As a freshman in high school, I had no interest in making friends, least of all romantic and/or sexual ones. I was so overwhelmed by people, I wanted nothing to do with them. In other words, I did not know what I wanted or needed.
However, my perspective changed when I started having gay sex. My need to live alone was complementary to my gay identity as a virgin. As a sexually active young adult, it was contradictory. How could I form constructive and satisfying relationships based on an orientation chosen out of fear?
First, I found myself gravitating toward anonymous sex. I thought an orgasm was all I could get out of a relationship. Yet anonymous sex only made my lack of sense of self more apparent to me. It made me feel worse about myself, not better.
So I attempted having fuck buddies. It lasted for a year or two, but was a disaster for my sense of self as well. I at least had the wisdom to always use protection.
After this, I decided to face my fear of heterosexual relations. It was easier to face my fear of straight sex than to face my conflicted sense of self.
While it did not magically fix my conflicted sense of self, I did learn more about human sexuality than I ever expected. I do not regret my sexual adventures to this very day. In fact, I continue to partake when the mood strikes.
It wasn’t until I met someone special that I realized my sense of self was more important than the sex I was having. He taught me how to feel and how to feel with others. He may not be in my life right now, but he has become a part of how I understand myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So I come back to my original question; how do I decide my orientation? I now believe the most important aspect to that question are my wants & needs as a human being. As a human being, I crave intimate relationships. If a relationship adds meaning to my life, I hope I’ll seek to develop it. Whether it is of the homo- or hetero-sexual variety is mostly immaterial.