that the guys I had crushes on were just people I admired, or that I was jealous of them for whatever reason. I’d never truly experienced any of the romantic games which normally occur in childhood, so I was still just a baby as far as dating is concerned. My ex-girlfriend’s words were very reassuring and helped me to feel better. Needless to say, I didn’t see too much of that guy after this experience, but within a few months, I started dating another guy. I still remember our first kiss. Ironically, it was nothing like I’d imagined it would be either. The ‘sparks’ and ‘chemistry’ I’d felt when I’d kissed girls was nothing compared to the fireworks going off inside me when our lips met! In the moment, I couldn’t think, my mind had been blind-sided by raw passion and for those few seconds, it was as if my brain shut off completely. Later, after I’d regained myself, I was able to make a mental comparison to the sparks of the past and the electricity of the present. How funny that I actually questioned my sexuality!