How can I be interested in the same sex after nearly 40 years of being straight?

After 40 years of being straight, how could I now find myself interested in people of the same sex? I have had a few same sex encounters of my own doing.

Allison Middleton
Allison Middleton
Trauma Informed, Person-Centered

This is actually totally normal. Sexuality and sexual expression is on a spectrum. At certain times in your life your sexuality might learn towards one side of the spectrum based on a variety of things including your relationship status, acceptance from your community, whether or not you want children, etc.

 If you now find that your sexuality is starting to lean towards the other side of the spectrum, that can be very exciting news. How wonderful to be able to try something new and I am happy to hear that you have been embracing this new part of your sexuality. Happy exploring!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jason Lynch, MS, LMHC, LCAC, ADS
Jason Lynch, MS, LMHC, LCAC, ADS
Individual & Couples Therapy

I frequently work with individuals who develop same-sex attraction later in life. Humans have a tendency to think of things in absolutes. Black or white. Good or bad. Gay or straight. In fact, much of life is lived in the "grey" that lies in between the extremes. This is especially true of sexual orientation which is fluid and occurs along a spectrum. As someone ages and grows, their sexual interests may change. I would encourage you to speak to a therapist who specializes in working with LGBTQ+ individuals. They will have the experience necessary to help you navigate these issues. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Ingrid d
Ingrid d'Aquin
I am offering new possibilities in life. I help people find RELIEF and HOPE..

What most people don't know is that sexual preferences can be fluid, meaning our sexual orientation is not as fixed as most people believe.  Women in particular tend to be more fluid in their desire to express and experience sex.  It is not uncommon for heterosexual women in their mid-life to explore new sexual appetites.  That said, men tend to be more rigid in their orientations particularly if they are hetero while gay men tend to be more fluid.  So if your distress is over your new interests I would tell you, you are not alone and not abnormal.  Since you have started exploring, enjoy and consider seeing a therapist to help you navigate your feelings around this new sexual life! Warm wishes.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Sexuality is fluid! Unfortunately our society does not always "allow" us to fully express the nuances and fluidity of sexuality. If it feels comfortable and safe to do so, I encourage you to explore this new piece of what makes you, you. Remember that you have the power to choose how you identify so it is absolutely okay if you still identify as "straight" or if you feel as though a different label would better explain this piece of your identity.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Ronica Clark
Ronica Clark
You have questions I'm willing to try to give an answer

all and short answer is sexually is on a spectrum and things just happen.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Dr. Meredyth Lawrynce
Dr. Meredyth Lawrynce
Serving Clients Nationwide

Sexuality, sexual orientation is not permanently fixed. What worked or described you at one point could change. As we grow and evolve some things about us that were once true sometimes becomes no longer true.  Change and evolution are natural. Self-acceptance is integral, loving yourself and embracing yourself as you grow, change evolve is paramount.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Robin K. Schnitzler
Robin K. Schnitzler
Couples reclaiming connection!

It sounds like this revelation has rocked your sense of yourself, which is understandable. There are no rules about who we are attracted to, who we may choose to be intimate with, and who we may choose to love. 

Although this is changing (thankfully), our culture has provided limited openly acceptable options for all of these; asking us to generally fit into a heteronormative model. From my perspective supporting a variety of kinds of couples, it doesn't mater whether you had other inclinations that have been suppressed or if you are discovering something new about yourself. 

I support you (and all my clients) in accepting yourself as you are in this moment. It can be okay if that is scary or uncomfortable; it makes sense if it's new. It's also okay to find support with trusted friends, LGBTQ+ friendly organizations, or a therapist. I wish you all the best on whatever comes next for you.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Fred Rogers
Fred Rogers
Que Sera Sera Counseling

Sexuality is fluid. One can be interested in same gender relationship after being straight fr 40years !

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Michele Ramey
Michele Ramey
MRTherapy, LLC- Because Help Is One Of A Kind

That's a loaded question, but to answer with a short answer, I'd say, it's because you are. Get in with someone to explore more of that why and what you want to do with where you are now. Hope that helps!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Philippe Bower
Philippe Bower
Healing with Philippe

Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing with us. The wonderful thing about humans is that we are continually growing and changing. During that growth and change, we may uncover things such as an attraction to the same sex. This is perfectly normal within the lifespan of humans. The one question to ask, is how do you feel about it? If you are comfortable with this new facet of yourself then embrace it for all it is. On the other hand, if you are struggling to accept this within yourself it may benefit you to find a counselor who specializes in sexuality. I wish you the best on your journey. 

Namaste 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Ryan  Lynch
Ryan Lynch
Certified Sex Therapist

Numerous studies have found that sexuality is fluid and it evolves over time. Sexual orientation is very much a spectrum that one can move around in time. It does not mean there is anything wrong with you or that you necessarily have been hiding "in the closet" all this time. Your sexuality is unique to you. There is nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality as long as everyone is on the same page. I always recommend practicing safe sex too!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Eddie Capparucci
Eddie Capparucci
Utilizing Inner Child Recovery Process to Treat Sex/Porn Addictions
In many cases, the heterosexual male is suffering from what...  (more)In many cases, the heterosexual male is suffering from what we refer to as a Father Wound. His man believes he sexually desires other men, but in reality, what he is seeking is an emotional attachment with men that he never received from his father. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Joel Daugherty
Joel Daugherty
Faith-based Counselor in Lake Charles, LA

Sexuality is normally formed during adolescence. It would be extremely rare for someone to develop feelings of same-sex attraction later in life. I would explore whether the attraction you are experiencing is sexually-based or intimacy-based. Perhaps you are craving a close, emotionally intimate relationship with the same-sex, but have somehow sexualized that desire. People often short-cut emotional intimacy for sexual intimacy. This would be something to explore with a counselor. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Rachel  Tramonte
Rachel Tramonte
Therapy for adults, couples, and teens

Few people are actually 100% straight or 100% gay.  Sexual preference exists on a continuum. Over the course of many years a person's sexual preference may shift. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Christina McGrath Fair
Christina McGrath Fair
"Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the ocean." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Sexuality is fluid. It is possible to find yourself attracted sexually or affectionally to different types of people at different times in your life.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

During these encounters did you feel safe? accepted? Where you able to experience something new in your life? 

It is natural to feel attraction to all people. As young children we love everyone. It was as we got older that the social constructs had us make a "choice". It could have been that you were always attracted to the same sex, but now are allowing yourself to feel and explore. But also know that life is interesting as we grow and mature we find that we like things we never liked before, things we said we would never do now seem appealing. 

What is the story you are telling yourself about having these interests? Try to not overthink your attractions. See where they take you. You are on a journey to discover yourself. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

There are many possible answers to your question.

The best one will be the one you decide after reflecting on your own reasoning as to your sexual attraction change.

Sometimes people inhibit their sexuality bc of fear others will disapprove.  Currently since in most circles being gay is acceptable, the conditions are much easier now to come out.

Maybe this describes you.

How happy are you in your marriage?

Sometimes people find it easier to discover a sudden change in their sexuality than to face painful emotions in an existing marriage.

These are only two theoretical possibilities and may not even reflect your own.

What matters is your self-discovery and that you trust your findings as the answer to your question.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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