Did molestation make me gay?

I used to think what happened to me when I was a child was what made me attracted to males. I blamed my uncle for my sexual orientation for many years, and while I definitely believe what happened shaped my sexual interests, I am not so convinced of the connection anymore.

Those encounters are my first memories of sex, and they greatly altered my views of affection and intimacy. As a counselor once told me, the guilt the victim shoulders is because the attention and sexual activity feels good even though it shouldn’t.

Because I was too young to understand what was happening completely and enjoyed the attention, I didn’t want it to stop. When my parents found out what was going on, I was upset because I knew it wouldn’t happen again. It didn’t.

From that point, I acted out sexually with boys whenever I had the chance. There were only two that I did anything with, but it went on for several years. It was always just fooling around to me. I never felt emotionally attached or like I had a crush on either of them. Even though I know it is normal for kids to mess around while they are learning about sex, I have had a lot of guilt over the years about those encounters.

There were guys that I did have crushes on who I fantasized about incessantly, but I never acted on those impulses. I was too scared and also too ignorant to really understand my sexual inclinations. These guys were like idols to me. I watched the way they walked and talked, admired and imagined their bodies, and rarely ever said a word to them. I had them placed so high on a pedestal that they were unattainable.

As I grew older and began to figure out what it meant to be gay, the crushes continued. I fell really hard for a couple of different guys my age, but, again, I was too scared to act on it out of fear of rejection. We would have sleepovers and spend as much time together as possible, but nothing physical ever happened. In my juvenile mind, the guy would be my boyfriend. Both times, the parents of the guy stopped the friendship because they grew uncomfortable with all the time we were spending together. Both times, I about lost my mind from the grief.

When I finally grew up a little, I met a much older man who took advantage of me in many ways. I was ignorant and inexperienced, so I poured everything into a clearly dysfunctional relationship. When that relationship ended, I began another with a man several years my senior. It was also dysfunctional for many reasons.

Looking back, I realize I was substituting sex for affection. If a guy liked me, I felt like I was supposed to sleep with him. Friendship needed to progress to sex in order to mean anything. This was obviously a direct result of what happened with my uncle. Sex equals friendship equals affection equals love. It wasn’t enough to just hang out and have a good time; I needed them to prove they liked me enough, and the ultimate expression of that was sex.

Over the years, I have changed that line of thinking. I met someone 9 years ago who cherished me from day one. He didn’t expect me to show my appreciation for his company through sex (even though I wanted to). He has been patient and kind and anything but a user. I am one of the lucky ones.

My uncle never faced the consequences for his actions 35 years ago, but I know, one way or another, he will. He denies it happened now, even though he admitted it when it was first revealed. I am a forgiving person, but I refuse to consider forgiving him until he admits it and accepts responsibility for his actions.

I said all of that to say this: It would be easy to assume what happened when I was a kid made me gay, but that is oversimplifying it. I know plenty of gay people who weren’t molested, and I know plenty of straight people who were.

Regardless, I am what I am. Whether I was born this way or made this way, I didn’t have a say in the matter. I know being molested shaped my views of sex and intimacy, but those are things I have struggled with and continue to work on. It makes more sense that I was born with this orientation, and the sexual abuse was just a terrible thing that happened to me along the way.

Unexpected revelation

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. – I John 4:16

A moment of clarity can materialize in the most unlikely of places – like while watching Kinsey on IFC a few nights ago. Who would have ever thought that I might have my faith strengthened while viewing a movie about sex research?

The film tells the story of Alfred Kinsey, author of the bestselling Kinsey Reports, a set of frank and scientific publications dealing with sexuality. After years of “hands-on” research had left the personal lives of his staff in ruins, one associate brought up the fact that Kinsey seemed to be incapable of understanding that love is one of the most essential components of sexual behavior. Kinsey replied, “Love is impossible to measure and impossible to quantify, and without measuring there can be no science.” That’s when the proverbial light bulb appeared over my head.

It feels like my faith has been on life support for many years; still there but virtually nonexistent. For so long I’ve questioned the reality of a higher power, mainly because there isn’t any tangible evidence that He exists. On the other hand, I believe in love regardless of the lack of evidence that it is anything more than a pleasant mixture of hormones and brain chemicals. I know it exists because (as cliched as it may sound) I can feel it in my heart.

The irony in all of this is that the Bible makes it clear that God is love. If God=love and love=God, is it really possible to believe in one without the other? Perhaps not. And maybe my feelings are sufficient enough evidence for both.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

Interesting search terms #2

More fascinating search terms from my blog stats for your reading enjoyment:

wooden spoons hurt

I’ll just take your word for it.

i feel stuck inside myself

That’s gotta hurt.

sex sounds – calling out “oh Brian”

I can totally understand that.

indian coming out stories

Just change your name to something like “Rainbow Spirit” or “Flamingo Feather” and there will be no need to explain anything.

my father is attracted to my sister

I just puked a little in my mouth.

straight but like penis

Then… you probably aren’t straight, buddy.

fighting toast pics

In the left corner we have Slightly Burnt, who will be challenging our reigning champion, Buttered Bottom.

homosexual can’t marry a woman

I know a few who could… and did.

daddys lil whore pictures

Yuck. How in the world did that bring them here?

how to tell someone your pregnant

Wearing a maternity dress on your next date will probably do the trick.

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Interesting Search Terms #1

Double standards

The people where I work are getting a kick out of the fact that a coworker finally “got laid” recently after a long bout without sex. There’s been lots of joking and laughter about it, even from some of the most religious among us. People remark about how relieved he looks and how he seems barely able to walk.

This young man has been living with a woman for several years. He swore off sexual relations with her after they had a daughter a few years ago, but they continue to live together. After meeting someone new recently, he wasted no time in getting physical and telling everyone about it.

I guess the thing that bothers me most about this is that the same people who were so determined to ban same-sex unions and claim gays are trying to destroy the institution of marriage seem to have no problem with someone cheating on his common-law wife or committing fornication. In fact, they seem to celebrate it. How is it that his new relationship suddenly has more validity and acceptance than my two year relationship?

This type of hypocrisy seems rampant in the lives of the devout and the non-religious. One man I work with claims to be a patriot, yet showed his support for our troops by sleeping with the girlfriend of a soldier who was serving in Iraq. On any given day, this same guy will argue about scripture and belief, while failing to abide by any of the tenets that he claims to hold so dear.

I try not to judge the personal lives of others, because I don’t want them to judge mine. However, I refuse to ignore their glaring double standards. They want to point a finger at people like me and say that we are immoral and trying to undermine family values, yet they seem to have no real morals or values of their own.

Ho patrol

I could just puke. Literally.

Every day at work when break time arrives, there are at least two guys in my office looking on MySpace for whores. I know that’s a strong term, but if you’ve ever seen some of the profiles on MySpace, then you will know that it is an appropriate one. The pictures and the descriptions leave little to the imagination. One girl even described how great she was in the “cock-pit”. Now that’s someone I’d like to take home to meet Mother.

I’ve begun referring to this daily ritual as “Ho Patrol”.

The guys looking at the pictures are also whores. One of them brags incessantly about all the “p*ssy” he’s getting from various girls he’s met online. The other has a steady girlfriend, and when we mentioned that fact, he said that he’s always on the prowl for “something better.” What a revolting way of looking at the opposite sex!

As a serial monogamist, I am always amazed at views of some towards dating and sexual relationships. Why would they rather have casual sex with many different people, as opposed to meeting someone and falling in love? It’s a mystery to me.