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Dear Lezzies Advice Column 6
for Lesbians On The Loose (LOTL)
Online Magazine in Australia:

Question: I had sex with a gay boyfriend! Am I having a mid-life crisis?

Dear Lezzies,

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.

The sex 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?


Dear Lezzies Answer:

Dear Ellie:

There was a lot going on the night you and your gay boyfriend went out and many factors at play. You don’t 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 can’t 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 wouldn’t dowhile sober.

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 weren’t 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 Kinsey’s work. He published "The Bisexual Option" in 1980. Where Kinsey’s scale was a two-dimensional scale, Klein’s scale, the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (KSOG), takes a number of different aspects of a person’s 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: "…encourages, supports and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge, awareness and understanding about bisexuality."

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.

As 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.

NOTE: The advice in this column is the opinion of the writers and is not intended as a
substitute for medical or psychological treatment from a health care professional.

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