Thank you for trusting us with your questions. I understand that this situation is causing you a lot of stress. I will try my best to provide you with a complete and reassuring answer. Allow me to summarize your message. If I understood well, you are unsure of your sexual orientation, you have been attracted to gay porn since the age of 12 and still are today. You have a lot of male friends as well as roommates but have never been attracted to them, even if you were attracted to a man, you couldn’t pursue it because of your religious beliefs and the fact that you do not want to engage in sexual acts with men. You really want to be in a relationship with a woman but you are having a hard time letting go of these thoughts and you think they will affect your capacity to be with one. And finally, you are wondering if your attraction to gay porn steams from the envy you have of men with penises that you consider bigger than yours. Have I summarized your message properly?
First and foremost, I want to mention that the kind of pornography we watch is not necessarily an indicator of our sexual orientation. As mentioned by my colleague Guillaume in a question written in French, the images we consume for sexual stimulation do not necessarily define who we are attracted to outside the context of masturbation. Pornography is a large industry whose primary purpose is to make money. To do so, porn sells us images and scenarios whose goal is to spark our imagination and, consequently, excite us. Since our brain is our main sexual organ, it is normal to be excited by certain images that we are not used to seeing on a daily basis.
Thus, it is necessary to distinguish that what excites us about pornography is not necessarily what excites us in real life. Some heterosexual people will prefer to look at homosexual pornography for example, without these people wanting to have an intimate experience with a person of the same gender as themselves. It is therefore completely normal to be turned on by pornographic scenes or actors without this constituting sexual activities that we want to experience. However, these pornographic preferences are not necessarily related to our everyday attractions.
In your message, you mentioned that you were unsure of your sexual orientation, unfortunately, I cannot decide for you what is your sexual orientation either. Your sexual orientation is uniquely yours and only you can find the words that make you feel good to describe the complexity and uniqueness of your attractions, desires and identity. You can identify yourself in whatever way you feel most comfortable. However, I would like to offer the following definition of sexual orientation, in hopes that it helps you decipher yours.
There are three aspects to sexual orientation: desires, behaviors and identity. Desires are our attractions and to whom they are declared (are we rather attracted to this or that body type, this or that type of person, who we would like to kiss, etc.). Behaviors are the actions we actually take, as opposed to desires that are imaginary (ex: having kissed our friend, having had sex with a man, having looked at someone’s body in the street). Finally, identity is the appropriation and choice of words to describe ourselves in relation to our sexual identity (heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual, etc.).
In this way, each person can define their sexual orientation according to the terms or parameters that make the most sense for them. As a result, some men who would have desires primarily for women and love relationships only with women, but some fantasies for men, could identify themselves as heterosexual because this best represents their behaviors, or as bisexual based on their desires, or any other terms that would make sense for these people (heterosexual, bicurious, etc.). The important thing in all of this is that YOU find a way that is comfortable for you to identify yourself with. I understand that this process can be long and feel complicated but the good news is that there is no rush in putting a term on your sexuality and also sexual orientation does not have to be set in stone. It can be ever changing and that is also just fine!
You mentioned in your message that your religious beliefs are also part of the reason why you couldn’t be attracted to men, even if you wanted to. I do not know what your religious beliefs are but I would like to mention to you that no matter what your religion is, there are disagreements on how to interpret one’s own religion. Some people will defend more traditional points of view, others will opt for an openness to diversity with slightly more progressive ideas. In short, it is up to each individual to interpret and define for themselves how they wish to live their spirituality. I guess that what I am trying to say is that I know how hard it can be to reconcile our religious beliefs and certain part of our identity, especially when they are framed to be at odds with one another due to the heteronormative world in which we live in. The essential is that you take the time to figure out what feels good for you.
And last but not the least, in your message you mention that you think that part of your attraction to men might steam from the fact that you envy the size of their penis that you consider superior to yours. Is there a particular reason why you feel that the size of your penis is not enough? I know that in our society there is a general stigma around penis sizes and we believe that the bigger is better. I would like to mention to you that often times the huge penises that we see in pornography for instances are not representative of what people’s penises actually look like in real life. Also, I know that big penis sizes are often synonymous with great sexual prowess but I want to assure you that it’s not the case, what truly matters in sexual interaction is to have good communication and to be comfortable with your partners. I know it’s really cliché to say but the size does not matter.
I hope I was able to provide you with a reassuring answer. Please do not hesitate to write to us again if you ever have more questions.
Misanka, outreach worker for AlterHeros