Lezzies Advice Column 6
for Lesbians On The Loose
Online Magazine in Australia:
Question: I had sex with a gay boyfriend! Am I having a mid-life crisis?
The other night I went out with a gay boyfriend of mine who
is charming, witty and really good looking. We had dinner, talked about everything
like ex-partners and women vs. men, how he wishes he was a lesbian, and we had
quite a bit to drink ... and we ended up sleeping together.
was just so-so. I'm not sure if it was mediocre because he was a boy, because
we were so drunk, or because we are essentially only friends. I have always thought
of myself as a lesbian who enjoys male company. Now I'm confused--about my future
friendship with him, and about men as potential sexual partners. I'm 39. Could
this be a mid-life crisis?
There was a lot going on the night you and your gay boyfriend
went out and many factors at play. You dont give enough information to look
at the mid-life crisis issue, though this could be a factor for you depending
on what is going on in your life.
The biggest factor you wrote about
was the fact that you had both been drinking and were drunk. What happened may
simply be due to the alcohol that was involved. You two are emotionally close
already, you were reflecting on the losses of the past in talking about ex-partners,
and from the sounds of it, you were both probably feeling pretty lonely at the
time. Add in alcohol, and this could have confused the boundaries between the
intimacy of friendship and the missed physical intimacy of a relationship.
When we are under the influence of any substance, it suppresses activity
in the prefrontal cortex--the part of our brain that handles insight, judgment
and impulse control. Another way to look at this is that the parent part of the
brain, the part that makes us stop and say, "it wouldn't be a good idea to
drive 100 miles an hour on this really curvy road because I cant take theturns
and will kill myself" is off line, and the little kid part of our brain,the
part that thinks it would be a blast to give this a try, is the part thatis in
charge; we act on impulse, and we do things we normally wouldnt dowhile
The sex could have been so-so because of the alcohol, because
of the fact that the attraction is emotional but doesn't transfer to the physical
between the two of you, or that you just aren't attracted to him in that way.
I have had people tell me that when they did have sex with someone of the opposite
sex that it was all right, but felt like something was missing--that in that moment
they knew that they definitely werent straight or bisexual, but gay orlesbian.
Alfred Kinsey was a professor who studied sexuality in human beings. He developed
what is commonly called the Kinsey Scale, but is really known as The Heterosexual-Homosexual
Rating Scale. Kinsey and his colleagues, Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin, developed
this scale in order to explain research findings for people who did not fit into
neat heterosexual or homosexual categories. The basics of this scale is that people
fall to one or the other extreme of the scale, either completely homosexual or
completely heterosexual. In the middle are those that are considered to fall into
the Bi-sexual middle-ground. The theory is that people must have some level of
bi-sexuality if they are able to appreciate the beauty or attractiveness of the
same sex if
heterosexual or the opposite sex if homosexual. It is not necessarily
a physical sexual attraction issue.
Fritz Klein was a researcher who
built on Kinseys work. He published "The Bisexual Option" in 1980.
Where Kinseys scale was a two-dimensional scale, Kleins scale, the
Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (KSOG), takes a number of different aspects of a
persons sexual life into account. His is a truer look at sexual orientation
across the full spectrum of sexual life. This is to get
a better reading of
the person as a whole, not just where you lie on a line between two extremes.
Dr. Klein founded the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) in 1998. The
site for AIB gives its mission statement as: "
and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely
to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge, awareness and understanding
To find out more about the AIB, and to take
the KSOG, use this link:
This was just a long and drawn out way to say that we may have those times,
or situations, where we can be attracted to someone of the opposite sex. In some
cases it may be a true physical and emotional attraction. In some cases it may
be an emotional attraction that just isn't compatible with the physical orientation
side of us.
I have worked with individuals in therapy who have identified
as one orientation, but have fallen in love with the opposite of what they thought
they were. Sometimes that just means that they have found someone with whom they
connect, and the emotional and physical intimacy works. In other cases, they find
someone whom they are emotionally attracted to but not physically compatible with.
Does this mean you were wrong about who you thought you were? No, it just
means you need to revise the view you have of yourself to be a little bigger and
more complex. Was what occurred between you and your friend a mistake? Not if
it helps you to find some answers to questions you may not have been aware that
you had about yourself and your life. Things like this are always two-sided. We
can focus on the chaos, or we can focus on what we need to learn from this and
how we can apply it to our lives.
I know this probably isn't the answer
you wanted, but it gives you a place to continue your exploration of yourself
and your life. There are never any simple answers.
In regard to your
relationship with your friend, you need to talk to him. Tell him about your confusion
and how you feel. He probably feels just as awkward and uncomfortable with this
as you do. You may find that he is just as confused as you or that he feels what
happened was a mistake. Either way the awkwardness will be dealt with, and you
may find that your relationship will be stronger in the long run.
always, if you have difficulty dealing with an issue, please find a licensed counselor
to help you. No matter what the situation, sometimes we just need someone outside
our issue that knows how to help us dig deep and look at things from a new perspective.
The advice in this column is the opinion of the writers and is not intended
substitute for medical or psychological treatment from a health care
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