Yesterday I told you all that I was falling in love with someone. I’ll talk more about that in the future. I really am falling, head over heels, but first I want to post this. I wrote the brunt of it a little while ago (I’ve edited it somewhat after yesterday’s response) and feel like I should share it before time makes it irrelevant for me. And, since so many of you responded, “but I thought, but I thought, but I thought…” about my sexuality after yesterday’s post, I think I need to do this.
“I don’t think I actually like guys.”
Those are the words I very unexpectedly found myself saying to my best friends a couple weeks ago as we stayed up late drinking beers and downing an entire pack of those new coconut Oreos (which, by the way, are sinfully good).
After so much has happened since I came out as bisexual four months ago (and to people close to me many months before that), I really hated even bringing it up. I mean, I don’t want every topic forever more to be centered around my sexuality.
And yet, here I am, and I’m going to remove that label from myself to you all today. If I can. I am not a bisexual. I am not straight. I am not gay.
I am just me, and I don’t want to be pinned forever more into anything. All these months later, I’m realizing that as freeing as the label was, it is also equally as confining.
Take, for example, yesterday’s post. I told you all I was in love. Lots of you were awesome about it. Many of you commented only on my sexuality. Others of you questioned very openly whether I was lying to myself, lying to others, incapable of love, etc. etc.
And to a large degree, it was my fault. After all, I painted a label on myself when I came out.
But, “I don’t think I actually like guys.” I really didn’t expect to say those words to my friends.
Was I wrong with who I told you all I was so many months ago? No. Was I mistaken? No. Am I recanting anything I previously said? No. Let me explain.
Since coming out, my sexual attraction to men has not changed. At all. I still find myself very attracted to certain men (think Ryan Hurst, season one of Sons of Anarchy, maybe that’s weird). I could enjoy intimacy with a guy as much as a girl.
But my non-sexual attraction to men has changed. I don’t like guys. So far. I’ve dated lots of them now, and I’ve learned something. Guys really are different in so many ways than girls are, especially in the dating world.
I'm the same, I think. I am sexually attracted to both men and women and enjoy sex with both, but in the long term, daily relationship, I prefer the dynamics of the masculine-feminine pairing. And you're right the label bi-sexual or hetero-sexual just doesn't capture the essence of me. You're not alone in this.
People are complicated. And sexuality even more so. So I understand the urge to resist labels bc they don't fully capture all the beautiful, messy Truths of who we are. That idea isn't new. The thing is, for other people to understand us, at least at the start, we need something to go by. We need signifiers and simplifiers so that we can start to "get it" and skip some of the really basic stuff when we DO get to know each other more deeply and more complexly. Labels are useful. They are practical. The problem is when people start using them as more than descriptors, but as inherently meaningful, reading their own understandings of labels onto other people. But that is the problem with stereotypes, not inherently with labels. So let's use labels for what they're good at: describing, symbolising, and representing, and leave them out of expectations and 'shoulds.'
While I know you don't want a "label" and want to be just you, which I FULLY support by the way, there are words for how you feel that are known in the LGBT community -- pansexual, gender fluid, gender queer. :) And I love that you are fully out there with how you feel for your girl, the fact that you can even articulate that makes you an awesome guy...period!
Ok, from a non enlightened person (I'm probably gonna get slammed for this) it's nice to see that you re seeing beauty in our design. It's wholesome & wonderful. And as you aren't sure what you believe (agnostic, atheist etc) it seams you are seeing God more & more in everything. But especially thought it was amazing how you two felt such an intense urge to follow your inner voice & re sign up for match. Com only to find each other. I don't know about you but when I get those strong intense feelings, I call that God. So, I challenge you (and even your readers) If you are not sure about God's existence, pray about it, ask for answers, and you will get them as strongly as the voice that told you to re up your match . com membership. As for labels, I'm not sure how I feel about that. If you like guys, it is difficult for me to consider you as anything but gay. In my straight woman view, maybe it is a defence mechanism that says...stop, this man is not good for women. I have tried to get rid of that idea & I just can't seem to kick it. so I'm glad to see that you have found happiness for now & if you had found happiness with a man I would have said that's fine & I would have understood that very personal choice was yours to make, but inside I would have been sad to see women lose another eligible guy to the other side. Not judging you, just being honest. I am not like others here. ..in don't believe that you should just love anyone & see where it takes you. But that is just me. You can love everyone, it doesn't mean you should get sexual with them. Either way, wish you many blessings.
ok, from a non enlightened person (I'm probably gonna get slammed for this) it's nice to see that you re seeing beauty in our design. It's wholesome & wonderful. And as you aren't sure what you believe, it seams you are seeing God more & more in everything. But especially thought it was amazing how you two felt such an intense urge to follow your inner voice & re sign up for match. Com only to find each other. I don't know about you but when I get those strong intense feelings, I call that God. So, I challenge you (and even your readers) If you are not sure about God's existence, pray about it, ask for answers, and you will get them as strongly as the voice that told you to re up your match . com membership. As for labels, I'm not sure how I feel about that. If you like guys, it is difficult for me to consider you as anything but gay. In my straight woman view, maybe it is a defence mechanism that says...stop, this man is not good for women. I have tried to get rid of that idea & I just can't seem to kick it. so I'm glad to see that you have found happiness for now & if you had found happiness with a man I would have said that's fine & I would have understood that very personal choice was yours to make, but inside I would have been sad to see women lose another eligible guy to the other side. Not judging you, just being honest. I am not like others here. ..in don't believe that you should just love anyone & see where it takes you. But that is just me. You can love everyone, it doesn't mean you should get sexual with them. Either way you go, wish you blessings.
As a gay man, I know it's tough to actually date another guy. There is a great deal of emphasis on sex in our culture, and gay culture in particular - and it's not bad or good, it just is. Sex is great, I love it, I just want it be with someone I really like at this point. Without some sort of attachment for me, more than just physical, it just isn't worth it. Guys - in general - are easy. For those of us that aren't, well it makes things difficult to say the leas, but we do exist! Honest! lol ;-)
I truly admire how you are not going to let the world put you into a box. =] That is a stunning example for your sweet Noah, and I know in the long run it will make you feel better. Go you ^.^
I am astonished of this article. You write brilliantly Dan. I've been following you on Facebook for a while and I must say, I am so proud of you. I am proud that you are smart, wise and kind. You have a big heart, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This post made me tear up, the one about falling in love with the farmer's daughter made me laugh. You make your readers experience many emotions, and that is truly a gift. Thank you Dan. I wish you the utmost happiness, health and sincerely the best love possible :-)
You are human. You feel pain, joy, happiness, love, hurt, etc. You are just that - you. You don't need to explain yourself to anyone... I love your honesty. :)
Have you studied the Kinsey scale of sexuality? Because you might find it interesting. I firmly believe that sexuality is fluid, and labels are irrelevant.
The only comment I'll make is that by virtue of your having come out as bisexual, you probably helped a number of people who were previously struggling with the concept of their own identity. Beyond that, yes, the labels are constricting and too narrowing, and bring the focus entirely too much down to sex, when what we're all really looking for is LOVE.
i really liked this post. I can totally agree with the way you explain it. I think I am the same. Some of the guys around me noticed me looking at girls differently then most other girls. And yes they are right, I do. But I never really said I was bisexual, although some people might call me that. Simply because I did not want to be that girl. This blog did not only explain how you felt about it. It made me feel like you helped me understand myself. I'll keep reading.
I hate the labels we've created, they define us and control us and we as a society become obsessed with them... I've fallen in love with males, females and even moments... Physically, if we allowed ourselves the freedom to let go and embrace the moment we could experience life long love and companionship with at least a million people on this largely populated planet and be happy until the day we die; We just have to let ourselves..
I think you need to date classier guys haha...
I use the label 'bisexual', but I am WAY more into guys than girls. No... correction. I am attracted to a much higher percentage of the male population than I am the female population. If 100 men asked me out and 100 women asked me out, I am likely to say yes to 3 times as many of the men as women... maybe 4-5 times as many. I think I am more a lover - bi-amorous, and sexual. You are a sexual being, and you will choose to express that as you see fit.
I think I have it way easier in the SF bay area. Here the continuum is recognized and accepted by the community I live in. Folks in my circle tend to assume everyone has some uniqueness in their sexuality, and if I had to "assume" I would error to bisexuality first, or at LEAST ask a question if the information felt relevant to how I relate to a person.
There is nothing wrong with being selective and having your 'bi-ness' be "imbalanced"... there are no rules here; you just need to do what works for you and be as authentic as possible with the people you are dating. If someone cannot appreciate who you are in your authenticity, then they are not right for you.
Ok, I am listening to the podcast now and can I just ask: Ummm..what new Oreo's? Spill it buck-o! ;-) P.S. Thanks for being "just you!" We like "just you." :-)
Good :) If you walk both side of the street, you meet more people. Some of those people are the ones you want to date, and one or two of them are the ones you will love. <3
My daughter told me that she is pansexual. She will love whomever she loves without any worry about gender. I think that is wonderful! After all the shell is just a shell. I know that I fall in love with the person inside the shell and I hope most others do as well. I think, in spite of your shunning of the labels, that is the best explanation for you Dan. You love the person inside. Love in all of its forms is beautiful and good for you for being that wonderful you.
Labels are both dangerous and important. They do confine us, but I think as people we do have to define ourselves and others.
I sincerely hope your self-definition shift works out. I doubt it, though. For as much as we all hate labels, for all the justifiable reasons, it is really the only way we have to relate to the world. We name things, including ourselves, any number of ways.
I'm not going to take issue with the differential between relationship and sex. I define as gay because I think I could have a viable relationship with either gender (although both have their challenges) but 1) I am only sexually attracted to guys and 2) I have had enough estrogen in my female-saturated family for 3 lifetimes. We all have our reasons, but the label is important--it tells me and everyone around me, in simple terms, what I want out of life.
As for men being easy and obviously so. I guess that is something I take for granted. The pressure and whining I've never run into, but guys assume that, "you know, we're both guys, so it is far more than likely this is what we both want." If people can't understand and accept when informed otherwise, they'd make bad partners.
I hope this relationship goes well. At the very least, I hope it teaches you something new about yourself.
I think the youth understand this sentiment these day. Seems more and more of them are sexuality and gender bending without feeling it necessary to put it in a label box to make it tidy for others to understand. I totally get being attracted to the beauty and good in others regardless of gender, while noting the preference for what I'm more comfortable dating. Good for you.
A friend of mine who self identifies as full on Lesbian, went "Straight". Not for the many reasons most assume. She is a huge proponent of LGBT rights. Her perspective is that until LGBT individuals are treated equal with heterosexuals, there will be an unhealthy level of sexual activity and deviancy in the LGBT communities. An almost eat their own kind of self flagellation (separated minorities like Natives on reservations sometimes have the same issues). She feels it is a self fulfilling prophecy, essentially. As long as the (vast) majority views them as sex crazed deviants, less than normal or even subhuman, many will unintentionally and intentionally act as such. Through little choice of their own, because of definitions forced on them, they've been put into an unhealthy box by society itself. I'm not sure I'm explaining it well. It's the whole separate but equal crap. There is no equality in separation. And the box (definitions/labels) is hard to escape.
So just so you know, I myself am gay and I totally agree with you. This dating world is SO different from the others. Too many guys just want to get it on and it's so hard to have a conversation about...well...anything other than sex nowadays. It's so frustrating. I have had many a guy take offense to it when I say, "No." in response to, "Do you wanna hookup?" What happened to getting to know someone? What happened to romance and enjoyment of each other's company before jumping into the sack? I'm sorry that you entered this world, this community and were forced into the dark side of things. And you were wondering why those guys are so hard to find? I think there's too few of us and we're spread way too far apart...
You'll find happiness though - you've got a great outlook on things and it will lead you to even more awesome places!
I tell people my husband is bi. He doesn't really like that. He, like you, can find some men very attractive, even sexually attractive, but he prefers women for the most part. He has had sexual relationships with men. As I grow older I find women to be more and more attractive; although, not necessarily sexually attractive. I guess you could call me an open minded straight chick. Yes, I know, I'm trying to put labels onto me and my husband. It is hard to label and hard not to. I appreciate beauty in everything. EVERYTHING. I can be struck dumb by beauty. Doesn't mean I want to sleep with it. This reminds me of a time I told a friend that I LOVED Ozzy Osborne. And she was, like, I can't believe you want to sleep with Ozzy Osborne. Whah? I'm pretty sure I didn't mention sex or even use that "inflection" in my voice. As a society we put a bit too much emphasis into sex, and I don't mean just the difference between genders. I had a weird exchange about the use of pronouns the other day. A very liberal friend of mine got on a soap box about how only people with female DNA can call themselves by female pronouns (and people with male DNA can only call themselves or identify with male pronouns). He said that because he had daughters, he felt it was highly disrespectful to them for a transgender to use their pronouns regardless of how they self identify. I was flabbergasted. I mean DNA isn't the begin all and end all of gender (shoot, there is so much more we don't know about DNA than what we think we do). Even having the necessary reproductive organs don't make the genders exclusive to me. I believe souls may also have their own genders; not to mention brains (they've shown that brains work basically the same way for women and men who identify as women, but differently than a man or a woman who identifies as a man). To my mind gender (and therefore sexual orientation) is so much more fluid than we can entirely comprehend. Maybe some day...
Hear, hear! No labels necessary . . . you're Dan . . . just Dan . . . and there's NOTHING wrong with that! :)
I think this is an important discovery for you. Being bisexual always has that underlying conotation that says you cannot be monogamous because you'd be denying part of you. Many people also think it means you are promiscuous. Really I never understood why so many people are looking to label themselves over something that is very personal and in my opinion should be private between you and whomever you are attracted to. I do see the need to come out within the family and I understand why you did it here but beyond that people need to mind their own business.
Not to slap another label on it but you make it sound like you're demisexual or something. But I completely understand if you just drop the labels. I know people that don't use any, and there was this long conversation in a thread on a website I go on about such labels and . . . yeah, lol
For one, clowns are VERY scary. Always have been, always will be. But the one thing that will always change is how some of us see life, the world. I think you've got a better handle than most on the reality that is the ever-changing human mind. I remember, once upon a time when I could not fathom gay marriage. Now? I say everyone should be able to love the way their heart wants them to. Good for you for being open with your friends, family and us, your readers. You've got a lot of chutzpah to be who you are. If only everyone were so confident in doing so, I think that the world would be a better place. Your blog is, and always has been for me, a breath of fresh air. :)
I enjoyed you when you started your blog. I liked you last year. Loved you four months ago. Still believe you are awesome and beautiful today. Happy for you and your relationship :)
Not offense but I think who cares, in the same way I say who cares about who I sleep with... except my husband perhaps- grin. Just because you open yourself to the public with your blog does not give anyone the right to critique nor determine your love/sex life. Enjoy falling :)
You are awesome and as far as I am concerned, you don't even need to explain it to us! You are who you are and that is what makes you, you!
Gender is slowly moving out of binary, and as such designations such as lesbian, gay, bisexual are also becoming murky. Are you a lesbian if the one you love is a transgender FTM? As your friend said, perhaps you love the beauty of a human, regardless of gender.
I'm not completely anti-label; however, when they are more restricting than liberating, it might be a great thing to toss them.
Congrats on your love story!
Sweetie... you are human. Period. Speaking from experience, I can say this... "I am female, and I am not gay... I just happen to be in love with a woman right NOW." And for the past 13 years... and that is okay. Labels are for cans, not people.
I have really enjoyed reading all your posts. Any man/woman would be lucky to have you as a mate. I'm a gay male...I have known deep in my gut that is who I am from a very small age. My husband and I have been together for 26 years and are raising 2 girls ages 10 and 13. You are a smart, funny( and might I add very cute) and loving father and person and you deserve someone wonderful. I'm really proud of you that you feel strongly about just being you are willing to say so...wherever you are in your life. Stay true to yourself and you will give your son a wonderful model to emulate.
Thanks for all you have shared with us and I look forward to hearing how things progress!
Yeah, labels are pretty obnoxious. But I think people hold other people to those labels because it helps them feel like they know and understand that person.
My older sister came out as a bisexual years ago, but she definitely preferred men to women. And when she'd tel people that, most wouldn't understand and instead of just saying that, would tell her that she's obviously confused and/or "going through a phase". She always managed to laugh it off pretty well, but I always found that really irritating. I mean, because THEY don't understand, they're going to imply that she is sexually confused? I hate it.
In my opinion, when it comes to sexuality or love.. it's no one's business and no one shouldtry to label another person. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You're lucky if you find it at all. People should feel free to feel love however they so choose and with whomever they so choose and not get any lip from others about it simply because they don't get it.
Sometimes I am with women, sometimes I am with men...for me sexuality is an ever-changing continuum. And I don't mean changing as in I'm questioning my orientation, but that I go through different phases where I'm attracted to different things in a person at different times in my life. And I'm totally fine with that. There are many people that get very irritated about not giving ones sexuality a very specific & easy to identify label...but I think it's far more complex than that for a lot of people.
@bibliothecaire This is excellent. Thank you.
@JoeMacey When you find him, find out if he has a gay older brother. I could never bed hop either. Sex is always better with someone you know and care about.
@MD I agree - Dan need to be dating classier guys if he is getting pressured! Seriously, Dan - YOU are made of better stuff than that - so hopefully you can find folks that can meet your high standards. Sheesh.