Hi, I first realized I was attracted to guys when I was twelve. So I soon decided to watch gay porn, after about a year it was escalating to watching it almost every day once or twice a day. This seemed abnormal to me and has affected me since then. I am currently 18. I’ve always assumed I was gay and went forward with that assumption. However sometimes I find myself rarely attracted to women. So I kinda don’t know what to think. Also, I began reading articles recently online that said masturbation can cause homosexuality. So now I’m kind of doubting if I’m gay or if it was just a byproduct of my constant masterbation. So I guess my main question is can constant masturbation cause homosexality? If I don’t masturbate will I be reverted into a heterosexual? Also can constant masturbation cause high anxiety or depression? I’ve always had somewhat of higher end social anxiety, could this be a cause or side effect from my higher amounts of masturbation?
Thank you for your trust in AlterHeros to answer your questions and to confide in us. It’s not always easy to talk about our anxieties and emotions about our sexuality. I am happy you wrote to us, it is a great step that you took there towards taking care of yourself.
I wanted to begin by saying that these identities and labels are there to guide us in our journey and there are no rules attached to them. There is no such thing as being the right kind of gay. Sexuality is something that is fluid. There are no rules as to how to be a good gay man. It can change day to day for some people, and is in constant evolution. If you are sometimes attracted to women, it doesn’t change anything to the fact that you identify yourself as a gay man. Many gay men find themselves attracted to other genders, have sex with them, and it doesn’t invalidate the label to which they identify. Are you questioning your sexual orientation? Have you explored other labels? Would you feel comfortable with other labels?
As for the masturbation questioning part, sometimes these articles are written with a homophobic or religious tone. Masturbation does not cause homosexuality. Homosexuality isn’t a disease or a cause by effect. It is as natural and valid than heterosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality and other sexual orientations. With that said, if you stop masturbating, you will not turn straight. There is no valid scientific research that says so.
When it comes to your anxiety, have you talked to any mental health professional about it? If you don’t masturbate as much does it cause you any anxiety? Are you constantly obsessing over it? Can you spend a day without, if so how are you feeling? When you are out and about in a crowd, is all you think about is masturbating and that is what makes you anxious around other people? My advice concerning your anxiety is to talk to a mental health professional about it if your answer to these questions are mostly positive. That said, masturbation in a healthy amount does not cause anxiety and depression. It is rather natural for a person that experience sexual attraction or envies to touch themselves. Many articles and professional will say that it is a healthy and natural behavior.
I guess the thing to remember about everything I just wrote to you is to not always trust these internet sources since a lot of these write in a homophobic, shaming and oppressive tone. When looking for that kind of information, check the sources. Make sure these sources are valid, professional and not just a popular belief or opinion.
I hope I answered most of your questions, and I wish you the best.
There are some resources in case you want to talk to someone about your anxiety, sexual orientation or masturbation :
I wish you all the best, don’t hesitate to write back if you have any other questions!
You’re valid, you’re worth it, and you are loved!
Steff.e.s, volunteer for AlterHéros