I am a gay male and have been out and confident in my sexuality for over 3 years now. However in the past year or so I have become unable to imagine myself in sexual situations with men I find attractive, or even men I don’t personally find attractive.
I found a loophole to this problem in the form of imagining myself as a woman, but this always leaves me feeling ashamed of myself, as I’m not sure if this inability to imagine myself with another man is internalized homophobia or due to the fact I have very little self esteem.
I suffer with anxiety and depression and I have been out of education and work for over a year now, with very little social interaction, this has left my self esteem and confidence at an all time low.
I see a lot of the gay men I find attractive as too good for me and feel they wouldn’t want to waste their time with someone like me who is vastly inexperienced and not very confident, these feelings are a huge contributing factor as to why I feel I find it hard to visualize myself with them, but then if I imagine myself as a girl I am able to, despite the fact I know they’re gay.
If I am attracted to a straight man I am simply unable to imagine myself sexually with that man unless I imagine myself as a woman.
I feel like I’m just perpetuating my self esteem issues by imagining myself as someone who I see as better in my own fantasies and It’s just making my depression worse. To the point where I won’t masturbate for long periods of time just because I feel terrible when I do.
Just to clarify, I don’t imagine myself as a specific woman, or anyone I know. I essentially imagine who I would be if I was a woman.
I know this question was a little scrambled and I’m sorry if it was confusing. But I really feel horrible about myself at this point and if I could get some advice or someone could point me in the right direction of someone who could give me some advice it would be great, as I obviously cannot talk to friends or family about the subject.
Sex can be a very animalistic act but for humans it is always more than that. The physical sensations that arise from sexual activity and sexual arousal are filtered, modified and perhaps re-created, all within the domain of the conscious mind. Everything that pertains to you, to your mind, to your development, to your experiences both sexual and otherwise, to recallable memories and also those that have been submerged into the unconscious mind, all of these things interact with the physical to produce human sexuality.
You are both anxious and depressed. Either of these, could have profound effects upon your sexuality both actual and in fantasy. It would be unrealistic to expect that your anxiety, depression, insecurity, lowered self-esteem, etc., would not have a powerful effect upon your sexuality.
As much as we Americans would like to think that we are completely liberated and accepting of homosexuality and gender issues, we certainly are not. Is there universal agreement that someone who identifies themselves as male or female, can use the bathroom reserved for their identified gender? Of course not and our elections surely show that difference. Is homosexuality a vile perversion that condemns its practitioners to hell? Does God hate homosexuals? There are millions of people that say no to both of those questions, but there are also millions of individuals who say yes.
We are surely moving towards a more enlightened view of sexuality but our country is still in transition. We have yet to reach that enlightened destination. You presently exist in that mixed American culture. Could the negativity expressed by many individuals, in our society, towards homosexuality be affecting you, especially at a time of anxiety and depression?
Yes, of course it could.
The first thing to address is your anxiety and depression and all issues pertaining to it. A good therapist will make all the difference in the world. I believe that as you make progress in those areas your sexual issues will also improve. If you follow this process and your sexual issues do not resolve themselves, then you can, of course, see a sex therapist.
In my humble opinion, your sexual problems will be resolved when the more fundamental mental health issues are corrected. I hope I’ve provided some insight into your concerns and I wish you the best of luck.
Dr. Kristina Randle