Not tonight, darling, I’m questioning my sexuality

Sexually speaking, what’s coming next? 

Will we have a post-confinement baby boom or soaring divorce rates? 

Will we have masked-orgies, complete with rubber gloves and hand sanitiser used for lube, or is it IVF procreation only from here on in?!

In the confusing chaos that is June 2020 on planet earth, most of us have a shit ton of fear, questions, and fatigue. The recurring message I’m currently getting from my clients is this: what I thought to be true about myself and my sexuality no longer fits me. Like our confinement-outgrown skinny jeans, the box around who we are attracted to now feels too confining. Does this sound like you? If so, I have 3 questions to help you.

Here’s your first question: if you are heterosexual, when did you decide to be straight?

This article offers you questions rather than answers, to help you to explore your personal, unique sexual identity. It’s an opening of the inquiry into you and your desires, with no judgement, and no end goal of conclusion or resolution.

Now is the ideal time, as June is Pride month, which celebrates the Stonewall riots and a more organised approach to LGBTQIA+ rights. This article doesn’t cover all of the varieties and flavours of the multiple spectrums within the LGBTIQA+ communities, but this article does, and if you want a quick recap on gender related terms, this is a great summary

My aim with this article is to offer a safe environment for you to take a look at what really, truly turns you on. I’m not trying to convince you to be something you’re not, quite the contrary. Rather, I invite you to let go of all the social taboos and norms of your upbringing, and take a fresh and honest look at what really arouses you. Maybe what turns you on now is different to what you think you like?

For a lot of us over 40, it’s all too easy to get the same haircut every time, buy the same style clothes, and listen to “good” music from when we were younger. We know what we like and what suits us, and we’re sticking with it. So there.

How about your sexual fantasies? Do you update your imaginary scenarios with new lovers? Or is it still the sexy guy in the garage who you fancied when you were 18 or Angelina Jolie in her Tomb Raider shorts?

Here’s another question for you: when was the last time you had a new sexual fantasy? 

That’s the thing, we rarely update our sexual fantasies. While our fantasies don’t determine our sexual identity, there is some evidence that heterosexual women in particular feel social pressure to conform in both their sexual fantasies and sexual identity. 

Here are 5 more questions that are worthy of at least a cup of tea’s worth of consideration: 

  • Who is the sexiest person you can think of? What do you find attractive about them?
  • If you listen to porn, what sort of voices arouse you the easiest?
  • If you watch porn, what gender(s) turn you on the most?
  • Are you more into strip clubs or Magic Mike, or both, or neither? Why?
  • Is there someone “taboo” or “naughty” that you imagine you’d love to have sex with if you could?

Please remember, you get to decide what labels you choose use, if you want to use any, of the LGBTQIA+ options. You may be a woman who enjoys kissing other women and still identify as heterosexual, or as lesbian, or as bisexual or pansexual. This can fluctuate depending on what feels right to you in any given moment. It’s your body and your desire and you get to choose which labels you self-apply, if any.

Here’s your third question: if you were to start from scratch and create a totally new sexual fantasy, who would your cast as your co-star(s)? 

If you’ve not taken a moment to reflect on those questions, I invite you to pause and do so.

If all this talk of sex and desire isn’t turning you on, maybe you’re one of the many people who are experiencing a massive libido slump. This may be because you have stronger sexual breaks than accelerators (which you can read more about in Emily Nagoski’s book, “Come as you are“).  In which case, your libido may return as a new sort of societal normal emerges, possibly with the additional assistance of sex toys, and therapeutic or medical interventions.

For some people, it’s a huge relief and revelation to discover they are asexual and experience little or no sexual attraction at all. It’s not a libido issue or problem. It’s not a passing phase, it’s a deep acceptance of who they truly are. As an asexual, or “ace”, you may have no arousal, or not direction to your arousal, or no attraction to others, or you may still have romantic attraction to one or more genders. If you feel like this and didn’t know already, there are lots of people who are the same way as you.

If you’re wondering why sexual identity is at the forefront right now, with all hell breaking out worldwide, there is a reason. Studies have found that many people feel aroused or more interested in sex when they consider their own mortality or are fearful. Think of “make-up sex” as a primary example of this emotion-driven desire. 

These “apocalyptic hornies” might be making you so horny that everyone and everything is a potential ride! Maybe you are now curious about kissing or dating someone of your own gender or of a gender you had never considered before? Maybe you are or are considering that you may be bisexual or pansexual? Or maybe you want to be in relationship and explore polyamory or monogamishness? 

After all those questions, what kind of answers are emerging for you? Are your answers what you were expecting? To be clear, there are no wrong answers to any of these questions! Whatever your responses are and any erotic urges that rise up in you are totally ok and valid. 

I want to reassure you that if you are questioning your sexuality and it feels overwhelming there are many LGBTQIA+-friendly organisations, groups, charities, and communities available to offer you support and guidance in person or virtually. Google and Facebook are great starting points. 

You absolutely deserve to have a safe space to ask questions and explore whatever you need to in order to get to know yourself better. This is regardless of if you feel “only a little gay” or if you’re experimenting to find out what feels best for you. Whatever feels good to you right now in relation to your sexuality is worth honouring and listening to. There is no right or wrong when it comes to our sexuality, only the pain and suffering of denying who we are.