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I rarely enjoy sex with other men, can I still call myself gay?

'I guess this is my [graysexual] coming out'

I rarely enjoy sex with other men, can I still call myself gay?
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Dan Beeson knows sexual identities can shift, he just didn't think his wanted to

Ask anyone close to me from my University days, a mere four years ago, and they’ll say I was a sexual deviant.

But, the truth is, almost 100% of my past endeavours were at best unsatisfying and, in the past couple of years, also increasingly fleeting.

It’s not because my encounters were necessarily ‘bad’ that my sex drive has decreased, it’s because I’ve never really understood the craving for sex more than I do for intimacy.

Recently I had fun sex with a guy I’m really attracted to, but more often the experience leaves me with such a sense of ‘betrayal’ in myself after he has zipped up and left that in the most part I don’t enjoy sex.

‘I identify somewhere between homoromantic asexuality and graysexual, or ‘gray-ace’’

I continue because identifying as a gay man means having sex with men, and sometimes I find the diamond in the rough that can stoke the fire of my dwindling sexual desires.

But, what if I’m trying to tell myself something else about my sexual and emotional identity?

I have an inkling, through working in LGBTI media where I hear personal stories daily, I identify somewhere between homoromantic asexuality and graysexual, or ‘gray-ace’.

According to Steve and Thom, who spoke to HuffPost about their homoromantic asexual relationship, they are ‘individuals who are romantically attracted to the same gender but not sexually attracted to any gender’.

While the Asexual Visibility and Education Network defines graysexual as ‘individuals who might not normally experience sexual attraction, but do sometimes. They might also experience sexual attraction, but a low sex drive.’

On the rare occasion I enjoy sex it has to be with someone I’ve developed a connection, sexual or emotional, with over time – which should be the way it is anyway, right?

But when it comes to being online, I don’t look for sex to have sex, it’s superfluous to me, I look for it as a single man because it’s the shortest road to imaginary feelings of intimacy, as damaging as they may be, especially if it goes against my sexual nature.

The reality of today’s fast-paced and saturated big city gay communities, like London, where I live, is overwhelming choice and a pressure that disables many from realising and embracing their true personal needs even when they become known to them.

I had sex with men often because I felt pressure to fulfil the gay definition, but if gay isn’t my exact or only identity than stopping meaningless ‘fitting in’ sex may introduce me to my true sexuality at it’s fullest and allow me to have experiences, even if they’re less common, of higher quality to me.

My only worry now is will I ever meet someone who’s OK with me falling in love with them, but not wanting to have sex with them as often?

If I have to be flexible, i.e. have sex to fulfil my partners needs, to get what I need from them, my preferred physical contact of cuddling and kissing, I’m not so opposed to sex that I wouldn’t have it – and I would probably enjoy it, with them – it’s just not my first choice.

‘I guess you could say this is my sexual awakening’

In my heart I feel my true identity lies in the asexual spectrum, whether it be as a homoromantic asexual or graysexual, and only will it be allowed to flourish if I address the destructive behaviours which keep it disabled.

I guess you could say this is my sexual awakening, although I’m not sure where on the asexual spectrum I lie to be able give it a label, but I believe sexuality is fluid so I’m fine with that.

I am expecting people who know me not to understand, or even believe based on my quite promiscuous past, where I am now in my life and why I portrayed myself as a overtly-sexual guy – but I hope they can at least understand the fluidity of sexuality and it’s lack of constant.

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Follow Dan’s conversations on Twitter and Instagram. Read more from Dan here.

 


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