My boyfriend of 2.5 years says he is not gay, but thus far, he has never been able to orgasm inside me, though he has tested negative for all physical causes of impotence. I'm his first girlfriend and he's 28. He lives in a dorm, and the other day, he told me how he was shocked to find a naked man drying himself off in the middle of the bathroom floor. He repeated this twice. I'm not sure what to make of all this. I'm going absolutely insane because I love him and don't know how I can ever know for sure if he's straight. Thanks! ~ Crazed Kate
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Dear Crazed Kate --
I'm not sure how you'll ever know if your boyfriend is straight or gay, especially if, after almost 3 years, you still don't feel certain, Kate. If health problems are ruled out -- and they usually are -- the challenge becomes understanding the emotional, historical or psychological reasons behind the issue. I wish your partner would enter counseling, as he deserves the experience of a healthy, vital and authentic sexual life, whether he's gay or straight.
And I would say the same to you, Crazed Kate. We all need to explore, experiment with and enjoy our sexuality, and sharing that with a partner is especially satisfying. I know you love this man, but I hope you'll at least allow for the possibility that you can love him and still choose a relationship where you can feel more connected, safe and known, and in more ways.
I wish I had answers for you, but I only have questions, really. Maybe finding answers to these questions will lead you toward your own peace of mind. I hope that's true, at least.
Is your boyfriend troubled by his intimate experiences with you? Has he discussed with you any anxieties about his performance or what happens when you have sex together? Beyond the act itself, is there arousal and passion between the two of you? Is there kissing and touching? Does he initiate? Does he explore your body and ask you questions? Have you done the same with him? Has this issue been present since the beginning of your relationship?
Can you accept, for yourself, this kind of sexual partnership if your boyfriend is straight? Can you accept staying in the relationship and living with the uncertainty? Can you accept leaving the relationship and living with the uncertainty? Do you feel conflicted at all about your need to feel sexy and attractive? How important is it for you to express this part of your life? To what extent do you honestly doubt your partner's sexual orientation? Do you feel you need a concrete piece of evidence in order to legitimately move on from this relationship?
You might be surprised how many of us have experienced this particular dilemma. And many of us have felt kinda crazy throughout the experience. Sometimes, Crazed Kate, we must end relationships because of how powerfully unhappy we are, not with the person or the entire connection, but because something fundamental and crucial can not be resolved or shared with us. Others find they can move through and past core differences because so many other needs are met within the relationship. Even without certain knowledge about your boyfriend's orientation, I think it would be wise if you began to think about which choices you can make for yourself, and for your own reasons. Good luck, Kate.
Ladies, please help if you can.