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    What is my sexual orientation?
    peter_thomas posted:
    I am too much confused and so tired because of lack of support from anyone. Please help me discover my identity.

    I am 20 years old male.As a child, I grew up normal like a boy playing with boys toys(trucks and guns).

    When I reach my puberty at 13, I felt nice and sexually aroused when I touch female clothes. I secretly used to try on my sister's clothes. Once I was caught doing this and my parents didn't take this seriously. But I didn't stop after that and took more precautions when I was 'experimenting' and was never caught after that, even till today.

    This continued for few years after which I got separated and started living in dormitory away from my parents, which resulted in putting an end to the above mentioned acts. Then, fantasies started to take over. My greatest fantasy is getting forcibly dressed up as girl by my mother or cousin, chaining me to something and take control over me, completely. This has nothing to do with sex.

    Later on,by the time I was 18, just the idea of restraining someone and taking control over them(without any act of sex or cross-dressing involved) became enough to get me aroused, although cross-dressing still gets me aroused.

    I took the help of internet to explore myself and I found that neither male body nor the female body can get me aroused. Even the sight of lower private parts of other people sometimes makes me throw up. I never had a sex fantasy and the regular pornographic material had been so useless. A girl wearing voluminous dress or a girl tied/chained to something or a guy dressed as a girl(better forcibly by someone) or combinations of these are pornography for me.

    So, I'm not straight, not bi and not even gay, since I am attracted sexually to neither men or women. I didn't find or meet anyone who is like me and felt alone. I can't enjoy anyone's company because the regular interests of people get me bored.

    It is the thought of future that sometimes gets me depressed as I am from a very conservative society, where anything away from normal is considered as a path to hell. Some day in future, I have to get settled with some girl and I am afraid the she won't understand and I might end up spoiling her valuable life.

    Please help me in identifying my sexual orientation and tell me whether this can be set back to normal and how. I can't consult a psychotherapist because that involves money which means I have to explain the situation to my parents. I am afraid that my parents won't understand and take me as a mentally sick person.
    5StringBoogie responded:
    Hi, PT. Sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time getting the information you need to work this out. I'm not any kind of therapist, but maybe I can help some with what you're experiencing. As with anything you find on the internet, I'd caution you to consider what I say as possibly useful, never authoritative

    I'm hearing three topics in your description: 1) your sexual orientation (whether you're gay, straight, bi, pan, a, etc.), 2) your sexual interests (transvestism, plus bondage & discipline), and 3) where to go from here. I'll try to explain a little, and then offer what advice I can.

    Orientation: That you don't find naked men or women attractive doesn't mean much about which sex(es) you're drawn to. A key question I have is, are your fantasies of being forced to crossdress predominantly about women, men, or women and men equally? You mention your sister and mother, but I realize that may not be a representative sample.

    The LGBTQA community these days prefers to separate orientation from identity. A person who feels they are internally male has a male "gender identity," regardless of their biological makeup and what gender(s) they find attactive. That same person is considered to be of "straight" orientation if they're interested in people who identify as female.

    As I understand the language within these terms, we're seen as gay (primarily interested in our same gender identity), straight (interested in the opposite gender identity), bi (interested in both gender identities), asexual (not interested in romantic relationships), and pansexual (interested in anyone, regardless of their orientation or identity).

    What you describe doesn't tell me much about your orientation, except that you mention at least some of your fantasies involve women. So, do most? all? I think that's the question to be answered in defining your orientation. If most or all involve women, I'd hazard the opinion you're probably straight.

    As far as your sexuality, both cross-dressing and bondage/discipline are both fairly common sexual focuses.

    Cross-dressing: you might Google for "transvestic fetishism" for more information about its frequency. Lots of men have (and enjoy) this interest.

    Likewise, B/D fetishism is not that uncommon. I know people personally who aren't interested in traditional sex, but are very interested in restraint play. That sounds like what you're describing.

    So, as to your questions on how to tackle this, my first choice would be that you see a relevant counselor or therapist to help sort out the issues. Since that's not an option for you, I'd spend a little more time on the internet, checking out places like , which have large, (extremely) varied communities of people, including probably some exactly like you.

    You say that, at some point, you'll "have to get settled with some girl." May I ask why? If the person's not a match for you in this area, there's no way I think you should be considering doing such a thing. It's not just her life and happiness at risk (and I'm glad that's a big consideration to you), but it's your own as well. A permanent relationship with someone who doesn't understand your drives can't end happily.

    Hope all this helps somewhat...
    Chris_WebMD_Staff replied to 5StringBoogie's response:
    Welcome Peter, I'm thrilled member 5stringboogie came in to support you on this. It's a great community I'm glad you found us.

    Don't forget to try and talk to your parents seriously about this as well. Think about what you might say to your parents. Be serious and ready for questions. Then talk to them. Or maybe just one parent at at a time, if you think you might be better heard.

    A professional can help you with this, as well as all the great info from our previous poster!
    Again, Welcome!

    Life is too short, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly.
    Author Unknown
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Chris_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Peter, I'm sure it was not easy for you to share what you did here. I think it's great that you are reaching out like this. I hope 5stringboogie's information was helpful and that you really consider what Chris had to say. If you do decide to see a therapist at some point (e.g. you save some money or find someone you can afford, talk with parents and they help you out), then you might want to try seeing a sex therapist because they can probably help you best, given their training. You might try to find one on . Good luck! And, please feel free to continue to reach out here for support.
    dfromspencer responded:
    Welcome, Pete

    I am no therapist either, but i feel you need to talk to one, if at all possible. What you are going through is normal. I think we all go through a period of sexual identifying? And i'll bet there are many just like you. I hope what 5String said helps you out?

    I think Dr. Becker-Phelps is right, you need to talk with your parents. Be as up front, and as totally honest with them as you can. That, in itself, will help with your own peace of mind.

    Pete, if you have no sexual attraction to women, you don't have to marry. You can live a self fulfilled bachalors life. Single life can be just as happy, and just as rewarding as married life.

    Thank you for comming to us, you are always welcome here. Best of luck to you, Dennis
    peter_thomas replied to 5StringBoogie's response:
    Thank you 5StringBoogie for helping me. The information you gave helped me get some clarity about the things in my life.

    Are sexual orientation and sexual interests different? From the LGBTQA's definition of sexual orientation, I feel internally as male gender. Yet, my friends point me that I sometimes exhibit effeminate behavior. I don't find sports(watching and playing) interesting. My friends make fun of me when I say I like reading romantic novels.

    When it comes to fantasies, since I like anything femenine, it mostly contains women or men being forced to dress like women. But, the main part of the fantasy are not women, but the feminine things present in it. Also in real life, I tend to like girls who are very girly in dressing style and behavior, but I find that I like the dress they wear and the products they use, rather than them as a person. Can I still be called straight?

    I googled B/D fetishism and I found the videos and pitures that came up as quite disturbing and quite different from my fantasies. For example, many of those involved naked men and women being tortured by using various tools, while my fantasies involve people constraining others and taking good care of them without hurting them(more like we take care of pets). So, are there different kinds of B/D fetishes or what I have is different from a B/D fetish?

    I said I have to marry a girl someday because I am living in a country where parents are the ones who choose whom we should marry. Denying their choice or arguing with them leads to expulsion from family and community. Sex is considered as a taboo and just as a way to procreate. So, matters related to it are not discussed openly, expecially among family members. I dont have enough strength to educate my whole community about alternate behaviors, so what I am really looking foreward to is, a way to 'fix' myself, be normal and be happy with my life.

    As per your suggestion, I would try my best to consult a therapist and follow their advice.
    5StringBoogie replied to peter_thomas's response:
    Hi again, Peter.

    I understand your situation better, now. I understand it's not practical to try to educate or enlighten your entire community, and I'll trust your assessment that you'll be required to marry.

    The interest you're describing definitely sounds like "transvestic fetishism" to me, which wikipedia defines as applying to "those who are thought to have an excessive sexual or erotic interest in cross-dressing ."

    This doesn't have to be a major barrier between you and your future wife, if she can accept that this is a harmless (if not mainstream) part of who you are. Gaining her trust and acceptance of the situation will be challenging, but not impossible, task. Earn her trust and respect, and let her come to know about this gradually.

    Your gender identity still sounds male to me, and my impression of your orientation is still that you're probably straight. I don't think you need to overly worry about firmly defining either of these yet, as it sounds like your sexual focus isn't particularly affected by them now. And, that's OK.

    If you looked for general BDSM materials on the internet, yes, you'll have seen a lot of variety, much of which will be disturbing to many people. BDSM interests are hugely varied, and what you saw was probably not well targeted to what you're feeling. I mentioned bondage & discipline because if your interest in restraining and forcibly dressing a partner... it sounds like the "bondage" part of BDSM may be of interest to you.

    Your interest also seems to have a lot of dominance & submission ("D/S") character to it. A good dominant ("Dom") in a traditional D/S relationship is extremely concerned about taking excellent care of his/her submissive ("sub") partner. The sub's welfare is paramount in such a relationship.

    Popular modern erotic fiction and internet pornography often mix BDSM & D/S in the same presentation, so you may have difficulty finding restraint-only depictions that don't also include some sort of inflicted discomfort, but these are actually separate aspects of sexuality and it's not at all unreasonable for you to be drawn to only some parts of what is easily on the internet.

    As I mentioned before, I'm not any sort of medical professional, so this is solely my personal opinion, please take it as no more than that.... your decision and success is in your control.

    I'm not certain you can be "cured," as I think you're describing... a deep, fundamental desire such as yours usually doesn't "go away" even with therapy, but therapy can help you understand and accept it (and it truly can be a wonderful, rewarding part of who you are), and therapy can also help you get more comfortable with other aspects of traditional sexuality.[br>As the others suggested, you may want to save up money toward paying to visit a therapist yourself, if possible. I think that would be very beneficial, even if it takes a while before you can afford it. Be as patient as you can working this out... I'm sure your situation is overwhelming now, but I truly think you can get to where you're happy.
    HeartlandGal replied to peter_thomas's response:
    Hi, Peter. I, too, am sorry you are struggling with this. These issues can be very stressful for people, especially when it's hard to find someone to talk to about it. Have you looked to see if there are any non-profit, charities, or NGOs near your community that offer mental health services? Sometimes these organizations offer their services at lower cost or on a sliding-fee scale. Just a thought. Hope you find the support and help you need, and hang in there!

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