Hi, my name is Rodrigo and I am gay. I’ve always known that, and I have no doubt about it . It’s not something I can fight off or avoid, and I do understand and accept that fact. Still, I’m not “out”, because of tons of reasons that would lead to another topic that is not this letter’s. I guess it’s normal that eventually the feeling of loneliness came to me and I did what seemed to be easier: started going out with girls. After some time, I found a girl that would be, if I were straight, the girl of my dreams. I mean, she’s just perfect: smart, funny, clever, and really beautiful(although I don’t feel sexually attracted to women I am still able to acknowledge their beauty and admire it). She studies with me in my class at college and we have way too many things in common, so many it feels like we’re soul mates. The first time we got together we were both wasted and with our judgments clouded, so it just sort of happened. We started seeing each other more often after that and developed a very strong bond that lead to a serious relationship. It’s been more than a month, and I have to say: I’m having the time of my life. I’ve never laughed so hard as I do with her, and I can’t remember the last time I felt so happy as I do now. We both love the same kinds of music, movies, food, EVERYTHING! She fills a hole in my heart that no one ever did, and I guess that in some ways I really deeply love her! But, although I have all those intense feelings towards her (and I mean it when I say that they’re genuine), I can’t feel the least sexual attraction to her. I like kissing her, beacuse it makes me feel loved, desired, wanted… and I can feel that she feels all those things too. But this week she told me she wanted to have sex with me. That’s when I panicked, but I told her it was ok. We did “everything right”: I took her home, introduced her to my family (they really loved her, why wouldn’t they?), we watched a movie and than it came to the moment when we were supposed to have sex, and I just couldn’t do it, not because I couldn’t get an erection or because I felt guilty, but because I just simply could not do it. I’ve had sex with men, and sex with men is what really satisfies me, makes me sexually excited, and makes me horny. But I’ve never connected so deeply with a man, not the way I do with her. I care about her, and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was disappointed, maybe because she might have thought she’s not sexually attractive, or maybe because deep inside she knows I’m gay. It’s really sad, because every single aspect of our relationship is great to me, except the sex (and the actual physical attraction). But I don’t know. Should I break up with her, avoiding hurting her feelings even more than I probably already did, or do I keep things the way they are and eventually “pull myself together” and engage in a sexual relation with her? It wouldn’t hurt to experiment, would it? I thought it wouldn’t, but it’s a lot harder done than said when it comes to having sex with someone that doesn’t turn you on. Should I try again? Should I tell her I want to keep the relationship sexless? Should I break up with her? I know it sounds silly, but I really don’t know what to do and I’d like your help.
Thanks very much,
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for writing to us here at the Trevor Project. Your conflicting feelings and confusion here are understandable. Love and relationships can be complicated for everyone, but especially for gay youth who are also navigating a world that does not always seem accepting. Your reasons for not coming out right now are no one’s business but your own, but I can see that it’s making your love life feel somewhat overwhelming. You have true, loving feelings for your girlfriend, but you know that you do not want to have that physical relationship with her that she seems to desire. You don’t want to feel lonely, you don’t want to hurt her, and you don’t want to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
First of all, I would never suggest that you simply “pull yourself together” and engage in ANY sexual act that you are not only comfortable with, but also enthusiastic about participating in. Experimenting can be interesting and very positive, but only if you are trying things that you truly want to do. In this case, it does not sound like you want to engage in sexual relations with your girlfriend, and I commend you for knowing that and not doing anything your uncomfortable with. I understand this does not solve your problem, but I wanted to be clear that no matter what kind of relationship you are in, you should never participate in anything you are not comfortable with.
In terms of your relationship with your girlfriend, it seems that maybe you feel you know what you should do here. You care about her and love her very much, but you can’t provide some of her expectations of what a boyfriend is. There can be loving relationships that do not involve sex, but not if one person wants to have sex and the other does not. Plus, you mentioned that you do enjoy sex with men, so you may not necessarily want to be in a sexless relationship either. If your girlfriend continues to desire sex as part of your relationship but you continue to not want to do that, she may start feeling insecure about your relationship and herself. I cannot pretend to know exactly how your girlfriend will feel if you break up with her, but perhaps you can still salvage this close, loving relationship you have with her if you end the romantic relationship now, and try to be more like best friends, giving you both the opportunity to explore physical relationships with other people if you do so chose. It is your choice whether or not to tell her that you identify as gay, but you can certainly tell her how amazing you think she is and how much you care about her, despite not wanting to be in a romantic relationship anymore. Hopefully, she will be understanding and appreciate your honesty and how deeply you care for her, though she may be hurt and/or angry at first.
Do you have a friend/relative/adult in your life that you can discuss all of this with as well, and to lean on if you end your relationship? Break ups are emotionally tough, even if you know that this is for the best. You may want to check out some other resources, including http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf. Or you can discuss your thoughts at www.trevorspace.org where you may be able to connect with other youth who are going through similar situations.
We at the Trevor Project are always here for you, and I hope you find this letter helpful. Don’t forget you can always contact us at the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, & TrevorSpace.