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Chris Kryzan

July 1998

Hi Chris,

I've had a couple of crushes on guys my age, but mostly I seem to like guys a couple of years younger than me. The guy I currently like is 14 and I am 16. When I'm out at like the shopping centre I tend to notice younger guys more as well.

Is this normal (i.e. am I a 'regular' gay) or am I a bit sick, and as far removed from the gay society as they are from heterosexuals in 'mainstream' society?

Gary

***

Dear Gary,

It's perfectly "normal" for a 16 year-old to be attracted to a 14 year-old, and doesn't at all suggest that you're "sick" or that anything is wrong with you. There could be a lot of reasons why you find yourself attracted to guys a couple of years younger, and an age difference of a couple of years is no big deal.

Now, if you find yourself at 19 or 20 and still attracted to guys 14 (or younger), it would be a good idea for you (or anyone in a similar situation) to seek some professional assistance at that time to help you understand what's behind that. But before you do, you should read From Generation to Generation - Understanding Sexual Attraction to Children by Dr. Anne Stirling Hastings. It's the best book I've found so far on this subject and addresses it from a position of support and understanding.

In general, though, a difference of a few years in your teens doesn't mean a lot and you should feel fine about it, Gary. I wouldn't get worried about anything at this time and instead just enjoy being with your friend.

Take care,

Chris

***

Hi Chris,

I'm 16 years old and I'm not sure if I'm gay or not. First of all I'm technically a virgin, and I masturbate A LOT. Most of the time when I masturbate I think of sucking on another guy's penis or have a penis in my butt. Sometimes I put my fingers in my butt or things like carrots and cucumbers. Once in a while when I'm home alone I like to suck on a dildo I found in my parents room and put it in me. But every time I ejaculate I get sick to my stomach think about what I was doing and what I was wanting. Is there something wrong with me?

Michael

***

Dear Michael,

Several years ago I came up with what seems to be a pretty good test of whether or not you're gay, and it comes down to the answer to two questions: Who do you find yourself romantically attracted to, boys or girls? and Who do you think about when you masturbate? If the answer to these is someone of the same gender, then more likely than not, you're gay or lesbian. Thinking about sucking another guy's penis or having anal intercourse is probably a pretty good indication that you're gay, Michael.

Nothing is wrong with you except how you feel about yourself, Michael. Being queer is absolutely fine -- it's something you were born with, and is just as normal as being heterosexual. It sounds like this is something you still have to come to terms with, Michael. It's time to spend some time coming to grips with being gay and, after you do, I think the "sick to the stomach" feeling will go away.

Reading Oasis is a really good place to start understanding more about being a queer teen and I also highly recommend reading the book Free Your Mind by Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufmann. Unfortunately, you're not the first guy to feel ashamed about being queer, and these feelings often come to the surface after you have masturbated -- you kind of clear them from your head then, and move on. Lots of us have been exactly where you are.

It's also important to know that masturbating is something that is very natural, and that most guys and girls (and men and women) masturbate regularly. In general, guys masturbate more as a teen than they do later in life (although that's not always true), so masturbating a "lot" is nothing to be worried about, unless you find it getting in the way of going about the rest of your life.

You should be careful about what you stick up your butt, though. Produce is not necessarily the best thing to use as a dildo, because it can break off inside of you and, besides potentially causing you injury, it might result in a somewhat embarrassing visit to the emergency room. A dildo is much better to use, but you need to be careful when using someone else's. Depending on how they're used, a dildo can carry bacteria, viruses or fecal matter (shit), and any one of these could result in you getting very sick. So you should be sure to clean it off very well with an anti-bacterial soap before and after you use it, and better yet, put a condom on it, too. Better still, if you can, get one of your own.

Be confident in knowing that there's nothing at all wrong with you, Michael. Everything you've been doing is absolutely "normal" and there's no reason to feel bad or ashamed about who you are or how you sexually stimulate yourself. Enjoy it, and feel good about who you are.

Take care,

Chris

***

Hi Chris,

I am bisexual and last week I was going out with someone called Laura, but for several reasons we have stopped seeing each other. Before her, and for some time now I have fancied Gary, my best friend. An hour ago I told him everything, on the phone. Have I done the right thing? What should I do next? Please help if you can!

Jeff

***

Hi Jeff,

It's hard to say what was the "right thing" to do in your situation -- only you can be the ultimate judge of that and, since you already told him, it doesn't really matter what was "right" any more. That said, let me also say that being honest about who you are -- if you're lesbian, gay or bisexual -- ultimately usually IS the "right thing" because you wind up feeling a lot better about yourself.

Now that you've told Gary, the important thing is to help him through whatever process he has to go through to come to understand what it means for you to be bisexual, to know that that is alright, and to come to feel good about it. I recommend Free Your Mind as a good place for Gary to start learning about this. It's also important for you to continue to talk to him about this, to answer any questions he might have. By doing so you're helping to educate him about being queer, and helping him to know better the whole person you are.

In our recent survey of queer youth, we found that more than three-quarters of the time best friends react either "good" or "very good" to news of coming out. Here's to hoping that's exactly how Gary handles the news!

Take care,

Chris

If you want to ask Chris a question to be answered anonymously in an upcoming issue, drop him a line at chris@kryzan.com


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