Sexual orientation questions

As a teenager, your body goes through hormonal and physical changes during puberty. These changes often awaken, or heighten sexual feelings, and attractions. They can also cause confusing, and a lot of questions. Those with intense sexual feelings may find themselves unsure of whom they are attracted to, and whether or not their feelings are normal. Often teens will experiment with their sexual orientation, or will hide their feelings because of fear of prejudice, hate, etc.

The following is a look at some questions about sexual orientation:

What does “sexual orientation” mean?

Sexual orientation is a term used to describe the romantic and physical attractions you have. If you are romantically and physically attracted to people of the opposite gender, you are considered heterosexual, or straight. If you are attracted to people of the same gender, your sexual orientation is called homosexual or gay. Girls are often referred to as lesbians, and boys as gays, however, gay can be used to describe both genders. In addition, you can be characterized at bisexual, which simply means you are romantically and physically attracted to both genders.

There are a lot of terms used to describe people with varying sexual orientations. Most people would agree that the “norm” in sexual orientation is that of a heterosexual nature, or straight. This has lead to a lot of derogative terms to be coined for those with a homosexual or bisexual view. Terms such as fag, switch hitter, dike, etc. all refer to the sexual orientation of a person.

Do you choose to be “gay”?

This is a question that is often up for debate. Most scientific research is inconclusive, and most scientist agree that your sexual orientation is determined by genetic, environmental, and emotional factors. Thus, biology, psychology, and environmental factors all play a role.

Most gays would tell you that it is not a choice, that they would never choose to be outside the norm, to have people be prejudice against them etc.

However, many people feel that there is an element of choice to the situation. They often believe that we all experience some attraction to the same sex at some point on our life, and it is a choice whether to choose to focus on and act on that feelings. Many people believe that just like what you read, view, think about, etc. influence how you feel about the world, the same is true of whether or not you are attracted to the same sex or the opposite.

Whether or not someone chooses to be gay or straight, homosexual or heterosexual, or is predestined that way by their genetic wiring is not the question, however, most people simply want to know how to feel about it.

As a teenager it can be uncomfortable to know someone with homosexual feelings, or to have them yourself. The best thing to do is to find someone who will support you, trust you, and not judge you, and ask them what you need to know, and discuss your fears, feelings, etc. If you can’t be friends with someone because they are gay, that is your choice, but there are good and bad ways to handle it. If you are gay and are afraid to be open about it, you have to make a choice. If you have questions about sexual orientation, ask them!

Being gay and how it affects your relationship with straight males

two teensBeing gay and having males friends that are straight can be a complicated matter.  For all the straight males out there, it is kind of like being really close friends with a girl; physical attraction can sometimes get in the way.  However, most gay males would say that the stereo type that gay men cannot help but flirt with their straight male friends is not true.  Nevertheless, many different aspects of a gay-straight friendship must be acknowledged for there to be a strong friendship.

Religion

Being outwardly gay has been frowned upon by most religions for hundreds of years.  It has not been until recently that many religions have acknowledged gay relationships.  However, that a acknowledgment has not been with 100% open arms.  Granted, some religions do not have any doctrine against being gay, but religions vary in how much they accept homosexuality.  Depending on the religious beliefs of a straight friend, a gay person might find a large variety of response from their straight friends.  Some might accept them with open arms; some might condemn them, while others may just look past it without actually accepting it.

Physical Attraction

Just like with a straight male and straight female are friends, often a physical attraction may develop.  It is important for gay males and their straight male friends to be on the same page about their feelings.  Gay males should understand that just like with males who make moves on their female friend, a gay male that puts the moves on their straight male friend may risk damaging their relationship.  Even if the straight male is not offended and is really respectful, there is always a small sense of awkwardness about the relationship.  Just like a straight girl might wonder if the guy was such a good friend to her just to get in bed with her, a straight male might wonder the intentions of a gay male’s intentions.

Peer Pressure

The way the majority of a straight male’s friends view homosexuality may unfortunately play a role in how well he can be friends with a gay male.  If a group of friends is homophobic, it is likely that the straight friend will have a hard time continuing to be friends with his gay friend when the group is teasing or making fun of him.  Really, it will come down to the self-confidence of the straight friend.  Luckily, a lot of the younger generation is much more accepting of their friends who are gay.  This is making it much easier for gay males to be friends with straight males.

Being gay can be a struggle.  Gay males must often gain acceptance from family, friends, and strangers.  Friendships that have flourished over many years are strained as gay males try to continue to maintain friendships with their straight male friends.  Depending on the belief system of the straight male, this friendship may continue to flourish, or it may end abruptly.  Gay males and straight males who are friends will have to deal with the physical attraction that the gay male may eventually feel for the straight male.  The straight male will also have to decide how much the friendship means to him as his other friends may not be so accepting.