A year ago I (20M) made the decision to tell my parents I’m gay. A week ago my dad made the decision to surprise me with a female sex worker (25F) for my birthday. If that sounds weird to you, you’re normal. If it doesn’t, welcome to my world. My old man gave me the whole “nothing beats pussy” speech before leaving me alone in the house with a random stranger. I was so embarrassed and awkward I didn’t know how to react. The sex worker introduced herself as “Zoey” and encouraged me to relax. Without wasting time I apologized and made it clear that I’m not interested in girls. Zoey asked me a bunch of questions about my sexuality. Questions I never had to answer out loud before. Her attitude seemed really sincere. Like she genuinely just wanted to learn about my life. The two of us ended up having a good time talking. However, talking turned into touching, and touching turned into my first sexual experience with another person.Chris, Reddit.
As soon as we were both naked, Zoey wrestled me onto my stomach and started humping my butt. She humped me harder and harder without slowing down. Even though nothing was penetrating me, the feeling off getting pounded from behind was enough to send me over the edge. I came from that alone. Nothing touched my penis. Didn’t even know that was possible! It wasn’t over though. I wanted to be inside Zoey. I’ll be honest, it felt amazing. It made me question everything I thought I knew about my sexual orientation. It’s been a week and I still have no idea what to make of it. My dad is now convinced I was never actually gay and that all I needed was the right woman to remind me I’m as straight as they come.
Is my dad right?
Can you be gay and still enjoy sex with girls?
Even now I don’t feel any sexual attraction towards other girls, but when I think about Zoey it makes me excited. Is she a unique case?
Let’s first talk about sexuality.
For many, sexual expression and sexual orientation exists on a plane or a spectrum. It is the easiest to explain this complex concept by first visualizing a triangle. In this case, the first point of the triangle represents a homosexual sexual response, the second point a heterosexual sexual response, and the last point an asexual sexual response. And somewhere in that triangular plane – between each of the extreme endpoints – lies your true sexual orientation as a simple point on a plane. Many people decide to use the endpoint labels (gay, straight, or asexual) to describe their sexuality even though they actually don’t lie in the extreme ends of the sexual orientation plane.
It is so wild how much power we lend to the words we created ourselves.
It appears that for you your sexual orientation also exists somewhere in that plane of sexual expression; not all the way at the gay end of the plane nor all the way at the straight end off the plane (like your father appears to believe), but somewhere in between. If it is comfortable for you to hear, I am connected with many self-identified gay men who have had semi-successful long-term relationships with opposite sex partners in the past. They still identify as gay. So it could be possible that this particular experience need not alter your self-identity as a gay man, but represents a minor blip in the radar that is your sexual orientation. Or this experience could be more than an incidental point of data that might help you question where specifically you belong on that plane. Perhaps homoflexible or queer might be better words to describe your sexuality if you decide that gay no longer represents your sexual orientation.
And the fun part is that you are never static in your sexual expression. Sexual orientation is often flexible and grow as life circumstances change. You are never beholden to the label itself. In fact, it’s the other way around. So even if you believe that you were more homoflexible now, your sexual expression and orientation can lean back towards identifying again as a gay man sometime in the future. Part of the fun in life is in wading through the unknown and figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you. So keep an open mind and don’t feel hurried to shed your previous sexual orientation just because of this one experience.
I do think that there is a different, more profound conversation to be had about your relationship with your father.
What your father did was really awkward and inappropriate. It is very difficult to look past the negative intentions imbedded in not just the words he shared with you but the actions behind his decisions.
It is possible that your father had good intentions when he hired a sex worker that he knew to be incompatible with your sexual orientation. But I do not get the sense that his decision was framed in a compassionate way to allow you to expand upon your sexual expression. However, it is much more likely that he thought you might change your mind “about the whole gay thing” if you had a successful sexual encounter with an opposite sex partner. The truth is that your father just happened to hire a really great, professional sex worker who worked with your sexual expression to help you to experience sexual pleasure in an otherwise very unsexy sexual context. And digging deeper into his decision reveals a more dangerous and scary thought – that he is willfully ignoring your gay identity.
I think it is important to be in a place of mind where you can be both appreciative of his decision which allowed you to more holistically experience a wider range of sexual expression but also apprehensive about your father’s obvious boundary violations.
It could be that your current inability to rationalize what just happened to you is tied up behind how upsetting and humiliating it was to have your father boil your entire identity down to your sexuality. As such, you lack the proper resource to accurately gather data about what happened, to internalize what this experience means to you, and to externalize what changes you need to make. And until that stressor – your father in this case – has been acknowledged and addressed, this can’t move forward.
Your father is not entitled to know anything about your sex life.
There really needs to be a healthier set of boundaries around how much influence your father has on your sexual orientation. That could mean that the next time he asks you about your sexual orientation, you remind him how weird and awkward that experience was. And keep mentioning until he understands how weird it made you feel. Do note that this doesn’t reflect on what your actual sexual orientation is or even what specifically happened with Zoey. It only calls into light that it is weird to talk about it with your dad who is weirdly engrossed in ensuring that his son is straight. The goal of this approach is for him to acknowledge and understand that what he did was not acceptable and that your sexual orientation is for you to validate, not him.
If you are currently living with your father, this would also be a great time to start looking outward for a new place to live. I’m not sure what other weird things your father might do to keep encroaching on your boundaries. But I am willing to guess that this won’t be the last time he disregards your boundaries or willfully ignores your sexual orientation. You mentioned parents in plural form, so you might also want to check in with your mom about how weird your dad has been about this. Perhaps she can address this in a more productive manner, especially if the message is clear from two of his family members.
And if your father keeps pushing, you have my permission to lean into his boundaries and tell him all about the gay porn you masturbate to and the sexual scenarios you fantasize about. Two can play at that game.
Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.
I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!