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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I have been tackling with a question about my sexuality. I

Resolved Question:

I have been tackling with a question about my sexuality. I was wondering if you could help?
I an 24 years old now. In the early years of puberty I distinctly remember being sexually attracted to girls. As the time progressed, I became more and more attracted to guys. At present I feel a strong attraction for guys and almost non for girls. I have been reading about the origins of sexual orientation and most of the articles nail it to either genetic predispositions or prenatal conditions or some events at a young age. Also most of the articles seem to imply that sexual orientations cant change. I am disturbed by this notion as my orientation changed over the years. I am confused whether I am gay man or a straight man with a confused psyche. A little before and during the time my orientation changed I can recall that my father grew distant from me. He grew more busy with his work and he passed away when I was 14. Is my attraction towards guys a sign of some childhood issues? I always fear if that is so, will I be able to have a long and healthy relationship with a man?
I am looking for a psychoanalytic explanation for the change in my orientation. Is there truth in the Freudian theory that one can turn out to be gay if one has a distant father and a over protective mother? I have been also grappling with the issue of internalized homophobia. I may be afflicted with it as I do not find it aligned with my spirituality or my Hindu faith. What would be the evolutionary or divine purpose of me being gay? Are there any good readings on this aspect? I am especially not comfortable with the image of me in an anal intercourse, though I do not have problems watching such porn (partly coz its very glamorized with waxed actors and stuff). Is it fine for a healthy gay man to dislike anal intercourse and feel its unclean and dirty? How would i ever have a relationship with a man with so many things keeping me back?
I ll be grateful of you could help me clarify my doubts.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

It sounds to me like you've already done quite a bit of reading around this and you raised some excellent questions.

First of all, what you are experiencing is not atypical. It also does not conclusively indicate that you are homosexual. Often times, this kind of questioning of your sexual orientation can be a temporary phase, a curiosity phase. This kind of situation is most often faced by those who experience a strong internal aversion to or conflict around homosexuality. Due to their internal conflict they often find themselves attracted to the very thing they want to avoid. So an effective solution would be to get to the heart of what you're experiencing and to uncover where it is coming from. One of the best ways to do that is through therapy. Either psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be very effective.

Psychoanalytic theory does that say unresolved past conflicts can lead to identifying with the same sex parent however not all of those who encounter unresolved conflicts will become gay or lesbian so I think the solution lies in uncovering the particular reasons, set of circumstances and issues that might have led you onto this path. As mentioned above, this can be best done with a therapist.

Moreover, there is often a small but significant difference between being attracted to the same sex and taking the steps to date and enter a relationship with the same sex. This means that were you to push yourself towards taking actual action steps towards a same sex relationship you might find that you are not really interested in having one. And even if you did have childhood issues it does not mean you cannot have a long and healthy relationship with a man.

I have not come across Hindu faith based readings on homosexuality and how it fits in with the ideals of Hinduism but I can tell you this - based on my over 15 years of readings on eastern spiritual principles - that a core purpose of our life is self-realization. And acknowledging and accepting our sexual preferences is a big step towards accepting who we are and therefore it is a step forward on the path to self-realization.

I hope that helped to provide you with some perspective.

Please do let me know if you have further questions/thoughts.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the answer. It is very different from what I usually hear from counselors that I am gay and probably internally homophobic. It seems you are suggesting that I am not gay and have some unresolved issues to work out. I guess what i wanted to know very badly is that is it common to start with a straight orientation and end up with a gay one in the natural course of events, given that origins of sexuality and orientation are widely considered to by innate? In either case of yes or no, what would be the psychoanalytic explanation for it?

Also I wanted to know if my attraction towards men stems from some past issues, would resolving them change my orientation again? I have consciously not dated till now and would want to start dating soon. I had been planning about meeting other gay men this summer, but your answer kind of puts me back into confusion. Also were I to push my self into a relationship with a man and I find that I am not interested in it, does it mean that I am not gay? I mean to ask is that is the proof of the pudding in tasting it and if the best way to find out I am gay or not is to start dating someone and take it from there? I do not have access to any psychotherapist or CBT where I live and don't think it would be affordable for me as I am a student. I was hoping to get a psychoanalysis of my situation at this forum.

You did side step my questions on dislike and fear of actual intercourse, and also the questions on the evolutionary or theological explanation of being gay. I am not sure if they are relevant in terms of my psyche and if you would be comfortable answering them.

Expert:  Arundhati replied 6 years ago.
Hi Samit,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, it is common to start with a straight orientation and then start questioning your orientation and eventually become gay or lesbian. So the answer to your question is "Yes". While the psychoanalytic explanation for it is that there are unresolved conflicts in the past or that the client had a dominant opposite sex parent - these are not adequate psychoanalytic explanations but only loose frameworks. There are no concrete standalone psychoanalytic theories for homosexuality - each case is different and a psychoanalytic therapist would work with the client to determine what the core issues leading to these homosexual feelings might be.

I'm sorry that my reply only further confused you. It was simply meant to help you understand that being in the 'questioning' phase does not necessarily mean that you are gay. I have worked with many clients who stayed in the questioning phase but when they actually started dating men or having a relationship with one they realized that they were not gay. So yes, to answer your question, the proof of the pudding lies in tasting it so the best way to see where your orientation lies would be to start dating guys and take it from there.

If you are a student you should be able to access your university's counseling center at very nominal rates or for free. I would encourage you to look into that.

Your fears or dislike of anal intercourse could be just that - a fear which will dissolve when you actually start dating or enter into a sexual relationship with the same sex. They could be indicative of internal conflicts/unresolved issues/repressed feelings - but these can only be uncovered through work with a therapist.

I already put forth my theological/spiritual explanation - which is self-realization is commonly regarded as the highest pursuit that a person can engage in. And openly pursuing your sexual orientation preferences means walking on the path of self-realization. Also Hinduism per se does not forbid homosexuality - it strongly encourages romantic love and a gay relationship is a romantic relationship.

I hope this answers all your questions.

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Kind Regards,

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