Shit Is Bout 'Ta Get Real, Y'all: Is it too late to go gay?

Posted at 10:30 AM Jan 12, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Cue the chunky, drop-shadow graphics and cornball synth tunes, because it's time for me to turn this chair around and get real with you kids. Let's talk about issues. Let's talk about being gay.

Is there such a thing as being too old to go gay?

I don't mean to ask if it's possible to live the gay lifestyle you always secretly wanted or suspected you wanted. I mean to ask if there is some point in one's life after which it is unlikely that you will discover you like kissing girls if you're a girl, or guys if you're a guy.

You may ask how I got to be wondering this, and the answer is: I just got off a 3-hour road trip with my fellow Doll Susan, and when it gets down to the wire, apparently we start talking about who and what we made out with in college. Me? I never made out with a girl. And now, at 26 years old, I wonder if I ever will.

Which is not to say that 26 is old, because it isn't. Or that people don't realize, at any age, that they've been stifling or ignoring desires and desired behavior. But I'm 26, and I've never locked lips with a lady, and I don't think I want to very much. Add this to the fact that I'm clearly past the age at which whole college partygirl-bisexual thing is appropriate or excusable, and one wonders: how and when will my experimental phase happen?

I like girls and I even like pretty girls. But I have never seen a pretty girl I really wanted to kiss. Heck, I don't even see that many dudes I want to kiss. Does this mean I'm hetero for life? Or that I just haven't met the right lady who will open up my queersphere?

Dolls, what are your experiences? Am I destined for 60 more years of only keeping an eye out for the right male of the species?


Red said:

I kissed my first girl on my 30th birthday. It was a dear friend of mine who I'd never particularly wanted to make out with, but man, that night, I really did. I don't think this means I'm gay...or even bisexual. I just think I wanted to kiss someone and that someone happened to be female.

Point being, don't give up hope! Or something!

Kris said:

Why is it that women always have to have an "experimental phase"? I'm a guy, and I'm pretty damn sure I don't want to "experiment" with a guy, and nobody has ever implied that I should, just to see if I like it. I don't see what makes women so different.

Reminds me of the Red Dwarf episode where they went to the universe with reversed gender roles. To quote Rimmer, "She went to get some gay porn. Apparently she thinks the sight of two men kissing will turn me on."

Kris said:

The point of my comment being that I find it ridiculous that you feel wrong just because you knew your orientation early on. Some people aren't sure, and some people know right away what they like. Your entire worry sounds more like you want to kiss a girl for street cred, which is trivializing the entire concept of orientations.

What about lesbians or gays that have never kissed someone of the opposite gender? Should they try it just to be sure?

BorgQueen said:

I have to agree with Kris here. I think sexuality in general forms in us around our teen years, some later than others so I would think, scientifically, by the time you are in your late-20s you would have a pretty good grasp on what you are (homo, hetero, bi, etc.). Of course this isn't absolute, but all of the homosexuals I know will tell you they "always" knew they were gay in some way.

L said:

I didn't realize that I was bi until I was 18. I think there is never an age that is too old to discover that you might like people of the same gender. However, thinking back I can see how I always had feelings for girls and just didn't think they were sexual feelings. Sexuality is so complicated that there just isn't a set timeline for who you'll want and when.

Juny said:

I don't think there's really need for an experimentation phase either. Sure, I had that phase, but if you don't really feel like you should do it, then don't force yourself. If you do come to an age in wich you do feel confused or conflicted with your orientation, then yes, by all means experiment, regardless of what age that may be. If not, then don't force yourself into it.

manobon said:

I know that, personally, I was pretty sure from...middle school? onward that I was attracted to guys and gals. However, it was only until recent years (soon-to-be-mid-twenties) that I felt like I Had to question that (due to many straight and gay friends, men and women, asking if I was Sure if I was bi, how do you KNOW?, expressing that bi's aren't "real", etc.).

All of that to say, *I Knew* who I was attracted to because I was -obviously- attracted to different people, of different genders. I Wanted to kiss them ("at least!"- not to be too creepo about it). So that's what it was like for me.

For others, it really has been a matter of just Happening to "try it out", and -if you can find a Very safe and comfortable (for any/everyone involved) way- it wouldn't hurt to try.

Then again, I was scared after not being attracted to the first guy I kissed (Not the first guy I found attractive), so maybe all that effort would be for naught. Sorry for using "for naught".

Good luck!

Melanie said:

Via my job, I have seen a certain amount of research about menopause / midlife and it seems that at this point in time there are a notable number of women who start their first same-sex relationships / experimentation at midlife. The theory generally presented is that when these particular women got married it was more likely to be unthinkable to be LGBTTIQQ2S in their social sphere, therefore they would be more likely to have done the expected (marriage and children) but once menopause comes along, and the kids have gone off to school, and their sphere had sufficiently changed... freedom! I wonder if this will continue to be a trend for menopausal women in future generations...

that wasn't very coherent, but I blame my cold medication.

Susan said:

To Kris: I would say that yes, people who identify as gay without having ever "experimented" with straight sexuality might also want to give it a go. Why not? Our ideas about who or what we might like are usually much more based on cultural conceptions than on actual experience. I understand if you've never been attracted to someone of the same/opposite sex, but I think encouraging experimentation in safe spaces can and often does help development of one's sexual identity. What have you got to lose, really?

Kris said:

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with experimenting. But that's not what I got out of the post. What her post says to me is that she's upset that she hasn't had the desire to experiment, and feels like she's not normal because "Everyone has an experimental phase." It's like she took the "Girls are supposed to like boys and nothing else" right wing mantra, and turned it on it's head while leaving all the damaging parts. (Feeling "not normal" because she isn't conforming to some ideal in her head)

In fact, the more I read it, the more I wonder if it was entirely tongue in cheek and intended to produce that reaction, given how it's considered "trendy" for girls to just want to experiment a little while running home to their man for the "real" sex.

St. Michael said:

BorgQueen - Just about everyone will tell you that their current orientation is what they "always" knew they were. But I've seen people reconfigure themselves at all stages of their lives, often multiple times.

Andrea said:

Just to set the record straight (hah!) I really was just kind of idly wondering if there would be a point at which women would start being attractive to me. I don't feel that my hetero-ness is wrong, any more than I feel like anyone's gay-ness or bi-ness is wrong. I wasn't thinking about it from a normalizing point of view, or from the point of view that I "should" have experimented at some or any point. And it especially doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I'm a woman. Just wondering if there's a certain age after which you don't expect any surprises in this department, whether you're a guy or a girl.

deadlytoque said:

I had a friend who realized she was a lesbian at about 15, and was solidly into that until she was about 26, at which point she started dabbling with guys and has now decided she's bisexual. Whether she's been bisexual all along and just wasn't sure, or whether she's "faded into" bisexuality, she doesn't know, and I suppose nobody ever will.

I know a lot of people (well, three that I can think of, 2 m and 1 f) that have become less-certain of their sexuality in their late-20s; all of them previously 100% straight (or, well, as close to 100% as anyone truly is) but now treat the sex of their partner more as a matter of opportunity.

So, I suppose I think that age hardly factors into it. You're comfortable with the sex you're comfortable with when you're comfortable with it.

r4i software said:

Every women has to come in this experimental stage this are the our culture that women always suffer this one it is really a fantastic one.

Bobbyskizza said:

I have to say I've never experimented and as I'm in a long term relationship which seems to be heading towards marriage i probably never will. However when I was 22/23 I did meet a guy who I developed a huge crush on, he was gay and in a LTR when I met him and I was obsessed with him for a few months and he was regular fixture in my fantasies. Then I moved away never to see him again and met my current girlfriend.

DameRuth said:

I'm female, pushing forty, have never felt the slightest attraction to other women, never fantasized about them, never experimented with them, and I still don't want to. At this point I'm not expecting that to change.

In my early teens I actually *wanted* to be bi, since I liked other girls a lot as friends, but wasn't impressed with the males in my age range . . . however, the reality of puberty crushed that dream for me. The same-sex attraction just wasn't there. Fortunately for me, everyone grew up, I found guys to like, and I decided that being straight wasn't so bad after all. ;)

That's this person's testimonial, anyway.

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