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Exploring your sexuality – tell us your experiences

Ed_Ed_ Posts: 328 Staff Moderator
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It’s LGBTQ history month in the UK and I was reading this BuzzFeed article and it got me thinking :chin:…whilst society is slowly starting to move in the right direction, there is still a long way to go :yes: People will still assume others are straight, unless told otherwise. Whilst if you start exploring, people can be very quick to label you as something you may not be certain you are yet. :impissed:

All this seems to make it very hard to take these steps openly amongst the people we know. We’d be really interested to hear what your experiences of sexual exploration have been. :yippe:


Whether you see yourself as straight, bi, lesbian or gay right now, how did you explore your sexuality? It seems to me that this can be a really difficult thing to do, especially when people are so quick to label. If you could speak to your younger self, would you advise them to do anything differently in those early stages, now you are further along the journey?
"Such is the way of the world, you can never know, Just where to put all your faith, And how will it grow. Gonna rise up, Burning black holes in dark memories, Gonna rise up, Turning mistakes into gold" Eddie Vedder

Comments

  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Well I don't have any tips to add to this thread, I just wanted to say I've went through times thinking I was straight, gay, bi etc. Currently I'm convinced I'm asexual and I'm not really interested in relationships at the moment. I got asked out by a guy 2 months ago, I said "yes" but to be honest think I was more preoccupied with it being my first relationship- that was my first step to exploring by saying "yes". To be honest, I still haven't broken up with him (it was too stressful) but things are more like a friendship anyways (I have no idea what he is thinking)- but I think maybe he's realised it ain't a relationship.

    Anyways, I used to be obsessed with labelling myself. Right now I'm not bothered about relationships, but it does worry me I'll be lonely in the future yet I feel I don't want a relationship.
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 328 Staff Moderator
    apandav wrote: »
    Anyways, I used to be obsessed with labelling myself. Right now I'm not bothered about relationships, but it does worry me I'll be lonely in the future yet I feel I don't want a relationship.

    In some respects @apandav, this here is a great tip in it's own right! It sounds like you are starting to think less about what label you may come under and more about what you may want a relationship to look or feel like, even if it isn't necessarily what others may traditionally think of as a relationship, have I got that right?

    It's absolutely fine to not want a relationship at the moment, it sounds as though what you currently value out of a relationship is the companionship element and perhaps this is something to explore when thinking about what being in a relationship means to you?

    First relationships can always be hard to navigate and can appreciate this has been stressful to you but this is all part of the process of figuring out what is and isn't right for you at this time. It sounds like things are working as a friendship right now but perhaps later down the line, when you feel ready, it could be worth seeing how he see's things? Whilst it can be for some, sex isn't a non-negotiable requirement of a relationship...
    "Such is the way of the world, you can never know, Just where to put all your faith, And how will it grow. Gonna rise up, Burning black holes in dark memories, Gonna rise up, Turning mistakes into gold" Eddie Vedder
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 Mega Poster
    So many experiences in my ridiculous, rural, closed-minded workplace. I wouldn't say I'm the best example because I *still* haven't told my parents despite being with my girlfriend for 6 and a bit years now, however lots of other people do know, whether I wanted them to or not.

    I definitely supressed and tried not to believe that I was gay for quite a few years, had a boyfriend or two but never really felt into it. Then at the end of my first year of uni something cracked within me and I couldn't do it any longer. In my second year of uni I joined the LGBT society and it was fine... in a setting like that it doesn't really matter and generally at universities people are a lot more open minded. It always felt weird talking about it, but no-one cared. At work it's been a completely different story, mind. From when people tried to correct my saying girlfriend to boyfriend when I lived in Germany (thinking I was just getting it wrong) to people at my current work just outing me to a whole room of people I hardly know and having to deal with the shit from that with some being cool and others asking really ridiculous personal questions because it's apparently okay to ask those questions to people who aren't straight.

    I don't know what I would tell a younger version of myself, because I think there is still a lot of pieces to fall into place. I'd rather be seen as a person with an other half rather than *shock horror* a GIRLFRIEND in a serious relationship not a flimsy fling.
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 328 Staff Moderator
    plugitin wrote: »
    It always felt weird talking about it, but no-one cared.

    Hey @plugitin It would be great if the whole world felt like this! It sounds as thought the LGBT society gave you a space where you felt able to explore and allow things the time to fall into place :yippe: Do you feel this can make a difference in taking these steps, having that supportive environment? Was it easier/better face-to-face or could this equally be done online?

    Sorry to hear that work has been different, I guess some people still find these things hard to know how to handle :grump: as you say, they need to worry less as to the gender of your other half and view you as a person :yes:
    "Such is the way of the world, you can never know, Just where to put all your faith, And how will it grow. Gonna rise up, Burning black holes in dark memories, Gonna rise up, Turning mistakes into gold" Eddie Vedder
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Edward8 wrote: »

    In some respects @apandav, this here is a great tip in it's own right! It sounds like you are starting to think less about what label you may come under and more about what you may want a relationship to look or feel like, even if it isn't necessarily what others may traditionally think of as a relationship, have I got that right?

    It's absolutely fine to not want a relationship at the moment, it sounds as though what you currently value out of a relationship is the companionship element and perhaps this is something to explore when thinking about what being in a relationship means to you?

    First relationships can always be hard to navigate and can appreciate this has been stressful to you but this is all part of the process of figuring out what is and isn't right for you at this time. It sounds like things are working as a friendship right now but perhaps later down the line, when you feel ready, it could be worth seeing how he see's things? Whilst it can be for some, sex isn't a non-negotiable requirement of a relationship...

    Definitely Edward, its only just recently I've decided to try not label as much, especially as I'm not currently in a relationship.

    "Companionship"- thanks, thats the word I need, I keep trying to explain to people what I want and I think this sums that up! I'm actually put off by a relationship, as I don't like the idea of sex and want to avoid it. Infact even less than that too, I just don't like the idea of even hand holding or clingyness, I don't want physical affection. This is why I think I'm asexual!
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 Mega Poster
    Edward8 wrote: »

    Hey @plugitin It would be great if the whole world felt like this! It sounds as thought the LGBT society gave you a space where you felt able to explore and allow things the time to fall into place :yippe: Do you feel this can make a difference in taking these steps, having that supportive environment? Was it easier/better face-to-face or could this equally be done online?
    I suppose I've never thought of the LGBT being the safe space, I think the whole university atmosphere being open minded helped, along with great friends. I suppose LGBT helped to normalise things because you would be around other LGBT people rather than just being you / you and someone else - this I think is quite important because it's so easy to feel isolated when you're coming to terms with your sexuality, and coming out.

    I can see that online communities could help with this if someone didn't know anyone else LGBT to have as a guide/role model/someone to explore this all with in person but I kind of think you need to be able to see / know people in person to give you that boost? I don't know. I haven't thought about it as much!
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 328 Staff Moderator
    @apandav Glad I could help a bit with the wording! It's great that you have been thinking about what you want and don't want from a relationship, chances are there are people out there that want the same from a relationship as you do...Everyone's relationship is unique and so there is a lot of scope for you to define what it means to you...this may change over time but it's about having the space and environment to allow these to progress in your own time. I don't know if you have seen this article on TheSite? http://www.thesite.org/sex-and-relationships/relationships/asexual-and-in-love-10183.html the link to AVEN also has a lot of information around asexual relationships...

    @plugitin That makes sense, can certainly see how the whole environment and atmosphere at Uni can help to feel comfortable and how having those conversations in a group space where the topics were completely normalised made this easier. Was just wondering about the difference between online/offline as there has been a lot of talk recently about the benefits of online and so it was really interesting to hear your perspective on the offline experience! As you say, online can help people that are particularly isolated reach out, and it also gives that level of anonymity, but I can also see the benefits of the face-to-face interaction that you have described. Perhaps there isn't a 'one-size fits all' way of doing this but that it may help people to know that there are lots of options that they can pick and choose depending on what they feel is right for them?
    "Such is the way of the world, you can never know, Just where to put all your faith, And how will it grow. Gonna rise up, Burning black holes in dark memories, Gonna rise up, Turning mistakes into gold" Eddie Vedder
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