My Gay son doesn't 'fancy' gay men! Help!(14 Posts)
DS 18 has had a troubled past with social anxiety and not fitting in. He is much better after much counselling, where we learnt that he does have some aspergers traits, particularly when he is stressed. He is managing friendship groups well and has come out to his peer group. He is not 'typically' gay (sorry for the stereotype) I would think more asexual. He has had 3 very close male friends since about 15 but he obsesses over them and becomes very upset if they get girl friends or indeed other close male friends.
He says he is gay but doesn't fancy gay men, rather just forms close attachments to his very straight male friends, to me it seems like crushes. I have gently tried suggesting that he get more involved in the gay scene (particularly when he starts uni this year) but he seems repulsed by it. I've tried suggesting that perhaps he needs to explore his sexuality more, but he insists he fancies men, just not gay ones! He hasn't had any sexual contact as yet with a male. I have no idea how to help him. I can see he will push his straight friends away because he obviously has crushes on them, and I am worried he will be forever lonely because not fancying gay men is definitely a problem if you identify as gay! Help, I'm out of my depth and do not know how to advise him, or even say the right thing without getting it wrong and offending him. He is not very sociably mature, his counsellor thought he was perhaps 5 years behind socially, although he is highly intelligent.
Any chance he is suffering from a but of internalised homophobia?
I think you need to butt out of your DSs love life.
If he’s asexual who prefers male company so be it.
What you want for him is entirely irrelevant.
You’re way too over invested in his sex life. Eeeww.
If you’re worried about him, speak to his university about his Aspergers, and how he might find it difficult to make and keep friends.
Just to add, the reason I am seeking help is because it is mentally draining dealing with his meltdowns when he perceives his friends pushing him away. He is forever upset if he feels his friends are pulling away from him, even though from the outside it does not appear that they are.
I'm not interested in his sex life at all, it's just me who he chooses to talk to about it, and pick up the pieces when he is in a state. `I have not stated what I want for him, he can be whatever the hell he wants to be as long as he is happy, I'm just asking for advice because I have never dealt with this and there maybe practical suggestions from other posters who have been in the same position.
He may very well be asexual, it's a valid sexual orientation. But that's something he'll have to work out for himself.
There are plenty of 'non scene' straight acting gay men. He will meet men who he might fancy more as he progresses through life, I don't think he's really so old you need worry. What is more of a worry I suppose is how he acts around friends , he needs to work on that most at this stage. Focus on helping him develop feeling secure enough with friends to not obsess over them.....
Just as some straight men spend years not actively pursuing a woman in particular, so do some gay men. If he said he was straight, would you doubt this if he'd got to late teens and never had a girlfriend? Because it's not that unusual.
Obsessing over unattainable objects of desire with no intention of acting on it is pretty common in people with Asperger's - it's almost like a way of practising the social rules that can be problematic, although this very impulse can as you've found bring its own anxieties. I think all you can do is gently guide him and hope that he can see for himself that how he is casting himself in these situations is not actually how relationships work. But then relationships require reciprocity, which is likely scary for him as it introduces an unknown element (ie another person with independent agency) rather than an ideal which is safe and controllable.
Thank you - some very good advice here and has clarified in my mind the area where I need to help him. As suggested, I guess it matters not a jot what he sexually identifies as, he just needs to be secure in himself. But that again is a whole new ball game........
The thing about not fancying gay men I assume to be gay men who are stereotypically gay. This sounds a lot like internalised homophobia, maybe have a quick Google and see if it sounds similar to what your son says. If he describes stereotypically gay men as too 'flamboyant' or annoying or 'too much' then that could definitely be a sign.
I grew up with a friend who came out as gay at 18/19 but didn’t actually ever have a boyfriend until his late 20s. I think it takes time. When he starts university he should grow in independence and will meet all sorts of people. You say he doesn’t fancy gay men as if all gay men are the same (you know what I mean!) there’s nothing to say he won’t meet somebody a bit later in life school friendships are tough as it’s an intense environment and they’re in each others faces every day- University will be different I’m sure.
Thank you - all very valid points. His sexuality is relevant because he is not happy with it! I think there is an element of internalised homophobia. Perhaps when he gets to uni and meets a much larger variety of people he may find his tribe and himself!
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