5 April 2008

I enjoy seeing girls having sex, but I don't want to be bisexual or lesbian because of my religion

I am a straight girl. I always want to look at pornography on the Internet. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I look at a girl and a guy have sex, but I watch more videos of girls having sex with other girl. I know I am straight, but I need someone to tell me if I am straight. I can’t be gay/lesbian/bi and be a Pentecostal (that’s my religion).
I need someone to tell me I am straight and I am doing my best to stop looking at pornography. I love the Lord and He will help me understand. I would never kiss or have sex with another girl, but I enjoy seeing other girls have sex. I don’t like that feeling at all! What should I do?

Kay Wo

Hi Hannah,

Thank you so much for writing to us during this tough time. It seems that you have brought up three important issues in your post: the first being that you are watching pornography on the internet and you want to stop because you think it’s something you shouldn’t do; second, that you identify as straight but you’re finding yourself attracted to watching pornography that features two women together and the third being that this attraction is in conflict with your Pentecostal religion. Let’s discuss these three points.

First of all, rest assured that guys and girls your age are very curious about sex and the fact that you always want to look at pornography on the internet is quite common. In actuality, for many youth, it can be a good way to help figure out feelings of attraction and sexual orientation. This is not to say that we encourage people to look at pornography; there are of course issues of underage consumption, religion, and potentially your parents’ disapproval… It is not our place to say whether watching pornography is right or wrong; we simply want to let you know that always wanting to look at pornography is not unusual for youth of your age.

On to the second dilemma. Watching pornography between two women seems to have triggered some new feelings of attraction for you. In your post you say that you know you are straight. What makes you say that you are straight? Is it because you are only attracted to men? Have you ever considered that you could be attracted to a girl or did you just assume that it wasn’t an option because of your religion? Now that you have seen two women together, can you see yourself being attracted to a girl in real life? It is entirely possible to be attracted to same-sex pornography without actually having any same-sex desire. Is this the case for you, or do you think that you might have an attraction for girls?

It’s important to ask yourself these kinds of questions to help you determine what gender you are sexually attracted to, even if it is against your religion, so that you can learn more about yourself and be true to who you really are. As confusing and stressful as this can be, it’s something you have to figure out on your own by being honest to yourself and to your feelings. No one can tell you whether you are gay, lesbian or bisexual because no one knows you as well as you know yourself.

The third point is probably the hardest to address. It is all well and good for us to ask you to think about your sexual orientation and to consider that you might be gay, lesbian or bisexual but this request can be EXTREMELY difficult because it conflicts with your core beliefs as a Pentecostal. You have been very straightforward by saying that you love the Lord and that your religion is something you value and cherish. It is understandable that you don’t like feeling torn between your religion and your sexuality. Many people who do not identify as straight, whether they be gay, lesbian, bisexual,  etc… also go through these same feelings of guilt and shame because of issues with religion or morality.

The way this conflict is resolved for many of these individuals is when they can find the right balance between their moral and religious values and their identity as a person. Of course this is much easier said than done; trying to figure out your identity is no easy task, especially at your age. So many things are changing and it might feel like the hardest time in your life. What you can keep in mind though is that all your friends are also probably going through trauma and drama of their own. For now, don’t give up on exploring the kind of person that you are.

This is the perfect time for you to try new things: meet new people, change your appearance, participate in school sports or drama club, or even learn how to play the guitar! Even if you find out that you don’t like certain things, at least you will have learned a little bit more about what you like and what you don’t like and how certain behaviours of hobbies fit or don’t fit with your personality.

Once you can sort these issues out, then you try to integrate them within the context of your religion. In the end, this is a relatively lengthy process requiring patience and self-reflection. Rely on your friends and family for support and try not to judge yourself on every little detail. If you do find that your entourage is not very supportive of these issues, you should consider joining on-line or real-life communities that can help you contact individuals with similar issues.

You will figure things out if you put your mind to it. If you believe that the Lord will help you understand, keep putting your faith in Him and trust that He will guide you and be with you whatever happens. Good luck and please write to us again if you have any other questions.

K-Wo, for AlterHeroes