Please forgive me for the long post but I really struggle to untangle the mess which is my sexuality.
I am 45 years old, happily married and dearly love my wife but all my life I've struggled with secret desires for other men. I have fought these desires, sometimes quite successfully.
Successfully enough to convince myself I am straight for long periods of time. But with the hindsight of a middle aged man, I realise that heterosexual sex has always been a bit of a chore for me, even though I find women extraordinarily attractive and I should have had no problems in bed.
Something was always off.
It always felt like I didn't belong with women sexually, like somehow I was an imposter, or something vital was missing. Feeling the pressure to perform and the fear I couldn't. Something about the masculine/feminine dynamic not quite fitting, and the whole situation lacking almost all the forbidden thrill I associated with my suppressed homosexual desires. Sex with women, was/is an ordeal even though I genuinely find women attractive.
Excuse the clumsy analogy but it didn't feel like picking and eating delicious fruit from a beautiful garden, it felt like seeing a tasty looking fruit on a terrifyingly high tree which I had to climb, despite being afraid of heights, only for a fruit I couldn't open or which, whilst looking fantastic, just didn't taste quite right.
To add to the confusion, it wasn't like I lusted after the men I knew and saw around me. Looking at a man in jeans and t-shirt or a suit, with facial hair did nothing for me, whilst the woman in the skirt with makeup did.
So I was rarely attracted to the men around me, if ever! Fully clothed women were pleasing to my eye but men? Not at all.
But all my formative sexual exploration was with my male friends and since puberty, when I was alone in my most intimate moments, my most erotic fantasies have been powerfully fixated on naked mature men or men with their genitals exposed.
Naked men do something to me deep in my emotions. And I specifically mean naked or with penises exposed.
If I see a man in board shorts at the beach I'm still not interested and I will be far more attracted to my wife in her bikini than the bloke in the surf.
But a man whose genitals are exposed suddenly makes sense to me like nothing else ever has, it's like the bottom falls out of my world and I am overwhelmed with desire.
Partly because I find male genitalia excruciatingly erotic and fascinating, but also because of two other things.
1. It's forbidden fruit. I don't feel I'm supposed to be fascinated by a man's body, therefore it's always been secret and the secrecy makes it extra compelling, in a way that heterosexuality just doesn't. Heterosexual desire is bread and butter. As a young man I could sit around in the pub and brag about how I found a woman attractive and get camaraderie in return. I can quite happily tell my friends and family that I find my wife's body attractive, but sitting in the pub or around the family dinner table and admitting I found the 50 year old man in the shower at the swimming baths achingly erotic? Probably not going to go down well.
2. There is a deep and primal power dynamic in my desire for men. With the women I have been with, it has always been just mutual attraction going along in tandem, or, more often; I as the man, take the lead. She is the desirable one and I'm just acting upon my desire. But when I think of being attracted to a naked man, it feels like he has a power over me. He has caught me on his hook and I'm a helpless fish being reeled in. Especially as I have always tried to fight these desires. Needing a naked man and the thought of my resolve buckling and going to him feels like a surrender. And there's just no getting around it; I find it incredibly erotic the thought of another man having such a profound primal power over me. And another man having power over me makes me feel desirable, pursued, and wanted; in a way I don't with women. I feel erotic. Like a sexual being, a vulnerable morsel on his menu rather than in the usual bloke role of having to take the lead. An oaf hoping to earn her affection, rather than being an object of desire in my own right.
But it's not like men hang around naked or with their genitals exposed in public, waiting for me to melt at their feet.
So my desire remains, not only secret, but mostly unfulfilled.
But for my imagination and homoerotic art (I hate most pornography), I am for all intents and purposes living in a world where women are the only attractive people I ever see.
So it has been so confusing me for so so long.
I thought as I got older this might simmer down, but the older I have got the more powerful these desires and fantasies get. These desires are so so so powerful it's agonising and sometimes I wish I could switch them off because when I'm not having these thoughts, everything in life goes pretty bloody well and I don't feel confused or guilty.
Anyway, sorry if that's all too much but I hope to be able to speak to other men who understand my predicament, so I'm not so alone in this.